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My Journey to find the "perfect" speaker... - Page 30

post #871 of 6914
My wording choice was perhaps poor. I wasn't trying to imply that the V3's were more suited for home theater and the HT3's more suited for music. I meant to say if the HT3's sounded better to me for music than the V3's, given that neither is inexpensive, I'd probably be more inclined to spend the difference to get the HT3's. Purely academic for me though since I'm not looking to upgrade. But am looking forward to getting my ST's on Thursday.
post #872 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

I wish we could build a showroom with all of the models available for a side-by-side comparison, and a beam-me-up Scotty transporter to get you there instantly, but I haven't got all the kinks worked out of the mechanism yet.

Let us know when it is ready!
post #873 of 6914
Dennis, is it absolutely necessary to get the Center Speaker for HT, or is the soundstage and clarity good enough already?
post #874 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajieboy View Post

Dennis, is it absolutely necessary to get the Center Speaker for HT, or is the soundstage and clarity good enough already?

Hi This same question just got asked over on the AudioCircle forum:
http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/i...?topic=52983.0

I think the short answer is "no" it's not necessary, and "yes" the soundstage and clarity should be fine, if not absolutely optimal, already.
post #875 of 6914
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajieboy View Post

Dennis, is it absolutely necessary to get the Center Speaker for HT, or is the soundstage and clarity good enough already?

I am not Dennis, but here is my take:

The center is more for those sitting off-axis. In fact, unless the center is superbly engineered and simply just disappears, not using a center sounds better when sitting in the sweet spot (in comparison to running a center). Of course, if you're watching at your home you'll more than likely be sitting in that sweet spot, but what about your friends? Having no center while watching movies with multiple people won't give them the same movie experience that you will be engaged in. This is why I always recommend one if you watch movies with multiple people. If it's just you and your wife, you could probably get away without one depending on how well the speakers image off-axis, seating location and how far apart the mains are.

However, here's a wrench in the mix: the ST's perform extremely well off-axis; better than most speakers. In lieu of this, no center should be fine with the ST's. I will still be purchasing one (the ST's need to come first, though), but I am sure I can easily get away without for a while.

Hope that helps.
post #876 of 6914
"no such thing as a perfect speaker..."

I'm sorry but I disagree. There is such a thing. It is always the different set of speakers some other guy bought right after I bought mine.

post #877 of 6914
Thread Starter 
^ Lol!
post #878 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmiddleton4 View Post

"no such thing as a perfect speaker..."

I'm sorry but I disagree. There is such a thing. It is always the different set of speakers some other guy bought right after I bought mine.



How true.

Why can't we obsessive audiophiles ever be happy with what we have.
post #879 of 6914
Thread Starter 
^ Because then we wouldn't be obsessive audiophiles.

So Tim, how are those wicked sweet Focal's?
post #880 of 6914
And that guy has my perfect receiver too!

But me, I have the perfect wife. So there, take that!



Can you imagine what would happen to the audio/video industry IF we were all satisfied with what we currently own. Man, talk about a depression......

Or Intel IF suddenly we all decided our computers were in fact fast enough....

Causes one to be suicidal just thinking about it.
post #881 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

^ Because then we wouldn't be obsessive audiophiles.

So Tim, how are those wicked sweet Focal's?

Well, to be honest, with all of the talk about these damn Salk speakers, its making me think twice.

Seriously, I am waiting for the Focal’s to "break-in" before I make any comments on the sound quality. Yes, I said it. . . . "break-in". I never thought those words would come out of my mouth with any seriousness, but in the case of these particular speakers, I firmly believe that break-in is a reality. And you know me well enough to know that I would not casually make such a claim.

When I first got them, and I put in some quality recordings that I was familiar with, I thought WTF?! My god, what have I done? The upper range of both male and female vocals sounded pinched, coarse and wiry. And the sibilance was just atrocious. I lived with that sound for about two weeks, only having the chance to play them at low volumes while watching TV. Fed up and frustrated, I decided to see if this whole break-in thing had any merit. (Keep in mind that with all of the other speakers I have owned, they did not change much with time, which is why up to this point I thought break-in was hooey.)

