$300ish Bookshelf Shootout (another one?!) - Page 8 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #211 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Tragically Hip
THE most over-rated Canadian band ever. Unfortunately, I can't get away from them here. Their first album was their best IMHO, and they rode the coat-tails of that album for the rest of their career. Maybe it was the saturation of Gord Downey's voice on Every. Radio. Station, but I got sick of them pretty quick.


I was a Rock/Metal fan in the 80's, but a school friend introduced me to this band called Jane's Addiction. And another one called Nine Inch Nails. Then came The Smiths, Bowie, KMFDM, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, MLWTTKC, The Cure, The Cult, etc... You "may" have heard of them... lol
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post #212 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexLac View Post
Sort of. Some members formed L&R, and Murphy turned to a solo career (had also a duo called Dalis Car which was good). The best Bauhaus offshoot was Tones on Tail. Really good.
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Best cover of this song ever:
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post #213 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by richard12511 View Post
I just bought the JBL 308p MkII for around this price.
Always been curious about these, as monitors are usually seen as "artist creator" speakers. The 8s are monsters that probably won't fit on most desks and it seems people preferred the sound of the 5s, but have fun!

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post #214 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by nonametofame View Post
I think your thread was one of the best I've found on AVS, and indeed influenced my decision to purchase a pair of the JBLs to demo. I have them up and running now, A/Bing them with my current LS50s. They're not the prettiest speaker, but they do sound terrific. Kinda insane for the sub-$300 price I paid. I have them powered by a Parasound 2250V2. At 275 watts a channel, I think it will drive most speakers close to potential, but I'm curious on how each speaker pair will sound with much less power, like 50-80 watts. Thanks for your great contributions.
Thank you kindly for the compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed the thread! The JBL Studio 530's are giant killers IMO.


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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
The Ascends keep scaring me away with their treble, but I need to give them a good hour of steady listening to be fair. The Paradigms are up there. And i should listen to the 3020is some more.

This thought is a little incomplete, but that's where i'm at right now.
I think your comments about the Ascends' treble is interesting. Closely in line with what I found in the Sierra-1s.
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post #215 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 07:10 PM
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Am curious, what are you powering them with? Their listed 83db sensitivity worries me...

Do you find that they sound better at low/moderate volumes, or need to be turned up more to really wake up?
Sonos Amp - I think it's rated at 125W but I'm not listening at high volume. Listening to Spotify over Airplay and iPhone's SPL meter shows ~ 50-60DB. They sound rich/detailed enough to me at this volume but they absolutely sound better if you raise the volume. They comfortably play louder than I would ever listen to at my current distance (~3-3.5 ft away).

And the bass - OMG the bass! I don't understand how it's possible from this size speaker but it has punch. Not experienced enough to comment on the quality of said bass but it isn't muddy to my ears. For my needs, wouldn't even consider a sub as these put out enough for my needs. I used the "Bubbles" track by Yosi Horikawa to compare speakers as I think it does a good job of revealing soundstage and imaging and has enough bass tones to give a good quick impression. Compared to the DefTech ProMonitor 100's they replaced - these tiny speakers are night and day better in every regard. Not saying those DefTechs were good but they were what I had on hand when I got the Sonos Amp. Their brochure claims they are a "full-range" speaker but no - just no and especially not compared to what these Micca's do.

Z Reviews, Steve Guttenberg and several other reviewers commented favorably on them and for < $200 with no risk return I thought why not. Steve G. said he thought the Pioneer BS22-something model and the Dayton B652 Air were better speakers for less money but both of those were larger than what I wanted on my desk.

If anyone has compared the RB42 to Wharfedale D300 series or the 220's, would love to hear impressions. Or even to the Emotiva B1's...not sure if the extra $20-$50 would make a huge stepwise improvement from these but I'm still in my return window

This thread has been super entertaining and I've learned a lot on this forum!
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post #216 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Tragically Hip
THE most over-rated Canadian band ever. Unfortunately, I can't get away from them here. Their first album was their best IMHO, and they rode the coat-tails of that album for the rest of their career. Maybe it was the saturation of Gord Downey's voice on Every. Radio. Station, but I got sick of them pretty quick.


