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Folks, please be careful about jumping to conclusions, as the member above has. PLEASE!


And remember why AV Science Forums are so successful. Because we share our ideas, we hopefully don't put down someone else just because we disagree on how to build or spend money for a better trap. And we shouldn't jump to conclusions about Mr. Hardesty's accussations of plaguarism against Mr. Reber, becaue we've only heard one side of the story, the legal issues could be more complex than we think, and remember that Mr. Hardesty had some sort of employee relationship with Widescreen Review although we don't know the exact details of that relationship.


How many of you have read Widescreen Review from the first issue? Well, I read every issue since the second as they came out. Mr. Hardesty makes it sound like all good ideas set forth by Mr. Reber, the owner/editor, came from Mr. Hardesty. But Mr. Reber over the years has assembled many extraordinarily talented individuals with some similar, some different ideas, in evolving his and his magazine's approaches to home theater. Names which come to mind are Peter Moncrief, Michael Green, Russ Hirschelmann, Richard Hardesty, and many others.


When I built my dedicated home theater room 5 years ago, I got lots of ideas from Widescreen Review, mostly Russ Hirschelmann's articles, but also Issue 15 with Peter Moncrief discussing imaging and multi-channel speaker selection and performance ("Doing It Right"), Gary Reber taking the subject further, and Michael Green discussing room treatment. Richard Hardety's articles, primarily equipment reviews, came later.


I like some of what I read in Widescreen Review and followed it in doing my theater - and I got ideas other places, too. We've all been evolving in past years, striving to better our home theaters.


Richard Hardesty has a lot of good ideas and information. However, as is his title, he sees himself as "The Audio Perfectionist". Whether his ideas are all more right than anyone else is frankly up to each of us individual audiophile-home theaterphiles!!! Just as Mr. Hardesty slams Mr. Reber, he could slam each of us if we don't do everything his way. I don't agree with such an approach. And that's that.


What's the old wife's tale "Folks who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Or put another way, is it really professional to be overly negative about the opposition? All I can say is I prefer the positive approach, emphasizing my opinions and beliefs and why, not being overly negative about those I disagree with (even if they frankly deserve it).


Mr. Hardesty appears to show us his SOUR GRAPES. Face it. Widescreen Review has become very "successful" and mainstream, from a magazine that back in 1991 - to 1993 only nerds like I read. All Along Mr. Hardesty states he wrote the new product sections, laserdisc and then DVD reviews, but often received no byline. Well - whose fault was that???? Mr. Hardesty didn't have to write those sections for Widescreen Review, did he? Just maybe Mr. and Mrs. Reber are actually making some good money finally from the magazine, but Mr. Hardesty isn't - because he never had any ownership interest. Just maybe he split over his non-piece of the pie. Maybe. "Only the Shadow" really knows.


Frankly, the exact "truth", heck if I know. And heck if I care. I do know that I am disappointed that Mr. Hardesty would write and disseminate such a mean spirited accussational article about what has been considered by many to be a top notch home theater magazine, one which emphasized ISFing and considering not compromising theater performance for the wife long prior to other publications getting there. Sure, maybe Widescreen Review is selling out to advertisers some these days - but Mr. Hardesty with each new surround processor reviewed gatting the best rating yet could be similarly accused, too. One must be careful about making such accusations because they can rebound from the glass right back at you.


With Mr. Hardesty now going to write for the competition, also great magazines, "The Perfect Vision" (I was an early subscriber to the original incarnation of that mag in the early 90's, too) and "The Absolute Sound", certainly if someone believes what Mr. Hardesty says they will cancel their Widescreen Review subscription and move over to Mr. Hardesty's new magazines. Just another factor looking like sour grapes.


I have heard both "traditional" stereo based home theater systems, as Mr. Hardesty believes are the only way to go, with front speakers angled from main listener only at 55 to 60 degrees, using on-wall surround speakers; and I've heard my system and a few others using all full range floorstanding speakers with wider angle placement closer to ninety degrees along a circle. I subjectively will put my system's sound and imaging up with any of them. And I do believe that room treatments, in my case adjustable Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers, do allow you to place the speakers farther apart yet maintain outstanding sonic qualities and great center phantom imaging. And my system sounds darn fine in stereo, too!!!!