So, this week I decided to let the speakers rock-out while I was at work, and now over the course of two days played for 9 hours each day at relatively high levels, things have improved considerably. The harshness in upper-mids has noticeably lessened, as well as the sibilance. I can tell you that these are simply not qualities that I have just grown accustomed to. I don't care what anyone says, those are undeniably unappealing sound quality traits that no one would just wake up one day and say, “Yeah I like that. Those screechy, pinched mids sound awesome and that sibilance is so piercing that my ears are bleeding. I love it!” These things either go away or the speakers do.

Besides, I know what I heard out of these speakers in the showroom, and screechy mids were not on the menu.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. I want to give them more time.

Oh, and I called a friend that is a professional acoustician here in Seattle to ask him why the in-room measurements weren’t showing a problem in the upper mids. He is a no nonsense guy and very technical and science minded. One thing lead to another, and I asked him straight-up if he believed in break-in. He said “sometimes”. He mentioned that Revel breaks in their speakers before they ship, but he went on to say that he woned some Dynaudios that sounded “horrible” until about 200 hours of play. He thought that he had made a big mistake when he brought those home. Which was actually reassuring because it sounded just like what I’m going through. And I very much trust this guy. He’s not out to sell any equipment and he is very well respected in his field.
post #882 of 6914
Strange.... when I first got my Paradigm S4's (.v1 Rosewood unopened box), they totally sounded piercing, they were also hooked up directly to my receiver, and I seriously had to dial the highend down with the EQ, it was just ripping my ears apart...

I have had them for a few weeks now, then I got the D-Sonic, and I seriously punished the hell out of them, played them more and more, and then they started to sound like they were off, like the whole upperend was veiled... !! Oh yeah, the EQ, I put everything back to flat, and Whoa !! There it is.. clean and open... Never had an issue with the mids, but now they just sound oh so sweet to me... Not sure if it was the addition of the IcePower or break in of the speakers, but my god... Far better to me now..

I am truly happy with the setup, its come a long way... Just posted some pics, if anyone would like to see... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13543180
post #883 of 6914
Thread Starter 
Tim -
Do you have room treatments? I know you already know this, but the showroom was a different room, especially acoustically, so treatments will help.

As far as break-in, I really have no opinion anymore. Sometimes I think "no way," while other times I think "maybe." We all know that it has been proven that drivers and crossover components do break in, but how long it takes and whether it has an audible effect on sound (not to mention a positive or negative impact) has not yet been proven. Either way, I usually give my new speakers some play time while I am not around, just to be sure.

Warp -
Pretty cool. All that matters in the end is that we like the system, and it sounds like you already love yours, while Tim is getting close. Excellent!!

When I get my Song Tower's, I'll be loving the snot outta them!
post #884 of 6914
Break-in is an issue that obviously won't be resoved anytime soon on this form or others. In theory, it's eminently suited to a scientifically controlled test. You take a pair of spanking new speakers and play each one for a listening panel using an ABX testing protocol and see whether the panel can distinguish the two speakers If not, you break one of them in for 200 hours and repeat the experiment. Presto chango or presto no chango. Absent that kind of evidence, we have to go back to first principles and ask just what factors might contribute to a change in sound following extended use. The only ones I can think of are surround and spider compliance. (If you really think the sound changes because of transformations in the crossover components, I recently purchased the Memorial Bridge connecting Washington, D.C. with Northern Va., and will cut you a great deal if you want to take it off my hands.) What I would really like to see is an actual designer of woofers and/or tweeters jumping in here and stating whether the basic construction parameters are based on measurements taken after hundreds of hours of break-in. I kind of doubt it. And I also doubt that loudspeaker designers play the drivers for hundreds of hours before taking the measurements they use to design crossovers. I certainly don't. I do play them for a reasonable amount of time to flex the surrounds and (for woofers) the spider to overcome any initial rigidity. But we're talking less than an hour. I would be willing to go out on a limb here and say that if you really did hear a significant change in the Focal's sound after many hours of use, the speaker was out of spec compared with what the designer was working with.
post #885 of 6914
Hey Dennis, glad to see you stop by Nuances thread here.. Very well laid out thread with very experienced and knowledgable people adding to the collective if I may... my neighbor, a couple miles away... He will be coming over shortly to completely degrade my system before I know it..

