how many believe reviews in magazines or online sites? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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how many believe reviews in magazines or online sites?

I have been subscriber t magazines since 90's and have bought some speakers solely based on reviews site unseen...but last 4-5 years as I have been retired and had a chance to listen to more and more I find some of the reviews just blah...they were probably blah before this, but I wonder how many go shopping based on reviews or at least some thoughts that help you actually go listen to something?

any pointers on what you like in reviews or feel is unbiased? tips, negatives?

the most hated reviews for me are when high end well respected speakers get paired with gear that most in the know wouldnt pair with ever....but thats not my point.

just lookin for a fair convo on this topic....

I bought an entire klipsch ht setup back in day off of a brent butterworth review stating they were better value than monitor audio silver somethings with review in same mag...I do like the klipsch but boy are they painful for music.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #2 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 04:54 PM
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As far as reviews go, I only trust measurements and maybe subjective impressions of build quality.
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post #3 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post
As far as reviews go, I only trust measurements and maybe subjective impressions of build quality.
measurements by who?

do you look for anything in particular when comparing measurements?

I cant even see in measurements how loud something is....

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post #4 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 05:01 PM
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So many people forget to take into account that a speaker can sound so much different in a different room or set up. The subjectivity is one thing but you need to take in account multiple sources of reviews forums etc. If you can't hear them yourself. I don't trust reviews for a many reasons.

I bought and built every piece of gear I own without hearing it first and I am more than thrilled with each component. Just by lurking here and asking a million questions and looking at data bass graphs.

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post #5 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I know 2 famous people that gave my faorite speakers under 20k a big poo poo in some aspects of review...trigger words so to say. even a magazine gave them same rating as their 5k equals that I own...I know for many facts the 20k speakers sound way better than my 5k speakers. well maybe they telling my he 5k speakers are the value.

anywho...anyone see a review that matches exactly kinda what they heard?

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
Speakers: Focal aria 948, Focal cc900, Klipsch synergy KSF 10.5, Magnepan LRS
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post #6 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 05:14 PM
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I think it's important to stick with professional reviewers who have lived with the product for awhile. Numbers need to be reviewed with a touch of suspicion, what we call hearing is actually done by the brain. Any good reviewer will tell you listen to speakers before you commit to them.
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post #7 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 06:03 PM
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Although his reviews tend to lack a lot of substance, the review videos and comparisons Zeos does on youtube can be entertaining and even a bit informative. For instance, his a-b comparison of the Pioneer Andrew Jones series 1 and 2 bookshelf speakers show the difference and improvements made with the update, particularly in the upper range. If you have a good pair of headphones the differences shown in the sound signature is very noticeable.


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post #8 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
Although his reviews tend to lack a lot of substance, the review videos and comparisons Zeos does on youtube can be entertaining and even a bit informative. For instance, his a-b comparison of the Pioneer Andrew Jones series 1 and 2 bookshelf speakers show the difference and improvements made with the update, particularly in the upper range. If you have a good pair of headphones the differences shown in the sound signature is very noticeable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AsWOUpRtqY
I love his reviews. If I’m doing something I’ll just throw him on in the background for noise. It kills me when his mental capacity reaches maximum and he takes those brief pauses. Just priceless
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post #9 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 06:43 PM
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I'm skeptical of all reviews. Having said that, I see more value in reviews of budget speakers than high end speakers.

IMO, any pair of speakers that retails for more than $10k per pair is a darn fine pair of speakers, regardless of whoever says what about them. As such, reviews of speakers at that level mean almost nothing to me. You really need to hear them for yourself to see if they are a good fit, but it's pretty hard to find fault with them even if they aren't exactly your thing.

