Interesting new speaker compare tool at Crutchfield - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-12-2019, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting new speaker compare tool at Crutchfield

I'm going to check to see if my old Audio-Technica phones are compatible when I get home tonight.

https://www.crutchfield.com/speakercompare/
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
I'm going to check to see if my old Audio-Technica phones are compatible when I get home tonight.



https://www.crutchfield.com/speakercompare/
Interesting

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post #3 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 10:21 AM
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Love it! Fun to compare.
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post #4 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Love it! Fun to compare.
Did it seem to work?

Thanks

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post #5 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
I'm going to check to see if my old Audio-Technica phones are compatible when I get home tonight.

https://www.crutchfield.com/speakercompare/
I love it... better than nothing. Another tool to use if you can't listen in person. Just make sure you have a damn good pair of headphones.
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post #6 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
I'm going to check to see if my old Audio-Technica phones are compatible when I get home tonight.

https://www.crutchfield.com/speakercompare/
Cool idea but my Monoprice headphones aren't on the list but they "rent" you a headphone kit for $25 but it comes with a $25 store credit so essentially free assuming you do buy some speakers from them after "testing."

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post #7 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Did it seem to work?

Thanks
Yeah definitely. They don't have my headphones, the HiFiMan HE-400i's, but I clicked on the first option -Crutchfield listening kit which gives the Sennheiser HD280 Pro.

You can hear the differences between speakers pretty clearly. Some are subtle and certain songs are better than others to compare. It's really fun.
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post #8 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Yeah definitely. They don't have my headphones, the HiFiMan HE-400i's, but I clicked on the first option -Crutchfield listening kit which gives the Sennheiser HD280 Pro.

You can hear the differences between speakers pretty clearly. Some are subtle and certain songs are better than others to compare. It's really fun.
I does sound intriguing and could save the consumer, and Crutchfield, a lot of time, effort and money dealing with returns.

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post #9 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I does sound intriguing and could save the consumer, and Crutchfield, a lot of time, effort and money dealing with returns.
Good point. As long as people understand they will sound different in room. I also wonder if it could lead to people more often buying 2 sets to compare in room after comparing online?
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post #10 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Good point. As long as people understand they will sound different in room. I also wonder if it could lead to people more often buying 2 sets to compare in room after comparing online?
My guess is they are hoping the opposite will happen.
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post #11 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 05:06 PM
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Ok this is so addictive. Anyone else having fun with it? Some things I've noticed so far....

-Wharfedales are definitely veiled. Reva's not as much as Diamonds but you can still hear it
-Polk and Klipsch are definitely bright. But it's interesting how you can hear more into the music with the Klipsch. Background instruments you barely hear on other speakers are pushed more forward. Polk Signatures sound very good but just a touch bright from neutral. Great midrange though. Polk tsi's are not bright, a little muddy sounding actually.
-Jamo speakers are god awful - no midrange and very bright. It's a good thing they made them look pretty cool cause no one is going to buy them based on sound lol
-Kef LS50's sound great but something off in the midrange. Maybe a bump in lower midrange giving a fuller sound. I can see people liking it.
-Elac uni-fi ub5 sound congested and dull. Was surprised at this
-Some favs are PSB Imagine B's, Revel 106's, Monitor Audio Gold 100's, PSB Imagine B's, Focal Chorus 706, SVS Ultras


I was wondering if being a sighted comparison was throwing off my evaluations. But listening time and time again and just focusing on one instrument at a time it's obvious which speakers sound the best - the expensive ones lol. Great detail and transparency but not bright. However there's not a big difference between for example the PSB Imagine B's for $1100 and the Monitor Audio Gold's for $2000. And the Focal Chorus 706's are very close at $750. SVS Ultras too. Primes were terrible imo.

If you're someone who likes a somewhat but not overly bright speaker the Polk Signature's would be a great choice. If you want a somewhat laid back easy listening speaker, skip the Wharfedale Diamonds and get the Reva's. They are dramatically better.

I've always liked PSB and was hoping the Imagine XB's sounded nearly as good as the Imagine B's with the way PSB describes their trickle down technology. Nope.

