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post #61 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 02:19 PM
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I bought my speakers on the reputation of Bowers and Wilkins without hearing them. No regrets.


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post #62 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
For sure, i am no speaker designer by trade. But, i do recall that i used to design/simulate/test different aerospace components back in the days (different trade). I don't mind looking dumb as sht on a internet forum before i learnt something new. In fact, i thought forums like these existed to knowledge share/enlighten guys who're dumb as sht like me man.
I sure hope there aren't any misunderstandings here. I was genuinely puzzled by that video and posted to see whether I was missing something. You're absolutely right--the main purpose of this and similar forums should be to help each other out on technical audio issues and exchange experiences with audio equipment in a respectful manner. I think you understand that I wasn't trying to cast you in a negative light. I was just trying to understand your position and make sure I was grasping the concepts involved.
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post #63 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
Brilliant resource. Thank you for sharing this. I also highly reccommend that you watch this video on the human ear's response curves (if you haven't seen it already). I often wonder how many speaker designers out there make a full effort to account for this.
Designers can't account for the F-M curves because that should be accounted for in the recording, as Dennis and others have said. Speakers are the final component in the art of music, at that point all you want to do is reproduce what's in the recording as faithfully as possible. Of course, there are plenty of bad recordings but the best you can hope for in those cases are that you have decent tone controls to boost or reduce the bass or treble levels.

One thing us consumers can do is set up our systems to take into consideration our listening levels and how that relates to the F-M curves. For example, if you listen at relatively low levels, you may want to turn your subs up a bit or keep the tone control boosted in the bass a bit to account for our reduced bass sensitivity at lower levels.
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post #64 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I guess we're suffering from a case of mutual confusion. This is a complicated subject, and it's easy to veer off course. So let me go back through your observations and see whether we can clear at least some of this up. First, I don't think a good recording engineer would set recording levels high to compensate for the F-S effect, and I'm not sure what that means exactly. He (or she) would set the average level to allow for undistorted peaks without encountering extremely low levels for soft passages that might boost the noise floor. ( I think. I'm not a recording engineer.) In any event, I don't see why the recording level would have any impact on the F-M effect you would encounter playing the recording on your speakers. That's a function of the absolute level of the playback from your speakers. If the recording were made at a very high level (which would probably require dynamic compression to avoid clipping), that would just mean you wouldn't have to boost your volume control as much to achieve a given playback level in the room. The decibel output point at which the F-S effect starts to level out would be the same irrespective of the level at which the the recording was made. You would just achieve that volume at different volume settings on your preamp. In which case, you would still want the speaker response to be as smooth as possible. Maybe we're just having a language problem, but I'm still not seeing why hexibase's comments should have any impact on how a speaker is designed.
Let's suppose a end user (sound recipient's) requirement is that he listens at between 55 to 80 decibels on pure direct and he'd rather not touch/tweak anything the amp/pre-amp, etc for this volume range that he listens to.

Now,

a) Does a speaker designer feel that the F-S effect is something that the end-user will always have to deal with (account for on user's end)? In other word's the speaker designer feels that it is not part of his design space?

OR

b) Is there anything a design engineer can do in his design space for the speaker itself, such that the end-user is minimally impacted by the F-S effect? This is really all that my question is.


I am sure there are audiophiles/tweakers out there who've never hear of the F-S effect. Do you see that such a end user who's i) tweak crazy and ii) lacks the knowledge, can substantially start tweaking everything else when he's at a lower volume and go down a rabbit hole? if a) above is true. All that the end user needed to do in this instance was keep it simple and just turn up the volume a bit. I'm also referring to guys who have more components like subs, manual MCACC and what not (more variables to facilitate the rabbit hole dive).

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post #65 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilharmonicDennis View Post
I sure hope there aren't any misunderstandings here. I was genuinely puzzled by that video and posted to see whether I was missing something. You're absolutely right--the main purpose of this and similar forums should be to help each other out on technical audio issues and exchange experiences with audio equipment in a respectful manner. I think you understand that I wasn't trying to cast you in a negative light. I was just trying to understand your position and make sure I was grasping the concepts involved.
No misunderstandings at all. That was a response to someone else.
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post #66 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyways guys, i managed to find a store i can go in person and audit the Focals.

