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I am a total newbie to this forum but I been around the block a bit with stereo systems. I hate to jump in on the side that seems to be getting butchered but I cannot see any flaw in Schadenfreude's advice for selecting the best "sounding" speaker you can afford.


It is quite understandable that you may be physically incapable of setting up speakers as he suggests, or not have a place available close by that you can get speakers to test, or even have the funds to purchase several speakers while you check them out. However if you are not hindered by any of the above excuses, his recommendations to have a head-to-head test is without flaw. The only way to tell if a speaker sounds better than another one in a given environment, is to bring it to that environment and play it against the other.


I must admit that I have on several occassions purchased a speaker without testing it or comparing it against another. I went totally on looks, price, and reputation of the company. I am also proud to boast that I am absolutely amazed at how wonderful my subwoofer is that I bought from SVS. Was that the correct way for me to select a speaker? I think not. To have been totally confident that I was getting the best bang for my buck, I should of compared it to other subs in a side-by-side test. Do I think I made a mistake for not comparing it? I dearly love my sub and have not regrets. However that does not mean it was the right way to pick the best sounding speaker.


I am glad Florida is enjoying his speakers and is happy with them. I am also glad he elected to share his excitement with us. Enjoy and thanks for sharing. Seems I have another type of speaker to attract my attention. Can't wait to see the pictures.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holydoc
I am a total newbie to this forum but I been around the block a bit with stereo systems. I hate to jump in on the side that seems to be getting butchered but I cannot see any flaw in Schadenfreude's advice for selecting the best "sounding" speaker you can afford.


It is quite understandable that you may be physically incapable of setting up speakers as he suggests, or not have a place available close by that you can get speakers to test, or even have the funds to purchase several speakers while you check them out. However if you are not hindered by any of the above excuses, his recommendations to have a head-to-head test is without flaw. The only way to tell if a speaker sounds better than another one in a given environment, is to bring it to that environment and play it against the other.


I must admit that I have on several occassions purchased a speaker without testing it or comparing it against another. I went totally on looks, price, and reputation of the company. I am also proud to boast that I am absolutely amazed at how wonderful my subwoofer is that I bought from SVS. Was that the correct way for me to select a speaker? I think not. To have been totally confident that I was getting the best bang for my buck, I should of compared it to other subs in a side-by-side test. Do I think I made a mistake for not comparing it? I dearly love my sub and have not regrets. However that does not mean it was the right way to pick the best sounding speaker.


I am glad Florida is enjoying his speakers and is happy with them. I am also glad he elected to share his excitement with us. Enjoy and thanks for sharing. Seems I have another type of speaker to attract my attention. Can't wait to see the pictures.
Lemme clear up the confusion and tell you all why he's getting slammed here. It's because he's like a broken record, constantly harping "side by side" over and over again in every thread. Basically if you did side-by-side comparisons before you chose your speakers and/or if you chose Paradigms (which he sells), you did the right thing. If you did ANYthing else, he tell you you're wrong, you can't possibly know you made the right choice, he tries to make you feel like a moron, and he actually goes as far as to state that your post was completely useless to everyone here because you did not do a side-by-side comparison. He even said in this very thread that he's trying to save people from their own stupidity and ignorance! That's just rude and wrong. If you don't believe me, look up his other posts. It's all right there.


There are MANY valid ways to select speakers, and it varies depending on the customer's needs and desires. We're talking about SPEAKERS here people, not the correct surgical procedure to save your dying mother's life!!! The man's points are not completely wrong, it's his attitude and one-track mind about this side-by-side thing that's annoying the living h*** out of some of us.


The bottom line is, FPB was excited about his new speakers, and he wanted to share with us and tell us about his experiences and how happy he is with his choice (and I for one enjoyed reading about it, thank you FPB). There was no reason for ANYONE to come into his thread and bash him and tell him how wrong he was and try to save him from his own ignorance. Make all the suggestions you want, but don't take an attitude with the guy for sharing his experience. It's people like that that are giving AVSforum a bad rep on other forums, and they're the reason a lot of cool audio enthusiasts aren't bothering to participate here anymore. I know I don't want to waste my time in a place where every time someone wants to talk about his new speakers, a dealer or other jerk comes in here and tries to put him down.
 

