How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #181 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:24 PM
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Gentlemen, it is past 5 pm where I am currently located. Time to have some dinner and a glass of Champagne to celebrate the end of 2018 and start of a New Year. I bid you adieu until January 2.


Happy New Year to you all!
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post #182 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Follow the procedures used by Harman in their listening tests. Train your ears. Do double blind comparisons of one speaker (mono) at a time.

got a link to procedures? or training?

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post #183 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Williams2 View Post
I thought it was a pretty legitimate question, and sounds like an answer that's avoiding the question. As previously mentioned, I do appreciate the science and measurements, and think Harman speakers are alright. Just asking a question for others in the thread wanting to know about measurements for the lower models. If that's Harman's thing is measurements, wouldn't it make sense to include them all? No need to get upset, maybe just pass the questions along.
It is a legitimate question in my mind.

The thread is "how to choose a loudspeaker" and we are told look at the measurements, particularly "spinorama measurement," when there is none to be had for most Harman products including Revel on their individual brand sites.

Then we are told in effect "trust us/trickle down/we can't measure all 12 Revels and certainly not the JBls or Infinitys."

I guess if you buy the $2000/pair F36 with no measurements vs the $1600/pair F35 with measurements there is no advantage in the former vs the latter?

So why pay more?

Could it be that the F35 measured better than the F36?

Color me confused.
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post #184 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
got a link to procedures? or training?


Now it is clear you are not reading the posts and are just trying to troll. They referred a app several post back that trains you to listen to distortion.


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post #185 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:34 PM
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As a person who will never be able to afford any of these speakers, I hope the participants from Harmon just ignore the brickbats, and keep participating. Are they possibly biased towards Harmon? It would be hard for them not to be. Who cares. There's real science and talent here, and that's much more important as far as I'm concerned.

What I would like to see, and I'm sure it will never happen, is spins for speakers people actually buy in large amounts, like my Klipsch RP280f and it's competitors.
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post #186 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Follow the procedures used by Harman in their listening tests. Train your ears. Do double blind comparisons of one speaker (mono) at a time.
That doesn’t seem to exactly be practical advice for a question from a consumer. How many stores are set up to do double blind speaker comparisons? Or would go to such lengths at the request of a consumer?

I’d suggest exactly: None.

This gets to the crux of the issue I had raised earlier. As fascinating as the HK information is, unless the consumer simply decides to purchase a HK brand speaker and call it a day, we are stuck with the fact almost all other manufacturers do not perform or provide the measurements suggested in this thread. Lacking our own individual spinoramas what are we to do but just audition speakers as per usual?

Thoughts?
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post #187 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by torii View Post
got a link to procedures? or training?


I found this app from there very educational.

http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.co...isten.html?m=1
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post #188 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:45 PM
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ok...we got the science in how to choose a loudspeaker....whats the science say for demoing loudspeakers so we dont mess up the science? lets say I walk into showroom and have focal 20k speakers and revel 20k speakers....what does science tell me so I dont pick wrong one?
I went to a high-end dealer over a decade ago and they had Salon1's in the smaller room and >$20K Avalon speakers in the larger, premier room.
The Salon1's sounded good but the sound of the Avalon was everywhere which was truly compelling.
The premier room had high ceilings and large ceiling panels angled slightly tilted-down with padding facing the rear of the room.
I concluded that I was listening to a good pair of speakers in a truly fantastic room.
I bought the Salon1's because I could not afford the room nor the speakers

A few years ago I auditioned the F206's with my brother-in-law in a mid-fi dealership.
This room had dropped ceilings, curtains, and rugs. It was DEAD.
The F206's were driven by a NAD class-D integrated amp that I did not care for once the volume was raised.
My brother-in-law bought the F206's and loves them. They are driven by a Parasound A21 that is directly connected to an Oppo BDP-105D.
No EQ and they sound just fine and measure well in his 13x18x8 room.

