blind test high end/low end (same speakers) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm

Click on blind test...I wish more people would do this!! Its all in the speakers, I have said that forever!!

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
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post #2 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm

Click on blind test...I wish more people would do this!!...

I love the special attention paid to the "isolation racks" for System A.

Speakers and their interaction with the listening space: first, last, and always the most important element.
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post #3 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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Power stage Behringer A500
CDP Sony DVP-NS355 DVD player
Signal cables Standard RCA white/red (15feet) bought in a 7/11 like store
All placed on a "high end" shaky wooden chair...(see pic)
Estimated value when new: 700 U$D

Line stage Classe CAP-80
Power stage YBA 2A
CDP Wadia 6, VRDS transport, 20 bit
Signal cable MIT Terminator 3 proline XLR
CDP rack Lovan
Power cord Audican
Estimated value when new: approx. 12,000U$D (or more)

The results showed:
38 persons participated on this test
14 chose the "A" system as the best sounding one
10 chose the "B" system as the best sounding one
14 were not able to hear differences or didn't choose any as the best.

As penngray says speakers are the most important.
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post #4 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 12:13 PM
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I'd like to see a test with power directly from the wall, a $200 amp, and lamp cord vs. the high end system - same speakers. They could use them with low end speakers and then again with high end speakers to see if they could tell the difference with either set using either sets of speakers.
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The funny thing is if one were to read a review of these two systems in a typical "high end" magazine the reviewer would have said things like;
- night and day difference.
- I can never go back to anything less then the $12,000 system.
- The subtle nuances were to die for.
- The bass was much more defined and tighter.
- The mids had almost velvet like detail.
- The highs were silky smooth.
- How wide and 3D the sound stage was.
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post #6 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 PM
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Just to be difficult, and for fun

It's interesting that they say they're high end types but they placed the electronics in front of and between the speakers where it could be expected to interfere to some degree with the performance of the speakers. Of course both the A and B systems suffered from the same constraints, so it either zeroes out the "problems" caused by electronics placement or some may argue indicates that reflectsions caused by the equipment masked and/or confused differences between the A and B systems.

Most of the people heard a difference between the two sets of electronics and expressed a preference.
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post #7 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Just to be difficult, and for fun

It's interesting that they say they're high end types but they placed the electronics in front of and between the speakers where it could be expected to interfere to some degree with the performance of the speakers. Of course both the A and B systems suffered from the same constraints, so it either zeroes out the "problems" caused by electronics placement or some may argue indicates that reflectsions caused by the equipment masked and/or confused differences between the A and B systems.

Most of the people heard a difference between the two sets of electronics and expressed a preference.

How would having the equipment in the middle make a difference? Unless you think that the speakers have a greater then 180 degrees dispurtion. Most people did not hear a difference and just guessed since the split between the listeners did not indicate anything. So where is this night and day difference that should have been present in the high end system?
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post #8 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Just to be difficult, and for fun

It's interesting that they say they're high end types but they placed the electronics in front of and between the speakers where it could be expected to interfere to some degree with the performance of the speakers. Of course both the A and B systems suffered from the same constraints, so it either zeroes out the "problems" caused by electronics placement or some may argue indicates that reflectsions caused by the equipment masked and/or confused differences between the A and B systems.

Most of the people heard a difference between the two sets of electronics and expressed a preference.

Yes, the point here isnt about ZERO deference overall, its about almost no difference in SQ.

Its funny you talk about electronics placement, some of the most expensive systems I have seen on Audiogon seem to have the electonics between the speakers. If go to any Audio show, Audiofest or look online at the Dozens of audio get togethers around the US I see pictures with cool looking speakers and equipment between them. Those are the guys building speakers systems, Those are the guys showing off 10K speakers, etc, those are the experts I would think know if electronics sitting between speakers actually has an impact.

It is just one test but its a good primer to realize how much of audio is truely subjective and how little SQ changes from a $500 to $10K electronics setup. Im still a huge believer in speakers being +90% of the equation...add room acoustics and I know electronics does little improvement over top of those first requirements. Yet, people buy AVRs and Amps that cost the same or more then their speakers for only SQ reasons....maybe features/powers/dimension should be their first priority and then if costs are still high so be it (Like in my case).