First off, I thank you for the fantastic product I was able to add to my system in the D-Sonic 2000-5... Its an extremely well made product, completely opened up my Paradigm Sig's, as you already know... I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Amp from you..

As far as break in goes, I agree with you, I think that with the extremely tight toloerances of products manufactured today, very much like engines these days compared to the days of old, I for one would find break in to be almost negatable. How much room could the surround material on a driver produced with Butyl - Rubber, or Santoprene expand or change over a 100-200 hour period time, much less the life of the product?
Thoughts like that seem to me to be rediculus, but over the period of time I have had with my new speakers, and then adding my amp to the mix, something has changed and it sounds far better now then it did when I first opened my brand new speakers...
post #886 of 6914
Looks pretty sweet there Warp. Interesting to hear you guys talk about not believing in "break-in". I have always been a casual believer that there is something to it, strictly from a scientific perspective, and the mechanical nature of the drivers. Anything that moves is sure to smooth out in its motion as that motion is repeated. New stuff is almost always stiff when you first get it (like Dennis stated above). As they are used, things loosen up a bit and settle in, eventually reaching maximum efficiency and leveling off in performance. Cars, bicycles, door locks, power tools... all go through a "break-in" period and they all have moving parts. Why wouldn't the same thing apply to speakers? I've never felt that it would be as significant of a change as some people claim, but hearing Tim, a self confessed non-believer, and Warpdrv comment about it I wonder how significant that change could be. Like Revel, I think I remember reading that Salk Sound breaks in their speakers before shipping as well, and I wonder how many other companies have this practice. Totem is very clear about their beliefs regarding "break-in," and they recommend anywhere from 60 to 250 hours of break-in for their speakers right in their spec-sheets... There has got to be something to it, though I have a lot of respect for Dennis, (and his experience) so I am inclined to believe that "break-in" would happen most drastically in the first couple of hours, and then perhaps more subtle changes would happen with more use.
post #887 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

Break-in is an issue that obviously won't be resoved anytime soon on this form or others. In theory, it's eminently suited to a scientifically controlled test. You take a pair of spanking new speakers and play each one for a listening panel using an ABX testing protocol and see whether the panel can distinguish the two speakers If not, you break one of them in for 200 hours and repeat the experiment. Presto chango or presto no chango. Absent that kind of evidence, we have to go back to first principles and ask just what factors might contribute to a change in sound following extended use. The only ones I can think of are surround and spider compliance. (If you really think the sound changes because of transformations in the crossover components, I recently purchased the Memorial Bridge connecting Washington, D.C. with Northern Va., and will cut you a great deal if you want to take it off my hands.) What I would really like to see is an actual designer of woofers and/or tweeters jumping in here and stating whether the basic construction parameters are based on measurements taken after hundreds of hours of break-in. I kind of doubt it. And I also doubt that loudspeaker designers play the drivers for hundreds of hours before taking the measurements they use to design crossovers. I certainly don't. I do play them for a reasonable amount of time to flex the surrounds and (for woofers) the spider to overcome any initial rigidity. But we're talking less than an hour. I would be willing to go out on a limb here and say that if you really did hear a significant change in the Focal's sound after many hours of use, the speaker was out of spec compared with what the designer was working with.

Before the Focal's, I owned 7 different 5-channel speaker set-ups. With some of them I could hear an increase in bass output within a few hours of play, but nothing more than that and never any appreciable changes in the mids and highs. (Even though I prayed that the KEF References I owned for six short months would become less bright and agressive with time, that never happened.) It was based on these experiences that I formed the opinion that break-in was mostly wishful thinking. So I totally get what you're saying.
post #888 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post

Strange.... when I first got my Paradigm S4's (.v1 Rosewood unopened box), they totally sounded piercing, they were also hooked up directly to my receiver, and I seriously had to dial the highend down with the EQ, it was just ripping my ears apart...

