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Old 08-02-2014, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
I suspect a ceiling fan would be a problem, creating some sort of modulation to the reflected sound. Probably not the best situation for Atmos, even ceiling-mounted speakers.
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Originally Posted by carp View Post
Bummer!!

However, I have a ceiling hugger design so the blades are only 10 inches or so from the ceiling. I would think that if I had speakers mounted to the ceiling that hung down a ways it wouldn't be much of an issue... hopefully?
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Do you really think the majority of these people buying HTIB atmos speakers are going to be worrying about their ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans, the death of Atmos. Lol
Just do not turn on the ceiling fan while watching?
Then they'd just reflect still generally "down" and all around diffuse wise....
Unless it's a helicopter scene of course - black hawk down - then one would want that added effect
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:12 AM
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Just do not turn on the ceiling fan while watching?
I have a ceiling fan right in center of the room that's close to the ceiling and until Scott's remark, never gave it a thought. The only thing I ever considered an issue with it was if I ever got a projector and had to align it so the image "missed" the fan. I even worked out the geometry once.

But as long as sound from in/on ceiling speakers aren't right next to the blades and as long as the blades aren't in the direct path of the reflected "angles" from the Dolby speakers, I wouldn't expect much of an issue.

Obviously don't have it turned on when playing Atmos unless you're nostalgic for the days of leslie organs

If popcorn ceilings aren't an issue, I don't see how 4 or 5 stationary blades are going to be one.

All I can say is I don't plan to remove mine when I go to Atmos. In my case, Top and Middle positions should be on either side of it.

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Old 08-02-2014, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
Do you really think the majority of these people buying HTIB atmos speakers are going to be worrying about their ceiling fan?
"HTIB atmos speakers" are out of the completely scope of this thread. These Pioneer Elite models certainly aren't that. Here, we're talking about speakers and speaker placement guidelines people who care about sound quality and fidelity to audio source material.

I'll be honest, I'm less enthusiastic than many about Atmos, simply because I don't see how the program material I enjoy* will benefit from it. OTOH, I've finally found a CEDIA-certified installer who didn't see my living room and then promise a quote only to have one never materialize, so my living room is in the process of being wired. To "future proof" I'm having an extra set of speaker leads run to the L, R, RR, and LR positions. So I could do a 7.multisubs.4 Atmos system in my living room.

*Basically, music, stand up comedy, satire, and adult news (think BBC/Deutsche Welle/al-Jazeera America, not CNN or MSNBC let alone Faux). The movies I watch tend to be more about the quality of the writing and acting than about the whiz-bang stuff.

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Ceiling fans, the death of Atmos. Lol
IF* Dolby Atmos ceiling speaker placement and Elevation speakers are fundamentally incompatible with actual human's living rooms - which often have ceiling fans, then yes, Atmos will be just another useless marketing buzzword.

*Word choice intentional. We have no official statements from Dolby or any licensee on the matter.

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I have a ceiling fan right in center of the room that's close to the ceiling and until Scott's remark, never gave it a thought.
Me either, until the suggested height speaker placement was mentioned. I assumed that the ceiling height speake recommendation s would be more-or-less above the mains, or even slightly behind them.

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But as long as sound from in/on ceiling speakers aren't right next to the blades and as long as the blades aren't in the direct path of the reflected "angles" from the Dolby speakers, I wouldn't expect much of an issue.
Let's assume a 4" concentric driver with a 120º pattern when directivity control starts (which is I think conservative) firing straight up* into a 120" ceiling from 40" off the ground. So basically except in the top octave it's firing over a 120º or wider angle. The "first arrival" from each speaker, except at the very top of its range, is a ~200" diameter circle.

*I know elevation modules are angled. I went straight up just to make the math easier. The difference in the shape of the reflected wavefront shouldn't change the analysis.


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Obviously don't have it turned on when playing Atmos unless you're nostalgic for the days of leslie organs
For actual people enjoying entertainment content in their own living rooms, that is not a practical recommendation during several months of the year.

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Old 08-02-2014, 11:16 AM
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For actual people enjoying entertainment content in their own living rooms, that is not a practical recommendation during several months of the year.
hmm, you mean they haven't heard of air conditioning?