When I was shopping for the Salons, I also auditioned the comparable B&W's and ruled them out when I noticed the directivity of the midrange when changing from a seated to a standing position. Every speaker was subjected to Jennifer Warnes "Way Down Deep" to test for bass extension. Some speakers failed to produce the bass, other speakers, like the Monitor Audios, completely broke up. I picked the Salons also because I could not justify buying an expensive speaker that could not go below 40Hz with authority.

I replaced the Ultima1's with Ultima2's when my dealer offered them at an excellent price.
I had heard them at @gsr 's house but I would have bought them sight-unseen because I trust the brand and other forum members that are owners.

My purchases have been based on the reviews, measurements, technology, and reputation.
Auditions are helpful to examine the aesthetics, check for sound quality, and test for obvious limitations while taking into the account the room and electronics used.

- Rich
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post #189 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
That doesn’t seem to exactly be practical advice for a question from a consumer. How many stores are set up to do double blind speaker comparisons? Or would go to such lengths at the request of a consumer?



I’d suggest exactly: None.



This gets to the crux of the issue I had raised earlier. As fascinating as the HK information is, unless the consumer simply decides to purchase a HK brand speaker and call it a day, we are stuck with the fact almost all other manufacturers do not perform or provide the measurements suggested in this thread. Lacking our own individual spinoramas what are we to do but just audition speakers as per usual?



Thoughts?


This is a starting point. Op can’t control who provides what measurements and it is unreasonable to expect op to provide measurements on a whim. I am glad we are at least getting something.


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post #190 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by drh3b View Post
As a person who will never be able to afford any of these speakers, I hope the participants from Harmon just ignore the brickbats, and keep participating. Are they possibly biased towards Harmon? It would be hard for them not to be. Who cares. There's real science and talent here, and that's much more important as far as I'm concerned.

What I would like to see, and I'm sure it will never happen, is spins for speakers people actually buy in large amounts, like my Klipsch RP280f and it's competitors.
Ideally, wouldn't we want to see spins for every speaker? But that's fantasy land today. So instead, we buy with limited hard data that's difficult to compare against manufacturers. No steak, just sizzle.

As for spins of speakers not under the Harman umbrella, who should provide those? In these litigious times it seems unreasonable to think Harman would do so. Speculatively it seems unlikely that spinorama data will have wide availability until it becomes a sales liability to not have that data for potential buyers.
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post #191 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:55 PM
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I am trying to figure out what they mean....measurements predict a good sounding speaker...but I asked what next step is in choosing a speaker. 1 speaker has proven good measurements, the other no measurements....now what?
I think the title should maybe be titled a bit differently, I don't think we should choose speakers based only on measurements but I do think the measurements can help narrow down which speakers you should audition. Also, if a speaker has no measurements, nothing is stopping you from auditioning them, it's certainly not Harman's responsibility to go buy them to give you a measurement.

And for the people who keep talking about all of the speakers Revel and JBL don't have spins of, which speakers specifically because there are many spins that are posted in the Revel thread if you would just search, I know the Revel M16 is there and either the F35, F36 or both are in there, there are many JBL spins available online as well. I know they aren't on their site but they are mostly available if you're really interested, I suspect most people who are asking for them are just trolling though.
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post #192 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 02:58 PM
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My post wasn't intended to be inflammatory

Wasn't referring to you or any of your posts my friend!
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post #193 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 03:00 PM
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Wasn't referring to you or any of your posts my friend!
Hey, why aren't you drinking champagne?


Happy New Year!
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post #194 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 04:17 PM
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One last quick fix.


It's HARMAN. Not Harmon or HK (Harman Kardon). Harman Kardon is a division of Stamford-based Harman International Industries, a subsidiary of South Korean firm Samsung Electronics, and manufactures home and car audio equipment.



Peace, out....
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post #195 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
Follow the procedures used by Harman in their listening tests. Train your ears. Do double blind comparisons of one speaker (mono) at a time.
I am generally sympathetic to your position but do you think this is possible for anyone outside the industry?

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post #196 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
One last quick fix.


It's HARMAN. Not Harmon or HK (Harman Kardon). Harman Kardon is a division of Stamford-based Harman International Industries, a subsidiary of South Korean firm Samsung Electronics, and manufactures home and car audio equipment.



