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The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

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  • The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

    This is supposed to be tongue in cheek, so don't take it so seriously and have some fun!

    B&W CM1



    Krell LAT-2 - $10,000pr.



    nOhr SM 6.9



    PMC GB1



    Zu Cable Druid - $3600pr. What happened there? Did they even bother doing any design, or just threw random drivers in a random cabinet?



    Wilson Audio Duette - $12,500pr. Obviously Mr. Wilson doesn't have access to an anechoic chamber, nor to a $500 laptop with basic modeling software. Shame :(



    Wilson Audio Sophia 2 - $14,000pr.



    Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 8 - $28,000pr.



    B&W Diamond 800 - $24,000pr. I never liked their sound and I've worked extensively with the Nautilus range. They have two anechoic chambers and make some very low distortion drivers in-house. So why can't they put together a simple crossover? Very strange...



    B&W Diamond 805 - $5000pr.



    Focal Profile 918 - $4000pr.



    Focal Electra 1028 Be - $8500pr.



    Vienna Acoustics Mahler - $10,000pr.



    Vienna Acoustics Mozart - $2500pr.



    Magnepan MG 3.6 - $4400pr.



    Magnepan MG 1.6 - $1700pr.



    Sonus Fabre Grand Piano Domus - $4800pr.



    Reference MM de Capo i - $2500pr.



    Martin Logan Quest Z - $4000pr.



    Martin Logan Sequel II - $2500pr.



    Anthony Gallo Reference - $3000pr.

    Last edited by ridikas; 01-06-2012, 01:25 AM.

  • #2
    Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

    We are blessed around here. We can make speakers that sound and perform at least a dozen times better than all of the companies above. And we can buy the entire measuring system and build the actual speakers for under $2000pr.

    These companies make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, some even make a few million. So what is going on here?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

      Looks like both of those Vienna Acoustics systems would benefit from having the tweeter polarity reversed, particularly the Mozart (note the lack of a "T" in that spelling;)) which seems to have a beautiful textbook reverse null at 2900 Hz, which I would assume to be the crossover point.


      I gotta say, at least there are measurements this time....


      Mark
      You go your way, I'll go mine. I don't care if we get there on time.

      ~Pink Floyd

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      • #4
        Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

        Demographics? The thing about speakers is that they are a very personal choice. What may sound wonderful to one person may sound bad to another. Measured responses just help/confuse the consumer into buying a product from a given manufacturer and seemingly level the playing field. In addition to that, some manufacturers do their measurements not in a anechoic chamber but in what they may consider a typical listening environment. Also, a speaker may perform wonderfully in a lab environment but perform horribly in someone's listening room. There are so many variables that a manufacturer must consider to market their products. Ever buy a pair of speakers that sound great in the store, but when you set them up at home something just doesn't sound right? Many of the higher quality manufacturers will let you do a trial useage of their products because it's not just about the measurements but also about perceptions.

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        • #5
          Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

          I don't want to start an argument with ^^^^, but that's one of the most false statements that I've ever heard. Speakers have to be primarily judged by performance. If you prefer a speaker that has an SPL of +/-10dB, or huge peaks, or dips. Then that's your very own personal issue. Not representative of the majority by any stretch of the imagination. Sorry.

          Never in a history of my personal speaker design have I ever measured a non flat (in anechoic, gated, etc.) speaker which improved in in-room conditions. Never. A flat speaker will always perform worse in-room, but a non flat speaker will 100% certainly perform even worse in-room.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

            I don't mind either the Focal electra 1028 nor the B&W 800. I also think that alot of these are measurement have no smoothing applied. But I could be wrong.

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            • #7
              Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

              You forgot to mention everyones favorite...BOSE:eek: ducks head and covers:D

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              • #8
                Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                Why should there be smoothing applied? Here's a speaker that I've built a few weeks ago, using a Vifa tweeter and a Peerless 7" woofer. This graph has no smoothing of any kind applied.

                Lol at Bose. They don't let magazines publish anechoic measurements. Same goes for the more expensive Focals.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                  Question is that how would our DIY efforts compare when measured by the same equipment in the same enviroment as the speakers above.

                  I am no fan of either B&W or Wilson but the Diamond 800 and the Watt-Puppy seem to be better than most of the others. Others like Martin Logan's Sequel need to meausred differently than traditional dynamic "cones in a box" systems.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                    Our DIY efforts would measure just the same (better than anything on that list), but we could probably measure below 500Hz more accurately

                    I also disagree that the Martin Logans, or Magnepans have to be measured differently. If that is what the microphone sees at 1m distance, than that is what our ears will hear. Most likely even worse, since a dipole/bipole speaker will also cause massive reflections in a normal room.

                    How do you propose they should be measured? I'm curious.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                      Originally posted by ridikas View Post
                      I don't want to start an argument with ^^^^, but that's one of the most false statements that I've ever heard. Speakers have to be primarily judged by performance. If you prefer a speaker that has an SPL of +/-10dB, or huge peaks, or dips. Then that's your very own personal issue. Not representative of the majority by any stretch of the imagination. Sorry.

                      Never in a history of my personal speaker design have I ever measured a non flat (in anechoic, gated, etc.) speaker which improved in in-room conditions. Never. A flat speaker will always perform worse in-room, but a non flat speaker will 100% certainly perform even worse in-room.
                      You may disagree. No arguments there. Just look at the choices. Does everyone agree that a certain speaker from a certain manufacturer that has the flattest response agree that it is the best sounding speaker? I don't think you will get 100% agreement on that. People choose speakers based on their personal perceptions. Whether it be sound, looks or price. Many people don't even look at measurements. They just want what is best for them. They have a name for our perceptions....um psychoacoustics?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                        Originally posted by ridikas View Post
                        Our DIY efforts would measure just the same (better than anything on that list), but we could probably measure below 500Hz more accurately

                        I also disagree that the Martin Logans, or Magnepans have to be measured differently. If that is what the microphone sees at 1m distance, than that is what our ears will hear. Most likely even worse, since a dipole/bipole speaker will also cause massive reflections in a normal room.

                        How do you propose they should be measured? I'm curious.
                        These speakers seem to have a lot positive reviews. I personally have not heard them. The Orion. But they are dipoles...http://www.linkwitzlab.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                          +10000 for psychoacoustics.

                          There are already a few threads here that bring up great research about how the general public- read as consumer speaker buyers--- prefers mostly anything but a flat response. Flat response seems way too bright and lacking in the midrange for the average consumer.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                            Here's the only measurement that I could find for the Linkwitz Orions. Looks pretty good to me.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Worst Speakers Ever! Shiny Finishes, Good Marketing, Terrible Sound

                              Originally posted by ridikas View Post
                              Here's the only measurement that I could find for the Linkwitz Orions. Looks pretty good to me.

                              I would hope so. The drivers alone are almost 2K.

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