(I'm not saying that if my system was music only, that I wouldn't place my front left and right speakers closer together, ala Mr. Hardesty, as I would - but for home theater and video I also use a front center top notch speaker, and I've had audiophiles with many years of experience, after some listening and debating, pretty much agree that my system is setup well considering its primary home theater purpose.) And our Az Audiophile Society heard a large room treated with Owens Corning, as is the Widescreen Review reference theater, and all of us were very impressed - even though Mr. Hardesty seems to bash Owens Corning, too. (BUt I often agree with Mr. Hardesty, that many theaters especially at shows are way overdamped and can sound terrible.)


**Mr. Hardesty could have taken a different approach with his article. He could have simply discussed his concerns about the current Widescreen Review reference theater and how it was done, and how with the same components he would have done the room, speaker layout differently in consideration of his years of experience. That would have been totally positive food for thought and something to really think about.


Just my two cents.
 

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I've let our fairly new member's posts stand - because it shows just what Mr. Hardesty intended with his vicious public stab at Mr. Reber, for folks to accept what he says on face value. But we don't know the full story. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Reber just ignores Mr. Hardesty's "sour grapes", for frankly, nothing good comes from stabbing back. Again, this is why our web forums here are so successful, because we try to embrace the positive, not the negative.


AND this is why as MODERATOR I ask that further comments be directed to the substance of Mr. Hardesty's newsletter regarding proper or best audio and home theater setup, the actual issues to us of interest in setting up our stereo and home theaters.

I will delete negative type comments discussing the plaguarism allegations, because its not the type of stuff we want here in this forum. Believe me, the Administrator, Owner and me as Moderator here are fully in accord on this. And that is that.

Let Mr. Hardesty go grind his axe somewhere else. And lets use our forums here for the purpose they're intended for, to learn and to discuss, not to spread negative stuff about anyone. But if we can, lets discuss the substantive audio and home theater issues which Mr. Hardesty raises, because they are all solid points for discussion.
 

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Somebody ask Sen. Joseph Biden if this is plagerism.

Seriously, before jumping to conclusions, let the facts from both sides come out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
even though Mr. Hardesty seems to bash Owens Corning, too. (BUt I often agree with Mr. Hardesty, that many theaters especially at shows are way overdamped and can sound terrible.)
If I remember correctly the room is built using owens corning materials. The acoustical treatments are RPG diffusor system. I did not feel he was bashing either just the amount of treatment used in the room.

Quote:
**Mr. Hardesty could have taken a different approach with his article. He could have simply discussed his concerns about the current Widescreen Review reference theater and how it was done, and how with the same components he would have done the room, speaker layout differently in consideration of his years of experience. That would have been totally positive food for thought and something to really think about.
But how would you have handled the issue of plagiarism. Just let it go?


Obviously we do not all the fact and we should keep and opened mind, not taking sides without knowing the all the facts. We do not know if Hardesty has some other motives and we should not comment on his "sour grapes".


Hardesty does seem to have a lot of valid points. One thing I do know is that if what Hardesty says is true, then he needed to do somenthing about it (You can't let people steal your work and let them get away with it). If is not, I am sure he will pay the consequences. If I was Reber and these accusations are not true, I would defend myself in print and court.


At the end it is important for us to know who is telling the truth and who is not. It is sad though, for what ever reason, that it had to come down to this.
 

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"The truth". Frankly, I really don't care about their argument between Mr. Hardesty and Mr. Reber.

If they start fighting in the bar, and I'm the bartender, I tell them to take it somewhere else. And that's the approach of the AV Science forums, too.


I do care as a hobbyist about home theater. I'm interested in what both Mr. Hardesty and Mr. Reber say from a substantive home theater standpoint, and that's it, I don't agree with plaguarism if it occurred, but I also am not going to be the judge on it, either.


Yes, I feel Mr. Hardesty would be better served simply by being positive and not being overly negative about what now is his "opponent" publication. Instead, he talks about how the Widescreen Review systems sound terrible and Mr. Reber doesn't know a darn thing. Even if he's right, saying it doesn't make Mr. Hardesty look good to many of us. And I for one have followed partially in steps trod by Mr. Reber and also by Mr. Hardesty (and especially Russ Hirschelmann) and I am thankful for it in terms of my home theater!!!
 

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Folks, can the plaguarism discussion.


