Audiophile vs Professsional Speakers - AVS Forum
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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How do they differ? How much do they differ?
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:35 AM
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Umm. Wow. They do differ and the amount they differ is up to the specific speaker. Sonus Faber Auditor M vs. JTR Triple 12. Similar prices, very different speakers yet you will get people on both sides saying one is better than the other.

Ok, I hate to do it, but I have to use cars.

There are different products for different applications. There are Bently style speakers, there's Ferrari style speakers, there's top-fuel style speakers, and there's crossover (tall big car) kind of speakers. Comparing styles of speakers won't do you much good because you're just comparing trade-offs and justifying which trade-off is better.

You wouldn't buy an F-350 if you needed a small in-town good gas mileage car. So the thing is, pick a speaker that suits the application and your acceptable trade-offs.

YID DIY
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindless View Post

How do they differ? How much do they differ?

Theoretically all speakers could be said to have their goal as one of "accuracy".

However, in reality the performance to an "application" can cause choices to design that affect the abilities and thus the sound.

Case in point a Commercial Speaker may need to have the ability to play LOUDLY, and may sacrifice other more delicate sonic subtleties to reach this goal.

A small nearfield audiophile oriented monitor may sacrifice the ability to to play as loud, for a greater accuracy to detail, resolution and frequency accuracy.

So you will have differences.

Generally, those who argue that PA speakers are (or should) be the same as High End Audiophile speakers fail to recognize these differences in applications.

Like putting a V-8 in a VW. Great at the drag strip, but not so great driving the new GF on a spirited Sunday drive through some challenging country roads.

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Old 08-21-2010, 12:02 PM
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Accuracy isn't always or even usually what people want. If it was, no one would listen to tube amps or "warm" speakers or most vinyl. All are euphonic, but they are usually not "accurate".

Audiophile = what the buyer wants. Any size, shape or flavor, and there are lots of them.

Professional = what the customer wants. That might be the person paying you, or the person paying them, or the end consumer.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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Way too vague a question. Unanswerable.

There are many different kinds of "audiophile" speakers, just as there are many different kinds of "professional" speakers.

A good speaker is a good speaker, no matter what its target market is.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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I personally find the word audiophile to be the most generic, overused, and underdefined word in audio.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Way too vague a question. Unanswerable.

There are many different kinds of "audiophile" speakers, just as there are many different kinds of "professional" speakers.

A good speaker is a good speaker, no matter what its target market is.

Wouldnt the target market and/or application determine the criteria for judging how 'good' the speaker is?
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Accuracy isn't always or even usually what people want. If it was, no one would listen to tube amps or "warm" speakers or most vinyl. All are euphonic, but they are usually not "accurate".

Audiophile = what the buyer wants. Any size, shape or flavor, and there are lots of them.

Professional = what the customer wants. That might be the person paying you, or the person paying them, or the end consumer.

and the buyer is not a customer?
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:34 PM
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toslat -- Possibly the wrong choice of words. I think he meant "Owner" (HT/home audio) vs the "Listener" in a professional or commercial venue (different applications).

-------

There is also a difference in the listening environment. Monitor speakers for professional mastering studios want "near field" speakers designed for close listening distances (usually less than 6' from the furthest speaker). Whereas, a home user is usually sitting a lot further away (8' to 12' or more) from the speakers ("far field", sort of). In an auditorium or large movie theater, the use is definitely "far field" (30' or more). Those are 3 different applications and require different performance criteria.

That doesn't mean that a speaker type (as indicated by mindless) can't be used in a different application. Many audiophiles use "professional" speakers in their HT, but they have also acoustically treated their rooms to fit their equipment and preferences.

As ChrisWiggles said, your question is too vague to elicit any kind of reasonable answer.

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Old 08-21-2010, 04:02 PM
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When I chose speakers for the 400-seat auditorium I manage, my criteria were robustness, power handling, dispersion (which needed to match an exact specification), connector type, robustness, weight, number and location of attachment points for rigging, robustness, and other such things.

Beyond all other factors, you want speakers that won't fail even when abused -- especially if you have to bring in a rigging crew to get them down.

