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post #991 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 12:36 PM
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there was no bleeping Internet!

Back in the days, I'd have to get my "facts" either from the hi-fi store sales person (usually the local self-appointed guru), or reviews / tests on hi-fi magazines. In retrospect, both these sources left something (ok, a lot) to be desired.

Nowadays you go online and "do your homework". No need to rely on gurus. There are good, unbiased sources of information - such as AVS - at your fingertips that were simply not available a few decades ago, when I started my life as a consumer. rolleyes.gif
The first time I ever heard of DBTs was the Stereo Review listening test of speaker wire, followed by the amplifier test and the CD player test. The Internet makes it far, far easier to discuss such things with fellow audiophiles.

Not to mention someone who was there and helped organize the tests...
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post #992 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 12:39 PM
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If a device consistently sounds better and I like the way it sounds, good enough. I've been disappointed many times auditioning some breathtakingly expensive gear. Once I was ready to pull the trigger on a Levinson preamp and amp with Revel speakers. Took my CD and SACD collection in for an afternoon audition and stopped it after 20 minutes. I was as disappointed as the salesman. Finally had the budget and the listening room for some regal gear and despite the reputation of the gear and dealer (poor setup can kill an audition) I just couldn't embrace what I was hearing. My rule is to listen at least three times over several days or weeks, but I never went back. In fairness I may have been expecting more than any rig could deliver. Years before I had marveled for hours at the ML-1 and ML-2 monoblocks fed by a Koestu MC cartridge -- hopelessly beyond my $17K per year budget. But I've listened to other Levison rigs since and frankly a nice Denon does just fine for about the sales tax on the Levinson.

I've said this before, compared to 25 years ago the gulf between average gear and great gear as narrowed, with average rising ever closer great. Great has failed to rise enough to keep the advantage. But I keep the hope that someday I'll stumble across that rare something that will make great great again.

It's a funny thing. Once I'd ordered an Arcam A38 integrated from a dealer friend. So he gets it in, and we'd heard a lot about how good it sounded, and how it was the best amp Arcam had ever made, we were both really excited to listen to it. We thought as a benchmark, we'd put it up against his badboy setup. approx $15k of Levinson preamp/amp, running into Revel Salon Ultima 2s. I was expecting the Arcam to do okay--at least not get slaughtered, because that stuff sounded pretty good. We were pretty blown away when the Levinson edged out the Arcam by a nose-hair. The only difference between the two was the Levinson had *slightly* tighter bass than the Arcam. And I damn well would hope so, the Arcam was only 105 watts/channel, compared to 300 watts per channel on the Levinson separates! He turned to me and said, "Well, you just bought a $3000 integrated that sounds almost exactly like 5x as much in separates."

It's not that the Arcam was that fabulous, or that the Levinson was that bad. They both sounded very nice. But my understanding is that Levinson gear ain't what it used to be. I heard he got caught buying no-name OEM amps from China and just slapping his name on it. Don't know if that's true or not.

Omar
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post #993 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 12:48 PM
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@Omar

 

Mark Levinson sold his name as a brand to Harman International 15 years ago. He has nothing to do with Mark Levinson amps since then and he is forbidden to use his name as a trade mark.

 

He founded Daniel Hertz Audio in Switzerland. Checkout his interview with Scott WIlkinson on HTG: youtube.com/watch?v=sKtPmthrdYw

 

Many happy new customers with his new venture.

 

 

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post #994 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by OmarF View Post

my understanding is that Levinson gear ain't what it used to be. I heard he got caught buying no-name OEM amps from China and just slapping his name on it.
That sort of thing really does make the High End obsolete. Kind of like buying a watch with a Rolex case and Timex quartz movement (which tells better time, anyway, but hey, it really isn't about performing better).

Another example at a CES demo of Wilson speakers:
Quote:
Wilson whipped a fake component shell off the digital source and revealed that with the Wilson speakers we weren't listening to the $20,000 CD player that had been used for the competitor's speakers, but an Apple iPod playing uncompressed WAV files!

