Ascend Sierra-B&W 805S-Swan D2.1SE-Tyler Acoustics Ref Monitor - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Were you sent product to evaluate? 930 is not on the website, I am sure Jon will clarify. Didn't you have the 630 and D2.1SE before they were for sale?

As I bought all 3, they clearly were for sale.

The 630's and 2.1's were on the site, and the 930's in stock, when I ordered them.

In fact, I got earlier samples of the Sierras than any speaker here, Curtis. The first day they were available.

You weren't a big X-Files fan, by any chance, were you ?
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post #182 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

I found the review, guys.

1. It was in Absolute Sound
2. He ASKS the question, "World's Best $1k Speaker?"
3. He answers that "No affordable bookshelf speaker I've heard does a better job than the NHT Classic Threes".

Note, he puts a disclaimer "I've heard" ...

Time for golf.

Thanks Craig. I think Clarke has the same type of disclaimer.

Have fun on the course! It is a beach day out here.

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post #183 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

The 630's and 2.1's were on the site, and the 930's in stock, when I ordered them.

Are you sure? I thought Jon said they would not be in full production until the fall. How could you order them if they are not on the website?

edit:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=116

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post #184 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 12:37 PM
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Curtis ... It is not a writing style. It is a pretty wild comment, which makes it amusing.

To declare something as absolutely the best is not a statement that anyone SHOULD say with a straight face.

Hey Craigsub,

I'm the reviewer in question. First off, thanks for reading; but also thanks for thinking...I knew this would come up sooner or later.

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I am assuming Mr. Clarke is intelligent. He then should have known to temper his comments.

Why, thank you! Actually, that's Mr. Robinson...my first name is Clarke.

Anyway, I did temper my comments! I wrote: "I sincerely believe the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under $1000 (yes, I'm including floorstanders in that). Challengers are welcome."

...and that statement is absolutely true. I do sincerely believe that the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under a grand! You may believe something different, and that's fine. All speakers are compromised in one way or another, but the Sierra deliver the total musical package to me better than anything I've heard in the price range.

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Does anyone think this reviewer has heard EVERY speaker for under $1000 ?

I can assure you, I have not.

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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Does anyone think he has heard 20% of the speakers which sell for under $1000 ?

I don't really know, but I seriously doubt it. However, considering my experience comparing the Sierra to speakers 2x, 4x, and even 8x their price, my opinion stands.

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If I were to pronounce that, say, the new Rocket 450's were the best speaker under $1000, what would the reaction be here ?

Well, "the reaction here" is one of the reasons I don't spend much time at AVS, but that's another issue. However, your point about the Rocket 450s is exactly why I included the "challengers are welcome" statement. My review queue is currently empty for next year, and I'm looking to my readers to point me in the direction they'd like to see...I consider this one vote for the 450s.

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As I said, though, I would love it if this guy wrote what he did about MY speakers.

Dave does like the review (he told me so), but I can assure you he is much more proud of the write-up (and NRC measurements) the Sierra received from Doug Schneider at Soundstage, a 10+ year veteran in the field.


Thanks again for reading! If you'd like to take me to task further, I encourage you to contact me through enjoythemusic:

robinson at enjoythemusic dot com

...as I don't check in here too often. Steve publishes all the letters and our responses, provided the flames are kept to a minimum.
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post #185 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 01:50 PM
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...you even have product that nobody can get....receive product to evaluate and then post about them.

Not to worry; if nobody can get them, it's just because they're temporarily sold out.

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I thought Jon said they would not be in full production until the fall. How could you order them if they are not on the website?

With a phone call, Curtis. I believe Craig's interest was piqued enough by the Dana 630 that he asked about the rest of the line and eventually snagged a pair of the 930's from us as well. Craig also got one of just a few Acculine ASub's we had in stock at the time. The man is a speaker magnet, no pun intended.

I can post the particulars on each model's status if somebody requests such...

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post #186 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

As I bought all 3, they clearly were for sale.

The 630's and 2.1's were on the site, and the 930's in stock, when I ordered them.