"Accuracy" in such applications is usually not a terribly big factor beyond "not crap," because the sound is usually (a) not reproduction of existing material, but being produced live, which means that the sound coming out of the speakers is the "original sound," and (b) a great deal of processing is necessary to create the illusion of neutrality; the best speaker in the world can't deliver good sound in a typical venue without heavy processing (EQ, timing, phase adjustments, crossover tuning, etc.).

The bigger the room, the more influence it has over the sound and the less difference there is from one speaker to another in the same class.

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Old 08-21-2010, 04:04 PM
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Just to show you can't always use absolutes...

Paul Klipsch once set out to create the Klipschorn II. Upon designing the bass bin he finally heard it and evidently sat back with a smile on his face and told his co-creator "we did it". He also realized this creation wasn't only better than the vaunted Klipschorn but it was better by a distinct margin. He ended up deciding to keep the Klipschorn and name this new creation the Klipschorn Jubilee. They would continue to make the Klipschorn but if someone wanted his new & improved (after 50 years of experience) they could buy the Jubilee.

Sadly, he passed away not so long after and upon his passing, the company decided to shelve the Jubilee, not making it for sale to anyone.

Time went forward further and they needed a new design in their commercial cinema lineup and low & behold, they had this Jubilee design sitting there already engineered.

Today, you can find the Klipsch Jubilee in their cinema lineup.

Here, you have a speaker designed for HOME use that was so good, it was good enough for cinema applications. Today, there are maybe 25 people across this country (and England/Germany) who own a pair or more of these in their homes.

Rhetorical question: Since these were originally designed for home use, are these now "home speakers in the home" or since they are special/custom ordered and NOT a "stock" item by Klipsch, are these "cinema speakers being used in the home" and would suffer some of the shortcomings noted above?

I'll let anyone who wants to hear for themselves to come over for a jam session if you are ever in my neck of the woods.

There are certainly high fidelity "pro" speakers out there that sound utterly fantastic in the home environment. I know... I've seen them, heard them and am looking at them.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:20 PM
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I have JTR's which are also a gray area between pro/home.

If I downgrade I am thinking of going with pro speakers.
High efficiency is something you need to experience to understand.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

I have JTR's which are also a gray area between pro/home.

If I downgrade I am thinking of going with pro speakers.
High efficiency is something you need to experience to understand.

JTR's are very nice (I own them) but, if I had the space and the money I would take the Jubilee's over JTR's in a heart beat, especially if they came with those great looking custom crossovers that I saw.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mindless View Post

How do they differ? How much do they differ?

Audiophiles cost more then pro's but they measure the same.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by stgdz View Post

Audiophiles cost more then pro's but they measure the same.

Which ones measure the same? Which measurements are you referring to?
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:03 PM
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Something like Mackie C200 may be dynamically satisfying without sacrificing smoothness. For the lows, subwoofers can do the job crossing over at 80 or 100 Hz. Last but not least, it may be hard to find pro speakers with high WAF. I once thought about hiding pro speakers in wood cabinets to make them more or less like Klipsch Heresy. Once I factor in the cost of nice looking wood cabinets, I may as well go for Klipsch Heresy. Oh wait, if Klipsch Heresy is within budget, I may as well go for Klipsch RF-XX floor standers. But I cannot find a local store to buy them. I can buy them online but what if I ended up not liking them. So then, I am back to pro speakers because I can find them in local stores and if I don't want them I can return them easily provided that they have a good return policy. Then I am back to WAF factor, and back to custom built wood cabinet to fit pro speakers.

In conclusion, it's not that easy finding pro speakers for home use. That's not saying that one cannot find one. It's just so hard to find one.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:04 PM
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Something like Mackie C200 may be dynamically satisfying without sacrificing smoothness. For the lows, subwoofers can do the job crossing over at 80 or 100 Hz. Last but not least, it may be hard to find pro speakers with high WAF. I once thought about hiding pro speakers in wood cabinets to make them more or less like Klipsch Heresy. Once I factor in the cost of nice looking wood cabinets, I may as well go for Klipsch Heresy. Oh wait, if Klipsch Heresy is within budget, I may as well go for Klipsch RF-XX floor standers. But I cannot find a local store to buy them. I can buy them online but what if I ended up not liking them. So then, I am back to pro speakers because I can find them in local stores and if I don't want them I can return them easily provided that they have a good return policy. Then I am back to WAF factor, and back to custom built wood cabinet to fit pro speakers.

