Pioneer's Speaker Genius Hits Low Price Point - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Walkamo View Post

The center channel to me is the shining star at only $79.00.

Yeah, three of those (vertically standing) across the front sound like they should give a smooth, consistent soundstage. Heard the bookshelf version at a local BB and they sounded good (nice imaging too).

Sanjay
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post #152 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Heard the bookshelf version at a local BB and they sounded good (nice imaging too).

Knowing about Andrew Jones and his work with coaxials at KEF and TAD/Pioneer(and having heard some of them), I would expect that great imaging was one of his goals. Looks like he hit it.

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post #153 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 06:21 PM
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I went to listen to the Pioneer bookshelf and tower speakers at the local BB. They sounded ok given the horrible set-up.

I also think that given the design pedigree, this line of speakers will never come close to their full potential in most peoples homes. Most people will only look at their price and replace their HTIB speakers with them. They are fairly inefficient and neutral sounding. To come alive they will need quality amplification and sources. I'm talking at least a good integrated from the likes of Arcam, Rotel, or Cambridge.

The BS41's remind me of the NHT Superzero's or Superone's of yesteryear. They never sounded as good as the other speakers on display, but when you brought them home and put quality behind they came to life and topped everything in the store.
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post #154 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomd73 View Post

I went to listen to the Pioneer bookshelf and tower speakers at the local BB. They sounded ok given the horrible set-up.

I also think that given the design pedigree, this line of speakers will never come close to their full potential in most peoples homes. Most people will only look at their price and replace their HTIB speakers with them. They are fairly inefficient and neutral sounding. To come alive they will need quality amplification and sources. I'm talking at least a good integrated from the likes of Arcam, Rotel, or Cambridge.

The BS41's remind me of the NHT Superzero's or Superone's of yesteryear. They never sounded as good as the other speakers on display, but when you brought them home and put quality behind they came to life and topped everything in the store.

So your saying they wont sound "good" on a receiver. (non HTIB)?

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post #155 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

So your saying they wont sound "good" on a receiver. (non HTIB)?

They sound good with my Marantz 100 watt A/V receiver -
and it brings them to life. They can also play loud.

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post #156 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

So your saying they wont sound "good" on a receiver. (non HTIB)?

They'll sound good on a receiver, I'm sure, but based upon their sensitivity and how they auditioned, (to my ears) they need high quality amplification.
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post #157 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 08:47 PM
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These look really promising, I haven't looked in a while and was expecting to go w/ the polk floor standers from frys. I remember not being able to find a matching center for them though. So I have an onkyo 6.1 htib that I always wanted to upgrade the speakers on.

I was also considering finding a nice set of floor standers and center that match and keeping my rears and sub. At this price though it seems like it'd be good to go 5.1

SP-FS51-LR floor standers $199 pair
SP-C21 center $79 ea 5.1 or 6.1? blu ray are 7.1 and dvds were made for 5.1 so what's the point in 6.1?
SW-8 - $149 will matching the sub really make a difference, the one I have is more bass than the wife will let me use any way.
SP-BS21-LR rears? $89


