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throw out some names of speakers under $4k that in particular are known to have "sweet" mids and...

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
i prefer a laid back presentation and don't mind if the dynamics are lacking a little because of it. my ears can not take a forward presentation anymore.
also, i'm sure i'll get the check audiogon comments but i plan on going out of my way to audition the speakers that bring the most comments and i
prefer to buy new.
post #2 of 40
Not to not answer the question: but have you considered applying EQ to a flat speaker? Unless the drivers are breaking up (or have ringing), you should be able to de-emphasize whatever area you want.

The best mid's / high's I've heard in that price range were the Salk SCST's. That's what I own.
post #3 of 40
I'm with Jerry. I own the Salk Veracity ST's, similar to the SCST's, but use 6" drivers instead.
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
i really don't like adding any audyssey to my music. the processing just takes away so much of the clarity of the music and made the sound way more compressed sounding
i played around with my speakers last night and got them sounding a lot better. it was by accident actually. i pulled them away from my wall like two feet and played around with toeing them in and after listening to them and playing with them all day i put them back because the wife was home and when i did i pulled them further apart to make it more of an equilateral triangle and that plus putting the other spikes on them lowered the angle of the tweeter and it just happened to be the right thing to do. they're still to bright and forward but a lot better.

i still would rather have a speaker with more emotion to it though. i mean that's what it's about right?

what other speakers have you guys heard and or owned that you could compare the salks to?
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i really don't like adding any audyssey to my music. the processing just takes away so much of the clarity of the music and made the sound way more compressed sounding
I'm not discussing audessy: I'm discussing EQ. One thing Audessy does is apply its own EQ, but that does not make them identical (all ducks are birds)
Quote:
i played around with my speakers last night and got them sounding a lot better. it was by accident actually. i pulled them away from my wall like two feet and played around with toeing them in and after listening to them and playing with them all day i put them back because the wife was home and when i did i pulled them further apart to make it more of an equilateral triangle and that plus putting the other spikes on them lowered the angle of the tweeter and it just happened to be the right thing to do. they're still to bright and forward but a lot better.
We sometimes assume what people have already tested. Yes, you should absolutely look at speaker position, and potential room-interaction problems. What you don't like may be a first-order reflection.
Quote:
what other speakers have you guys heard and or owned that you could compare the salks to?
If I'd heard other things that sounded the same, I'd not be such an adherent.

The most similar I've owned were the B&W Matrix 801S2's.
Philharmonic is made by the guy who does much of the crossover design for Salk, so there's a similarity there.
My old PSB 400i's are a bit less precise on the high-end, but otherwise similar.

I have owned, and so could make comparisons:
Paradigm Studio 40v3
Paradigm Studio 60v3
Paradigm Signature S2v1
B&W Matrix 801S2
B&W Nautilus 801
B&W DS6
GMA Europa
Infinity RS IIIb
Infinity Primus 362
McIntosh XR-14
McIntosh XR-717
Ohm Walsh F
Monitor Silver Bookshelves.
PSB 400i
Philharmonic 2
Kef Q1
and a few others.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Jerrylove,
Do you understand what i mean when i say i want a speaker with sweet or smooth mids or ask for a speaker that is emotionally involving?
i ask because sometimes i wonder if it's something i made up in my head as no one has chimed in about hearing a speaker
that sounds that way to them. The speaker that i heard that made me smile from ear to ear because of the goose bumps it gave me
when i was listening to it was the b&w cm9. But they had their flaws.
what is the imaging like on the salks?

At the beginning of the year i heard the new revel performa3 m105 bookshelf speaker and thought it was a disgrace to music production because it had no dynamics at all. it was like a wall of sound.
now, i feel that in order to enjoy my music, i will need this type of imaging
The Thiels are much like this too with a little more dynamics but a 100x's larger soundstage.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

Jerrylove,
Do you understand what i mean when i say i want a speaker with sweet or smooth mids or ask for a speaker that is emotionally involving?
i ask because sometimes i wonder if it's something i made up in my head as no one has chimed in about hearing a speaker
that sounds that way to them. The speaker that i heard that made me smile from ear to ear because of the goose bumps it gave me
when i was listening to it was the b&w cm9. But they had their flaws.
what is the imaging like on the salks?

