Bought a pair of BA VS 260 with the 325 center - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to share my initial impressions as I just received these speakers yesterday. I am no audiophile and my point of reference is a set of Polk Audio RM6880, which I've been using for almost three years now in my modest living room HT setup, and have been somewhat satisfied with.

I didn't plan on upgrading anytime soon but the closeout prices of these speakers made me change my mind. I had an arbitrary budget of $600 and decided to invest that on an L/C/R setup for now.

I spent more hours on this forum than I'd like to admit and finally narrowed down my choices to HSU HB/HC1, Aperion Verus Grand bookshelves with VG center and the BA VS 260/325 based on a mishmash of price, reading user experiences and professional reviews.

Finally I decided to go with the BA's as they seemed to offer the best proverbial bang for the buck. UPS was kind enough to deliver these with a gash in only one of the boxes, but the speakers inside were in perfect shape. These speakers just exude quality. The black lacquer finish is pristine and they look like a paid a fortune for them. I am a fan of its curvaceous body even if it is a pain trying to find a suitable speaker stand for it.

I hooked them up with my ancient Denon AVR-587 and demoed them briefly with some music CD's and an HD 5.1 movie on Netflix (barely adequate sound quality). This may sound blasphemous but I don't even own a single movie and I'll be picking up a blu-ray from Redbox on my way home today to further assess these speakers.

Most of what I've read about these speakers is absolutely true; they sound very smooth. The bass is tight and controlled, it actually sounds better(quality wise) than the 10 inch sub in my polks, The quantity of the bass is probably enough to get me evicted from my apartment if I crank it up too much and I'm actually contemplating cancelling the Outlaw LFM-EX I have on order. The highs are distortion free and crystal clear. The tweeter is indeed very unforgiving for less than ideal recordings.

My main concern is the midrange which sounds like the speaker is covered with a blanket. More than once I wished there was a Treble knob on my receiver that I could turn to make the sound "sharp". It sounded like my eustachian tubes were blocked and that I had to do Valsalva's Maneuver to open up the sound. Is this part of the speaker's character? or am I used to listening to crappy over-bright HTIB sound and can't appreciate the higher quality natural sound? Would appreciate any input on this.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 02:02 PM
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Break in those speakers! Leave them on while you go to work playing a radio station with a good variety of tunes. Report back your findings. They need a work out before sounding their best.

The Outlaw is a fine sub, I own one. While your VS 260's may have some adequate bass, they don't go down as low as an EX which is @ 16hz in some rooms. That being said, you will miss some experience, especially where movies are concerned below 30hz and some music under 50 hz without a sub altogether. Your polk is rated down to 35hz, if it is the psw10.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 02:05 PM
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+1

Also, many Denon receivers have a tone control feature you can turn on. Might check your manual and see.

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post #4 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 02:59 PM
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Make sure you have them at least a foot away from the front wall, and a few feet away from side walls. Try toeing them in also, as reflection from walls could reduce clarity of mid and high frequencies. The room affects a lot of what you hear - is your room reflective, with tile floor, large windows etc?
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

My main concern is the midrange which sounds like the speaker is covered with a blanket. More than once I wished there was a Treble knob on my receiver that I could turn to make the sound "sharp". It sounded like my eustachian tubes were blocked and that I had to do Valsalva's Maneuver to open up the sound. Is this part of the speaker's character? or am I used to listening to crappy over-bright HTIB sound and can't appreciate the higher quality natural sound? Would appreciate any input on this.

I would double check your placement - and also check the wire hook up (not crossed),
make sure postive is to positive, and negative to negative. I do not claim that these
are the greatest on the planet - however, something does not seem right. Also, check
the processing on the receiver. And yes, the bass is very good.

Make sure the speaker has room from the back, aim for 12" > and free from corner walls,
aim for 30" > and that the front of the speaker is a little in front of the TV and stand, and
any cabinets or shelves.

After checking everything - give it time.
Also, regardless of speaker break in belief - it takes time to get use to hearing a more
accurate speaker, or higher up speaker - based on what you may have owned in the past.
They are not voiced to really jump out at you, like a lot of entry level speakers. And, they
will not have the dipping and peaky midrange frequency response, along with the distortion
that colors the sound - like a lot of cheapy HTIB speakers.

