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post #1 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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New speaker recommendations

Hello there!

It has been a long time since I have been around the forums. I have been collecting various speakers over the years and am looking for some advice. I have a huge collection of vintage DCM speakers from the "holy grail" Time Window 7's and early every other Time Frame, Time Window, CX and TF-V versions of their speakers. Many have cosmetic issues due to age and moving around the country. All are good sounding speakers. I am thinking about looking into new speakers just due to the fact that I don't have time to restore these. Some need tops refinished and new cloth. My TW7's are in a dedicated dark theater so I will probably keep those.

I built a new family room in my basement and want to start there. I want a nice looking pair of speakers plus good sound. Will be used for mostly TV as well as music while I spend time in this 16x55' room. The theater is next to this room. I use Yamaha Aventage receivers for MusicCast whole home audio and will continue to use these (External ATI amp in the theater for most of the speakers including the TW7). This whole 9.2.4 Atmos setup is DCM except for the 2-Monolith 12" subs.

It has been a long time since I have used another brand other than my DCM collection, Emotiva desktop speakers or the PSB VS300 setup in my living room upstairs.

Does anyone have any insight as to what I can expect in sound wise compared to my vintage DCM? Any recommendations for speakers? I have been looking at Q Acoustics 3050i and Concept 40. Wharfedale Evo series, Emotiva T2 and others. Just hard to evaluate speakers without seeing them. I don't have any hifi shops near me but visit some when I travel. I am always winning Amazon gift cards from work, so I would love to be able to buy some on Amazon so that I could use my credits.

I know I can buy, evaluate and return but I would like to know if anyone came from these DCM speakers and how they compare to newer options?

Budget? Not sure. I have over $2500 in amazon gift cards and could use that. I usually try to buy anything at the point of diminishing return. I bought a TCL Series 6 75" TV for this room for that exact reason. I could do better, but at a ton more money. If I spend $2000 on speakers am I doing much better than spending $800? For this reason the Q Acoustics have my attention. Just not sure how they would compare to what I have or am used to.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DCMlover View Post
Budget? Not sure. I have over $2500 in amazon gift cards and could use that. I usually try to buy anything at the point of diminishing return. I bought a TCL Series 6 75" TV for this room for that exact reason. I could do better, but at a ton more money. If I spend $2000 on speakers am I doing much better than spending $800?
Heh, that's exactly the way I think as well when shopping for something.

Best bang for the buck would be IMO dual woofer bookshelves like the Hsu HC-1, Ascend 340SE or Chane A2.4 for around $600/pr shipped, or (if you strongly prefer the tower look) the Emotiva T1 for $700 shipped. Since you already have a pair of capable subs and your usage is mainly TV, towers would be more of a visual than functional advantage; having a good center speaker will be key since it does 80% of the output namely the all-important dialogue.
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post #4 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Heh, that's exactly the way I think as well when shopping for something.

Best bang for the buck would be IMO dual woofer bookshelves like the Hsu HC-1, Ascend 340SE or Chane A2.4 for around $600/pr shipped, or (if you strongly prefer the tower look) the Emotiva T1 for $700 shipped. Since you already have a pair of capable subs and your usage is mainly TV, towers would be more of a visual than functional advantage; having a good center speaker will be key since it does 80% of the output namely the all-important dialogue.
I have the space for towers and am using the subs in the theater. Can add subs here but I am thinking that I might just start with a left and right and then add center if needed.
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post #5 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 11:48 AM
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You could go really cheap and keep the DCM fun going. $238 for two towers.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pack-6-5-....c100005.m1851
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post #6 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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I have the space for towers and am using the subs in the theater. Can add subs here but I am thinking that I might just start with a left and right and then add center if needed.
Have no experience with the DCM series and a huge fan of the Q Acoustic Concept 20s I tested at home a few years back but there center speakers are dual 4" main drivers so might want to look elsewhere, sad to say.

Amazon has the excellent PSB Alpha T20s and KEF Q550s in your price range.

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-system-review

https://www.soundvisionreview.com/hi...f-q550-review/
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post #7 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Have no experience with the DCM series and a huge fan of the Q Acoustic Concept 20s I tested at home a few years back but there center speakers are dual 4" main drivers so might want to look elsewhere, sad to say.

Amazon has the excellent PSB Alpha T20s and KEF Q550s in your price range.

