Why pay $5000+ for speakers? - Page 15 - AVS Forum
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post #421 of 438 Old 07-28-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by saprano View Post

Knowing you're mostly paying for the cabinet and dealer mark up, is there really a point? The drivers and crossovers in some of these brands cost nowhere near as much. And price does't equal peformance. l've heard some $2000 speakers that sound way better than more exspensive ones.


Basically as i learn more about speakers i decided that i don't think i'll ever spend 5 to 10k on them.


Or there always used.


Am i alone (or wrong) in this thinking?

In a nutshell there is no consumer product in any field which does not follow the Law of Diminishing Returns. None. But its really up to the individual to assess his or her budget and where that diminishing return becomes punitive to them. I have no doubt there are lots of $2k speaker pairs that in a double blind test would compare very favorably with many $5k speakers. Likewise, Id bet there are a good deal of $500 speakers that can absolutely hang with many $2k models.

Every individual needs to decide where that line is crossed. I spent $9k on my road bike. Most people think thats complete insanity and perhaps it is. But. I look at it this way, last year I rode it 8000 miles, its healthy and a whole lot better for me than a lot of other crapola I could have spent 9k on. Does it make me Lance Armstrong? nope. But its a bad ass rig, its titanium with artist like welds and its fabricated so well iT'll likely outlast me and Ill pass it down when its time. Its my main stress releiver and form of exercise so to me its worth it. Other people think Im crazy, but hey I think their crazy for spending $60k on a car that does nothing a $30k car doesnt do.

That said I do believe there is a good deal of snake oil in the AV world - multihousands spent on cables, $10k plus amps, etc. Things I think no av fan could actually detect in a double blind test, but to each his own. I have seen guys spend $10k on fancy cables and $0 on room treatments, go figure?????.

Yep, and even in cycling it makes a difference as to what's important to you. My ti road bike I put together for less than 1.5k, my ti mtn bike was closer to 5.5k (and several 4k mtn bikes of aluminum smile.gif as I prefer off road cycling. To me 9k on a road bike is nuts biggrin.gif

Speakers I haven't got to the 5k a pair PoDR, I'm more like the $1k--2k a pair range still but I don't need a new bike for a while so we'll see smile.gif The aesthetics of the speaker itself aren't so important to me, industrial look for less works for me, if those newer JBL monitors perform like the ones of my youth....

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post #422 of 438 Old 07-28-2012, 03:46 PM
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This isn't hard to do at all. Take a look at my current systems in my signature.

KEF Reference 104/2 with KUBE = $4,000 give or take
KEF Reference 200c center channel =$1,000
4x Polk Audio FXi3 di-pole surrounds -=$840
Sunfire True Subwoofer Mk II =$1,600

now for equipment..
Onkyo NR5009 AVR $3000
Panasonic BD player $400
Sanus 36U AV rack $1200
Adcom GFA-555II amplifier $600
Onkyo CD carousel $300
Panasonic 60" plasma TV $2400
Nakamichi RX-505 tape deck $1,549
Pro-Ject turntable with tube pre-amp $3000
Panasonic LD player $500
Toshiba W808 S-VHS $300
HR24 HD-DVR $200
cables/interconnects (mostly DIY) $500
UPS, power conditioners, etc $800
Logitech Harmony 900 remote $400

stuff adds up pretty fast. thankfully most of my gear I bought used via thrift stores, CL, eBay, etc..

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post #423 of 438 Old 07-28-2012, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