I was a Rock/Metal fan in the 80's, but a school friend introduced me to this band called Jane's Addiction. And another one called Nine Inch Nails. Then came The Smiths, Bowie, KMFDM, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, MLWTTKC, The Cure, The Cult, etc... You "may" have heard of them... lol
Yea....the CRTC... Protocols mandate radio station to play Canadian content....there was no avoiding them ("The Hip") you'd think they were Rush or something of that magnitude...lol.

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post #217 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 07:32 PM
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Yea....the CRTC... Protocols mandate radio station to play Canadian content....there was no avoiding them ("The Hip") you'd think they were Rush or something of that magnitude...lol.
The best thing about music in Toronto was CFNY. The worst thing about CFNY was The Hip... lol
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post #218 of 579 Old 05-12-2020, 08:02 PM
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$300ish Bookshelf Shootout (another one?!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhaskar View Post
Sonos Amp - I think it's rated at 125W but I'm not listening at high volume. Listening to Spotify over Airplay and iPhone's SPL meter shows ~ 50-60DB. They sound rich/detailed enough to me at this volume but they absolutely sound better if you raise the volume. They comfortably play louder than I would ever listen to at my current distance (~3-3.5 ft away).

And the bass - OMG the bass! I don't understand how it's possible from this size speaker but it has punch. Not experienced enough to comment on the quality of said bass but it isn't muddy to my ears. For my needs, wouldn't even consider a sub as these put out enough for my needs. I used the "Bubbles" track by Yosi Horikawa to compare speakers as I think it does a good job of revealing soundstage and imaging and has enough bass tones to give a good quick impression. Compared to the DefTech ProMonitor 100's they replaced - these tiny speakers are night and day better in every regard. Not saying those DefTechs were good but they were what I had on hand when I got the Sonos Amp. Their brochure claims they are a "full-range" speaker but no - just no and especially not compared to what these Micca's do.

Z Reviews, Steve Guttenberg and several other reviewers commented favorably on them and for < $200 with no risk return I thought why not. Steve G. said he thought the Pioneer BS22-something model and the Dayton B652 Air were better speakers for less money but both of those were larger than what I wanted on my desk.

If anyone has compared the RB42 to Wharfedale D300 series or the 220's, would love to hear impressions. Or even to the Emotiva B1's...not sure if the extra $20-$50 would make a huge stepwise improvement from these but I'm still in my return window

This thread has been super entertaining and I've learned a lot on this forum!

Wow those b652s are cheap. I like that Tweeter, they have me interested. Right now I have the mk402 on my desk and they are nice. I don't play them very loud though just kind of soft listening background music.

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post #219 of 579 Old 05-13-2020, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Go!
Best cover of this song ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhJZrRV5YKo
Great cover. I always liked it more than the original. Has a lot more punch.
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post #220 of 579 Old 05-13-2020, 05:17 AM
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i saw the division bell tour as well.. pretty epic .. sun devil stadium.. 80,000 people ,and pink floyd...
So damn sad that all the tours are cancelled.
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post #221 of 579 Old 05-13-2020, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, lets try to get this back on topic. This thread is meandering enough. I'm trying to make it a usable reference for people.



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post #222 of 579 Old 05-13-2020, 12:55 PM
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Hey guys, lets try to get this back on topic. This thread is meandering enough. I'm trying to make it a usable reference for people.



I deleted my two off topic posts on this page and the prior page.
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post #223 of 579 Old 05-14-2020, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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^no worries!

I've been side tracked the past few days with work, life, but also room correction software! In short, I'm interested in it for correcting my office bass issues, very modal and peaky. I've played with REW making my own corrections and also a demo of IK ARC3. Listening to a corrected/flat response is pretty interesting. At first it sounds thin and tinny, but in short order your brain adapts. The measurements show large midbass humps in the room with several speakers i measured in the office. Listening to some speakers uncorrected in the basement today, i see it's given me some perspective.


