Originally Posted by Nuance
^ 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.