Auditioned B&W Speakers--Conclusions? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tweeterex View Post

Only if you have been exposed to the marketing in the first place, considering most of the uninformed don't know B&W from Adam, I doubt that marketing has had much influence in the first place.

Actually, my success rate with people who don't know anything about either B&W or NHT is enormous, like 90%. My success rate with people that have friends that own NHT is more like 100%, but my success rate with people that have friends that own B&W or have heard about the company is more like 60%. If they *own* B&Ws already, it's more like 20%. Most of the time, all my newsletters about hot new speakers makes B&W owners go buy more expensive B&Ws. Our competitor loves when we do newsletters because it makes *their* customer base feel insecure and they rush in for the latest upgrade or amps or whatever to take away the cognitive dissonance they feel.

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post #92 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tweeterex View Post

Downselling is such a misunderstood art, isn't it Joel?

Yeah, some people think that people need to spend money til it hurts to be happy. Can't do that very easily if your affordable stuff is actually any good.

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post #93 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Yeah, some people think that people need to spend money til it hurts to be happy. Can't do that very easily if your affordable stuff is actually any good.

This is exactly my point.
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post #94 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 02:46 PM
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Actually, my success rate with people who don't know anything about either B&W or NHT is enormous, like 90%.

As is , probably, most good salesmen with whatever brand they have.

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My success rate with people that have friends that own NHT is more like 100%

Again, typical.

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but my success rate with people that have friends that own B&W or have heard about the company is more like 60%.

Frankly I do better with those who have heard about NHT.
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If they *own* B&Ws already, it's more like 20%.

Frankly, that's sad, I would have expected better.

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Most of the time, all my newsletters about hot new speakers makes B&W owners go buy more expensive B&Ws. Our competitor loves when we do newsletters because it makes *their* customer base feel insecure and they rush in for the latest upgrade or amps or whatever to take away the cognitive dissonance they feel.

Damn, he must be really cleaning up....why is it that he keeps whipping your ass so bad? It's no surprise now that you are so angry towards B&W.

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Yeah, some people think that people need to spend money til it hurts to be happy.

Actually, so many more are so easily convinced that you can get as good for less that it's a miracle anyone will actually spend more FOR more.

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Can't do that very easily if your affordable stuff is actually any good.

Good is a relative term, much of what we discuss is good.

Seeking a speaker recomendation? Compare for yourself or be swayed by others who hear differantly, or by marketing, or just save time and get the cheapest , nicest looking, or smallest.
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post #95 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake Sm View Post

Damn, he must be really cleaning up....why is it that he keeps whipping your ass so bad? It's no surprise now that you are so angry towards B&W.

They do. Even better, they sell lots of high-end 4 and 5-figure amps, cables, CD players, etc once people become disappointed that it doesn't sound that hot in their house. We don't have those issues, so we don't "clean up" as much. Besides, I'm not *angry* towards B&W at all. They're a good business doing everything to build their sales. Nothing wrong with that. It does make the job harder because people don't buy on quality, they buy on the *perception* of quality.
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Actually, so many more are so easily convinced that you can get as good for less that it's a miracle anyone will actually spend more FOR more.

The psychology dictates that "if it's more expensive, it *must* be better". That works on about 50% of the population. Even I get tempted by that. You often just assume that it's pricier, there must be something better about. Moreover, most people either a) don't trust their hearing, so go by the price/sales pitch or b) think they hear really well, but don't consider "the hidden persuaders" that influence their interpretations of sound.
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Good is a relative term, much of what we discuss is good.

True, but I hear *a lot* from B&W owners -"oh, I had to buy *these* because *nothing* below this level is any good". Whereas my customers tend to say "hey, these $400 speakers are *fantastic*, but I can spend more!". I have B&W owners telling me constantly how bad the 600 series is or 700 series or that the 801 is too boomy or the 803D is too warm or the 704 is a POS and I'm thinking "you like this company.......WHY?!?"