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post #6 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

Is this part of the speaker's character?

Maybe. Sounds like BAs (surprise) may still have that "East Coast Sound". Give 'em a while to grow on you.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 05:07 PM
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Just got my VS 260's in an hour ago and I'm running them through my test music now as well. I'm comparing them to the MA RX'1's that I also bought. My first impression is that the soundstage is large, I think that's the correct terminology. In other words they were very forgiving during setup, my first speaker positioning put the vocals right in the center and its easy to locate instruments on an imaginary stage. As for the mids, they are coming through clear and not muffled at all (Buble, Norah Jones, Adele, Eagles). I'm running an Onkyo 709, I don't know if that makes any difference. Once I'm done with my tests I'll post in the thread I started earlier along with comparison pics of the two speakers. This forum helped me a lot and I'd like to pay it forward to anyone else that spent more hours than they care to admit reading countless threads.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecross View Post

My first impression is that the soundstage is large, I think that's the correct terminology. In other words they were very forgiving during setup, my first speaker positioning put the vocals right in the center and its easy to locate instruments on an imaginary stage. As for the mids, they are coming through clear and not muffled at all (Buble, Norah Jones, Adele, Eagles).

That is the character of the speaker.

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post #9 of 37 Old 02-10-2012, 10:40 PM
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I also received my Boston VS 260 and 325 on Wednesday night. I bought some Energy CB-20's and a CC-10 center last week to do comparisons. Having had the Energy's for a longer time they've had over 100 hours break in time, playing different music channels through Direct TV. But so far I've noticed that the Energy's had a stronger bass response. I'm not sure if that's partly due to the break in time or something else. The only change I've made between them is the crossover from 80 on the Energy's to 60 on the Bostons. Both speaker sets offer a huge upgrade to my previous Harman Kardon speakers, with so much extra details making me want to watch all my movies again.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-11-2012, 08:13 AM
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I offer no advice then what has already been stated above... But I remember THAT grin from a new pair of better speakers and re-discoviering my music and movie collection AGAIN...That is one of the things that makes this obsession that some of us call a hobby!

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!!
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post #11 of 37 Old 02-11-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick27 View Post

I also received my Boston VS 260 and 325 on Wednesday night. I bought some Energy CB-20's and a CC-10 center last week to do comparisons. Having had the Energy's for a longer time they've had over 100 hours break in time, playing different music channels through Direct TV. But so far I've noticed that the Energy's had a stronger bass response. I'm not sure if that's partly due to the break in time or something else. The only change I've made between them is the crossover from 80 on the Energy's to 60 on the Bostons. Both speaker sets offer a huge upgrade to my previous Harman Kardon speakers, with so much extra details making me want to watch all my movies again.

I've heard/owned various Energy products over the past few years (RC-10, RC-LCR, V-5.2C, CB-5, CC-5, C-50, C-100, CC-50, RC-Mini, V-Mini)... and seen measurements for many as well (RC-70, RC-10, V-6.3, V-5.1, RC-LCR, V-5.2C, C-500, C-3, C-9, V2.4i).

Energy's sonic signature often involves some upper bass/lower mid emphasis. While it's not the typical Bristish "upper bass bump", there is usually slightly boosted output on the low end. There are exceptions - C3 and C-9 come to mind, as well as the Mini and Micro speakers for obvious reasons - but I wouldn't be surprised if the CB-20's have some pumped up bass as well.

Since that is the sound you're used to, you may be perceiving the VS 260 as having less bass... when in reality, it just lacks the boosted bass output you're used to. In other words, the VS 260 is giving a more "accurate," or neutral, bass response.
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post #12 of 37 Old 02-11-2012, 11:02 AM
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A lot of new VS owners. Welcome to team Boston!

The vs260's bass is interesting. It's not as "punchy" or emphasized compared to some speaker I've heard. It does have a very nice presence and digs deep, but the overall bass characteristic is on the more laid-back and flatter side. I like it.
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post #13 of 37 Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to thank everyone for the suggestions/comments. I noticed a significant improvement in clarity after increasing the Treble. I'm somewhat limited as far as placement is concerned since I don't have stands at the moment and have the speakers perched up on the box they came in. The speakers are connected correctly but due to shortage of wire length I had to connect two wires together for both L/R speakers. I'm not sure if this would noticeably degrade sound quality.