Peace, out....
Thanks

.....keep in mind most of the bashing is coming from people who can not understand the difference between engineers in the back room and sales people who run a website.



This info is from the engineers in white coats in the back room, when you visit the sales website, that is built by the sales people, who are concerned with moving units as they should be, this is not the same as the back room lab coats who are concerned with sound and numbers.



Most times these 2 groups agree on nothing, only talk when forced and agree to talk as little as possible.


Ones passion is sound , the others is sales and money...…..just as it should be......how hard is it to grasp .


I am probably wrong, but I would venture to say other companies probably pay them large sums to run these tests on their speakers...….we are get insiders information here for free and people are complaining.



I am soaking every drop of this up and happy any speakers were measured in this way and that its is being made available to me, a nobody.



Thanks to all of you !


My cheap speakers probably sound better than they would due to them making this information available for all ……...


The way they are being treated in this thread is a shame on the entire audio community...…….luckily, I think they are wise enough to see this is not the stance of everyone,...…...I will feel good at some point to be at the level to even fully understand the concepts they are documenting.


My apologies for they way my fellow enthusiasts are acting......I feel ashamed.
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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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post #197 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 06:21 PM
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Thanks



.....keep in mind most of the bashing is coming from people who can not understand the difference between engineers in the back room and sales people who run a website.







This info is from the engineers in white coats in the back room, when you visit the sales website, that is built by the sales people, who are concerned with moving units as they should be, this is not the same as the back room lab coats who are concerned with sound and numbers.







Most times these 2 groups agree on nothing, only talk when forced and agree to talk as little as possible.





Ones passion is sound , the others is sales and money...…..just as it should be......how hard is it to grasp .





I am probably wrong, but I would venture to say other companies probably pay them large sums to run these tests on their speakers...….we are get insiders information here for free and people are complaining.







I am soaking every drop of this up and happy any speakers were measured in this way and that its is being made available to me, a nobody.







Thanks to all of you !





My cheap speakers probably sound better than they would due to them making this information available for all ……...


There is a reason engineers are the least compensated discipline per unit knowledge. We care more about the truth and getting it right then fighting for ourselves. We are also far to eager to share what we know too.


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post #198 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 06:41 PM
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It is a legitimate question in my mind.
I guess if you buy the $2000/pair F36 with no measurements vs the $1600/pair F35 with measurements there is no advantage in the former vs the latter?

So why pay more?

Could it be that the F35 measured better than the F36?
Color me confused.
I used Google with the search terms "Revel F36 measurements", then looked under the Images section and found this: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/74...=w1247-h790-no

In case you have any trouble with Google, you can also go here: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l#post52735009

I agree--it would be nice if the information were included on the Revel website, but I believe that the website is probably intended for marketing, and some understanding of the methods is helpful in interpreting the measurements. For example, the difference between on-axis and listening window measurements may be particularly important to remember.
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post #199 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 06:48 PM
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Went to find the measurement in the "white paper" link and found some detailed measurements for the $1600/pair F35 towers.

None for the M16.
Also not on the website, but available through a Google search for the M16: https://i.imgur.com/Iaq1uj2.jpg

I believe that the F35 and M16 measurements were done using a previous iteration of the "Spin-o-rama," and if that's the case, it might not be surprising if some time may be needed before new re-measurements may become available for a true apples-to-apples comparison.
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post #200 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 07:10 PM
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So there's time to measure other brands speakers and post results, but no time to measure the lower end Revel's or JBL's?
In the past, the JBL Pro website used to include Spin-o-rama measurements in many of their products, not necessarily the most expensive ones. If you look at the older LSR series (http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/r...s#.XCrVj89KhBx) and select an individual product, then look over the right side for Spec Sheets (PDF), you'll find these measurements.

The JBL Control Now speaker had a JBL Pro doppelganger--the CRV. The specifications were nearly the same (only difference was the impedance), but again included some detailed measurements (not Spin-o-rama, but still much more than you might expect from other manufacturers) on the Pro side but not the consumer side.

