Speaker Shootout - two of the most accurate and well reviewed speakers ever made - Page 56 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1651 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Sure, shootout out the 15As and / or 20.7s against the Revel Salon2s? We've been considering doing a "bring your own speakers" shootout for a while now. I would have no problem setting up the Salon2s in stereo (M2s are sold and gone). We have the equipment here to do level matching and the custom built wall and slider for the speakers. And you would be free to position your own speakers. The same group of listeners would probably be thrilled to come back and participate.

I don't see any point in bringing in Everests - they were never part of the discussion. And I already have the Salon2s here, plus they "won" the shootout.

How to get your speakers out here and how to move each pair in under 5 seconds is the challenge. If we could figure out a way to do it, it would be fun
Local dealer who has the ML 11As so we have some parity in prices? Salon 2s are around $10k correct? Maggies doesn't have anything around the same price point. 3.7i are cheaper and 20.7 are more

These are not hugely heavy so they theoretically could be moved that quickly. You have an MBL dealer in your area? That would make real interesting given the vastly different speaker types: unipole vs dipole vs omni
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post #1652 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 06:51 PM
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Then what electronics (please, for the luv of gawd, don't say Crown).

I'd proffer a Hegel H360 or a Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 800. My favorite integrated, a VAC 160se might be a bit weak for the Maggies, but would be delicious on everything else.
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post #1653 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 07:09 PM
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Salon2 is $20,000/pair iirc.

While the Studio2 is a mere $16,000/pair.

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post #1654 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 08:25 PM
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IMO there is simply no point in rehashing the same old arguments. Might as well argue religion and politics while we're at it. There are excellent reasons for testing a single speaker if you want to discern its character but those reasons are lost on those convinced it takes two to tango and nothing is to be gained from isolating the speaker. I suppose testing a pair is no good for HT; you must test 5, or 7, or 11, or 16, or whatever for it to be valid. And of course we need to be using audiophile electronics... I think a combination of mono and stereo testing is a good thing; the mono tests should reveal exactly what the speaker sounds like, and dispersion/off-axis measurements should indicate the sound of a pair. But, listening to a pair is probably the only way a listener is going to really understand the imaging and soundstage; getting it off the graphs is tough for most of us, and hearing is believing.

@mmiles : Salon 2 list is $22k; Studio 2 list is $16k.

Magnepan 3.7 ($6k) and 20.7 ($14k) were on my short list to replace my old IIIa's, along with Sanders ESLs and a few others. I had pretty much ruled out the 20.7's as they were simply too big to be a good fit in my modest room. I have heard many MLs, and the latest models are very good, but if I went ESL I was going to give Roger a try (knew him ages ago and now he lives not far from me since his move from GA to CO). I decided to switch back to conventional after decades with panels "just because". I do not have the years Scott has, but have just about as much exposure to planars, mainly due to working for several high-end dealers for nearly ten years some time ago. ML Monolith, ServoStatik, KLH-9, Acoustat, Beveridge, Quad, SoundLabs, Janzen, Apogee, Carver, Magnepan, etc. Plus many conventional designs. My last "high-end" conventional speakers were IRS 2's though I have Kef and newer Infinity speakers around the house now. Up until this spring I had been running primarily Maggies of some flavor in my main system for ~30 years.

I'm impressed with the sound of the Salon 2's and haven't been tempted to swap the Maggies back in (my biggest concern was I'd be wanting to swap back after a week or two). They strike me as the combination of a lot of things done right and compare favorable to even more expensive designs (though I have done little comparative listening -- no real desire). They are different than my Maggies, but in many ways far less so than I expected. The clean sound and fairly expansive soundstage are there, though of course not the floor to ceiling sound of the big panels. But, I am usually sitting, and the Salon 2's are tall enough to provide a very similar immersive experience. I prefer the Voice 2 over the Magnepan center, but despite the arguably better sound and definitely deeper bass of the F206 surrounds and rears, I need to get them a little higher to better match the immersive experience of the stand-mounted Magnepan MC-1's I was using before, at least in the rear (tall couch back).

FWIWFM - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #1655 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
That's the nice way of saying bul**hit, and yeah.

I added to my post you quoted, so you can see me expound on it there.
All I see is that you have zero understanding of the how and why of blind --- what it means.

Compare all you want with your range of product. Don't go impugning Olive / Harman integrity and honesty!
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post #1656 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 08:51 PM
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Salon2 is $20,000/pair iirc.

While the Studio2 is a mere $16,000/pair.

