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sethmosley
05-31-2004, 04:22 PM
Hey, I have a 3rd generation I-pod. I was wondering what kind of headphones under or around $150 I could get keeping as much quality as possible. I'm not really worried about them bein' small and portable, I keep it with me so much I wouldn' t mind even wearin' em around my neck. I'm mainly worried about quality and comfortability. Could you guys help? Thanks-Seth sethmosley@mchsi.com

Prefuse
05-31-2004, 05:58 PM
for in ear types, try looking at the shure line.

for full-size cans, take a look at grado, sennheiser. an often overlooked by widely used pair of cans is the sony 7506; still an industry standard.

Beckman
05-31-2004, 06:24 PM
I have a pair of Grado SR-80's. Read the reviews for these on this site. Should be able to pick them up for $100 or less. They produce a clean, clear open sound. And they are not made to attenuate outside noises so if you are listening to music and the phone rings you can hear it. People can also hear what you are listening to. Here is a website that may help you out:

http://headwize.com/articles/hguide_art.htm

RGA
05-31-2004, 08:37 PM
What Beckman refers to is the open ear can - I like the SR 60 and 80 - If you go up the line I would cross Grado off and look at the Sennheiser HD 580 - then re-enter Grado at the RS1 and RS2 - not impressed with the 125 225 and 325 for the money.

The Sennheiser 580/600 are arguably the most comfortable cans going. Both would benefit from an amplifier - either a headphone amp or the headphone jack of a reveiver or integrated amp - portable cd players don't have the juice to properly drive them.

The 580 and 600 are very close in sound but the 580 will run $150.00 or less. http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/sennheiser_hd600.htm

If comfort is an issue Sennheiser is an around the ear headphone - the ones that sit and, therefore, press on your ears are not good to me for long listening - the in ear headphones are bad for your hearing and IMO should be banned years ago - they have no ability to get the outer ear involved in the sound. And worst of all they aren't comfortable.

Stereophile has used the senns as their references for years as do most classical recording studios. http://www.stereophile.com/accessoryreviews/408/

pelly3s
06-01-2004, 05:19 AM
The sony 7506's are amazing and are the standard in recording studios worldwide. also if you are lucky you can find the 7509's for around $150 and they are just amazing.

WmAx
06-01-2004, 02:10 PM
The 580 and 600 are very close in sound but the 580 will run $150.00 or less. http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/sennheiser_hd600.htm



Stereophile has used the senns as their references for years as do most classical recording studios. http://www.stereophile.com/accessoryreviews/408/

Yet, in my experiences the MDR-7506 is still a superior device, in terms of absolute accuracy. I can understand why the HD-580/HD-600 are preferred. They are less 'harsh', too my ears. I can imagine they are preferred by at least some other people for the same reason. The MDR-7506 also has comfort issues. Many people complain that the unit touches the ears, thus causing irratation. I have found this to be the case, aslo. Howevever, you can replace the pads with Beyer DT-250 velour replacement pads which will move the speakers slighlty farther from the ear, probably increasing comfort for some people. The HD-580 seemed too me, to help make recordings that were recorded too closely in the first place, sound little farther away. However, in my testing, the 7506 had nearly identical tonality across teh spectrum, when comparing on live feeds, using flat response linear measurement mics, standing at the same distance as teh mics from the sound sources, A/Bing with the origional sound sources. Of course, this has nothing to do with most commercial recordings, which are likely to be EQed, close miced, miced with non linear mics, etc. :-)

-Chris

RGA
06-01-2004, 05:08 PM
This is simply going to be a preference issue because my MDR 750 is the higher end version of the 7506. The 750 is a very good can very highly reviewed - and basically changed the ear cup so it would go around the ears - and leather all around.

That said the 600 and 580 are more accurate cans in that they present more resolution. The 580 has a very small amount of lift to the lower bass.

The Senns are the choice in classical music studios - classical music exhibuit the best of recording quality.

There is no evidence that a flatter response is the best response - and this is an area that is sadly overplayed as being more accurate. There is more to the ball game than JUST frequency response.

But I have had the Sony's for a long time and love them - well built sound great - same for the Senns ---- buy whichever you like better - to me that would be the Senn. But the Sony serves me far better for portable use being closed and easy to drive.

Remember also that just because a speaker is used in a recording studio does not mean it's necessarily the best speaker or headphone. PMC is a prime example - as great a sound as some of their spekers are they can be unsuitable for home use.

WmAx
06-01-2004, 05:37 PM
This is simply going to be a preference issue because my MDR 750 is the higher end version of the 7506. The 750 is a very good can very highly reviewed - and basically changed the ear cup so it would go around the ears - and leather all around. This is not the same headphone. The 750 had a 50mm driver, to my knowledge. The MDR-7506 had a 40mm driver. They can not be the same in this case. Perhaps my memory is in error?