At the beginning of the year i heard the new revel performa3 m105 bookshelf speaker and thought it was a disgrace to music production because it had no dynamics at all. it was like a wall of sound.
now, i feel that in order to enjoy my music, i will need this type of imaging
The Thiels are much like this too with a little more dynamics but a 100x's larger soundstage.

Having designed the Salks, and a lot of other speakers, I never know what to make of descriptions like yours. The midrange or highs shouldn't be sweet, or romantic, or lush, or even emotionally involving--they should just be accurate. That's what loudspeakers are all about. It sounds like you're asking for some kind of deliberate coloration that would be very difficult to target from a design standpoint.
post #8 of 40
It's like asking for a Pizza that is "sublime". It means something a little different to everyone. I understand the experience, but not necessarily what evokes it in you.

Without some basis for your own comparison (what worked and what didn't), it's very difficult to address.

I liked the B&W CM9s when I (briefly) listened to them. It was far too long ago to make a fair comparison. I have not listened to the revel performa3 nor Theil.

I find that stage is excellent. The off-axis performance is very good, and the TL seems to work very well with the room given just a bit of breathing space from the all. LF punch isn't quite as precise as the JL W7s in my 4-way custom-builds; but not much is.

Imaging was a bit more "headphone like" from my GMA Europa's, but there the HF is fatiguing... so I don't much use them.

It's amazing how full a sound you can get out of those little 5" drivers in a TL; My next purchase is likely to be the Salk Veracity ST (which is an SCST with slightly larger drivers).

My best recommendation is to let us (and the Salk forum on AudioCircle, or Jim Salk directly) know where you are and see if there's someone willing to let you audition.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
well i give up lol sweet mother jesus Dennis Murphy just told me i was an idiot...

most of these terms i got were from my days reading the headphone forums on head-fi.org

a most common description of the famous Sennheiser hd650's is that the midrange is ridiculously smooth and some people called it sweet so
when i heard the cm9's the midrange was so smooth that i called it sweet. It just seamed like the right thing to say i suppose.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
also, i don't know what it is that makes a speaker "smooth" to my ears. it's definitely something. of the speakers that i have heard, there were definitely tonal differences.
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
"The larger and at $6,500 significantly more expensive Silverline Sonata Mk III is a very different kind of speaker. Where the Thiel is the more transparent, incisive and more highly detailed of the two, the Silverline offers more robust bass response and a warmer, rounder, sweeter overall tonal balance. While very good, the Silverline couldn't quite match the Thiel's stellar pinpoint imaging and soundstaging capabilities.
"http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/thiel/2.4_2.html

While the obsessive audiophile may break into a sweat trying to find that point of aural perfection where treble sweetness meets air, extension and detail,

there's many more where that came from.
guess that's where i get it
post #12 of 40
I think what's happening is that you're just adopting the nomenclature of the reviewers that many people don't like.

I think that you don't like your speaker's midrange emphasis and harshness - and of course, a lot of that could be your room also.
post #13 of 40
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

a most common description of the famous Sennheiser hd650's is that the midrange is ridiculously smooth and some people called it sweet.

Understandable as the HD650's produce a frequency response that is strongest centred on the 100 to 150hz region...



That is right where punch and warmth is...
http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

Now measure the frequency response at your listening position and see what you get.

You could very well have a large wide dip in that range compered to the rest of the frequency response and hence your dissatisfaction.

..
Edited by kiwi2 - 10/28/13 at 8:14pm
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

While the obsessive audiophile may break into a sweat trying to find that point of aural perfection where treble sweetness meets air, extension and detail,

Not really. All such reviews tell us is what likely frequency response the reviewer got (by chance more than likely) with those particular speakers in that particular room. Especially so when they are trying to describe the bass the "speakers produced".
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

well i give up lol sweet mother jesus Dennis Murphy just told me i was an idiot...

most of these terms i got were from my days reading the headphone forums on head-fi.org

a most common description of the famous Sennheiser hd650's is that the midrange is ridiculously smooth and some people called it sweet so
when i heard the cm9's the midrange was so smooth that i called it sweet. It just seamed like the right thing to say i suppose.