I have had them for a few weeks now, then I got the D-Sonic, and I seriously punished the hell out of them, played them more and more, and then they started to sound like they were off, like the whole upperend was veiled... !! Oh yeah, the EQ, I put everything back to flat, and Whoa !! There it is.. clean and open... Never had an issue with the mids, but now they just sound oh so sweet to me... Not sure if it was the addition of the IcePower or break in of the speakers, but my god... Far better to me now..

I am truly happy with the setup, its come a long way... Just posted some pics, if anyone would like to see... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13543180

Warp -

That is some bedroom system. Better than many people's main system I would imagine.

Would you do me a favor if it is not too much trouble? Connect the AVR back up and see if the treble sounds too hot again? I'm thinking about new amps, and I'd just like to get your opinion as to whether you hear much difference between the AVR and the amp. I know that the outcome will prove nothing other than it did or didn't in *your* system, but I'm still curious.
post #889 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Tim -
Do you have room treatments? I know you already know this, but the showroom was a different room, especially acoustically, so treatments will help....

No, I have no room treatments, but my room is not particularly "live". Wall to wall shag, heavy drapes over windows, down-filled couch, and so on. Heck, for that matter though, the "showroom" had many more exposed reflective hard surfaces than my room, so if anything the speaker should have sounded even brighter at the dealer.

However, IMO there is a distinct difference between room sound and the sound directly coming from the speakers. While a test mic and an RTA will view the combination of the two as an inseparable whole, the human ear/brain is quite effective at telling the difference between the two.

Professional musicians use this ability all the time when tuning their instruments in different environments / venues.

So, I am confident that what I heard was not room induced brightness. But just to be sure, if I hear something that sounds off, I will sometimes listen in the near-field (a few feet away from the speaker) to minimize the effects of the room.
post #890 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Warp -

That is some bedroom system. Better than many people's main system I would imagine.

Would you do me a favor if it is not too much trouble? Connect the AVR back up and see if the treble sounds too hot again? I'm thinking about new amps, and I'd just like to get your opinion as to whether you hear much difference between the AVR and the amp. I know that the outcome will prove nothing other than it did or didn't in *your* system, but I'm still curious.


Thanks Tim.... this will be my last setup before I start on some major renovations around here... Looking forward to spring and summer projects..

I would be happy to do that for ya buddy.... I'll have to identify which music was particularly ear bleeding for me... Not sure why I was so sensitive to that before, but it really was hot...

It will be a day or so, schedule is packed tight, tonight from now until tomorrow night...
post #891 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Looks pretty sweet there Warp. Interesting to hear you guys talk about not believing in "break-in". I have always been a casual believer that there is something to it, strictly from a scientific perspective, and the mechanical nature of the drivers. Anything that moves is sure to smooth out in its motion as that motion is repeated. New stuff is almost always stiff when you first get it (like Dennis stated above). As they are used, things loosen up a bit and settle in, eventually reaching maximum efficiency and leveling off in performance. Cars, bicycles, door locks, power tools... all go through a "break-in" period and they all have moving parts. Why wouldn't the same thing apply to speakers? I've never felt that it would be as significant of a change as some people claim, but hearing Tim, a self confessed non-believer, and Warpdrv comment about it I wonder how significant that change could be. Like Revel, I think I remember reading that Salk Sound breaks in their speakers before shipping as well, and I wonder how many other companies have this practice. Totem is very clear about their beliefs regarding "break-in," and they recommend anywhere from 60 to 250 hours of break-in for their speakers right in their spec-sheets... There has got to be something to it, though I have a lot of respect for Dennis, (and his experience) so I am inclined to believe that "break-in" would happen most drastically in the first couple of hours, and then perhaps more subtle changes would happen with more use.

Actually Jim Salk does not break in his speakers at least according to him. He also firmly believes that his speakers are "broken in" within 30 minutes of playing them, and that there is no change in sound or the drivers themselves after that initial 30 minutes.

If I'm misquoting Jim my apologies, but this is what I recall reading in the last week or so.

-Chad
post #892 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

I wish we could build a showroom with all of the models available for a side-by-side comparison, and a beam-me-up Scotty transporter to get you there instantly, but I haven't got all the kinks worked out of the mechanism yet.

I thought I was the showroom! Maybe a west coast showroom is also needed?