How do you feel about stereo and home theater imaging. Do the front speakers absolutely have to be at 55 - 60 degrees or less to the main viewer, or can you get sensational home theater sound using some acoustic treatments (I have Michael Green Pressure Zone Controller, adjustable), spreading the speakers farther apart, like I have, with four Aerial 10Ts and a Aerial CC5 center speaker, and of course using multiple subwoofers on the low and LFE end??? My Aerial 10Ts are, end to end, front left/surround left 130" from front right/surround right; and front left to surround left, and front right to surround right, 140" apart. Per what Mr. Hardesty says in his article, my system must sound terrible, right? Well, it sounds great (yes, I am biased!).


ANd I've heard dealer setups with Wilson Watt Puppys up front, Wilson center and on-wall surrounds/or Vandersteen center and on-wall surrounds; and even Revel with the on-wall Revel surrounds, which didn't hold a candle to my home theater sound, frankly because I felt the on-wall surrounds and placement just didn't work near as well as my having floorstanding full-range speakers pretty much equidistant, close to the ninety degree angles that Mr. Hardesty totally abhors.


Folks, its ok to disagree. What's your experience and thoughts on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Steve:


I have experimented between the two speaker placement options for a 5.1 system.


1)Placing the fronts at 45 degrees and surrounds at 135 degrees.


2)Placing frots at 30 degrees and surrounds at 110 degrees (ITU specification).


I have to say I liked the ITU specification better. The main reason was the surrounds sounded displaced to me. I was also not getting good back-surround phantom imaging from the surrounds. Using ITU specification the sound was more involved. Phantom maging from my surround was so awesome. I had to remind myself that there is not a speaker back there.


With the ITU specification I also experimented briefly with a phantom center channel. One day I forgot that I had turned the center channel of I watched three movies. I thought my system was sounding really good that day and decided to turn the center channel off to do more listening. I was amazed when I realized that the center channel had been off all this time. Now I do not use the center chennel anymore and only turn it on when I have guests.

What do you guys think of these three other subject covered in the watch dog and the Audio Perfectionist Journal 1 and 2.


1)Hardesty and Reber recommend long interconnects and short speaker cable. What is your preference and why?

Quote:
Audio Perfectionist Journal(journal #2 page 12).


A cable of a given lenght with moore current flowing trough it has a greater sonic inpact than one of equal lenght that is conducting less current. Shorter cables have less effect on the signal than longer cables. Cables feeding high inpedance loads have less impact than those feeding low impedence loads.


Power amplifiers typically have an input sensitivity of 1 to 1.5 volts and an input inpedance of 50 kilo ohms. Loudspeakers are typically in the range of 4 to 8 ohms inpedence and may requiere momentary peaks of 100 volts or more.


2)time and phase acurate speakers.


Here is a link to part of journal 6 and 7 regarding Vandersteen speakers. Read the last part by Shane Buettner entitled Journey to Enlightement. From bipolar speakers to time and phase acuracy: a personal journey into high-end audio.
http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/Pdf...%20excerpt.pdf


3)low Q, sealed subwoofers with first ordes crossover for speaker/subwoofer integration.for critical music listening.


Steve I know you have 5 Vandersteen 2wQ sealed, low Q, first order crossover subs.
 

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Steve,


Rather than get into the "who's right, who's wrong" side of this article, I'd like to point out a few things I agree with and a few things I disagree with, based on over 30 years of listening experience with a lot of speakers.


I think the "Dunlavy setup" example(i.e., at high end shows) that Hardesty uses as to a stereo pair producing a diffuse soundstage is faulty because, by his own words, the setup has multiple speakers in the same room. If the "smaller" models are set up at the "right angle", with the more expensive models then setup outside of the smaller models, on and on, as the signal is switched to the "outer" speakers, there will be more mass (the "inner positioned speaker cabinets) in the middle of the soundstage to absorb energy produced by the outer speakers. This alone would create a "hole in the middle" of the soundstage. Even in a good room, with proper acoustical treatment and one pair of stereo speakers, speakers placed widely apart MAY need acoustical treatment (like PZCs) which can build up energy in the middle of the rear of the "front" soundstage. This is strictly room dependent. For example, in my room, placing Floor Standing PZCs at 90 degrees in the shape of a "V" at the front of my listening room does not give any "apparent" increase in energy in the front of the soundstage where Hardesty says there will be diffusion. However, on the other hand, even without the PZCs front/center, in my audio listening room with the speakers positioned far greater apart than what Hardesty says is optimal, there is a perfect stereo image with excellent center fill, etc. But, I also have free resonant speakers with dynamic drivers. Not only are these type of speakers less fussy about where they are placed in the room, but they "disappear" more similar to planar speakers. Both my home theater and audio systems, which are set up in separate rooms, "break the rules" in the thread PDF article by Hardesty and everyone who has heard both systems, including members of the music department of Yale University, has simply been amazed at the sound reproduced. As a matter of fact, with just 2 stereo speakers and acoustical PZCs in my audio system, there is "surround sound" on recordings which have the proper ambient information in the recording.


