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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All.


I thought that this thread/topic idea would be a good counterpoint to this thread that's been running a while:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1033093


While I certainly can agree that speaker aesthetics are important...are they as important as the actual sound?


I can think of many speaker models that are beautiful but their sounds is just lacking. Furthermore, one pays a LOT more in most instances for speakers that have a unique look, have granite bases, have fancy piano black finishes, or rare veneers.


For home theater, I think that as the popularity of AT (acoustically transparent) screens grows, I think that the importance of how speakers look will diminish (maybe only slightly).


For other venues (ie: 2 channel setups, etc.), looks may be just as important. I know that is why I still have the living room setup that I do as my wife loves the "furniture."


I think one good incident of how the tides are changing is that of the pro-audio world. For instance:


JTR Speakers: (product page)
http://www.jtrspeakers.com/triple12.html


Mark Seaton's Catalysts: (pics in the hot-linked thread)
The Catalyst


Danley SoundLabs: (product spec page)
http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/syner...odel=SH%20100B


All of those speakers are highly regarded by those-in-the-know in HT.


Also, DIY speaker options are becoming more and more of an option these days with the amazing amount of drivers, crossovers, and building products that are now available at reasonable prices.


Any thoughts or opinions? I thought it would be enlightening to get some dialogue on this particular subject...


..maybe post some pics of some butt-ugly speakers as well to keep it fun.
 

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I dunno man, i just cant have an ugly speaker sitting in my living room, plus the wife would kill me lol. But If it sounded incredible and looked horrible I guess I would just have to find some speaker grills that would hide the looks.


The same thing goes for the eclipse head units for automobiles, they are horrible to look at but they sound incredible.
 

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ball....chain


if she's not happy no one is
 

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For me, I value the sound quality more than the look (hence why I used to own Vandersteen's). However, taking into consideration where the speakers will be place, which is my living room as I don't have a home big enough for a dedicated 2-channel room, and including my wife's opinion, aesthetics quickly become important. Having a "furniture quality" set or package or speakers plus amazing sound quality is the best of both worlds. However, you'll pay heavily for both. In the end it comes down to the individual's preferences and budget, or maybe just what our wives allow us to do.
 

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aesthetics are tied to everything in life. If you loved how a car drived and hated how it looked, would you own it? If your partner was a nice person but hidiously ugly, could you be with them? Speakers are in some ways like jewelery. They are large and very visable and if you take pride in decorating your house then why would you want really ugly speakers? It will vary for every person and every situation, but for me the Aesthetics are the No.2 most important feature in a speaker (behind how they sound)
 

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You need my "Wife Whisperer" series of DVD's Brandon. Only 999.99 on 4 easy payments and I'll take $1 off the s/h because I feel for you.
 

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You might be interested in this thread. It was enlightening to me. Without question, in my little experience with the Aerials, aesthetics rule. Performance does not. Or perhaps both...but with aesthetics still calling the shots.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...398&highlight=

But you're correct, for stand-alone HT's with acoustically transparent screens...aesthetics shouldn't matter.
 

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The fact that in almost all non-dedicated rooms and even most dedicated rooms, speakers end up being a focal point. Especially with floorstanders, you have a large item right up front flanking the display... it's obviously going to garner some visual attention. Therefore, speakers have to offer atleast passable aesthetics, and for many who don't do listening comparisons, aesthetics end up becoming a differentiator and all too often a deciding factor. I wouldn't choose a speaker purely on aesthetics, but being a person with working eye balls, aesthetics do play at least a secondary roll in the decision making process. Luckily I was able to find great sounding, great looking, well priced speakers (Swans 6.1s, 2.1s, C3)... a trifecta that is particularly hard to assemble
 

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It's fairly easy to find good sounding, good performing speakers these days. Best of both worlds!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwc13ac /forum/post/15488442


It's fairly easy to find good sounding, good performing speakers these days. Best of both worlds!

Can a speaker sound good and perform badly, and vice-versa???



