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Old 10-21-2008   #25
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Default Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

I think that the term "best" is causing some issues. It is clear from the test description it is being used to describe the most frequent listener preference from a particular listener group. Does that mean that the top speaker choice will be the best sounding to every listener in every listening situation with every system? Of course not and I didn't hear anyone make that claim. It is still interesting and I believe useful to see what the results are from such a test. As a luthier (instrument builder) I have taken part in blind listenings of instruments and the same criticism can be made of them - we only listen to the group of instruments in one acoustic setting, it is even more fragile that speaker set ups because musicians have to play the instruments and their playing could vary, although a highly skilled musician should minimize that factor. At the end of the day we know that a certain preference was shown on that particular day by that particular group of listeners with that (or those) particular players. What it means takes some further thought and consideration but it does produce some useful results. For instance there have been Stradivarius instruments in every blind listening I've been at and they never are choosen as the best sounding instruments. Frequently recently built instruments are judged as the best sounding. I won't go into all the details, sometimes we manage to record and measure the instruments and get to try to corelate preferences to "scientific" sound measurement. There are many more variables with instrument listening than with speaker listening. I think you guys need to lighten up and take it as it is. Is there a general preference when you remove the factors of looks, reputation etc. and try to just get sonic opinion. I have owned several maggies, quads, kefs, psbs, eminent technology and am in the process of building Linkwitz's Orion speakers. It doesn't suprise me that the maggies and martin logans are top choices. Linkwitz, who has been working on the "what sounds best" question for some time has concluded that the dipole radiation pattern works best in most rooms and listening situations. It seems that many listeners agree with him.
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Old 10-22-2008   #26
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Default Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobstcyr View Post
I think that the term "best" is causing some issues. It is clear from the test description it is being used to describe the most frequent listener preference from a particular listener group. Does that mean that the top speaker choice will be the best sounding to every listener in every listening situation with every system? Of course not and I didn't hear anyone make that claim. It is still interesting and I believe useful to see what the results are from such a test.
Hi all;
I have been reading this thread and feel that this response starts to address my reaction to this test. Arguments about "best" are, according to this test, being selected by a group deemed by the testers as having good ability to hear. Nowhere did it say they had any ability to judge the sound quality of a speaker. What hs been their experience as listeners? What is their baseline of good sound?
I am just a old hobbyist who sees lots of shades of gray when discussions like this start up. Without incuding all speakers (my Aerial's were among those not mentioned but they might have been included, I just don't know) and without knowing anything about how the ears of those listening compare to how my ears listen, I find this study interesting but would question any "absolute" conclusion drawn from it. Although I can see how it would be used for marketing purposes...
That said, I still want to know how it all turns out!
BobP
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Old 10-22-2008   #27
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Default Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

A revisit by me. Consumer REports does these types of tests with above average success that guide millions of people in their buying habits, but looked into it is as subjective as other "tests" because it may not be what you look for in an item. They concluded the VW Rabbit was a great car, all shave cremes are the same, etc. Ages ago it was concluded in a scientific test that all CD players sounded the same. What most people like is subjective and often it equals what they are comfortable with. Not knowing it, they are still more comfortable with the sound they have been hearing from their system for years. Their ears and brains think that is right. Take someone who listens to groups in small venues and they will like a certain sound. Take someone who listens to live music in big halls and they will like that type of sound. It is all subjective. For me, I would, almost, sooner own a boom box then own a Martin Logan or Maggie. I find real problems with both that I can hear as soon as the music is turned on and it never goes away. That is me. If you go to live music you are in a better position to judge, but it is still your call and tests of 10 or 10,000 people should mean very little, if anything, to your decision. It should mean nothing for then those people in the test have found speakers that they probably like. Good discussion material and argument material, but no more.
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Old 10-22-2008   #28
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Cool Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

Unlike math and physics this is not exact science at the end of the day it is an opinion. You can have a speaker pass all the computer, oscilloscope test you want, what matters is how it sounds to YOU and no one else so go and listen.
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Old 10-22-2008   #29
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Default Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

Does Mission not make speakers any more? I've had a pair of those and they sounded quite good to me. My point here, though, is I don't understand how you can conduct a study like this without including Mackie HR824 (or whatever the latest incarnation of this line is) reference studio monitors. These are the very best sub-$1000 monitors I've ever heard and I bet Mackie would be happy to lend a pair to a legitimate study such as this one.
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Old 10-22-2008   #30
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Default Re: Best Sounding Speakers According to Scientific Tests

I whole-heartedly agree with you Paradigm lovers out there. While designing my new home, I also interviewed various "high end" stereo installation companies. The company I chose recommended the (Danish Audiophile Loudspeakers, Inc.) ) DALI's for my main home theatre and while they are absolutely superb (you didn't test them either), I thought the Paradigm 5.1's were equally as fantastic at a MUCH lower cost. As a matter-of-fact, I replaced the expensive (to me) Velodyne sub-woofer with the amazing Paradigm sub at a fraction of the cost, simply because in my opinion, it sounded MUCH better! I personally believe Paradigm's are some of the best sounding speakers in the market regardless of price. I suggest you include them in your future testing.
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