I'm not sure I understand the point of Mr. Hardesty's article nor am I in any position to say that he is right or wrong, but I do know what my own listening experience tells me and as far as "angles" are concerned for speaker setup, the answer is "it all depends" on the type of speakers used, the listening room acoustics and the associated reproduction equipment used. If I went by Mr. Hardesty's "absolutes" for stereo and home theater listening, then neither of my systems should work... but they do and they work extremely well. There are no "absolutes" in stereo nor home theater listening. In every situation YMMV, IMHO.
 

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Hi Steve,

Since you and I have done so much critical listening in your HT in recent months, I find this thread interesting. My comments relate to this quote:


QUOTE "I have heard both "traditional" stereo based home theater systems, as Mr. Hardesty believes are the only way to go, with front speakers angled from main listener only at 55 to 60 degrees, using on-wall surround speakers; and I've heard my system and a few others using all full range floorstanding speakers with wider angle placement closer to ninety degrees along a circle. I subjectively will put my system's sound and imaging up with any of them. And I do believe that room treatments, in my case adjustable Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers, do allow you to place the speakers farther apart yet maintain outstanding sonic qualities and great center phantom imaging. And my system sounds darn fine in stereo, too!!!! "


RESPONSE. I'm basically a stereo guy and still learning about HT from Steve and others in the AAS club. So, when I first saw Steve's HT speaker setup I thought it would not image well in stereo. I thought the speakers were angled in or toed-in too much for stereo. However, I'm constantly amazed at how well his setup images in stereo music playback. In recent threads Steve has discussed our listening positions when reviewing my new Granite Audio Model #657 Tube CD Player. For our music listening we take turns sitting in the front row and the back row. The front speakers used for this music listening are toed-in so sharply that I still can't believe they image so well in the back row. The speakers are very capable of detecting and portraying even subtle differences in the soundstage created by different equipment or source material.
 

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The most informative aspect of Mr. Hardesty's watchdog is buried in the subwoofer section. To paraphrase, Mr. Hardesty found certain types of subwoofers lacking but could not directly say so in print because of fear of offending advertisers. I think it is important to find out if he was asked by the staff of WSR not to be critical or if he did it on his own.
 

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"1)Hardesty and Reber recommend long interconnects and short speaker cable. What is your preference and why?"


Oh yes I fully agree. I had short 1.5M and 2M Transparent Ultra XL balanced interconnects (and then Meitner/Bybee short balanced interconnects with built-in Bybee devices on amp end which sounded appreciably better than the Transparent) with long 25 foot Transparent Ultra XL Speaker Bicable, you know, expensive with those big network boxes. Sorry to say I lost a lot selling the Transparent and I learned a valuable lesson

regarding that just cause cables cost a lot doesn't make them worthwhile for the bucks or better performing than much less expensive cabling. And that the networks touted so highly by Transparent - I agree with audiophiles who feel they get in the way of communicating an accurate signal. When I moved my Bryston 7B amplifiers to my Aerial speakers, I initially used 25' Meitner thin balanced interconnects with Bybee external filters on the amp ends, and yes my system already I felt sounded more dynamic and clearer than before. And of course, then I changed out to the long 25' silver balanced interconnects from Granite Audio for a very nice further improvement, not using any Bybee devices on the amplifier side this time because we experimented and found that with the silver interconnects the Bybee devices clearly compressed and worsened the sound (whereas with the long Meitner interconnects the Bybee devices clearly improved the sonics).



"2)time and phase acurate speakers.


Here is a link to part of journal 6 and 7 regarding Vandersteen speakers. Read the last part by Shane Buettner entitled Journey to Enlightement. From bipolar speakers to time and phase acuracy: a personal journey into high-end audio.
http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/Pdf...%20excerpt.pdf "


I think there's a lot to be said for time and phase accurate speakers. But are they exclusively the best??? I don't think so. But Vandersteen makes fantastic speakers.