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Originally Posted by jewel5
Why don't some of you understand that not everyone can or wants to go to B&Ms to demo and take home speakers. The nearest B&M stores are 50 miles from me. I work a full-time and a part-time job, the time off that I have, I have other things to do than go spend a few hours listening to speakers. There's no guarantee that even if I went, the showrooms would be set up correctly, so they may sound like crap anyway. As far as taking them home to demo, I'm a 5'1" female, 120lbs, do you think I could lug big speakers back & forth from the store, to my home, and back? No, when I bought the speakers that I have, I had to get help to even unpack them.
Hey Jewel... I got a handtruck I could lend ya... ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jewel5
Doing store demos won't tell you how it's gonna sound with your equipment, room, etc, anyway. If you read reviews, and enough people like them, you can get at least an idea of their sonic charicteristics, and be reasonably assured they aren't crap. In the end, if you buy a pair that you don't like, sell them and try out another pair. How hard is that? If you're lucky and have the time to go audition, I say go for it, but not everyone has that luxury. I'd rather spend my time off at home listening to tunes on speakers that I bought unheard and LOVE! :D I did research online for about a year before purchase, though. Point is, however people decide to choose their speakers, good for them, let them enjoy instead of hounding them about the way they came to their decision. If you don't hold weight to their demo method, ignore it.
You go girl!

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Originally Posted by jewel5
What's next, should we bring home multiple HDTVs/Plasma TVs for in home demos?? :eek:
Oooo now that sounds like fun! :D
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinjb
Lemme clear up the confusion and tell you all why he's getting slammed here. It's because he's like a broken record, constantly harping "side by side" over and over again in every thread. Basically if you did side-by-side comparisons before you chose your speakers and/or if you chose Paradigms (which he sells), you did the right thing. If you did ANYthing else, he tell you you're wrong, you can't possibly know you made the right choice, he tries to make you feel like a moron, and he actually goes as far as to state that your post was completely useless to everyone here because you did not do a side-by-side comparison. He even said in this very thread that he's trying to save people from their own stupidity and ignorance! That's just rude and wrong. If you don't believe me, look up his other posts. It's all right there.
If this is indeed the case, then I understand now why the inquisition was sent in. ;)


FPB keep those comments coming. Jewel please be careful lifting those TVs. Einstein, thanks for putting things in a better perspective.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by einsteinjb
Lemme clear up the confusion and tell you all why he's getting slammed here. It's because he's like a broken record, constantly harping "side by side" over and over again in every thread. Basically if you did side-by-side comparisons before you chose your speakers and/or if you chose Paradigms (which he sells), you did the right thing. If you did ANYthing else, he tell you you're wrong, you can't possibly know you made the right choice, he tries to make you feel like a moron, and he actually goes as far as to state that your post was completely useless to everyone here because you did not do a side-by-side comparison. He even said in this very thread that he's trying to save people from their own stupidity and ignorance! That's just rude and wrong. If you don't believe me, look up his other posts. It's all right there.


There are MANY valid ways to select speakers, and it varies depending on the customer's needs and desires. We're talking about SPEAKERS here people, not the correct surgical procedure to save your dying mother's life!!! The man's points are not completely wrong, it's his attitude and one-track mind about this side-by-side thing that's annoying the living h*** out of some of us.


The bottom line is, FPB was excited about his new speakers, and he wanted to share with us and tell us about his experiences and how happy he is with his choice (and I for one enjoyed reading about it, thank you FPB). There was no reason for ANYONE to come into his thread and bash him and tell him how wrong he was and try to save him from his own ignorance. Make all the suggestions you want, but don't take an attitude with the guy for sharing his experience. It's people like that that are giving AVSforum a bad rep on other forums, and they're the reason a lot of cool audio enthusiasts aren't bothering to participate here anymore. I know I don't want to waste my time in a place where every time someone wants to talk about his new speakers, a dealer or other jerk comes in here and tries to put him down.
Very well said.
 

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Well, as is often the case on these forums , questions are asked, people get defensive then say something to the guy asking the questions, then he gets his underwear in a bunch, etc.

