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  • When people don't know what they're doing

    Hey everyone. I really miss seeing you guys at competitions and whatnot. Anyway, I saw a review of a speaker in Stereophile that boggled my mind, so I wanted to share my thoughts. They reviewed a small stand-mount speaker which uses Illuminator drivers. The frequency response was all over the place, with no low bass, and a giant peak at 1k. To top it off, the speaker in question had a tiny 1" port that could never allow airflow without "chuffing", and the assembler wired the tweeter backwards! Cost of this speaker? $22,000 per pair. Just another reason I love this hobby. At least you guys know what you're doing.

    Eric Levenchuck
    Eric L.

  • #2
    Originally posted by brkitup View Post
    Hey everyone. I really miss seeing you guys at competitions and whatnot. Anyway, I saw a review of a speaker in Stereophile that boggled my mind, so I wanted to share my thoughts. They reviewed a small stand-mount speaker which uses Illuminator drivers. The frequency response was all over the place, with no low bass, and a giant peak at 1k. To top it off, the speaker in question had a tiny 1" port that could never allow airflow without "chuffing", and the assembler wired the tweeter backwards! Cost of this speaker? $22,000 per pair. Just another reason I love this hobby. At least you guys know what you're doing.

    Eric Levenchuck
    Uh...erm...yes. Of course we know what we're doing

    Seriously, sometimes a big price tag beats out competence. Then people blame their ears or the rest of the setup.
    Francis

    Comment


    • brkitup
      brkitup commented
      Editing a comment
      Even a commercial offering like the KEF LS50 bests it in every aspect of performance and engineering. Plus, it costs $20,500 less.

      Eric Levenchuck

    • fpitas
      fpitas commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, we don't know anyone is actually buying this. So let's hope common sense prevails.

  • #3
    But it is Nero Assoluto granite from Zimbabwe.

    Comment


    • #4
      I bet Stereophile still liked it. I guarantee it if the company is an advertiser.
      www.billfitzmaurice.com
      www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
        I bet Stereophile still liked it. I guarantee it if the company is an advertiser.
        They'll find that one track where the vices will become virtues lol!
        Francis

        Comment


        • #6
          "We go pretty crazy with the crossovers," he continued. "Every single little component is aligned so it has minimum interference with the next one. The capacitors are stacked where they need to be stacked so that we're not doing capacitors at 90 degrees, which causes interference....
          "There's 7±2 ohms across most of the audio band," Cora said...
          ...and then I look at the frequency and impedance plots and I can here the "curb your enthusiasm" theme song start up in my head.


          Great example here of a lot that's wrong with this industry. If I show most people the prettiest looking speakers with the finest finish going around and spend a lot of time explaining how great attention to detail has been given to this and that and the painstaking selection of components and the amazing bumblefudgery that went into specifically selecting x for its sonic purity and separating y and z to better improve blagh...and how acoustic damping materials made from the testicle hairs of different rodents was tested over several years to produce the best possible absorption of internal reflections...and go on and on...and even play you a song and state how you can really hear here how the testicle hairs have allowed the nuance of this saxophone solo to shine through....I guarantee I can convince a lot of people they are listening to the best speakers they've ever heard.

          From the reviewer herself...
          Part of the reason why I didn't get into comparisons was because the granite material (and other design aspects) made these rather unique; it didn't seem there were really any other "comparable" speakers...rather an apples-to-oranges situation.
          Um, that is actually the comparison you NEED to make. People don't decide they want 'granite' speakers. The decide they want bookshelf style speakers - as a reviewer you should know that making the comparison is about explaining what differences you feel granite makes. (if any, or if anyone should care).

          L O L

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by DeZZar View Post
            The capacitors are stacked where they need to be stacked so that we're not doing capacitors at 90 degrees, which causes interference....
            Wait...capacitors at 90 degrees causes interference? I think we're through the looking glass here, folks.

            Yes, speakers are complicated, and few customers understand the engineering. That makes it prime territory for snake oil.
            Francis

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by maynardg View Post
              But it is Nero Assoluto granite from Zimbabwe.
              That could be pretty cool, if the rest wasn't botched.
              Francis

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by fpitas View Post
                Yes, speakers are complicated, and few customers understand the engineering. That makes it prime territory for snake oil.
                +1. You don't really have to know what you're doing. You just have to know more than those you're marketing to. The same applies to reviewers.

                www.billfitzmaurice.com
                www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

                Comment


                • #10
                  You don't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the other guy.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    It's been pointed out to me that, for a lot of people, speakers are judged more as furniture than for their sonic qualities. They make (hopefully pleasant) background music, which is acceptable if there aren't noticeable weird noises. Few people sit and obsessively listen, like many people here do.
                    Francis

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Stereophile did come about as close as they ever have to giving it a bad review - "I was intrigued by the Acora SRB's use of a massive enclosure, but I was puzzled by some aspects of its measured performance.—John Atkinson"
                      It is estimated that one percent of the general population are psychopaths - New Criminologist: Understanding Psychopaths

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        There was a focus on objectivity at Stereophile until the 1990s, when objectivity became less and less a part of their reviews and subjectivity took over. That change coincided with the shift from when subscriptions and news stand sales accounted for a goodly percentage of their income to when advertising dollars dominated. Atkinson et al know enough not to bite the hand that feeds them.
                        www.billfitzmaurice.com
                        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by fpitas View Post
                          It's been pointed out to me that, for a lot of people, speakers are judged more as furniture than for their sonic qualities. They make (hopefully pleasant) background music, which is acceptable if there aren't noticeable weird noises. Few people sit and obsessively listen, like many people here do.
                          Big +1

                          We're an unusual lot.
                          Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
                          Wogg Music
                          Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Today, a "review" seems to consist of what is advertised, what it's outrageous price is (I think we all know price doesn't equal quality today), what it's fancy material is, the fancy gimcracks and gee-gaws it has on it (my best turntable is totally manual) and how soon it will become obsolete. I'm still playing 100 year-old acoustically recorded "78" RPM (few really are) shellac discs for their content. Liszt playing Liszt and Caruso singing and I can use Audacity to clean-up the originals because Sony, EMI and Warner Bros. have no interest in artistic preservation and they ARE the music industry today.
                            Amazoom sent me (unordered) a pair of their "top-of-the-line" home stereo speakers free as I'm a non-paying Life Prime Member for Music, Video and Merchandise. They don't sound as good as the 5 tube AM Tru-Tone (Western Auto) battery/AC radio 78 volt "A" battery and 4 "D" or "F" cells for the "B" battery we had when I was 6 years old with about a 5" speaker in it. I cancelled them as I don't want Amazoom listening to what goes on inside my house. They are collecting dust in the box as I haven't received a return shipping label. Or for the Android Phone I'll never use.

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