I might have been interested in the Vandersteen Model 5s for my home theater, but when they finally came out I had my Aerial 10Ts already!!!

And I luv 'em. But the Vandersteen speakers are some of the few that are time and phase accurate and that is a definite plus, provided that they image great and handle dynamics well because these qualities are SO IMPORTANT for a top notch sounding home theater.



"3)low Q, sealed subwoofers with first ordes crossover for speaker/subwoofer integration.for critical music listening.


Steve I know you have 5 Vandersteen 2wQ sealed, low Q, first order crossover subs. "


Yes I agree on the subs, absolutely. With my combo of how I've set up five Vandy subs to extend the five main speakers, and three Aerial subs for below 50Hz and LFE, I have the best of all worlds!!! By the way, I only use the 6dB slope with the Aerial subs, too, for I can hear the difference, a higher slope is not musical enough for me!!




SO YOU SEE, I agree that Mr. Hardesty has a lot of good things to say. But I personally don't care for some of his approach. The only person who I think ever deserved to brag and brag was Muhammed Ali, what a fighter and dancer!!! HA!
 

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Bhagi, as for Mr. Hardesty being asked not to say too much --- HELLO!!! Don't you think this is a practice which occurs throughout life, not just print magazines. No, I don't sanction or agree with it. Do you really think any of the print magazines, or perhaps even websites with advertising, are perfectly immune from financial considerations? Note I am simply asking the questions, as questions are positive, whereas if I don't want to jump to specific conclusions.


I personally think every print mag I subscribe to, and I subscribe to quite a few, has its share of financial compromises said at times - whether the compromise is specifically requested or implied, or simply understood by the writer. And I don't think websites are immune, either. Its human nature.


By the way, I have heard of several times, from reviewers privately, where they felt they couldn't say something in their review which could be seen as overly negative to the product. I did promise to keep a confidence so I will. It does happen.

And I have no problem believing that Mr. Hardesty may have felt at times that he was under the gun to tow the line on some things, like subwoofers, too.


But the publications that Mr. Hardesty is going to, and I do like to read them (but I don't believe everything I read) has the same stuff going on, even if they say they never compromise. Phooey! Did you see refview in a mag several months ago with no mention of fan noise or OTA

problems with the Sony HD receiver, and these problems were all over the web.
 

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Steve, my point isn't to malign Mr. Hardesty but to point out that any print(or even web) review should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The problem is that print magazines are beholden to their advertisers not their readers. Unfortunately most readers may not understand this. The print magazines won't come out and say it either. No one person should be blindly held up as the be-all, end-all authority.

The reason I like Sound & Vision is that they actually print measurements of products(mainly receivers and subwoofers). If a receiver is noisy(poor S/N ration on stereo or DD) you can look at the measurements and tell. If a subwoofer has low output at 30 Hz, that one measurement can tell me more about that subwoofer than a 4 page review proclaiming that "this sub rocked my world."
 

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Quote:
The reason I like Sound & Vision is that they actually print measurements of products...
Just keep in mind that measurements rarely mean anything by themselves if the circumstances/method and/or equipment used isn't specified. Two subs that has identical measured ouput at 20Hz still doesn't tell you why one could be more musical than the other. Two amplifiers that measure identically in power output and frequency response won't determine how they "sound." And manufacturer specifications--well, suffice to say that they are practically useless for comparison.
 

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Quote:
Just keep in mind that measurements rarely mean anything by themselves if the circumstances/method and/or equipment used isn't specified. Two subs that has identical measured ouput at 20Hz still doesn't tell you why one could be more musical than the other. Two amplifiers that measure identically in power output and frequency response won't determine how they "sound."
The way S & V measures subs is standard. If I see a review of a sub that can only play 80dB at 25 Hz and a reviewer that says it was a "powerful sub that plumbed the depths" then I know that reviewer is FOS. As far as subs being musical, a properly designed subwoofer, if set correctly will be "musical"(whatever that means).

The worst kind of bias is when a reviewer and a distributor or manufacturer are close friends. If the reviewer comes out and states that at the beginning of the review, that is commendable but I haven't seen that too often.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Steve:


I just remenbered that when we attended Widescreen Review's Reference HT, Reber said that he had changed the angle of the front speakers from 90 degrees to 70 degrees because of poor imagin.
 
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