Just my quick opinions with my ears and headphones (HiFiMan he400i's choosing the Crutchfield Sennheiser HD 280 Pro option). That being said who knows how accurate this listening comparison is. Sure I can hear differences, but would i hear the same differences in my room? Would I come to the same conclusions?
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post #12 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Good point. As long as people understand they will sound different in room. I also wonder if it could lead to people more often buying 2 sets to compare in room after comparing online?
Crutchfield does not explain how they enable this comparison. My best guess is that they measure the frequency response and use that information (as well as selected headphones freq response to change the music stream before sending it to the consumer.

A better approach would be to place the speaker in a listening room and record the speaker output using two mics. Send that stream to the customer. Yes, it will not accommodate for the differences in freq response of the headphone being used, but consumer will better trust how the music stream is generated and may trust it more.


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post #13 of 39 Old 02-13-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Ok this is so addictive. Anyone else having fun with it? Some things I've noticed so far....

-Wharfedales are definitely veiled. Reva's not as much as Diamonds but you can still hear it
-Polk and Klipsch are definitely bright. But it's interesting how you can hear more into the music with the Klipsch. Background instruments you barely hear on other speakers are pushed more forward. Polk Signatures sound very good but just a touch bright from neutral. Great midrange though. Polk tsi's are not bright, a little muddy sounding actually.
-Jamo speakers are god awful - no midrange and very bright. It's a good thing they made them look pretty cool cause no one is going to buy them based on sound lol
-Kef LS50's sound great but something off in the midrange. Maybe a bump in lower midrange giving a fuller sound. I can see people liking it.
-Elac uni-fi ub5 sound congested and dull. Was surprised at this
-Some favs are PSB Imagine B's, Revel 106's, Monitor Audio Gold 100's, PSB Imagine B's, Focal Chorus 706, SVS Ultras


I was wondering if being a sighted comparison was throwing off my evaluations. But listening time and time again and just focusing on one instrument at a time it's obvious which speakers sound the best - the expensive ones lol. Great detail and transparency but not bright. However there's not a big difference between for example the PSB Imagine B's for $1100 and the Monitor Audio Gold's for $2000. And the Focal Chorus 706's are very close at $750. SVS Ultras too. Primes were terrible imo.

If you're someone who likes a somewhat but not overly bright speaker the Polk Signature's would be a great choice. If you want a somewhat laid back easy listening speaker, skip the Wharfedale Diamonds and get the Reva's. They are dramatically better.

I've always liked PSB and was hoping the Imagine XB's sounded nearly as good as the Imagine B's with the way PSB describes their trickle down technology. Nope.

Just my quick opinions with my ears and headphones (HiFiMan he400i's choosing the Crutchfield Sennheiser HD 280 Pro option). That being said who knows how accurate this listening comparison is. Sure I can hear differences, but would i hear the same differences in my room? Would I come to the same conclusions?
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post #14 of 39 Old 02-16-2019, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
That being said who knows how accurate this listening comparison is. Sure I can hear differences, but would i hear the same differences in my room? Would I come to the same conclusions?
With this method, you can hear differences between speakers, but that's it. You can't tell how they actually sound in isolation.

For instance: Crutchfield places speaker in a room. Room applies an EQ to the speaker. Then, Crutchfield records the speaker with a microphone. The microphone applies another EQ to the speaker. Next, they apply another EQ to inverse the Sennheiser HD280 response. So far, that's 3 EQ applications. Finally, you apply another EQ with you own headphones.

So all told, you've just heard the speakers as they sound with 4 separate EQs applied (2 if you listen through HD280's).

With this method, you can make relative judgements like A is brighter than B, but you can't say that A or B is a "bright" speaker. Hope that made sense.

However, rambling aside, I actually agree with all of your impressions, haha. I too found the PSB XB disappointing and all WD Diamonds are pretty warm and lack resolution. They are very "inoffensive" and don't have many faults which is why many like them, especially for music.

Once you get to $1000/pr the quality really jumps up a notch. It's noticeable using this tool. I like the overall concept very much!!
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post #15 of 39 Old 02-16-2019, 11:20 AM
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With this method, you can hear differences between speakers, but that's it. You can't tell how they actually sound in isolation.

