Tired of subwoofers - it is time for a bookshelf speaker test - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 483 Old 04-02-2007, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So far, in preference testing ... Speaker "1" got 3 nods, speaker "2" got 5, with my 15 year old son declaring a tie. Most everyone also thought the speakers both had positives and negatives - and we would really need to allow for more music types and time to get a true pattern ... but it is interesting.

I have a few other people I want to have listen to them ... and by the weekend, we will take off the "blinders".
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post #92 of 483 Old 04-05-2007, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Taking my son out of the equation, 14 people have listened to both speakers, with some interesting results ....

1. No matter how much I try to explain that the purpose is to describe the differences, rather than a preference, everyone has also insisted on naming a preference.

2. The 2 speakers are tied, 7 to 7, in the preference vote.

3. The trend has been speaker "1" doing better in lateral imaging and brass instruments, while speaker "2" doing better on vocals, drums and depth imaging.

In fact, the imaging differences are quite different.

All 14 listeners have found both speakers to be of high quality. The panel owns Def Tech (2 listeners), Paradigm (3 listeners), B&W, VMPS, Bose (3 listeners), HTIB (4 listeners), Infinity, PSB and Klipsch.

My brother in law, another VMPS owner, will be here Saturday - he is an avid audiophile. He will be the last listener, and then the blindfolds come off.

I have also done about 20 hours of listening. I would not want to try to tell someone which speaker to purchase.
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post #93 of 483 Old 04-05-2007, 05:29 PM
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Craig -

This is turning out very interesting. Have you got the xls-ex yet? I am very anxious for them to be put in the mix.
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post #94 of 483 Old 04-05-2007, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The XL-s EX have not arrived. I insisted that the pair be purchased, and they would be identical to what anyone would purchase on line.

I think that is about 2 or 3 weeks away.
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post #95 of 483 Old 04-07-2007, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update ... My brother in law is here - we are going to spend a few hours playing with "1" and "2", and will finish part one of this process later this afternoon.
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post #96 of 483 Old 04-07-2007, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We wrapped things up here - including spending an hour with the $2000 Strata Minis after some fun with the 170/SC-01 pairs.

Between the 2, we got the following results - many of which were mentioned earlier.

Speaker pair "1" was stronger in the following areas ...

1. Width of soundstage
2. Macro-dynamics - It "goes loud" easier
3. Accuracy of Brass instruments - especially Sax and Trumpet

Speaker pair "2" was stronger in the following areas ...

1. Depth of soundstage
2. Microdynamics (subtle clues are more easily discerned. As an example, there some sea-gulls in the Roger Waters SACD "In The Flesh", speaker 2 playes them very clearly, while speaker 1 barely makes them noticeable).
3. Reproduction of vocals - both male and female
4. Percussive instruments

My brother-in-law, Peter, is also an avid audiophile, and loves this type of test.

He slightly preferred speaker "1", while I gave the nod to speaker "2". There are some interesting parallels to the speakers we each own, and use in everyday life.

He has the VMPS Tower II Anniversary Editions, which are quite efficient, and tend towards sounding more like speaker "1", while my Minis sound closer to speaker "2".

We made these conclusions after extensive listening, and before revealing which was which.

Speaker "1" was the Ascend 170 SE's, Speaker "2" was the SVS SC-01's.

The Ascends, looking back at the set up, were about 2 dB more efficient than were the SVS.

The VMPS, while having excellent stage width, are not all the deep. The Minis, while not able to play as loudly as will the VMPS, have excellent later and depth imaging.


Every person here thought both speakers were high quality, especially considering the moderate price.
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post #97 of 483 Old 04-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Update ... My brother in law is here - we are going to spend a few hours playing with "1" and "2", and will finish part one of this process later this afternoon.