Confirmed in each case, Craig. Frankly, I'm not sure how else anyone would know to order them if we hadn't first presented them, or something like them. Maybe I'm missing something?

Like everybody else, we're always looking at product options. I don't personally like talking about them before they've hatched, but there you go -- probably there's six or ten models in various stages at any one time and I'm sure my own time-limited wish list goes to at least eleven, and that for each brand we have plus one we haven't yet launched.

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post #187 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by clarke68 View Post

Hey Craigsub,

I'm the reviewer in question. First off, thanks for reading; but also thanks for thinking...I knew this would come up sooner or later.

Why, thank you! Actually, that's Mr. Robinson...my first name is Clarke.

Anyway, I did temper my comments! I wrote: "I sincerely believe the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under $1000 (yes, I'm including floorstanders in that). Challengers are welcome."

...and that statement is absolutely true. I do sincerely believe that the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under a grand! You may believe something different, and that's fine. All speakers are compromised in one way or another, but the Sierra deliver the total musical package to me better than anything I've heard in the price range.

I can assure you, I have not.

I don't really know, but I seriously doubt it. However, considering my experience comparing the Sierra to speakers 2x, 4x, and even 8x their price, my opinion stands.

Well, "the reaction here" is one of the reasons I don't spend much time at AVS, but that's another issue. However, your point about the Rocket 450s is exactly why I included the "challengers are welcome" statement. My review queue is currently empty for next year, and I'm looking to my readers to point me in the direction they'd like to see...I consider this one vote for the 450s.

Dave does like the review (he told me so), but I can assure you he is much more proud of the write-up (and NRC measurements) the Sierra received from Doug Schneider at Soundstage, a 10+ year veteran in the field.


Thanks again for reading! If you'd like to take me to task further, I encourage you to contact me through enjoythemusic:

robinson at enjoythemusic dot com

...as I don't check in here too often. Steve publishes all the letters and our responses, provided the flames are kept to a minimum.


And this is why all loudspeaker reviews should be taken as nothing but one person's opinion...no matter the extent of the credentials of that individual. Comparos like Craig does are fun and tell how competitors stack up against each other in individuals' opinions. He has fun doing it and makes no statement other than something like "these are my favorites" or "these are the group's favorites". At least he doesn't leap off into elite audio-ego-land and make pretentious, absolutist statements filled with value laden superlatives.

I'll further state that anyone who buys any speaker from any manufacturer for any reason (especially someone else's review) other than self-auditioned preference is unwise, lazy, and wasteful (or well-to-do and curious ).

MARGARITAS,
they're not just for breakfast anymore.
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post #188 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mudslide View Post

And this is why all loudspeaker reviews should be taken as nothing but one person's opinion...no matter the extent of the credentials of that individual. Comparos like Craig does are fun and tell how competitors stack up against each other in individuals' opinions. He has fun doing it and makes no statement other than something like "these are my favorites" or "these are the group's favorites". At least he doesn't leap off into elite audio-ego-land and make pretentious, absolutist statements filled with value laden superlatives.

I'll further state that anyone who buys any speaker from any manufacturer for any reason (especially someone else's review) other than self-auditioned preference is unwise, lazy, and wasteful (or well-to-do and curious ).

Or maybe it's because they're very busy working or taking care of their family and they trust the opinions of certain individuals.

Nah, that couldn't be it. They're just unwise, lazy, and wasteful.

Talk about making absolutist statements.
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post #189 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Craigsub,

I'm the reviewer in question. First off, thanks for reading; but also thanks for thinking...I knew this would come up sooner or later.

Why, thank you! Actually, that's Mr. Robinson...my first name is Clarke.

Anyway, I did temper my comments! I wrote: "I sincerely believe the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under $1000 (yes, I'm including floorstanders in that). Challengers are welcome."

...and that statement is absolutely true. I do sincerely believe that the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under a grand! You may believe something different, and that's fine. All speakers are compromised in one way or another, but the Sierra deliver the total musical package to me better than anything I've heard in the price range.

I can assure you, I have not.