I've tested them with two different action movies and have been listening to different types of music, mostly 320kbps MP3's. The sound quality changes drastically depending on the source whereas these changes were quite subtle with my previous setup. High quality recordings (Blu-ray movies) sound very good and lower quality ones sound very poor. These do throw a large soundstage and in some recordings, listening in 2-ch stereo mode, it felt as if the center channel was also active.

I also feel that the sound doesn't really jump out and is more laid back as mentioned by other owners. I'm now able to turn up the volume without feeling uncomfortable and they never sound harsh. Most of the cheap HTIB systems I've heard/owned had a very sharp sound. I guess I'll have to wait to let the sound grow on me as I'm definitely not going back to my polks!
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post #14 of 37 Old 02-11-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

I noticed a significant improvement in clarity after increasing the Treble. I'm somewhat limited as far as placement is concerned since I don't have stands at the moment and have the speakers perched up on the box they came in.

I also feel that the sound doesn't really jump out and is more laid back as mentioned by other owners. I'm now able to turn up the volume without feeling uncomfortable and they never sound harsh. Most of the cheap HTIB systems I've heard/owned had a very sharp sound. I guess I'll have to wait to let the sound grow on me as I'm definitely not going back to my polks!

Everyone can hear things a little different - this is the first time, I heard
about needing to turn the treble up - part of it seems to be, the speakers
may be sitting low on the boxes, and the tweeters may be below ear level.
This will also affect the midrange.
Good luck and have fun.

__________________________________________
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

High quality recordings (Blu-ray movies) sound very good and lower quality ones sound very poor.


Is this considered good or bad? is it the mark of a good speaker to

a) convey recordings how they are

-or-

b) be very forgiving and make bad recordings sound better?

just curious.....

Check out my WAF approved living room theater

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1526916/my...-1-living-room
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post #16 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 05:54 AM
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It's great to see so many owners of this series now. I would interested to see pictures of setups to determine how everyone is putting the vs 260's on stands. I am ordering some sierra-1's tomorrow but if I could ever find a decent stand option for the vs 260, I would consider replacing my RC-10's with these (they are in my other room).
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post #17 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

It's great to see so many owners of this series now. I would interested to see pictures of setups to determine how everyone is putting the vs 260's on stands. I am ordering some sierra-1's tomorrow but if I could ever find a decent stand option for the vs 260, I would consider replacing my RC-10's with these (they are in my other room).

I have my own make shift stands

The word is that these Sanus SF22 stands will work, the back foot
will sit on the back - and it will cover most of the front, where the
down curve will be stable.
http://www.amazon.com/Sanus-22-inch-.../dp/B0006DPPCO
http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CHAQ8wIwBQ#

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
madhuski finally found VS 260 stands!

I had a hard time finding speaker stands for the VS 260. After some searching I found one that worked for me -- the Sanus SF-22.

It has a 8.5 x 8.5 top plate. The depth is enough to support the back foot, and the about half the front flat part under the baffle -- the speaker sits on it pretty well.

They retail for $128, but can be had as low as $93.

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post #18 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:26 AM
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For those of you posting here, there are a lot of posts and info about the 260s and 325 inthe official BA owners thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...629871&page=79

Lowell


The MARVELous Home Theater: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...e-theater.html
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post #19 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecross View Post

to anyone else that spent more hours than they care to admit reading countless threads.

Oh, sorry, did you say something?

Yeah, I kind of did the same thing. My set should be coming in a few days (ordered on Friday).

-Cheers
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post #20 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I have my own make shift stands

The word is that these Sanus SF22 stands will work, the back foot
will sit on the back - and it will cover most of the front, where the
down curve will be stable.
http://www.amazon.com/Sanus-22-inch-.../dp/B0006DPPCO
http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CHAQ8wIwBQ#

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
madhuski finally found VS 260 stands!

I had a hard time finding speaker stands for the VS 260. After some searching I found one that worked for me -- the Sanus SF-22.

It has a 8.5 x 8.5 top plate. The depth is enough to support the back foot, and the about half the front flat part under the baffle -- the speaker sits on it pretty well.