Or how about this description of the parts inside a $4500 Parasound CD player:
Quote:
they use a $49.00 Sony Internal PC DVD/CD Writer in it
http://www.parasound.com/img/halo/cd1_inside_big.jpg for $49.00 you can buy one here http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sony/AD7800H/

The The AD1853 audio DAC they use can be had for $12.99 retail ......... Oh almost forgot the TI LME49990 op amps they use retail for $8.99

Looks like an ordinary transformer and 2 switching power supply boards + a PC main board of some sort to run things maybe ~$150.00 worth of parts if that

Makes one wonder what's really important with components, yes?
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post #995 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 12:57 PM
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[quote name="OmarF" url="/t/1527138/is-high-end-audio-obsolete/990#post_24658186"

It's not that the Arcam was that fabulous, or that the Levinson was that bad. They both sounded very nice. But my understanding is that Levinson gear ain't what it used to be. I heard he got caught buying no-name OEM amps from China and just slapping his name on it. Don't know if that's true or not.

Omar[/quote]

Amen. I would not be shocked it that were true. Many of the big names lose their edge over time. Can't go by brand names or specs anymore, if we ever could. You did it the best and only way -- set it up, run it, and listen.

What is your opinion about burning in gear?

I was auditioning some Thiel towers a while back, and even the dealer agreed the sound was not impressive. His advice "get them home, turn them to half volume with the radio and let them run 72 hours" -- that was a non-starter for me since he wouldn't commit to take them back if I wasn't pleased. For a set of speakers approaching $10K they should be darn well burned in when I take them home. The Krell dealer pitched the same thing with the same nebulous return deal.

The price may have been biasing me. I have a ZVOX 580 soundbar that went into service around Christmas last year. I've noticed the woofers reaching deeper in the last few weeks. The seller wasn't pitching burn in but at $400 I wasn't worried. But clearly the sound from the woofers has changed for the better after months of use, entirely in the lower bass range.
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post #996 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Friendly Fire View Post


I've noticed the woofers reaching deeper in the last few weeks.
Is the difference measureable?
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post #997 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

That sort of thing really does make the High End obsolete. Kind of like buying a watch with a Rolex case and Timex quartz movement (which tells better time, anyway, but hey, it really isn't about performing better).

Another example at a CES demo of Wilson speakers:
Or how about this description of the parts inside a $4500 Parasound CD player:
Makes one wonder what's really important with components, yes?

Caveat emptor.

Meridian stuffed an Oppo 83 (I am pretty sure, could have been the 93) into their case and added $3000 to the price. When confronted the company talked about the 'substantial heavy aluminum face plate'. OK, thanks for that. I can buy a lot of aluminum for $3000.
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post #998 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friendly Fire View Post

[quote name="OmarF" url="/t/1527138/is-high-end-audio-obsolete/990#post_24658186"

It's not that the Arcam was that fabulous, or that the Levinson was that bad. They both sounded very nice. But my understanding is that Levinson gear ain't what it used to be. I heard he got caught buying no-name OEM amps from China and just slapping his name on it. Don't know if that's true or not.

Omar

Amen. I would not be shocked it that were true. Many of the big names lose their edge over time. Can't go by brand names or specs anymore, if we ever could. You did it the best and only way -- set it up, run it, and listen.

What is your opinion about burning in gear?

I was auditioning some Thiel towers a while back, and even the dealer agreed the sound was not impressive. His advice "get them home, turn them to half volume with the radio and let them run 72 hours" -- that was a non-starter for me since he wouldn't commit to take them back if I wasn't pleased. For a set of speakers approaching $10K they should be darn well burned in when I take them home. The Krell dealer pitched the same thing with the same nebulous return deal.