The only issue is it is a 4.5 to 5 hour drive from where i live. But, It isn't so bad and i am gonna play it safe as many folks have suggested! With my music playlist and a coupla cigars handy, it should be a fairly easy drive.

The store also has the Mcintosh, Sonus Fabers, etc, etc at different price ranges. He also says he may have some used speakers that he could sell for a killer price. I am going to primarily listen to the Focals and all these other guys speakers as well while i'm there.
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post #67 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
Anyways guys, i managed to find a store i can go in person and audit the Focals.

The only issue is it is a 4.5 to 5 hour drive from where i live. But, It isn't so bad and i am gonna play it safe as many folks have suggested! With my music playlist and a coupla cigars handy, it should be a fairly easy drive.

The store also has the Mcintosh, Sonus Fabers, etc, etc at different price ranges. He also says he may have some used speakers that he could sell for a killer price. I am going to primarily listen to the Focals and all these other guys speakers as well while i'm there.
Excellent.

This was my recommendation.

😎It's just life, dude. We are all gonna die sometime--Might as well try and have a kickass time while we're still here.😜
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post #68 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
Anyways guys, i managed to find a store i can go in person and audit the Focals.

The only issue is it is a 4.5 to 5 hour drive from where i live. But, It isn't so bad and i am gonna play it safe as many folks have suggested! With my music playlist and a coupla cigars handy, it should be a fairly easy drive.

The store also has the Mcintosh, Sonus Fabers, etc, etc at different price ranges. He also says he may have some used speakers that he could sell for a killer price. I am going to primarily listen to the Focals and all these other guys speakers as well while i'm there.
try to listen at a similar distance as you would in home. dont just listen o fav music...play a movie soundtrack/clip....and ask how loud it can play...maybe a phone spl app.

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post #69 of 103 Old 09-25-2019, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
Let's suppose a end user (sound recipient's) requirement is that he listens at between 55 to 80 decibels on pure direct and he'd rather not touch/tweak anything the amp/pre-amp, etc for this volume range that he listens to.

Now,

a) Does a speaker designer feel that the F-S effect is something that the end-user will always have to deal with (account for on user's end)? In other word's the speaker designer feels that it is not part of his design space?

OR

b) Is there anything a design engineer can do in his design space for the speaker itself, such that the end-user is minimally impacted by the F-S effect? This is really all that my question is.


I am sure there are audiophiles/tweakers out there who've never hear of the F-S effect. Do you see that such a end user who's i) tweak crazy and ii) lacks the knowledge, can substantially start tweaking everything else when he's at a lower volume and go down a rabbit hole? if a) above is true. All that the end user needed to do in this instance was keep it simple and just turn up the volume a bit. I'm also referring to guys who have more components like subs, manual MCACC and what not (more variables to facilitate the rabbit hole dive).
As a general principle, The F-M effect isn't something that should be addressed in speaker design. You encounter that effect in real life, so why not encounter it in your listening room? It's simply a fact of life. The only exception is very low playback levels, which you might not in fact encounter in live music (and never at a rock concert). You obviously don't want to design a speaker to fit the needs of a small minority of users who for whatever reason are forced to turn the volume down below normal levels. If it's an active speaker, you might want to provide some contouring for low level playback that could be defeated by the user for normal use. For passive speakers, the correction should be at the preamp level, hopefully incorporating a defeat switch if it's a loudness contour or simple bass and treble controls, like on my NAD integrated amp.
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post #70 of 103 Old 09-26-2019, 12:17 AM
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If I had the money, I personally wouldn't have any trouble pulling the trigger if I knew they were reputable - I think enough people here have described in great depth how Ascend Acoustics speakers perform that I wouldn't bat an eyelash if the opportunity arose to get a pair.
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post #71 of 103 Old 09-26-2019, 06:12 AM
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I bought my Philharmonic BMR speakers without hearing them, however, I had a full "I pay shipping" but return for refund gentlemens agreement in place.
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post #72 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 08:05 AM
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I think what's described at the end of your post, is a deal breaker for me. I don't understand why Ascend and Salk, both companies that have been in business for over ten years, charge people thousands of dollars, then take months to assemble and deliver a set of speakers. You'd think by now they would be able to accumulate a stock of each model they carry, in a standard finish. I also don't understand all this fuss about Salk and their beautiful custom finishes, or why people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for this and wait longer to get them: it's not a piece of furniture, it's a speaker! None of this affects the sound. If people's wives don't like XYZ speaker as non audio people because they're too big, that has nothing to do with me.

