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post #91 of 125 Old 10-01-2015, 08:20 PM
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^ As far as I'm concerned, you're doing everything right. The best way to evaluate speakers is 2-channel stereo. I usually do that for close to 2 weeks before adding in my sub and then checking out their performance for movies. Then I'll add in the center channel and so on.

It only matters what you think about the speakers you are auditioning, so don't worry that your preference may be different from others.

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post #92 of 125 Old 10-01-2015, 08:25 PM
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Hmmmm, it seems pretty clear to me that your tastes tend towards warm and full (probably some nice upper/mid-bass "bloom") rather than neutral and highly transparent/detailed. Very similar to my tastes.

Which is why the NEXT experiment I'd really love to hear the results of, would be if you were to try out the Wharfedales, which cost less than half of the 685s: $300 shipped vs $700 for the 685s at Best Buy, and $225 shipped if you choose one of their alleged demo models. One of the tell-tale similarities between both speakers is they both have Kevlar woofers, and that material is often credited for supplying the warmth. The main difference seems to be in the tweeter: the B&Ws use aluminum domes which, may yield more treble "sparkle" whereas the Wharfies' soft dome tweeter is likely to be smoother and more laid back ("veiled" according to many folks who prefer the Ascend type of sound).

I'm tempted to go to a Magnolia BB store sometime to hear the 685s myself...
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post #93 of 125 Old 10-01-2015, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I'm tempted to go to a Magnolia BB store sometime to hear the 685s myself...
Do it, from what you described you will probably like them, they also handle volume very well and sound 'big' (seem to sound better when turned up more ). I may consider the Wharfedales but I'm kind of just wanting to make a choice haha been like 3 weeks now.. we'll see though
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post #94 of 125 Old 10-01-2015, 09:35 PM
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Well, if you ordered the Wharfedales and then shipped them back, you'd be out $30 or so.

HOWEVER, if you kept the Wharfedales and decided to return the B&Ws, you'd pocket an extra $300-450.

Pretty nice betting odds, no?
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post #95 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 04:28 PM
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Don't crucify me for liking the B&Ws more so far
I doubt anyone will crucify you for liking the B&Ws better, lol.

But you made it obvious and clear that you much preferred colored (less accurate) and "fun" sounding speakers. Thus the reasons why you prefer the 685 over the Sierras. If you like "fun" speakers I'd also recommend Klipsch RP series and Monitor Audio Silver 1. Neither speakers are accurate where the Klipsch are super dynamic (much more dynamic than the 685) and the MA produce a very unique and interesting sound that you won't find from any other speakers. Both speakers I would categorize as "fun" which you may also like.
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post #96 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea I'm still not certain that I like the b&ws more, still listening. The bass on the Sierras really is nice.
One thing I'm sure about is the contour knob on my Rotel actually adds significant bass now which is great . Wasn't doing beans on my old Boston Acoustics, just not high enough quality

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post #97 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 07:36 PM
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If you decide to keep looking, might want to check out the Jbl Studio 530

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530.../dp/B00622STI0
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post #98 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Man they both sound good lol, I can't believe how much bass I can get out of them, the run in for the b&ws has improved their bass alot. Can you tell I like bass?

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post #99 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I doubt anyone will crucify you for liking the B&Ws better, lol.

But you made it obvious and clear that you much preferred colored (less accurate) and "fun" sounding speakers. Thus the reasons why you prefer the 685 over the Sierras. If you like "fun" speakers I'd also recommend Klipsch RP series and Monitor Audio Silver 1. Neither speakers are accurate where the Klipsch are super dynamic (much more dynamic than the 685) and the MA produce a very unique and interesting sound that you won't find from any other speakers. Both speakers I would categorize as "fun" which you may also like.
I wouldn't place the MA Silver line in the inaccurate camp.
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post #100 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 09:48 PM
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I wouldn't place the MA Silver line in the inaccurate camp.
I could see why you would say that. Although the MA Silver series are excellent speakers, they were not as neutral when compared to NHT Classic and Ascend speakers. The sound is just very different, it's very nice though but just different. But I still don't like that top end "ringing". Gets tiring listening at somewhat loud volume for long listening sessions...especially the old RS series...omg those can be irritating... Although I heard the RX series is laid back...not sure how they would compare to the current Silver line.
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post #101 of 125 Old 10-02-2015, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gmash View Post
If you decide to keep looking, might want to check out the Jbl Studio 530