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post #9 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Planescape View Post

As penngray says speakers are the most important.

What Pen said is , "Its all in the speakers."

If he said the, "speakers are the most important" he and I would have stopped feuding by now. (well maybe not)

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post #10 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Yes, the point here isnt about ZERO deference overall, its about almost no difference in SQ.

Its funny you talk about electronics placement, some of the most expensive systems I have seen on Audiogon seem to have the electonics between the speakers. If go to any Audio show, Audiofest or look online at the Dozens of audio get togethers around the US I see pictures with cool looking speakers and equipment between them. Those are the guys building speakers systems, Those are the guys showing off 10K speakers, etc, those are the experts I would think know if electronics sitting between speakers actually has an impact.

It is just one test but its a good primer to realize how much of audio is truely subjective and how little SQ changes from a $500 to $10K electronics setup. Im still a huge believer in speakers being +90% of the equation...add room acoustics and I know electronics does little improvement over top of those first requirements.

I guess they won't be happy until the equipment is in another room. This is one test but there are many more DBT's that prove the same thing.
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post #11 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post

What Pen said is , "Its all in the speakers."

If he said the, "speakers are the most important" he and I would have stopped feuding by now. (well maybe not)

hehe, I would feel a little empty if I didnt have a post from you so I exaggerate

Valid point.....I should not use "ALL" but I would hope you wouldnt be so literal in interpetting my posts

btw, check out my "burn in Q&A" thread on the speaker forum, This is all from the same site I think the quotes are funny

Those guys on the above site did lots of great tests, research, etc.

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post #12 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:35 PM
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Some folks around here suggest that electronics between the speakers is a problem. I've really never set up my equipment any other way, so I could not comment. But electronics in front of the speakers, or a table between the speaker and the listener, creates an additional path for the sound to reach your ears. Comb filtering can result. Not, as far as I know, a significant real disagreement that comb filtering occurs.

Thought it was simple enough not to require explanation.

And a lot of people say there is no audible difference between electronics, etc. Just pointing out that perhaps it is as inaccurate to say "xero difference" as it is to say "night and day difference."

Too subtle?
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post #13 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats cool, I have never actually read that electronics being within a couple feet of the speakers cause an issue, That is a new one I will have to remember

EDIT: the speakers are above the equipement so Frequencies at ear levels shouldn't have a problem.

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post #14 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Some folks around here suggest that electronics between the speakers is a problem. I've really never set up my equipment any other way, so I could not comment. But electronics in front of the speakers, or a table between the speaker and the listener, creates an additional path for the sound to reach your ears. Comb filtering can result. Not, as far as I know, a significant real disagreement that comb filtering occurs.

Thought it was simple enough not to require explanation.

And a lot of people say there is no audible difference between electronics, etc. Just pointing out that perhaps it is as inaccurate to say "xero difference" as it is to say "night and day difference."

Too subtle?



I see nothing wrong with the way this was setup. So you agree that the night and day difference that the high end agrees on and what the high end magizines write about is over blown?
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post #15 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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This is a better view, funny thing is that the closest component to the speakers is that of the "cheap" system, Behringer A500, Sony DVP-NS355, so would that not have made it even easier to pick out the sonic differences?
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post #16 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I still love the "All placed on a "high end" shaky wooden chair.."

They really tried to give the low end no chances of winning...what is someone telling me equipment stability does not matter? Say it isnt so?

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Oh, sure. I think that probably in terms of the total amount of information needed to hear the music or voices or sounds and identify them and enjoy them versus the total amount of information possibly obtainable, an Edison cylinder is probably 90% of the way there. People were amazed(!) at how lifelike they were - - indistinguishable from the real voice, etc.

Only not really. So in an absolute sense, to suggest HUGE GIGANTIC AMAZING differences from different amps, for example (unless one amp is intentionally colored or driven into significant distortion) is technically inaccurate. There's just not room for HUGE or GIGANTIC differences in any absolute sense. But if a person actually [a big enough question in itself, right?] hears a difference, how they value the difference is, I suppose, up to them.