That said the 600 and 580 are more accurate cans in that they present more resolution. The 580 has a very small amount of lift to the lower bass.I did evaluate these Sennheiser devices listed. They did not have the same balance as the 7506, which when compared with the live sources/feed using linaer microphones, standing at the same distance as the mics, sounded virtually identical mid/high range spectrum balance. The Senheissers you mentioned curbed the hi end in a manner that emulated fartehr distance then actual mic placement, to my perception.

How did you decide the HD-580/600 was more accurate then the 7506? I have yet to see anyone else do an actual live vs. product comparision to decide this, excepting John Dunlavy a few years ago in the newsgroup.


The Senns are the choice in classical music studios - classical music exhibuit the best of recording quality. You replied to this already:



Remember also that just because a speaker is used in a recording studio does not mean it's necessarily the best speaker or headphone.
Of course, the inverse is also possible. But who cares? :-)

Buzz Roll
06-01-2004, 06:15 PM
Try etymotics - go to headphone.com

markw
06-01-2004, 07:19 PM
I know, it's a stupid question. Neither is "better". It's all what you prefer.

Since this seems to be turning into rather heated a popularity contest, I'll weigh in with this insightful input.

I've got both Grado 80's and the Senn 580 (dunno, maybe I love that 80 number?) and I find them both satisfying but different. Much like a nice porterhouse vs. a filet. The Grados seem a little more forward but the Senns have the "better" overall sound, IMNSHO.

Sorry, haven't heard the Sony's so I cannot offer much useful input there.

Ultimately, which do I spend most of my time with? The Senns. Sometimes I prefer the Grados but on the whole, the Senns win hands down.

But, ultimately, what we say doesn't mean a thing to you. You gotta listen for yourself. I really don't think you could do too wrong with any can suggested here. It's all a matter of economics and personal taste. Personally, I prefer Breyers mint chocolate chip myself.

RGA
06-01-2004, 07:27 PM
This is not the same headphone. The 750 had a 50mm driver, to my knowledge. The MDR-7506 had a 40mm driver. They can not be the same in this case. Perhaps my memory is in error?

I did evaluate these Sennheiser devices listed. They did not have the same balance as the 7506, which when compared with the live sources/feed using linaer microphones, standing at the same distance as the mics, sounded virtually identical mid/high range spectrum balance. The Senheissers you mentioned curbed the hi end in a manner that emulated fartehr distance then actual mic placement, to my perception.

How did you decide the HD-580/600 was more accurate then the 7506? I have yet to see anyone else do an actual live vs. product comparision to decide this, excepting John Dunlavy a few years ago in the newsgroup.

You replied to this already:

Of course, the inverse is also possible. But who cares? :-)


The MDR 750 is the higher end model - thus not the same headphone - studios are often cheap and get cheap headphones = Sony makes a $4000.00 headphone which is presumably the best headphone they make - to my knowledge it's used in no recording studios. There was a model above the 750 which used a bigger driver - but doidn't sound as good - though more bass - i don't recall what the 750 has - the other model i believe was the 850 or called the 760 or some such thing. The 750 were "the" Sony cans to get in the late 80s and early 90s.

I am uninterested in people's perception of what they did in some test. Bottom line is the best recordings in the industry BY FAR are classical recordings - and those are done on Senn 580 and 600 cans - right or wrong the engineer created said recording with those cans - not sonys...and maybe those classical recordings sound better because they are "pushed back" instead of the in your face pop garbage too closely miced. I can't put faith into that test because you could not have been doing them at the same exact time because the 580/600 are open air cans. - and a BRIGHTER speaker always sounds more "accurate" even when it's just distortion mistaken as detail. And how doid you level match? There is no information that is rolled off in the audible spectrum baseed on the measurements I've seen. --- Almost nothing is recorded above 15khz - and most people can't hear past there anyway - especially if you're over the age of 30.

It's all irrelavant because the model you tested is the one with the crappy earphone - changing that changes the sound - I will agree that the 750 could certainly be used in a recording studio - but hey Bose is probably used in some recording studios too. means zippo. And that also applies to the Senns - that ain't the reason to buy em - they sound better is the reason to buy em.

Dunlavey? Not a fan.

WmAx
06-01-2004, 07:53 PM
$4000.00 headphone which is presumably the best headphone they make - to my knowledge it's used in no recording studios.That's the MDR-R10. It was not designed for studio use.


There was a model above the 750 which used a bigger driver - but doidn't sound as good - though more bass -MDR-7509?

Their is another Sony headphone, the MDR-CD3000, which is the model right under the MDR-R10. It was based on most of the MDR-R10's design features.


