Am I the only one who doesn't like Ascend Acoustic's Sierra-1's??? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 09:58 AM
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My point is that room effects are a constant--they don't change that much when you switch from speaker to speaker.

My point is that room, speaker placement and listening position will affect the perceived sound of a speaker significantly. Therefore, what you hear in room will not be "how a speaker measures", it will be the way it interacts with the room, which will probably be very different than how it would sound in anechoic chamber with a microphone at tweeter level one meter away.

If you have 2 speakers sitting next to another (in which case, chances are at least one won't be optimally placed...), and you A/B, for sure you'll be able to hear differences between them, but once again, as both speakers are in room, they'll interact with the room and so won't sound like they would one meter away in an anechoic room. Having 2 speakers side by side and hearing differences is different than recreating or correcting a small 1-2dB dip with an equalizer, or instantly identifying a 1-2 dB dip in a FR in a room...

Which was my point, that speakers very rarely sound like they measure. How they sound will be a combination of the room, the speaker placement, the listening position and finally the sound of the speaker. In the end, what you hear in room will be different than anechoic measurements.
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post #92 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 10:08 AM
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Which makes these speaker reviews on AVS pretty much for entertainment value only and RMAF and subjective reviews worthless etc. etc. What you appear to be saying is that you can't compare speakers sound unless your head is in a vice and you have the speakers (with optimum placement of the drivers) you are comparing equally aligned for the rooom which is pretty much impossible (unless you are at the Harman Labs). I know that when I accompanied Tom Nousaine in his visits to 2007 CES rooms with speakers, he brought a long a test disc that I think was developed by David Clark to make subjective evaluations a little more scientific and he made fairly quick judgements of a speakers attributes. He also claimed that he could tell pretty much how a speaker was going to sound from its measurements-but I had no way of verifying those things.

If Dennis can't do it and he claims perfect pitch on his good days, then I am sure us rummies can't do it.

Also, I believe Dennis listens to one different speaker on each side (when making comparisions), but he can verify that. I know I only send him one speaker at a time to evaluate (Nousaine also told me that listening to one speaker will tell you pretty much what you want to know about how speakers image if they are a matched pair). But, as you said, you are skeptical so try to get to DC if you can and take him up on his offer. That is really the only way to settle whether he can or cannot for yourself. I have heard others confirm Dennis listening acumen and I have no reason to doubt them, but as they say only the Shadow knows for sure. There are also a couple guys on the S&V forum that claim they have trained ears and can identify response irregularities in normal in room listening sessions. IrritateGuy and Altec are their forum names.

However, I think that we shouldn't lose sight of what Dennis first said. If an accurate measurment is made a speaker will sound like it measures to him and he can hit over 500 at sketching out the major F/R anomalies before the measuement is made. In other words, in my mind, he said he can pierce through his room effects and do that with speakers he listens to and measures.
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post #93 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 12:27 PM
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And, of course, in the VERY end, the measurements don't really matter. What is important is how you like (or don't like) the sound of your new/old speakers in your own listening environment.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #94 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

And, of course, in the VERY end, the measurements don't really matter. What is important is how you like (or don't like) the sound of your new/old speakers in your own listening environment.

I agree with that; however, I think the discussion between Gandarf and Dennis Murphy comes down to what Dennis can and cannot do. I also think that the advent of internet forums for good or bad influences people's buying decisions. Even if a person listens to a speaker in their own room, I think they are influenced by the opinions of others. Maybe not everyone, but quite a few. Many of the manufactures have their own forums and I think that is wise for business. Frankly, you see it pretty much every day and I honestly feel that without forums, many of the internet direct businesses would not exist. Even if there is no forum, usually, people can comment on their purchases (like Amazon) It is not bad or good, but I think it can be influential. If you have ever seen Penn and Teller's water test, I think you would know what I mean:-) Expectation bias is hard to get rid of if it is possible at all.
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post #95 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 01:24 PM
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Revel/Harman found that even untrained listeners after getting some experience listening, preferred speakers that measured as flat as possible. I read that in an interview with Kevin Voecks in HT magazine(I think).

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post #96 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhagi Katbamna View Post

Revel/Harman found that even untrained listeners after getting some experience listening, preferred speakers that measured as flat as possible. I read that in an interview with Kevin Voecks in HT magazine(I think).