For instance: Crutchfield places speaker in a room. Room applies an EQ to the speaker. Then, Crutchfield records the speaker with a microphone. The microphone applies another EQ to the speaker. Next, they apply another EQ to inverse the Sennheiser HD280 response. So far, that's 3 EQ applications. Finally, you apply another EQ with you own headphones.

So all told, you've just heard the speakers as they sound with 4 separate EQs applied (3 if you listen through HD280's).

With this method, you can make relative judgements like A is brighter than B, but you can't say that A or B is a "bright" speaker. Hope that made sense.

However, rambling aside, I actually agree with all of your impressions, haha. I too found the PSB XB disappointing and all WD Diamonds are pretty warm and lack resolution. They are very "inoffensive" and don't have many faults which is why many like them, especially for music.

Once you get to $1000/pr the quality really jumps up a notch. It's noticeable using this tool. I like the overall concept very much!!
Yeah that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation on the eq's. I had some fun comparing towers last night.
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post #16 of 39 Old 02-16-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
With this method, you can hear differences between speakers, but that's it. You can't tell how they actually sound in isolation.

For instance: Crutchfield places speaker in a room. Room applies an EQ to the speaker. Then, Crutchfield records the speaker with a microphone. The microphone applies another EQ to the speaker. Next, they apply another EQ to inverse the Sennheiser HD280 response. So far, that's 3 EQ applications. Finally, you apply another EQ with you own headphones.

So all told, you've just heard the speakers as they sound with 4 separate EQs applied (3 if you listen through HD280's).

With this method, you can make relative judgements like A is brighter than B, but you can't say that A or B is a "bright" speaker. Hope that made sense.

However, rambling aside, I actually agree with all of your impressions, haha. I too found the PSB XB disappointing and all WD Diamonds are pretty warm and lack resolution. They are very "inoffensive" and don't have many faults which is why many like them, especially for music.

Once you get to $1000/pr the quality really jumps up a notch. It's noticeable using this tool. I like the overall concept very much!!
yeah .. this is a "point of reference tool", *you* supply the point .. iow (and i know you get it), a person has to know speaker "a" then you can compare it to "b", "c".. ect, ect....
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post #17 of 39 Old 02-16-2019, 03:07 PM
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I really think the Dyn Audio Emit M10's pretty much kicks a$$ in the $1K range. Really really like the Monitor Audio Gold 100's! Holy smokes! Seem to be drawn to the Q150's more so than that of the Q350's or even the LS50's. I also think that the Diamond 225's sound as good as, if not better, than the Reva2's. Just wished there were more standmounts to compare such as the R300's or the Dyn Emit M20's. I also think that they need some more song demos to choose from. But, I really like this tool myself. Of course, the tool allows for subtle differences between the various speakers. I think the count was 132. Interesting times!


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post #18 of 39 Old 02-16-2019, 05:32 PM
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They say you must have the correct headphones on there list for this to be effective. I have rbh EP3's and if i select different models on there list it changes big time so it's really useless to have a pair of headphones not on the list. Best would be to rent there headphone kit.

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post #19 of 39 Old 02-17-2019, 11:45 AM
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Hey That is interesting. I own an older cheap pair of JBL IEMs that I use to use for running now I have 2 pairs of JayBirds and my wife has Powerbeats, neither of which are on the list, so using the old JBLs I picked the cheapest JBL headphones they had.

The set I have definitely have a hollowness to the sound and it took a few examples to figure out what I was hearing, plus I had no idea what songs they were playing, so I struck up my home system (Naim Uniti Star and Dynaudio Focus 260s) listened to how they sound in person then listened to the Emit 30s to compare, even tho they’re 2 lines lower, they have some similar traits (yes different rooms I know) but that gives me some amount of a baseline to compare how my IEMs influenced the sound. This is still flawed, for many reasons.... but humor me.