There is a lot of argument on here about qualifiers, which is fun sometimes but not necessariloy useful. Arguably, frequency response below 30 Hz is inconsequential since it is only 10/20,000 of the audible spectrum (leaving aside the sub-20 Hz response). But lots of people here find that last bit of extension very important. I did not expect to care as much about even sub-40 Hz response as I do, until I had it. It's a BIG DEAL, sometimes. But if I did not have it, I still could understand everything about the movie or music in question, so it's arguably far from critical.
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post #18 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 01:53 PM
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Dont let any of those guys in that thread see any of this. LOL You know that thread and those guys. They could never accept any of this.
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post #19 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Oh, sure. I think that probably in terms of the total amount of information needed to hear the music or voices or sounds and identify them and enjoy them versus the total amount of information possibly obtainable, an Edison cylinder is probably 90% of the way there. People were amazed(!) at how lifelike they were - - indistinguishable from the real voice, etc.

Only not really. So in an absolute sense, to suggest HUGE GIGANTIC AMAZING differences from different amps, for example (unless one amp is intentionally colored or driven into significant distortion) is technically inaccurate. There's just not room for HUGE or GIGANTIC differences in any absolute sense. But if a person actually [a big enough question in itself, right?] hears a difference, how they value the difference is, I suppose, up to them.

There is a lot of argument on here about qualifiers, which is fun sometimes but not necessariloy useful. Arguably, frequency response below 30 Hz is inconsequential since it is only 10/20,000 of the audible spectrum (leaving aside the sub-20 Hz response). But lots of people here find that last bit of extension very important. I did not expect to care as much about even sub-40 Hz response as I do, until I had it. It's a BIG DEAL, sometimes. But if I did not have it, I still could understand everything about the movie or music in question, so it's arguably far from critical.

Low end bass is measureable and not really relevant to this since the same speakers were used. What I don't understand is the need for high end users/magizines to do these silly write ups and invent imaginary differences, what is the point other then to get a bigger check from the component's maker or to inflate ones ego and justify the expense difference. If what the high end said was true we would have sound stages that were miles wide since every new component that comes out improves on the old.
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post #20 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Thats cool, I have never actually read that electronics being within a couple feet of the speakers cause an issue, That is a new one I will have to remember

EDIT: the speakers are above the equipement so Frequencies at ear levels shouldn't have a problem.


Big difference actually, if the equipment is within the speakers' resonance pattern or is close enough to create nearfield reflection/absorption in the path to the listener.

As interesting as this DBT is, the acoustical set up isn't optimal. It looks like there would be nearfield influences with the gear where it is for sure.

Could it be significant enough to influence the results? Maybe. Certainly picking up the subtle differences between equipment would become more difficult in a bad acoustical room and that room does not in the slightest look like a "good" acoustical room.

Having said that, given the price gap you wouldn't expect the difference to be subtle regardless of the surroundings.
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post #21 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

Big difference actually, if the equipment is within the speakers' resonance pattern or is close enough to create nearfield reflection/absorption in the path to the listener.

As interesting as this DBT is, the acoustical set up isn't optimal. It looks like there would be nearfield influences with the gear where it is for sure.

Could it be significant enough to influence the results? Maybe. Certainly picking up the subtle differences between equipment would become more difficult in a bad acoustical room and that room does not in the slightest look like a "good" acoustical room.

Having said that, given the price gap you wouldn't expect the difference to be subtle regardless of the surroundings.

As I already pointed out, the closest components to the speaker is that of the cheap system, and that obviously did not have an impact.
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post #22 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:33 PM
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Huh? If there's comb filtering because the sound is bouncing off an object between the speaker and the listener, it doesn't matter what the object is. Its location, shape and reflectivity would matter, but it's just the physics of the thing that the sound that emanates in the direction of whatever is there will bounce off of whatever is there on its way to your ears. That part of the sound has taken a longer path to your ears than the direct sound, and will be out of phase with the direct sound, at least potentially causing cancellations in certain frequency regions. It ain't rocket science.
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post #23 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_marco.htm

Click on blind test...I wish more people would do this!! Its all in the speakers, I have said that forever!!

Actually, I disagree; the environment is the most important. You can take the "best" speakers, put them in a terrible environment, and they will sound horrible.

You can take a big box store speaker and put it in a fully treated room and it will sound much better.

I always say that the environment makes it possible for your equipment to perform to its design goals.

I always hate to see "high end" systems sitting on a hardwood floor in a bare room...and the owner talks about how amazing the system sounds. Not so much.

