How Low Can You Go with Keith Yates - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 12:07 PM
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The real issue (which is not answerable) is to compare (as in listen to and measure) a Keith Yates room with his fancy modeling (and out of the world pricing) and a similar room done by a highly competent competitor at probably 1/50th the cost or even a DIY room done by some knowledgeable audiophile. My guess would be that the audible differences (if any) would be no where near worth what it cost.

On the other hand, if I have really deep pockets and/or really large ego, it might be cool to be able to say: "I have a Keith Yates Group designed theater."

I did have a chance to meet Keith once in the mid 90's and he, even then, did not lack self confidence rolleyes.gif
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post #32 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chesterdad View Post

I guess it is downright impossible to have decent bass in your room without the assistance of Mr Yates and his software.
Yates is offering more than "decent" bass. He is able to model billions (with a B) of possible combinations for subwoofer placement in order to achieve a remarkable level of seat-to-seat consistency.

The only other person I can think of doing anything close is Todd Welti of Harman. But his research doesn't take into account the room's construction materials, specific seating locations, non-rectangular room shapes, using more than 4 subs, mounting subs off the floor, asymmetrical placement, etc.

Given enough time and proper gear, you'd be able to get very smooth bass response in the main listening position. You wouldn't be able to replicate that in all 6-8 seats of a home theatre. Yates could.

Despite being way out ahead in this field, I suppose he could have feigned false modesty during the interview, considering we live in a time when people are in a constant state of being offended.
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I guess all the sound reinforcement guys in every hall in the world aren't worth their salt because the haven't used fluid dynamics in their analysis.
And I guess all the audiences in every commercial cinema in the world never enjoyed a movie when there wasn't movie sound. I guess all the recording engineers in every studio in the world weren't worth their salt when making recordings until equalizers were invented. I guess all us enthusiasts in every home theatre in the world never enjoyed good bass before subwoofers were being sold.

New technologies and techniques always bring out such clever sarcasm. But I wouldn't want to go back to a time before movie sound, equalization and subwoofers. Rather than disparage the use of CFD to aid in subwoofer placement, I hope such technology trickles down to us consumers in the next decade or two.

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post #33 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post



Given enough time and proper gear, you'd be able to get very smooth bass response in the main listening position. You wouldn't be able to replicate that in all 6-8 seats of a home theatre. Yates could.

If I were mega rich and needed 8 seats with smooth bass response, I might consider it. I have 4 seats with virtually identical bass response by using 4 subs placed strategically around the room and used a really complicated piece of software to accomplish that feat ---OmniMic.wink.gif [and 16 teflon sliders to move the subs around].

I have no doubt that Keith's abilities to model a room and come up with the right placement of subs is better than anything most mortals are capable of. The real measuring tool, however, is what is the audible difference. I also have no doubt that a Keith Yates designed room is as good as a room can be. But how much audibly better is it than a room designed by another professional.

But quite frankly, more power to him that he can get folks to pay him his fees for what he does.

I would rather pay Keith Yates a huge amount of money to get a great room than some cable company to sell me interconnects, power cords and speaker wire that cost more than my first home.
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post #34 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by chesterdad View Post

I guess it is downright impossible to have decent bass in your room without the assistance of Mr Yates and his software.
Yates is offering more than "decent" bass. He is able to model billions (with a B) of possible combinations for subwoofer placement in order to achieve a remarkable level of seat-to-seat consistency.

The only other person I can think of doing anything close is Todd Welti of Harman. But his research doesn't take into account the room's construction materials, specific seating locations, non-rectangular room shapes, using more than 4 subs, mounting subs off the floor, asymmetrical placement, etc.

Given enough time and proper gear, you'd be able to get very smooth bass response in the main listening position. You wouldn't be able to replicate that in all 6-8 seats of a home theatre. Yates could.

Despite being way out ahead in this field, I suppose he could have feigned false modesty during the interview, considering we live in a time when people are in a constant state of being offended.
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Originally Posted by chesterdad View Post

I guess all the sound reinforcement guys in every hall in the world aren't worth their salt because the haven't used fluid dynamics in their analysis.
And I guess all the audiences in every commercial cinema in the world never enjoyed a movie when there wasn't movie sound. I guess all the recording engineers in every studio in the world weren't worth their salt when making recordings until equalizers were invented. I guess all us enthusiasts in every home theatre in the world never enjoyed good bass before subwoofers were being sold.

New technologies and techniques always bring out such clever sarcasm. But I wouldn't want to go back to a time before movie sound, equalization and subwoofers. Rather than disparage the use of CFD to aid in subwoofer placement, I hope such technology trickles down to us consumers in the next decade or two.