I don't really know, but I seriously doubt it. However, considering my experience comparing the Sierra to speakers 2x, 4x, and even 8x their price, my opinion stands.

Well, "the reaction here" is one of the reasons I don't spend much time at AVS, but that's another issue. However, your point about the Rocket 450s is exactly why I included the "challengers are welcome" statement. My review queue is currently empty for next year, and I'm looking to my readers to point me in the direction they'd like to see...I consider this one vote for the 450s.

Dave does like the review (he told me so), but I can assure you he is much more proud of the write-up (and NRC measurements) the Sierra received from Doug Schneider at Soundstage, a 10+ year veteran in the field.


Thanks again for reading! If you'd like to take me to task further, I encourage you to contact me through enjoythemusic:

robinson at enjoythemusic dot com

...as I don't check in here too often. Steve publishes all the letters and our responses, provided the flames are kept to a minimum.

Clarke, Welcome to the thread. We differ in one primary area, I would never think to declare anything as an absolute unless I experienced all the products in its class.

For a reviewer to toss out the opinion that something is the least compromised product in a class in which he has experienced under 20% of the products in the class is not something I expect to see from a reviewer.

You don't see it that way, which is cool.

I do have to ask the question:

On what are you basing this concept that any one speaker is the "least compromised" in its price category?

And stick around, debate is good.

As an aside, I have purchased a total of 12 Ascend speakers in the past 40 months, and have enjoyed them all. In fact, I have owned more Ascends than Curtis has, if memory serves.
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post #190 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:21 PM
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Or maybe it's because they're very busy working or taking care of their family and they trust the opinions of certain individuals.

Nah, that couldn't be it. They're just unwise, lazy, and wasteful.

Talk about making absolutist statements.

(But not too busy to be reading forums and magazine reviews? LOL.)

You go ahead and buy your speakers based upon others' judgements. You'll be fine. Call that decision "wise" if you like. Call it by whatever floats your boat.

And you'll never know......

I like and I much trust Craigsub. He recommended speakers to me that he loved and I hated. How do you deal with that in your approach? QED. I still trust Craig...but we obviously have different tastes in audio. He knows these things, which is why he approaches these comparos the way he does. But "Pro Reviewers"?! That's a fish of another odor.

We're each quite physiologically unique, XC. You know, it's physically impossible for two people to hear alike. Different ears, differently tuned cilia, different brains, different neural conduction routes, etc. And this is not to even mention different front-end equipment and room configurations.

Speaker reviews are fun and some writers get pretty creative with their adjectives. But they're still not a substitute for actually listening for yourself when selecting speakers.

MARGARITAS,
they're not just for breakfast anymore.
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post #191 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(But not too busy to be reading forums and magazine reviews? LOL.)

You go ahead and buy your speakers based upon others' judgements. You'll be fine. Call that decision "wise" if you like. Call it by whatever floats your boat.

And you'll never know......

I like and I much trust Craigsub. He recommended speakers to me that he loved and I hated. How do you deal with that in your approach? QED. I still trust Craig...but we obviously have different tastes in audio. He knows that, which is why he approaches these comparos the way he does. But "Pro Reviewers"?! That's a fish of another odor.

We're each quite physiologically unique, XC. You know, it's physically impossible for two people to hear alike. Different ears, differently tuned cilia, different brains, different neural conduction routes, etc. And this is not to even mention different front-end equipment and room configurations.

Speaker reviews are fun and some writers get pretty creative with their adjectives. But they're still not a substitute for actually listening for for yourself when selecting speakers.

You only hated them because you are smarter than I am ...
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post #192 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:35 PM
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You only hated them because you are smarter than I am ...

Err, I think I'm a LOT dumber, Craig.

Sorry for side-stepping your request for a "light" thread. I'll humbly slither off stage right........

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post #193 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:42 PM
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As an aside, I have purchased a total of 12 Ascend speakers in the past 40 months, and have enjoyed them all. In fact, I have owned more Ascends than Curtis has, if memory serves.

Don't think so...but what does it matter?

Beach was great! How was golf?