Q Acoustic 3020i vs Ascend CBM-170 SE

I decided to do some more comparisons today and i first put up the 3020is against the Ascend CBMs as i considered these both fairly bright before. Interestingly, after listening to "corrected" sound for the past couple days, these don't seem super far off, particularly the Ascends. I guess i can spare you some words and paste in the notes that i took while listening. Remember these characteristics are relative to each other. I've given up all hope of storing a permanent reference in my brain.

Ascend
crisp clear flat detailed
slightly sibilant
much sharper image
forward
contrasty
forward stage
more sensitive
boosts female vox a bit
btbm kick drum and bass more clear

3020i
warmer, smoother
high end relatively rolled off

low end seems similar between the two


So in a nutshell, the Ascends sound more flat and more like studio monitors, except more forward. They almost sound "contrasty", like if you apply a lot of sharpening to an image in photoshop and take it just a click too far. They walk the crisp/harsh line. They have sharp imaging as well, vocals and instruments are pretty easy to pinpoint.

The 3020is are softer, a little held back. Even their sound stage is deeper back than the Ascends and a little smeared. They're not not detailed though. The tweeter sounds good, it just doesn't pop out like the Ascends. These are warmer and a little more pleasant to listen to, and i'm sure certainly so for long periods.

Ascends are the precise sports car that's a pain to daily drive, but when you want response and accuracy its there. The 3020is are maybe a base model 3 series.
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post #224 of 579 Old 05-14-2020, 04:34 PM
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Again, you are basing all of your assumptions off of frequency graphs. If you haven't heard either of them then I'm not sure why you are still trying to claim one is better sounding than the other. Maybe one "measures" better, but again...that isn't the end-all, be-all like some folks like to claim it is. I've yet to see a graph that can measure soundstage, realism and depth, and the Cnote has that in spades over the BS22. The Cnote also digs deeper and has a more natural sounding low-end than the BS22. If you listened to them, you might be able to hear this.

Note that I'm not bashing the BS22 because for the price, I think it's a fine speaker. If Dennis' tweeter/cap mod makes it better, then another $40 will take them to another level. But the Cnote is really special for the price and does a lot of things the BS22 does not.

This is also why I'd love to see a $100 DIY in a thread like this.
Wether you believe in them or not, the correct measurements can definitely be used to assess whether a speaker will have a very high likelihood of sounding good or not without having to hear them first. A speaker that measures poorly will probably not sound as good as a speaker that measures well. Even Dennis Murphy, who has likely listened to and designed more speakers than just about anyone here said "I personally have never liked a speaker that measured poorly". That's a pretty strong validation of how valuable the correct types of measurements can be. I personally haven't seen any of the folks that you claim believe measurements are the "end all be all"..in fact, the ones I have seen post seem rather open minded and point out that they *don't* think this way. Just saying.

What I believe is that once you have a handful of speakers that all measure really well, there can most certainly be room or personal preference as to which of the similarly very good sounding speakers are the most preferred. But this is also likely to come down to how the speakers look, what type of bias we have towards the speaker, failure to level match, differing low end extension etc etc perhaps even more than the actual difference in sound between the two speakers. Conducting really accurate subjective comparisons between speakers is very difficult. It's an indisputable fact that what we hear is made up of more than just the actual sound entering our ears. It's also heavily affected by other factors. Good measurements are a useful tool to both rule out poorly designed speakers, and to narrow the field down as to which speakers to demo if one is so inclined.