Ok then versus the ML 15As and the Maggie 20.7s.
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post #1657 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 08:53 PM
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IMO there is simply no point in rehashing the same old arguments. Might as well argue religion and politics while we're at it. There are excellent reasons for testing a single speaker if you want to discern its character but those reasons are lost on those convinced it takes two to tango and nothing is to be gained from isolating the speaker. I suppose testing a pair is no good for HT; you must test 5, or 7, or 11, or 16, or whatever for it to be valid. And of course we need to be using audiophile electronics... I think a combination of mono and stereo testing is a good thing; the mono tests should reveal exactly what the speaker sounds like, and dispersion/off-axis measurements should indicate the sound of a pair. But, listening to a pair is probably the only way a listener is going to really understand the imaging and soundstage; getting it off the graphs is tough for most of us, and hearing is believing.

@mmiles: Salon 2 list is $22k; Studio 2 list is $16k.

Magnepan 3.7 ($6k) and 20.7 ($14k) were on my short list to replace my old IIIa's, along with Sanders ESLs and a few others. I had pretty much ruled out the 20.7's as they were simply too big to be a good fit in my modest room. I have heard many MLs, and the latest models are very good, but if I went ESL I was going to give Roger a try (knew him ages ago and now he lives not far from me since his move from GA to CO). I decided to switch back to conventional after decades with panels "just because". I do not have the years Scott has, but have just about as much exposure to planars, mainly due to working for several high-end dealers for nearly ten years some time ago. ML Monolith, ServoStatik, KLH-9, Acoustat, Beveridge, Quad, SoundLabs, Janzen, Apogee, Carver, Magnepan, etc. Plus many conventional designs. My last "high-end" conventional speakers were IRS 2's though I have Kef and newer Infinity speakers around the house now. Up until this spring I had been running primarily Maggies of some flavor in my main system for ~30 years.

I'm impressed with the sound of the Salon 2's and haven't been tempted to swap the Maggies back in (my biggest concern was I'd be wanting to swap back after a week or two). They strike me as the combination of a lot of things done right and compare favorable to even more expensive designs (though I have done little comparative listening -- no real desire). They are different than my Maggies, but in many ways far less so than I expected. The clean sound and fairly expansive soundstage are there, though of course not the floor to ceiling sound of the big panels. But, I am usually sitting, and the Salon 2's are tall enough to provide a very similar immersive experience. I prefer the Voice 2 over the Magnepan center, but despite the arguably better sound and definitely deeper bass of the F206 surrounds and rears, I need to get them a little higher to better match the immersive experience of the stand-mounted Magnepan MC-1's I was using before, at least in the rear (tall couch back).

FWIWFM - Don

"But, listening to a pair is probably the only way a listener is going to really understand the imaging and soundstage;"

There you go !

"reasons are lost on those convinced it takes two to tango and nothing is to be gained from isolating the speaker"

On most speakers, okay, certainly unipoles, but in ML's case those are designed to listened to off axis and as a pair. Of course I have many mono records given that my LP collection goes back to the late 40s, but the single speaker at a time thing was pretty ghastly when I tried it for the first time due to this thread.

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post #1658 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 08:57 PM
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^^^ I think the Revel Studio 2, ML 13A, and Magnepan 20.7 would be a closer match in price? Salon 2 and 15A are close in price but more expensive than the 20.7 (and cheaper than the 30.7). One big catch is that Magnepan dealers almost never carry the 20.7 so they are hard to hear.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #1659 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:02 PM
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one of the best things I like about well regarded speakers is the ability for 2 of them to throw sounds behind you or to the left/right 20 feet or so from listening position. dont know if this can be measured with 1 speaker, but is something I love about nice speakers....shoot I just heard a tv commercial where I snapped to look out my open patio door cause I heard a sound effect and thought it was my wind chimes...doubt one speaker can do that.

should add my dog gets fooled too.
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post #1660 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:10 PM
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one of the best things I like about well regarded speakers is the ability for 2 of them to throw sounds behind you or to the left/right 20 feet or so from listening position. dont know if this can be measured with 1 speaker, but is something I love about nice speakers....shoot I just heard a tv commercial where I snapped to look out my open patio door cause I heard a sound effect and thought it was my wind chimes...doubt one speaker can do that.

should add my dog gets fooled too.

"well regarded speakers is the ability for 2 of them to throw sounds behind you or to the left/right 20 feet or so from listening position. dont know if this can be measured with 1 speaker"

Exactly.