I live in the deep south and I certainly can be very comfortable with the fans off in the muggy summer months. in fact, we rarely use them, they're mostly room decor.

sorry, but I don't consider your statement to be a valid concern at all. if someone can afford an entertainment system, they probably have AC of some type in the room. and if they don't, maybe they should be spending their money on home improvements rather than home theater & worrying about Atmos.

Next...

I'm not sure what your arithmetic was supposed to "prove"...other than one drive covers a 16.7' area, wider than many rooms, so what is your point? that anything on the ceiling will be a problem or nothing on the ceiling will be a problem because of the area? count me confused not on your math but on what you trying to say because you didn't really post your conclusion.

Steve

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Old 08-02-2014, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
"HTIB atmos speakers" are out of the completely scope of this thread. These Pioneer Elite models certainly aren't that. Here, we're talking about speakers and speaker placement guidelines people who care about sound quality and fidelity to audio source material.

I'll be honest, I'm less enthusiastic than many about Atmos, simply because I don't see how the program material I enjoy* will benefit from it. OTOH, I've finally found a CEDIA-certified installer who didn't see my living room and then promise a quote only to have one never materialize, so my living room is in the process of being wired. To "future proof" I'm having an extra set of speaker leads run to the L, R, RR, and LR positions. So I could do a 7.multisubs.4 Atmos system in my living room.

*Basically, music, stand up comedy, satire, and adult news (think BBC/Deutsche Welle/al-Jazeera America, not CNN or MSNBC let alone Faux). The movies I watch tend to be more about the quality of the writing and acting than about the whiz-bang stuff.



IF* Dolby Atmos ceiling speaker placement and Elevation speakers are fundamentally incompatible with actual human's living rooms - which often have ceiling fans, then yes, Atmos will be just another useless marketing buzzword.

*Word choice intentional. We have no official statements from Dolby or any licensee on the matter.



Me either, until the suggested height speaker placement was mentioned. I assumed that the ceiling height speake recommendation s would be more-or-less above the mains, or even slightly behind them.



Let's assume a 4" concentric driver with a 120º pattern when directivity control starts (which is I think conservative) firing straight up* into a 120" ceiling from 40" off the ground. So basically except in the top octave it's firing over a 120º or wider angle. The "first arrival" from each speaker, except at the very top of its range, is a ~200" diameter circle.

*I know elevation modules are angled. I went straight up just to make the math easier. The difference in the shape of the reflected wavefront shouldn't change the analysis.




For actual people enjoying entertainment content in their own living rooms, that is not a practical recommendation during several months of the year.
You're ranting about fidelity and sound quality, etc. while running a fan motor overhead. There's a very simple solution to your problem, turn it off.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
You're ranting about fidelity and sound quality, etc. while running a fan motor overhead. There's a very simple solution to your problem, turn it off.
you read my mind. hand-wringing over a non-existent problem.

for critical listening, I'll turn off even the AC or furnace. it's no big deal.

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Old 08-02-2014, 02:35 PM
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Don't do it. In three years, your Pioneer Dolby Atmos system will fail like their red-tinted Kuros did, and Pioneer will abandon you again.
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
"HTIB atmos speakers" are out of the completely scope of this thread. These Pioneer Elite models certainly aren't that. Here, we're talking about speakers and speaker placement guidelines people who care about sound quality and fidelity to audio source material.

Depends on what you consider speakers deigned with sound quality and fidelity in mind. You dismiss HTIB solutions and imply the Pioneer Elite models are somehow designed for audio purity. You do realize there are speakers where frankly the binding posts probably cost more than all the entire Pioneer Atmos lineup I'm sure you can't be thinking speakers that cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars offer no more in audio fidelity than the $700 Pioneers can deliver I also think it would be a safe bet to assume a good potion of the audiophile public are not going to consider that a speaker with a top firing driver has anything to do with audio quality. It's a device designed to meet an upcoming want/need and will deliver as promised by the looks of things but people aren't going to be rushing out to replace their high end speakers with the Pioneers no matter how desperate they might want Atmos on the thought that the Pioneer is going to deliver the same sense of realism in 2 channel playback for example.