The price may have been biasing me. I have a ZVOX 580 soundbar that went into service around Christmas last year. I've noticed the woofers reaching deeper in the last few weeks. The seller wasn't pitching burn in but at $400 I wasn't worried. But clearly the sound from the woofers has changed for the better after months of use, entirely in the lower bass range.[/quote]


Thiels are generally regarded as being marvelous speakers. My friend has a pair of smaller Thiels hooked up to a Yamaha that weighs about 2.5 pounds (well okay, maybe a little more), and they still sound very good for what it is. Thiels and Vandersteens are the only speakers I know of that obsessively adhere to having perfect time and phase alignment for their drivers. People tend to hear these speakers as sounding "laid back", what what it really is, is that most speakers are too bright, the tweeters are forward and dominating, because the sound from the tweeters is reaching your ears first and subtly stealing the show from the other drivers. Thiel and Vandersteen speakers are designed so that sounds occurring at the same time in the recording, reach your ear at the same time on playback. Most speakers do not take this into account. The sounds may be transmitted to the drivers synchronously, but the faster, smaller, high drivers "jump the start" so to speak, on the larger, slower drivers, and their signals reach our ears first. Vandersteen and Thiel align their drivers so that all sounds leave the drivers at the same time, and arrive at your ears at the same time. It can take a little time to get used to time aligned speakers, because most of what we hear are not. Vandersteen and Thiel speakers are linear well above 20k Hz, they are not "flat", the just are not artificially brightened for the above reasons.

Regarding speaker breakin, I absolutely believe in it. Breaking in electronics...that's not something I believe in. Warming up electronics, okay. But you don't break in circuit boards. Speakers are taught membranes, be they drums or cones, and they typically leave the factory tight and unused. As with a pair of jeans or new leather shoes, use stretches them out. In the case of speaker drivers, that use makes them more flexible, and thus more resonant. I would give the average pair of speakers 100 hours of use before they sound the way they're supposed to.

That dealer should've given you the option of returning them. I'd have done the same thing. Any dealer I've worked with would at least let you return something for store credit if you weren't happy with it.

Omar
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post #999 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:37 PM
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I don't have a spectrum analyzer. I hear it on the jazz station Sirius 66, the deep bass notes stand out more. I've changed nothing on my end, but Sirius could have done something on theirs. So it could be on either end, and it seemed to have happened all at once three weeks ago. The more I consider it, I bet it is the source. I was trying to make a case for the woofer (twin 6.5 inch bottom firing) 'loosened' up, but I am not sure.
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post #1000 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friendly Fire View Post

I don't have a spectrum analyzer. I hear it on the jazz station Sirius 66, the deep bass notes stand out more. I've changed nothing on my end, but Sirius could have done something on theirs. So it could be on either end, and it seemed to have happened all at once three weeks ago. The more I consider it, I bet it is the source. I was trying to make a case for the woofer (twin 6.5 inch bottom firing) 'loosened' up, but I am not sure.

Really a wild guess on my part. It is easier to digitize low frequencies and high frequencies. Since Sirius sends low bit rate files, it wouldn't surprise me that the lows would survive the data loss better than the highs.
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post #1001 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OmarF View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friendly Fire View Post

[quote name="OmarF" url="/t/1527138/is-high-end-audio-obsolete/990#post_24658186"

It's not that the Arcam was that fabulous, or that the Levinson was that bad. They both sounded very nice. But my understanding is that Levinson gear ain't what it used to be. I heard he got caught buying no-name OEM amps from China and just slapping his name on it. Don't know if that's true or not.

Omar

Amen. I would not be shocked it that were true. Many of the big names lose their edge over time. Can't go by brand names or specs anymore, if we ever could. You did it the best and only way -- set it up, run it, and listen.

What is your opinion about burning in gear?

I was auditioning some Thiel towers a while back, and even the dealer agreed the sound was not impressive. His advice "get them home, turn them to half volume with the radio and let them run 72 hours" -- that was a non-starter for me since he wouldn't commit to take them back if I wasn't pleased. For a set of speakers approaching $10K they should be darn well burned in when I take them home. The Krell dealer pitched the same thing with the same nebulous return deal.