I think there is room for both. After all, the measurements *followed* the subjective preference in the research. In other words, here are the speakers people overwhelmingly prefer. Let's see how they measure. It's an interesting topic once its understood.
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post #225 of 579 Old 05-14-2020, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Q Acoustics 3020i vs Ascend CBM-170 SE

Since i'm interested in "flatness" right now, i decided to try the Ascends against the Elacs. Here are my notes:


Ascend
brighter, deeper, maybe slightly scooped?

way more sensitive than the Elacs, loud dynamic
wearing on me a bit

Elac
flatter
warmer, but not smooth or soft. still crisp
cohesive sound
smoother vocal high end, like st vincent's acoustic piano vocals much more
clear
not a lot of low end


This is interesting. I previously though the 3020i were bright, but compared to the Ascends they were not. I previously didn't like the Elacs for being thin and tinny, but compared to the Ascends they were not. I think i see a pattern here. The Ascends are loud and dynamic and sharp, but maybe a little too much so. Comparatively, the Elacs sounds well balanced, smooth, and pretty comfy. Also quite clear with no congestion and detailed. This comparison has upped the Elacs several points in my book. They're still on the thin side with a limited low end and not particularly "fun" seeming pretty flat. But damn if they don't sound like the corrected response of my room/speakers the past couple days. If Ascends are a sports car and the 3020is are a base BMW, maybe these are a Camry? They do no wrong, but are kinda boring?

My thoughts on the Ascends have been consistent through all this. Plus they're pretty darn big and prob wouldn't even fit on/near my desk. I'm going to return these guys. :/
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post #226 of 579 Old 05-14-2020, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Elac Debut 2.0 b5.2 vs Paradigm Monitor SE Atoms

Catching up on notes for the day. The last pair I compared were the Elacs with the Paradigm Monitor SE Atoms. At first listen, these speakers sound relatively similar. They're in the same ball park at least. More similar than the Elacs to Ascends or the 3020is to the Ascends. The Atoms are fuller and just a bit hyped compared to the Elacs. Here are my notes:

Paradigm
slightly scooped, not as flat
more sparkle
more bass
sound more full range
rock songs just a little more fun
crisp detailed high hats and cymbals (aja)
more texture in synths
tight punchy bass in BTBM, they keep up

Elac
flatter
vocals more forward in mix
rock sound a little dull
softer/smoother
lacking low end, even bass guitar
BTBM sounds middy and congested

relatively similar overall
vocals sound clear and realistic, edge to Elac


The Paradigms are Elacs with a little sugar added. "Hyped" is maybe a little strong, but just a click or two of the hype button brings them from an accurate but fairly dull Elac to something a lot more interesting. The Paradigms have that sparkle with a low end to match. Not a Q150 low end, but enough to sound full range. The tweeter is very accurate and clear. It and maybe the C1s stand out for being able to really convey the texture of cymbals. And they do it without being overbearing like the Ascends and are simply more detailed than the 3020is. They're also pretty punchy and dynamic and can keep up with all the mess going on in the Between the Buried and Me song. The bass and kick drums are distinct and the mids aren't congested or mushed together. Imaging is sharp and forward. But, they can sometimes set vocals back in the mix a click too far and while vocal-centric performances are very good, they're not as accurate as with the Elacs.

The Elacs sound more accurate, but less fun. Mixes sound correct on them in most cases, sometimes a little vocal forward. They're softer and smoother and more relaxing to listen to, but are also pretty detailed. Treble info is there and good, just not great like the Paradigms. Some songs like the BTBM song, the mids got mushy and instruments blurred together a bit. There's not much low end and even then it doesn't seem to keep up with teh kick drum. The overall mix with more full range mixes like metal, synth heavy pop tend to sound sorta fat in the middle. On vocal-centric songs, though, the voices sound very natural in tone where the Atoms sound just a little cool.

This is an interesting one because they both seem "right", just different. In the grand scheme of things, the Paradigms aren't that hyped, just a bit compared to the very flat Elacs. I think if you listen to more vocal-centric music (in my test lists: St. Vincent piano, Fiona Apple, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Tracey Chapman, Mac DeMarco, Vagabon) the Elacs would good. If you listen to denser fuller range music like rock/metal, a lot of pop (in my list: The Weeknd, Between the Buried and Me, Tame Impala, Jenny Lewis, Radiohead) i think the fullness with the slight midrange cut and the detail and accuracy of the Paradigms works better. It may also depend what kind of EQ you have access to. My amp has no EQ at all and i'm not sure i'd want to live with the Elacs like that long term. I'd want to click that bass and treble each up a click.

