Auditioning Speakers at "The Speaker Shop" Buffalo Ny (and why i will never go there again) and my unexpected but great time at BestBuy Magnolia - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 42 Old 01-23-2013, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

+1 Inquiring minds would like to know--I would also be curious if he's still in the process of deciding and if after 3 visits the BBY/Magnolia folks were still as accommodating on the fourth. smile.gif
I'm going to go out on a limb and and say no, he hasn't purchased speakers yet.
Just a hunch wink.gif

I for one will cut him a little slack.
He's making the rounds on this forum and granted he is doing his due diligence by auditioning.
Everyone goes about it in their own way.

 

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post #32 of 42 Old 01-24-2013, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Traveler View Post

+1 Inquiring minds would like to know--I would also be curious if he's still in the process of deciding and if after 3 visits the BBY/Magnolia folks were still as accommodating on the fourth. smile.gif

I would guess speakers haven't been purchased yet based on this thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1451331/how-my-audition-today-went-with-revel-performa3-line-psb-kef-and-a-dedicated-home-theater-room-with-triad-and-jl-audio

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post #33 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Woooow sorry guys! My desktop didn't show.anyone had.been posting.on this thread. Didn't see it till I was over at the in laws on my phone and checked. Will post.more when I get back home and easier to type lol

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post #34 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So i've learned that at my price range i have to sacrifice somethings and pick the strong points out in the speakers i want.
EXCEPT, i did find that the KEF R300 absolutely blows everything i have heard at my price range out of the water. It does not however fulfill my speaker fantasy because of a couple reasons i will point out later.
The Kef keeps everything true to source and i love that about it. It even has such amazing imaging that it feels like i'm getting a full 3 dimensional concert.
All of the frequencies compliment each other and never did i feel like i could locate the tweeter like i could on a few other brands i heard. The highs come from an aluminum
tweeter. Plus side is, this is the most revealing and airy tweeter "I" have ever heard. I swear they pushed out everything that an aluminum tweeter could push out. It sounded simply amazing
Not quite a downside but i do feel like there are probably some tweeters that could have more energy to them although they were mesmerizing.

Now, these speakers do everything i gave them justice EXCEPT, i am missing that hair raising, drooling sensation of female vocals i get from the full bodied smooth mids of the b&w.
I wonder if a tube amp or pre-amp connected to the kef's would give me this sensation. So far the Kef's are the only speaker in my price range that i feel would do a tube amp justice (except the martin logans but they aren't my cup of tea).
All the other speakers i heard color the sound and or weren't detailed enough. No need to add color to something colored off the bat.

Would also like to mention that so far, of the coned speakers i have heard, Kef and b&w are the only ones i heard that i could not locate the tweeter which is a big thing for me. I heard psb's and i couldn't help but constantly hear were the highs were coming from and it simply irritated me.
That being said, i also found the Kef Q series to be a good value because they image much like the r series and certainly have the same dna, just not as fully developed. There is a some cabinet resonance but it actually almost adds body to the sound in a way they add reverb to some recordings to give it a more full sound. I have read people actually internally damp and brace these speakers themselves and they turn out quite amazing. The tweeter is not as airy or detailed but i would say about 70% of the performance of the R series. Might not seem like much but when you consider how great the tweeter on the r series is it's quite a bit.

Listening to the Kef's with rock was just AMAZING! Felt like Ted Nugent, From Autumn to Ashes and Seether were rocking the F out in my room. These were the first speaker where i felt any type of electronic music or even rap actually sounded at home. But where they really shined was anything acoustic or live. The highs were just dramatically real life. The voices sound so pure and lifelike. Even the drums produced such a large effortless real life sound that i was hypnotized. I didn't want to leave the store without these speakers. Unfortunately, even though i had done my taxes a couple weeks before, i found that the government isn't accepting any until Jan 30th so i have to wait.