B&W successfully sells......B&W. The products can be lame many cases, certainly some models are, but people don't care, they're buying B&W, the company, and just picking the speaker they can afford or like the most. I don't want people to buy a speaker for the name, but because it's better for them or it does what they want or fits there needs *and* they like the sound. If someone says "I don't like these" I say "that's fine, you many not like this type of sound and that's okay - it doesn't mean these are bad speakers, nor does it mean that you're hearing is screwed up". Then I try to find them something they like, even if I have to recommend buying something else somewhere else. But most of those, at least here, have already decided that B&W is the only way to go. And here, it's generally B&W or NHT or mass market or a few even tweakier Euro brands. So, we both sell quite a bit, actually. We've got that "Ford/Chevy" (or maybe Audi/Mercedes) rivalry that keeps most other things out of the running. Can't complain about that.

John
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post #96 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:36 PM
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That's largely unrelated, which is why I "ignored" that.

Gee, you know everything, you're never wrong, and you're apparently always 100% certain. How convenient. Forgive me if I don't take everything coming out of your keyboard as gospel.
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post #97 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

Gee, you know everything, you're never wrong, and you're apparently always 100% certain. How convenient. Forgive me if I don't take everything coming out of your keyboard as gospel.

Being sarcastic isn't a good argument.

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post #98 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by emorphien View Post

I don't know what the price points are, but there's some slop room. A 3 driver speaker vs a 2 driver speaker at the same or similar price point is no indicator of quality.

yes. I got that from your other post. i suggest you look at their price points to put things in perspective.

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post #99 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ribbit View Post

yes. I got that from your other post. i suggest you look at their price points to put things in perspective.

I'd say it isn't really relevant though. Even if the more expensive speaker were a two driver design, one would still make the assumption it should be better in some fashion simply based on price (or the assumption that driver quality or crossover was improved).

I don't know where I'm going with this, I have work to do and looking up their price points is very, very low on my list of things to do.

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post #100 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Being sarcastic isn't a good argument.

But saying that something is unrelated and unimportant without any sort of explanation or support IS a good argument? Get over yourself.

You say people that like B&W are brainwashed. I say people that dislike B&W are brainwashed by the FACT that many people are psychologically predisposed to rooting for underdogs and bagging on the big/common/popular choice.
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post #101 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 04:02 PM
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Looks like the B&W apologists are stirred up.
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post #102 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ericgl View Post

Looks like the B&W apologists are stirred up.

I need to make dinner but popcorn seems more fitting for this.

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post #103 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ericgl View Post

Looks like the B&W apologists are stirred up.

As usual.
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post #104 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by emorphien View Post

I'd say it isn't really relevant though. Even if the more expensive speaker were a two driver design, one would still make the assumption it should be better in some fashion simply based on price (or the assumption that driver quality or crossover was improved).

I don't know where I'm going with this, I have work to do and looking up their price points is very, very low on my list of things to do.

yes. do your work, you are wasting time with a crazy guy like me to whom you need to keep repeating things.

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post #105 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:00 PM
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I posted simply to share my viewpoint that we are not talking about speakers that can walk all over other speakers ... all these speakers mentioned here are pretty good, and that any difference between them is subtle. (at least to me)

I still don't understand why every viewpoint here has to be warred upon.

you! you like b&w ... good for you.
you! you don't like b&w ... buy what sounds good to you.

you don't have to convince everybody else to have the same taste or viewpoint as you.

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post #106 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

But saying that something is unrelated and unimportant without any sort of explanation or support IS a good argument? Get over yourself.

I'm just stating what is and isn't. You're free to disagree all you want. I just like to study this stuff.
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You say people that like B&W are brainwashed.

If the shoe fits......
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I say people that dislike B&W are brainwashed by the FACT that many people are psychologically predisposed to rooting for underdogs and bagging on the big/common/popular choice.

You should probably just get out more.

John
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post #107 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

And a reddish brown lacquer called "Special Dark"

Oh, is that new? I don't remember seeing anything other than black when they first came out.

Anyway, they still don't seem to come in anything light colored (like some sort of maple equivalent), which means that they really don't suit my house.
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post #108 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:17 PM
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They do. Even better, they sell lots of high-end 4 and 5-figure amps, cables, CD players, etc once people become disappointed that it doesn't sound that hot in their house.

