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05-21-2004, 05:38 PM
going looking tommorow at speakers, the PSB and Energy speakers. Anyone have any pointers or comments about either of these? I'm looking for floorstanders, i listen to rock,jazz,pop,blues. i know thats a wide range of music but i love all kinds! I love to watch movies also! Thanks for any advice!!

05-21-2004, 05:57 PM
Enjoy the audition, both of those speaker lines are well regarded. Just make sure that you bring your own test discs with you, and bring stuff that you're familiar with and that represents how you'll actually use those speakers. The last thing you want to do is listen to a piece of music for the first time in a demo room, since in that scenario you're basically evaluating the recording rather than the speaker itself. Dealers know which discs highlight a particular speaker's strengths, but if their demo discs don't represent what you like to listen to, then it's not nearly as relevant.

Also, take your time. Even if you really like something tomorrow, there are plenty of other speakers out there that you might like as much or better. Keep in mind your budget and stick to it. If you're planning for a multichannel setup, then you should also listen to the center and surround speakers as well, and check for how they match with the mains. With multichannel, you don't have to buy the whole thing at once. It's perfectly fine to add on incrementally.

And I wouldn't necessarily narrow down to floorstanders from the get go. When I began evaluating speakers a few years ago, I also initially listened to floorstanders, but as I went along I noticed that most of the floorstanders in my price range ($1,000 and below) had problems with cabinet resonance and problems with overall tonal balance. The equivalent standmounts typically did not have those same issues, and at the same time had better imaging, overall balance, and midrange coherency. The floorstanders have advantages in the bass extension, but the standmounts are typically better in other areas.

Since speakers tend to sound different from room to room, what you should really do tomorrow is pick out which speakers you like best out of the ones that are in that particular dealer's demo room. You should try and do follow up listenings at other dealers and see if your initial preference holds up (and it also allows you to do additional A/B comparisons with other speakers). Once you've narrowed down your list, make sure that you do a demo at home before put down any money on the speakers. Most higher end dealers will let you borrow the demo models that you're interested in, and ideally you would do the final comparison at home with your components. Room acoustics play a huge part in what you hear, and how speakers react to your room might be very different than how they reacted to the dealer's demo room.

05-21-2004, 08:31 PM
Wooch brings up some great points, as always. About the only other thing I'd add is listen to different TYPES of speakers so you can get good feel for what you like. Listen to planers, electrostats, dynamic, hybrids, acoustic suspension (sealed enclosure), and bass reflex (ported) designs. Listen to speakers with metal dome, soft dome, ribbon, and horn tweeters. There are so many cool designs and they all have strengths and weaknesses. It's up to you to determine what you like best and the only way to really know that is to listen to everything you can find. While Energy and PSB are both well respected, understand there are a TON of other candidates.

Good luck and buy what moves you.

05-22-2004, 01:16 AM
This article ran in Positive Feedback Magazine, December, January and February 1993-1994.

It will help you in your auditions: One interesting issue is to try NOT to use albums you know well or know at all - ask them to play music you are unfamiliar with but a genre you like such as Jazz. Find the speaker that is better able to differentiate or highlight the differences in the recordings. The speaker best able to do it is obviously the more accurate speaker to the source disc - otherwise you're building in an expectaion bias to how you think the CD ought to sound rather than what it actually does sound like. That was a very gross summary of the article.

And of course I agree with Topspeed on listening to different designs. The more you hear the less chance you will have regret. http://www.audionote.co.uk/anp1.htm

05-22-2004, 04:02 AM
Thanks for all the responses! I'm not gonna bye till i find the right ones, gotta remember to walk if i dont find the right sound and price!!