Crutchfield just picked up the little known Quad S-5 tower speaker with ribbon tweeter, for $2200. The Seas Excel midrange in the Ascend probably outperforms the one in the Quad S line, but I may be able to compromise.

This one is really good, I think.

https://madisoundspeakerstore.com/ap...m-cone-woofer/

There's also a new Martin Logan Motion line out this week (with the AMT tweeter that reviewer Brent Butterworth had said bested the one in his personal Revel F206's).

Quote:
Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
Very cool! Always nice to see a fellow "emphasis on music" fellow on here... I can't take it as far as you did (I watch TV and movies)... but I am definitely more critical/discerning about sound quality when it comes to music.

For me? I couldn't afford to risk $4k on a pair of speakers that I couldn't return. I'm not even sure being able to hear them in someone else's showroom would be enough (but maybe it would). That's a big chunk of money for me, and I'd need to be able to send them back and get a refund if they didn't deliver something close to a $4k experience for me... it sounds like your feelings/situation might be similar?

FWIW I think this post is a good one:




I currently have a pair of those Ascend Sierra Towers, with the RAAL ribbon upgrade, on back-order... been waiting ~11 weeks for them to ship, and I'm *dying* to get my hands on them. But the main point is: they have a return-and-refund policy. I can't afford to buy speakers at this kind of price point that I don't *love*. I'm thinking/hoping they're going to be the speakers of my dreams... BUT just in case they aren't.... I can get my money back!
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post #73 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dan3952 View Post
I also don't understand all this fuss about Salk and their beautiful custom finishes, or why people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for this and wait longer to get them: it's not a piece of furniture, it's a speaker! None of this affects the sound. If people's wives don't like XYZ speaker as non audio people because they're too big, that has nothing to do with me.
For MANY people, the speaker IS a piece of furniture, WAF not withstanding.
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post #74 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 10:55 AM
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I find statements of indifference in regards to a speakers looks, interesting. If you bring something into a space called a home and it will often be in ones field of view, I think it far better that it be somewhat pleasing to the eye, whether a piece of furniture such as couch or table, a thing hung on a wall, thrown on a floor or ones speakers. If one has the option and we do, might as well make it cool looking. For my own tastes, I prefer to have my speakers in a natural wood. As well, I also love the look of panel speakers such as Martin Logans and Magnepans in black.
My mains are in Oak, the center, in Mahogany, with a little green for the in between.
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post #75 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 11:15 AM
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I wouldn't mind waiting myself, I used to only care about the sound of speakers but as I get older I want the Sound quality and good looks. It's also not like most people who buy Salks or Sierra towers don't have something to listen to in the meantime. I think the biggest issue with Salk is not being able to hear them first but they are at various audio shows I believe, for those close enough to one.
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post #76 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dan3952 View Post

There's also a new Martin Logan Motion line out this week (with the AMT tweeter that reviewer Brent Butterworth had said bested the one in his personal Revel F206's).
Here's the review you are referring to.

https://hometheaterreview.com/martin...aker-reviewed/

The Cherrywood finish on the older MLs is gorgeous.

Not sure why they discontinued it with the new models.

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post #77 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
My mind is incessantly telling me that a certain 4000 dollar pair of speakers is the best thing money can buy! I have no way to audit them. I live in the middle of a damn farm! What's the max price you'd go for in a pair of speakers without hearing them? Yes, unfortunately the vendor won't take them back (if i don't like them) unless they're defective.

What do i do fellas? What do i do?

P.S
Yes, 4k is a big chunk for me. It may be a small chunk for others.
I got my whole setup in my sig without hearing them, just based my decision on reviews and comments. if that helps.

and they are way over 4,000$.