They retail for $128, but can be had as low as $93.


I saw his post but I'm afraid that it would be to low for my listening level. 24" stands are the lowest I could go and even that is hard for me to adjust to (normally use stands in the 26-28" range). I guess I could try them but not very fond of a stand being that low regardless of my ear listening level.

It really is unfortunate that Boston didn't consider this when designing these speakers (makes me wonder if that's why they are on clearance). It's been a huge issue for me personally and I know others have also expressed their concerns. I hate it that the only reason I haven't pulled the trigger on these is because of their shape. What was Boston thinking? Did they expect you to just use a bookshelf or table instead of stands? I did find two cheap end tables that could be used for them but I don't know how well that would work out (sound wise). I think they are an amazing deal and if not for the strange shape, I think Boston would be selling a ton of these.
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post #21 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

I saw his post but I'm afraid that it would be to low for my listening level. 24" stands are the lowest I could go and even that is hard for me to adjust to (normally use stands in the 26-28" range). I guess I could try them but not very fond of a stand being that low regardless of my ear listening level.

A lot of people buy wood stands, and then build their own top plate
to secure on top of the stand.

I do not know the pricing, maybe too much - however, check with them
Sound Anchors
http://soundanchors.com/SPEAKER%20STAND%201%20POST.html

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

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post #22 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

I noticed a significant improvement in clarity after increasing the Treble.

I'd set everything 'flat' and listen to them for a while.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #23 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOTR View Post

It's been a huge issue for me personally and I know others have also expressed their concerns. I hate it that the only reason I haven't pulled the trigger on these is because of their shape. What was Boston thinking? Did they expect you to just use a bookshelf or table instead of stands?

Oh, come on. You can be creative. You just might need to put something atop an existing stand's top plate, between the stand and the speaker. You can put rubber bumpers on the corners of the stand's top plate. Then something atop that to put the speaker on. My KEF XQ1 speakers are a bit difficult to accommodate stand-wise (maybe even more so than those BAs), but I worked it out.


"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

You can be creative. You just might need to put something atop an existing stand's top plate, between the stand and the speaker. You can put rubber bumpers on the corners of the stand's top plate. Then something atop that to put the speaker on. My KEF XQ1 speakers are a bit difficult to accommodate stand-wise (maybe even more so than those BAs), but I worked it out.

Where there is a will - there is a way
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...mpons&x=0&y=0#

http://www.uline.com/Grp_288/Velcro-...FU6MtgodgGTmJQ

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #25 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

i'd set everything 'flat' and listen to them for a while.

x2

__________________________________________
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #26 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Where there is a will - there is a way
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...mpons&x=0&y=0#
[/url]

Also:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...rds=isolate+it

Probably not really necessary but another option.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #27 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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If I set everything to flat then the sounds becomes flat too, but I'm trying to wean myself from my high treble addiction one small step at a time

As far as stands are concerned, if I go for a 24" stand then the tweeter comes to ear level and with 29" stands its exactly 5" above my ear level while seated, which stand height would be best?
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post #28 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

If I set everything to flat then the sounds becomes flat too, but I'm trying to wean myself from my high treble addiction one small step at a time

As far as stands are concerned, if I go for a 24" stand then the tweeter comes to ear level and with 29" stands its exactly 5" above my ear level while seated, which stand height would be best?

As far as high treble addiction - only you can make the final decision.
As far as stands are concerned - go with ear level placement, this will
present the best imaging and soundstage.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #29 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madhuski View Post

Is this considered good or bad? is it the mark of a good speaker to

a) convey recordings how they are

-or-

b) be very forgiving and make bad recordings sound better?

just curious.....

From what I understand a good speaker should be transparent, like these BA's, and should not mask the shortcomings of poor recordings. I guess people have different tastes in sound and some prefer the added brightness/coloration (Apparently I do too, but trying to change that). I listened to Klipsch reference speakers at a friend's place and thought they were excessively bright and had a shrill sound but my friend loved it and thought it was "clear".
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post #30 of 37 Old 02-12-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashmanx View Post

From what I understand a good speaker should be transparent, like these BA's, and should not mask the shortcomings of poor recordings.

Right on

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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