I want to give some more respect to the b&w cm series. In fact, when i said that the kef's don't fulfill my speaker fantasy, it was because i will have to own a pair of cm5 bookshelfs too. These will be placed in my bedroom or if my new house has a fireplace, these will be on each side. The highs were not nearly as detailed as the kef's but they, like the mids of the cm series, had something special about them. They had a special energetically smooth way about them. It complimented the mids very well. Like i said before, the mids of the cm9 i heard did not sound natural on some types of music but for for any type of jazz with female voices and any orchestral music, they are hair raising.

Another speaker i will throw out there because it was a neat speaker, not my cup of tea, but for some it might be exactly or close to what they want.
The Revel Performa3's. I had been following these speakers for a while on the revel owners thread (where i made a few people not like me) and was the first person on the thread to audition them and post my thoughts

I say that these speakers aren't for me because of two reasons. 1) The imaging. If you've ever listened to a speaker and closed your eyes, sometimes you feel like you can somehow turn the sound into seeing the sound. Some speakers, like the kef are top notch and have the instruments and vocals sound like they are life like sized. Some, like the b&w have less depth to them ( a more laid back sound) and while the image isn't as natural, the speaker never feels like it's doing something wrong.
The performa3 M105 bookshelfs that i heard, sounded like the music was smashed onto a piece of banner paper. There was absolutely NO depth to the sound. Revel focused on making a very strong "phantom" center. The vocals are centered directly between the two speakers and NEVER comes forward at all in any way. It really is a neat trick but because the vocals fill up most of the "banner of sound" you focus more on it than the rest of the sound which actually tends to be quite small in scale to the vocals. To ME, i felt like it was a very unnatural way to produce music as music never sounds like that. Also, because of such an obtuse off axis horizontal dispersion, if you are not sitting directly in the sweet spot, a simple strafe of the head left or right merely six inches (maybe more) to each side would make one of the speakers sound like it cut off.
The all around sound was exceptionally smooth and this is one of the other speakers that i could not locate the tweeter.
2) Unfortunately, the highs, sounded like it was a midrange. I believe they crossed the highs over extremely low on this speaker so the vocals would be produced by the tweeter which, if you look at the tweeter it is surrounded by a computer generated waveguide that specifically throws the sound of axis to the extreme which explains why the vocals imaged the way they did. It also explains why the tweeter never sounded energetic or metallic or brassy or anything instrumental wise. The mids did sound organic like but had not body due to the depth less sound. With these organic mids coming out of the tweeter, how could you have a driver that does human voices so naturally and the highs or metalic highs of instruments at the same time.
So, i did not like that the highs couldn't sing or do anything special like some other tweeters i had heard, but atleast they did not annoy me like the psb or energy speakers i had heard.
After wrapping my head around this speaker (for quite a while, even to the point i think i started lying to myself, thinking i should like it) i think it is a good speaker that is quite elegant looking and to be honest with you is good sounding.
The biggest thing i had to wrap my head around was the imaging. Did i like it? I do, and i don't. I think that the depthless sound would compliment some peoples lifestyles VERY well. These speakers don't fill the room with sound which is nice. You'll never find yourself trying to really talk over the sound. They're actually kind of artistic in a sense that they compliment the room like a painting. I could image these speakers being a romantic speaker, two people eating dinner, sitting down on the floor, drinking their wine while the flicker of the candle in the dim room glares off the cups of wine all while the speakers are serenading in the back ground. In that sense, they are a great speaker and worth the money. I could imagine older, sophisticated people liking them.
The finish of the Walnut is simple astonishing to look at and almost makes the speaker worth buying even if it didn't produce any sound at all.
Unfortunately, i'm looking for something quite a bit different but i will look into the higher end revel line in the future.


Thanks so much to anyone that took the time to read my wall of thoughts.

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post #35 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Kef R series: They don't do anything wrong in my book. When i heard them, i felt like i had found the holy grail of speakers.
These speaker produce music that you will rock out to, dance to and even at lower listening levels, will serenade you with the same passion they do at reference levels.
You definitely show these off to your friends.
You won't believe the sound that comes out of this bookshelf!