So in the end it's all relative. Some people think HTIB solutions are great as they fit a need and deliver great sound quality to their ears, some perhaps like you think sub $1000 speakers get into the quality range while others aren't going to bat an eye at a pair of speakers that perhaps costs less than $30k if they are after audio nirvana.
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
Andrew then played some 2-channel music, saying he designed the speakers first to sound good with music, as he always does.
So in other words this guy's speakers are not accurate or neutral? Thanks for the heads up, I'll take note and will steer clear even if this wasn't a Pioneer product.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:13 PM
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So in other words this guy's speakers are not accurate or neutral? Thanks for the heads up, I'll take note and will steer clear even if this wasn't a Pioneer product.
Huh? Are you implying that speakers that sound good with music are not accurate or neutral? In other words, accurate and neutral speakers sound bad for music? If so you may also want to stay clear of the likes of Revel, Philharmonic, Salk and KEF as well because they'll sound terrible.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:37 PM
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Did anyone at Pioneer give an update on when the AVR's will be available for purchase?

Manuals have yet to be posted.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:59 PM
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Depends on what you consider speakers deigned with sound quality and fidelity in mind.
I have the same definition as basically any person who has put any thought into the subject at all has: flat and smooth design axis response, smooth polar response, low diffraction, sufficient efficiency/cone area/volume displacement to reach the desired levels. Really the only area of serious debate in loudspeaker design right now is how wide a pattern speakers should throw.

I've neither heard these speakers nor seen measurements. They could very well be duds. Given the talent and technology behind the speakers, I strongly suspect that's not the case. Perhaps they're a bit small to reach adequate SPL in large rooms, but otherwise it's quite clear from the information we have on these speakers where the money was spent (drivers, crossovers, cabinet structure) and where it wasn't (finish quality, heroic cabinet styling, things that feel more expensive but don't necessarily improve performance such as cast drive-unit baskets).

[quote=Rod#S;26244697]YYou do realize there are speakers where frankly the binding posts probably cost more than all the entire Pioneer Atmos lineup

Yes, there are deaf buffoons who pay inordinate sums for commodity electrical parts such as binding posts. Anyone who thinks any speaker wire termination or speaker terminal has "sound quality" can't hear very well, so they overcompensate by making up idiot nonsense. But that has no bearing on anything except for the success of some scammers preying on the insecurities of the weak-minded, really.

Never mind that the Neutrik Speakon is a vastly superior connector to any mere binding post regardless of cost. The Speakon is multipolar, insulated, positive locking, and quick disconnect. Atmos elevation speakers would be a great opportunity for speaker makers to free themselves from the binding post kludge and embrace a modern connector, because the standard Speakon model has 4 poles that can be used for main +/- and height +/-. But I digress.

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I'm sure you can't be thinking speakers that cost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars offer no more in audio fidelity than the $700 Pioneers can deliver
Actually, most of the five-figure speakers I've heard, and all of the six-figure speakers I've heard, have sucked. Admittedly, the sample size of the latter group is just one, a Wilson model. The sample size of 5 figure speakers is sufficient that I'm confident in my generalization. I would expect these are better than most five- and six- figure speakers. Maybe not the Gradients, KEF Refs, Revels...or TADs, but an awful lot of the speakers in that price range.

The problem with most very expensive speakers is that they're designed "by ear," which basically means the designer twiddled with stuff until s/he started going around in a circle. Also, they're deliberately colored. Actually, the only speaker I've heard that was over $25k or so and actually sounded as if it was designed for high fidelity reproduction was a TAD. (I've not heard a Vivid Audio speaker, though they're very expensive and the measurements suggest they are, too. I've also not had the opportunity to hear the KEF Blade.)

The new Pio Elites aren't finished as luxuriously as the typical 5-figure speaker, though. And they don't have as much volume displacement as many (but shockingly, not all) 5-figure speakers.

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I also think it would be a safe bet to assume a good potion of the audiophile public are not going to consider that a speaker with a top firing driver has anything to do with audio quality.
Given that the top-firing driver is on a whole different circuit with its own separate input, and is therefore not active except on dedicated or expressly unmixed content, who cares?

Besides, one could always run three center channels. They don't have upfiring drivers.

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It's a device designed to meet an upcoming want/need and will deliver as promised by the looks of things but people aren't going to be rushing out to replace their high end speakers with the Pioneers no matter how desperate they might want Atmos on the thought that the Pioneer is going to deliver the same sense of realism in 2 channel playback for example.
The quoted part above, until the "but," is the only thing in your reply to me that makes any sense at all. As for "getting rid of their high end speakers," that's just out of the scope of anything anyone has written on this thread, so I'm not sure why you're going there.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:10 PM
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Huh?
He slams Pioneer when possible (check his posting history).
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:15 PM
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I'm not sure that a ceiling fan will be any more of a deal breaker than a coffee table in a living room. Neither are optimal, but they're part of our lives and just another thing to weigh.