It's sorta like that Fairfield Four example I point at so often. Everyone who knows me knows I don't sing. I was playing this cut for someone I know somewhat well who had never heard my system, and as far as I know has no real biases concerning the equipment. I gave him the prime seat for the Roll Jordan cut and I sat over where I knew the voice would be coming from. He looked over at me at the 2:15 mark and smiled and said "you're really getting into this" then I got up and left the voice over there. That created quite the conversation.

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post #1661 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:12 PM
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Speaker dispersion and room configuration has a lot to do with that. While you can infer the soundstage from the single-speaker data, it is easier for most of us to hear (and understand) using a pair, natch. But, if you want to know how a speaker sounds, how even it's response is from top to bottom, does it emphasize or suppress certain frequencies, is the sound smoothly passed among the various drivers, and other parameters (e.g. does it get "beamy" at HF?), then listening to a single speaker works much better.

IMO - Don
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post #1662 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:13 PM
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I judge my speakers on the basis of how my pet hippopotamus (who is not an audiophile) responds to them.
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post #1663 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:17 PM
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Ah, the elephan* -- hippopotamus in the room! The speakers are only really good if the hippo can clearly hear the difference from the pool in the other room, of course.
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well I did run test tones and my speakers dont play them all at same db...so I guess mine arent a match for a flat speaker. and the timbre of certain sounds arent exact as my brain remembers...but they are very enjoyable for the types of music I like.

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post #1665 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:30 PM
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^^^ I think the Revel Studio 2, ML 13A, and Magnepan 20.7 would be a closer match in price? Salon 2 and 15A are close in price but more expensive than the 20.7 (and cheaper than the 30.7). One big catch is that Magnepan dealers almost never carry the 20.7 so they are hard to hear.

True. I don't know anything about John's room, but the 15As are simply a slightly bigger slice of the same pie so the 13As should be fine.

I'm not personally doing anything further until I make a decision whether to stay here or go back to SoCal. If I stay here the 11As would be fine in my 16' x 19' little room. Plus, I still have the Soundlab M1s crated up at the SoCal house so I have really BIG out there.

Again true, that dealers rarely stock the 20.7s and I think the 3.7i might surprise and be very competitive in spite of being much cheaper.

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post #1666 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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well I did run test tones and my speakers dont play them all at same db...so I guess mine arent a match for a flat speaker. and the timbre of certain sounds arent exact as my brain remembers...but they are very enjoyable for the types of music I like.

The Focals should also be very competitive.
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post #1667 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 10:01 PM
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>> My only question is whether there has been any sensitivity analysis to determine whether the full panoply of the Spin tests adds significantly to the correlation between test score and listener preference scores vs a simpler battery of tests, say a score derived only from the response of the speaker over a +/- 45 degree angle off axis horizontally, and perhaps some smaller vertical off axis window.


the Harman blind preference testing was not correlated w full spinorama but more frontal, wasn't it?
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>> My only question is whether there has been any sensitivity analysis to determine whether the full panoply of the Spin tests adds significantly to the correlation between test score and listener preference scores vs a simpler battery of tests, say a score derived only from the response of the speaker over a +/- 45 degree angle off axis horizontally, and perhaps some smaller vertical off axis window.


the Harman blind preference testing was not correlated w full spinorama but more frontal, wasn't it?

Might be banned around here.
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post #1669 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 10:22 PM
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Again, I couldn't care less. Figure out how to measure focus, clarity, immersion, soundstage, including height, depth and width, micro dynamics, three dimensionality and then we're cooking with gas. And again, side to side consistency with regards to frequency response is very important.
Man, lots of backward confusion here --- all of that has been done. (all of those attributes have to do w radpat)

The compared speakers were blind preference-tested and then measured to see what they did and how they did it.

As for mono, sure you can get a good sense of imaging / venue re-creation from such a comparison. It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all; you don't need to test in stereo, whose effects are a function of not only individual hor radpat but also distance from front and sidewalls, their hardness, and distance of listening seat. But in any case, a single speaker will reveal source program info according to its horizontal radiation.