More modestly priced speakers, we'll say $2k per pair and under, are a lot more hit and miss. Reviews can be helpful here, especially if several reviewers site similar negatives.
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post #10 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I think youtube reviews are kinda the future if done right.

avs should just do video reviews ofc with measurements in a corner...at least spl...
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post #11 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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nobody can hear what your golden ears can hear but we can see how loud they play at least

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #12 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 07:08 PM
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i don't really "trust" audio (speaker) reviews anymore.. too many glowing reviews of mediocre products have turned me off... i need 2 things.. a graph .. and somebody to tell me if the treble is smooth or grainy.. the graph is easy .. the treble quality .. well that's subjective ..so i end up having to listen for myself.. with all the inherent risk of not liking a speaker & having to return or sell it...oh well.. it's fun when i get it right...BTW.. i get a kick out of Zeos' reviews.. he's a bit crazy .. but entertaining...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
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post #13 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i don't really "trust" audio (speaker) reviews anymore.. too many glowing reviews of mediocre products have turned me off... i need 2 things.. a graph .. and somebody to tell me if the treble is smooth or grainy.. the graph is easy .. the treble quality .. well that's subjective ..so i end up having to listen for myself.. with all the inherent risk of not liking a speaker & having to return or sell it...oh well.. it's fun when i get it right...BTW.. i get a kick out of Zeos' reviews.. he's a bit crazy .. but entertaining...
its all about staging and treble and how loud it can play imo
....

I am pullin out my old ass klipsc kg 3.2's in my garage as we speak to hear em tomorrow after long time of sitting pretty. even goin to use an old yam 2092 avr and velodyne va1512x sub
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post #14 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I suppose it doesnt matter as I just watched a car review of some supercars...nobody cares about performance when it comes to sales...I know speakers arent like cars...so reviews should matter.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #15 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
its all about staging and treble and how loud it can play imo
....

I am pullin out my old ass klipsc kg 3.2's in my garage as we speak to hear em tomorrow after long time of sitting pretty. even goin to use an old yam 2092 avr and velodyne va1512x sub
ya , i agree on the treble.. i can live with mediocre staging.. but i can see how that could be real important in a bigger room than i have(14x12)..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #16 of 46 Old 03-17-2018, 08:18 PM
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I select audio gear the same way i select most other things in life,

Just get the test results and go from there. If I need a vehicle, I determine my needs and narrow down the 200+ models down to a few and then physically look/drive the things. Imagine a car rag that never did acceleration, braking, skid pad, drag strip and mileage testing. I'm Bob, dis car eez fast, handles well, world class brakes and gets amazing mileage....with ZERO test results to back that up. Yeah, not going to happen but audio seems to be the standard.

How loud is a speaker? Well, some manufacturers give that information as Maximum SPL, or--you can determine that with math. Use the sensitivity or efficiency numbers (recalculate sensitivity to efficiency if lower than 8 ohms) use the RMS power ratings and throw in a dB or two for power compression. Then a rough calculation is thrown in depending on listening distance and you have SPL at your listening position. Only in audio is a "professional reviewer" completely clueless to how things are calculated and that is left on the consumer. Kinda weird how that works.

The other charts graphs like on/off axis frequency response, impedance charts, polar charts and so on help define what the speaker generally sounds like. If I see a big hump of +3dB at 100Hz but a trough rolling down -3dB by 1KHz followed by a spike of+3dB at 10KHz and cutting off at -3dB at 20KHz--that is +/- 3dB but it will sound significantly different if the numbers are reversed. This is why a frequency response chart should be provided to inform you of performance. A minimum of 15/30 degree off axis frequency response tells you if the speaker has a wide sound field that holds together or falls apart rapidly. The FR going to hell at 30 degrees off axis does not bode well when used in a lively room--the off axis poor response will reflect and make a mess of the on axis response.

The waterfall charts and polar charts inform you about resonance in the drivers and give a visual indication of the dispersion across the frequency bands. This is not hard to figure out, does not take that long to read and understand the ways and whys it is measued that way. Rots O Ruck finding those measurements--heck, most review rags won't even squeak out a on axis frequency response chart. If they are too lazy or to incompetent to actually test a speaker--then I don't care whatsover what their opinion is. If I wanted an opinion, I'll ask the red headed lady next door--at least she would be honest about it and is not trying to create click bait, maximize views or get kick backs from links. She has to put up with my crazy butt so tends to be very honest.

I'm also fluent at Google--I can search for the measurements I need then quickly dismiss most audio equipment just by measurements. Get down to the last few then I get more in depth. The reviews generally don't come into play until the last 2 and I generally read the negative reviews which tell me either there is a QC problem or the guy is an idiot. As far as purchasing audio gear because the reviwers "like" it? What do they not like? When was the last time you ever read a review without measurements that stated it was a dog turd on a hot sidewalk? Most reviewers go by the Stereo Review standard of liking everything...