The price may have been biasing me. I have a ZVOX 580 soundbar that went into service around Christmas last year. I've noticed the woofers reaching deeper in the last few weeks. The seller wasn't pitching burn in but at $400 I wasn't worried. But clearly the sound from the woofers has changed for the better after months of use, entirely in the lower bass range.[/quote]

Thiels are generally regarded as being marvelous speakers. My friend has a pair of smaller Thiels hooked up to a Yamaha that weighs about 2.5 pounds (well okay, maybe a little more), and they still sound very good for what it is. Thiels and Vandersteens are the only speakers I know of that obsessively adhere to having perfect time and phase alignment for their drivers. People tend to hear these speakers as sounding "laid back", what what it really is, is that most speakers are too bright, the tweeters are forward and dominating, because the sound from the tweeters is reaching your ears first and subtly stealing the show from the other drivers. Thiel and Vandersteen speakers are designed so that sounds occurring at the same time in the recording, reach your ear at the same time on playback. Most speakers do not take this into account. The sounds may be transmitted to the drivers synchronously, but the faster, smaller, high drivers "jump the start" so to speak, on the larger, slower drivers, and their signals reach our ears first. Vandersteen and Thiel align their drivers so that all sounds leave the drivers at the same time, and arrive at your ears at the same time. It can take a little time to get used to time aligned speakers, because most of what we hear are not. Vandersteen and Thiel speakers are linear well above 20k Hz, they are not "flat", the just are not artificially brightened for the above reasons.

Regarding speaker breakin, I absolutely believe in it. Breaking in electronics...that's not something I believe in. Warming up electronics, okay. But you don't break in circuit boards. Speakers are taught membranes, be they drums or cones, and they typically leave the factory tight and unused. As with a pair of jeans or new leather shoes, use stretches them out. In the case of speaker drivers, that use makes them more flexible, and thus more resonant. I would give the average pair of speakers 100 hours of use before they sound the way they're supposed to.

That dealer should've given you the option of returning them. I'd have done the same thing. Any dealer I've worked with would at least let you return something for store credit if you weren't happy with it.

Omar

 

Time-alignmed tweeters are not the reason why any given speaker sounds "laid back." While the benefits of time-aligned drivers are proven and tangible, it is not directly related to how a speaker is voiced.

 

When I buy audio gear, I want a full money back guarantee for at least 30 days from the date of sale or else I will not buy it. Period. The idea of paying more for "high-end" gear and not being able to return it—for a cash refund—after auditioning it, is anathematic to me.

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post #1002 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 02:06 PM
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Thanks -- it is a puzzle. I was a bit disappointed by the ZVOX at first, I put the 550 downstairs in the exercise room once I realized I had enough room for the 580. At first I though there was less bass with the 580, but after study I realized that the bass was better resolved, clearer, less boomy. But it still felt more shallow. Three weeks ago or so I had it on in the background -- someone was playing a bass riff and it clearly reached half a register lower than it had the last time I really listen. That caught my attention so I listened further, and dang it kept happening.

So either way it is a happy ending -- Sirius got their bass management better or the woofers got their game.
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Thiel tweeters have an unusual large linear excursion range (2mm) in comparison to the average tweeter ( 0.25mm ). The fr extends at least 2 ocatves below the crossover frequency to make the 6dB filter slope working properly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Time-alignmed tweeters are not the reason why any given speaker sounds "laid back." WHile the benefits of time-aligned drivers are proven and tangible, it is not directly related to how a speaker is voiced.

When I buy audio gear, I want a full money back guarantee for at least 30 days from the date of sale or else I will not buy it. Period. The idea of paying more for "high-end" gear and not being able to return it—for a cash refund—after auditioning it, is anathematic to me.

More than one Vandersteen dealer/user has mentioned this phenomena. People who are accustomed to hearing non-time aligned speakers, find Vandersteens and Thiels "dull" sounding, because they are accustomed to be beaten with brightness.

Omar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

That sort of thing really does make the High End obsolete. Kind of like buying a watch with a Rolex case and Timex quartz movement (which tells better time, anyway, but hey, it really isn't about performing better).

Another example at a CES demo of Wilson speakers:
Or how about this description of the parts inside a $4500 Parasound CD player:
Makes one wonder what's really important with components, yes?