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530.../dp/B00622STI0
They certainly seem to get high marks. They're rated 6 ohms though, would that work with my amp (60wpc into 8 ohms)? Have to say I'm not a fan of their looks though :/
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post #102 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 12:01 AM
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At this price point, I'd definitely like to go with the Bowers and Wilkins MM1 HiFi speakers...

They have excellent looks and minimal design, making it compliment to any room you put it into...

One day I'd definitely like to own it... after I've listened to it...
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post #103 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I doubt anyone will crucify you for liking the B&Ws better, lol.

But you made it obvious and clear that you much preferred colored (less accurate) and "fun" sounding speakers. Thus the reasons why you prefer the 685 over the Sierras. If you like "fun" speakers I'd also recommend Klipsch RP series and Monitor Audio Silver 1. Neither speakers are accurate where the Klipsch are super dynamic (much more dynamic than the 685) and the MA produce a very unique and interesting sound that you won't find from any other speakers. Both speakers I would categorize as "fun" which you may also like.
I'm surprised you are comparing B&W to Klipsch. When I was looking to buy speakers a few years ago, I tried several ones including Klipsch, Wharfedale, JBL, Jamo, KEF, Magnat, Focal and many other brands. Klipsch was by far the worst for music and JBL was next. In HT applications their deficiencies are not that well noticed.

Finally I ended up getting the B&W 603 S3 based set-up, for the accuracy in producing string instruments. (chose it over the 684 S1). Magnat was the second best in my opinion. I don't have experience with Monitor Audio, but I heard the Silver series is good. I don't live in the US, so accessing ID brands like Ascend is not possible. But all ID brands are automatically better than B&M based brands is not a valid argument.

Fast forward to present day, I recently built the Linkwitz Pluto 2.1 hoping that I will replace the ageing B&W 603. Surprisingly, the B&W's are quite good on their own right compared to the Pluto's, which are considered to be unbeatable in their price range. The Plutos completely disappear and have better detail. But the B&Ws have a musical quality to them, that can only be experienced; hard to describe.

So whoever is on the fence, its another vote from me for B&W. Personally with a $600 budget, I will skim Audiogon for a used pair of 603 S3, which I felt were better than the 684 S1.
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post #104 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 03:03 AM
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No one has mentioned them yet which I find rather surprising, you should consider Infinity Primus P363 as well, very highly regarded and dirt cheap, also very efficient at 93dB.
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post #105 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post
Got my Sierra's earlier today, got em hooked up to my Rotel along side the B&Ws (switching back and forth between the 2 pairs). My first impression was that the Ascends sounded more (and I'm just using my own descriptive terms I don't know what the correct audiophile terms are hah) 'closed-in' than the B&Ws. I played a few more tracks before going to work and continued to have the same impression. They sound very accurate but just don't have the same fullness and dynamic that the 685's do (to my ears). Now that I'm home I've been listening for the last two hours and feel the same still. They both sound quite good, I just prefer the B&W sound so far. They only genre (that I listen to on occasion) that the Ascends sounded comparable on was jazz. In some ways they were better, the transparency I'd say especially on horns.. but they still lacked the fullness and .. fun?.. of the B&Ws to me. The B&W's seem to have more sparkle to me too. I must say that the bass extension of the Sierra's was really impressive to me though, for a second I thought my sub was still on :O

I have my PB-1000 disconnected for now so I can just compare them purely. Its worth mentioning that I've had 2 week to run in the B&Ws so I will obviously give it more time (another week probably for a fair fight). Just my thoughts so far.. They are both amazing speakers... making my want to listen to music I haven't heard years
Listen only to the Sierra's for a few days to a week before doing any comparisons. Part of (or all, depending on your perspective) of speaker "break in" is psychological, adjusting to the new sound.