I get into this in my LinearAudio review of the Infinity P362, a very fine conventionally radiating design. I compared it singly with a quite similar design (driver complement mostly, cabinet size and height) using identical room positioning / boundary loading. The program material (believe it or not) was a football game, w/ announcers in some enclosed space plus crowd and field player noise, etc. The other speaker happens to use a tweeter that puts out as much sound sideways as forward. So ... that speaker's hor radpat is close to frontally equi-omni, unlike the Infinity's conventional beaming as a function of frequency (done very smoothly, with zero bad stitches and seams). The single Infinity was natural and neutral and the playback completely unexceptionable. The other speaker, single, was markedly airier, conveying detail of the announcers' space and the totality of stadium noise. I was very surprised at the degree of difference and particularly the openness. The very good Infinity was nothing I could prefer to the identical-FR but wider treble-dispersion design.

Now, the reason to take this report w/ salt is that it was not blind, and worse, the a-b levels were matched only informally, not measurably, and I am sure they were off by more than a slight amount, more like a few decibels spl.

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Actually, this could be doable.

There's a Magnepan dealer in Colorado Springs.

https://www.listenup.com/

And I'm certain there would be a ML dealer in Denver or Colorado Springs.

And John has the Revels. Sounds interesting.
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Man, lots of backward confusion here --- all of that has been done. (all of those attributes have to do w radpat)

The compared speakers were blind preference-tested and then measured to see what they did and how they did it.

As for mono, sure you can get a good sense of imaging / venue re-creation from such a comparison. It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all; you don't need to test in stereo, whose effects are a function of not only individual hor radpat but also distance from front and sidewalls, their hardness, and distance of listening seat. But in any case, a single speaker will reveal source program info according to its horizontal radiation.

I get into this in my LinearAudio review of the Infinity P362, a very fine conventionally radiating design. I compared it singly with a quite similar design (driver complement mostly, cabinet size and height) using identical room positioning / boundary loading. The program material (believe it or not) was a football game, w/ announcers in some enclosed space plus crowd and field player noise, etc. The other speaker happens to use a tweeter that puts out as much sound sideways as forward. So ... that speaker's hor radpat is close to frontally equi-omni, unlike the Infinity's conventional beaming as a function of frequency (done very smoothly, with zero bad stitches and seams). The single Infinity was natural and neutral and the playback completely unexceptionable. The other speaker, single, was markedly airier, conveying detail of the announcers' space and the totality of stadium noise. I was very surprised at the degree of difference and particularly the openness. The very good Infinity was nothing I could prefer to the identical-FR but wider treble-dispersion design.

Now, the reason to take this report w/ salt is that it was not blind, and worse, the a-b levels were matched only informally, not measurably, and I am sure they were off by more than a slight amount, more like a few decibels spl.

"Man, lots of backward confusion here "

Not as much as you'd really really like to think there is.

"As for mono, sure you can get a good sense of imaging / venue re-creation from such a comparison. It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all"

I do not find that to be true with a dipole. Anyway Mr. Hor Radpat, why not do it in stereo with a pair? Any harm in that? Compare in the same manner that they would be used? You can bring Ver Radpat with you and see how it also does.

"It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all"

I think it does. It's everything to me.

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"Man, lots of backward confusion here "

Not as much as you'd really really like to think there is.

"As for mono, sure you can get a good sense of imaging / venue re-creation from such a comparison. It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all"

I do not find that to be true with a dipole. Anyway Mr. Hor Radpat, why not do it in stereo with a pair? Any harm in that? Compare in the same manner that they would be used? You can bring Ver Radpat with you and see how it also does.

"It is not perhaps stereo-ideal --- I think that doesn't matter at all"

I think it does. It's everything to me.
Jesus, dude, why take such offense? Oh, right, got it, 'it's everything to me'. All righty then. Wale away.

I'm a big fan of stereo and do v little multichannel listening. Stereo might seem ideal testing, but it's much harder and more confounding. Also less fair to some designs designed for specific placement wrt the three near boundaries.

The reason for single testing is hygiene, so we can focus on one set of things at a time. But you know all this.

Anyway, probably no harm in muddying the conditions, except as mentioned. I was simply responding to someone who wondered if single testing was useful and helpful. I say absolutely.

Vertical radiation pattern is way way down the scale of importance, unless you have a special spare ear atop your pate.

The backward confusion remains, since the way it works is to fairly identify preference and then measure to see what and why. The steps in that order.
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post #1673 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:12 PM
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Jesus, dude, why take such offense? Oh, right, got it, 'it's everything to me'. All righty then. Wale away.

I'm a big fan of stereo and do v little multichannel listening. Stereo might seem ideal testing, but it's much harder and more confounding. Also less fair to some designs designed for specific placement wrt the three near boundaries.

The reason for single testing is hygiene, so we can focus on one set of things at a time. But you know all this.