At “equal volume” using the Emit 30 as the control speaker for which to come back to, speakers in the comparison were similarly priced, 2-way designs. MA Silver 200, SVS prime tower and Elac uf5. I used these speakers because I’m familiar with their sound, except the Elac, which was new to me. However I have heard Pioneer Elite and TAD speakers. What I found was that the differences in pitch especially top-end was noticeable the most but low-end weight was similar. I could tell the Emit 30 had a fuller sound and slightly reduced top-end energy vs the MAs and SVS, although the SVS had a fuller sound then the MAs. The Elacs seemed slightly subdued in the highs and mids, but bass was decent. In person my opinion of the SVS was that they’re a foreword sounding speaker with good but slightly boomy bass. The MAs (RS6) was a bright speaker with good bass, the (RX6 & Silver 6) was a warmer more balanced speaker with quick punchy bass, but didn’t dig exceptionally deep. The Dynaudio DM3/7 which I have heard many many times because my closest friend has them and were replaced by the Emit 30, was highlighted with strong deep bass like SVS but tighter sounding, smooth top-end, however a good but slight recession in the upper midrange. I can’t say if the Emit 30s have the same character or not for sure, and the IEM demo doesn’t do anything to show it or not.

Switching to bookshelf speakers, the Emit 10, Kef LS50 and Revel M105 were in my list. I own Dynaudio DM2/6s so I have the Emit 10s cousins, I had 2 long auditions with the LS50s and spent time with the Revel F206s. The LS50 sounded like the LS50, rolled highs and lacking bass, but lacked the rich textured mids, the Emit 10 and the M105 sounded very similar with maybe a touch more treble energy going to the M105s.

Knowing what Dynaudio speakers sound like, I can say that the tonality of the Emit 30s and Emit 10 was missing a little. While some difference could be found between the different speakers, the absolute tonality, inner detail, soundstage width and depth is only showing up as much as the IEMs would allow and I felt that they lacked quite a bit. This isn’t to me, a way to replace auditioning speakers, there’s too much personality I felt was missing from the demo to actually say that’s what this or that speaker sounds like. Maybe if you have their reference headphones you’d get a true experience. Probably worth the $25 trial. YMMV. Steve
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post #20 of 39 Old 02-17-2019, 12:22 PM
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Call me a Skeptic. But this is akin to Demoing a Pair of Speakers recorded and played back to you using different speakers (Headphones). What you finally hear will be colored, filtered and altered to playback within the Frequency Specs of the speakers in your Headphones.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I do have some reservations about the science of this actually allowing you to remotely "Demo" any particular speaker. Another thought, is the Audio stream being delivered in a compressed manner? If we are streaming this, I bet it is. What about the Laptop/Computer/Tablet your using, does this effect the Audio signal ? Are there additional FR limits applied based on the Audio Card used?

The more I think about this the more it hurts my head....Why do I feel like I need to go buy a bag of peanuts?
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post #21 of 39 Old 02-17-2019, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post
Call me a Skeptic. But this is akin to Demoing a Pair of Speakers recorded and played back to you using different speakers (Headphones). What you finally hear will be colored, filtered and altered to playback within the Frequency Specs of the speakers in your Headphones.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I do have some reservations about the science of this actually allowing you to remotely "Demo" any particular speaker. Another thought, is the Audio stream being delivered in a compressed manner? If we are streaming this, I bet it is. What about the Laptop/Computer/Tablet your using, does this effect the Audio signal ? Are there additional FR limits applied based on the Audio Card used?

The more I think about this the more it hurts my head....Why do I feel like I need to go buy a bag of peanuts?
i don't think anything comes close to hearing a speaker in your set up, 2nd would be in a semi neutral demo room.. after that , i would say the drop off is pretty steep of any quality in the demo...jmo...
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post #22 of 39 Old 02-17-2019, 01:27 PM
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Sounds like something Harman would do...