It's not the components that up the cost of the truly high end gear. It's the way those boxes are screwed together. Those elves toiling away in their secret mountain hideaways are hideously expensive.
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post #1006 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 02:34 PM
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It's not the components that up the cost of the truly high end gear. It's the way those boxes are screwed together. Those elves toiling away in their secret mountain hideaways are hideously expensive.
Elves? I thought it was vestal virgins aided by the secrets of Isis utilizing Pyramid Power. smile.gif
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post #1007 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmarF View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Time-alignmed tweeters are not the reason why any given speaker sounds "laid back." WHile the benefits of time-aligned drivers are proven and tangible, it is not directly related to how a speaker is voiced.

When I buy audio gear, I want a full money back guarantee for at least 30 days from the date of sale or else I will not buy it. Period. The idea of paying more for "high-end" gear and not being able to return it—for a cash refund—after auditioning it, is anathematic to me.

More than one Vandersteen dealer/user has mentioned this phenomena. People who are accustomed to hearing non-time aligned speakers, find Vandersteens and Thiels "dull" sounding, because they are accustomed to be beaten with brightness.

Omar

 

If a speaker is dull sounding, it's because it sounds dull... it's not because the drivers are time-aligned. 


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post #1008 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 03:05 PM
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If a speaker is dull sounding, it's because it sounds dull... it's not because the drivers are time-aligned. 

They don't sound dull to me. Most speakers sound way to bright to me because they're not time-aligned.
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post #1009 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 03:23 PM
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I would need to actually time mis-align speakers to know what that sounded like...

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I would need to actually time mis-align speakers to know what that sounded like...

Well, if you are brave enough you could try to change the polarity at the tweeter by switching the wires. Not exactly time mis-aligned but you get the effect off the phase cancellation when sounds from the different speakers does not line up exactly.

Time alignment is important for speakers using a 6dB crossover slope because the sound from the midrange extends quite a bit in the hf range.

Other crossovers don't have to bother with time alignment because higher crossover slopes than 6dB makes a mess of the phase alignment around the crossover frequency anyway.
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post #1011 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 04:25 PM
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I wouldn't say high-end audio is obsolete, but definitely becoming more scarce. So many people now days value convenience over sound quality. Look at how many people would rather download all their albums from itunes and listen to them on their crappy, pack-in iPod earbuds or their cheap, $50 sound dock, rather than buy a vinyl or CD. That, right there, tells you that a majority of people certainly don't care about high-end gear, especially if they're satisfied with their compressed MP3s on some cheap ear buds.

That said, I think that with the internet selling so much electronics gear now days, that kills a lot of potential for high-end stuff. People have become so accustomed to buying from the internet due to great deals and direct from vendor stuff, this has killed a lot of stores that actually sold super high-end stuff. I also think a lot of people have realized that you can get really good sound and performance from mid-range gear. I mean, you can put together a home theater for $1,000-$1,500 dollars and have it sound phenomenal, really phenomenal. Where as, sure, you could go spend $5,000 on just speakers, $2,000 on an amp and processor and another $2,000 on some subs and while it might be better than the $1,500 price setup, for the price difference, most people aren't going to see the value in spending an extra $7,000-$8,000 dollars when their $1,500 dollar setup sounds damn good!

And I know we're talking about audio in this thread, but it trickles over to everything, take TVs, so many people just go to Target or Wal-mart these days and pick the first TV they see because it's the cheapest and sure, most TVs look decent when you're viewing high-def, but if these people saw their bargain-bin Vizio or Sanyo next to even a mid-range Sony, Panasonic or Samsung, they'd probably be shocked at how much better the picture quality could be. I remember 15 years ago when tube TVs were still thriving and almost anyone who went to buy a TV, most definitely, had picture quality in mind when considering a purchase. Now days, they ask the salesmen, "Where's your cheapest and largest TV?". It's pretty sad, actually. In the last several years, people have really started to settle for the cheapest junk they can find. We live in such a disposable world these days.

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #1012 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
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If a speaker is dull sounding, it's because it sounds dull... it's not because the drivers are time-aligned. 

They don't sound dull to me. Most speakers sound way to bright to me because they're not time-aligned.

It's quite likely that most speakers sound bright to you because you are used to the "laid back" sound of your chosen brand/model. It has nothing to do with whether the tweeter is time-aligned or not.