In conclusion, it's not that easy finding pro speakers for home use. That's not saying that one cannot find one. It's just so hard to find one.

More money but JTR makes killer wood finishes... way different budget though ha
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

I personally find the word audiophile to be the most generic, overused, and underdefined word in audio.

+1! Funnier still is how some use it as a pejorative term.

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

More money but JTR makes killer wood finishes... way different budget though ha

Back when Klipsch Reference Series speakers were sold locally here, I could not make myself buy them because at their prices, there are too many choices to make buying decision difficult - Martin Logans, Vienna Acoustics, Paradigm and B & W. Same situation goes for JTR and I only wish that I could audition them locally so that I could compare them with others.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by stgdz View Post

Audiophiles cost more then pro's but they measure the same.

They seldom do....pro audio is all about accuracy and no bling. There is no need to "market" and "Sell" a customer.

I have never seen high end audiophile speakers generally measure as well as high end pro audio design. No one will argue that B&W speakers measure like crap

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Accuracy isn't always or even usually what people want. If it was, no one would listen to tube amps or "warm" speakers or most vinyl. All are euphonic, but they are usually not "accurate".

Audiophile = what the buyer wants. Any size, shape or flavor, and there are lots of them.

Professional = what the customer wants. That might be the person paying you, or the person paying them, or the end consumer.

Very few actually like the sound of accuracy. The best design speaker techincally will sound 'Clinical" to many people. Once again I will use B&W as the example. If you look at their designs accuracy is the last thing on their minds. Its all about what the customer is use to and likes.

Even if we design a very accurate speaker we tend to set a "House" curve. Sean Olive's blog on listening is a great one to read about all this.

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Way too vague a question. Unanswerable.

There are many different kinds of "audiophile" speakers, just as there are many different kinds of "professional" speakers.

A good speaker is a good speaker, no matter what its target market is.

Yep, its a bad question.


Its all about application and objectives. List those first then a speaker list can be created.

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bioforce View Post

Generally, those who argue that PA speakers are (or should) be the same as High End Audiophile speakers fail to recognize these differences in applications.

PA speakers like the JBL K2s or Danley's SH-100s? I doubt anyone would consider them anything less then pure accurate performance! Are Mark Seaton Catalysts PA Speakers? You think they are lessor SQ wise then "High End" Audiophile speakers?

You will need to define PA speakers and define High End Audiophile speakers.

I will take a $3K to $5K "PA speaker" over the B&W 802D series in my Room 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:23 AM
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Very few actually like the sound of accuracy.

That may in fact be true; but, if it is at least accurate, you have the choice of tailoring it the way you want. If it is not accurate, you're chances of getting it "right" (your definition of "right") are pretty much nil.

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:24 AM
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Yeah, but you've had a ragin' woody for B&W, Penn!

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:24 AM
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Yeah, but you've had a ragin' woody for B&W, Penn!

Absolutely!!! but for the looks, not the design

Did you see my attempt so far at doing fibreglass ?

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Old 08-23-2010, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

That may in fact be true; but, if it is at least accurate, you have the choice of tailoring it the way you want. If it is not accurate, you're chances of getting it "right" (your definition of "right") are pretty much nil.

very true, the other part of accuracy and extremely low distortion is that bad recordings sound even worse

There is something to be said about audiophile designs that hide these issues.

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:28 AM
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Absolutely!!! but for the looks, not the design

Did you see my attempt so far at doing fibreglass ?

I could've sworn you weren't enamored by their crossovers or something. Nope haven't seen you doing fiberglass. Wear a good dust mask.

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:39 AM
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I could've sworn you weren't enamored by their crossovers or something. Nope haven't seen you doing fiberglass. Wear a good dust mask.

Dust mask, gloves, googles.....that stuff is HORRIBLE

Im attempting to build carbon fibre speaker baffles and round horn enclosures

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Old 08-23-2010, 09:40 AM
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Just get a lathe and turn some wood.

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