Theater room: Sony VPL HW30ES, DIY 100" screen with Seymour Centerstage XD, 5 Revel M105, 2 JBL Studio 210, 4 SVS SB12-NSD, Anthem MRX-300
Living room: Panasonic TC-P60VT60, 3 KEF LS50, Pioneer SW-8, Marantz NR1603
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:22 PM
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You're ranting about fidelity and sound quality, etc. while running a fan motor overhead. There's a very simple solution to your problem, turn it off.
Your post piqued my curiosity, and since my wife's out and the baby's asleep I took some measurements using the sound level meter in the Studio Six app for JL Audio on my iPhone 5S.

Here we go:

Fan off: ~27dB - ~35dB

Fan on (medium speed): ~27db - ~35dB

What were you saying about the fan motor, again?

BUT look at this:
HVAC on (happened shortly after fan off): 46-51dB

Our house is post-WWI construction, so real brick structure, plaster/lath interior walls, and right now no crown molding or baseboards because the HT wiring is happening next week. Also, perhaps not the best attention to fluid dynamics in the HVAC system (which I assume was a retrofit.) I'd expect a more recent HVAC system to be quieter, and when the downstairs AC unit dies I'll probably take the opportunity to get the ductwork re-done to be quieter.

The simple fact remains, though, that ceiling fans are a common feature in living rooms. Not only in the SE USA, either. For instance, our mountain/lake home in upstate NY has two in the living/dining/kitchen zone, and one in each bedroom, and it was built by people who lived their whole lives in Mitteleuropa and the NE USA. If Atmos and ceiling fans don't work well together - which again, is not something we have from Dolby or Pioneer, just speculation by Scott prompted by a question from me - then it's bad design for how people actually live, and will fail.

House is on a small lot moderately-busy urban street, with a standard setback.

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Old 08-02-2014, 06:40 PM
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I have the same definition as basically any person who has put any thought into the subject at all has: flat and smooth design axis response, smooth polar response, low diffraction, sufficient efficiency/cone area/volume displacement to reach the desired levels. Really the only area of serious debate in loudspeaker design right now is how wide a pattern speakers should throw.

I've neither heard these speakers nor seen measurements. They could very well be duds. Given the talent and technology behind the speakers, I strongly suspect that's not the case. Perhaps they're a bit small to reach adequate SPL in large rooms, but otherwise it's quite clear from the information we have on these speakers where the money was spent (drivers, crossovers, cabinet structure) and where it wasn't (finish quality, heroic cabinet styling, things that feel more expensive but don't necessarily improve performance such as cast drive-unit baskets).

YYou do realize there are speakers where frankly the binding posts probably cost more than all the entire Pioneer Atmos lineup

Yes, there are deaf buffoons who pay inordinate sums for commodity electrical parts such as binding posts. Anyone who thinks any speaker wire termination or speaker terminal has "sound quality" can't hear very well, so they overcompensate by making up idiot nonsense. But that has no bearing on anything except for the success of some scammers preying on the insecurities of the weak-minded, really.

Never mind that the Neutrik Speakon is a vastly superior connector to any mere binding post regardless of cost. The Speakon is multipolar, insulated, positive locking, and quick disconnect. Atmos elevation speakers would be a great opportunity for speaker makers to free themselves from the binding post kludge and embrace a modern connector, because the standard Speakon model has 4 poles that can be used for main +/- and height +/-. But I digress.



Actually, most of the five-figure speakers I've heard, and all of the six-figure speakers I've heard, have sucked. Admittedly, the sample size of the latter group is just one, a Wilson model. The sample size of 5 figure speakers is sufficient that I'm confident in my generalization. I would expect these are better than most five- and six- figure speakers. Maybe not the Gradients, KEF Refs, Revels...or TADs, but an awful lot of the speakers in that price range.

The problem with most very expensive speakers is that they're designed "by ear," which basically means the designer twiddled with stuff until s/he started going around in a circle. Also, they're deliberately colored. Actually, the only speaker I've heard that was over $25k or so and actually sounded as if it was designed for high fidelity reproduction was a TAD. (I've not heard a Vivid Audio speaker, though they're very expensive and the measurements suggest they are, too. I've also not had the opportunity to hear the KEF Blade.)

