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Amir was banned from this site and many others so started his own. good luck to him.
 

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I agree.

I love all the data, but I am growing concerned that it’s amounting to a LOT of dyno sheet bench racing and not enough actual, first hand listening experience.

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That is 100% all that site is. Those of us that know better should not be feeding the bears

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Yes and I am glad you posted it. Bear123, aarons915, and others posting there are spot on. There are always flaws to find, but I think Amir's subjective comments don't reflect the objective measurements, which are honestly better than most on the market. It's almost as if he went out of his way to slam the speaker. I hope I'm wrong.
I want to be clear and not imply that one can't have subjective opinions on the sound of a speaker. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound, and that's fine. I just felt that even his notes on the measurements were harsher than other speakers that measured worse, which got better remarks. There seems to be a lack of consistency there.
 

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I want to be clear and not imply that one can't have subjective opinions on the sound of a speaker. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound, and that's fine. I just felt that even his notes on the measurements were harsher than other speakers that measured worse, which got better remarks. There seems to be a lack of consistency there.

Agreed. Simple factual statements about aspects of measured performance couldn’t be made without some type of derogatory qualifier. And these are definitely not present in his other reviews.

I’ve got no beef with him and have enjoyed his DAC and amplifier data very much.


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the testing as more products get reviewed and shared may lead to something. I would like testing/measurements to be of a musical clip...but Im a nobody.
 
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the testing as more products get reviewed and shared may lead to something. I would like testing/measurements to be of a musical clip...but Im a nobody.
Consumer Reports tried that back in the day. They made high quality recordings of a well engineered loudspeaker in a heavily damped room, And then did an ABX trial with listeners who heard the loudspeaker used for the recording in comparison with another loudspeaker playing the recorded sound of the reference speaker. I'm not clear on all the details of the protocol, but the objective was to ask listeners to rank how closely a given speaker matched the sound of the same recording played through the reference speaker. Participants weren't asked which they preferred--just how close the two speakers matched. CR claimed that the listening test results closely matched the measurement tests. I can see some inherent problems with the protocol, and CR never went into any detail about how they correlated the listening rankings with the measurements, or just how closely they tracked. But the objective of removing personal preferences about speaker sound in order to judge what a speaker was supposed to do--recreate the original event--was admirable.

As for Amir and his subjective comments, they're a very small piece of what the web site is all about. There are probably 1000's of places on the Web where you can read subjective reviews of speakers. What Amir is trying to do is provide a very large library of state of the art measurements. Hopefully they will help us understand which areas of measured performance seem to be important, and which aren't. I think his cursory subjective comments at the end are not to be taken very seriously because he has strong preferences that may not match yours or mine. His contribution stands or falls on the relevance and accuracy of the Klippel tests. That's why I sent him one of my speakers. I know them inside and out--strengths and weaknesses--and I want to see whether his results seem to correlate with what i know about the speakers. Naturally, I'm interested to hear what he has to say about their sound, but that's very very secondary. They happen to be mini monitors, and if he trashes them because the woofers bottom out playing heavy metal at reference levels, I'll just dismiss his comments as dumb and move on. But if he trashes them because one of the many measurements in the Spinorama protocol is sub par, and that specific result doesn't correlate with what I hear, then I'll know not to attach much weight to that particular type of measurement. The results should be interesting (for me at least).
 

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I want to be clear and not imply that one can't have subjective opinions on the sound of a speaker. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound, and that's fine. I just felt that even his notes on the measurements were harsher than other speakers that measured worse, which got better remarks. There seems to be a lack of consistency there.
Agreed. Simple factual statements about aspects of measured performance couldn’t be made without some type of derogatory qualifier. And these are definitely not present in his other reviews.
Speaking generally and without reference to either a product or a reviewer, the fundamental problem with - as someone recently said - benchracing, is that it misses experience. Similarly, the fundamental problem with shelf-of-speakers switcheroo "testing", aside from its technical deficiencies, is that it too risks missing the experience.

The experience is music and the standard is long term, relaxed, non-critical enjoyment, nothing more. Listening for a data confirmation is bias. Listening for more means not getting the axiomatic less-is-more at the heart of all good audio. Good audio is a destination more than a challenge (which explains how so many advanced experimenters working alone can get to the musically-connected and finely-tuned end product they just can't get commercially.) To arrive there means not doing anything that deviates from the practice, which is checking for enjoyment, connectedness, and fulfillment.

Everything else is academic. There is no predictive yardstick of what sounds most authentic - if that's our goal - that lies outside of experiencing a recorded performance the same way we hear a live performance: For genuine musical enjoyment and the joy of that experience. Live, unamplified music has no descriptive qualifiers; it's just the familiar sound of nature.

Abstract, visual data is deeply useful and necessary but it's not predictive. When it becomes a sighted bias I think it risks being counter-productive. When it's used to further a point of argumentation it may end up generations removed from the reason to do this, which is that experience. Of the hundreds of designs I've seen over the decades I've never seen one tuned strictly to the microphone. Every one begins there but then it purposely, willfully deviates from that single, possibly misleading metric because of more reasons than a designer cares to list. The only recourse is the one goal, and that goal isn't academic.

There are literally a thousand ways to build a flat-line, amplitude-first speaker out of one box and one combination of drivers. In a long post I recently highlighted that with real examples. It didn't develop into recognition of what is probably the single most important design element because of how casually data is used.