Bottom line is the best recordings in the industry BY FAR are classical recordings - and those are done on Senn 580 and 600 cans - right or wrong the engineer created said recording with those cans - not sonys...They still sounded inaccurate too me. That is all I have stated. As far as mixing, etc. headphones are used for tracking/monitoring. But they are not used for mixing, etc. Loudspeaker monitors must be used for this unless the end product is specifically intended for headhone playback.


I can't put faith into that test because you could not have been doing them at the same exact time because the 580/600 are open air cansThat is true. I compared the Senheissers to the Sony's after various comparisons to source vs. feed. I used select acoustic / clasical tracks comparing to the Senheisser. With the SOny being nearly identical in tonality to the sources, any significant deviation from the Sony must equal a deviation from accuracy. Their is not better way to compare to the live source, as far as I know. Concievably, a DBT or other test would not be usable, the JND will always be present due to a number of factors.


. - and a BRIGHTER speaker always sounds more "accurate" even when it's just distortion mistaken as detail.Upon what do you base this assertion? "Always' is a big generalization.


And how doid you level match? I adjusted the hedphone output gain, A/Bing with the source until the closest match was obtained.


It's all irrelavant because the model you tested is the one with the crappy earphone Crappy how?


- they sound better is the reason to buy em.This is absolutely not my point. They might sound better to most peole(let's assume that's true just for this sentence), that has nothing to do with accuracy. I dont particuarly like the MDR-7506 for general listening.... but that is a seperate issue.


Dunlavey? Not a fanNeither am I, particularly. But he did produce some speakers that made excellent monitors. He also did a bit of acoustics research. He also performed tests on headhones similar as I, and concluded teh same model was extremely accurate, in the very same conditios as I specified.

-Chris

RGA
06-01-2004, 10:55 PM
First I don't want to sound like I'm slagging Sony - I actually am the one who always seems to defend their headphones as maybe the best thing - other than maybe transports - that the company makes. My MDR 750's are from the late 80's early 90s - there were three models in the line the 750 was considered the best though not the most expensive - the higher model had more bass but sounded wooly. They were a mere $179.00 but back then that was some cash. I am in Canada so perhaps the numbering was different in the US. The look better than the 7506 in that they are physically large - almost look like the headsets pilots wear - with a leather headband which expands with your head size not a pull out clip type thing most cans have - so in this regard they're extremely comfortable with big leather foam pads.

The problem is an accurate system should not sound bad unless the musicians sounded bad. Does this make sense? Accuracy is a ridiculous term IMO because if I am listening to a live band and then listen to the headphone recorded version of said it can't be the same - it is an impossibility to get accuracy from a headphone unless it's a buinaural recording - and there are so few of them that were even well recorded to make the point moot. So even if we say that in your test the Sony's performed better - that's fine in that test - but putting on you average Daina Krall disc you have no way to know which headphone or speaker is the more accurate.

I would then follow my own advice and go with Audio Note's comparison by contrast which is the most logical of any and all comparison of any audio componant to find which is more accurate. However, I read that article well after buying the cans. But even with their article - in the case of headphones - you're so far off the accuracy scale that you may as well buy one that is pleasing - really that is what cans for home users are all about. It's for after hours lying back in a foldout chair and having the artist sing in your head without a blaring treble. Many headphones attempt to no-doubt push the sound slightly back so that it provides an impression of sorts that music is coming from in front of you rather than in your head. In a way it the headphone maker is trying to compensate for the recording process which is made for two channel speakers coming from in front of you. Doing that, if that's what they're doing, is of course not accurate either - but it makes the presentation more natural - naturally if that is what is done then in your test the headphone would lose to the one not doing that - but then on mass marketed material the reverse will occur - which may very well be why you don't like the particular Sony to just listen to music on.

I would certainly agree that people should give them a listen - because I think Sony is very underrated in the world of headphones - but even with mine - the Senns are simply more relaxing - I don't see any frequency anomolies from the 580 measureents I've seen except a slight bass hike which was very slight.

The HD 600 is almost ruler flat at "16Hz-30kHz, 1dB. THD: <0.1%. Nominal impedance: 300 ohms. Sensitivity at 1kHz: 97dB. Headphone caliper pressure: approximately 2.5N."
and will reach 4hz.

I would like to see the measurements of the 7506 but they are very vague providing virtually no useful information in the form of a spec or a graph.

WmAx
06-01-2004, 11:32 PM
The problem is an accurate system should not sound bad unless the musicians sounded bad. Does this make sense? No, this does not make sense. Consider that regardles, different people will have different preferences. This zero to do with absolute accuracy. Sounds like you are referring to relative accuracy based on memory-- not the same thing.