The new Pio Elites aren't finished as luxuriously as the typical 5-figure speaker, though. And they don't have as much volume displacement as many (but shockingly, not all) 5-figure speakers.



Given that the top-firing driver is on a whole different circuit with its own separate input, and is therefore not active except on dedicated or expressly unmixed content, who cares?

Besides, one could always run three center channels. They don't have upfiring drivers.



The quoted part above, until the "but," is the only thing in your reply to me that makes any sense at all. As for "getting rid of their high end speakers," that's just out of the scope of anything anyone has written on this thread, so I'm not sure why you're going there.

All great remarks, thanks for posting.


The point about the binding posts was more tounge in cheek just as a means to snicker about how cheap the Pioneer speakers are.


As to the points about the top firing drivers and people who have high end speakers presently but would like to somehow setup and Atmos room, I guess put it this way, if I had a pair of TAD CR-1's for example I wouldn't be contemplating the Pioneers as an equivalent replacement just to get Atmos. My TAD example may not be the best (or perhaps it's a very good example) because Andrew Jones designed both the TAD's and Pioneers but because of that it doesn't mean the Pioneers compete with the TADs either. Same designer = same sound... I think not I realize no one has made such a comparative suggestion between the 2 but I just have to chuckle when I continually read here on the forums as of late since the introduction of these Pioneer speakers the terms quality fidelity in reference to such cheap speakers. To me this is an oxymoron but perhaps it's just my ignorance on the subject of what it takes to achieve the very best in audio reproduction. This is going to sound snobby, prickish, elitist, etc. so apologies if I offend but I have not heard nor do I need to hear these cheap Pioneers to know for example the TAD CR-1's are better speakers, just saying If they weren't Mr. Jones and TAD would have some explaining to do me thinks on the entire TAD pricing scheme and those who purchased the TAD's would now feel like complete morons and I would have to, what is the saying, eat cow or something like that for assuming the TAD's are better speakers. Fair enough


I do realize just because a speaker costs tens of thousands of dollars does not in any way translate into a remarkable speaker by any rate but there are enough of them out there, the remarkable speakers to warrant there is a reason for them costing so much, it can take a lot of R&D. If it was cheap and easy everyone would be doing it and the only expensive speakers would be the ones clients wanted plated with gold but I suppose that sidesteps the point you make, which is quite true about speakers being designed or probably more accurately tuned by ear. In all honesty I don't think I have a problem with that because in the end if everything was designed for the perfect response when put under a standard series of tests there would be little to distinguish one make from another aside from I suppose cosmetics and there would in general terms, and perhaps this might be a good thing, be a fairly standard price range for speakers. If this price happened to be quite affordable then great, a win for us the consumers, if not then only the elite in society could afford good speakers.


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Old 08-03-2014, 11:41 AM
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The point about the binding posts was more tounge in cheek just as a means to snicker about how cheap the Pioneer speakers are.
What's wrong with (relatively) inexpensive? I like the idea of high performance at low-ish prices. IMO attempts to bring out a good speaker loaded with cutting-edge technology at a reasonable price should be lauded, not snickered at.

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As to the points about the top firing drivers and people who have high end speakers presently but would like to somehow setup and Atmos room, I guess put it this way, if I had a pair of TAD CR-1's for example I wouldn't be contemplating the Pioneers as an equivalent replacement just to get Atmos.
But, depending on how visible they are in the room, a TAD CR1 owner (presumably with three of them across the front) may well consider the stand mount Pio Elite Atmos speaker as a surround rear/height speaker for HT use.

Now, perhaps someday TAD will bring something out like their old Pioneer EX-line in-wall and in ceiling speakers for TAD owners to use as Atmos height speakers. There is precedent: the TAD Evolution 1 is basically the "Pioneer S1-EX Mk. II" and I suspect has better sales despite the much higher price because the the new name and the new cabinet.) These in-walls were absolutely phenomenal speakers, probably the finest in-walls yet made at any price. But Pio released them at exactly the wrong time in the global economic cycle.

