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O/T - What speakers have you enjoyed that weren't accurate?

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  • O/T - What speakers have you enjoyed that weren't accurate?

    Maybe accurate isn't the correct word, but a speaker that didn't measure well or have a flat frequency response.

    In late 80's I visited a friends house (rich kid on the block), and it was the first time I heard a cd played and it was on a Bose cube system. (not sure which one)
    I thought I was in audio nirvana. I could not believe that you could skip forward and back so quick! Never mind that it didn't have the hiss I had on my records and tapes.

    The second time was hearing the Magnepan sometime in the 90's. I was like, no way!

    I think appearances, and being naive had more to do with it than anything. The Bose was so small I couldn't believe it made sound, and the Magnepan's were so flat I couldn't believe they could sound that good. Apparently my brain filled in the missing parts.

  • #2
    Many people assume that "good sound" or "accurate" sound is something that's understood or recognized.
    But, we're conditioned to "like" certain frequency response and distortion characteristics depending upon what we're exposed to.

    What sounded good to people in different eras changed over time. Tastes change.
    We might assume that people enjoyed what we consider to be so-so equipment back in the day because that's all they had.
    Today's speakers might have sounded rather odd to them.

    For example, many people in the 70's and 80's may not have liked the speakers that we have now because what sounded "natural" to them were paper and poly cones.
    Hard cones wouldn't have sounded "right".

    We assume that we have reached the pinnacle now, but there will be advancements in the future that will change tastes again.

    Spider silk cones? Carbon nanotubes? Who knows?

    I am also interested in models of speakers that measure badly, but that most people consider to be good sounding. What is it about those speakers?

    Shawn

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    • #3
      That's easy - my dad's old Pioneer CS--99As. A five way design using a 15" sealed bass driver, two midranges (slightly different sizes), one horn tweeter and two super-tweeters. The CS-99As were actually very well put-together, though you'd hardly see anyone putting together such a kabuki-style speaker these days. In those days my tastes leaned towards hard rock / heavy metal, and the CS-99As were perfect for that.
      Brian Steele
      www.diysubwoofers.org

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      • #4
        In the late 70s I heard a pair of RTR floor standing speakers, they looked a bit like a Dalek and the drivers were on the top, rather like Sonabs I don't recall the model name. The bass was exaggerated and the highs were poor, but they sounded great with the typical student diet of Beatles, Pink Floyd, Hendrix and cheap wine!

        Geoff

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        • #5
          I don't know if they were "accurate" or not, might have had an acceptably flat response, not sure, but EPI A500 all the way! Man I loved those things, they had a full and powerful sound. They were maybe a smidge dark sounding compared to today's sound, as was kind of a sound signature of 80s mid-fi in my experience.

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          • #6
            Realistic Mach 1. Still love how they sound today - I do fatigue after a few hours listening to them. No idea how they measure, but they do not sound correct but that big ol' sealed 15" woofer provides a lot of visceral impact lacking in most designs at any price.

            Like a lot of those kinds of speakers, though, fatigue kicks in and I find myself wanting to listen to something where care has been taken as regards mid-treble balance and off-axis. Many older systems in particular suffer from really sh!tty sound, and I suspect a significant amount of our appreciation of said systems is rooted far more in nostalgia than some long-lost design secrets.
            Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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            • #7
              Every speaker I have ever enjoyed...Even the most spendy and measury...

              But a short list of the worst best to me:

              Realistic Mach 1
              DCM KX12
              JBL L1
              Spendor LS 3/5A
              Rodgers 3/5
              An old Sony rack systen from the early 90s... Dont have the speaker names
              Klipsch corner horns
              Infinity Kappa (the 8" 3-ways withbthe dome mid and emit tweeter)
              ProAc 1SC
              PSB Stratus Gold i (An all-time fav)

              There are more, but thats a quick glimpse of less than "perfect" speakers that I remember being quite enjoyable.
              .

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              • #8
                When I bought my Bose 901s in the middle 70s, I hought they sounded great. Over time I came to realize they had no real top end or bottom end, and I got rid of them. I then got Klipsch Cornwallis and initially liked them. But they really didn't have good bass, and the upper registers were harsh. They went also. Next were ADS 801s, they were good.

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                • #9
                  I was having a new HU put in my truck last week. The shop owner was showing off his PSB Stratus' (he said they were 1991 vintage) paired with a new NAD 3020 amp, and he invited me to have a listen while I was waiting. I listened to a few tracks, files he said were remastered and of higher quality. After a couple of songs he asked me what I thought. I told him I must really be spoiled by the imaging of my latest full range project. I think he was insulted, but I was being nice. I thought they sounded horrible.

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                  • #10
                    My very first project in about 1987
                    MTM pair with Dynaudio 17W75's and D28AF

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by skatz View Post
                      When I bought my Bose 901s in the middle 70s, I hought they sounded great. Over time I came to realize they had no real top end or bottom end, and I got rid of them. I then got Klipsch Cornwallis and initially liked them. But they really didn't have good bass, and the upper registers were harsh. They went also. Next were ADS 801s, they were good.
                      My dad had a set of 901 series 2 that were replaced by Bose for a set of Series 6's when placed correctly they had pretty good low end and the staging was awesome. No matter where you stood in the room you heard the same sounds still with left and right separation. We used to have a saying in the car audio industry "no hoghs, no lows, gotta be Bose". Those 901s did lack lack solid low end and brisk highs. But as a kid I didn't know any better.
                      "A dirty shop is an unsafe shop, if you injure yourself in a clean shop you are just stupid" - Coach Kupchinsky

                      The Madeleine
                      The Roxster
                      Swopes 5.0
                      Acoustic Panels
                      Living Room Make Over

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                      • #12
                        Once upon a time, a friend's AR3As sounded pretty good.
                        Francis

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                        • #13
                          Just for a laugh, check out the frequency response on these babies:

                          http://www.stereophile.com/floorloud...ker/index.html

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Shawn

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Audion View Post
                            Just for a laugh, check out the frequency response on these babies:

                            http://www.stereophile.com/floorloud...ker/index.html

                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]n1328049[/ATTACH]

                            Shawn

                            Zu Audio makes some terrible speakers. I heard some at an audio show one year and was not impressed at all. I thought they sounded pretty bad. Then I saw measurements like these, which says a lot for why I might not like them. I don't understand what the facination with them is.
                            -Kerry

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                            • #15
                              I liked the old Infinity SM series loudspeakers. My friend still has a pair with the 15" woofers. I had a smaller set years ago. Kinda wish I never got rid of them. At the time, I thought they sounded much cleaner than what Klipsch was offering at the time.

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