I have an idea for how I would finish my ST's that would be very different than the rest. I'm still noodling on that one.

There are a few surprises coming though that could change my mind on whether to add ST's or
post #893 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

I thought I was the showroom! Maybe a west coast showroom is also needed?

I have an idea for how I would finish my ST's that would be very different than the rest. I'm still noodling on that one.

There are a few surprises coming though that could change my mind on whether to add ST's or


Come on, you know you want to spill the beans...
post #894 of 6914
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Come on, you know you want to spill the beans...

Yes, yes I think he does (waves his jedi hand in front of PAD).

Whether break-in exists or not, if the speakers hit that mark of "perfection" to our ears (within the first few hundred hours), it's all good.

Tim -
I hear hear ya about the room. My previous living arrangement had room treatments, but they probably weren't necessary because the room was not a "lively" room at all. However, my setup now is pretty lively, and of course I don't have the room treatments anymore. Oh well, the wife and I are looking for a new place to live anyway. We're currently renting a home with the option to buy, but the place needs a TON of work and the landlords are the worst on the planet (we call and call, but they never show, even when the basement was flooding and the oven almost killed us from smoke inhalation). As soon as we find a home to buy, we're gone! And mark my words, I'm not going to buy anything that doesn't have a decently sized area for a dedicated HT/2-channel room.
post #895 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpdrv View Post

Strange.... when I first got my Paradigm S4's (.v1 Rosewood unopened box), they totally sounded piercing, they were also hooked up directly to my receiver, and I seriously had to dial the highend down with the EQ, it was just ripping my ears apart...

I have had them for a few weeks now, then I got the D-Sonic, and I seriously punished the hell out of them, played them more and more, and then they started to sound like they were off, like the whole upperend was veiled... !! Oh yeah, the EQ, I put everything back to flat, and Whoa !! There it is.. clean and open... Never had an issue with the mids, but now they just sound oh so sweet to me... Not sure if it was the addition of the IcePower or break in of the speakers, but my god... Far better to me now..

I am truly happy with the setup, its come a long way... Just posted some pics, if anyone would like to see... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13543180


Looking good, Warp. Here is a pic of mine that is about 6 months old. I really need to update it to show some of the new stuff, but I figure something is better than nothing

post #896 of 6914
I think part of it is just taking in a speaker, getting used to its good qualities and bad qualities. I often say that there's no such thing as a good sounding speaker, only less bad sounding ones. Every speaker will throw out a new set of distortions, even while reducing a whole bunch of others. I'm still getting used to the Revel Studio2s, but also taking notes because one my mind blocks out its little defects, I may not be able to hear them again. I always try to let engineers know of any sonic issues I here, hoping they'll see to them on the next iteration. They always love that
post #897 of 6914
Thread Starter 
LOL! I bet engineers just love you, John.

I do agree with your first statement, though - Good sounding speakers don't exist, just less bad sounding ones. Whichever way you look at it, there's no such thing as a "perfect" speaker. We, the consumer, just need to find the speaker who's flaws we can live with.
post #898 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post


I'm still getting used to the Revel Studio2s, but also taking notes because one my mind blocks out its little defects, I may not be able to hear them again. I always try to let engineers know of any sonic issues I here, hoping they'll see to them on the next iteration. They always love that




If you have to get used to the sound of a speaker, then perhaps that tells you something important!
post #899 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

LOL! I bet engineers just love you, John.

I do agree with your first statement, though - Good sounding speakers don't exist, just less bad sounding ones. Whichever way you look at it, there's no such thing as a "perfect" speaker. We, the consumer, just need to find the speaker who's flaws we can live with.




There are plenty of "good sounding speakers" out there. The content that is played on speakers has flaws that we can live without!
post #900 of 6914
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Looking good, Warp. Here is a pic of mine that is about 6 months old. I really need to update it to show some of the new stuff, but I figure something is better than nothing


That is a beautiful setup there rydenfan...

I definitely love the look and colors of the Dali's... the cabinetry on them is astounding to look at... Some day I will have the opportunity to get a listen to them, which I'm sure will lead towards something else.... like a purchase...
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