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post #158 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 10:27 PM
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I've been watching this thread with interest, and after prodding from Chris I am going to address as many of the issues as I can, in one missive. Forgive me if I ramble too much!
First to address the issue of designing not only a $200 speaker but also an $89, after a $60,000 speaker. It's not marketing speak. I had full control of the design and voicing of these speakers, and it was actually a very interesting challenge.
When designing a flagship speaker, of course it's fun as an engineer to work almost unconstrained and to be allowed to explore all sorts of options, advanced materials, large budgets etc. The result should be at the very least excellent, at best unsurpassed.
What however, is the attraction to designing such a low cost speaker?
Well, it's still an interesting challenge, partly because there is so little product out there at these prices that appears to have had much thought put into the sound quality. Marketing and visual design trump sound. But why does this have to be the case?
That was the driving force behind these speakers. With little money to spend, with no advanced materials possible, what are the limits and possibilities?
The challenge becomes examining every single aspect of the design and engineering process and looking where performance can be optimised at no increased cost (cone shape and surround profile, for example) and where one cost can be traded for another.
How important is a film cap, how audible is a ferrite core inductor compared to a laminated core, how much flux can I drag out of a particular size magnet with the right design of pole pice and top plate and back plate. How do I trade voice coil length and top plate thickness for excursion. How do I save money to spend on a curve sided cabinet. Can I afford an RF pressed curved side panel rather than an inferior kerf cut panel.???
There are many more examples.
Then comes the issue of voicing. How resolving is the speaker. Should resolution over-ride bandwidth. How will this speaker be used. What will it be paired with. what kind of bass balance. Should it leap of the shelf in the store with a forward "impressive" sound, or be more neutral and relaxing for more satisfying long term enjoyment.??
As you can see, there are so many avenues to explore in the design, why shouldn't it be just as interesting a project as when designing a flagship.
Of course, if I'd failed in my objectives, and my name was still on it, I'd have changed my name by now!!
And just so you know, I've changed my signature on my credit cards and check book, just to be safe......
Of course, these are not going to be the best out there, but they are I hope, incredible value, and set new standards at the price points.
It is very unusual to be able to incorporate curved sided cabinets, 1" soft dome tweeters, woofers with real size magnets, six element crossovers etc in a product like this. At times I look back on this project and am just as amazed as some of you.
Of course, although I cannot go into detailing about pricing, and relative value between different speakers, manufacturing costs and selling quantities play a significant role, as Kal alluded to. It is rare that in a range of product there is a linear relationship between parts cost and selling price. Expected sales volume of each model has to be balanced against development costs, parts costs, distribution costs etc. This is the real world of manufacturing as opposed to hobbyist building!
Now to some specific issues.
There has been some confusion between different speakers shown at CEDIA and in the blogs. The speakers I have designed here are the BS21, C21, FS51, for BB, and the BS41, along with the sub.
The other series are very different in componentry and price, and are from a different series and origin entirely.
As for "A vertical tube feeding out the bottom sucks away standing waves." this is misquoted. There is a vertical tube inside the speaker. It acts much like a quarter wave stub in antenna design. At the frequency of the main standing wave within the cabinet, it is tuned, by means of its length, internal absorption and location within the cabinet, to short circuit the standing wave and virtually eliminate it. Very neat trick!
Now, as for the center channel speaker, yes it can be used vertically, and in fact would work even better this way. It's an unfortunate fact of home life that center channels are required to be wide and low in shape, forcing typically dual woofers and a central tweeter. This is not a great arrangement for good horizontal dispersion. I have done my best by designing a waveguide around the tweeter to match its directivity to the bass driver, and have set a low xover frequency compared to what is typical for this class of speaker.
It's dual woofers have been optimized for greater mid bass power handling when used along with a subwoofer, for home theater use, as opposed to bass extension for a reasonable full range stereo speaker as was the goal for the bookshelves.
All said, go ahead and use two center speakers vertically.
Regarding the grille design, this is a matter of taste. We did do a survey, and found that the design was liked, but of course we won't please everyone. It does however have some sound advantages. Minimal diffraction of the sound wave, acoustically quite transparent, and a very strong barrier to the drivers. You won't find your tweeter domes and woofer dustcaps pushed in, either at store level (I'm convinced half the time it's from rival manufacturers.;-) ) or at home.
The grilles can be removed with a lot of effort, but I would suggest you leave them in place. You won't gain much by removing them.
Now, the height of the towers. Everything comes at a cost. As Chris said, I had to be reigned in constantly to not overspend. With great height comes great..cost. Cost but little sonic benefit. Another area where I had to make choices. Same with the vents.flared on the outside but not on the inside. Slightly more chuffing at extreme levels, but that cost saving went elsewhere, to greater benefit.
Sensitivity is lower than some of the competitors, except that it is an honestly quoted spec, as is the impedance. Lower sensitivity allows me to design for decent bass extension. With a typical receiver or two channel amp, you won't have too much trouble driving to respectable levels. Head-banging levels? You'd have to be the judge of that, but they are only $89!!
OK, so lots of words. Now I know why Kal gets paid so much for writing.it's tough!
Go listen, judge for yourself. If you like what you hear, I'm happy.

Andrew Jones
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post #159 of 6016 Old 10-08-2010, 10:35 PM
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Andrew, I'd like to have your job

This has been very informative.
Sounds like its been and exciting adventure designing these speakers.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at AVS.
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post #160 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 01:10 AM
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I just found this thread and am very happy that I did. Just to decide book shelfs or 2 centers for the rears and keep the sub I have to save up for a bigger one later, or the SW-8? I'm pretty sure the rear center will go, it's just hard to find a place for an extra speaker any ways.

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post #161 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

stuff...stuff...stuff...

Andrew Jones

Nice! Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's been quite fun to hear about such an incredibly inexpensive line that was given so much real effort. Hopefully this type of design exercise catches on among other companies. I want to see what Wilson can do for $200.
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post #162 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vraxoin View Post

Nice! Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's been quite fun to hear about such an incredibly inexpensive line that was given so much real effort. Hopefully this type of design exercise catches on among other companies. I want to see what Wilson can do for $200.

Wilson would make a really really good sounding binding post for $200

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post #163 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

Sensitivity is lower than some of the competitors, except that it is an honestly quoted spec, as is the impedance. Lower sensitivity allows me to design for decent bass extension. With a typical receiver or two channel amp, you won't have too much trouble driving to respectable levels. Head-banging levels? You'd have to be the judge of that, but they are only $89!!
OK, so lots of words. Now I know why Kal gets paid so much for writing.it's tough!
Go listen, judge for yourself. If you like what you hear, I'm happy.

Andrew Jones

I stand corrected! Thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions honestly and respectfully.

Just one more question. Is there a general break in period or are they going to sound their best right out of the box.

Thanks
Dennis
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post #164 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 06:16 AM
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Their general character has not changed - since I first hooked them up.
They sound good, right out of the box. Regardless of what one believes -
your ears play a big part in getting adjusted to the sound. My views have
not changed since I first bought them - I still like them.

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post #165 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

OK, so lots of words. Now I know why Kal gets paid so much for writing.it's tough!