 

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post #35 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 01:57 PM
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I love the podcast with K Yates. Please bring him back soon, I would like you to ask him more about low budget bass management, and subwoofer placement.
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post #36 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 04:07 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUn0ohW8DoY&feature=youtu.be&t=1m14s

"... it is the first time you've been on the show, and certainly not the last if I have anything to say about it." eek.gif

Yates needs to keep in mind the target audience and he will be fine. I really do want to hear more from him. It would be nice for him to talk more about what the average Joe can do and only spend 5-10 minutes talking about his holy grail big money solution. All we are after is better not perfect.

For me, all I want to know is how to get the best bass in 2 LP's with 2 subs in stereo (not mono) with my 2 channel system... or may be I'm not the target. frown.gif
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post #37 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

I have no doubt that Keith's abilities to model a room and come up with the right placement of subs is better than anything most mortals are capable of. The real measuring tool, however, is what is the audible difference. I also have no doubt that a Keith Yates designed room is as good as a room can be. But how much audibly better is it than a room designed by another professional.
Isn't that the value proposition of anything high end, not just audio? Pay twice as much for that last 5%. Pay ten times as much for that last 1%. Cars, watches, etc. Everyone has a sweet spot, where they feel they're at the point of diminshing returns. That point is likely different for Yates' typical client than, say, Erskine's typical client. So if someone is willing to pay ten times more for a tiny audible difference (maybe not in sound quality, but seat to seat consistency), then that's not different than what I see routinely in high end audio.
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post #38 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Yates is offering more than "decent" bass. He is able to model billions (with a B) of possible combinations for subwoofer placement in order to achieve a remarkable level of seat-to-seat consistency.

Did he ever actually say how "remarkable" it is with actual numbers? Or does he have you drinking the kool-aid? I would be surprised if the results improve significantly once you get past considering a million (with an M) combinations. smile.gif

It may be that he can achieve better results than mere mortals like ourselves, but how much better are the results really? We don't know. He is a great salesman, no doubt about that.

While this was interesting, it really was mostly a sales pitch with very little useful information for those of us who are designing our own home theaters. I had hoped for more.
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post #39 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 06:58 PM
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Did he ever actually say how "remarkable" it is with actual numbers?
Not in the HT Geeks podcast. But Harman liked his results so much that they now offer his services as part of a JBL Synthesis install. And this is a company that was already researching/doing their own low frequency optimization.
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Or does he have you drinking the kool-aid?
No, I moved from seat to seat in one of his installs and got a first hand listen.
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I would be surprised if the results improve significantly once you get past considering a million (with an M) combinations.
OK, I'll bite: which theatre designer is modeling millions of combinations of subwoofer placement for each client?

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post #40 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

The real issue (which is not answerable) is to compare (as in listen to and measure) a Keith Yates room with his fancy modeling (and out of the world pricing) and a similar room done by a highly competent competitor at probably 1/50th the cost or even a DIY room done by some knowledgeable audiophile. My guess would be that the audible differences (if any) would be no where near worth what it cost.
Exactly.

Of course to demand the highest possible prices, his methods must be presented as superior and beyond what anyone else can do, whether they are or not. Sounds a bit too much like high-end mystical unobtainium couched in the terms of physics to me.
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post #41 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 07:22 PM
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No, I moved from seat to seat in one of his installs and got a first hand listen.
No offense, but a notoriously unreliable method of evaluating sound. Before and after measurements in every seat with overlayed graphs and you'll have my attention.
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OK, I'll bite: which theatre designer is modeling millions of combinations of subwoofer placement for each client?

That was a joke. His billions number is sheer marketing hyperbole. Do they really check billions of possibilities? Maybe. But does it really matter? Probably not. How many rooms have even more than a dozen or so real possibilities as far as placing subs? I suppose if you are moving them a mm at a time, the choices go up dramatically but at sub wavelengths how much better is it going to get? Take off the rose colored glasses.
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post #42 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 07:45 PM
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No offense, but a notoriously unreliable method of evaluating sound.
No offense taken. At least my view is based on first hand experience. Your skepticism is based on....?
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That was a joke.
So was my reply. I should have used a smiley.

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post #43 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 10:58 PM
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At least my view is based on first hand experience. Your skepticism is based on....?

Ha. Good answer.

My skepticism is based on the fact that very many home theaters have been developed without benefit of fluid dynamics, or surround sound headphones, or billions of computations. My own personal experience, and reports on this forum and elsewhere confirm that many of these theaters sound great.