Accuracy is a ridiculous term IMO because if I am listening to a live band and then listen to the headphone recorded version of said it can't be the same - it is an impossibility to get accuracy from a headphone unless it's a buinaural recording Binaural encoding is used, specifically, to convey spatial information. I was very specific: I stated tonal. I made no claims of spatial accuracy.


I would then follow my own advice and go with Audio Note's comparison by contrast which is the most logical of any and all comparison of any audio componant to find which is more accurate.That may be nice, and practical to find one's perceptual/relative accuracy, relative to their memory, and uncontrolled recording(s). However, my comparision was to the live, unamplified events, using a linear system. No eq. No problematic non-linearities introduced by microphones. A/Bing at the same distance as teh microphones. This is a test of accuracy relative to the real event in real time - not a test of memory. After approx. 30 seconds, the auditory memory becomes quite poor, btw.


Many headphones attempt to no-doubt push the sound slightly back so that it provides an impression of sorts that music is coming from in front of you rather than in your head. In a way it the headphone maker is trying to compensate for the recording process which is made for two channel speakers coming from in front of you. Doing that, if that's what they're doing, is of course not accurate either - but it makes the presentation more natural - naturally if that is what is done then in your test the headphone would lose to the one not doing that - but then on mass marketed material the reverse will occur -
which may very well be why you don't like the particular Sony to just listen to music on.(1) Studio recordings are primarily close miced - they can never sound absolutely correct since they are completely fabricated on a mastering board (2) Usually, studio recordigns are EQed. (3) It is common to use non linear(often antiquated) microphones in recording. (4) most acoustic recordings(such as classical), are recorded closer then any average person sits to the performance.

Considering the above, it is not suprising that a headphone that modifies these to sound 'more natural' to the listener would be favored.





The HD 600 is almost ruler flat at "16Hz-30kHz, 1dB. THD: <0.1%. Nominal impedance: 300 ohms. Sensitivity at 1kHz: 97dB. Headphone caliper pressure: approximately 2.5N."
and will reach 4hz.That must be a factory claim. It is not real.

HD-600
http://www.headphone.com/headphonegeek/Sennheiser%20HD600%2040x.jpg





I would like to see the measurements of the 7506 but they are very vague providing virtually no useful information in the form of a spec or a graph.
As you request, MDR-7506:

http://www.headphone.com/headphonegeek/Sony%207506.jpg

It should be noted that headphones can NOT have a perfectly flat response and sound correct. They must compensate for the direct coupling with the ear assembly. As a matter of fact, these measurements were made on dummy head and ears in order reflect more realistic responses.

When noticing peaks and/or nulls, ber certain to remember that the human auditory system most closely resembles 1/3 octave resolution, overall. For example, the peak between 8.5-10khz seen on this Sony graph would eual approx. 1/5 octave. Little audible effect. However, this peak is more likely a result of an ear structure induced resonance (remember, these were made on a dummy ear system). They may possibly also be purposely designed into the transducers? Notice the same corresponding(though lowered, relative to the overall response) peak over precisely the same range on the HD-600.

-Chris

Prefuse
06-02-2004, 12:17 AM
I am also a fan of the 7506's (which is why I recommended it), not only for home/professional studio recording, but for casual listening as well (which is why I recommended it).

I must agree with the above poster that these cans are quite neutral and make casual/critical monitoring less fatiguing. Another plus is that they are quite rugged and lightweight.

RGA
06-02-2004, 10:04 AM
No, this does not make sense. Consider that regardles, different people will have different preferences. This zero to do with absolute accuracy. Sounds like you are referring to relative accuracy based on memory-- not the same thing.

Binaural encoding is used, specifically, to convey spatial information. I was very specific: I stated tonal. I made no claims of spatial accuracy.

That may be nice, and practical to find one's perceptual/relative accuracy, relative to their memory, and uncontrolled recording(s). However, my comparision was to the live, unamplified events, using a linear system. No eq. No problematic non-linearities introduced by microphones. A/Bing at the same distance as teh microphones. This is a test of accuracy relative to the real event in real time - not a test of memory. After approx. 30 seconds, the auditory memory becomes quite poor, btw.

(1) Studio recordings are primarily close miced - they can never sound absolutely correct since they are completely fabricated on a mastering board (2) Usually, studio recordigns are EQed. (3) It is common to use non linear(often antiquated) microphones in recording. (4) most acoustic recordings(such as classical), are recorded closer then any average person sits to the performance.

Considering the above, it is not suprising that a headphone that modifies these to sound 'more natural' to the listener would be favored.



That must be a factory claim. It is not real.

HD-600
http://www.headphone.com/headphonegeek/Sennheiser%20HD600%2040x.jpg



As you request, MDR-7506:

http://www.headphone.com/headphonegeek/Sony%207506.jpg

It should be noted that headphones can NOT have a perfectly flat response and sound correct. They must compensate for the direct coupling with the ear assembly. As a matter of fact, these measurements were made on dummy head and ears in order reflect more realistic responses.