This isn't hard to do at all. Take a look at my current systems in my signature.
KEF Reference 104/2 with KUBE = $4,000 give or take
.
Back when they were new, yes. But now you'd probably be pressed to pay more than $1k ($1k5 with Kube) for a pair in good condition.
Nice speakers - I had a pair until maybe 3 years ago, but they won't do reference in a decent sized room.
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post #424 of 438 Old 07-29-2012, 07:22 AM
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Forgive my negativity when I post; and what about us dummies who don't know better. confused.gif Again, you'll have to forgive me as comments like your above (no disrespect intended) compel me to respond as to me, unintentionally I'm sure, the comments come across as flip or arrogant. This as opposed to being informative or helpful to the OP. At the entry level of sub $5k 5.1 speaker systems, not too many people are onto what a room can do to sound in regard to sound waves cancelling each other out due to uncontrolled room reflections. Programs like Audyssey MultiEQ XT fix a multitude of sonic sins in a room populated with a theater like sound system.
Disclosure: I went the route of the speakers must be perfect in their set up and then some; audio-nervosa. Drove my wife, family and friends nuts with all the minor changes, tweeks and audio angst. Then I woke-up regarding reality vs esoteric. I asked myself, how do I really listen to our set-up? Do I listen with my eyes closed while in the critical listening position, paralyzed in fear of moving out of the sweet spot or do I listen/watch movies when the family and friends are over with a Blu-ray disk in the player and everybody having fun while munching on their very own personalized bowl of well buttered popcorn; entertainment? When I answered that question, I realized I was missing the fun of the movies and the act of sharing because I was so wrapped up in the esoteric details of the audio system. The interest in speakers and sound quality had ceased to be fun as it had became about the nervosa and not the entertaining quality a decent set-up brings to the table, compelling sound with which to accompany the movie watching experience.
As a curiosity, at $5k, what do you consider to be a top performing 5.1 speaker set?
(FWIW, our 5.2 speaker system, new, with 15% dealership discount, would be a $6.5k system, The point, my comments do not come from the sour grapes of not having a $5k speaker system.)
I have to ask as I keep getting hooked by these types of comments.
-

This is a question of value. A well performing speaker will not perform to its potential in a poor room. While correction processors may provide benefit, a processor plus a well behaved room will provide the ultimate experience. There are cheap speakers that perform very well, better than an untreated room. In an untreated room, I recommend an overachieving cheap speaker over an expensive one. The result will likely be the same. The price of the speaker should not have an impact on your enjoyment.

I think the JBL LSR 6332 is probably the highest price:performance value speaker available today. Six of them can be had for just under $8,000. In an untreated room, the Polks and Infinitys are fine.
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post #425 of 438 Old 07-29-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

I think the JBL LSR 6332 is probably the highest price:performance value speaker available today. Six of them can be had for just under $8,000. In an untreated room, the Polks and Infinitys are fine.

The JBL 6332 vs the 4722. Both about the same price... Which is the better performer?

 

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post #426 of 438 Old 07-29-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

The JBL 6332 vs the 4722. Both about the same price... Which is the better performer?

Well, if your room is not bigger than 20' x 25' x 15' and you don't need 136dB peak SPL, I would say the 6332 is better. It is the reference speakers for Harman International media room.
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post #427 of 438 Old 07-29-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

The JBL 6332 vs the 4722. Both about the same price... Which is the better performer?
These two products have different goals. I would say the 6332 more closely competes with the 3-way Genelec 8260, and the 2-way Meyer HD-1 and Quested H108. I don't think I know of a speaker that closely replicates the specs of the 6332 though. The 8260 is an amazing speaker but I don't know if I'd purchase it over the Klein + Hummel O 300. Anyway, the Genelec and K+H are some of the highest performing speakers in their class. They just don't offer the value of the JBLs.
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post #428 of 438 Old 07-30-2012, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Back when they were new, yes. But now you'd probably be pressed to pay more than $1k ($1k5 with Kube) for a pair in good condition.
Nice speakers - I had a pair until maybe 3 years ago, but they won't do reference in a decent sized room.

...and today's Reference speakers sell for considerably more, still holding my statement true.
The 104/2s do just fine depending on your room size. I've used them in rooms up to about 30x30' with vaulted ceilings with no issues at all reaching reference level volumes. I'm not sure what you used to drive yours, but they do great with a decent amplifier. If you want something louder, and still affordable used, look at a pair of KEF Model Four~Two mains, instead for a bigger room. I don't know what you consider "decent" in room size.

We were talking price though, not really peak SPL. If you want to stay on topic and compare prices, 4 grand in 1986 dollars is about 8 to 10 grand in today's dollars, which still puts the reference line well in place for this discussion.

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post #429 of 438 Old 07-30-2012, 08:46 AM
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With a 20K speaker system, I would want a 5K sub system.

