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Can someone please clarify for a newbie the semantic difference between "bright" and "warm" as far as speakers are concerned?


I always thought that "warm" meant more "musical and natural sounding" and was hence *always* preferable to "bright" which meant tinny and "digital-sounding". But I guess I have the terms confused if some are saying here that "bright" is their preference for music (?!).


I was just about to finalize my purchase for a set of Rockets but now I might have to go with the Ref 1, based on another thread I just read. I have a new NAD T762 and want to set up my system for 99% music listening, with movies once in a blue moon. I will mainly listen to redbook CDs but also some SACD and DVD-A so my set up will be 5.1, not just two channel.


So should I be looking for "bright" or "warm" speakers?


I basically want what sounds the most natural. I also want whatever speakers most create that feeling of the band materializing right in front of you.


I have always found CD and DVD sound to be somewhat irritating to the ear compared to a very good LP set up. The negatives about LP are of course hiss but other than that, good LPs sound very smooth, like a babbling brook, compared to CDs and DVDs which, imho, sound like they are missing something. I always thought that audiophiles referred to LP sound as "warm" but do I have my terms reversed?
 

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Here is the Stereophile Glossary. It's a great resource for sorting out these terms.

http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?50:0


Hope that helps, but the wildcard is how and by whom the terms are used. One person's "detailed" (good) will be another's "analytical" (bad), and anothers "veiled" (bad) will be another's "warm" (good).


"Bright" is a bit different, it's not necessarily the opposite of "warm" as you'll see.
 

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bright and warm mean deviations from true neutral sound. Some people like 'bright' sound, such as what klipsch speakers give. Others prefer warm, euphonic sound, such as what the paradigm atoms give. Neither speaker is really neutral.

It's possible to have sound that is both bright and warm, such as the sound from the grado sr-60 headphones.
 

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Evolved,


I second what others have said above. Both "bright" and "warm" are, in my sense, more often used negatively than positively. If you ask me whether you should be looking for "bright" or "warm" speakers, then I would say neither (at least they are both unfavorable for me). Sound from both of these speakers would be colored and not neutral.

Quote:
I basically want what sounds the most natural.
I understand your desire, but the problem is, the nature of "natural" sound (pun intended) differs enormously from person to person. So, you do need to establish your own perspective of desirable and undesirable sound. Verbal descriptions are only relative, and will not help you much unless you have your own point of reference. The only way to establish your own "database" of sound quality is to listen to as many different speakers as possible. This database has to be based primarily on your own auditory perception, rather than verbal descriptions by somebody else.


I am a big fan of classical music (both listening and performing), and for me, live orchestral and chamber concerts provide a "golden standard" for sound reproduction. Since classical music is usually 100% acoustic, it provides a very unforgiving point of reference.
 

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Evolved, referring to a previous thread you were on, I was using "warm" as a positive attribute in this sense:


warm: The same as dark, but less tilted. A certain amount of warmth is a normal part of musical sound.


To me, "warm" is good and synonomous with a pleasing and forgiving sound, however "dark" is overly warm and not a good thing.
 
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