However, many newer Pro models like the LSR 3-series don't seem to have any measurements data included on the website. There again, though, Google can sometimes be helpful: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...Cg/mobilebasic

For a period of time, a number of older JBL models' measurement data had been archived at the Audio Heritage website, as well, but few of these are still available.
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post #201 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 07:14 PM
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That doesn’t seem to exactly be practical advice for a question from a consumer. How many stores are set up to do double blind speaker comparisons? Or would go to such lengths at the request of a consumer?

I’d suggest exactly: None.

This gets to the crux of the issue I had raised earlier. As fascinating as the HK information is, unless the consumer simply decides to purchase a HK brand speaker and call it a day, we are stuck with the fact almost all other manufacturers do not perform or provide the measurements suggested in this thread. Lacking our own individual spinoramas what are we to do but just audition speakers as per usual?

Thoughts?
My thoughts are that I won't purchase a speaker again without comprehensive Spinorama measurements. Simple. No way I'm blowing a huge wad of cash based solely on a listening audition.

But that's just me.
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post #202 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 07:56 PM
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My thoughts are that I won't purchase a speaker again without comprehensive Spinorama measurements. Simple. No way I'm blowing a huge wad of cash based solely on a listening audition.

But that's just me.
Yes we went through that before and I still find it odd. I’ve seen speakers lauded for how well they measure that utterly failed to move me, and a few almost derided for their design that I loved. Hence I would never in a million years buy simply on measurements. THAT to me is rolling the dice. I have to hear them to know that they sound good *to me.*
Hence a good ol’ listen to speakers in a decent set up serves my needs.
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post #203 of 3754 Old 12-31-2018, 08:13 PM
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Yes we went through that before and I still find it odd. I’ve seen speakers lauded for how well they measure that utterly failed to move me, and a few almost derided for their design that I loved. Hence I would never in a million years buy simply on measurements. THAT to me is rolling the dice. I have to hear them to know that they sound good *to me.*
Hence a good ol’ listen to speakers in a decent set up serves my needs.
I don't buy simply on measurements, I listen to make sure I like it too. But I would never buy a poorly measured speaker, or even one that didn't measure excellently. It's objectively colored and inaccurate. I want uncolored and accurate from my speakers in the same way I want calibrated and accurate for my displays.

But horses for courses.
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post #204 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 05:29 AM
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I am generally sympathetic to your position but do you think this is possible for anyone outside the industry?
It is certainly a lot harder to get the double blind thing set up and done well, but John pulled it off at his home and did the shootout between Revel Salon2 and JBL M2 which turned into an epic thread here on AVS.

I came to the conclusion on my own decades ago before reading any of the literature on loudspeaker evaluation, it is best to listen to one speaker in mono, not two in stereo. I did lots of speaker shootouts because I was working as a recording and mastering engineer and always looking for the best I could find. One day it dawned on me, I needed to focus on the sound of one speaker first and then see how they sounded as pair in stereo. Very few speakers I used had measurement data and I bought many of them without being able to hear them based on reviews and advice from other professionals. Some of the speakers I used that did have measurements were Genelec 1031's and S30D's, Meyer HD-1's, Lipinski L707's and Dunlavy SC-V's. All were good at the time, but the science of loudspeaker design has improved since then.

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post #205 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 07:23 AM
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It is certainly a lot harder to get the double blind thing set up and done well, but John pulled it off at his home and did the shootout between Revel Salon2 and JBL M2 which turned into an epic thread here on AVS.
OK. Few people can arrange to have two or more candidates in their home for assessment. And their alternative? It is getting hard enough to find brick-and-mortar stores with the speaker you want to hear, harder yet to to find one with more than one speaker of personal interest and, I suspect, nearly impossible to get the shop to set up a blind/mono test.

I am not saying it is impossible (and my next speaker review will be accompanied by a story about a friend who made the effort) but it is not practical for the typical purchaser even in this market. That is why the availability of standardized test data is so valuable and why it is incumbent on responsible companies to provide such data. If this was a life-and-death issue, we would demand government testing since we can't do it ourselves.

