Originally Posted by Randybes
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.
Originally Posted by Randybes
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?