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post #194 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 04:45 PM
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With a phone call, Curtis. I believe Craig's interest was piqued enough by the Dana 630 that he asked about the rest of the line and eventually snagged a pair of the 930's from us as well. Craig also got one of just a few Acculine ASub's we had in stock at the time. The man is a speaker magnet, no pun intended.

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Confirmed in each case, Craig. Frankly, I'm not sure how else anyone would know to order them if we hadn't first presented them, or something like them. Maybe I'm missing something?

Jon, how did Craig know about the 930's? They are not on the website, and you clearly stated in the link I posted to that they will not be in the near future, and that they were being held close to the vest.

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No immediate plans, mwolfe38. For now, this one we're playing close to the vest just for "insiders" such as our AVS friends...


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post #195 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:01 PM
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We're each quite physiologically unique, XC. You know, it's physically impossible for two people to hear alike. Different ears, differently tuned cilia, different brains, different neural conduction routes, etc. And this is not to even mention different front-end equipment and room configurations.

This is flawed. While we each hear differently, the sound of the bass guitar, trumpet, piano, cymbals, etc. does not change. So while you may hear it differently than the next person, you are hearing the same exact sound. What you are changing is the reproduction of that signal/sound to be more pleasing to you.

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Speaker reviews are fun and some writers get pretty creative with their adjectives. But they're still not a substitute for actually listening for yourself when selecting speakers.

Absolutely! Which is also why having more opinions to go by is also valuable.

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post #196 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jon, how did Craig know about the 930's? They are not on the website, and you clearly stated in the link I posted to that they will not be in the near future, and that they were being held close to the vest.

Curtis, There was a pair for sale on the Canuck Audio Mart, and I asked Jon about them, as I had not seen them on the site. He told me they would be selling for $1495 a pair, and asked if I wanted to try them out. I do believe you could order a pair if you wanted.

What is funny is I was asking Jon about the 680's, which ARE on the site, but not available, before I asked him about the 930's.

If you are still confused, PM me your number, and we can chat via phone.

As for Ascend, I have owned 170's, 340's, 340 center, 170 SE's, Sierras, Sierra center, and now 340 SE's. Clarke had this to say about my position on the Sierras:

Quote:


I do sincerely believe that the Sierra-1 is the least compromised speaker currently available under a grand! You may believe something different, and that's fine.

I never made any comments about how the Sierras sound compared to other speakers, so his comment that I may believe something different deserved a response about my tenure with Ascend's products.

He also said this ...

Quote:


However, your point about the Rocket 450s is exactly why I included the "challengers are welcome" statement. My review queue is currently empty for next year, and I'm looking to my readers to point me in the direction they'd like to see...I consider this one vote for the 450s.

My response to this is pretty simple, I never asked for the Rockets to be tested, and I don't know how anyone could decide I was "voting for the 450's" to be included in a Future Clarke review.

I have never even heard the 450's. However, if I did, and declared they were the least compromised speaker (which, by definition, means the best) speaker for under $1000, when it was clear I had not heard ALL or even CLOSE to all the speakers in that price range, it would be an irresponsible statement.

Make no mistake, the Sierras are an excellent product, and I like owning them. However, I have never heard any speaker which I would call the "least compromised for under $1000".
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post #197 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:20 PM
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If you are still confused, PM me your number, and we can chat via phone.

PM on the way. But I am leaving for a Labor Day party.
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As for Ascend, I have owned 170's, 340's, 340 center, 170 SE's, Sierras, Sierra center, and now 340 SE's.

I have had more.

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post #198 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PM on the way. But I am leaving for a Labor Day party.

Have fun.

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I have had more.

I forgot, it is the only brand you will pay for ...
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post #199 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:24 PM
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Craig also got one of just a few Acculine ASub's we had in stock at the time. The man is a speaker magnet, no pun intended.

I've aways referred to him as a different sort of magnet. (inside joke)

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post #200 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:36 PM
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Jon, how did Craig know about the 930's? They are not on the website, and you clearly stated in the link I posted to that they will not be in the near future, and that they were being held close to the vest.

Well, I clearly stated to Craig on the phone I that had some. I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Curtis. Did I err?