And now we know why you get paid so much for designing.

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post #166 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 08:21 AM
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Thanks to Andrew Jones for taking the time to post and address some questions in this thread.

Just let me say... while I understand the compromise in designing a horizontal MTM center, I certainly don't fully understand everything that has to go into maximizing the performance and keeping the compromises to a minimum...

I have to applaud Mr. Jones. While I still haven't been able to thoroughly audition the center, I am impressed with its abilities so far, especially how well it performs off axis (at moderate angles, maybe 30-40 degrees or so... I haven't tried to listen critically at extreme angles off axis, and have no need to really).

To get that kind of performance, especially off axis, in such an inexpensive design is incredible.

I would think for that vast majority of people, they would be happy with the performance of this center, even sitting a bit off center.
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post #167 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

They sound good with my Marantz 100 watt A/V receiver -
and it brings them to life. They can also play loud.

I bet they do sound great, judging by thier pedigree. I on the otherhand, will stick with getting all-matching additional speakers for my Sony Setup so I can have uniform sound in all 5 channels.

The pioneers look cool though, they remind me of something you'd see in a
space-age all-glass and black marble bachelor pad.

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post #168 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

I bet they do sound great, judging by thier pedigree. I on the otherhand, will stick with getting all-matching additional speakers for my Sony Setup so I can have uniform sound in all 5 channels.

That is the key - uniform sound, regardless of the brand you choose.

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post #169 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

That is the key - uniform sound, regardless of the brand you choose.

Yeah I know man, I'm already close with my current setup, although the SSF7000's in addition to the SS-440's (vintage) and the SSB-3000's) will bring it up a notch more, I plan on keeping my current Center, because, there wasnt that much difference between the sony and my current Insignia center.

I am glad that higher end speaker companies are offering thise stuff to retail stores, a few years ago all you could find are Cheapo KLH floor speakers, and RCA minisystems with CD changers that quit working after 6 months.

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post #170 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 10:57 AM
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Well I'm sold, and my order is placed.
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post #171 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 11:46 AM
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Anyone able to compare the Energy CBs 5, 10, 20 to the new Pioneers at BB? I just got the CB-20 $349 not too long ago and was wondering if I made a bad choice if the Pioneers are as good as they sound on the forums. I am too lazy to go out and test them myself
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post #172 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

I bet they do sound great, judging by thier pedigree. I on the otherhand, will stick with getting all-matching additional speakers for my Sony Setup so I can have uniform sound in all 5 channels.

You are making a mistake if you don't audition the Pioneer's first - at least know what you are missing!

Ron
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post #173 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 02:44 PM
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There's generally much chaff to weed through on most threads here on AVS with kernels of truth to be had.

Best non owners thread I've read in a long time and those floorstanders look like they have a place in the spare bedroom soon.

While I generally know better, I think I'll purchase without listening as the dimensions are perfect and another sonos zp120 will fill the bill nicely.

I look forward to continue reading this thread and being an owner soon.

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post #174 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTrix View Post

Anyone able to compare the Energy CBs 5, 10, 20 to the new Pioneers at BB? I just got the CB-20 $349 not too long ago and was wondering if I made a bad choice if the Pioneers are as good as they sound on the forums. I am too lazy to go out and test them myself

I'm sorry but that's weak! Go test them yourself!! You have the ability to actually do the comparison since you have CB-20s.

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post #175 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 05:12 PM
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i took a look at these at the local best buy today. very impressive construction. they are dual ported but the ports are small. wonder if there is any chuffing at high volume...

unfortunately, they had them set up in a terrible aisle location, so i didn't bother trying to listen to them.

they should really do a better job to try to show these off....

i'd really like to a/b these with my energy rc-50s at home just to see how they stack. heck i may just pick up a set, can't really go wrong for a couple hundred bucks and i can always use a pair of speakers around the house. not to mention, these look fantastic
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post #176 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 08:25 PM
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I hope these will be available in Canada at BB so I can give the them a try for fun. I don't see them on bestbuy.ca yet.

It will be interesting to compare them to my other bookshelf speakers that cost a lot more.

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post #177 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

I hope these will be available in Canada at BB so I can give the them a try for fun. I don't see them on bestbuy.ca yet.

It will be interesting to compare them to my other bookshelf speakers that cost a lot more.

Something like this is nice - for people who use the A/V world
as a hobby. It can keep me from running around the streets
and getting run over by a truck.

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #178 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 10:31 PM
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Can the senior members here post some of their thoughts around what kind of speakers the pioneers compare with

I guess I am trying to determine the relative value the pioneers are compared to other speakers that sound similar. Thanks
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post #179 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 11:00 PM
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Hey I'm Really loving this set up. Im about to upgrade to the Polk R60s but I'd much rather have a book shelf speaker. Will the SP-BS41 match the polks in sound quality? I would go with 4 SP-BS41 and the matched center and probably the sub from the Pioneers as well. Would that set up be comparable to the Polk set up?
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post #180 of 6016 Old 10-09-2010, 11:31 PM
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Are these speakers going to be professionally reviewed? I'd prefer to see them in Stereophile or Soundstage, since they both do decent measurements.
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