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Dick Dastardly

The Home Audio Thread.

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13 hours ago, v4lve said:

All looks phenomenal, I'd love to hear the Sony's at some point. As a brand they seem to be in a tight spot but they're making some interesting (maybe not totally sellable) product.   

Sony does something like that ($27k pair of speakers) to sell their regular product. But, I will say those are some of the best speakers I've ever heard.

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5 hours ago, mattsk8 said:

Sony does something like that ($27k pair of speakers) to sell their regular product. But, I will say those are some of the best speakers I've ever heard.

Totally get that, their push (return?) into personal audio is largely predicated on the perceived performance of the flagship stuff. The PH3 portable headphone amp, the HAPS1 desktop amp w/ built in nas, and MDRz7 headphones all seem to be fairly well received. They also have a turntable that, with software, can rip your vinyl to dad lol.  

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Good old highend audio.. 

 

Where sound is is directly related to price.

 

"these speakers sound like $20k speakers but only cost $15k.."

all a bunch of crap.

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13 hours ago, Dick Dastardly said:

Good old highend audio.. 

 

Where sound is is directly related to price.

 

"these speakers sound like $20k speakers but only cost $15k.."

all a bunch of crap.

Or, also likely,

"These 15K speakers won't sound good unless you have a 15K amp, 15K in cabling, 15K in source components and 5K in room treatments and are seated in the  perfect, measured seating position"

Edited by ruecatinat

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13 hours ago, Dick Dastardly said:

Good old highend audio.. 

 

Where sound is is directly related to price.

 

"these speakers sound like $20k speakers but only cost $15k.."

all a bunch of crap.

While I agree that there are points of diminishing returns as far as price / performance in speakers goes... I don't agree with your statement. I'm sure for many people that does apply, but I've been around enough to know what good sound is and regardless of the price, those Sony speakers sound incredible. I'd put them as my 2nd favorite in the building and they were by far and away not the 2nd most expensive in the building. I prefer them over the $60k Wilsons, the $80k YG Acoustics, the $70k Sonus Fabers... etc. My friends at Vapor had speakers there that were about $10k/pair IIRC, and those were close but not better than the Sony speakers... although I would take them over the $70k Sonus Fabers that were at the show. PSB speakers run about $8k for the pair (I think Crutchfield sells them), and those sound great... but not as good as the Sony speakers.

Psychoacoustics is a fun subject IMO. More than price... looks will have the biggest effect on your perception of what sounds better. In listening tests, people almost always choose the better looking speaker as the one that sounds better; but then they do the same group of speakers in a blind test, and those opinions almost always change. Price doesn't have as much of an effect. Look into Sean Olive's research, a lot of interesting stuff.

FTR, all the drivers in the Sony SSAR1 speakers are readily available to the public, they're all Scanspeak drivers. I actually have the larger version of the midrange they used in the Sonys in my own speakers, and I did that after I heard the Sonys 2 years ago. These are the drivers in the Sony speakers...

Tweeter: Scanspeak Illuminator 6600

Midrange: Scanspeak Revelator 15W

Woofer: Scanspeak Revelator 22W

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20 minutes ago, ruecatinat said:

Or, also likely,

"These 15K speakers won't sound good unless you have a 15K amp, 15K in cabling, 15K in source components and 5K in room treatments and are seated in the  perfect, measured seating position"

I agree on the cables, and to a degree the amps (but amps and preamps do have a large effect on the sound of a system). There was someone pushing these magnets that assure you have a "1 way signal" in your speaker wires. They were also selling these things that plugged into the spare outlets in your house's circuits. You could've easily spent over $10k on a bunch of snake oil BS in there. He stopped just shy of telling everyone these could cure world hunger. Don't remember the manufacturer.

Pretty funny crap on this site... Coconut Audio

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As far as lines of diminishing returns go... IMO the best bang for your buck speakers are these Elacs, these are unbelievable for their price. HUGE sound in a small cabinet, and for $500/pair... Elac UB5. I haven't heard anything that sounds close to those at double... triple (or more) money.