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post #106 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 08:21 AM
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The Plutos completely disappear and have better detail. But the B&Ws have a musical quality to them, that can only be experienced; hard to describe.
This has been exactly my experience in going from Ascends to Wharfedales; the former were great for HT, the latter excel at music. And it's nearly impossible to describe or quantify to people who aren't music listeners.
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post #107 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:15 AM
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I'm surprised you are comparing B&W to Klipsch. When I was looking to buy speakers a few years ago, I tried several ones including Klipsch, Wharfedale, JBL, Jamo, KEF, Magnat, Focal and many other brands. Klipsch was by far the worst for music and JBL was next. In HT applications their deficiencies are not that well noticed.

Finally I ended up getting the B&W 603 S3 based set-up, for the accuracy in producing string instruments. (chose it over the 684 S1). Magnat was the second best in my opinion. I don't have experience with Monitor Audio, but I heard the Silver series is good. I don't live in the US, so accessing ID brands like Ascend is not possible. But all ID brands are automatically better than B&M based brands is not a valid argument.

Fast forward to present day, I recently built the Linkwitz Pluto 2.1 hoping that I will replace the ageing B&W 603. Surprisingly, the B&W's are quite good on their own right compared to the Pluto's, which are considered to be unbeatable in their price range. The Plutos completely disappear and have better detail. But the B&Ws have a musical quality to them, that can only be experienced; hard to describe.

So whoever is on the fence, its another vote from me for B&W. Personally with a $600 budget, I will skim Audiogon for a used pair of 603 S3, which I felt were better than the 684 S1.
It wasn't a direct comparison and I've never mentioned I would recommend Klipsch speakers for music. The OP said he wanted a "fun" speaker and I found the Klipsch can be fun at times so I recommended them. The OP also mentioned the 685 being more dynamic than the Sierras...I'm pretty darn sure the Klipsch are more dynamic than the B&Ws...I don't think this is even debatable. There are reasons why people choose Horn loaded speakers for HT applications...one primary reason being their high efficiencies...all in this...would I buy Klipsch speakers for myself? No.

I've owned both the RS and current Silver MA lines. They're excellent speakers but not so the RS. They have that top end "ringing" that can irritate you. I would categorize them as "fun" speakers and the current Silver somewhat being a little closer to neutral. No one here is automatically assuming ALL ID brands are better B&M based brands. Audio is purely subjective so I could say BOSE offer the best value for all that matters. But there is no way I would pay $700 + for the B&W 685 when I can get the Ascend 170 SE for $300+ -- Unless I do not like neutral, accurate, & forward/energetic sound. Other than that I see no legitimate reasons for paying more than double for the B&W 685 unless I just wanted yellow cone woofer speakers, better aesthetics, and a nice name tag to impress others... IMO of course.

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post #108 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
Audio is purely subjective so I could say BOSE offer the best value for all that matters. But there is no way I would pay $700 + for the B&W 685 when I can get the Ascend 170 SE for $300+ -- Unless I do not like neutral, accurate, & forward/energetic sound. Other than that I see no legitimate reasons for paying more than double for the B&W 685 unless I just wanted yellow cone woofer speakers, better aesthetics, and a nice name tag to impress others... IMO of course.
I'm confused still as to what 'accurate' means... 'neutral' means they present all frequencies evenly yes? .. in other words as close to the original recording as possible.. so what does accurate mean? If it means they show all the details of the music in 'high definition' per-say then I'd say the 685's do that very well. I've heard some of the more expensive CM speakers before and they did seem to have more clarity or 'accuracy' if that's what that means.. and I might have bought them but they were really pushing my budget. Also, I find the 685's more energetic than the Sierra's To each his own I guess
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post #109 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Listen only to the Sierra's for a few days to a week before doing any comparisons. Part of (or all, depending on your perspective) of speaker "break in" is psychological, adjusting to the new sound.
Yea I will try this out for sure, its just sometimes I heavily overthink things instead of just going with my initial impressions.
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post #110 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:43 AM
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I'm confused still as to what 'accurate' means...
I define accuracy as close to the real thing. If you listen to violins playing from the speaker, the sound should be as close as possible to the real thing.
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post #111 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post
I'm confused still as to what 'accurate' means... 'neutral' means they present all frequencies evenly yes? .. in other words as close to the original recording as possible.. so what does accurate mean? If it means they show all the details of the music in 'high definition' per-say then I'd say the 685's do that very well. I've heard some of the more expensive CM speakers before and they did seem to have more clarity or 'accuracy' if that's what that means.. and I might have bought them but they were really pushing my budget. Also, I find the 685's more energetic than the Sierra's To each his own I guess
Well, arguably, neutrality is an important part of accuracy. Here are S&Vs measurements for the 685:



See the purple trace.

Compare this to the Sierra's



Definitely more neutral.

But what is perceived accuracy? How do you know that the B&Ws are more accurate? Maybe their particular response just sounds better to you. Maybe you don't like neutral

It's also possible that the particular response of the B&Ws is offsetting some kind of room influence to sound more accurate in frequency response than the Sierras.
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post #112 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 09:48 AM
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I'm confused still as to what 'accurate' means... 'neutral' means they present all frequencies evenly yes? .. in other words as close to the original recording as possible.. so what does accurate mean? If it means they show all the details of the music in 'high definition' per-say then I'd say the 685's do that very well. I've heard some of the more expensive CM speakers before and they did seem to have more clarity or 'accuracy' if that's what that means.. and I might have bought them but they were really pushing my budget. Also, I find the 685's more energetic than the Sierra's To each his own I guess
Correct, accurate means as close to the original recording as possible. The higher level of neutrality represents a more flat frequency response graph. But that doesn't mean no one will like this kind of sound.

The B&W CM series is very good, definitely a step up above the 600 series. You can audition them in a local Best Buy store. It seems you really like the 685, you might have found the kind of sound you prefer. To each their own.
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post #113 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post
I'm confused still as to what 'accurate' means... 'neutral' means they present all frequencies evenly yes? .. in other words as close to the original recording as possible.. so what does accurate mean? If it means they show all the details of the music in 'high definition' per-say then I'd say the 685's do that very well. I've heard some of the more expensive CM speakers before and they did seem to have more clarity or 'accuracy' if that's what that means.. and I might have bought them but they were really pushing my budget. Also, I find the 685's more energetic than the Sierra's To each his own I guess
I’m certainly not an audio engineer or audio lab technician or a product tester with a dazzling array of test equipment, but throughout the years I’ve come to my own conclusions about certain terminology (a speaker engineer hopefully will correct me if I’m wrong).

The words accuracy and neutral are often interchanged, but they are different. Accuracy is derived from specifications and graphs. Speaker A doesn’t deviate from ruler flat from XX Hz to YY Hz by more than +/- 3 dB throughout that frequency range, be it tested in a lab or an anechoic chamber. Well, a 6 dB range is quite large and is one reason why accurate speakers don’t all sound the same (there are various other reasons as well, with distortion being a prime candidate). I won’t go into how accurate (or inaccurate) speakers will sound in different home environments, but that should be pretty obvious. Companies make a fortune on different dampening materials for studios and in-home use.

Neutral usually refers to not having a boost or dip at any frequency range. This is sometimes also termed coloration of sound. Many people like a boost (small or large) at certain frequencies, others do not. Neutral speakers are sometimes given terms such as dry or clinical (I’ve used those terms myself), when one is looking for natural (what voices and acoustical instruments sound like when not amplified and driven by loudspeakers … in other words, “live”).

Again, it doesn’t matter what the terminology is, it only matters what sound you prefer. But sound is only one factor of many important factors, which includes soundstage presentation (height, width, depth or imaging and sweet spot width).

The best way to test all this out is with in-home auditions and in 2-channel format using music. A lot of different music.