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post #1013 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrEastSide View Post

I wouldn't say high-end audio is obsolete, but definitely becoming more scarce. So many people now days value convenience over sound quality. Look at how many people would rather download all their albums from itunes and listen to them on their crappy, pack-in iPod earbuds or their cheap, $50 sound dock, rather than buy a vinyl or CD. That, right there, tells you that a majority of people certainly don't care about high-end gear, especially if they're satisfied with their compressed MP3s on some cheap ear buds.

That said, I think that with the internet selling so much electronics gear now days, that kills a lot of potential for high-end stuff. People have become so accustomed to buying from the internet due to great deals and direct from vendor stuff, this has killed a lot of stores that actually sold super high-end stuff. I also think a lot of people have realized that you can get really good sound and performance from mid-range gear. I mean, you can put together a home theater for $1,000-$1,500 dollars and have it sound phenomenal, really phenomenal. Where as, sure, you could go spend $5,000 on just speakers, $2,000 on an amp and processor and another $2,000 on some subs and while it might be better than the $1,500 price setup, for the price difference, most people aren't going to see the value in spending an extra $7,000-$8,000 dollars when their $1,500 dollar setup sounds damn good!

And I know we're talking about audio in this thread, but it trickles over to everything, take TVs, so many people just go to Target or Wal-mart these days and pick the first TV they see because it's the cheapest and sure, most TVs look decent when you're viewing high-def, but if these people saw their bargain-bin Vizio or Sanyo next to even a mid-range Sony, Panasonic or Samsung, they'd probably be shocked at how much better the picture quality could be. I remember 15 years ago when tube TVs were still thriving and almost anyone who went to buy a TV, most definitely, had picture quality in mind when considering a purchase. Now days, they ask the salesmen, "Where's your cheapest and largest TV?". It's pretty sad, actually. In the last several years, people have really started to settle for the cheapest junk they can find. We live in such a disposable world these days.

 

That's no longer true for Vizio. Panasonic was punished for prioritizing quality over bling and had to bow out of the plasma business. Samsung is taking the high-end approach by curving all of its screens, but they are mostly LED edge-lit LCD designs with premium price points. Vizio's 2014 TVs all feature backlit arrays with local dimming and look excellent by any standard. 

 

If people strictly went with "cheapest and largest," then Samsung would not be the #1 company in terms of TV sales. Maybe Best Buy's Dynex brand would be #1, or TCL or Westinghouse. Vizio probably fills the role of "cheapest/largest most often, but Vizio TVs have good picture quality to go with the low price. A lot of people like thin bezels, UHD/4K compatibility, a ton of "smart" features, and other stuff that has nothing to do with picture quality but nonetheless drive up the cost of a TV. It remains to be seen if curved screens will be added to the list of popular features that drive up TV prices, but it's possible.

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post #1014 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MrEastSide View Post

I wouldn't say high-end audio is obsolete, but definitely becoming
And I know we're talking about audio in this thread, but it trickles over to everything, take TVs, so many people just go to Target or Wal-mart these days and pick the first TV they see because it's the cheapest and sure, most TVs look decent when you're viewing high-def, but if these people saw their bargain-bin Vizio or Sanyo next to even a mid-range Sony, Panasonic or Samsung, they'd probably be shocked at how much better the picture quality could be. I remember 15 years ago when tube TVs were still thriving and almost anyone who went to buy a TV, most definitely, had picture quality in mind when considering a purchase. Now days, they ask the salesmen, "Where's your cheapest and largest TV?". It's pretty sad, actually. In the last several years, people have really started to settle for the cheapest junk they can find. We live in such a disposable world these days.

Actually, you might be surprised, I know I was. Right after I'd bought a $2700 Sony 3D TV on sale for $2400 and thought I was getting a steal, I took my PS3 over to a buddy's house to see just how crappy his Dynex was.

Well, when I put the PS3 on the Dynex in YCBCR mode, all the Digital Video Essentials test patterns were a screwed up mess. Pretty much what I was expecting...on/off pixel patterns had tons of ringing, overscan clipping, black crush...it was a disaster. Then, on a fluke I set the PS3 to RGB mode. BAM, the picture was perfect. Every test pattern was spot on. All pixels present and accounted for. Apparently, the PS3 was over-riding the TV's processing and using it as a monitor, rather than allowing it to process/screw up, the source material.

