Revealing VS Colored sound.. What do you prefer? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently spent a few hours and several beers when fellow AVS'r Holt allowed me into his home with his awesome pup rocco to demo his Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL because I am in the market for some towers and a new center. We both decided that the Sierra's were quite revealing which made poorly mixed albums sound, well, POORLY..


Now in a recording atmosphere I would want the monitor to tell me how my mix in translating out of the box however, in a HT/Music room set up, I am not sure I want my speakers telling me me favorite band or movie basically sounds like poop because the A1 mixed/engineered it poorly or it was clipped at a mastering suite.


SO.. I am reaching out to see what the opinions are of other fellow audio lovers out there would want in there ideal home theater/music room set up.. Do you want to truth? (revealing) or do you want to be kinda lied to? (colored)

Me personally, I think for listening enjoyment, I would like a bit of color to maybe translate poorly mixed albums to still sound enjoyable to my ears, I mean after all, not everyone can afford Alan Parsons to engineer their albums..

Discuss smile.gif

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 05:35 AM
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I prefer speakers that are neutral, and ones that produce a good soundstage, both in depth and width.
Having never auditioned any Sierras, I have no idea how they sound.. So you telling me they are revealing as opposed to neutral tells me nothing about them, as how they compare to my Custom 212.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 06:38 AM
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I am a tad confused here... Because you can have revealing and very detailed speakers like Sierra with Raal and have them still be colored...warm, dark, etc.

I think what your asking is ... Do you want the detailed turned up so high on a speaker that you hear every nuance good or bad or do you want the a speaker to be less detailed but more forgiving on source material.

As with everything here that is a matter of personal choice and depends very heavily on the source material you tend to gravitate to.

There is no "right answer"...

If asking me...I would want a speaker that is capable of being as detailed as I like and one that I am able to adjust using various methods at my disposal to make it into anything I like. If a speaker lacks the ability to be that detailed there is almost nothing you can do to give it that detail...but taking it away with a few AVR / Receiver tricks is not all that hard.

Same question was..and continues to be asked about HDTV definition... currently, on a good TV set, you can see an actors wrinkles, their makeup, their imperfections...as we move to 4k that type of detail can disrupt the viewer's "suspension of disbelief"... Is this a good or bad thing?

If we go back and watch Star Wars do we really want to see enough detail to tell the Wooky was clearly in a gorilla suit? biggrin.gif Either way I think it pushes new content to be even better...

But I go back to their being no right answer.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 06:51 AM
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The sound quality you describe could be "revealing" or it could also be overly "bright" due a low-quality amplifier.

Those who say that all amplifiers sound about the same are babes in the woods. 40 Years of listening to systems has proved to me that that is nonsense.

In general, most of the common brands of HT receivers have amplifiers that are very cheap and do not sound good at all to me with most speakers. They have weak power supplies
that can not supply the peak current that most speakers need to sound their best.

The Ascend speakers have a good reputation and I doubt that they are so "revealing" as to make most recordings sound that bad.
In any case, IMO there is a synergy between amplifier and speaker that is responsible for the sound quality; not just one or the other. I suspect that the Ascend speakers need a better
amplifier than the one you listened to in order to perform well.

Yes, there are SOME recordings that are crappy, but not as many as one would think.

I had actually written off as many as 10% of my CDs as sounding crappy at one time, but guess what?

When I got a better amplifier and speakers they sound great.

I now only have about 10 CDs, out of 1400, that i would classify as crappy-sounding.

The very first CD I ever bought, in 1984, was one I wrote off as being raspy and bright. Now it sounds really good (DELOS CD4001-"Joe Williams; Nothin But the Blues").
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The sound quality you describe could be "revealing" or it could also be overly "bright" due a low-quality amplifier.

In general, most of the common brands of HT receivers have amplifiers that are very cheap and do not sound good at all to me with most speakers. They have weak power supplies
that can not supply the peak current that most speakers need to sound their best.

The Ascend speakers have a good reputation and I doubt that they are so "revealing" as to make most recordings sound that bad.
In any case, IMO there is a synergy between amplifier and speaker that is responsible for the sound quality; not just one or the other. I suspect that the Ascend speakers need a better
amplifier than the one you listened to in order to perform well.
(DELOS CD4001-"Joe Williams; Nothin But the Blues").

You know what, you are correct. We did listen to these off of a Denon 4312. I run a 3312 and once I added a sunfire grand cinema to my chain I noticed right away the highs got less crisp? but most importantly the line distortion just disappeared and it made my CM5's just stand out on their own. I have sensitive ears so overly bright sounds can upset me quickly.

and Newbie1- I should have better elaborated on the subject. When referring to accuracy, I am not so much talking about nuances (fret board slides etc) I am more referring to the speakers ability to reproduce so accurate that if a mix has no warm life or was done in the complete digital domain of the 90s (anybody remember DDD) that its one dimensional that no matter what you do to it, it just sounds terrible to where a colored speaker that really likes to push the lows, will add life to that mix..

Although the more I read back to commsysman I believe him to be correct about poor amplification which would tell me that the Ascends would sound different with separates.

I am not knocking the ascends or holt's system, There were tracks that I absolutely enjoyed but it made me realize that my idea of finding better sounding speakers than my CM5's in that price range weren't going to offer me a night and day difference.

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 03:52 PM
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This MAY be owner bias speaking... But if you want a speaker that has some of the best drivers in the industry...using a Transmission Line...with incredible transparency and details...and want to be able to eat at least every other day...

You have to give Dennis Murphy's speakers a hear. Honest...there are some better out there...but not many. The more I hear other speakers the more I appreciate what Dennis gave me.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

This MAY be owner bias speaking... But if you want a speaker that has some of the best drivers in the industry...using a Transmission Line...with incredible transparency and details...and want to be able to eat at least every other day...

You have to give Dennis Murphy's speakers a hear. Honest...there are some better out there...but not many. The more I hear other speakers the more I appreciate what Dennis gave me.


Minis the WAF factor. Plus on of my entry points into the living room comes in at the left channel and even with the CM5's on stands question the space available. However I still want to hear the Phil's. Anyone near LA like good company and beer?

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I want to apologize for the poor use of grammar. I'm in Hawaii for work with the worst sinus infection. Todd Rundgren isn't helping either :/

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post #9 of 9 Old 04-19-2013, 08:47 PM
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You want a speaker that doesn't add or subtract from the signal that is fed to it. A good recording will sound good, and a lousy recording will sound lousy. Unfortunately there are a whole host of recording studios that care about how good something sounds. They just want to get it recorded and onto the market and don't give a flip whether an audiophile will be impressed with the mix.

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