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-system-review

https://www.soundvisionreview.com/hi...f-q550-review/
I love the look of the white q acoustics speakers. I am also just watching TV so not really critical movie like in my theater. A weak center doesn’t bother me too much. I do mostly want good 2 channel audio out of these.
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post #8 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 12:04 PM
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I love the look of the white q acoustics speakers. I am also just watching TV so not really critical movie like in my theater. A weak center doesn’t bother me too much. I do mostly want good 2 channel audio out of these.
In that case I wouldn't hesitate to get the Concept 40s as they are said, (and this review points out), to be better than the excellent Concept 20s which were every bit as good as my Martin Logan LX16s and MILES ahead of the crapola KLH Albany's I tested against my LX16s.

See page 25 for comments and measurements.

https://stereo-magazine.com/flipview/6
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post #9 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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I have some experience with former DCM speakers of the past, they were good for their time -- I am a bigger fan of the more modern DCM series designed by Dan Roemer, that was linked earlier. ... I would consider the TFE100 in the future to just check it out and maybe fine some use for them

Time Frame Evolution series TFE100, being cleared out by the pair
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-of-6-5...8AAOSwKENdg65b

http://www.dcmspeakers.com/products/cabinet/tfe100.htm

From Amazon and your gift cards look at

Martin Logan Motion 60XT
https://www.amazon.com/Martin-Motion...ronics&sr=1-28

Monitor Audio Silver8
https://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Audio...tronics&sr=1-3

KEF Q950
https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q950-Floo...ronics&sr=1-38

Focal Chorus 726
https://www.amazon.com/Focal-Chorus-...ronics&sr=1-52

And the Q Acoustics Concept series

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post #10 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 01:05 PM
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I have the space for towers and am using the subs in the theater. Can add subs here but I am thinking that I might just start with a left and right and then add center if needed.
In that case, I'd look at the Wharfedale Diamond 230 towers, which are available in black, white, or walnut for $600 shipped:
https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers...tower-speakers

Their allegedly "open box" ones are $500 shipped. I've ordered "open box" Wharfedales from them before and I'd swear they were brand new, judging from the pristine packaging and still needing a break-in period.

Wharfedale will give you nice full and clear mids with zero listening fatigue risk...perfect for TV watching especially if you're skipping the center, and ample mid-bass (40Hz 3db roll off point). Also very musical.
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post #11 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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In that case, I'd look at the Wharfedale Diamond 230 towers, which are available in black, white, or walnut for $600 shipped:
https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers...tower-speakers

Their allegedly "open box" ones are $500 shipped. I've ordered "open box" Wharfedales from them before and I'd swear they were brand new, judging from the pristine packaging and still needing a break-in period.

Wharfedale will give you nice full and clear mids with zero listening fatigue risk...perfect for TV watching especially if you're skipping the center, and ample mid-bass (40Hz 3db roll off point). Also very musical.
have you compared these to the Evo series?
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post #12 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I have some experience with former DCM speakers of the past, they were good for their time -- I am a bigger fan of the more modern DCM series designed by Dan Roemer, that was linked earlier. ... I would consider the TFE100 in the future to just check it out and maybe fine some use for them

Time Frame Evolution series TFE100, being cleared out by the pair
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-of-6-5...8AAOSwKENdg65b

http://www.dcmspeakers.com/products/cabinet/tfe100.htm

From Amazon and your gift cards look at

Martin Logan Motion 60XT
https://www.amazon.com/Martin-Motion...ronics&sr=1-28

Monitor Audio Silver8
https://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Audio...tronics&sr=1-3

KEF Q950
https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q950-Floo...ronics&sr=1-38