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post #78 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 01:29 PM
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I thought the new martin logan line is simply a visual refresh of the motions - can anyone clarify? Hope i am wrong...As for the motion tweeters beating the f206, well i have never heard anyone ever say the motion is a better speaker than the f206...
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post #79 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papashango61 View Post
I thought the new martin logan line is simply a visual refresh of the motions - can anyone clarify? Hope i am wrong...As for the motion tweeters beating the f206, well i have never heard anyone ever say the motion is a better speaker than the f206...
I'm sure there are people who prefer other speakers including the MLs to the Revels; there are no perfect speakers for every ear.

Here's the marketing speak on the "improvements" of the new line.

Not sure the woofers look any lower to my eye though. The old grills were metal. The new Walnut does not look as nice as the old Cherry IMHO.

"These classic performance technologies have been enhanced by the slightest of modifications, including the drive-stabilizing dust cap design, stiffened motor suspension, and low-mounted woofers to reduce an acoustically harmful phenomenon known as floor bounce.

The speaker's enclosure sports increased internal bracing, a reinforced baffle, and a fabric grille. "

Geoff A. J., California
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post #80 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 04:38 PM
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Most people I know who have any class, don't brag about how much shiny furniture they have in their houses. But, this is a subjective hobby, and everybody has their own reasons for choosing a particular product. People say, it comes in curly maple and it's gorgeous! It has a high WAF! I couldn't care less. People talk about the finish, and about how they're handmade, and not enough about the sound. I don't invite people over to brag about my new toys. I had counted forty three speakers Salk sells, plus three subs, and many of them share similar drivers. There's different marketing hyperbole written for every one of them. I just feel they might be starting to overdo it. Ornate attention getting enclosures, don't impress me, nor do guitars or music when I click on the company's webpage. Their FR plots never go below 200 Hz.

This man, writing for non mainstream media, talking about the pitfalls of speaker design, and marketing, specifically, says they were able to get a speaker from an ID company, with the SEAS W15 mid woofer, to bottom out, and I think he meant the Supercharged Songtower. I am hoping he had made some sort of mistake, and that those work fine in a properly engineered TL enclosure (which I avoid only because of added weight, not because I believe they're inferior to AS or ported models). But still, it's $3600 for that, and they charge $1100 more to upsize the woofers and tweeters in the HT2-TL?

https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...de-loudspeaker

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...r-cone-woofer/
$77 paper woofers in a $2000 speaker?

http://www.hiquphon.dk/page1.html
These are good tweeters, not sure where they get them from. Seems reasonably priced for what you get.

https://madisoundspeakerstore.com/ap...m-cone-woofer/
$275, a slightly different version is used in the acclaimed Ascend Tower, for less money.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...m-cone-woofer/
$286

Don't know what a RAAL 70-20XR costs, as it's not available to the general public, but my guess is $550-$600.

Ascend's bookshelf speakers use RAAL tweeters, and those are all under $2000. The 70-10R costs $423. The wider RAAL 70-20XR can be crossed over to 1800 Hz, which is a boon for two way speakers, as you would be able to avoid distortion when a big woofer starts to break up just below the crossover frequency. Ascend was able to offer it as an option in a two way bookshelf for under $2000.

Don't understand why the Silk Monitors cost $3600, though it would be a solution to the real or imagined W15 as a woofer, problem. I might be looking at Dynaudio's Special Forty instead at $3000.

https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.co...-woofer-8-ohm/
$337

The only ones I would look at, are the Song3, and Dennis's BMR Philharmonitor, I believe those could be the current class leaders at the company. The former, could be their best seller right now.

Tekton uses the same drivers in so many different boxes. Mr. Alexander had in one case told Stereophile, "I chose an MTM design because this arrangement produces vertical symmetry in the polar response. I believe vertical and horizontal symmetry produce a superior overall sound quality.". In the measurements section, John Atkinson remarked, "In the vertical plane (fig.5), the use of two woofers spaced relatively far apart leads to major cancellations in the midrange above and below the response on the central tweeter axis, which again appears as a straight line. The Impact Monitor's vertical radiation pattern suggests that the speaker needs to be listened to within a narrow window centered on the central tweeter axis if the midrange balance is not to sound colored." Well, I don't want to do that. From that point on, I wanted nothing to do with the company. Wouldn't they be better off buying one good midrange, instead of six mediocre tweeters, at that price point? At least I can get data sheets from Madisound for many drivers so I can follow the design. Revel has access to world class design and testing facilities, and they make all of their own drivers, so everything is designed to work together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
I find statements of indifference in regards to a speakers looks interesting. If you bring something into a space called a home and it will often be in ones field of view, I think it far better that it be somewhat pleasing to the eye, whether a piece of furniture such as couch or table, a thing hung on a wall, thrown on a floor or ones speakers. If one has the option and we do, might as well make it cool looking. For my own tastes, I prefer to have my speakers in a natural wood. As well, I also love the look of panel speakers such as Martin Logans and Magnepans in black.
My mains are in Oak, the center, in Mahogany, with a little green for the in between.