The question remains what do do with data.

Even this is completely fine if and when the purpose is to immerse in the reason to do this at all, which is the sound in your space, uninterrupted, over time, and without preconception or agenda. If that's why we'd audaciously use two boxes to attempt to recreate a performance, then that should be its ultimate, only standard. It's built in.

I''m not singling out any effort and for professional reasons I'd never review another product. Fortunately the goal is so elementary that we need only let it happen. That practice seems to be slowly returning to the pursuit, which is a very good thing.
 

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There are probably 1000's of places on the Web where you can read subjective reviews of speakers. What Amir is trying to do is provide a very large library of state of the art measurements. Hopefully they will help us understand which areas of measured performance seem to be important, and which aren't
Amen--that's really the key. Toole/Harman have started down that road in a systematic way identifying flattish axial response, smoothly declining off-axis response, and a reduction of resonances as primary indicators(note: not the only indicators) of preference, but even they have admitted that more research is necessary.

It's true good measurements can't tell you everything, as Jon so eloquently elucidated, but they can tell you some things--important things. For me, they can reveal if a loudspeaker is solidly designed to begin with, if there are certain spectral tilts that will appeal to my preferences, and if the trade-offs(thanks Hoffman),inherent in any design, are suited to my particular application.

The ASR S400 measurements look good to me, and are an example of a well-designed loudspeaker. I find it amusing that the beef was not so much with the measurements, but with the reviewer's subjective impressions.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. :)
 

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Why was he banned?
According to: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/understanding-audio-measurements.2351/

16. Aren't you a troublemaker online and banned from many forums?
Oh, I do have strong opinions about audio (and video). After many decades of this, you can't be human and not have strong opinions.

As to being banned from other forums, I have not been on many. I did co-found another forum called WBF. I had a falling out with my partner, sold out my half of the shares and my partner decided to ban me after a year because I would question his endorsement of $20,000 USB cables (not a typo). Pretty uncool but hey, ASR forum is born out of that disagreement.

I also got banned from computer audiophile for defending my review of a forum sponsor there. The reason for banning was some kind of commercial interest in competing products. I think that took just a couple of days to get banned so I don't think that counts. :D

For similar reason, while not banned and after contributing a ton on head-fi forum, my posts are being "moderated" (euphemism for the posts never seeing light of day).

And after some 15,000 posts on AVS Forum, and more than a decade, I did get banned out of there too because they considered my published audio research articles as "spam."

OK, so maybe I have been banned here and there. Shoot me. :D
 

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Amen--that's really the key. Toole/Harman have started down that road in a systematic way identifying flattish axial response, smoothly declining off-axis response, and a reduction of resonances as primary indicators(note: not the only indicators) of preference, but even they have admitted that more research is necessary.

It's true good measurements can't tell you everything, as Jon so eloquently elucidated, but they can tell you some things--important things. For me, they can reveal if a loudspeaker is solidly designed to begin with, if there are certain spectral tilts that will appeal to my preferences, and if the trade-offs(thanks Hoffman),inherent in any design, are suited to my particular application.

The ASR S400 measurements look good to me, and are an example of a well-designed loudspeaker. I find it amusing that the beef was not so much with the measurements, but with the reviewer's subjective impressions.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. :)
I'm still following as they look into that 500-600Hz resonance that seems to move around with successive measurements. It's not there in Buchardt's measurements using the same machine, so it's odd.

Also, several posters mention Amir does have a certain taste in speakers, which is absolutely fine. Just understand that when reading the reviews.

This post helps put things in perspective.
 

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That poster's assessment is spot on, imo.

That some lines on a graph can be more offensive to the eye than the ear is one of Jon's warnings in his recent posts about measurements, and Toole himself has said the same, so the point is well taken, but it would be interesting to find out where the discrepancy lies.

Even in the current situation, I don't have the time and patience to wade through that thread. The weather is far too nice outside. :)
 

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Interesting discussion here. I understand the sentiment that some of you guys don't want to post there due to personal issues/dealings with Amir. I'm sure people don't like me but hopefully that hasn't turned them off from wanting to investigate the data I am able to present because I think the data is useful. To be honest, the more enlightening aspect to all of this has not been so much that some speakers are garbage. It's that some measure quite well as a whole but the individual pieces are different enough to drive personal preference one way or another. For example, how a low-Q bump in the bass is preferred or the topic of low directivity vs high directivity.
 

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My S400's are currently about 30 inches out from the wall. A room reconfiguration means I may have to move my S400's back to just a few inches from the wall. This pushes the cancellation frequency up higher, which is good, but has anyone tried such a placement?

From the website:

5. I need to place them close to a wall, will they work?

The S400's perform best when you give them room to breathe. Ideally 2-3 ft (0.6-1m) away from any major piece of furniture or wall boundary.

If you must place them against a wall, there are a few things you can do to control the bass output if you notice that the bass gets to overwhelming and it masked the rest of the frequency band. You can use an EQ, a DSP (room correction) to tone down the room gain / room modes. It’s simply the side effect of having a speaker that has output in the low frequencies.

You might think that the S400 needs a lot of space due to the rear facing passive radiator, but the passive radiator only generates very low frequencies, these are completely omnidirectional, so it basically do not care about this. Unlike a ported design that needs air to “breath”.
 
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