Last edited by TXBDan; 05-14-2020 at 06:44 PM.
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post #227 of 579 Old 05-14-2020, 07:02 PM
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The Ascends are loud and dynamic and sharp, but maybe a little too much so.
How do you have them positioned?

If you have them toed in towards you, I would try squaring them to the room. This can go a long way towards taming the treble. Or, you can try an extreme toe in, where their horizontal axes cross each other about 2-3 feet in front of your main listening position --- this is what Hsu recommends for its CCB-8 which is also known for very strong treble.

Am a little surprised to hear this, since I used to own the 170SE and never found it "bright" in the same way that I find entry level Klipsch or SVS Primes to be "bright."
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post #228 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I normally angle them so i can see the inside sides of the cabinet a bit. Then i scoot forward and back a bit to see how things change. I didn't have the Ascends full forward facing though, maybe that would have helped.
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post #229 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 07:13 AM
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I normally angle them so i can see the inside sides of the cabinet a bit. Then i scoot forward and back a bit to see how things change. I didn't have the Ascends full forward facing though, maybe that would have helped.
the ascends sound better to me when pointed straight ahead or towed out just a bit..

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post #230 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Today I decided it was time to make some selection progress so i setup a couple deathmatches.

For the second time i put the Q150s up against the 3020is. My thoughts this time around are pretty much the same as last time. The KEFs are fuller, smoother, and have a more cohesive sound. The tweeter, while a little recessed, is detailed and quite nice. I like to align and point the tweeter straight at my ears to get the most from them. The 3020is on the other hand have a little less low end, but a lot more forward treble. Sort of a broad band upper range push. It's a little fatiguing and not even all that detailed since these speakers have a bit of a smoothed over vibe. Smooth, but also a little harsh? weird. I will say the 3020is have a decent over all sound, i'm being fairly nitpicky. That said, I can't see myself ever preferring them over the Q150s, so the 3020is are out.

Next, and also for the second time, i ran the Q150s against the Elacs. These are the two speakers i've probably listened to the most. The Elacs are very unique. In terms of accuracy and response, i think they're very good. These sound the most like a software room-corrected response naturally. Unfortunately, i just can't get into the sound. While they are accurate and detailed, they are thin in the lows and mids and slightly dull up top. They're not very dynamic. I think they might be good to use as a reference monitor or as sort of a blank slate for EQing to taste. Unfortunately, my amp doesn't even have EQ and imho, life is too short for boring speakers. Elacs are out.

So we're down to three pairs:
  • KEF Q150 - cohesive, warm, good all-rounder, but can get boxy and are a little laid back
  • Paradigm Monitor SE Atom - solid all rounder, dynamic, flatter mids with more sparkle. but is it too much?
  • NHT C1 - Great over all sound, but a very lacking low end. Would require a sub. too small?
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post #231 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
Today I decided it was time to make some selection progress so i setup a couple deathmatches.

For the second time i put the Q150s up against the 3020is. My thoughts this time around are pretty much the same as last time. The KEFs are fuller, smoother, and have a more cohesive sound. The tweeter, while a little recessed, is detailed and quite nice. I like to align and point the tweeter straight at my ears to get the most from them. The 3020is on the other hand have a little less low end, but a lot more forward treble. Sort of a broad band upper range push. It's a little fatiguing and not even all that detailed since these speakers have a bit of a smoothed over vibe. Smooth, but also a little harsh? weird. I will say the 3020is have a decent over all sound, i'm being fairly nitpicky. That said, I can't see myself ever preferring them over the Q150s, so the 3020is are out.