Sweet!!!!!!! ...........
Iv been in suspense ALL week.........
Nice findings, and it's good to know you cant go wrong no matter which way you decide to go!! Especially since I just ordered the SCS 5.1 package a few days ago.
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post #98 of 483 Old 04-09-2007, 12:49 AM
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Craig,
You say that the SCS sonically sound close to the style of your Mini's so
how would you rate the SCS in comparison to the strata mini's. I have the sbs package for my HT system so far and was looking at the mini for a 2 channel music at first and maybe as an upgrade later. -- is there enough of a gap between the two to justify the upgrade or do I need to go even bigger to get a real sense of separation.

Greg
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post #99 of 483 Old 04-09-2007, 10:46 AM
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Awesome Craig, thanks for this thread!

I am really interested to see how the SBS-01 compares to the SCS. I ordered a 5.1 set last night and am considering changing the SBS mains to SCS. Let us know. Thanks!

I have too many hobbies.
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post #100 of 483 Old 04-09-2007, 12:54 PM
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I second that - this thread is great! Especially not taking sides here, which so many threads here tend to do.
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post #101 of 483 Old 04-09-2007, 01:17 PM
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Well done Craig!

Too bad no one was willing to guess which speaker was which. Well, almost no one.

Very good comparison and I think the main point is how two people could prefer different sounding speakers.

Also very interesting is that the SVS speakers you heard were more revealing or articulate. Based on the standard SVS bookshelf speakers I have heard it sounds like the centers are signifigantly better. Have you done any comparisons between the two SVS speakers?
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post #102 of 483 Old 04-09-2007, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mucho ... I have been waiting for you to gloat ...

Next up will be some comparisons of the SB-01 to the SC-01's. I won't be dragging friends and family in on this one - just some listening on my own.
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post #103 of 483 Old 04-11-2007, 08:44 AM
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Sweeeet write up Craig. I always enjoy these tests and how you conduct them and write them up for us.

I am also looking forward to the directly SBS-01 vs the SCS-01 match up.

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post #104 of 483 Old 04-12-2007, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Brad .. Thanks for the kind words. We will be starting the SVS vs. SVS comparo tonight. Details this weekend ...
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post #105 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 06:10 AM
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Looking forward to your finding. I was going to order a 7.1 setup with 3 SCS's and 4 SBS's. Taxes screwed me hard this year, the price of a good year I guess. My room is around 3500 cuft, so I would love to hear your opinion.
I also have tinnitus so my critical listening years are dwindling. I used to listen to my Kef 105.2's with top of the line Carver Amps and Preamps, now Polks M3's through a sony!
I will be sitting with in 12' of my screen and most likely using a Pio 84 or follow on.
Thanks
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post #106 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 07:43 AM
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Craig,

I dont mean to hi-jack this post, but I have a question regarding your Stratus Mini's.

How to do like the round plannar tweeter? Do you have a close-up picture of it? Can you describe it's tonal character compared to a silk dome or other quality tweeters?

Thanks
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post #107 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cak ... I would rather you opened a new thread on the Minis - there is a lot to talk about with them. For a brief thought, I think they are an astonishing value in the right system. They are not the last word in macro dynamics, as they just won't play above about 105 dB in most rooms. Up to their limits, they are remarkable.
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post #108 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is something that I rarely encounter .. a clear winner between products. The SC-01 is so much better than the SB-01 that it is not even close. Even when level matched, the SC-01's handle dynamics better, are cleaner in the mids, and best the SB-01 in every way. They image wider and deeper as well.

Add to that, we saw about 3 dB higher output from the SC-01 with the same signal going in ... We are looking at $125 more for a pair across the front in a system ... That 3 dB is the same as doubling the output of the receiver for $125.

The SC-01's are a very good speaker ... the SB-01's are a good budget speaker, but are totally outclassed by their bigger brothers.
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post #109 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 03:49 PM
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So SCS in the front, but SBS's are a good match for surrounds?
(ps if you are ever near WS I owe you good beer &/or Awesome scotch)
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post #110 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stubeeef - I would prefer SC-01's all the way around, but the SB-01's will work fine.

Budget and/or size concerns will be the decision maker there. The SC-01's are fairly large for a lot of installations.
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post #111 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 03:58 PM
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Best Buy Insignia brand speakers!