A little digging, and I found out that all displays display in RGB. All YCBCR video signals must at some point be converted to RGB for display, similar to how all digital video signals must be converted to analog at some point for output to the speakers. This is conjecture on my part, but it seems to me that all these displays of the same resolution are very similar and have similar capabilities. The main thing that makes the difference between them is the processing. Cheaper TVs have cheaper chips and processing, but basically the same display as more expensive TV. Sure his $500 Dynex couldn't do 24 fps, or 240 hz refresh rate, and it's not 3D...but for standard BR playback, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and my Sony.

I just got off the phone with a friend an hour ago who bought a used PS3 for BR, DVD, Netflix and Amazon Prime...I told him to just go to BB and get a Dynex. I'll show him how to set up his PS3 to get a picture just as good as the expensive sets.

Omar
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

It's quite likely that most speakers sound bright to you because you are used to the "laid back" sound of your chosen brand/model. It has nothing to do with whether the tweeter is time-aligned or not.

As I understand it, the whole point of time-aligning the speakers is so one driver, the tweeter, doesn't overshadow the other drivers and thus cause an exaggerated high end. What other pragmatic purpose to time aligning the drivers would there be?

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There not necessarily anything wrong with bright tweeters, but folks with less high frequency hearing acuity might like them more.

EQ can compensate for these differences in theory such as audyssey room correction.
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post #1017 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 05:10 PM
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Breaking in electronics...that's not something I believe in. Warming up electronics, okay. But you don't break in circuit boards.

Something is going on with use because when i first started listening to my SC-37 Pioneer AVR the highs were very edgy and bright. After about 20 hours it lessened. Then with more use it went away the sound mellowed out. This same exact thing is happening again right now with a brand new amp board i had to get since the original shorted. I have about 34 hours hours on it and it's not as edgy as the first 10 hours. But it still needs some use. In those beginning hours it was very hyped and edgy sounding. Now it's starting to calm.


To be honest, i actually like the edgy sound of it. I wouldn't mind if it stayed that way.

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post #1018 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

That's no longer true for Vizio. Panasonic was punished for prioritizing quality over bling and had to bow out of the plasma business. Samsung is taking the high-end approach by curving all of its screens, but they are mostly LED edge-lit LCD designs with premium price points. Vizio's 2014 TVs all feature backlit arrays with local dimming and look excellent by any standard. 

If people strictly went with "cheapest and largest," then Samsung would not be the #1 company in terms of TV sales. Maybe Best Buy's Dynex brand would be #1, or TCL or Westinghouse. Vizio probably fills the role of "cheapest/largest most often, but Vizio TVs have good picture quality to go with the low price. A lot of people like thin bezels, UHD/4K compatibility, a ton of "smart" features, and other stuff that has nothing to do with picture quality but nonetheless drive up the cost of a TV. It remains to be seen if curved screens will be added to the list of popular features that drive up TV prices, but it's possible.

Well, I'm not saying all people, automatically, go the cheapest and largest, but it's something I've noticed far more working retail than I did back in the day. You're right about the smart features, along with that, I have noticed a lot of people wanting the cheapest. Granted, most people do want the best price when they shop, that's not unnatural, I suppose. Having said that, I still don't consider Vizio to be a great brand. Obviously, not as crappy as they used to be, but it's nothing I'd ever care to own. Vizio coming as far as they have in the last few years kind of proves my theory. A few years back, most people on these forums would probably have considered them junk, now they're certainly considered, at least, OK, by most. They've certainly gotten where they are due to some good sales numbers and probably such good sales numbers from being, cheap, cheap, cheap, which means people went after the attractive price. They certainly weren't going to the brand a few years back for superior picture quality, at least, in my opinion.
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Originally Posted by OmarF View Post

Actually, you might be surprised, I know I was. Right after I'd bought a $2700 Sony 3D TV on sale for $2400 and thought I was getting a steal, I took my PS3 over to a buddy's house to see just how crappy his Dynex was.