Next, and also for the second time, i ran the Q150s against the Elacs. These are the two speakers i've probably listened to the most. The Elacs are very unique. In terms of accuracy and response, i think they're very good. These sound the most like a software room-corrected response naturally. Unfortunately, i just can't get into the sound. While they are accurate and detailed, they are thin in the lows and mids and slightly dull up top. They're not very dynamic. I think they might be good to use as a reference monitor or as sort of a blank slate for EQing to taste. Unfortunately, my amp doesn't even have EQ and imho, life is too short for boring speakers. Elacs are out.

So we're down to three pairs:
  • KEF Q150 - cohesive, warm, good all-rounder, but can get boxy and are a little laid back
  • Paradigm Monitor SE Atom - solid all rounder, dynamic, flatter mids with more sparkle. but is it too much?
  • NHT C1 - Great over all sound, but a very lacking low end. Would require a sub. too small?
i think you are at the "time to grab an 8 inch sub" and see if anything can touch the c1's part of the shootout .. just a thought .. if you are dead set on 2.0 they(c1) may not work ...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #232 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
The Elacs are very unique. In terms of accuracy and response, i think they're very good. These sound the most like a software room-corrected response naturally. Unfortunately, i just can't get into the sound. While they are accurate and detailed, they are thin in the lows
  • NHT C1 - Great over all sound, but a very lacking low end. Would require a sub. too small?
Wait a minute. Do you plan to have a sub in this system or not?

If you're planning to add a sub later, it's useless to compare speakers in 2.0 --- you need to compare them EXACTLY AS YOU WILL ACTUALLY USE THEM, i.e. with the sub there in place.

Otherwise, it's like choosing a car based on how it performs on a race track, when all you're actually shopping for is a commuter econobox.
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post #233 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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That's right. I do have a sub, its an ol' Emotiva Ultra10. With comparisons with the C1s, i've been playing with running the test with 80Hz HP crossovers on both sets of speakers. I've also setup the C1s and the Q150s in my office with and without the sub. I'm 75% likely to run the sub in any case, but a speaker that isn't totally dependent on it would be nice as situations change in the future. I guess i've described the characteristics of these speakers well enough for the general audience. Meaning that i've tested them in a better space full range. Maybe now i should only test these last three in my office with the sub.
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post #234 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Wether you believe in them or not, the correct measurements can definitely be used to assess whether a speaker will have a very high likelihood of sounding good or not without having to hear them first. A speaker that measures poorly will probably not sound as good as a speaker that measures well. Even Dennis Murphy, who has likely listened to and designed more speakers than just about anyone here said "I personally have never liked a speaker that measured poorly". That's a pretty strong validation of how valuable the correct types of measurements can be. I personally haven't seen any of the folks that you claim believe measurements are the "end all be all"..in fact, the ones I have seen post seem rather open minded and point out that they *don't* think this way. Just saying.

What I believe is that once you have a handful of speakers that all measure really well, there can most certainly be room or personal preference as to which of the similarly very good sounding speakers are the most preferred. But this is also likely to come down to how the speakers look, what type of bias we have towards the speaker, failure to level match, differing low end extension etc etc perhaps even more than the actual difference in sound between the two speakers. Conducting really accurate subjective comparisons between speakers is very difficult. It's an indisputable fact that what we hear is made up of more than just the actual sound entering our ears. It's also heavily affected by other factors. Good measurements are a useful tool to both rule out poorly designed speakers, and to narrow the field down as to which speakers to demo if one is so inclined.

I think there is room for both. After all, the measurements *followed* the subjective preference in the research. In other words, here are the speakers people overwhelmingly prefer. Let's see how they measure. It's an interesting topic once its understood.

By measuring "poor" I'm going to assume there are glaring faults in the graphs. In which case, I've already stated that yes...frequency graphs can be a good tool to rule those out. As a speaker designer, they'd be a great tool to see what you need to tweak, etc.