I don't think speaker aesthetics are important if all you're looking for is great sound (unless the enclosure is affecting the speaker's performance in a negative or positive way), but if a speaker can look great while still delivering the performance I want, then all the better!


However, if something was butt-ugly, I'm not sure I want it in my listening room. Neither would my wife, which is probably more important. However, for my tastes, ugly is a conventional right angle box speaker. I don't mind "crazy", heck, if someone gives me a pair of Alexandria X-2's, I'd take them!
Personally, I'd much rather have an outrageous design than a boring one.
 

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Who do you think is gonna pay $ 2835619060239452 for a pair of speakers unless they look like a super elite incomprehensible star wars architectural marvel. And when you pay $500 you want your guests to think it was $5000 when they see them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/15487243



Mark Seaton's Catalysts: (pics in the hot-linked thread)
http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/p...ost?id=2005875


Any thoughts or opinions? I thought it would be enlightening to get some dialogue on this particular subject...


..maybe post some pics of some butt-ugly speakers as well to keep it fun.

Hi John,


At least post to the current thread with related info for the speakers you are getting.

The Catalyst


Another company focusing directly on the installed home theater is PHC . The parallel stories are amusing, as the designer and owner, Paul Hales, made his name in hi-fi, then going on to design the first speakers to be offered by the pro audio company QSC. He later left to form PHC, where obviously he found some interesting potential to be gleamed from his experience at QSC. Here's a small pic of his largest speaker.




I've heard the mid size system twice at shows, and each time they have appeared to be very solid and impressive performers. While we have different approaches and somewhat different orders of priorities, there are certainly some parallels to things we are both doing.


Keith Yates has a great line he uses often...

"I don't get hired to showcase gear, I get hired to make goosebumps."
If you are really after a complete audio-video experience drawing you into the music and film, the last thing you want is equipment sitting in plain view to remind you they are reproducing the sounds you are hearing. In the end it's a distraction from the experience, and it's the listening experience which I am looking to facilitate, regardless of the means.


"It's all about the goosebumps..."
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance /forum/post/15487884


For me, I value the sound quality more than the look (hence why I used to own Vandersteen's). However, taking into consideration where the speakers will be place, which is my living room as I don't have a home big enough for a dedicated 2-channel room, and including my wife's opinion, aesthetics quickly become important. Having a "furniture quality" set or package or speakers plus amazing sound quality is the best of both worlds. However, you'll pay heavily for both. In the end it comes down to the individual's preferences and budget, or maybe just what our wives allow us to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/15487990


You need my "Wife Whisperer" series of DVD's Brandon. Only 999.99 on 4 easy payments and I'll take $1 off the s/h because I feel for you.

Can I get a set, too?
 

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If better aesthetic means shelling out more $ for better finish of the same speaker, I'd always do that. Assuming it doesn't cost that much more. If it's comparing between 2 different speakers with same SQ, I'd almost always choose the cheaper one. Except if it's for the living room or my office where other people can see it. Actually it's better if the wife doesn't see it as she'll start doing fengshui stuff to determine whether they are acceptable or not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwimage /forum/post/15487861


ball....chain


if she's not happy no one is

Exactly!!!



If it were up to me, asthetics is only skin deep but great sound comes from the soul. Give me ugly great sounding speakers over cosmetic beauties with mediocre sound any day.
 

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Speakers are furniture. I've heard some great speakers that I would never want to look in my living room and some speakers can be just to big, especially if you don't have much room. I've had to really be creative in setting up my speakers in some places. And in all actuality, speakers should be heard more than seen.

Plus, if you spend a lot on a nice set of speakers, they should look good too. One of the biggest reasons some speakers cost so much is cost of materials and craftsmanship to build them, like Kef Muon speakers.


btw - I was in Lowes the other day and saw these Onsia speakers - flat panel invisible speakers! You put them in the wall and plaster over them or put in a ceiling. Their not bad sounding but obviously not high fidelity.
 
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