Anyway, probably no harm in muddying the conditions, except as mentioned. I was simply responding to someone who wondered if single testing was useful and helpful. I say absolutely.

Vertical radiation pattern is way way down the scale of importance, unless you have a special spare ear atop your pate.

The backward confusion remains, since the way it works is to fairly identify preference and then measure to see what and why. The steps in that order.

"Jesus, dude, why take such offense"

I'm not quite Jesus, dude, but why so sensitive? J/k a bit, but why not compare in the same manner in which they'd be used. Saves having to find the spare space in the garage or basement to store the 'extra' speaker.

"Also less fair to some designs designed for specific placement wrt the three near boundaries. "

Why? Place the unipoles where they 'sound best' and the same with the dipoles and Omni? Doesn't mean that they all have to be placed in the same location in the front half or so of the room, just have to able to switch them relatively quickly, and there's the challenge.

And I get it that you really really like the $100ea Infinity. So do I, and I wish I hadn't sat around on my butt instead of getting a pair for myself. I also very much liked those.

"But you know all this"

Thank you. Good night.

Last edited by Scotth3886; 10-19-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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post #1674 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:21 PM
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RE: spaciousness being equivalent to loudness. I would say no - a speaker may have truly broad dispersion that leads to a greater sense of spaciousness, but have such poor or in-congruent off axis response that it could do terribly in a double blind comparison. That's part of what the Harman research has shown - broad dispersion is desirable, but only if it's congruent with the on-axis sound.
There are omnis out there that match the requirement. What about running a new blind test that compares different dispersion pattens?
If other variables like spectral similarity between speakers can't be controlled, additional speakers in an otherwise rather dead room could be used to simulate room reflections.

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post #1675 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:33 PM
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Left out of the above -

...the fact that the research being described here started at the Canadian NRC, under Toole and Olive, not at Harman.

...the fact that the research being described here was a continuation of that same research, only better funded by Harman with more elaborate testing facilities.

...the fact that the research undertaken at Harman was done in an open, truly scientific manner, published in peer reviewed scientific journals, with the results shared with the entire audio community including with competitors.

...that competitors such as KEF have embraced this science and are now also using the Spinorama methodology

...that the CEA itself has adopted the Spinorama methodology as scientifically valid and has made it part of the CEA2034 standard.

...that during the initial testing at Harman, Harman speakers did NOT win the double blind listening tests, it was only after designing speakers based on what was learned after doing these kinds of tests that the Harman speakers started winning (seems like you have the testing / results order mixed up here).

Lets say we record you talking in a room, and then play back the recording over a speaker set up in the same room, in the same location. "Accurate" in all these discussions means that the speaker that most sounds like what your voice actually sounded like in that room. What about that "hurts"?
Though I’m tempted to write a big long post, I’ve decided not to get sucked in. I’ll instead just say that I’ve made my point, even if it has escaped you. We’ll disagree, and that’s fine. The world keeps turning.

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post #1676 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:39 PM
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All I see is that you have zero understanding of the how and why of blind --- what it means.

Compare all you want with your range of product. Don't go impugning Olive / Harman integrity and honesty!
Yes, that must be it. I don’t understand what a blind test is.

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post #1677 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:39 PM
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There are omnis out there that match the requirement. What about running a new blind test that compares different dispersion pattens?
If other variables like spectral similarity between speakers can't be controlled, additional speakers in an otherwise rather dead room could be used to simulate room reflections.

Exactly, as a stereo pair. No harm in that and it could be fun.
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post #1678 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:47 PM
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Exactly, as a stereo pair. No harm in that and it could be fun.
First I'd use a single speaker to answer the initial question. I was thinking about placing additional speakers at first reflection points and feeding them appropriately delayed versions of the test signal. Delay, level and even spectral properties of the "reflections" could be varied and tested.

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post #1679 of 1751 Old 10-19-2017, 11:51 PM
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First I'd use a single speaker to answer the initial question. I was thinking about placing additional speakers at first reflection points and feeding them appropriately delayed versions of the test signal. Delay, level and even spectral properties of the "reflections" could be varied and tested.

Well, let's see if there's a way to make this happen. There might just be! I'm self employed and can generally disappear for a while. This might be worthwhile and fun.
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post #1680 of 1751 Old 10-20-2017, 12:07 AM
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Well, let's see if there's a way to make this happen. There might just be! I'm self employed and can generally disappear for a while. This might be worthwhile and fun.
I would be in but I'm 6700 miles from CA

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