That's a great example to point out the flaws in assigning dollar value vs performance in this hobby of ours. (Assuming you mean spending $5K on subwoofers of course.) The best sub I've owned, heard and measured was an infinite baffle sub which cost me less than $1000 with amplifiers to build. Also, if one doesn't have a structure capable of housing an IB there's a ton of very capable subwoofers you can throw into any system that will perform admirably without spending $5k in normal sized rooms.

But the crux of my point here, and where I threw in my 2 cents in on this topic initially, is that the elephant in the room is our physical ability to "hear" the dollars spent. Nowhere is it more prevalent than in the sub frequencies where the waves are so big it's seriously tough to "hear" distortion, I believe it has to get to the neighborhood of 10% THD to be heard. Now I know that's not the only parameter a good performing sub can be judged by, but it illustrates my point quite well I think.
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post #430 of 438 Old 07-30-2012, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

...and today's Reference speakers sell for considerably more, still holding my statement true.
The 104/2s do just fine depending on your room size. I've used them in rooms up to about 30x30' with vaulted ceilings with no issues at all reaching reference level volumes. I'm not sure what you used to drive yours, but they do great with a decent amplifier. If you want something louder, and still affordable used, look at a pair of KEF Model Four~Two mains, instead for a bigger room. I don't know what you consider "decent" in room size.
We were talking price though, not really peak SPL. If you want to stay on topic and compare prices, 4 grand in 1986 dollars is about 8 to 10 grand in today's dollars, which still puts the reference line well in place for this discussion.

A good thread on reference capable speakers. Some can be had for very reasonable prices...

The best price/performance mix I found were the Chase Home Theater SHO-10 Monitors.

 

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post #431 of 438 Old 07-30-2012, 10:29 PM
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yeah I've seen the spreadsheet list. I would like to know what you consider reference level, however. There are various definitions of that. If it's reaching an unattenuated line level signal volume, that isn't very difficult.

My 104/2s get louder than I ever need them to go, so I se no issue with them at all, and I have yet to find anything I really prefer the sound of, shy of an $8,000 pair of MartinLogans.

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post #432 of 438 Old 07-31-2012, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post

yeah I've seen the spreadsheet list. I would like to know what you consider reference level, however. There are various definitions of that. If it's reaching an unattenuated line level signal volume, that isn't very difficult.
My 104/2s get louder than I ever need them to go, so I se no issue with them at all, and I have yet to find anything I really prefer the sound of, shy of an $8,000 pair of MartinLogans.

The THX Definition of Reference Level is "85dB SPL with 20dB of headroom." To paraphrase, what "I" consider reference is 105db with the LFE at 115db. Yes, I'm sure I could have found better links and quoted other various websites, but I'm really trying to avoid a flame war...

I provided the link to the reference speakers simply as a "reference" point. Now what you prefer is completely subjective to your listening habits. I mentioned the CHT SHO-10 above @ $395 a piece, however I firmly believe the $8,000 Paradigm Signature S8's would be a night and day comparison to the SHO-10 even though the SHO-10 is rated at a higher db according to that chart. This, in and of itself may open another can of worms (not my intent). I'm a list guy... I just love lists and really like the fact that I can manipulate the list and compare all of the various speakers out there on a spec basis.

It would be naive for anyone to think that they should make their purchasing decisions on specs alone....

I have no doubt your 104/2's sound excellent!

 

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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

I have no doubt your 104/2's sound excellent!

Allow me to add, but will they "ALL" enjoy these same said speakers at a "TRUE" THX reference level?
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post #434 of 438 Old 07-31-2012, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by popalock View Post

The THX Definition of Reference Level is "85dB SPL with 20dB of headroom." To paraphrase, what "I" consider reference is 105db with the LFE at 115db. Yes, I'm sure I could have found better links and quoted other various websites, but I'm really trying to avoid a flame war...