John

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post #24 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Huh? If there's comb filtering because the sound is bouncing off an object between the speaker and the listener, it doesn't matter what the object is. Its location, shape and reflectivity would matter, but it's just the physics of the thing that the sound that emanates in the direction of whatever is there will bounce off of whatever is there on its way to your ears. That part of the sound has taken a longer path to your ears than the direct sound, and will be out of phase with the direct sound, at least potentially causing cancellations in certain frequency regions. It ain't rocket science.

I guess its a good thing it was not the high priced classe pre amp that was in the "way" or people would be using that as a example to disprove the test.
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I always say that the environment makes it possible for your equipment to perform to its design goals.

The speakers anyways since the room would not impact anything else.
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post #26 of 616 Old 07-07-2009, 03:33 PM
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I guess its a good thing it was not the high priced classe pre amp that was in the "way" or people would be using that as a example to disprove the test.

Well the truth of the matter is it would affect both, and could in theory create an environment where it would make it more difficult to pick up the differences.

Put a $1000 stereo and a $10k stereo in the middle of an empty room and I doubt anyone could tell the difference between the two.

Now, that isn't an empty room and there's a bit of an attempt at treatments - but for the most part it's barren with tile floors and a horrible back back wall in terms of odd reflections. I doubt either system would sound "good" in that mess.
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Yes, the point here isnt about ZERO deference overall, its about almost no difference in SQ.

Its funny you talk about electronics placement, some of the most expensive systems I have seen on Audiogon seem to have the electonics between the speakers. If go to any Audio show, Audiofest or look online at the Dozens of audio get togethers around the US I see pictures with cool looking speakers and equipment between them. Those are the guys building speakers systems, Those are the guys showing off 10K speakers, etc, those are the experts I would think know if electronics sitting between speakers actually has an impact.

It is just one test but its a good primer to realize how much of audio is truely subjective and how little SQ changes from a $500 to $10K electronics setup. Im still a huge believer in speakers being +90% of the equation...add room acoustics and I know electronics does little improvement over top of those first requirements. Yet, people buy AVRs and Amps that cost the same or more then their speakers for only SQ reasons....maybe features/powers/dimension should be their first priority and then if costs are still high so be it (Like in my case).

That is why I am going with a $132.50 AVR. I picked up one of the refurb Harman Kardon 254's for a steal. I will be using it as a pre/pro.
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post #28 of 616 Old 07-08-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

Well the truth of the matter is it would affect both, and could in theory create an environment where it would make it more difficult to pick up the differences.

Put a $1000 stereo and a $10k stereo in the middle of an empty room and I doubt anyone could tell the difference between the two.

Now, that isn't an empty room and there's a bit of an attempt at treatments - but for the most part it's barren with tile floors and a horrible back back wall in terms of odd reflections. I doubt either system would sound "good" in that mess.

And still we see that in a double blind test there are no night and day differences. So far we have not seen any DBT's where the high end has a sonic advantage reguardless of the room.
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post #29 of 616 Old 07-08-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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Some interesting comments especially near the end in regards to cables. I also agree that hearing music that you know inside and out makes for better testing. What did these testers listen to? What if it were RAP in which I do not care for? How could I concentrate on differences in electronics when I don't know the music?

http://www.stereophile.com/news/050905debate/

Just like I feel that there are differences to be heard in electronics, I am another who enjoys aftermarket cables.

My IC's and speaker cables are not really high end (Nordost Blue Heaven) but I have upgraded all of my power cords to Synergistic Research and the cord to my Rega Saturn CDP in particular just sounds better to me with the SR Cord.

This battle will never be won. I guess it does not matter in the long run. I have built a set-up that impresses me and that's what counts.

Rick
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post #30 of 616 Old 07-08-2009, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by msmCutter View Post

I'd like to see a test with power directly from the wall, a $200 amp, and lamp cord vs. the high end system - same speakers. They could use them with low end speakers and then again with high end speakers to see if they could tell the difference with either set using either sets of speakers.

How about a $300+/- Yam integrated, 3 'golden ears' and a pair of $15k monoblocks
The famous Steve Zipser amp test in Florida, rest his poor soul. Start with post 5:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...net%26rnum%3D1
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