|Originally posted by boudoir
The problem I have with you or manufacturers doing their own reviews is.. their lack of credibility!! Would it be great for a saleman or a manufacturer to be able to print his own review in a magazine such as Stereophile. One would read nothing but praise, of course, which is exactly what is happening here on this board on the internet:D
People are free to take my opinions with a large grain of salt. Most sales people are not prone to look at the faults of their own products. I don't have that problem. Nothing is perfect. I think Evos could be more detailed and open than they are. However, the price for accomplishing this would be vast and fewer people could enjoy it. Like in college. I knew it took 5 times the effort to get an "A", so I shot for a "B", especially since I was working 40-60 hours/week. If NHT can proved "B" perfomance for 25-50% of a "A" peformance AND offer more dynamic range AND deeper bass AND better center/rear matching AND more flexibility AND more adjustability for less than ideal rooms, well, that's value.
Interestingly, I find the owners of many speakers to be FAR more biased than the people selling them. I don't say any brand is "the best" whereas many owners insist THEIR brand is "the best". Look at most of the posts about some of these brands. People just say "buy these, they're the best!" If I make such a post, I may say because "they're acoustic suspension" or because "they are accurate" or because "they blend well with a sub" or "they are designed with your situation in mind" and things like that in addition to sound quality. I
But I do stress value. And practical considerations like accuracy, sound IN the house rather than the showroom. I also want people to buy the right speaker for their needs, not under or over buy. I often tell people with money that all they need are T5s "but, if you want the T6s......." People hate the idea of objectivity is audio. That's fine. Craig will say I stress accuracy too much and whatever sounds good is right, even if it's inaccurate. I don't buy that. Accuracy IS important. It doesn't mean you won't prefer an inaccurate speaker, but it needs to be considered. Of course, most speaker companies dare not bring up the subject, especially Bose. But when you see a FR curve on a T5 vs a CDM-9NT and the T5s has approximately 1/3rd the FR error, it needs to be discussed, not ignored. Craig would also say that I talk about objective things to much as though I don't listen and have preferences. That's not true at all. But the difference is, I look at both. And here on a forum, where their are lots of "opinions" being tossed around, I try to back up suggestions with some objective advice and information so as not to be a "sales hack". Bottom line, if someone disagrees with me I can't win because I'm either "too objective" or "too biased".
One of the reasons I like poking holes in B&W's grand image is because their basic design principles aren't much more advanced than Paradigm or PSB or any of a number of very affordable speakers. AND, they chose to use drivers that are famous for their sonic problems and porting which creates problems and a variety of other issues. I can talk about sensible crossover design and cabinet design and some of these other design choices and it makes sense. Ask any designer and they'll tell you that speaker design is the art of compromise. And the art of choosing your brand of coloration. People tend to separate out midrange, bass and treble as the "three" ranges. B&W has VERY SKILLFULLY mastered the art of creating vibrant "present" sound/illusion in each of these three ranges. People talk about the "punchy bass", the "detailed midrange" and the "pristine highs". Listen to the T5s/T6s and, except for the bass being obviously deeper and more controlled than most anything you've heard, there's not much to point at. They're very integrated and none of the drivers have much of a signature that can be identified. They don't pound you with "detail", yet, you hear all the nuances. The treble is so smooth, it often seems like nothing is happening, yet, you listen to a cymbal and it sounds real. The imaging isn't mind-boggling, yet sound very natural. The bass is so controlled and precise it effortlessly purrs along with the music in a manner that makes it difficult to describe because typical "punchy, fast, dynamic, rhythmic" action words don't quite explain it. And then you see the FR curve and other measurements and it makes sense. Low coloration, low distortion, no major peaks or dips. A speaker that's not "doing something" for the music, but letting it stand or fall on its own. Are they perfect? Of course not. They essentially do everything at about 9/10s of what is possible to achieve and do nothing poorly. I much prefer that to a speaker that appears to be 10/10s in some things and 3/10s in other areas. I don't think anybody should pay close to $10K for a speaker that isn't 9/10s or better across the board. But they do. Their choice. I like balance. I'd rather have an Audi S6 than a Ferrari, because it's also going to get the groceries and go on family trips.
BTW, Craig, because I do believe my own BS, I spoke with John Leosco at great length about his review of the T6s that you cite because he said something to the effect of "there are 2 areas that some people claim the N801s don't do well and this is where the T6s are doing something very different". [note, he said "some people CLAIM"]. I gave him some insight as to why this might be so. I also, deadpan, asked him to consider that the N801 might be 90% of the T6 for only $7000 more. He said he's reviewing some other more expensive speakers with the N801s as a reference and would attempt to ascertain whether I had a point or not. I haven't read anything, but I suppose I should look to see what came of it.
So, in summation, I have to keep things as objective as I can and point to flaws with back up information as to why that would be the case. You can't just make a subjective comment about a product and not back it up, though most do. I believe I'm as even-handed as an NHT owner and seller could possibly be, but I always invite people to take note that I could easily be accused of bias and they can ferret from my comments whatever they feel is useful. I just try to advise people to listen deeper to speakers and don't go by first impressions. Many, if not most, speakers are designed to woo you from the first note. I believe NHTs simply don't do that, but believe they are a speaker you are far more likely to grow INTO rather than OUT OF. Sometimes the best attributes of a speaker are the ones you come to know, not the ones you immediatly notice. Hey, you think my wife married me for my tall, handsome looks?!?