I provided the link to the reference speakers simply as a "reference" point. Now what you prefer is completely subjective to your listening habits. I mentioned the CHT SHO-10 above @ $395 a piece, however I firmly believe the $8,000 Paradigm Signature S8's would be a night and day comparison to the SHO-10 even though the SHO-10 is rated at a higher db according to that chart. This, in and of itself may open another can of worms (not my intent). I'm a list guy... I just love lists and really like the fact that I can manipulate the list and compare all of the various speakers out there on a spec basis.
It would be naive for anyone to think that they should make their purchasing decisions on specs alone....
I have no doubt your 104/2's sound excellent!

You bring up something very interesting. My quest for an awesome sounding cinema had everything to do with reference levels. The Sig 8 you mention sound great, however, won't a candle to the sho-10 in my room. Why, because they can't play reference without lots of distortion and the SHO's can without. I always say it depends on the listener's goals and the room. There are lots of choices for great sounding speakers, but not as many for reference level great sounding speakers. Of course if the room allows for something like a bose cube to hit reference then your choices are endless.
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post #435 of 438 Old 07-31-2012, 07:49 AM
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I've yet to meet a person who hasn't liked the 104/2, actually.. although I am very sure those people do exist. haha

Anyway, in regards to THX reference level, which is what I figured you were using, the 104/2 is rated by KEF literature at the following 112dB:
Frequency response (standard): 55-20,000Hz +/-2dB at 2m on design axis
Frequency response (with matching KUBE): 35-20,000Hz +/-2dB at 2m on design axis (-6dB at 20Hz, Q=0.5)
Sensitivity: 92dB at 2m on reference axis for a pink noise input of 2.83V (anechoic conditions)
Maximum output: 112dB on programme peaks under typical listening conditions


Still to be honest, and this may be a bit ironic, but I find that 85dB is too loud for my listening tastes in my living room, and quite often find movie theaters to be far too loud for comfort when seeing a movie. Some are loud to the point of being painful, and here's the ironic part, I've worked for two decades in the mobile audio industry, installing car audio systems that can hit in the 160-170dB range at sanctioned events. I also have excellent hearing, because I haven't abused it over the years with prolonged exposure to high SPL.

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post #436 of 438 Old 08-02-2012, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

You bring up something very interesting. My quest for an awesome sounding cinema had everything to do with reference levels. The Sig 8 you mention sound great, however, won't a candle to the sho-10 in my room. Why, because they can't play reference without lots of distortion and the SHO's can without. I always say it depends on the listener's goals and the room. There are lots of choices for great sounding speakers, but not as many for reference level great sounding speakers. Of course if the room allows for something like a bose cube to hit reference then your choices are endless.

Awwww snap!!!

I'm gonna tell Warp your talkin smack about his S8's!!! Bring this thread to life...lol

 

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post #437 of 438 Old 08-02-2012, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

That's a great example to point out the flaws in assigning dollar value vs performance in this hobby of ours. (Assuming you mean spending $5K on subwoofers of course.) The best sub I've owned, heard and measured was an infinite baffle sub which cost me less than $1000 with amplifiers to build. Also, if one doesn't have a structure capable of housing an IB there's a ton of very capable subwoofers you can throw into any system that will perform admirably without spending $5k in normal sized rooms.
But the crux of my point here, and where I threw in my 2 cents in on this topic initially, is that the elephant in the room is our physical ability to "hear" the dollars spent. Nowhere is it more prevalent than in the sub frequencies where the waves are so big it's seriously tough to "hear" distortion, I believe it has to get to the neighborhood of 10% THD to be heard. Now I know that's not the only parameter a good performing sub can be judged by, but it illustrates my point quite well I think.

I use DIY subs, but none of the talk here was about DIY. Few people have a setup that is conducive to handling the back wave from an IB system. If you exclude DIY and I was spending 15K to 20K on speakers for an HT system, I sure would not have a single sub. I think two subs would be a minimum and four subs preferred. Two to four good subs can easily cost you up to 5K, even if going DIY. My Malestrom-X 18" driver cost over $500 delivered and a pro amp to power it is $350 to $1,000. I run four subs in my room.

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post #438 of 438 Old 08-02-2012, 07:05 PM
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Awwww snap!!!
I'm gonna tell Warp your talkin smack about his S8's!!! Bring this thread to life...lol

For HT use, Warp has been talking about going to a high sensitivity design, so Warp may agree with him. smile.gif

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