Focal Chorus 726
https://www.amazon.com/Focal-Chorus-...ronics&sr=1-52

And the Q Acoustics Concept series

is it just me or does the Monitor audio speakers seem abnormally low priced?
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post #13 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:14 PM
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is it just me or does the Monitor audio speakers seem abnormally low priced?
Clearance item
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Clearance item
I can always get behind a bargain. Any thoughts on how these would sound compared to those DCM speakers on ebay?
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post #15 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:35 PM
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I can always get behind a bargain. Any thoughts on how these would sound compared to those DCM speakers on ebay?
I have listened to the Silver series signature sound in the past and I am currently listening to the DCM TFE60 bookshelf speakers .... and I will say this, the DCM will hold their own --- the DCM have good on and off axis response and good voice tones and layering ... for music, the instruments are realistic sounding ...the DCM are good for music, TV, and movies, and games ... the DCM will not take a back seat .... if you do buy DCM, get the TFE series the TFE100, they are a higher level over the TP series
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post #16 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:38 PM
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Same seller on Amazon, but a little more expensive -- sold each -- but you have gift cards
https://www.amazon.com/TFE100-Timefr...0912628&sr=8-1
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post #17 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Same seller on Amazon, but a little more expensive -- sold each -- but you have gift cards
https://www.amazon.com/TFE100-Timefr...0912628&sr=8-1
True. I also notice on the MA speakers that there was only one left.
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post #18 of 95 Old 10-12-2019, 02:57 PM
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True. I also notice on the MA speakers that there was only one left.
A little info about the bigger brother TFE200 -- but the TFE series is voiced the same .... on a side note and to my ears the MA Silver was a bit too forward sounding to me and the treble slightly harsh, but that's just me ..... your option and call

You will have to sift through some of the stuff
[https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...y-amazing.html
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have you compared these to the Evo series?
No, but I'd expect the Evo to be more refined, which you'll mainly notice during critical music listening. For HT/TV I doubt you'd hear a big difference.
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No, but I'd expect the Evo to be more refined, which you'll mainly notice during critical music listening. For HT/TV I doubt you'd hear a big difference.
I am not at all worried about the HT sound. I think anything will sound good enough. This is kind of a family/chill room next to my dedicated theater with 13 channels, dual subs and 130" screen. The family room is kind of a big multi purpose room. I will use a Yamaha RX-A750 for the amp and want to buy new speakers and want great sound mostly for music but don't want to waste money on something excessive. I hope that explains my goals. At $500 those Wharfedales look nice and are a great price point. I just wonder if I will be happy with them.
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At $500 those Wharfedales look nice and are a great price point. I just wonder if I will be happy with them.
Only you could answer that question -- Wharfedale would not be a bad option, and neither Monitor Audio

DCM is still a good option, I can tell you that I much prefer the DCM TFE60 bookshelf speakers over the former CX-17

No one can guarantee anything, but their is a former owner of the DCM TF-700, who likes the TFE200 better ... the TFE100 is the same except one less bass driver, but still will have good bass

Post number 13 here
DCM TFE200 versus JBL Studio 590

Never an easy decision, but you have a few options out there
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At $500 those Wharfedales look nice and are a great price point. I just wonder if I will be happy with them.
That will depend entirely on your personal tastes --- what kind of sound signature do you most enjoy?

The Wharfedale Diamond 200 series are widely described as being "neutral with a little bit of warmth"---similar to how people tend to describe the Q Acoustics speakers especially the 3000 series (the Concept series is a closer to plain neutral). The Wharfedale Evo would probably be more neutral and precise than the 200 series, but still being a Wharfedale probably without any harshness.

If you want an even warmer sound (my personal preference for the slower tempo, midrange-dominant musical genres I listen to, namely jazz, classical and vocals), the previous generation Wharfedale 10x series, which Music Direct does carry, would be a better bet. I use a pair of the 10.1 for desktop music and love them...incredibly smooth I can effortlessly listen to for hours, like a massage for my eardrums.

If on the other hand you like a bit more sizzle on your steak, perhaps a more forward presentation with lots of treble energy and tight punchy bass rather than velvety bass presence, the Monitor Audio would be a good choice.

Have never heard DCM speakers so I have no idea what type of sound signature you're used to.
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[QUOTE=Zorba922;58678856]That will depend entirely on your personal tastes --- what kind of sound signature do you most enjoy?

This has always been an interesting point to me. How speakers should sound. Shouldn’t they sound like the band is in your living room? I have been a musician for almost 30 years. So when I hear Eric Clapton play guitar on a recording shouldn’t it sound as close as possible to the real deal? Shouldn’t it sound like me when I plug my Strat into my Bassman? Not saying I can sound like E.C..... It seems to me people always look for a sound signature. Maybe I am looking at it wrong but I think the signature should match live music. Even live music can be affected by electronics.

The other night I saw Buddy Guy play. The mix though the PA sounded totally different that what was coming direct from his amp. I could hear it. Even though it was mic’d the guitar amp had a ton of detail that didn’t come though the big PA system. The bass was heavy and thumped my chest. The vocals were intense and in your face. I think the mix was a little off. So in that regard I think a recording would sound better. I imagine in a smaller club it would have sounded better.
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This has always been an interesting point to me. How speakers should sound. Shouldn’t they sound like the band is in your living room?
Yes they should
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[quote=DCMlover;58679658]
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
That will depend entirely on your personal tastes --- what kind of sound signature do you most enjoy?