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I stand by what I said. It's the Only hobby that uses that comparison. 

You don't hear "this $400 turbocharger makes boost like an $800 turbocharger.."

you don't hear "these $130 shoes feel like $220 shoes"

"I don't know why this $100 paintbrush paints like a $50 paintbrush but I wouldn't buy it.."

 

Its just a way to quantify a subjective quality.. Since sound is 100% opinion, reviewers need some way to justify. 

 

You seriously believe that the only reason a $5k Conrad Johnson amp sounds how it sounds is because it was $5k? If they made it slightly cosmetically different and sold it for $1k it would sound different and be in a different league? 

Hifi is an esoteric hobby filled with morons who have too much money

2 hours ago, ruecatinat said:

Or, also likely,

"These 15K speakers won't sound good unless you have a 15K amp, 15K in cabling, 15K in source components and 5K in room treatments and are seated in the  perfect, measured seating position"

Right.. 

Or, "this $25k Amp sounds harsh and glaring, but it's not the amp, it's the speakers, cables, pre-amp, tone arm and cartridge that all need to be changed to make the system sound good.."

 You know, because the amp is so good it shows the faults of everything else..

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1 hour ago, Dick Dastardly said:

I stand by what I said. It's the Only hobby that uses that comparison. 

You don't hear "this $400 turbocharger makes boost like an $800 turbocharger.."

you don't hear "these $130 shoes feel like $220 shoes"

"I don't know why this $100 paintbrush paints like a $50 paintbrush but I wouldn't buy it.."

 

Its just a way to quantify a subjective quality.. Since sound is 100% opinion, reviewers need some way to justify. 

 

You seriously believe that the only reason a $5k Conrad Johnson amp sounds how it sounds is because it was $5k? If they made it slightly cosmetically different and sold it for $1k it would sound different and be in a different league? 

Hifi is an esoteric hobby filled with morons who have too much money

I'm not saying that hifi isn't inundated with BS, and there is a line of diminishing returns. My only point was that I didn't simply enjoy the Sony speakers because I knew how much they were. I think the Martin Logan Neoliths aren't very good at all and those are $80k for a pair. The Sonys are very well engineered. Even though there's a total of $2100 worth of drivers in them and maybe another (total guess) ~$700 in xover components... I know they spent 2 years engineering those, and there's more to a good sounding loudspeaker than just the drivers you choose (crossover and cabinet design). Are they worth $27k? Not to me. But if I had $27k to spend on speakers they would be.

And regarding the Conrad Johnson... I said the opposite. As far as me and my perception of sound quality goes, price has nothing to do with it, you're the one that keeps trying to make that statement. I would actually say that holds more truth on your end; you seem to be turned off if something does have a large price tag, therefore your perception of what sounds good or bad is influenced by the price.

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Again you miss the point.

Just forget it.  

You keep going in circles and then tell me my perception of sound is based on price because I don't like high prices...

that has nothing to do with my point.

and high price vs realistic or fair price are not the same.

 

 

 

Also, I am not necessarily saying "you" think all of these things.. Stop being so vain to assume this is about you. I am speaking of the hi end audio reviewing community as a whole where price is always a comparing factor. Period.  

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Do these conventions like to do blind comparisons? It'd be interesting to have them set up a room for blind comparisons and maybe a schedule of "bookshelf speaker blind test at 10, towers at 11". I guess it'd probably have to be more specific but surely there's a way to do it within reason. Amps seem like they'd be even easier because you can keep fixed speaker set up and positioning. Or do the manufactures suddenly become really opposed, because of various obscure technical reasons?