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post #81 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 07:53 PM
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In this, case Brent Butterworth uses F206's as his personal speakers, and he had discussed in length the differences between the two.

https://hometheaterreview.com/martin...aker-reviewed/

Quote:
Originally Posted by papashango61 View Post
I thought the new martin logan line is simply a visual refresh of the motions - can anyone clarify? Hope i am wrong...As for the motion tweeters beating the f206, well i have never heard anyone ever say the motion is a better speaker than the f206...
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post #82 of 103 Old 09-28-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
I find statements of indifference in regards to a speakers looks, interesting. If you bring something into a space called a home and it will often be in ones field of view, I think it far better that it be somewhat pleasing to the eye, whether a piece of furniture such as couch or table, a thing hung on a wall, thrown on a floor or ones speakers. If one has the option and we do, might as well make it cool looking. For my own tastes, I prefer to have my speakers in a natural wood. As well, I also love the look of panel speakers such as Martin Logans and Magnepans in black.
My mains are in Oak, the center, in Mahogany, with a little green for the in between.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess: I find approximately zero aesthetic appeal in that photo you attached. Too many bloody plants, and overdose of browns, beige and olive, and that DaVinci tapestry on the wall would all make me yearn for a wall of Batmobile-looking Emotiva speakers.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #83 of 103 Old 09-29-2019, 09:35 AM
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It is very well proved that looks affect perceived quality of the sound (that is why blind tests exist). So while "looks do not affect sound" is true, "looks do not affect listening experience and perceived sound" is simply wrong.
Obviously everyone likes different aesthetics, but it is very strange (and wrong!) to think that it does not affect perceived sound.
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post #84 of 103 Old 09-29-2019, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan3952 View Post
Most people I know who have any class, don't brag about how much shiny furniture they have in their houses. But, this is a subjective hobby, and everybody has their own reasons for choosing a particular product. People say, it comes in curly maple and it's gorgeous! It has a high WAF! I couldn't care less.
Your opinion is as valid as any other and nobody is forcing you to consider aesthetics when choosing any product.

But to think that people "brag" about their nice looking speakers is a bit of a leap.

Most people don't give two flying figs about ANY speaker, but notice the ugly one faster which reinforces in their mind their good sense in buying that sound bar!

The vast majority of the population simply doesn't own "speakers" in the sense we are talking about.

And Ascend makes very nice looking RAAL speakers.

Not sure why the hatred of Salk though.

Those buying them obviously think they offer good price/value to them no matter what others might think.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #85 of 103 Old 09-29-2019, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dan3952 View Post
I think what's described at the end of your post, is a deal breaker for me. I don't understand why Ascend and Salk, both companies that have been in business for over ten years, charge people thousands of dollars, then take months to assemble and deliver a set of speakers. You'd think by now they would be able to accumulate a stock of each model they carry, in a standard finish. I also don't understand all this fuss about Salk and their beautiful custom finishes, or why people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for this and wait longer to get them: it's not a piece of furniture, it's a speaker! None of this affects the sound. If people's wives don't like XYZ speaker as non audio people because they're too big, that has nothing to do with me.

Crutchfield just picked up the little known Quad S-5 tower speaker with ribbon tweeter, for $2200. The Seas Excel midrange in the Ascend probably outperforms the one in the Quad S line, but I may be able to compromise.