Now if a person that owns the speakers gets on a forum to ask about solving some issue with his speakers--and does measurements to show the flaw--that is informative. You can also search forums to find those situations. This gives the warnings about gear that is actually in use real world. Sometimes you'll get some tips to improve your speakers with additional bracing, a change to the crossover filters or whatever. This is common in professional speakers with alternative parts for compression drivers, better replacement drivers or upgrades to suit different needs. The pro guys are bigger into this because that is their job--not a weird little hobby like consumer audio. You can also use professional gear mixed with consumer audio, quite common to use pro amps for subwoofers etc. I don't think the crews that purchase a million bucks in professional gear depend on a reviewer or entertaining video to make a decision--must have real data because big bucks are on the line.

When it comes to electronics, cool operating temps and long term reliability is what matters to me. Other people it might be aethetics or the highest power available and so on. The electronics part is easy, speakers are much harder since they are the highest distortion piece in the puzzle. Throw in your room has it's vote followed by your age--time is not kind to your ears. Might be wise to bring a young person with you if listening to speakers, they might hear issues in the highest octave you can't detect. Although it won't bother you, it might bother friends you invite over.

In summation, give me the test results first--I know what they mean so go by them. The opinion part is the last thing I might read if required.
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post #17 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torii View Post
I know 2 famous people that gave my faorite speakers under 20k a big poo poo in some aspects of review...trigger words so to say. even a magazine gave them same rating as their 5k equals that I own...I know for many facts the 20k speakers sound way better than my 5k speakers. well maybe they telling my he 5k speakers are the value.

anywho...anyone see a review that matches exactly kinda what they heard?
The WhatHiFi reviews are highly subjective and despised by many yet they were spot on with the Q Acoustic Concept 20s and Martin Logan LX16/Motion 15s I tested in my home a few years back against each other.

Truth be told I think there are a lot of pretty darned good speakers out there today especially in the value category, including subwoofers.

I will say that decades ago when Stereo Review tested the Velodyne ULD15 and later the DD15 subs that I own(ed) they were on point also.

Heck I even liked the Intimus Pro LX5s they raved about back then but in that particular case their plaudits were a bit over the top.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #18 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i don't really "trust" audio (speaker) reviews anymore.. too many glowing reviews of mediocre products have turned me off... i need 2 things.. a graph .. and somebody to tell me if the treble is smooth or grainy.. the graph is easy .. the treble quality .. well that's subjective ..so i end up having to listen for myself.. with all the inherent risk of not liking a speaker & having to return or sell it...oh well.. it's fun when i get it right...BTW.. i get a kick out of Zeos' reviews.. he's a bit crazy .. but entertaining...
My 61 ears would likely hate the Bose 901s I loved in my 20s and my 20 year old ears might hate the Ushers and Martin Logan speakers I enjoy at home today.

So maybe when we comment on speakers we should mention our age!

This chart does look a bit exaggerate, but perhaps I'm just fooling myself!

This link says perhaps the graph isn't that far off reality.

http://onlinetonegenerator.com/hearingtest-results.html

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post #19 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 09:11 AM
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My 61 ears would likely hate the Bose 901s I loved in my 20s and my 20 year old ears might hate the Ushers and Martin Logan speakers I enjoy at home today.

So maybe when we comment on speakers we should mention our age!

This chart does look a bit exaggerate, but perhaps I'm just fooling myself!

This link says perhaps the graph isn't that far off reality.

http://onlinetonegenerator.com/hearingtest-results.html

it took me a minute to digest .. but ya .. that's sccaary

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #20 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 09:20 AM
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it took me a minute to digest .. but ya .. that's sccaary
Back in the day as a young lad my Hi Fi nut Dad played a vinyl album of test tones.

I was shocked that he couldn't hear any of the many higher frequencies that I heard loud and clear in my early teens but having tried test tones recently it seems that my hearing is in line with my Dad's back then!

http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_index.php
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post #21 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 09:24 AM
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Back in the day as a young lad my Hi Fi nut Dad played a vinyl album of test tones.