B&W Cm series: These aren't a rocking type of speaker. You don't turn them up louder to impress your friends more or to dance harder. You turn them up
so you can hear them in the next room. These speakers are smooth cats and as the owner you feel very personal with them.


Revel Performa3 M105-106
These never rock out and it might require some time and the right moments but you could feel pretty attached to them eventually. (Minus those highs. ughhh, they should have made it a three way design)
They're stunningly beautiful.
These are a speaker you could have on all day and forget they were there till you wanted to. Couldn't ever find myself dancing like i would at a club to these. Maybe
A nice slow dance. I could find myself analyzing my music to these more than enjoying the music.

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post #36 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

So i've learned that at my price range i have to sacrifice somethings and pick the strong points out in the speakers i want.
EXCEPT, i did find that the KEF R300 absolutely blows everything i have heard at my price range out of the water. It does not however fulfill my speaker fantasy because of a couple reasons i will point out later.
The Kef keeps everything true to source and i love that about it. It even has such amazing imaging that it feels like i'm getting a full 3 dimensional concert.
All of the frequencies compliment each other and never did i feel like i could locate the tweeter like i could on a few other brands i heard. The highs come from an aluminum
tweeter. Plus side is, this is the most revealing and airy tweeter "I" have ever heard. I swear they pushed out everything that an aluminum tweeter could push out. It sounded simply amazing
Not quite a downside but i do feel like there are probably some tweeters that could have more energy to them although they were mesmerizing.

Now, these speakers do everything i gave them justice EXCEPT, i am missing that hair raising, drooling sensation of female vocals i get from the full bodied smooth mids of the b&w.
I wonder if a tube amp or pre-amp connected to the kef's would give me this sensation. So far the Kef's are the only speaker in my price range that i feel would do a tube amp justice (except the martin logans but they aren't my cup of tea).
All the other speakers i heard color the sound and or weren't detailed enough. No need to add color to something colored off the bat.

Would also like to mention that so far, of the coned speakers i have heard, Kef and b&w are the only ones i heard that i could not locate the tweeter which is a big thing for me. I heard psb's and i couldn't help but constantly hear were the highs were coming from and it simply irritated me.
That being said, i also found the Kef Q series to be a good value because they image much like the r series and certainly have the same dna, just not as fully developed. There is a some cabinet resonance but it actually almost adds body to the sound in a way they add reverb to some recordings to give it a more full sound. I have read people actually internally damp and brace these speakers themselves and they turn out quite amazing. The tweeter is not as airy or detailed but i would say about 70% of the performance of the R series. Might not seem like much but when you consider how great the tweeter on the r series is it's quite a bit.

Listening to the Kef's with rock was just AMAZING! Felt like Ted Nugent, From Autumn to Ashes and Seether were rocking the F out in my room. These were the first speaker where i felt any type of electronic music or even rap actually sounded at home. But where they really shined was anything acoustic or live. The highs were just dramatically real life. The voices sound so pure and lifelike. Even the drums produced such a large effortless real life sound that i was hypnotized. I didn't want to leave the store without these speakers. Unfortunately, even though i had done my taxes a couple weeks before, i found that the government isn't accepting any until Jan 30th so i have to wait.

I want to give some more respect to the b&w cm series. In fact, when i said that the kef's don't fulfill my speaker fantasy, it was because i will have to own a pair of cm5 bookshelfs too. These will be placed in my bedroom or if my new house has a fireplace, these will be on each side. The highs were not nearly as detailed as the kef's but they, like the mids of the cm series, had something special about them. They had a special energetically smooth way about them. It complimented the mids very well. Like i said before, the mids of the cm9 i heard did not sound natural on some types of music but for for any type of jazz with female voices and any orchestral music, they are hair raising.