This one is really good, I think.

https://madisoundspeakerstore.com/ap...m-cone-woofer/

There's also a new Martin Logan Motion line out this week (with the AMT tweeter that reviewer Brent Butterworth had said bested the one in his personal Revel F206's).
I wanted to circle back and touch on this... if for no other reason than to clarify a few things and "set the record straight". I don't want to sound like a Fanboy (because I'm not... yet... but I sure hope to become one!). It would be inaccurate to say that my dealings with Ascend have been 100% positive, in every aspect, every step of the way, and I that I would be unable to say ANYTHING negative about my dealings to-date with getting speakers from them. But just for the record:

1. Dave has been really great to communicate with via e-mail (my preferred way to communicate) throughout this whole process. I appreciate how responsive he is, how honest he is, and how helpful he's been.

2. I was made aware of the shortage on the Towers (by Dave, via e-mail), and that there would be a long (approximately 6-8 week) delay, *before* I ordered. I also understand (at least some of) the reason *why* there is a shortage. And it seems reasonable to me...

3. My credit card, so far, has only been charged for the two speakers that actually shipped to me and are in my home (the HTM-200's that will eventually be rear speakers).


It would be accurate to say we're a little past the originally estimated (not WRITTEN IN BLOOD or otherwise GUARANTEED) 6-8 week window... but I'm honestly ok with that. I've been looking at the Ascend RAAL Towers... budgeting, planning, waiting... for more than 4 years now. You can even check my posting history on this site as evidence of that. Sure I've been open to the idea of other speakers (particularly RBH Impressions towers, but others as well), but I've always come back to these... they seem to be described as the kind of speakers I think I'm inclined to like, and they seem to provide a lot of "value" for their price point, at a price point that's by-and-large at-or-near the very top end of what I can see myself (at least for now) being willing to choose to afford... I have been patiently eyeing, waiting, budgeting, thinking, for several years now. A few more weeks is "no problem at all". Again, I knew they were on backorder as I ordered them, and Ascend hasn't charged me $0.01 for speakers that they haven't yet shipped to me...
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post #86 of 103 Old 11-09-2019, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papashango61 View Post
I thought the new martin logan line is simply a visual refresh of the motions - can anyone clarify? Hope i am wrong...As for the motion tweeters beating the f206, well i have never heard anyone ever say the motion is a better speaker than the f206...
https://hometheaterreview.com/martin...aker-reviewed/

Not altogether better, mostly the tweeter
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post #87 of 103 Old 11-09-2019, 01:06 PM
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I have the same issue with buying speakers without listening to them. I want to buy used, there is no way to go listen to them as they can be in different state. So far, I am looking at the JM Lab Diva Utopia or JM Lab Alto Utopia. It's a lot of money to buy without listening to them. Return is possible on ebay, but a big pair of speakers!!! The shipping is like $400!!!! It's like almost a $1000 to just try it out ( shipping over and shipping back).


My choice is limited, I only dare to look at JM Lab Focal because I currently have the JM Lab Spectral 913.1, so at least I know what to expect from JM Lab.

Own designed power amp, own designed preamp, JM LAB Spectral 913.1 speakers, Rythmik F12SE sub.
Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #88 of 103 Old 11-09-2019, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan3952 View Post
Most people I know who have any class, don't brag about how much shiny furniture they have in their houses. But, this is a subjective hobby, and everybody has their own reasons for choosing a particular product. People say, it comes in curly maple and it's gorgeous! It has a high WAF! I couldn't care less. People talk about the finish, and about how they're handmade, and not enough about the sound. I don't invite people over to brag about my new toys. I had counted forty three speakers Salk sells, plus three subs, and many of them share similar drivers. There's different marketing hyperbole written for every one of them. I just feel they might be starting to overdo it. Ornate attention getting enclosures, don't impress me, nor do guitars or music when I click on the company's webpage. Their FR plots never go below 200 Hz.
Because it's hard and/or expensive to measure that accurately. It's not impossible, but you need access to an anechoic chamber. For all 43 speakers, as you said.

On topic, though, I buy speakers just like I buy anything else - based on a thorough reading of reviews and measurements. I don't need to demo a TV in a store first.

Ultimately, my ears in my room are the final say. Maybe I keep it, maybe I don't. But I narrowed down what's good by starting on AVS Forums.