For what it's worth, sad wil be the day when we purchase speakers ONLY on looks and price, and without demoing ability, that's where we're headed.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Wow, this thread seems to have been revived! What the heck, let me explain my position again. I totally agree that the ideal way to audition speakers is direct A/B comparisons, ideally in a "blind" configuration. The real benefit to this "absolute" approach is knowing with certainty that you are buying THE best sounding speaker for you. In reality, however, it is rare that you can get ALL the eligible speakers in the same place (ideally YOUR OWN listening room), at the same time, with the same amps, etc., and be able to perform such a comparison. Most people wind up doing as I have done, auditioning candidates where and when we could, taking notes to keep the aural memories fresh, using other factors such as size, cost, appearance, etc. in our deliberations. I am reasonably confident that my speaker choice was , if not the absolute best sonically (who can audition every speaker made?), at least a very good choice for me, all factors considered. As for an analogy, how many people choose their mates by a "blind A/B/ comparison?" Yeah, I thought not! We go through different candidates, weeding out those who are unsuitable, and narrow down our choices to a select few. With any luck the one we choose will be THE ONE, if not we can always upgrade later! :)
 

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Well, I'm probably going to regret this, but my favorite way to audition new speaks is with an unknown system and with only one pair in the room at a time. I relish getting almost as far from A/B as I can.


This, for me, adds to the nuance of the entire audition process, as it calls on the listener (if s/he's got a bit of experience) to flesh out in his mind the entire scope of how the system's addressing the speakers. You'll slowly fill in the variables one by one over time, and then "see" how they affect the speaker.


Yeah, it's controversial, and yeah it's going to get me flamed, but I think it's more fun -- which is what this hobby is all about -- as well as making you think about what's going on.


As a corollary to this, when you then use that particular solo loudspeaker on another system, you'll be able to do a mental laundry list of system-wide variables, and by a process of deduction, begin to realize what's the system "talking" and what's the speaker speaking.


It takes a lot more time, but in the end, you end up with a short list of what the speaker's doing and a longer list of what the system's doing. At this point I'm typically surprised all over again just how much of what we attribute to the speaker is actually the system. Speaker foibles are easy and expected and they're fairly noticable. System variables are more complex and what's really interesting is when you begin to get handle on the sound of the speaker/amp interface, which is a biggie.


Yes, this is a little different strategy, but if you have the time and a little experience doing this, plus if you like to try to sleuth stuff out like this, you may end up with a better handle on Speaker A vs. Speaker B than you'd expect.


Plus, it's fun!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy
Wow, this thread seems to have been revived! What the heck, let me explain my position again. I totally agree that the ideal way to audition speakers is direct A/B comparisons, ideally in a "blind" configuration. The real benefit to this "absolute" approach is knowing with certainty that you are buying THE best sounding speaker for you. In reality, however, it is rare that you can get ALL the eligible speakers in the same place (ideally YOUR OWN listening room), at the same time, with the same amps, etc., and be able to perform such a comparison. Most people wind up doing as I have done, auditioning candidates where and when we could, taking notes to keep the aural memories fresh, using other factors such as size, cost, appearance, etc. in our deliberations. I am reasonably confident that my speaker choice was , if not the absolute best sonically (who can audition every speaker made?), at least a very good choice for me, all factors considered. As for an analogy, how many people choose their mates by a "blind A/B/ comparison?" Yeah, I thought not! We go through different candidates, weeding out those who are unsuitable, and narrow down our choices to a select few. With any luck the one we choose will be THE ONE, if not we can always upgrade later! :)
Nicely said FPB. Ya did fine. :) Enjoy those Swans... I'll be joining you soon! Wooo! :D


DenW: Thank you sir.


Jake, my Paradigm-dealing friend: No one said a word about not auditioning!! Jeez!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Lane
Well, I'm probably going to regret this, but my favorite way to audition new speaks is with an unknown system and with only one pair in the room at a time. I relish getting almost as far from A/B as I can.


This, for me, adds to the nuance of the entire audition process, as it calls on the listener (if s/he's got a bit of experience) to flesh out in his mind the entire scope of how the system's addressing the speakers. You'll slowly fill in the variables one by one over time, and then "see" how they affect the speaker.


Yeah, it's controversial, and yeah it's going to get me flamed, but I think it's more fun -- which is what this hobby is all about -- as well as making you think about what's going on.


As a corollary to this, when you then use that particular solo loudspeaker on another system, you'll be able to do a mental laundry list of system-wide variables, and by a process of deduction, begin to realize what's the system "talking" and what's the speaker speaking.