When noticing peaks and/or nulls, ber certain to remember that the human auditory system most closely resembles 1/3 octave resolution, overall. For example, the peak between 8.5-10khz seen on this Sony graph would eual approx. 1/5 octave. Little audible effect. However, this peak is more likely a result of an ear structure induced resonance (remember, these were made on a dummy ear system). They may possibly also be purposely designed into the transducers? Notice the same corresponding(though lowered, relative to the overall response) peak over precisely the same range on the HD-600.

-Chris

I have seen the HD600 measurement before - thanks for the 7506.

Looking at these there is nothing that would indicate one is more accurate than the other. Especially if both were measured differently. The spec I had for the HD 600 was from Stereophile which was probably provided by Sennheiser - who may have measured their can differently. The peak on the sony - well if people consider them to be a bright can(don't know) - then that is likely a reason for it as is the small spikes around 2khz some who say the Senn is laid back due their gentle slope. The 7506 has one helluva hard cut-off after 10khz - both seem to have a nice dip at 5khz --- UHF would be happy with that rather than reverse - looks a bit like the Reference 3a MM De Capo in that regard.

So why should we buy the 7506 again - pleasing listening?

Woochifer
06-02-2004, 10:31 AM
There is no evidence that a flatter response is the best response - and this is an area that is sadly overplayed as being more accurate. There is more to the ball game than JUST frequency response.

Thank you for reminding me that huge peaks and nulls in the frequency response is preferable to a flatter response. I'll go ahead and pull that parametric subwoofer equalizer out of my system right now, and keep reminding myself that boominess is the way to go, and fuller and more even bass is just "sadly overplayed."


I am uninterested in people's perception of what they did in some test. Bottom line is the best recordings in the industry BY FAR are classical recordings - and those are done on Senn 580 and 600 cans - right or wrong the engineer created said recording with those cans - not sonys...and maybe those classical recordings sound better because they are "pushed back" instead of the in your face pop garbage too closely miced.

And most pop recordings are EQ'd and monitored based on how they would sound on small audio speakers and car audio systems, which is how most of them get played back in the end. That's why for a past decade and a half, the Yamaha NS10 was so widely used as a nearfield monitor, not because of its absolute accuracy but because of how its monitoring playback is applicable to those types of systems. Your Sony vs. Senn argument based on classical vs. pop recordings has zero relevance given the different audiences and probable playback systems for those recordings.


I can't put faith into that test because you could not have been doing them at the same exact time because the 580/600 are open air cans. - and a BRIGHTER speaker always sounds more "accurate" even when it's just distortion mistaken as detail.

Brighter sound always sounds more accurate? Detail = distortion? Absolutely brilliant observation. Why don't you write that up into a white paper and present it at the next AES conference, I'm sure those impeccably defensible discoveries will find a very receptive audience.


And how doid you level match?

Ever heard of a SPL meter or RTA? Every recording and broadcast studio I've ever visited uses them. Oh, I forgot. It's much more precise and accurate to level match and make observations about tonal accuracy by ear, silly me.


Dunlavey? Not a fan.

You seem to make a habit of slamming Dunlavy (this is not the first time you've done this), yet I've never seen you write once about any first hand experience you've had with anything that he's designed. If you're not a fan, why don't you tell us why. If you've not done any listenings and don't know anything about his other contributions over the years to audio equipment designs, then the value of your input on this subject speaks for itself.

RGA
06-02-2004, 10:48 AM
Listened to Dunlavey about a decade ago - not impressed - don't recall the model number - I try and forget speakers I don't like - and obviously I wasn't alone or they would still sell them.

I didn't say a non flat response was best - but NO SPEAKER is perfectly flat. Our ear is more sensitive to certain frequencies so a big dip at one may be completely unnoticed in a subjective listening session while a tiny spike at another may be totally ruiness - the latter may LOOK flatter overall but may subjectively sound far worse.

As for pop recording and classical - your statement has proof I suppose right. Ohh yes I forgot you're in the camp that has speakers are either good at classical OR good at pop but can't be good at both. Puhleeze.

Brighter speakers are a way to get the product to stand out from the wall-o-speakers - detail can be viewed and is by me as grain added by the tweeter and perceived as more detail. Extracting more from the disc? No adding superfluous noise to the recording and more treble energy - but it wows - for a while anyway. Detail should not be mistaken as resolution.

WmAx
06-02-2004, 10:54 AM
Looking at these there is nothing that would indicate one is more accurate than the other. Especially if both were measured differently.
These were measured in identical fashion, using teh same head simulation jig.