This has always been an interesting point to me. How speakers should sound. Shouldn’t they sound like the band is in your living room? I have been a musician for almost 30 years. So when I hear Eric Clapton play guitar on a recording shouldn’t it sound as close as possible to the real deal? Shouldn’t it sound like me when I plug my Strat into my Bassman? Not saying I can sound like E.C..... It seems to me people always look for a sound signature. Maybe I am looking at it wrong but I think the signature should match live music. Even live music can be affected by electronics.

The other night I saw Buddy Guy play. The mix though the PA sounded totally different that what was coming direct from his amp. I could hear it. Even though it was mic’d the guitar amp had a ton of detail that didn’t come though the big PA system. The bass was heavy and thumped my chest. The vocals were intense and in your face. I think the mix was a little off. So in that regard I think a recording would sound better. I imagine in a smaller club it would have sounded better.
Some folks want eq baked into their speakers...elevated treble, elevated bass, recessed mid, whatever. And that's fine, to each their own. My personal preference is for the speaker to be as neutral and accurate as possible, which sounds like what you are looking for. Also important is for the off axis sound to very closely match the neutral on axis response so that reflected sound matches the direct sound. This type of speaker is preferred for sound quality by the vast majority of all listeners with accurate testing(not demos at Best Buy).

The right measurements will steer you towards the right speaker.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...nce-shows.html
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Originally Posted by DCMlover View Post
This has always been an interesting point to me. How speakers should sound. Shouldn’t they sound like the band is in your living room? I have been a musician for almost 30 years. So when I hear Eric Clapton play guitar on a recording shouldn’t it sound as close as possible to the real deal? Shouldn’t it sound like me when I plug my Strat into my Bassman? Not saying I can sound like E.C..... It seems to me people always look for a sound signature. Maybe I am looking at it wrong but I think the signature should match live music. Even live music can be affected by electronics.

The other night I saw Buddy Guy play. The mix though the PA sounded totally different that what was coming direct from his amp. I could hear it. Even though it was mic’d the guitar amp had a ton of detail that didn’t come though the big PA system. The bass was heavy and thumped my chest. The vocals were intense and in your face. I think the mix was a little off. So in that regard I think a recording would sound better. I imagine in a smaller club it would have sounded better.
In theory, yes. In practice, room acoustics always come into play and then there's high-frequency hearing loss that most folks over the age of 40 have. And then there's the question of what genres of music you listen to, and for how long at a time.

I used to buy into the "as neutral/accurate as possible" line of thought too, when I first got into this hobby, which is why I started with Ascend speakers. They have astonishingly impeccable measurements especially given their modest prices (the 340 and 170 models). For movies their detail and dynamics were amazing. However, for my preferred musical genres they never floored me like the Wharfedales and I never knew what I was missing until I heard those myself. For me, a speaker that has tons of detail may be interesting for analytical listening, but that's not the type of listening that I can really enjoy for more than say, 15-30 minutes at a time tops. I now think of speakers in terms of being "emotionally involving" as much as "accurate"---and speakers that can be described as "neutral to warm" usually do it for me.

But this is something that I only discovered after hearing "warm" speakers for myself. If I had never ventured to experiment, I'm sure I'd still be a happy Ascend owner. (Their premium Sierra 2 models do lean slightly towards the "warm" side though.)
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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 #27 of 95 Old 10-13-2019, 09:58 AM
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[quote=bear123;58680058]
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Originally Posted by DCMlover View Post
Some folks want eq baked into their speakers...elevated treble, elevated bass, recessed mid, whatever. And that's fine, to each their own.
Funny, I find that EQ works really well on headphones/earbuds and not so much with speakers. My JBL earbuds that I use at the gym had a monstrous smiley shaped EQ curve (exaggerated bass & treble) out of the box, which I had to flatten out with a frown-shaped EQ curve using an EQ app, and they magically transformed from horrible to very good!