It takes a lot more time, but in the end, you end up with a short list of what the speaker's doing and a longer list of what the system's doing. At this point I'm typically surprised all over again just how much of what we attribute to the speaker is actually the system. Speaker foibles are easy and expected and they're fairly noticable. System variables are more complex and what's really interesting is when you begin to get handle on the sound of the speaker/amp interface, which is a biggie.


Yes, this is a little different strategy, but if you have the time and a little experience doing this, plus if you like to try to sleuth stuff out like this, you may end up with a better handle on Speaker A vs. Speaker B than you'd expect.


Plus, it's fun!
YOU'RE WRONG THAT'LL NEVER WORK YOU CAN'T DO THAT HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST IT WHATTA MORON!!! Lol. ;)


Sorry Jon, I couldn't help myself, hehe. Actually that's a really interesting thought process you've got there and while some here WILL tell you you're wrong, I think it's just another example of the fact that there are infinite ways we might go about making these kinds of decisions and very few of them are WRONG as long as we're satisfied that we made the best choice for ourselves. (Of course if you simply bought something, like I dunno maybe for example a particular overpriced brand that starts with "B" and has 4 letters, without hearing it compared to anything else simply because you "heard" somewhere that it's the BEST, well, THAT would be wrong. :p )
 

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I think Jon is onto something here. Ultimately the goal (at least as far as sound is concerned) is to determine what sounds best to you, not what sounds best relative to another speaker. However, this takes an extraordinarily sophisticated ear and confidence in your own discernment. The 'easy' way is to put them side by side and 'discover' which you like the most, but if you really are at the level Jon is then I can see why he runs away from that as far as possible. Putting speakers side by side deflects him from his own frame of reference in deference to some bozo at /insertspeakerhere/. Even he could theoretically, I assume, conclude a speaker is 'bright' (or whatever) and not be sure if it was a relative or absolute judgment.


His approach is probably only good for about 5% of us, and I'm only about 85% away from that, but ultimately, in the true sense of the word, he's probably right.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigan4
I think Jon is onto something here. Ultimately the goal (at least as far as sound is concerned) is to determine what sounds best to you, not what sounds best relative to another speaker. However, this takes an extraordinarily sophisticated ear and confidence in your own discernment. The 'easy' way is to put them side by side and 'discover' which you like the most, but if you really are at the level Jon is then I can see why he runs away from that as far as possible. Putting speakers side by side deflects him from his own frame of reference in deference to some bozo at /insertspeakerhere/. Even he could theoretically, I assume, conclude a speaker is 'bright' (or whatever) and not be sure if it was a relative or absolute judgment.


His approach is probably only good for about 5% of us, and I'm only about 85% away from that, but ultimately, in the true sense of the word, he's probably right.
You'r entirely too generous, Wigan4, not that I won't lap it up anyway... ;)


But seriously, I began to develop a theory years ago, and while it'll never be proved beyond the subjective, empirical level, it basically says that provided their yardstick is natural sound, a majority of folks will react more or less favorably or unfavorably to similar auditory queues. It's as if our psychoacoustical makeup "agrees" with one another ... which makes sense if our frame of reference is the sound of nature or the sound of unamplified music.


This doesn't dovetail directly into my premise about single-speaker evaluations and changing their driving systems except to point out that, if it is true, you may want to trust your ears regardless of environment. And by extension, that you're not as far from that ability -- provided you need to develop it at all -- as you may think.


Add in the "fun" component, and it seems to make sense to crack a beer and do some tunes and let your long-term reaction be your guide. Which, ironically, argues for extended listening, non-critical evaluations (let the "zen" of the thing talk to you and don't aggressively pursue left-brained decisions,) and not so incidentally, the 30-day in-home auditions we ID companies offer.


Anyway, it's just a work in progress so hopefully I won't get too raked over the coals for it. All I know is that over time I connect to any given rig enough that I can usually pick out what the speaker is all about and I don't usually have to take in other frames of reference. And I've seen this reaction to the sound of any one rig from my customers too many times to ignore it: When it's right, it's simply right.


And if it's not, just trust yourself. If anything makes you uncomfortable about the sound you're getting, while you may initially be challenged to figure out what it is, trust that it's there and move on.
 