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***I just have to chuckle when I continually read here on the forums as of late since the introduction of these Pioneer speakers the terms quality fidelity in reference to such cheap speakers. To me this is an oxymoron but perhaps it's just my ignorance on the subject of what it takes to achieve the very best in audio reproduction.
Your last sentence nails it.

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Originally Posted by Rod#S View Post
I do realize just because a speaker costs tens of thousands of dollars does not in any way translate into a remarkable speaker by any rate but there are enough of them out there, the remarkable speakers to warrant there is a reason for them costing so much, it can take a lot of R&D.
There's not a lot of real "R&D" in most very expensive speakers. The usual model I've observed is build a finely-finished cabinet by hand, pluck stock drivers off the shelf (perhaps adding your own sticker to the back so they can be called "custom" or "modified"; if your price-point is very high you can commission basket/faceplate castings with your brand's name on the front), and botch the crossover or cabinet tuning or both. Again, most expensive speakers, unfortunately, suck. One is actually more likely to get high-fidelity reproduction from a $3k speaker than a $30k speaker.

TAD's are expensive because they're a market for that kind of luxury object, they have very finely-crafted cabinets and they have some genuinely novel and expensive bespoke parts. I would not be at all surprised if the vapor-deposited beryllium diaphragms for the mid and tweeter of the CR-1 cost Pioneer more to make than the whole Atmos tower does. Whether that diaphragm making process results in better performance than, say, using a magnesium midrange cone and buying a Be foil diaphragm from Truextent or whoever, is basically besides the point.

Also, by far the most expensive part in most speakers is the cabinet. Audio parts are fairly cheap. Skilled hand labor (and exotic veneers, etc.) are not.
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Last edited by DS-21; 08-03-2014 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:22 PM
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Great post DS-21.

I absolutely agree that Andrew Jones and Pioneer should be lauded for bringing the price of audiophile equipment down to a reasonable level.

I also appreciate your deconstruction of the superexpensive speaker mythology.

it's not about bragging rights, it's about sound.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
What's wrong with (relatively) inexpensive? I like the idea of high performance at low-ish prices. IMO attempts to bring out a good speaker loaded with cutting-edge technology at a reasonable price should be lauded, not snickered at.



But, depending on how visible they are in the room, a TAD CR1 owner (presumably with three of them across the front) may well consider the stand mount Pio Elite Atmos speaker as a surround rear/height speaker for HT use.

Now, perhaps someday TAD will bring something out like their old Pioneer EX-line in-wall and in ceiling speakers for TAD owners to use as Atmos height speakers. There is precedent: the TAD Evolution 1 is basically the "Pioneer S1-EX Mk. II" and I suspect has better sales despite the much higher price because the the new name and the new cabinet.) These in-walls were absolutely phenomenal speakers, probably the finest in-walls yet made at any price. But Pio released them at exactly the wrong time in the global economic cycle.



Your last sentence nails it.



There's not a lot of real "R&D" in most very expensive speakers. The usual model I've observed is build a finely-finished cabinet by hand, pluck stock drivers off the shelf (perhaps adding your own sticker to the back so they can be called "custom" or "modified"; if your price-point is very high you can commission basket/faceplate castings with your brand's name on the front), and botch the crossover or cabinet tuning or both. Again, most expensive speakers, unfortunately, suck. One is actually more likely to get high-fidelity reproduction from a $3k speaker than a $30k speaker.

TAD's are expensive because they're a market for that kind of luxury object, they have very finely-crafted cabinets and they have some genuinely novel and expensive bespoke parts. I would not be at all surprised if the vapor-deposited beryllium diaphragms for the mid and tweeter of the CR-1 cost Pioneer more to make than the whole Atmos tower does. Whether that diaphragm making process results in better performance than, say, using a magnesium midrange cone and buying a Be foil diaphragm from Truextent or whoever, is basically besides the point.

Also, by far the most expensive part in most speakers is the cabinet. Audio parts are fairly cheap. Skilled hand labor (and exotic veneers, etc.) are not.
Another great post, thanks

TAD owners using the Pioneers as side and rear surrounds, ok, yeah possibly, I'll concede that as far to many people don't put any stock into the quality of their surrounds thus they throw anything into those positions which I think is sad but that's another topic altogether. What I can't see if the person who owns 3 CR-1's across the front replacing them with the Pioneers thinking nothing lost (2 Andrew Jones designed speakers) and only gains i.e. now Atmos.