Another speaker i will throw out there because it was a neat speaker, not my cup of tea, but for some it might be exactly or close to what they want.
The Revel Performa3's. I had been following these speakers for a while on the revel owners thread (where i made a few people not like me) and was the first person on the thread to audition them and post my thoughts

I say that these speakers aren't for me because of two reasons. 1) The imaging. If you've ever listened to a speaker and closed your eyes, sometimes you feel like you can somehow turn the sound into seeing the sound. Some speakers, like the kef are top notch and have the instruments and vocals sound like they are life like sized. Some, like the b&w have less depth to them ( a more laid back sound) and while the image isn't as natural, the speaker never feels like it's doing something wrong.
The performa3 M105 bookshelfs that i heard, sounded like the music was smashed onto a piece of banner paper. There was absolutely NO depth to the sound. Revel focused on making a very strong "phantom" center. The vocals are centered directly between the two speakers and NEVER comes forward at all in any way. It really is a neat trick but because the vocals fill up most of the "banner of sound" you focus more on it than the rest of the sound which actually tends to be quite small in scale to the vocals. To ME, i felt like it was a very unnatural way to produce music as music never sounds like that. Also, because of such an obtuse off axis horizontal dispersion, if you are not sitting directly in the sweet spot, a simple strafe of the head left or right merely six inches (maybe more) to each side would make one of the speakers sound like it cut off.
The all around sound was exceptionally smooth and this is one of the other speakers that i could not locate the tweeter.
2) Unfortunately, the highs, sounded like it was a midrange. I believe they crossed the highs over extremely low on this speaker so the vocals would be produced by the tweeter which, if you look at the tweeter it is surrounded by a computer generated waveguide that specifically throws the sound of axis to the extreme which explains why the vocals imaged the way they did. It also explains why the tweeter never sounded energetic or metallic or brassy or anything instrumental wise. The mids did sound organic like but had not body due to the depth less sound. With these organic mids coming out of the tweeter, how could you have a driver that does human voices so naturally and the highs or metalic highs of instruments at the same time.
So, i did not like that the highs couldn't sing or do anything special like some other tweeters i had heard, but atleast they did not annoy me like the psb or energy speakers i had heard.
After wrapping my head around this speaker (for quite a while, even to the point i think i started lying to myself, thinking i should like it) i think it is a good speaker that is quite elegant looking and to be honest with you is good sounding.
The biggest thing i had to wrap my head around was the imaging. Did i like it? I do, and i don't. I think that the depthless sound would compliment some peoples lifestyles VERY well. These speakers don't fill the room with sound which is nice. You'll never find yourself trying to really talk over the sound. They're actually kind of artistic in a sense that they compliment the room like a painting. I could image these speakers being a romantic speaker, two people eating dinner, sitting down on the floor, drinking their wine while the flicker of the candle in the dim room glares off the cups of wine all while the speakers are serenading in the back ground. In that sense, they are a great speaker and worth the money. I could imagine older, sophisticated people liking them.
The finish of the Walnut is simple astonishing to look at and almost makes the speaker worth buying even if it didn't produce any sound at all.
Unfortunately, i'm looking for something quite a bit different but i will look into the higher end revel line in the future.


Thanks so much to anyone that took the time to read my wall of thoughts.