..if they weren't already mentioned. Great budget speakers, my computer speakers.
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post #112 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 04:02 PM
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craig- awesome, thats exactly the information I have been looking for! Thanks!

How would you feel about a 3.1 set-up with the SC-01, seem like a good idea or would a center SC-01 in a small room seem unecessary? should I stick with a 2.1?

Either way Im going to be ordering me some SC-01s real soon, thanks again for your excellent comparision.
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post #113 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by garritynet View Post

craig- awesome, thats exactly the information I have been looking for! Thanks!

How would you feel about a 3.1 set-up with the SC-01, seem like a good idea or would a center SC-01 in a small room seem unecessary? should I stick with a 2.1?

Either way Im going to be ordering me some SC-01s real soon, thanks again for your excellent comparision.

I am in the exact same situation... been on the fence on these, and this makes me def. want them. I am actually going to just get the fronts, and when I have a bit more money get a sub and the center. Thanks for the evaluation craig.
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post #114 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 04:17 PM
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Craig .........Thanks for all the hard work you've put into this...........Great to have all these comparisons........
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post #115 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garritynet View Post

craig- awesome, thats exactly the information I have been looking for! Thanks!

How would you feel about a 3.1 set-up with the SC-01, seem like a good idea or would a center SC-01 in a small room seem unecessary? should I stick with a 2.1?

Either way Im going to be ordering me some SC-01s real soon, thanks again for your excellent comparision.

We have the SC-01 center set up now ... Are you looking for ideas for Home theater ? If so, 3.1 with the SC's across the front will be the preferred way to go, though running Phantom mode with 2 will also yield good results.

Did someone mention this being work ? Bookshelf speakers are FUN after lugging all those subwoofers around.

It will be tempting to get the tube Ultra 13.5, just for the lower weight ...
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post #116 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 04:53 PM
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Quote:


We have the SC-01 center set up now ... Are you looking for ideas for Home theater ? If so, 3.1 with the SC's across the front will be the preferred way to go, though running Phantom mode with 2 will also yield good results.

You guessed it, I've been working out a HT plan. I have a HK AVR 145 and no speakers. From asking questions and doing homework I have decided that a 3.1 setup would be an ideal compromise for movies and music. I don't much care for suround music.

I had two major questions develop though. Acsends or SVS, which you answered for me with the second question being SB or SC which you also answered for me.

Thanks!
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post #117 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 06:11 PM
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Capt. Crunch, thanks for the link to this thread.

craigsub, I'm reading your mini reviews with enthusiasm and appreciate your sharing your exp. w/ us. You mentioned you're getting the AV123 bookshelf speakers. Do you plan to do a floorstanding speaker test using semi-budget speakers such as AV123's new X-SLS and Ascend's floorstanders (among others)?

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post #118 of 483 Old 04-14-2007, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Beowulf - I had not thought about a budget floorstanding test - maybe after we do a few more bookshelf speakers, and I have a big "sale" to get some space freed up, we could do something.
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post #119 of 483 Old 04-15-2007, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

The SC-01's are a very good speaker ... the SB-01's are a good budget speaker, but are totally outclassed by their bigger brothers.

This is not a surprise to me based on my experience in comparing the Ascend 170SE to the SVS SB-01 speakers and your own comparison of the 170SE vs the SC01.

Can you tell me - how hard have you pushed the SVS SC01? How loud can they get without starting to break up a bit?

Sounds like SVS really has a winner there.
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post #120 of 483 Old 04-15-2007, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCHO View Post

This is not a surprise to me based on my experience in comparing the Ascend 170SE to the SVS SB-01 speakers and your own comparison of the 170SE vs the SC01.

Can you tell me - how hard have you pushed the SVS SC01? How loud can they get without starting to break up a bit?

Sounds like SVS really has a winner there.

Mucho ........I didn't break out the spl meter but i did crank them up quite a bit and I sure a hell don't want to listen to them that level for any length of time and they still sounded good....... Maybe if you had a REAL REAL big room it would make a difference but they ran me out of the room.
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