That is my understanding as well, although I believe it was several different criteria besides flat on-aixis response. Also, it was a DBT (I think) in their lab where speakers can be quickly and exactly moved to the same spot. I think the forum expert on that stuff is WmAx over at the Audioholics forum.
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post #97 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 01:45 PM
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Sean Olive has been known to post on the newsgroups.

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post #98 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Sean Olive has been known to post on the newsgroups.

Under his own name?
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post #99 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 02:40 PM
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TJ, I upgraded to Sierra's about 5 weeks ago. I originally had Ascend 340SE's across the front and 170's for my 2 back surrounds. I loved my system but decided to upgrade.

When I received them I moved my 340's to the rear and hooked up the Sierra's. Honestly, I wasn't sure I liked them. I felt something was not right and after 2 - 3 days was considering sending them back. (My wife was shocked). I sent Dave some emails and asked for help and he responded very quickly. Meanwhile, I sent for my SPL meter that my daughter borrowed.

In the end for me, a large part of the problem was that the Sierra's are not as efficient as the 340's and I had to make major adjustments in speaker sound levels to get the Sierra's integrated with the center and surrounds (I like 5 channel music). I had tried to set them by ear but failed miserably. Using the SPL meter helped a great deal. I also ended up rerunning Audyssey on my receiver. Finally, taking time to listen to the new set up has made me a Sierra lover. I ended up keeping them and am working through my old collection.

Good luck in making the right decision for you. Either way, you sound like you are having a great deal of fun listening to all types of music again!

Michael
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post #100 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelG202 View Post

When I received them I moved my 340's to the rear..................

I'd still use the 170s for the rear, but that's just me. YMMV.

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post #101 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I'd still use the 170s for the rear, but that's just me. YMMV.

I agree, the 170s make for an excellent sounding surround speaker and have very flexible mounting solutions. The HTM-200s are pretty good as well

dc

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post #102 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

Under his own name?

Yes. The rec.audio ones but I don't recall any postings in the past few years. The earlier ones will probably have a fair amount of relevant information pertaining to the tests conducted at the NRC as well as some lively banter by other participants.

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post #103 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

What you appear to be saying is that you can't compare speakers sound unless your head is in a vice and you have the speakers (with optimum placement of the drivers) you are comparing equally aligned for the rooom which is pretty much impossible (unless you are at the Harman Labs).

No, what I'm trying to say is that the sound you will hear from the Sierras in your listening room will be different than the sound I'm hearing in my listening room. And they will also be different than the sounds a microphone recorded in an anechoic room @ 1 meter at tweeter level, or the sound somebody else would hear in their own listening room.

So unless you're sitting in an anechoic room, speakers will not sound like the measurements taken in anechoic chambers... Saying that speakers sound like they measure is a bit simplistic imho. Once you have speakers in a room, the room interaction will skew the FR and what you'd measure at the listening position would be different than anechoic measurements on-axis at tweeter level @ 1m.

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Originally Posted by Randybes View Post

Which makes these speaker reviews on AVS pretty much for entertainment value only and RMAF and subjective reviews worthless etc. etc.

I know you meant it somewhat in jest, but there's definitely a grain of truth in there. I could invite 2 reviewers to my place, have them review the same Sierras in the same room, and one might say that they have somewhat an emphasis on the bass, while the other might say that the were a bit lean with the bass. And they might both be right, the difference? Simply, moving the speakers and the listening position around. The sound you hear from speakers varies depending on room/placement/listening position! It is not constant! A speaker does not sound like it measures. As I said, it's a somewhat simplistic view since it doesn't take into account a complex phenomenon: Room interaction.

What percentage of people have the perfect listening room? Who invested in room treatment? Spent the time to measure and calibrate everything... Then have the speakers in the ideal location, sit in the perfect spot? So that the sound they hear is the perfect loudspeaker sound totally unaffected by the room? Not many people...

So when I read someone say for example that a speaker is boomy, when in fact I know that it's not because I've heard it and the bass isn't boomy in a good setup, then you can attribute the boomyness to something other than the speaker itself... Room/setup most probably.

Comparing speakers side by side doesn't necessarily work either. Maybe the Sierras in my room might be better off 10 feet away from each other, 3 feet from the back wall directly pointing at the listeners. While Totem Arros, to sound their best, might be better off 1.5 feet away from the back wall and 7.5 feet away with no toe in. So what happens when you put the Totems next to the Sierras 3 feet from the back wall and 10 feet away from each other pointing at the listener? Maybe no bass at all, fuzzy imaging, no soundstage, no coherence, bright highs, and I don't know what else! So you can assert that the Sierras are much better? You've heard it for yourself side by side, in a room you weren't familiar with... Would you be right or wrong?