At the same time, I don't doubt that it is possible to achieve great results throwing a lot of brains and technology at the problems in a home theater. I was disappointed because there was little to take away from this except to hire Keith Yates. Most of us have neither the resources or desire to do so. Half the fun is in the chase.
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post #44 of 60 Old 03-11-2014, 11:49 PM
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My skepticism is based on the fact that very many home theaters have been developed without benefit of fluid dynamics, or surround sound headphones, or billions of computations.
With zero experience with his designs and never having heard one of his theatres, your skepticism 100% faith based. Just a belief that using CFD to improve subwoofer optimization is "high-end mystical unobtainium couched in the terms of physics", with no evidence to support that claim.

And you think direct first-hand experience is "a notoriously unreliable method of evaluating sound". No offense, but it's certainly better than how you're evaluating his results.
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post #45 of 60 Old 03-12-2014, 05:03 AM
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Isn't that the value proposition of anything high end, not just audio? Pay twice as much for that last 5%. Pay ten times as much for that last 1%. Cars, watches, etc. Everyone has a sweet spot, where they feel they're at the point of diminshing returns. That point is likely different for Yates' typical client than, say, Erskine's typical client. So if someone is willing to pay ten times more for a tiny audible difference (maybe not in sound quality, but seat to seat consistency), then that's not different than what I see routinely in high end audio.

Fair enough and good point.
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post #46 of 60 Old 03-12-2014, 05:14 AM
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To add weight to his sales pitch and really give credibility to his technology, he could have shown 'before" charts at each seat, charts done with some other well known acceptable method/designer along with, say, DiracLive or Audyssey or .... and then his. I would not suggest that the end result of his approach is not better, but prove it. Him saying so, or even someone listening in an uncontrolled environment proves nothing. If I am to pay the most, I want the best and without actual proof I'm not signing up.

But I know that there are those who have and will continue to buy blind. I don't do it with equipment and I sure wouldn't do it for the kind of coin he's asking. But that's just me. I've been in a few rooms designed by some well known designers and the system is using either Dirac or Audyssey and we can measure the results (frequency response and bass ringing) at all seats (7 in one case) and it is as close to perfect as one would want.
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To add weight to his sales pitch and really give credibility to his technology, he could have shown 'before" charts at each seat, charts done with some other well known acceptable method/designer along with, say, DiracLive or Audyssey or .... and then his. I would not suggest that the end result of his approach is not better, but prove it. Him saying so, or even someone listening in an uncontrolled environment proves nothing. If I am to pay the most, I want the best and without actual proof I'm not signing up.

But I know that there are those who have and will continue to buy blind. I don't do it with equipment and I sure wouldn't do it for the kind of coin he's asking. But that's just me. I've been in a few rooms designed by some well known designers and the system is using either Dirac or Audyssey and we can measure the results (frequency response and bass ringing) at all seats (7 in one case) and it is as close to perfect as one would want.

After hearing some of the terms/concepts that Keith was throwing around...kinda makes me wonder if the measurement hardware/software available to us mere mortals can really tell the "full story."

However, I strongly believe any individual that has taken the time to research the fundamental aspects of setting up a home theater will have a solid enough understanding to be able to conjure up a 80-90% (WAG) solution...<---Of course that is my VERY subjective opinion based soley on my self-education over the years.

That said, I definitely agree that there is a point of diminishing returns in regards to getting that last 10-20% (WAG) of performance that Keith may be able to offer. If money was no object, Keith would have a permanent open invitation to my 9,000ft^2 pool house anytime he and his family wanted to slip away for a quick winter vacation.

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post #48 of 60 Old 03-12-2014, 08:17 PM
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You can listen to what this experience is like if you know where Ardmore, PA is.
http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2013/09/18/main_line_times/life/doc523a49558d22d723990175.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Evidently a store designed a listening room with Yates and it is supposed to be spectacular. The dollar amount however is staggering for a working class man.

It is nice to know what can be accomplished.

Regards,

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post #49 of 60 Old 03-14-2014, 09:38 PM
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With zero experience with his designs and never having heard one of his theatres, your skepticism 100% faith based. Just a belief that using CFD to improve subwoofer optimization is "high-end mystical unobtainium couched in the terms of physics", with no evidence to support that claim.

And you think direct first-hand experience is "a notoriously unreliable method of evaluating sound". No offense, but it's certainly better than how you're evaluating his results.

Sorry,, but no. Vast amounts of audiophile hyperbole have been based on such 'first-hand experience', yet Harman, whom you have cited approvingly , is careful to add *blind controls* to that experience.

That's because first hand experience as a means for forming preference and determining 'sound quality' is, on its own, easily influenced by things not necessarily related to the sound. Listener training helps make judgements more reliable and consistent but doesn't convey 100% immunity to cognitive biases.