The peak on the sony - well if people consider them to be a bright can(don't know) - then that is likely a reason for it as is the small spikes around 2khz some who say the Senn is laid back due their gentle slope.
Did you ignore my reference to how human's percieve tonal balance? LEt's assume for sake of argument, tht the peak is a product of the actual headphone, then it's limited to a little over 1/5th octave span. This would be barely percievable.


The 7506 has one helluva hard cut-off after 10khz
The upper response, especially after 8-10khz, is product of the canal ear/canal/ coupling system. This does not reflect what you hear frm the headphone. You have to look for broad level changes, such as the broad shelving down of the HD600 vs. the MDR7506 that spans several octaves.



So why should we buy the 7506 again - pleasing listening?

Some people may like the headphnoe for listening. I dont care to make speculations as to who might like it's sound. BUt it is primarily useful/valuable as a linear reference device.

-Chris

WmAx
06-02-2004, 11:26 AM
Listened to Dunlavey about a decade ago - not impressed - don't recall the model number - I try and forget speakers I don't like - and obviously I wasn't alone or they would still sell them.
I don't specifically 'enjoy' listening to Dunlavy speakers. But in a properly treated room, they are extremely linear. Excellent, linear monitor devices. BTW, Dunlavy used to say the MDR-7506 sounded almost exactly like his speakers to him and his associates when compared A-B. So, you probably would not like the MDR-7506 'sound', I suspect. I also pretty much consier all Dunlavy speakers to have the same 'sound', excepting of course low frequency capability, which was the main difference between different models. Dunlavy purposely targted response of all of his speakers to remain within +/- 1dB. All of his models, too my knowledge, have poor off axis behaviour. Therfor a moderate to heavy treated room is nescearry to realize the full potential of his designs. This(generous acoustic treatment) also reduces audible characteristic variability between different rooms.

-Chris

RGA
06-02-2004, 12:03 PM
WmAx

Agreed. The senn has a much smoother response however over the peaky response of the 7506 - which is a positive attribute - IMO.

But hey buy what you like.

Woochifer
06-02-2004, 12:22 PM
Listened to Dunlavey about a decade ago - not impressed - don't recall the model number - I try and forget speakers I don't like - and obviously I wasn't alone or they would still sell them.

A decade ago? Dunlavy created quite a few other speaker models in the meantime. If I had based my opinions of a speaker company on observations from a decade ago, I would never have given B&W a second listen given how much I disliked their speakers from that era. Dunlavy created quite a few speakers that found their way into recording studios and professional settings. In my listenings, his speakers were excellent (albeit way out of my price range), with some of the most immaculate imaging I've heard. Obviously, somebody liked those speakers because they are still used in a lot of reference and other high end studio systems that I've read about. And FYI, John Dunlavy never had a reputation for his business acumen, and if you're judging the quality of a speaker company based on their marketing ability and salesmanship, then Bose is right up your alley. In another example, David Hafler had six month waiting lists for his amps, yet his company still lost money and he eventually had to sell out.


I didn't say a non flat response was best - but NO SPEAKER is perfectly flat.

Thank you for pointing that out ... after the fact. Tell me again how the "there is no evidence that the flatter response is the better response." I got my subwoofer's frequency response to within 3 db down to 25 Hz, so I guess my observation that the flatter bass response after equalization sounds better is nothing more than subjectivist bull****? Then again, you very well might feel that 10+ db peaks at 88 Hz and 32 Hz reproduce the sound of an acoustic bass better, and if so, then of course your preference should be accepted by everybody as universal truth and anything that doesn't fit those preferences is crap.


As for pop recording and classical - your statement has proof I suppose right. Ohh yes I forgot you're in the camp that has speakers are either good at classical OR good at pop but can't be good at both. Puhleeze.

Oh, how what a wonderful world we live in if genres can all coexist in peace and harmony! I've never said that speakers can't be good at both and if you can find a quote to that effect, go ahead and quote me. If you're going to generalize and stereotype people, at least get your facts right. The speakers I use at home in fact are good at both amplified and acoustic sound sources. I would never have bought them if they weren't. But, at the same time I'm not going to go overboard by saying that they are the best at everything, and I will frequently recommend speakers that are better at specific things than what I use. If your position is that a speaker can be the best at everything, then I'll just wait for your next Audio Note infomercial response.


Brighter speakers are a way to get the product to stand out from the wall-o-speakers - detail can be viewed and is by me as grain added by the tweeter and perceived as more detail. Extracting more from the disc? No adding superfluous noise to the recording and more treble energy - but it wows - for a while anyway. Detail should not be mistaken as resolution.

There you go again with your little regional coloquialisms. Wall-o-speakers? You mean, that shelf that my local dealer that sells Dynaudio and B&W uses? Added treble does not equate to preference in an A/B comparison (Floyd Toole's listening tests found the strongest preferential determinents to be evenness in the midrange response and freedom from distortion). The only conclusive statements I've seen to this effect are that consumers generally have a preference for something that's louder, hence the need for level matching.