I would love it if there was truly inexpensive reference quality speakers but unfortunately we just aren't there yet, not in my opinion. Are there very good speakers that are relatively inexpensive, I'll actually concede that without hesitation as well as there are a lot of very fine speakers out there for lets say under $5k/pair or even $3.5/pair but I have yet to hear a pair in that price range that makes me forget that I'm listening to some drivers in a box. For me those experiences, where the object disappears i.e. the speaker and the performer(s) are in front of me or I'm at the concert has only come from speakers northwards of $10k I'm afraid. That's both stand mounts and towers alike.


The business does continue to make strides and I have no doubt in my mind that these Pioneer speakers would beat the pants off my original home theater Technics speakers from back in 2000 which would have been in the same ball park price wise I think. On the other hand we are and have been living in a world with a lot of very expensive speakers that aren't really that good for quite some time.

It would be great if all the expensive speakers were only expensive because of the cabinet, etc. but some companies do put a lot of R&D into driver design. Focal, Raidho, Vivid, and B&W come immediately to mind. I know different manufacturers use Focal drivers, Wilson, at least at one point was one so lets say for the sake of argument they didn't fork out a lot in the driver design but Wilson does not use exotic wood cabinets, they are resign I think and a lot of research goes into designing those cabinets. Wilson like Focal on their upper tier products use a MTM type design and the enclosures the drivers are in are carefully sculpted and each generation refines the enclosures to get better performance. The Focal Utopia's don't use exotic woods either so the cabinets are a function of purpose first so yeah you are correct, a great deal of energy goes into cabinet design but that doesn't negate those companies doing the grunt work on the drivers. Some of them like Focal probably make big bucks selling their drivers to other companies.

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Old 08-04-2014, 02:38 PM
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Apologies, I intended to list some speakers but got busy and didn't have time. Some of the speakers I have listened to which at least to my ears sounded very good and were under the $5k/pair are the Paradigm Reference series line up (100's 60's 20's), and the Signature S2's. The B&W 805 Diamond but that's right on the cusp of $5k then there are the Focal Electra 1008 BE (just a bit over $5k/pair). Unfortunately I'm in a relatively small audio market and don't have access to many manufacturers. There are of course the typical big box electronics stores which carry the likes of Polk, Infinity and JBL but none of those have ever impressed me. I know JBL makes some seriously high end designs but those series are unfortunately not carried in the local market.


I have never had the opportunity to listen to any of the older reference quality Pioneers. There is an Elite dealer in my area but they never got into that pricey of speakers. Probably the most expensive Pioneer items they have ever had were the Kuro tv's' which I have and as long as it continues to work I will never let this beauty go. I was close to getting their reference quality Blu-ray player the BDP-09FD but decided to go with the Denon DVD-A1 at the time.


I have heard the Paradigm S8's, S6's, Focal 1038BE's, 1028 BE's, B&W 804 Diamonds and 803 Diamonds, all very nice speakers but none of those put me in the performance, I kept coming away with the impression I'm listening to music through speakers, all be it very nice sounding speakers. It wasn't until I heard the B&W 802 Diamond's and the Focal Alto Utopia's that for the first time in my life I finally understood what people meant by being there. I heard the Diablo Utopias as well and that was an eye opener, I would have never thought a stand mount speaker could sound so good. I now own a pair of 802's and 800's and if I could have afforded it I probably would have built my system based around Focal Maestro Utopia's instead, perhaps with either Scala's as surrounds if not Scala's then Viva's for sure. Throwing more caution to the wind since I'm now spending money I'll never have then toss in TAD R1's, Sonus Faber Lillium's (I just love the look of them, I have no idea how they would sound, I'm not even sure if they have been released yet) or Focal Stella Utopia's, ah screw it throw in some Sonus Faber Aida's for good measure . For me a speaker has to look good as well as deliver on the sound. There are a lot of ugly speakers on the market and no matter how good they might be I could never live them. Funny I know says the guy with B&W 802's and 800's

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Old 08-04-2014, 09:28 PM
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Thanks Scott for the review.

I am looking forward to hearing these at Cedia. Outside of projectors, I now have something else to see/hear at the show.

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Old 08-05-2014, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod#S View Post
I heard the Diablo Utopias as well and that was an eye opener, I would have never thought a stand mount speaker could sound so good.
Those things are beautiful!
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