I was shocked that he couldn't hear any of the many higher frequencies that I heard loud and clear in my early teens but having tried test tones recently it seems that my hearing is in line with my Dad's back then!

http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_index.php
i remember those tests from grade school.. i would like to compare my results to a current test..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #22 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i remember those tests from grade school.. i would like to compare my results to a current test..
My once "Golden Ears" are a bit tarnished these days it would seem.

Age+motorcycle riding without ear protection+hundreds of rock concerts with no ear protection = "can you say that again?"

Maybe I should sell everything and just get Bose.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #23 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 11:01 AM
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It's true, our hearing does change over time...just like everything else. I won't say "degrade" as that leads to more morose topics on the absurdity of the human condition.

In all of the time that I've been in this crazy hobby of ours, I've always taken every review that I've read with a grain of salt. Too many variables with subjectivity being the most difficult to overcome. I'm a firm believer that you really won't know what you like until you experience it for yourself.

Fortunately, I live in the Bay Area where you can pretty much find a shop somewhere that has the equipment that piques your interest. Auditions, even the ones in store, help tremendously. Only 4-5 times have I ever bought audio equipment that I didn't first hear in person.
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post #24 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 03:34 PM
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Wasn't into disco (at all) but I ended up buying a pair of EV Interface D's off this review. Kept reading and the Pioneer CTF 1000 seemed to have a decent review so I bought one of those too.

Today, both have new homes but they served me well for something like 30 years. (just recently gave the EV's to my nephew along with a replacement pair of ST-350's and VMR's)

This is probably the first and last two things I bought off a review. (bought them both in 1978)
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post #25 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 03:53 PM
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I love reviews because it makes me believe that my $10 speakers are better than a pair of $20,000 speakers.

According to reviews my $10 speakers sound better than $25 speakers, and those $25 speakers sound better than $50 speakers, and those $50 speakers sound better than $100 speakers, and those $100 speakers sound better than $250 speakers, and those $250 speakers sound better than $500 speakers, and those $500 speakers sound better than $1000 speakers, and those $1000 speakers sound better than $2500 speakers, and those $2500 speakers sound better than $5000 speakers, and those $5000 speakers sound better than $20,000 speakers, so of course that means...
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post #26 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
My once "Golden Ears" are a bit tarnished these days it would seem.

Age+motorcycle riding without ear protection+hundreds of rock concerts with no ear protection = "can you say that again?"

Maybe I should sell everything and just get Bose.
bose= throwing in the towel on the hobby

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #27 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 05:02 PM
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I don't trust many reviews. I have found to many reviews to be biased towards the reviewers prefrences. Go figure?

I understand that if I like something I try to get other people to like it, but I'm learning there are things I like and things "you" like.

With audio I've found it to be even worse. Everyone's room is different. When it comes to awards, I find avsforum chooses components that are way out of my budget. I don't know if they do it because sponsors send them products to test? But like "best" subwoofer goes to an svs product...go figure....

From cars/motprcycles to music, everyone's style and preferences are different. I know one thing, CNET is definitely wack. According to "reviews" I should've preferred my fuel injected aprillia futura rst1000 which was said to lean towards sport more then tour. Technology says I should prefer fuel injection, aluminum frame bikes. R1, gsxr, Honda f4i, rst1000....I gave 9 motorcycles a year or two....I ended up with a carbureted steel framed 2003 fz1...reviews said that shouldn't have happened lol.

With audio, in room response isnt in MY room response. Currently in my bedroom I'm rocking a outlaw 1050 and two 35$ entra 1 bookshelves...yet I have a pair of "audiophile" mirage speakers sitting unused. I'm sure they got better reviews.

Take reviews lightly and use them for guidance if at all. I prefer to look at "ratings" first, and like reading the negative ones more.

- 6 BA CR6 array center channel, QSC AD-S82 L/R, 4 jbl 8330a surr , 8 jbl 12" subs w/Inuke 6000. JVC rs420, Denon x4000, Sony x800 -
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post #28 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 11:01 PM
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I bought a pair of speakers without listening to them. All I wanted was better speakers than what was built into my TV.