You read contradicting comments all of the time. Even with reviewers. How many are due placement or rooms? Speakers aren't as simple as "they sound like they measure". They actually don't sound like they measure in a majority of rooms... Room and setup have a great impact.


Every year in Montreal there's an audio trade show called Sound and Image festival, where you can hear literally hundreds of systems costing from 2000$ to hundreds of thousands $... Similar to CES but mostly dedicated to audio... I've been going for years. You simply can't underestimate the effect of room, setup and listening position... Sure, you can easily make "fairly quick judgements of a speakers attributes", or identify issues with some setups/speakers, or have an idea of how a speaker will sound just by looking at its measurements, BUT, you haven't optimized the setup; treated the room, played with placement, listening position, etc... so you won't get a perfect picture of the sound of the speakers. You get an idea, mostly just a hint of the potential, but surely you won't be able to make an absolute analysis of speakers. It's the same for a GTG. Sure, same gear, same room, same speaker position, but just not optimal circumstances. So you can get an idea on the performance, just nothing definitive, maybe other than; in that particular room with that particular placement...

The thing you soon realize after a while in that kind of show is that there isn't even a correlation between great speakers and great sound. The best systems are often those who are well setup and also the ones where they put effort to ameliorate room acoustics (carpets/treatments on wall, tube traps, etc..). You could easily have the same speakers sound fabulous in a room and less than average in another. And it's no surprise when 2k speakers sound better than 8k speakers...

That said, I've met a lot of 'golden ears' and audiophiles who's 'analysis' were very amusing. I'm not saying Dennis is one of those, quite sure of the contrary, but even then, walking into a room, listening to a speaker a few minutes and identifying a small dip just like that, I'd have to tip my hat.

I A/B'd my Sierras with my EQ with the dip showing in measurements (only 1dB in my room though, so not exactly like some measurements show...) when the dip was corrected and when it was not, and as I said, very subtle difference, I don't think I could consistently differentiate them. Can't even say I'm entirely sure I can hear any difference. It really falls in the realm of "99.99% of the population couldn't hear it". But if he someone else can, hats off!

I know that myself, can't filter out room interaction to get a sniper view of a speaker FR and identify 1-2dB dips/bumps. I don't think that's an ability many have. I can see the 'big' lines, and sure, A/Bing speakers and hearing differences is easy, but seeing the FR +/- 1 or 2dB and being able to identify a dip going from 3khz to 3.7khz or something like that by hearing speakers in a room? Nope... And surely the room effects would make it impossible for me reconstitute the FR without the room interaction...


oh if you (or anybody else is still reading lol) "I know I only send him one speaker at a time to evaluate", you send him speakers to evaluate? You're also making speakers? Details?
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post #104 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 04:33 PM
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Which was my point, that speakers very rarely sound like they measure. How they sound will be a combination of the room, the speaker placement, the listening position and finally the sound of the speaker. In the end, what you hear in room will be different than anechoic measurements.[/quote]

Well, obviously it will be different (although my measurements switch to room response mode at 200 Hz and below, so you really can see what the room is doing in the lower midrange and bass). But my experience (and I have to admit it's been a loooooooooonnnng one) has always been that you still hear the speaker's basic signature as shown in the quasi-anechoic measurements. But enough--we disagree.
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post #105 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Well, obviously it will be different (although my measurements switch to room response mode at 200 Hz and below, so you really can see what the room is doing in the lower midrange and bass). But my experience (and I have to admit it's been a loooooooooonnnng one) has always been that you still hear the speaker's basic signature as shown in the quasi-anechoic measurements. But enough--we disagree.

No, I don't think we disagree What is unclear may be what "basic signature" might be.