Why not LS50's and add a subwoofer later?
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post #37 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I did not hear the ls50 but i did hear a few bookshelfs with 2 way designs and i think i am a bigger fan of 3 way. That dedicated woofer really added to the overall sound. Not saying the ls50 can't keep up bass wise but it does worry me. Being a little picky here but i didn't like hearing the bass and the mids coming from the same driver. Felt they needed to come from two different drivers. Kind of the opposite with what i want from the mids and highs which i felt needed to blend together.
I do really want to hear them though. The only differences i have read about so far between the two is that the ls50 throws a larger image. That would be neat but i felt the R300 was as close enough to lifelike and not sure how i'd feel about a bigger sound. Might even cause me to need more acoustic treating in the house. Didn't hear any differences about the highs, i doubt they are different but could be wrong.
I did however hear that the mids were smoother. I didn't really see how that was possible till i remembered hearing the reference 207/2. The R series already had a ridiculous clean body. So clean that at times the transparency almost made the sound lack body, but it didn't. If anything i respected the speaker for being so true to the source and that transparency, if needed could be filled with a tube amp to give it that magical feel. In the reference, that transparency was still there but the body had a little extra to it. Almost like a tube amp had been added to the body but never lost transparency. Although, instead of being tubey, a crystally glare was added to the weight of the mids. An all around Glamorous sound. I'll admit, i think i might have made that up. At least, i tried to remember the little bit i heard of them and think my memory might be playing tricks on me.
Another thing is that i guess they are more forward.sounding. Really don't know if i would like that more or dislike it for music, but for home theater, i could only imagine the sense of depth they would give and engulf you in the sound.
I think i've got a good idea on how to describe imaging on speakers and am now working on ways to describe a speakers actual voicings. That might take a while.

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post #38 of 42 Old 01-28-2013, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I do think i like the idea of having a musical sub that does all the sub and mid bass so it blends in easier with the mids rather than a speaker that does a lot of the bass but then having to find a subwoofer that matches the over-all timbre of the speaker and trying to get it to blend in.

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post #39 of 42 Old 02-21-2013, 08:39 AM
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Dont shoot me but I work for Magnolia Home Theater. I am a college student working at one of their Magnolia's smaller Magnolia MHT stores. I totally agree there are major dbag's out there, but that is not all of us.3, 4, 5, 10 visits down the road I dont treat anyone differently. Hell if you want me to hook up a certain amp to a pair of certain speakers with a certain speaker cable I will bend over for you. If you want to demo with song on your phone... eek.gif so be it. I have no clue if thats how you have been comparing speakers for years. If buffalo treated you badly come to Columbus OH and we can listen to music for hours. And for everyones info managment is letting us match pretty much any web source now biggrin.gif

P.s Did op settle on any speakers?

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post #40 of 42 Old 02-21-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually had a very good experience with the best buy i went to. They even let me bring in my own external dac. We listened to music for quite a bit of time that day.
I did settle on speakers. I bought the Kef XQ30's in birdseye maple. I had a few problems with them at first mainly being the tweeter was aimed directly at my ear and i was hearing more highs than anything and it was confusing the center image. After a lot of pondering and trial and error i found that i needed to remove the back spikes and have the speaker leaning back so the tweeter wasn't approaching my face as directly. Also no toe in with these speakers. I added a downfiring paper coned denon sub from an old home theater in a box where the only thing good was the sub and the receiver was so-so.
Now i have this huge 3 dimension wall of sound that is super accurate, AMAZING imaging and just all around very musical.
I still have a problem though that i can't solve and that is that the image only works when i have audyssey enabled and multieq turned off.
If i run in pure direct or though my external dac in pure direct, no matter what i do, the left side is always louder than the right and it's more than irritating.
I have tried switching the speakers around in case it was one of the speakers and that didn't do it. I then switched the cables around so the left channel was getting amped by the right and vice versa and that didn't do anything either
always the left side.
So today i'm taking them over to my friends house who has a much larger room. This way if it is my room, i will know

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I've worked with Speaker Shop in Buffalo several times.  I like it overall - it's a good little store.  That said, there is definitely a pretentious air about the place, and I haven't found the staff to be all that helpful in some cases.  They do generally know their stuff - no comparison at all to Best Buy Magnolia staff.  They are on a completely different level.  But, you do have to deal with the hautiness.

 

If you are in the Buffalo area, I've actually started going to Gibby's Electronic Superstore in St. Catherines Ontario.  Not that far a drive if you hit the bridges right, and they are way more helpful, have a great selection, and actually cheaper in a lot of cases.  Give them a try

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post #42 of 42 Old 11-12-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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might have to check them out sometimes. thanks!

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