No possibilty , I guess you're saying , that they might not like (had liked) the sound better when coupled to decent upstream components, or that the room may be making a differance and that they might just be misguided in what's responsible for that?

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True, but I hear *a lot* from B&W owners -"oh, I had to buy *these* because *nothing* below this level is any good". Whereas my customers tend to say "hey, these $400 speakers are *fantastic*, but I can spend more!"

Perhaps just a differant clientel you two cater to? Or that the customers you have success with are....
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.... psychologically predisposed to rooting for underdogs and bagging on the big/common/popular choice.

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The psychology dictates that "if it's more expensive, it *must* be better". That works on about 50% of the population. Even I get tempted by that. You often just assume that it's pricier, there must be something better about. Moreover, most people either a) don't trust their hearing, so go by the price/sales pitch or b) think they hear really well, but don't consider "the hidden persuaders" that influence their interpretations of sound.

WOW!!!! I'd love to live there then because here the psychology dictates that "there's no differance, it all just hocus-pocus". I even get tempted to assume that the low price stuff is really good. Moreover most people listen for some length of time and say "I can't tell a differance, which one is cheaper?" OR they hear a differance and say " that's just because of the way you have it set!"

Seeking a speaker recomendation? Compare for yourself or be swayed by others who hear differantly, or by marketing, or just save time and get the cheapest , nicest looking, or smallest.
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post #109 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:27 PM
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If the shoe fits......

What an excellent, well supported argument. Thanks for the oh so enlightening posts.
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post #110 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tawaun da bomb View Post

Stereophile is not a magazine that caters to the people they cater to the manufacture,not you,the manufactures profit is whats important to them,they pay the reviewers salary,so of course they are gonna be positive about a B&W product,its all part of the marketing.Ask Kal why you never see reviews from Onix,Ascend,ACI,Tyler Accoustic,GR Research,Salk,Devore,Odyssey and many more because they are small companies that dont generate large sales volume this is what has made B&W and other big chain companies very popular and wealthy.Performance for the people is not what mags like Stereophile are about,they are about how much revenue they can pull out of your pocketbook and put into the giant chain manufactures bank account.

While I think that there's quite a few issues with the way that Stereophile reviews products, I'm not sure if I agree with that criticism.

To me, it almost seems like they lke everything, whether it's the latest uber-speaker from Wilson Audio or some 25w tube amp hand-assembled by a couple of blokes in a small cottage in Wales.
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post #111 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ribbit View Post

yes. do your work, you are wasting time with a crazy guy like me to whom you need to keep repeating things.

It seemed to me you were still holding to a completely fallacious assumption. I still get that feeling.

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post #112 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post

Anyway, they still don't seem to come in anything light colored (like some sort of maple equivalent), which means that they really don't suit my house.

True, only Xd might fit. PSBs have some nice maplish colors though.

John
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post #113 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NicolasKL View Post

What an excellent, well supported argument. Thanks for the oh so enlightening posts.

I was just agreeing, not arguing with you. Not everyone, of course. Some people, I can tell, *genuinely* like the B&W sound. It's not for me, of course, never was, even when I was "selling" it (the pitch being "hey, it's better than Polk....."). Brain washed is a bit strong, I'd say "pre-disposed" or perhaps "emotionally based decision-making".

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post #114 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake Sm View Post

No possibilty , I guess you're saying , that they might not like (had liked) the sound better when coupled to decent upstream components, or that the room may be making a differance and that they might just be misguided in what's responsible for that?

"I just got B&Ws but they're so revealing that my preamp, amp, CD player, cables, room, music and everything else that is attached to these speakers sounds.......bad". Okey dokey.
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Perhaps just a differant clientel you two cater to? Or that the customers you have success with are....

My customers are avid music lovers, not avid equipment lovers. Generally speaking, of course.
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WOW!!!! I'd love to live there then because here the psychology dictates that "there's no differance, it all just hocus-pocus". I even get tempted to assume that the low price stuff is really good. Moreover most people listen for some length of time and say "I can't tell a differance, which one is cheaper?" OR they hear a differance and say " that's just because of the way you have it set!"