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post #114 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 12:25 PM
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They certainly seem to get high marks. They're rated 6 ohms though, would that work with my amp (60wpc into 8 ohms)? Have to say I'm not a fan of their looks though :/
Yes (JBL 530) it would work - and they have some real nice bass.

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post #115 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 12:30 PM
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To each his own I guess
It is all about you and what floats your boat period - no one can speak or guarantee anything for your ears.
It is all about a speaker in your room, being perfect enough for you.

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post #116 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I’m certainly not an audio engineer or audio lab technician or a product tester with a dazzling array of test equipment, but throughout the years I’ve come to my own conclusions about certain terminology (a speaker engineer hopefully will correct me if I’m wrong).

The words accuracy and neutral are often interchanged, but they are different. Accuracy is derived from specifications and graphs. Speaker A doesn’t deviate from ruler flat from XX Hz to YY Hz by more than +/- 3 dB throughout that frequency range, be it tested in a lab or an anechoic chamber. Well, a 6 dB range is quite large and is one reason why accurate speakers don’t all sound the same (there are various other reasons as well, with distortion being a prime candidate). I won’t go into how accurate (or inaccurate) speakers will sound in different home environments, but that should be pretty obvious. Companies make a fortune on different dampening materials for studios and in-home use.

Neutral usually refers to not having a boost or dip at any frequency range. This is sometimes also termed coloration of sound. Many people like a boost (small or large) at certain frequencies, others do not. Neutral speakers are sometimes given terms such as dry or clinical (I’ve used those terms myself), when one is looking for natural (what voices and acoustical instruments sound like when not amplified and driven by loudspeakers … in other words, “live”).

Again, it doesn’t matter what the terminology is, it only matters what sound you prefer. But sound is only one factor of many important factors, which includes soundstage presentation (height, width, depth or imaging and sweet spot width).

The best way to test all this out is with in-home auditions and in 2-channel format using music. A lot of different music.
Your description of that "live" sound is what I was experiencing listening to the b&ws. Sounded really good on 80s rock in particular

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post #117 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 02:04 PM
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How are you comparing them? Side by side, with quick electronic switching back and forth? Or playing one, then removing it, setting up the other, and playing it?

I'm wondering if the B&Ws are higher sensitivity (louder) and thus appearing to sound better to you.

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post #118 of 125 Old 10-03-2015, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Well, arguably, neutrality is an important part of accuracy. Here are S&Vs measurements for the 685:



See the purple trace.

Compare this to the Sierra's



Definitely more neutral.

But what is perceived accuracy? How do you know that the B&Ws are more accurate? Maybe their particular response just sounds better to you. Maybe you don't like neutral

It's also possible that the particular response of the B&Ws is offsetting some kind of room influence to sound more accurate in frequency response than the Sierras.
Yea this graph makes sense for the Sierras but the 685s sound like they have more treble sparkle/dynamic .. The graph shows them falling off in the higher frequencies though, weird. Maybe it's that spike in the lower-high range that I'm hearing.

Still listening, getting more used to the Sierras sound, still not sure what I'll decide on.

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post #119 of 125 Old 10-04-2015, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post
Yea this graph makes sense for the Sierras but the 685s sound like they have more treble sparkle/dynamic .. The graph shows them falling off in the higher frequencies though, weird. Maybe it's that spike in the lower-high range that I'm hearing.

Still listening, getting more used to the Sierras sound, still not sure what I'll decide on.

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You are over thinking it. Don't let the graphs tell you what you should hear. Play some very familiar music of different genre back to back on the two different speakers. Play them as many times as you want and go with the set that pleases you most, regardless of what the graphs or few anecdotes on Internet say.

You can restart this thread in the next 2 years to ask about 2 new options.....
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post #120 of 125 Old 10-04-2015, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ugotvijay View Post
You are over thinking it. Don't let the graphs tell you what you should hear. Play some very familiar music of different genre back to back on the two different speakers. Play them as many times as you want and go with the set that pleases you most, regardless of what the graphs or few anecdotes on Internet say.

You can restart this thread in the next 2 years to ask about 2 new options.....
Lol, probably true

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