Obviously you're not an idiot. I just get a little crazy in situations like this because I get so many e-mails asking for lush, romantic mids and highs, and I never know what to do or say. But for starters, I wouldn't try to compare headphones with loudspeakers. Headphones are much easier to design, because they have so much less driver mass and fire directly into the ear cavity. You don't have to worry about off-axis response, or response irregularities introduced by the high mass of the woofer element. On the other hand, it's difficult to measure headphones. You have to reconstruct what you think are the acoustics of the ear canal, and you never know whether you did it right.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Headphones are much easier to design, because they have so much less driver mass and fire directly into the ear cavity. You don't have to worry about off-axis response, or response irregularities introduced by the high mass of the woofer element.

And the box the customers place your boxes in to.
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 
are there certain frequencies that are more appealing to all humans that some companies emphasize then?
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
and thanks for everything guys
post #20 of 40
Here's a cheap trick to try:

From your listening position, slowly move your head up and down to find a sound where you like the balance.

Once you find it, angle your speakers so that your favorite sound is aimed at your head in the seated position.

And for my 2 cents on a "sweet" and "smooth" sound: Sonus Faber
post #21 of 40
It's not any frequency that's more or less appealing.

In audio, the goal is to reproduce the exact sound. There are so many variables (mainly distortions) that need to dealt with.

I think that "warm, lush" sounding components are ones where the distortions (inaccurate reproduction) isn't harsh to the ear. It's not supposed to be there but it's just not as fatiguing.
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

are there certain frequencies that are more appealing to all humans that some companies emphasize then?

Let me preface this by stating this is drawing from my experience in the studio and live music world as an audio engineer.
This is a yes and no question. What i mean by this is some people like a very "crisp" sound, in my experience if you take let's say 14kHz and boost it a few dB they are happy. Others want a "boomy" sound, so take 150Hz and boost it. So I feel that there are not frequencies that sound more pleasing as a whole, rather some people prefer a certain sound characteristic. However, there are definitely frequencies which are accentuated by the human ear, and others we have a harder time hearing. I personally feel that speakers should be very flat for multiple reasons.

If you are looking for a speaker with a "sweet" or "lush" midrange I agree with JerryLove, get a good speaker and EQ it to your liking. Try boosting 800-1kKz.
post #23 of 40
I sometimes wonder if the speaker industry just presents a bunch of pretty sculptures with different sounds, waits for us to listen and fall in love, then takes our money. Sound is very personal, and it's connected to our emotions, which are connected to our wallet.
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

Here's a cheap trick to try:

From your listening position, slowly move your head up and down to find a sound where you like the balance.

Once you find it, angle your speakers so that your favorite sound is aimed at your head in the seated position.

And for my 2 cents on a "sweet" and "smooth" sound: Sonus Faber

+1 on sonus faber if you are looking for sweet and smooth. When I heard them I honestly thought to myself, "hm, these sound like a better version of the CM9"
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

i prefer a laid back presentation and don't mind if the dynamics are lacking a little because of it. my ears can not take a forward presentation anymore.

For a number of reasons related to recording, mixing, mastering and live sound, I strongly suspect that the thing you are looking for is tipped toward a little less midrange along with a high end that is somewhat demphasized.

Since loudspeakers are so strongly affected by room acoustics, placement and orientation, and also strongly affected by system equalization whether automated or manual, asking for specific makes and models is probably not the most effective route to follow.
Quote:
also, i'm sure i'll get the check audiogon comments but i plan on going out of my way to audition the speakers that bring the most comments and i
prefer to buy new.

Same argument. Since speakers are so profoundly affected by room acoustics, placement and orientation which are characteristics of the specific room you audition in, and the surety that the room you audition speakers in is significantly different from your listening room, auditions aren't recommended either.