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post #89 of 103 Old 11-10-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
I wanted to circle back and touch on this... if for no other reason than to clarify a few things and "set the record straight". I don't want to sound like a Fanboy (because I'm not... yet... but I sure hope to become one!). It would be inaccurate to say that my dealings with Ascend have been 100% positive, in every aspect, every step of the way, and I that I would be unable to say ANYTHING negative about my dealings to-date with getting speakers from them. But just for the record:

1. Dave has been really great to communicate with via e-mail (my preferred way to communicate) throughout this whole process. I appreciate how responsive he is, how honest he is, and how helpful he's been.

2. I was made aware of the shortage on the Towers (by Dave, via e-mail), and that there would be a long (approximately 6-8 week) delay, *before* I ordered. I also understand (at least some of) the reason *why* there is a shortage. And it seems reasonable to me...

3. My credit card, so far, has only been charged for the two speakers that actually shipped to me and are in my home (the HTM-200's that will eventually be rear speakers).


It would be accurate to say we're a little past the originally estimated (not WRITTEN IN BLOOD or otherwise GUARANTEED) 6-8 week window... but I'm honestly ok with that. I've been looking at the Ascend RAAL Towers... budgeting, planning, waiting... for more than 4 years now. You can even check my posting history on this site as evidence of that. Sure I've been open to the idea of other speakers (particularly RBH Impressions towers, but others as well), but I've always come back to these... they seem to be described as the kind of speakers I think I'm inclined to like, and they seem to provide a lot of "value" for their price point, at a price point that's by-and-large at-or-near the very top end of what I can see myself (at least for now) being willing to choose to afford... I have been patiently eyeing, waiting, budgeting, thinking, for several years now. A few more weeks is "no problem at all". Again, I knew they were on backorder as I ordered them, and Ascend hasn't charged me $0.01 for speakers that they haven't yet shipped to me...
i think this speaks of Dave's integrity....something , imo , that there is a shortage of in our entire culture .. i salute the guy that can be honest first and a ceo second.. i think when it's all said and done you will probably be happy doing business with ascend...back orders can't always be filled on time , but his ability to deliver a good product on a pretty consistent basis is in stark contrast to at least some popular IO brands popular on this forum that seem to be "out of stock" more than "in stock"...

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post #90 of 103 Old 11-11-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by William Abraham View Post
Anyways guys, i managed to find a store i can go in person and audit the Focals.

The only issue is it is a 4.5 to 5 hour drive from where i live. But, It isn't so bad and i am gonna play it safe as many folks have suggested! With my music playlist and a coupla cigars handy, it should be a fairly easy drive.

The store also has the Mcintosh, Sonus Fabers, etc, etc at different price ranges. He also says he may have some used speakers that he could sell for a killer price. I am going to primarily listen to the Focals and all these other guys speakers as well while i'm there.
William,

During my speaker upgrade about 18 months ago, the Focal 936's were on my short list to audition. I found them to be slightly laid-back but a very nice speaker nevertheless. They came in second on my candidate list.

I don't recall anyone on this thread talking about auditions so here are couple of things I found that you may find of use.

Basic setup competence is in short supply and that means setup issues are common. I had to reposition about half the speakers auditioned (one pair was actually aimed at the side walls!). Sometimes there's an amp mismatch (e.g. hard to drive speakers with a low watt amp). I heard speakers hit a wall and distortion began. Acoustic treatment: there might be none, too much, or simply the wrong treatment. Room correction software? Maybe they don't use it, maybe they do, maybe they do but don't know how to use it. I was surprised to run into these issues but it happened everywhere to some degree. Heck, I had one scheduled appointment where I had to wait while they set up the room. They weren't big on planning, it seems. In summary, check how the dealer set things up.

As you listen to any speaker pair it can be useful to think of what you hear as the minimum of what's possible. Maybe it could be setup better at the AV dealer. Really hard to be sure. When you bring speakers into your home you may or may not be able to achieve the same level of performance, or exceed it. It's a bit of a crap shoot. Still, it can provide an approximation of what to expect.

Last thought: It can be worth the effort to hunt down supporting test data to help you sleep at night. It's pretty easy to be fooled about the performance of a speaker based on an audition. Hard test data helps shore up what you think is true, or expose weaknesses that are easy to miss.

Good luck with the hunt!
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