Sorry, but unless you've done a comparison based on a board feed or mastertape playback, you have no basis for concluding whether that detail is adding noise to a signal or more accurately reproducing it. You have no idea of what went into the recording or what processing was done in the process. What you perceive as superfluous noise may actually be what's in the recording and in the room.

Why the obsession about wow factor? Give people credit for buying what fits their preferences and assessments of what best approximates real sounds. You make all these unsubstantiated assumptions that anyone who disagrees with your preferences will somehow come to their senses when they perceive the treble levels on their speakers as "superfluous." If it's universal truth that people eventually tire out of speakers with a higher (flatter) treble response and come around to prefer those speakers that you prefer with the rolled off measured response in the highs, then shouldn't all of us who've been on this board for a few years have traded in our speakers and swapped out to Audio Notes or Reference 3a's by now? I've had my speakers for three years, and I'm not looking to change anytime soon. If your generalized statement is universally true, then when does buyer's remorse set in and Peter Qvortrup get some of my hard earned money? Next week? Next year? Next decade?

WmAx
06-02-2004, 12:24 PM
WmAx

Agreed. The senn has a much smoother response however over the peaky response of the 7506 - which is a positive attribute - IMO.

But hey buy what you like.
THis is the curve for the headphone I normally use for general listening:

http://www.linaeum.com/images/sony_mdrcd3000.jpg

I use this headphone for general listening purpose(portable, computer, etc.). The MDR-7506 is superior for reference. Two distinct purposes. :-)

-Chris

RGA
06-02-2004, 02:52 PM
A decade ago? Dunlavy created quite a few other speaker models in the meantime. If I had based my opinions of a speaker company on observations from a decade ago, I would never have given B&W a second listen given how much I disliked their speakers from that era. Dunlavy created quite a few speakers that found their way into recording studios and professional settings. In my listenings, his speakers were excellent (albeit way out of my price range), with some of the most immaculate imaging I've heard. Obviously, somebody liked those speakers because they are still used in a lot of reference and other high end studio systems that I've read about. And FYI, John Dunlavy never had a reputation for his business acumen, and if you're judging the quality of a speaker company based on their marketing ability and salesmanship, then Bose is right up your alley. In another example, David Hafler had six month waiting lists for his amps, yet his company still lost money and he eventually had to sell out.

Do a search on AA - I'm not the only one who though Dunlavey was a less than a good speaker maker(or I should say less than good to my ear - obviously some people must have liked them too). Hafler and Crown? Not a fan of them either sorry - Crown was selling here really cheap in a cash converters - Maybe I should have looked into pickingone up and selling it on the net might be able to turn a profit if they're highly sought after - personally I'd go buy a used Bryston. Hafler i heard three in the early 90s - I soppose they left because of the competition - not bad not a standout by any means. Wasn't it Adcom that came out with just as good but way cheaper units - or ATI or AMC or some such. Hafler is still in the recording studios - still got the name recognition happening.



Thank you for pointing that out ... after the fact. Tell me again how the "there is no evidence that the flatter response is the better response." I got my subwoofer's frequency response to within 3 db down to 25 Hz, so I guess my observation that the flatter bass response after equalization sounds better is nothing more than subjectivist bull****? Then again, you very well might feel that 10+ db peaks at 88 Hz and 32 Hz reproduce the sound of an acoustic bass better, and if so, then of course your preference should be accepted by everybody as universal truth and anything that doesn't fit those preferences is crap.

Prove to me that all people on the planet will like 88hz at 0db rather than at 10+ and 32hz - Cerwin Vega manages to stay in business with more than likely that exact sound. And if you're listening to rap then this is probably exactly what you would want. Big high - overpowered midbass/bass frequencies. Not saying it's universal that people want it but there is hardly any proof the reverse holds true over long listening sessions in real world non testing environments with large sample sizes with a variety of gear.



Oh, how what a wonderful world we live in if genres can all coexist in peace and harmony! I've never said that speakers can't be good at both and if you can find a quote to that effect, go ahead and quote me. If you're going to generalize and stereotype people, at least get your facts right. The speakers I use at home in fact are good at both amplified and acoustic sound sources. I would never have bought them if they weren't. But, at the same time I'm not going to go overboard by saying that they are the best at everything, and I will frequently recommend speakers that are better at specific things than what I use. If your position is that a speaker can be the best at everything, then I'll just wait for your next Audio Note infomercial response.