So after demolishing common audiophile wisdom, what positive solutions do I have? The best speakers for your purposes have smooth response, good dynamic range (so they aren't stressed in normal use) and directivity that is either consistent with frequency ("Constant directivity") or at least smooth over the audible range. They must be placed in a room that has its reflections and colorations under control, because a typically laid back speaker in a shrieky room is usually a shrieky speaker. The room should also have reasonable amounts of diffusion. Finally, the speaker/amplifier/room combination needs overall system equalization, as well as spectral tuning for your preferences.

Frankly there are a lot of speakers that could be fit into this plan,some costing only a few hundred dollars. Like so many situations in life, it is not the tool's cost or appearance that matters so much as how carefully you choose it and use it.
post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
Arny, when i listened to Norah Jones's voice through the cm9's i fell in love. i don't think i need less midrange. also, i listened to a classical piece with alot of horns and the horns sounded very smooth to me also.
not sure i'm going to be able to dissect frequencies and find how to eq to my liking but i suppose i could go get an spl meter from radio shack and atleast eq to get a flat response in my room.
also, how do i get the eq to take place. i use foobar and have an eq available but that's only if i use my 24bit music. i usually use spotify premium and plan to get a turn table in the future so i would have to find a way to
eq through my receiver. i have a marantz sr5007. anyone know how to do this?
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
so driver material has nothing to do with coloration just it's rigidness and weight
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

so driver material has nothing to do with coloration just it's rigidness and weight

Well, you can certainly get good sound out of any material, assuming the crossover is up to the job. But there are some inherent differences due to the driver material. A few years ago, a midrange driver Jim Salk had chosen for his SoundScape series of loudspeakers proved inherently flawed. We chose two very expensive candidates to replace it--a ceramic driver by Accuton, and a pure polypropylene driver from Skaaning. I worked up the very best crossovers I could for each driver, and targeted the exact same frequency response. From a pure measurement standpoint, they were as close as two different samples of the same driver. I packed up my volume-compensated A-B switching preamp and flew up to Detroit , where Jim had assembled 8 or 9 audiophiles to compare the drivers, each installed in a SoundScape 10 speaker with the same tweeter and woofer, and each with its individually optimized crossover. Listeners didn't know which speaker was playing, and the switches were instantaneous and at the same exact volume. Everyone agreed on the nature and magnitude of the difference in sound, and each preferred the Accuton. It was noticeably more detailed and open. Lots of people have come to the same conclusion--that poly without any added stiffening agents like carbon fiber has a softer sound than some more rigid materials. But I'm not sure it's something that would hit you in the face if you just walked into the room. Other elements of speaker design are a lot more important than driver material.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bthrb4u View Post

not sure i'm going to be able to dissect frequencies and find how to eq to my liking but i suppose i could go get an spl meter from radio shack and atleast eq to get a flat response in my room.

Using a SPL meter is a very laborious way of doing it and will soon put you off. I would suggest downloading TrueRTA and use the calibration mic that came with your AVR.


Quote:
also, how do i get the eq to take place. i use foobar and have an eq available but that's only if i use my 24bit music.

Sounds very strange that you can't use EQ with 16bit material..??? Perhaps allow foobar to convert 16bit to 24bit on the fly.

Anyhow, regardless of that, EQ is a last resort after the first and most important step of speaker and listening position placement in a given room that gives the smoothest response possible for a start. This is where a real time analyser that is easy to take measurements with is handy because you can take a reading, make a small placement change, then take another reading again straight away to see what difference has been made. Only after you have got that as good as you can get, considering other restraints of practical use of the room dictates... then EQ could be employed to tidy up remaining problematic areas in the lower frequency range. (say below 200hz)
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Not to not answer the question: but have you considered applying EQ to a flat speaker? Unless the drivers are breaking up (or have ringing), you should be able to de-emphasize whatever area you want.

The best mid's / high's I've heard in that price range were the Salk SCST's. That's what I own.

I agree with Jerry. I have the SCST, and it is excellent in the mid and high range as stated, and it's pretty darn good at the bass as well.
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