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post #23 of 39 Old 03-12-2019, 07:03 PM
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I posted this in another thread:

So, I finally took a good look at that tool. Turns out I've personally owned the following speakers on that list (in ascending price):

ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 ($250)
Wharfedale Crystal 4.2 ($250)
Wharfedale Diamond 220 ($250)
Wharfedale Diamond 225 ($350)
Monitor Audio Bronze 1 ($400)
PSB Imagine XB ($500)
KEF Q150 ($550)
Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M ($550)

It also turns out that I have a pair of headphones on their list. Here is how I'd roughly rank those speakers according to personal preference in my room (from best to worst):

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M
Wharfedale Diamond 225
PSB Imagine XB/KEF Q150 (tie)
ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2
Monitor Audio Bronze 1/Wharfedale Diamond 220 (tie)
Wharfedale Crystal 4.2

After listening to the tool, the ranking goes:

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M
(Best of the bunch and most neutral/clear midrange, good to great highs)

Wharfedale Diamond 225/KEF Q150 (tie)
(WD is warm, full, and smooth, not the best overall clarity; the Q150 has great detailed highs, mids more distant but clear)

PSB Imagine XB
(too bright, highs sound tinny)

Monitor Audio Bronze 1/ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2
(B1 lacks body and is a little bright, B5.2 is very forward/bright)

Wharfedale Crystal 4.2/Wharfedale Diamond 220 (tie)
(garbage tier, 220 sounds muffled and 4.2 sounds artificial somehow)

The overall ranking did not change for me, except for the Q150's maybe moving up a notch. The biggest discrepancy for me was the 220 which sounded bright, forward, and bass anemic in my room and with this tool, it sounds like a wet paper bag.

Very interesting stuff and now I'm off to listen to some others I've never auditioned. I might report back if I find anything else interesting.

Speakers: Genelec M040 | Dynaudio X18
Sub: VTF-2 mk5
Amps: HK 3490 | TSR-7810

Last edited by l0nestar8; 03-14-2019 at 07:18 AM.
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post #24 of 39 Old 03-12-2019, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
I posted this in another thread:



So, I finally took a good look at that tool. Turns out I've personally owned the following speakers on that list (in ascending price):



ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2

Wharfedale Crystal 4.2

Wharfedale Diamond 220

Wharfedale Diamond 225

Monitor Audio Bronze 1

PSB Imagine XB

KEF Q150

Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M



It also turns out that I have a pair of headphones on their list. Here is how I'd roughly rank those speakers according to personal preference in my room (from best to worst):



Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M

Wharfedale Diamond 225

PSB Imagine XB/KEF Q150 (tie)

ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2

Monitor Audio Bronze 1/Wharfedale Diamond 220 (tie)

Wharfedale Crystal 4.2



After listening to the tool, the ranking goes:



Klipsch Reference Premiere RP-600M

(Best of the bunch and most neutral/clear midrange, good to great highs)



Wharfedale Diamond 225/KEF Q150 (tie)

(WD is warm, full, and smooth, not the best overall clarity; the Q150 has great detailed highs, mids more distant but clear)



PSB Imagine XB

(too bright, highs sound tinny)



Monitor Audio Bronze 1/ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2

(B1 lacks body and is a little bright, B5.2 is very forward/bright)



Wharfedale Crystal 4.2/Wharfedale Diamond 220 (tie)

(garbage tier, 220 sounds muffled and 4.2 sounds artificial somehow)



The overall ranking did not change for me, except for the Q150's maybe moving up a notch. The biggest discrepancy for me was the 220 which sounded bright, forward, and bass anemic in my room and with this tool, its sounds like a wet paper bag.



Very interesting and now I'm off to listen to some others I've never auditioned. I might report back if I find anything else interesting.
It will really be interesting if you include the retail price of each speaker with your rankings.

Might help others find better value in speakers.

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post #25 of 39 Old 03-12-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernCA View Post
It will really be interesting if you include the retail price of each speaker with your rankings.

Might help others find better value in speakers.
Done.

Added current Crutchfield prices to my post. However, three of those, in particular, can be found much, much cheaper when then they are on sale:

600M: Often $430 via Amazon
Q150: Often $350 via A4L (and available as singles)
B5.2: Often $200 and oddly enough the big brother B6.2 at $150

Speakers: Genelec M040 | Dynaudio X18
Sub: VTF-2 mk5
Amps: HK 3490 | TSR-7810
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Alright so apparently this is fun. I just went through all the bookshelves I was interested in and here are my favorites (in alphabetical order):

Dynaudio Emit 10 ($800)
Kef LS50 ($1300)
PSB Imagine B ($1100)
Revel M16 ($900)

Some thoughts:

Emit 10: The most clear/forward in the mids and easily the most detailed in the treble. Bass is nice and full. Get this if you are a detail freak and value clarity above all with some bass to go with it. This one gives you that "veil being removed" effect the most without being bright or harsh.