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post #206 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by epetti View Post
I found this app from there very educational.

http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.co...isten.html?m=1
That link, the comments section, is completely full of spam and questionable links. Someone really needs to clean that up. Scary that Harman would allow that.

Music, more music.
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post #207 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
I don't buy simply on measurements, I listen to make sure I like it too. But I would never buy a poorly measured speaker, or even one that didn't measure excellently. It's objectively colored and inaccurate. I want uncolored and accurate from my speakers in the same way I want calibrated and accurate for my displays.

But horses for courses.
Right, sorry, now I remember you saying that befiore. I understand wanting a speaker to measure well, particularly if you are in the accuracy-or-bust school of thought. I prefer that the speakers I buy measure well - and I always look for measurements if available. But in my case a speaker lives and dies on how it sounds to me above all.
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post #208 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
That is why the availability of standardized test data is so valuable and why it is incumbent on responsible companies to provide such data. If this was a life-and-death issue, we would demand government testing since we can't do it ourselves.
Reading this thread, it doesn't seem clear that many find it valuable. If measurements were life-and-death, I suspect we would have a very high mortality rate.
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post #209 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by youngho View Post
Also not on the website, but available through a Google search for the M16: https://i.imgur.com/Iaq1uj2.jpg

I believe that the F35 and M16 measurements were done using a previous iteration of the "Spin-o-rama," and if that's the case, it might not be surprising if some time may be needed before new re-measurements may become available for a true apples-to-apples comparison.
OK, thanks.

A separate thread by someone who has the inclination listing all speakers with those measurements in a "spinorama results" thread might be of great interest to many.

I've been accused of trolling but that is not the case, I was trying to reconcile the gist of the thread which is that measurements can be a great tool for winnowing candidates before trying them at home, (which I think we all agree with) and the lack of readily available information by brands that use those tests to deliver a final product.

I have fond memories of my "way before spinorama" JBLs and often recommend to those who's budget is in line to take a long hard look at Revels.

Not only for their reputation but the mere fact that in the US many of their speakers can be purchased from Crutchfield with their excellent $10/box shipping returns within 60 days for stand mount speakers and excellent $75/pair charge for towers.

"Consumer grade" JBL and Infinity speakers are often recommended on AVS as their pricing is often very compelling and AVS members rarely are disappointed in the price/value for good sound.
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post #210 of 3754 Old 01-01-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
OK. Few people can arrange to have two or more candidates in their home for assessment. And their alternative? It is getting hard enough to find brick-and-mortar stores with the speaker you want to hear, harder yet to to find one with more than one speaker of personal interest and, I suspect, nearly impossible to get the shop to set up a blind/mono test.

I am not saying it is impossible (and my next speaker review will be accompanied by a story about a friend who made the effort) but it is not practical for the typical purchaser even in this market. That is why the availability of standardized test data is so valuable and why it is incumbent on responsible companies to provide such data. If this was a life-and-death issue, we would demand government testing since we can't do it ourselves.
Many of the Internet Direct companies will allow in-home trials. The trick is just to buy two pairs with liberal return policies and compare them head to head in your home.

Back in the early to mid 80s, I was shopping for my first serious speaker buy. I bought a pair of Snell Type C and a pair of big AR towers from two separate stores with the clear understanding with both stores that I would be comparing the two and returning the pair that lost the comparison. The Snell speakers won out with better clarity in the bass as I remember. When I returned the AR speakers, the salespeople were incredulous. They tried to belittle the Snell speakers by pointing out that the Snells relied on complicated electronics inside the speakers. So in their eyes, a complicated crossover was a sign of inferior drivers or something like that. After the Snells I went DIY and have not looked back. I especially realize now how the crossover isn't everything, but it is a big thing.

Of course, I didn't compare the speakers back then double blind or in mono, so I've learned that from this thread. The other thing I've learned from this thread is that I should finish reading Floyd Toole's book which I started but haven't finished. A fresh new year and a new goal already.
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