As you said for the Sierra, is it "a moderate hole in the lower treble response at around 2.5 - 3.5 kHz, followed by a moderate rise in the treble until around 10 kHz"?. Is this the 'basic signature' of the Sierra? The way it sounds because it's the way it measured in anechoic room on axis at tweeter level @ 1 meter? I agree that you'll always hear the speaker's basic signature, I just disagree that "basic signature" falls into such specific detail, something I'm sure as I said earlier 99.99% of people couldn't identify... IMHO, that goes a lot farther than 'basic signature', a 1 or 2 dB FR dip/bump in room is a lot more subtle than even room effects...
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post #106 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamCatcher View Post


I'm currently having a mini-shootout between the Sierra's and the Usher Tiny Dancers BE-718.
So far I prefer the sound of the Sierra's which is shocking to me!
I really wanted to prefer the Usher's as they are a beautiful looking speaker.
Their build quality is just spectacular!
But they sound too laid back when directly A/B'd against the Sierra's.
Vocals seem to be coming from a place far away. Switching to the Sierra's brings the vocals back up front (closer) where they should be.
Even the Sierra's bass response is better, deeper and more authoritive, than the Tiny Dancers.
I've since moved the Ushers to another system upstairs to get some break-in time to see if that makes a difference when I bring them back down for more comparsions.
Really shocking results as I thought the Beryllium tweeter and 7" driver, bigger/heavier cabinet and superior build quality of the Tiny Dancer would seal the deal.
Anyway I'll give the Ushers a second chance after considerable break-in time in ensure that's not a factor.

dc

Wow, I'm going to have to check out the Sierra's. The Tiny Dancers are some of the best stand mount speakers I've ever heard (and believe me, there are a lot of speakers that I haven't had an opportunity to listen to ). I was hoping to possibly own a pair of the tiny dancers some day, but I'll have to check out the Sierras for 1/3 of the price. You mentioned that the vocals on the Ushers sounded far away compared to the Sierras. Was this with a variety of different music?
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post #107 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Update:

For those of you that thought I *needed* to put the Sierra's on stands, this is for you!





They are Sanus SF26 stands. I really like them. They are pretty solid, fairly heavy, very cool looking, and have a very nice finish on them. The ONLY thing I think Sanus could improve is the cable management. Oh yeah, and they should be SF25 because they are actually 25" tall which makes the Sierra's sit about 7/8" shorter than my SVS sub. NOT what I was looking for! I can live with it though...

The sound difference with the Sierra's on stands? Nothing that I can hear... Sorry.

Overall I will say that the Sierra's may be growing on me. I'm learning to strain to hear cymbals.

Seriously, I can find music that they seem better at than the B&W's. I can't say that I currently feel that they are the better overall speaker over the 602's.

I'm having a hard time not thinking that pianos are sounding good now. This is definitely not how I felt before yesterday. Something is changing... I will also say that I do pick out *new* sounds in familiar music, but I'm listening very intently to do so. Their is a distinct clarity in the midrange. I'm having a hard time calling it good or bad as a lot of vocals are sounding different to me. Some better, some different, and some not good. For example I thought Blue October and Coldplay sounded really good; better than the B&W's. However, I'm torn if I think Sade's voice is better or worse; maybe Sade's is just different. Chris Isaac however wasn't so good. He was sort of hollow and unpleasant.

I blasted some AC/DC tonight and I'll tell you that the Sierra's kicked ass with their stuff. I even thought the overdone cymbals were almost still overdone. It was very good overall though. Something I don't think the B&W's did well on, but I can't really remember.

I also played some Diana Krall so far tonight as well. I think it's better than that first day. I find the piano to sound better, but still a little recessed. Her voice seems a bit better as well. I won't say I think it's better than the B&W's though...

Now that I have the Sierra's on stands, I will play more with speaker placement. Although I will say I don't think the Sierra's are as sensitive to placement as my 602's are. I could affect imaging very easily with the 602's while the Sierra's seem a little more forgiving. I also think that the 602's tended to focus the center image so much that I could swear that the center channel speaker was playing because the sound seemed exactly focused from it. The Sierra's seem to blend the center image so it's not so focused. As such, I think the Sierra's present a more realistic image. This revelation just hit tonight.

More listening to do because the kids didn't ask to watch TV tonight!
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post #108 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:03 PM
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Can you move them into the room another foot or even six inches? The imaging on the Sierras should be focused/sharp.

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post #109 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Can you move them into the room another foot or even six inches?

And a little closer together (although it is difficult to ascertain your seating distance from the pics).

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post #110 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:08 PM
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Agreed.

With just the little toe-in you have right now, you are certainly getting reflections off of the TV and entertainment center.

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post #111 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Can you move them into the room another foot or even six inches? The imaging on the Sierras should be focused/sharp.