LS50: Goes deeper than I would have thought. I've always loved Kef bass. Highs are the most rolled off but still detailed and extended. Best of the bunch for taming sibilance which is huge for me. Most "natural" sounding.

Imagine B: Most neutral to the point where nothing at all stands out. Does nothing good or bad. No complaints or rewards. I honestly can't describe this one and that's a good thing.

Revel M16: My favorite Revel actually beating the more expensive M105's and M106's. Best bass of the bunch. It's deep, impactful, and well-tuned. This one doesn't need a sub, unlike the others. Highs and mids are somewhere between the PSB and the Dynaudio. For strictly 2.0, I'd take this one and I'd take it over the other Revels in any case.

I'm not sure I could pick a clear winner. I think for me it would be between the LS50 and M16. The lack of sibilance on the LS50 might tip the scales in it's favor since that means I could listen to it all day. If I just wanted to crank and rock out, the M16 might win.

All four are excellent in different ways, but due note that the LS50 can almost always be found for $1000, if you look around.

For pure value, I'd rank them:

Emit 10
M16
LS50
Imagine B
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Speakers: Genelec M040 | Dynaudio X18
Sub: VTF-2 mk5
Amps: HK 3490 | TSR-7810

Last edited by l0nestar8; 03-12-2019 at 10:26 PM.
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post #27 of 39 Old 03-12-2019, 09:10 PM
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Does the Emit 20 have a comparison feature? Wonder how it would fair in the group.
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post #28 of 39 Old 03-12-2019, 09:12 PM
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Does the Emit 20 have a comparison feature? Wonder how it would fair in the group.
It does not, sadly, nor does any of the Excites or the S40. The bigger M20 is likely better balanced than the M10 if my X14/X18 is any indication.

Speakers: Genelec M040 | Dynaudio X18
Sub: VTF-2 mk5
Amps: HK 3490 | TSR-7810

Last edited by l0nestar8; 03-12-2019 at 09:33 PM.
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post #29 of 39 Old 03-13-2019, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l0nestar8 View Post
Alright so apparently this is fun. I just went through all the bookshelves I was interested in and here are my favorites (in alphabetical order):

Dynaudio Emit 10 ($800)
Kef LS50 ($1300)
PSB Imagine B ($1100)
Revel M16 ($900)


For pure value, I'd rank them:

Emit 10
M16
LS50
Imagine B
Very interesting stuff even though Floyd Toole when asked on the huge "how to choose a loudspeaker thread" thought the tool was hokus pokus but you've heard many live and via the tool, (with headphones on their list), and have been impressed so that's good enough for these bronze ears!

So it seems that for others ordering the $25 headphone "kit renatl" with headphones on the list to do preliminary winnowing might be of value even if you end up not buying from Crutchfield thus foregoing your $25 deposit when you return the headphone "kit" to Crutchfield.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #30 of 39 Old 03-13-2019, 01:38 PM
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Very interesting stuff even though Floyd Toole when asked on the huge "how to choose a loudspeaker thread" thought the tool was hokus pokus but you've heard many live and via the tool, (with headphones on their list), and have been impressed so that's good enough for these bronze ears!

So it seems that for others ordering the $25 headphone "kit renatl" with headphones on the list to do preliminary winnowing might be of value even if you end up not buying from Crutchfield thus foregoing your $25 deposit when you return the headphone "kit" to Crutchfield.
I think it can certainly help decide between various models. But I'm still of the opinion that there is no substitute for an in-home audition.

If this tool helps people to narrow their choices, then that's a great boon to us hobbyists. I like what Crutchfield is doing here and I hope others follow suit while they continue to add to their inventory.

Speakers: Genelec M040 | Dynaudio X18
Sub: VTF-2 mk5
Amps: HK 3490 | TSR-7810
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