Huh. I don't get those "no difference" people. Mainly people on the other end that think *everything* matters to the point of ridiculousness. A competitor and I just *each* set up a $40K system in two *horrible* rooms, now I'm trying to make sure he spends good money on room treatment, not on cabling. My competitor wants him to buy expensive cabling. Not with that slap echo he's got going. I also had to tweak their system quite a bit. The left and right fronts were reversed and too far apart, rears set up badly, subwoofer 15dB too loud, center badly placed. Nice guys, but to them, if you bought the "right" gear, it apparently didn't matter how you set it up. I bet to differ.

John
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post #115 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 06:32 PM
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While I think that there's quite a few issues with the way that Stereophile reviews products

Reviews...are..biased..??? OMG!

Holy cow! Now what am I gonna do with that stuff I bought?
Jeesh...damnit ... dammit ... dammit!!!!

"We were children, once, playing with toys..." ~ Steve Winwood
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post #116 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post

While I think that there's quite a few issues with the way that Stereophile reviews products, I'm not sure if I agree with that criticism.

I don't think many will disagree with you. It's entertaining to read, but their endorsement or dismissal of a product has little weight in my mind. I'd much rather go listen and find out for myself!

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post #117 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post

While I think that there's quite a few issues with the way that Stereophile reviews products, I'm not sure if I agree with that criticism.

To me, it almost seems like they lke everything, whether it's the latest uber-speaker from Wilson Audio or some 25w tube amp hand-assembled by a couple of blokes in a small cottage in Wales.

Yeah everythings good in Stereophile,if it puts money into the manufacture's empire and the magazines American Express cards.But those companies I listed it will be a cold day in hell before they even get reviews,unless they have a $20,000 flagship with dozens of press reviews from all the shows.John Aktinsons measurements are the only thing I find interresting and truthful,it revealed the 50 htz. bass hump in the 802D,which is unacceptable for a $12,000 speaker hell even a $2000 speaker in my book,and Kal downplayed it like it didnt matter,thats rediculous when you consider they have on plenty of occations pointed out a bass hump in a $300 speaker like it was seriously flawed and the world was gonna stop spinning.Look at the Mini Strata a groundbreaking design for the price and it will never see a review,look at the ACI Sappire Xl arguably the most complete monitor for under $5 with drivers in it that costs lots of money,thats in many flagships that cost upwards of $20k that they faithfully review,the same goes for Tyler Acoustics or the Vifa tweeters thats in the Rockets and the Refs thats used in Krells flagship that they reviewed back in 2004,or Ascends drivers which cost more than most big chain companies $5k offerrings.So yeah when I see a merry-go-round with the countless useless Paradigm,B&W,Def Tech, and Audio Physic, reviews it pisses me off to see Stereophile selling that **** for these giant manufactures like they are some kind of revolutionary technology and like they are real class leaders, it makes me sick and makes want to throw up,listening to that useless crap Robert Reina raves about only to see John Akinson come behind him with measurements to show all the flaws and the consumer gets tricked into buying that crap its just degrading,its like they are trying to pick equipment for us like we are not a democracy or something politics and unjusticed favortism is gonna be the down fall of this country sorry for the rant but i had to get this out. Stereophile is the reason companies why companies like Paradigm and B&W has been finacially succesful while customers listening satisfaction and bank book has suffered.
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post #118 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 08:35 PM
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Reviews only say so much, as do measurements. That's why as a consumer if you want to be responsible and informed, you have to just go and listen. Unless you're paying megabucks every speaker lets up somewhere in the measurements, but it depends on you and your listening environment on whether that will affect you.