They are already 19" off that rear wall. More hasn't proven anything for me. I'll do it, but I didn't notice anything.



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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

And a little closer together (although it is difficult to ascertain your seating distance from the pics).

I am going to try some positions a little closer to the entertainment center, but not until I get a little more used to the sound of the speakers. Right now the speakers are about 12' 4" center of tweeter to center of tweeter. I sit just under 15' from the front of the actual speakers.
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post #112 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:25 PM
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I've really lost the basic drift of this exchange, and I doubt that many other people out there have much interest at this point, but to repeat, to me, the Sierras, and other speakers, sound like they measure. And to me, the Sierras sound in-room like the frequency response description you must have found from one of my old posts. I don't know whether other people can hear that or not. But so far, my batting average on my own designs is pretty good, and they were developed primarily using measurements. I always listen carefully and tweak a little (usually with the tweeter setting), but the design rests primarily on basic crossover principles and measurements.
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post #113 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 06:40 PM
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What Dennis is saying is that the "basic" signature, as measured in anechoic conditions, does translate and is indicative of the expected "room" signature of a speaker. There may be some room situations that alter the speaker's sound drastically, but doubtful Dennis listens in a "bad" room. So, as long as the room doesn't change, for comparative purposes, the comparative "room" signatures of 2 different speakers can be reasonably predicted from their comparative FR curves.

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post #114 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Agreed.

With just the little toe-in you have right now, you are certainly getting reflections off of the TV and entertainment center.

Please help me understand how you think I'm getting reflections from my TV or entertainment center when the speaker's front baffle is completely in front of the entertainment center's face. I made sure of this when I placed the speakers. Maybe the pics I took don't show it, but they are absolutely in front of the entertainment center.
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post #115 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

What Dennis is saying is that the "basic" signature, as measured in anechoic conditions, does translate and is indicative of the expected "room" signature of a speaker. There may be some room situations that alter the speaker's sound drastically, but doubtful Dennis listens in a "bad" room. So, as long as the room doesn't change, for comparative purposes, the comparative "room" signatures of 2 different speakers can be reasonably predicted from their comparative FR curves.


Thank you. I couldn't, and didn't, put it better myself.
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post #116 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

Please help me understand how you think I'm getting reflections from my TV or entertainment center when the speaker's front baffle is completely in front of the entertainment center's face. I made sure of this when I placed the speakers. Maybe the pics I took don't show it, but they are absolutely in front of the entertainment center.

Speakers just don't radiate from the front like a laser beam. Think of it like ripples in a pond...

Here's an example http://www.vividaudio.com/enclosures.php

If it hasn't been posted, what are you room dimensions? I'd probably even try to put the speakers in front of the HT furniture instead of on the sides, it'll probably act as a back wall and for what it will cost you to try it you might as well try it and see how it works out.

Cardas has some schemas about speaker placement, I want to try the near field listening, even if it's not practical in my HT room, just to see how it sounds (It would hide part of the proj screen + would the listening position would be much too close to screen... So as always, must compromise... *sigh*)

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?ar...ing=Room+Setup
http://www.cardas.com/content.php?ar...g=Room+Setup+3
http://www.cardas.com/content.php?ar...g=Room+Setup+7

Not sure which would fit the best with your room... But they do seem somehow very close to back wall to me, I'd also want to bring them more into the room.

Another: http://www.soundstage.com/audiohell/audiohell200111.htm

Quote:


What Dennis is saying is that the "basic" signature, as measured in anechoic conditions, does translate and is indicative of the expected "room" signature of a speaker.

And how it will actually sound in the room will be a matter of placement, the room, listening position, speaker off axis dispersion, etc etc.. But I totally agree, measurements can be a good indication of how they sound. Speakers do not simply sound as they measure though. If it was the case the 300$ish 170SE would sound better than Wilsons? It's also important to consider off axis response as this will also influence the sound of the speaker in a room. So yeah, sure, indication. In room, YMWV.
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post #117 of 450 Old 02-28-2008, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TJHUB View Post

Please help me understand how you think I'm getting reflections from my TV or entertainment center when the speaker's front baffle is completely in front of the entertainment center's face. I made sure of this when I placed the speakers. Maybe the pics I took don't show it, but they are absolutely in front of the entertainment center.