Well, when I put the PS3 on the Dynex in YCBCR mode, all the Digital Video Essentials test patterns were a screwed up mess. Pretty much what I was expecting...on/off pixel patterns had tons of ringing, overscan clipping, black crush...it was a disaster. Then, on a fluke I set the PS3 to RGB mode. BAM, the picture was perfect. Every test pattern was spot on. All pixels present and accounted for. Apparently, the PS3 was over-riding the TV's processing and using it as a monitor, rather than allowing it to process/screw up, the source material.

A little digging, and I found out that all displays display in RGB. All YCBCR video signals must at some point be converted to RGB for display, similar to how all digital video signals must be converted to analog at some point for output to the speakers. This is conjecture on my part, but it seems to me that all these displays of the same resolution are very similar and have similar capabilities. The main thing that makes the difference between them is the processing. Cheaper TVs have cheaper chips and processing, but basically the same display as more expensive TV. Sure his $500 Dynex couldn't do 24 fps, or 240 hz refresh rate, and it's not 3D...but for standard BR playback, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and my Sony.

I just got off the phone with a friend an hour ago who bought a used PS3 for BR, DVD, Netflix and Amazon Prime...I told him to just go to BB and get a Dynex. I'll show him how to set up his PS3 to get a picture just as good as the expensive sets.

Omar

I don't doubt that some cheap sets might look real nice doing certain things, no argument there. I'm just speaking from my own experience over the past several years. I've worked in several job positions that have allowed me to get amazing deals on TVs and since 2007, I'd estimate that I've owned over ten different sets, a couple that were mid-range and several that were quite high-end. I was also able to take many displays home and borrow them and I can say, without a doubt, in my experience, I could tell quite a difference in most of the lower-end sets, easily. Now, when I say differences, I'm talking how they handled motion, how all of the colors looked, when there was noticeable input lag for video games, or actual lag on the screen itself from pixels shifting during movement, poor viewing angles, black levels, backlight bleeding, how the TV handles acting as a PC monitor (Some of the cheaper sets I've seen are, downright, horrible for this), We're also not just talking visual differences, but differences in internal components. There's usually a reason a no-name brand is cheap and it usually can mean cheap internals as well, whether that's going to affect long-term reliability or performance? etc...

I'm not saying all of the low-end models sucked, but I could definitely see noticeable visual differences in the lower end sets. Maybe I'm in the minority because I've been able to dissect and critique a lot more sets than an average user and most people wouldn't notice a lot of this stuff if they were just a casual buyer? Now, you also have to take into account, some people have better vision than others, some people just may not notice things like that, etc... I do have to admit that in the last couple of years, the cheaper sets have done better at combating some of my criticisms, so the gaps have closed a little. But, for me, it's still worth spending a few hundred more dollars and buying something a little more than the low-end model off the Wal-mart wall.

But, I digress, I know this thread was originally meant to discuss high-end audio and I'm not trying to derail it, but I thought the whole high-end VS low-end TV thing, sort of, fit the topic.

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #1019 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 05:31 PM
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[
Something is going on with use because when i first started listening to my SC-37 Pioneer AVR the highs were very edgy and bright. After about 20 hours it lessened. Then with more use it went away the sound mellowed out. This same exact thing is happening again right now with a brand new amp board i had to get since the original shorted. I have about 34 hours hours on it and it's not as edgy as the first 10 hours. But it still needs some use. In those beginning hours it was very hyped and edgy sounding. Now it's starting to calm.


To be honest, i actually like the edgy sound of it. I wouldn't mind if it stayed that way.

That's probably your ears getting used to the initial sound. I'm pretty sure you can't burn-in an amp.
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post #1020 of 1835 Old 04-28-2014, 05:34 PM
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That's probably your ears getting used to the initial sound. I'm pretty sire you can't burn in an amp.

That's about it. Circuit boards, power supplies and binding posts are not going to change the way that current and audio signals flow through them. I mean, it's kind of as silly as saying your car battery gives you purer electrical current after your car has driven 100 miles. biggrin.gif

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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