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3 minutes ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

Do these conventions like to do blind comparisons? It'd be interesting to have them set up a room for blind comparisons and maybe a schedule of "bookshelf speaker blind test at 10, towers at 11". I guess it'd probably have to be more specific but surely there's a way to do it within reason. Amps seem like they'd be even easier because you can keep fixed speaker set up and positioning. Or do the manufactures suddenly become really opposed, because of various obscure technical reasons?

Lol blind tests.. That's a whole other topic.. That is serious entertainment..

hifi guys HATE them and make all kinds of excuses why they don't work.

You'd be amazed how much other factors influence the sound. 

 

Sound is 100% subjective.. People will like what they like and it won't always be for the reasons they say they like it

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15 minutes ago, Dick Dastardly said:

Again you miss the point. 

Wasn't trying to be an ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD, I think I did miss your point. I agree that home audio is filled with snake oil and BS to sell to really gullible people with too much money. My only point was this... when I read your initial statement, which did follow my comment about the (very expensive) Sony SSAR1 speakers, I assumed you were referring to those speakers.

But to be honest, I'm not entirely sure where the line of diminishing returns is, I think it's blurry. And sometimes people (myself included) will assume something is either snake oil or overpriced junk, when in reality it actually works.

3 minutes ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

Do these conventions like to do blind comparisons? It'd be interesting to have them set up a room for blind comparisons and maybe a schedule of "bookshelf speaker blind test at 10, towers at 11". I guess it'd probably have to be more specific but surely there's a way to do it within reason. Amps seem like they'd be even easier because you can keep fixed speaker set up and positioning. Or do the manufactures suddenly become really opposed, because of various obscure technical reasons?

 

2 minutes ago, Dick Dastardly said:

Lol blind tests.. That's a whole other topic.. That is serious entertainment..

hifi guys HATE them and make all kinds of excuses why they don't work.

You'd be amazed how much other factors influence the sound. 

 

Sound is 100% subjective.. People will like what they like and it won't always be for the reasons they say they like it

Agree. I'm all about blind tests, I think they're fun. But I honestly have a lot of faith in my ability to remove my perception of looks and price when I listen to a loudspeaker, I don't let it control my perception of what sounds good.

We actually do blind tests quite a bit, and you'd be surprised at the results. People argue that all capacitors sound the same, that's actually not true. Foil inductors sound different than coil inductors that have the same values. Resistors all seem to sound the same, and so far I think speaker wire all sounds the same; or if it doesn't, it certainly isn't worth the ridiculous money some of it costs.

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I think it'd be nice if they could be honest and say that the $100k speakers are bought because they sound on par with the $25k speakers, but they're also a work of art that look better in their room. Some of those things look beautiful. And sure, I get the subjectiveness. But It'd be interesting to hear them blind and say "I like #5, on my way out I should find out if I can afford those. If not, #4 would be a good second place".

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I agree with Mike that "sound quality" is totally subjective, it's like tasting food. You can't even rely on measurements because some people actually don't prefer a flat frequency response. For example, some want to see a BBC dip in a speaker's frequency response, while others prefer a razor flat response, and most people prefer more bass than the original recording (or the artist) actually intended. Another thing Olive found is that most people will pick the speaker with the most bass as their favorite (to a degree), which is also interesting.

But I agree Fudge, blind tests are a lot of fun and a learning experience. But, just like you said, why discount the fact that speakers that look better are automatically perceived as better sounding? IMO, people are willing to pay insane money for art, which does nothing. I think of speakers as art that actually sings to you.

Everyone listens to speakers differently. I do listen to my music really loud quite a bit, so if a speaker can't manage higher volumes it's a total fail IMO. But I know guys that absolutely love speakers that can't manage volume at all because they never get hot on the volume knob. I'm not wrong and they aren't wrong, it's totally subjective. If I'm honest, I'm not sure if it was the sound quality of those $262k MBL speakers, or the crazy, beautiful looks of them, or the fact that they would go INSANELY loud without breaking up, or all of the above that got my attention and moved me to pick them as a favorite. Either way, they won me over.

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