Grandarf has it covered. Sound radiates around the speaker, and by toe-ing in, you are directing a bit more energy towards the TV/entertainment center. If you lined up a line parallel with the front baffle of the speaker, it runs into the TV/EC, right? With toe-in, and if you have a large surface between the speakers, reflection is unavoidable, but in your case, it happens very early. That is why I was suggesting putting the speakers farther in front of the TV...not to get them off the back wall more.

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post #118 of 450 Old 02-29-2008, 12:33 AM
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Wow, I'm going to have to check out the Sierra's. The Tiny Dancers are some of the best stand mount speakers I've ever heard (and believe me, there are a lot of speakers that I haven't had an opportunity to listen to ). I was hoping to possibly own a pair of the tiny dancers some day, but I'll have to check out the Sierras for 1/3 of the price. You mentioned that the vocals on the Ushers sounded far away compared to the Sierras. Was this with a variety of different music?

I've put the Tiny Dancers through about 4 days of break in, playing various music (mostly heavy bass material) through them at moderate to fairly high levels for 8 to 10 hours a day average.
After 4 days I sat down for some serious listening through my NAD M3 intergated amp.
I thought they sounded exceptional.
So I decided to put the Sierra's on the NAD intergated without the Tiny Dancers around.
The Sierra's did their thing.... sounding phenomenal.
So I brought in the Tiny Dancers and using the NAD's A/B speaker selector did some more direct comparisons.
My thinking was maybe the Usher's liked the NAD amp better than my Denon 5308 receiver.
The Ushers did open up, vocals moved closer to what I was hearing with the Sierra's, the bass improved a bit but still not to the Sierra's level, the Usher's will play louder before port noise becomes a factor and one thing the Tiny Dancers really excel at is imaging. You can move beyond the boundaries of the left or right speaker and still get a nice center image.
But I finally came to the revelation of why I preferred the sound of the Sierra's. Simply the Usher's sound like a box. For some reason switching from the Sierra's to the Usher gave me the impression that suddenly I was listening to a box rather than listening to the sound of music.

Contrary to what Grandarf says about direct comparsions not being a good judge of how a speaker sounds, I disagree completely.
How a speaker sounds in the position it must be placed in your system, give or take a few inches here and there, is all we can use to judge or compare how one speaker sounds compared to another. Maybe the speakers aren't ideally placed for the comparsion but that holds true for both pair of speakers. And positions should be swapped back and forth as you do the comparsion if you think one pair may have an advantage over the other.

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post #119 of 450 Old 02-29-2008, 05:15 AM
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Contrary to what Grandarf says about direct comparsions not being a good judge of how a speaker sounds, I disagree completely.

*sigh* I don't disagree that direct comparisons aren't a good judge of how speakers sound.

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Comparing speakers side by side doesn't necessarily work either. Maybe the Sierras in my room might be better off 10 feet away from each other, 3 feet from the back wall directly pointing at the listeners. While Totem Arros, to sound their best, might be better off 1.5 feet away from the back wall and 7.5 feet away with no toe in. So what happens when you put the Totems next to the Sierras 3 feet from the back wall and 10 feet away from each other pointing at the listener? Maybe no bass at all, fuzzy imaging, no soundstage, no coherence, bright highs, and I don't know what else! So you can assert that the Sierras are much better? You've heard it for yourself side by side, in a room you weren't familiar with... Would you be right or wrong?

If you did the comparisons with the Sierra next to the Totem's optimal placement, you'd probably end up with the Sierra sounding poorly next to the Totems. It's not that direct comparisons isn't a "good judge", it's that it might not necessarily work, in my example on top for example. It's just not as good as listening to each in an optimal setup.

Even if the 'battle field is equal' for both speakers, and they're set up like: "AB AB" and not "AB BA", due to the way they interact with the room they might benefit from different location in the room. So what you end up comparing are the two speakers in one spot, not how the two speakers sound when they're optimally placed in a room. What might seem like a flaw in one speaker might be fixed simply by moving the speaker around. So while it might seem that one speaker does something better, it could be the case in that setup, but when the speakers are setup optimally, it could show that in fact it was due to the setup. You just can't know. So again, it might give a really good indication, but not really something definitive.
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post #120 of 450 Old 02-29-2008, 06:35 AM
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.

oh if you (or anybody else is still reading lol) "I know I only send him one speaker at a time to evaluate", you send him speakers to evaluate? You're also making speakers? Details?

No, I don't make speakers-I buy a lot of them. Kind of helps eliminate any bias or at least it spreads my bias around
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