Also , as a matter of principle, there are any number of audio claims that I have no first hand experience with, but can rationally dismiss without much fear of being mistaken. (Not saying Keith Yates' claims fall into that category). Try to explain from first principles on an audiophile forum why a Mpingo disc or a Hallograph or cable lifters are likely to be snake oil, and you'll get instant retorts from those who have 'first hand experience' dismissing your skepticism as unfounded.
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post #50 of 60 Old 03-14-2014, 09:45 PM
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That's because first hand experience as a means for forming preference and determining 'sound quality' is, on its own, easily influenced by things not necessarily related to the sound. Listener training helps make judgements more reliable and consistent but doesn't convey 100% immunity to cognitive biases.
I never claimed that direct first hand experience was 100% perfect, just better than zero experience. In a discussion of whether Yates' services are worth the cost, hearing one of his rooms is better than imagining what it might sound like.

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post #51 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 05:04 AM
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I never claimed that direct first hand experience was 100% perfect, just better than zero experience. In a discussion of whether Yates' services are worth the cost, hearing one of his rooms is better than imagining what it might sound like.

Hearing one his rooms MAY be better than imagining. While a blind test of a room is not possible, to suggest that a room designed by him is better than an identical one designed by a competent competitor is simply meaningless without measurements of the two rooms. And while one may argue till blue in the face on the value of measurements in,say, an amp, room acoustic measurements are fairly well understood.

His rooms certainly may be the best, but because he has fancy software and is proud of his work does not mean they are the best.
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post #52 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 06:28 AM
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Surely the opinion of someone who has actually heard one of the guy's rooms is more valid than someone who hasn't?  Not necessarily in a truly scientific sense I agree, but to give an insight into the way it sounds?

 

I'd love to have the opportunity to hear one of his rooms.   Whether they represent value for money is a different issue.

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post #53 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 06:40 AM
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I'd love to have the opportunity to hear one of his rooms.

As would I .
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post #54 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 06:49 AM
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I'd love to have the opportunity to hear one of his rooms.

As would I .

 

Heck, I'd even love to just hear a regular Atmos theater... nearest to me is a 250 mile round trip.

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post #55 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 10:17 AM
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While a blind test of a room is not possible, to suggest that a room designed by him is better than an identical one designed by a competent competitor is simply meaningless without measurements of the two rooms.
For the sake of the discussion in this thread, measurements aren't available, so it comes down to hearing vs imagining. In that context, zero experience in a Yates room isn't adventageous to some experience in a Yates room.

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post #56 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 11:57 AM
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well I wish he would have shown some form of facts and charts in his interview to go a long with his claims or visuals on what he does, just listening to him boast about himself the whole time wasnt that appealing to his skill set lol.

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post #57 of 60 Old 03-15-2014, 07:32 PM
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Absolutely fascinating interview. It may not have been full of rule-of-thumb tips that apparently some viewers were hoping for, but it was a great discussion about the state of the art in theater set up for those with "geek" levels of interest in the subject.

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post #58 of 60 Old 03-18-2014, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

wow this guy gives off one heck of an elitist vibe like hes better than everyone else and everyone else is wrong and stupid lol, to bad I was expecting more from this episode then him saying its complicated and you should hire my fancy company...

This was my perception as well. I do not believe this was intentional on his part but certainly the way it came across. I would like to get a few more tips on some practice use cases. I got three from his show. Use more than one sub, move the sub around and test sound a different points in the room. Not being a PHD there may have been more but lost on me as a mere mortal.

He also did not seem to have much use for everyday equipment like Pioneer, or other room EQ systems. Do these have a place or are we just wasting time and money.

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post #59 of 60 Old 03-20-2014, 02:16 PM
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I found the entire episode fascinating, and I'm not even an audio guy. The man has educated himself through sheer passion and communicates with clarity and humor. I wish him great success, and I like his vision towards the future where this trickles down into the consumer end.
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post #60 of 60 Old 03-20-2014, 10:05 PM
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I agree that this podcast had the most misleading title imaginable.

And that it was so utterly fascinating, regardless of whether I could use it, that I really hope to get another hour of Yates in the future. I mean, just because I cannot afford a Tesla doesn't mean I don't enjoy hearing about them. This isn't the DIY Home Theater show. This the HT Geeks podcast and this one was super interesting geek stuff.
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

Sorry,, but no. Vast amounts of audiophile hyperbole have been based on such 'first-hand experience', yet Harman, whom you have cited approvingly , is careful to add *blind controls* to that experience.

And Harman, with all their science, have chosen Yates' services for their own top level installs.

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