I guess with speakers the room acoustics make all the difference, whereas with phones/buds they are left entirely out of the equation.
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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 #28 of 95 Old 10-13-2019, 10:06 AM
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[quote=Zorba922;58680616]
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post

Funny, I find that EQ works really well on headphones/earbuds and not so much with speakers. My JBL earbuds that I use at the gym had a monstrous smiley shaped EQ curve (exaggerated bass & treble) out of the box, which I had to flatten out with a frown-shaped EQ curve using an EQ app, and they magically transformed from horrible to very good!

I guess with speakers the room acoustics make all the difference, whereas with phones/buds they are left entirely out of the equation.
I think this makes sense because with earbuds, you are hearing and eq'ing only direct sound. The problem with using full range eq on speakers is that you end up eq'ing the combined direct and reflected sound that ends up at the MLP....which totally ruins the direct sound characteristic of the speaker.....although I imagine with horribly designed speakers with very poor response this may still be helpful. I limit eq to below 500 Hz in my room. Allowing Audysey to eq all the way out to 20 KHz makes the treble unbearably elevated.
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post #29 of 95 Old 10-13-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
In theory, yes. In practice, room acoustics always come into play and then there's high-frequency hearing loss that most folks over the age of 40 have. And then there's the question of what genres of music you listen to, and for how long at a time.

I used to buy into the "as neutral/accurate as possible" line of thought too, when I first got into this hobby, which is why I started with Ascend speakers. They have astonishingly impeccable measurements especially given their modest prices (the 340 and 170 models). For movies their detail and dynamics were amazing. However, for my preferred musical genres they never floored me like the Wharfedales and I never knew what I was missing until I heard those myself. For me, a speaker that has tons of detail may be interesting for analytical listening, but that's not the type of listening that I can really enjoy for more than say, 15-30 minutes at a time tops. I now think of speakers in terms of being "emotionally involving" as much as "accurate"---and speakers that can be described as "neutral to warm" usually do it for me.

But this is something that I only discovered after hearing "warm" speakers for myself. If I had never ventured to experiment, I'm sure I'd still be a happy Ascend owner. (Their premium Sierra 2 models do lean slightly towards the "warm" side though.)
i am coming to the conclusion that there isn't any one set of speaker type that is best , even for the individual.. since my ears have adjusted to the cbm 170's (it sure wasn't "speaker break in " as they were well used when purchased), i noticed they are vastly superior to the b1's and 10.1s when it comes to accurate recreation of instruments, however as you say they aren't the greatest for long term listening and certain types of music tends to be a bit more enjoyable on the warmer speakers.. i tend, as this point ,to value accuracy as opposed to ease of listening , that is a change from before and may change back again.. luckily for me i get plenty of what i want from the 170's(as opposed to the need to "upgrade ") .. i am very exited at the idea of the modified b1's having a mid range that might be close to the 170's , that could be pretty great for me.. i still have thoughts of sierra 1's and reva's(maybe both) as long term solutions ...
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YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #30 of 95 Old 10-13-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
i am coming to the conclusion that there isn't any one set of speaker type that is best , even for the individual.. since my ears have adjusted to the cbm 170's (it sure wasn't "speaker break in " as they were well used when purchased), i noticed they are vastly superior to the b1's and 10.1s when it comes to accurate recreation of instruments, however as you say they aren't the greatest for long term listening and certain types of music tends to be a bit more enjoyable on the warmer speakers.. i tend, as this point ,to value accuracy as opposed to ease of listening , that is a change from before and may change back again.. luckily for me i get plenty of what i want from the 170's(as opposed to the need to "upgrade ") .. i am very exited at the idea of the modified b1's having a mid range that might be close to the 170's , that could be pretty great for me.. i still have thoughts of sierra 1's and reva's(maybe both) as long term solutions ...

I definitely agree with this. As well as all of the above. I guess this is where I look a the point of diminishing returns. Will a $2000 speaker be 4 times better than a $500 speaker? At what point is it just excessive? I have heard $300,000 Wilson audio speakers and thought they were awesome. Heard Focal Utopia walking away unimpressed. I know all of this is subject to opinion. I see reviews all over the internet that say this speaker is incredible "for the money". Does that mean its not incredible? Some of the best steaks I have had were under $15. Not just for the money. A little roadside diner in Texas farm country served me a fillet that would put Ruth's Chris to shame. At 1/6 the price. I am pretty sure the diner was next to the farm that cow came from. Maybe I am looking at speakers all wrong. I have no problem putting $2000 into a pair of speakers just like I don't have a problem with a $100 steak. I am however pissed off at that $100 steak when I got one that was better for less money.
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