Picked up a pair of Elac UB5's on Black Friday. The sale price made the others seem less attractive.

Why UB5's ? I like three way speaker systems. I appreciate good crossover design. The cabinets were designed a bit better than the debut 6's. Concentric midrange/tweeter, yeah that too. What's not to like ?

Granted, they might be a bit of overkill just to replace my TV's speakers. Turns out they sound good for music too.

I did pick up a SVS SB12-NSD sub to fill out the sound. Didn't hear that either before buying.

How did I choose them ? Reviews.

Of course it helps to know what you like, and what you want in a speaker and match that up to what the reviews are telling you. That and a little cognitive dissonance.
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post #29 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklightning View Post
I love reviews because it makes me believe that my $10 speakers are better than a pair of $20,000 speakers.

According to reviews my $10 speakers sound better than $25 speakers, and those $25 speakers sound better than $50 speakers, and those $50 speakers sound better than $100 speakers, and those $100 speakers sound better than $250 speakers, and those $250 speakers sound better than $500 speakers, and those $500 speakers sound better than $1000 speakers, and those $1000 speakers sound better than $2500 speakers, and those $2500 speakers sound better than $5000 speakers, and those $5000 speakers sound better than $20,000 speakers, so of course that means...
But the opposite is possible. I listened to a pair of large Tannoy coaxials in a friend's office, which cost well into the 5-figures. My jaws dropped. "This is it?" There was no soundstage to speak of, just a diffused cloud of sounds. Without focus any so called ambiance is out-of-context but not a recreation of a live performance. He had great interconnects, amps and sources. Now, I am sure it wasn't Tannoy's fault. Maybe the more expensive something is, the harder it is to use correctly! You have to work on placement and there are the level settings to configure. Source material is important, too, to showcase the audio qualities. "I love vocals and see how great the voices are" (with his tube amps). True, the midrange was unbeatable and undeniable, but for the price I expect not only that, but much more.

If he spend enough time on tweaking will he be able to get everything right? Or were people spending on things with no sonic significance such as piano black finish, hand-made everything (when there is nothing wrong with automating certain things), using exotic materials with unproven benefits, and so on? (Tannoy was certainly 'worth every penny' even if you just look at the behemoth as a piece of furniture.) I am very much into full-range speakers myself but as you go up in price for diminishing returns would a 3-way best it in most aspects for a fraction of the cost? (Is it prudent to pay exorbitant prices for one desirable attribute even at the expense of many others?) Would room treatments pay back more quickly than a cone made of diamonds? Are the recordings good enough to sound good on your system?

It is a bottomless abyss for sure, but the correct descent is to identify correctly the current bottleneck, and work on it.
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post #30 of 46 Old 03-18-2018, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
I have been subscriber t magazines since 90's and have bought some speakers solely based on reviews site unseen...but last 4-5 years as I have been retired and had a chance to listen to more and more I find some of the reviews just blah...they were probably blah before this, but I wonder how many go shopping based on reviews or at least some thoughts that help you actually go listen to something?

any pointers on what you like in reviews or feel is unbiased? tips, negatives?

the most hated reviews for me are when high end well respected speakers get paired with gear that most in the know wouldnt pair with ever....but thats not my point.

just lookin for a fair convo on this topic....

I bought an entire klipsch ht setup back in day off of a brent butterworth review stating they were better value than monitor audio silver somethings with review in same mag...I do like the klipsch but boy are they painful for music.



Reviews like that are just a persons opinion.............measurements are even subjective unless a detailed outline of how they were taken are given.


Now reviews of that nature come from experienced people so they have a wide base of experience to draw on, which is good, but unfortunately it also biases them, since you can never go back to that ignorant virgin unbiased state, even if you try.


No one knows what will make you happy, but you.


When it comes to subjective things, pretty much any opinion other than your own is hogwash.


It is akin to a person trying to tell you your favorite color based on facts and measurements, if you hate red, you hate red, no matter what opinion, experience,facts or measurements one presents.




It does not invalidate that the red might be the best color, but I still do not like it,even if it is the best color.....

Link to Stereo Integrity SI HT 18 sub build......https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...-pedestal.html
Speakers and subs for sale...https://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...kers-subs.html
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