But if speaker A is just slightly flatter than speaker B, that doesn't mean that A will necessarily sound better to most folks. That's why when looking at a few graphs and none have said glaring faults, listening with your ears is the ultimate decision tool. On that note, I've also heard speakers that have huge soundstages vs. another speaker that measures the same and that's never going to come across in a graph.
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post #235 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
By measuring "poor" I'm going to assume there are glaring faults in the graphs. In which case, I've already stated that yes...frequency graphs can be a good tool to rule those out. As a speaker designer, they'd be a great tool to see what you need to tweak, etc.

But if speaker A is just slightly flatter than speaker B, that doesn't mean that A will necessarily sound better to most folks. That's why when looking at a few graphs and none have said glaring faults, listening with your ears is the ultimate decision tool. On that note, I've also heard speakers that have huge soundstages vs. another speaker that measures the same and that's never going to come across in a graph.
Seems like we are actually in agreement for the most part here.

Curious though, I wonder if the soundstage difference you noticed might be apparent with the correct measurements. I have a feeling they might be, perhaps in the directivity index, or some of the off axis plots. If your talking about just an on axis frequency response I completely agree that this in no way tells the whole story of how a speaker will sound. Not by a long shot. But I don't think anyone is claiming this either.
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post #236 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bear123 View Post
Seems like we are actually in agreement for the most part here.

Curious though, I wonder if the soundstage difference you noticed might be apparent with the correct measurements. I have a feeling they might be, perhaps in the directivity index, or some of the off axis plots. If your talking about just an on axis frequency response I completely agree that this in no way tells the whole story of how a speaker will sound. Not by a long shot. But I don't think anyone is claiming this either.

Yeah, I think we're pretty much saying the same thing.
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post #237 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
Today I decided it was time to make some selection progress so i setup a couple deathmatches.

For the second time i put the Q150s up against the 3020is. My thoughts this time around are pretty much the same as last time. The KEFs are fuller, smoother, and have a more cohesive sound. The tweeter, while a little recessed, is detailed and quite nice. I like to align and point the tweeter straight at my ears to get the most from them. The 3020is on the other hand have a little less low end, but a lot more forward treble. Sort of a broad band upper range push. It's a little fatiguing and not even all that detailed since these speakers have a bit of a smoothed over vibe. Smooth, but also a little harsh? weird. I will say the 3020is have a decent over all sound, i'm being fairly nitpicky. That said, I can't see myself ever preferring them over the Q150s, so the 3020is are out.

Next, and also for the second time, i ran the Q150s against the Elacs. These are the two speakers i've probably listened to the most. The Elacs are very unique. In terms of accuracy and response, i think they're very good. These sound the most like a software room-corrected response naturally. Unfortunately, i just can't get into the sound. While they are accurate and detailed, they are thin in the lows and mids and slightly dull up top. They're not very dynamic. I think they might be good to use as a reference monitor or as sort of a blank slate for EQing to taste. Unfortunately, my amp doesn't even have EQ and imho, life is too short for boring speakers. Elacs are out.

So we're down to three pairs:
  • KEF Q150 - cohesive, warm, good all-rounder, but can get boxy and are a little laid back
  • Paradigm Monitor SE Atom - solid all rounder, dynamic, flatter mids with more sparkle. but is it too much?
  • NHT C1 - Great over all sound, but a very lacking low end. Would require a sub. too small?
If the C1 ends up sounding the best in every category except bass response, and if there's a good chance you'll be running this system 2.0, why not move up to the C3? Granted they're a little bigger and a few dollars more but what the heck.

https://www.amazon.com/NHT-Bookshelf.../dp/B019PZ96RS
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post #238 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by doctors11 View Post
a few dollars more
If you seriously consider $400 extra per pair "a few dollars more" then I have to say, I rather envy you.
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post #239 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
If you seriously consider $400 extra per pair "a few dollars more" then I have to say, I rather envy you.
Yeah, I get that but...YOLO.
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post #240 of 579 Old 05-15-2020, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Ha, my wife told me if i paid myself for all the time i've been spending on this i could have bought some really nice speakers...
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