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post #119 of 438 Old 01-10-2007, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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It has occurred to me that I might be able to use floor-standing speakers in the front (or monitors with speakers stands instead of putting them IN the bookshelves) if I put them on either side the bookshelves in the middle (i.e. like this where each carat represents a speaker:

( ::::: ^ ^ ^::::: )

The reason I hadn't thought about it before is it simply appeared to my eyes that the speakers seemed a little too close together visually (given the room dimensions, though I'm thinking maybe it's more a visual trick). The left and right speakers would be 5 feet apart and the main listening position in the center spot is almost exactly 10 feet diagonal from either left/right speaker. It seems like I recall 2:1 ratio being a good rule of thumb for the triangle shape (The Carvers upstairs are currently 6 feet apart on the inner wing edge of each speaker and 9 feet to the main listening chair and they sound great with that setup). The edge of the projector screen would go just an inch or so further left and right (covering the bookshelf edge, just in front of it) than the speakers in that position. The thinking before was to have the bookshelf speakers on the lowest shelf just left and right of the screen (maybe 6-7 feet apart). How much the stereo soundstage might be affected, I'm not quite sure, but it would allow much greater flexibility in speaker selection. Of course, having a THIRD speaker between both of those speakers would mean I'd have a speaker every 2.5 feet across that range of space which really seems kind of close, but that's the only way to anchor the dialogue when you're not sitting in the sweet spot.

I did do some experimentation a long time ago with the Carvers before I got the home theater additions to it at my old home and I had a lot more flexibility with their relative placement to the listening position at the time. One odd thing I noted was that as long relative placement was precise, Sonic Holography seemed to expand the soundstage to similarly large proportions regardless (within reason) of how close together I put the speakers (with according toe-in). It did, of course affect regular stereo soundstaging as they got closer together. I also played with distance from the rear wall and some live/dead effects with the rear wave and finally settled on ~18 inches to the back of the woofer box (~24 inches to the ribbon) from the front wall. That's about where I have it at the new house also and luckily it lines up with my piano fairly well at that distance, giving the room a rather nice wood look with a cherry wood piano framed by oak wings and mahogony crown molding around the ceiling (contrast of woods look).

Anyway, I've only got one sonic holography processor/pre-amp (works by crosstalk cancellation circuitry) and it'll likely be staying with the Carver speakers (I used to have it the tape loop of the Denon receiver purely for the Sonic Holography mode, but somehow it seemed to lose its magic when I had to separate the speakers further apart to make room for the HDTV) at which point I went back to pure stereo. Now that it's a music-only system and the speakers are much closer together, I've gone back to the Carver preamp by itself and it works really well again. Contrary to what one might think about using with dipoles (i.e. the rear wave won't crosstalk cancel), it still works so I'm guessing only the first wave arrival is needed to achieve the psychoacoustical effect.

I guess I'm saying I'll need the speakers to image well on their own at the given possible distances apart from the listening location, whatever the choice so if 5 feet apart is too close in that room, I'll have to stick with considering monitor/bookshelf type speakers.

I had a look at the website for the SapphireXL and the only concern there for trying them would be their depth, which 12.5 inches. They would stick out slightly beyond the upper lip of the bookshelf which sits on a cabinet. I'm sure they wouldn't move and that would get the speaker edge beyond the cabinet braces and I could always make some kind of wood reinforcement bit to place under it or something, I suppose. The bad part is the rear wall is only 12.5 inches then from the plane of the drivers and that's still close enough to cause potential room interference (I think the minimum desirable distance is usuallly considered to be around 18 inches or so unless that wall behind is very dead. Otherwise any rear-wave or diffraction effect could potentially muddle the sound a bit (being monopolar, obviously less of a concern than with a dipole or something like Mirage's omnipolar speakers), but still a pressing concern none-the-less, but then so would any bookshelf speaker in that room setup like that.
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post #120 of 438 Old 01-11-2007, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post

It has occurred to me that I might be able to use floor-standing speakers in the front (or monitors with speakers stands instead of putting them IN the bookshelves) if I put them on either side the bookshelves in the middle (i.e. like this where each carat represents a speaker:

( ::::: ^ ^ ^::::: )

Actually, it's more like, if you're 10' from the center speaker, the mains should be about 7' apart, but if it's exclusively HT, they could even a bit wider. On the other hand, you will get a performance upgrade by not having them *in* the cabinets. The front of a speaker should always be at least 2.5' from any room boundary.

John
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