I also have a $20k large-format monitor (I'm now sourcing cabinets for) that will be made and offered in put-ups of four to six pairs a year. It's not on the site but if somebody wants a pair we could still discuss it, I suppose...

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post #201 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've aways referred to him as a different sort of magnet. (inside joke)

Yes, and it STILL seems to be working ...
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post #202 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 05:40 PM
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"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

Wow; G. K. Chesterton. This is one classy place...

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post #203 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

This is flawed. While we each hear differently, the sound of the bass guitar, trumpet, piano, cymbals, etc. does not change. So while you may hear it differently than the next person, you are hearing the same exact sound. What you are changing is the reproduction of that signal/sound to be more pleasing to you.
Absolutely! Which is also why having more opinions to go by is also valuable.

Curtis,

What you say is true about us hearing pianos, guitars, etc. But all loudspeakers, about which we were talking vis a vis "reviewers", have a colored and differing nature of sound reproduction. I was trying to point out that the reviewer's hearing (and preference for or not) of that reproduction is unique to him/her. That isn't going to help anyone, even those one trusts, to decide on the preference/enjoyment of the reviewed speaker. The point....I like the sound of a sax...played on an ACI LX speaker, but not on a Paradigm Studio 20 speaker.

Call me a subjectivist if you wish. But you like tomatos, and I like tomatoes. Reviews are fun but fruitless, IMHO, as grist for purchases.

Craigsub has the right take on loudspeaker testing and reviewing. It's all about fun and preferences and NOT absolute statements about loudspeaker audio quality.

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they're not just for breakfast anymore.
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post #204 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mudslide View Post

The point....I like the sound of a sax...played on an ACI LX speaker, but not on a Paradigm Studio 20 speaker.

The speaker that makes the sax sound more like a sax would be the one I would prefer (and I'd be willing to wager so would Curtis).

Tony

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post #205 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

The speaker that makes the sax sound more like a sax would be the one I would prefer (and I'd be willing to wager so would Curtis).

And so would Mudslide ... so what is your point ?
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post #206 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

And so would Mudslide ... so what is your point ?

As a self-proclaimed "subjectivist" I'm not sure that's true.

Tony

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post #207 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

As a self-proclaimed "subjectivist" I'm not sure that's true.

Tony, are you telling me you and Curtis are now the two guys that can objectively decide which speakers make the Sax sound more like a real Sax ?

Mudslide is at least smart enough to understand that sounding like the real thing is STILL subjective.

Think about it.
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post #208 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 07:20 PM
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I guess I'm just not as smart as you and Mudslide. I'm dumb enough to think that there are speakers that objectively get you closer to the real thing. I've got that old Acoustical Manufacturing tag line indelibly printed in my little brain:
"The closest approach to the original sound".

Tony

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post #209 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

Tony, are you telling me you and Curtis are now the two guys that can objectively decide which speakers make the Sax sound more like a real Sax ?

Mudslide is at least smart enough to understand that sounding like the real thing is STILL subjective.

Think about it.

There is such a thing as a "trained ear", that actually DOES know the sound of a sax, a flute, clarinet, horns, trombones, etc. These people conduct orchestras, teach music, play music, sing music, review music, and generally work as professionals in some capacity in the field of music.
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post #210 of 365 Old 09-03-2007, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

As a self-proclaimed "subjectivist" I'm not sure that's true.

It's absolutely true. FOR ME...I just gave you one of my truths...that a Paradigm Studio 20 doesn't present a sax nearly as well as an ACI LX. But which speaker I think offers a life-like sax representation is not THE TRUTH. Nor is it with any reviewer. It is only a preference. Why do you think there are so many loudspeaker and loudspeaker manufacturers? Why don't we just have one design that most closely makes a sax sound like a sax? Ask any designer. They'll all tell you that all speaker design and performance is an array of tradeoffs.

So you tell me. Which loudspeaker makes the sound that most closely represents a sax? Then let's see if we can get unanymous, or anywhere near consensus agreement from the rest of those reading here. Don't count on it.

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