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How often do people go out and listen and listen and listen, pick the 'winner' of the 'listen offs', and 6 months later they gradually conclude the speaker is too X for them and decide to sell it and upgrade?


I guess you could theoretically make the argument you should buy speakers by sound curves, it seems to me a binary 'listen off' is only slightly more sophisticated than that. You can tell which is better than the other to you, but if you can't trust your own ears (which I wouldn't) you simply can't arrange the 50 'listen offs' to wade through them all.


Of course, I think the approach changes if you're comtemplating a $25K commitment vs a $2.5K commitment, too.


For me, I'll probably just buy some Swan 6.2s when I'm settled--the absolute worst that could happen is I'll have a pair of the prettiest kayaks in town!
 

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For what it's worth said:
I'm not really addressing you directly, but this seems to be the theme for many posters. Everyone is so concerned about how someone else makes choices. The quote above should not read "when we purchase speakers only on looks and price," it should say "when I purchase speakers only on looks and price- it will be a sad day." People should only be concerned about themselves. I can understand if someone is connecting components incorrectly or misquoting a price, then they would need to be corrected. But the way someone conducts his decision-making is not and should not be a concern for anyone else but him.


Basically, if someone chooses to use a team of howler monkeys flipping coins to make a purchasing decision.......so what. It affects no one other than him. I for one, would laugh at his post and move on. No reply needed. I mean, how can you argue with a guy who made a purchase and is perfectly happy with it? Just let him be happy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApolloCreed
Basically, if someone chooses to use a team of howler monkeys flipping coins to make a purchasing decision.......so what. It affects no one other than him. I for one, would laugh at his post and move on. No reply needed. I mean, how can you argue with a guy who made a purchase and is perfectly happy with it? Just let him be happy.
I would have no problem with a person making a decision this way if he wanted to either. Now if that same person posted that he liked speaker A better than speakers B with out telling us about the "howler monkeys flipping coins" then I would want to ask how he demoed the speakers and came to a decision. I don't see a problem in asking how the speakers were demoed and any other questions that may be important. It seemed like that people jumped down Schadenfreude throat for just asking for clarification. Now, knowing his past history, I can understand why they did but I think it is still important for people to feel free to ask how the speakers were demoed and decided for themselves if the method was valid for themselves.
 

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a couple of things: I think the problem people had w/ schadenfreude, wasn't his questions but rather his dismissing the op's method of selection as of having no value... One other thing, while a/b comparisons are an excellent way to hear sonic differences, it certainly imo does not supercede in home auditioning. Long term listening in the room your going to be using the speakers, is the best way imo to find speakers you will enjoy. While a/b comparisons are useful, they can sometimes be misleading. For example the speaker w/ perceived clarity on a/b test, may be too harsh for long time listening at home. On the other side the deep warm sound of the a/b winner may prove to be flat or dull on the long time listener.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarg
a couple of things: I think the problem people had w/ schadenfreude, wasn't his questions but rather his dismissing the op's method of selection as of having no value... One other thing, while a/b comparisons are an excellent way to hear sonic differences, it certainly imo does not supercede in home auditioning. Long term listening in the room your going to be using the speakers, is the best way imo to find speakers you will enjoy. While a/b comparisons are useful, they can sometimes be misleading. For example the speaker w/ perceived clarity on a/b test, may be too harsh for long time listening at home. On the other side the deep warm sound of the a/b winner may prove to be flat or dull on the long time listener.
BINGO!!!! Agreed on all counts Sarg! Nicely put.
 

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for my ht in the basement I have the swan 6.1 and c3

fantastic.


I am contemplating a second ht in the bedroom and am thjinking of getting the 4.1's along with the c2 and sw r3 to be powered by a panasonic xr 70 digital amp or jvc 402/ 702 digital amp


as the speakers are all 4 ohms will this be a problem
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicneo
for my ht in the basement I have the swan 6.1 and c3

fantastic.


I am contemplating a second ht in the bedroom and am thjinking of getting the 4.1's along with the c2 and sw r3 to be powered by a panasonic xr 70 digital amp or jvc 402/ 702 digital amp


as the speakers are all 4 ohms will this be a problem
Hi vinceo,


You and I just PM'd about this. No problem whatsoever for the Panny...
 
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