The most accurate would accurately differentiate the recordings - that does not mean you'll like the way it presents a pop album. No one can gaurantee you'll like classical or pop on a given speaker - it is nonsense that all pop albums suck and all speakers should be rated by their ability to play acoustic instruments only - because we were not there at the recording. Best at everything - now you are doing exactly what you claimed I did "generalize and stereotype people, at least get your facts right."



There you go again with your little regional coloquialisms. Wall-o-speakers? You mean, that shelf that my local dealer that sells Dynaudio and B&W uses? Added treble does not equate to preference in an A/B comparison (Floyd Toole's listening tests found the strongest preferential determinents to be evenness in the midrange response and freedom from distortion). The only conclusive statements I've seen to this effect are that consumers generally have a preference for something that's louder, hence the need for level matching.

Good for Floyd - irrelevant to the topic poor sample sizes both in subjects and gear.



Sorry, but unless you've done a comparison based on a board feed or mastertape playback, you have no basis for concluding whether that detail is adding noise to a signal or more accurately reproducing it. You have no idea of what went into the recording or what processing was done in the process. What you perceive as superfluous noise may actually be what's in the recording and in the room.

Comparison by contrast you or me can do and will determine real fast which end is up in that regard. And so could anyone supposed golden ear or not.



Why the obsession about wow factor? Give people credit for buying what fits their preferences and assessments of what best approximates real sounds. You make all these unsubstantiated assumptions that anyone who disagrees with your preferences will somehow come to their senses when they perceive the treble levels on their speakers as "superfluous." If it's universal truth that people eventually tire out of speakers with a higher (flatter) treble response and come around to prefer those speakers that you prefer with the rolled off measured response in the highs, then shouldn't all of us who've been on this board for a few years have traded in our speakers and swapped out to Audio Notes or Reference 3a's by now? I've had my speakers for three years, and I'm not looking to change anytime soon. If your generalized statement is universally true, then when does buyer's remorse set in and Peter Qvortrup get some of my hard earned money? Next week? Next year? Next decade?

Why Audio Note gets into the mix here I don't know - people are free to buy whatever they like - If I heard Paradigm against what I usually heard them against they're probably fine - I mean against a Bose they're terrific. When I heard some others the Paradigms sound like Bose in comparison. Sorry but it's in hearing the better stuff that I came to re-evaluae opinions of stuff i knew - even B&W which I loved for so long has taken a dip in my books - it's not the speakers are any worse but my horizans have been expanded. WHich is not to say YOU or anyone else who hears a specific speaker in my case audio Note would even agree with me - for them they may have liked Audio Note and then felt the Paradigms exapnded their horizans to the point where AN sounds like a Bose to them now. Simply my personal impression.

There is no perfect speaker - I prefer the choices Audio Note has made in dealing with creating an imperfect speaker - it's as much art at hiding the weaknesses as it is building from a textbook. Lots measure very similar and sound nothing alike - so maybe look at the way it's measured.

And since you love the infomercials you know you do here are some:

"Dear RGA,
Hifi Choice measure at 4 meters or so, Paul Messenger is of the same opinion as I am that close-up measurements are not a good reflection on what a speaker behaves.

If you measure the same speaker in 5 different rooms you will get 5 different frequency responses and the speaker sounds different in each room, but then again so would a live violinist, if he played in the same five rooms, so I do not see why that is a real problem, you can still hear it is the same violinist and that is what important for the speaker to relay as well when reproducing an instrument.

The speaker industry has generally become entangled in frame of mind which does not recognise this, it wants all speakers to behave and sound the same in different rooms and the only way to do that will be to make them all sound equally bad!"

"The AN-K is minus 1 dB at 20kHz, not -6, it is -6dB at 23/24kHz, "

"It should say - 6 dB at 23 kHz, the problem with this kind of information is that it largely depends on how far away it was measured and in what kind of environment, anachoic or reverberant, so you need a whole load more information to be able to determine what the speaker actually does."

"I think, as with most paper specifications, that they are designed to impress the less knowledgeable consumer into believing that they are making a choice based on "solid" information, which is important when they are making a buying decision.

A number of magazines and audio companies use our speakers, as do several mastering studios, we do not advertise this generally, because I do not feel that it is right to influence people's judgement of performance this way, I have the same view of specifications, they tell you little or nothing about the real world performance."

Sincerely,
Peter Qvortrup

Woochifer
06-02-2004, 04:05 PM
Do a search on AA - I'm not the only one who though Dunlavey was a less than a good speaker maker(or I should say less than good to my ear - obviously some people must have liked them too). Hafler and Crown? Not a fan of them either sorry - Crown was selling here really cheap in a cash converters - Maybe I should have looked into pickingone up and selling it on the net might be able to turn a profit if they're highly sought after - personally I'd go buy a used Bryston. Hafler i heard three in the early 90s - I soppose they left because of the competition - not bad not a standout by any means. Wasn't it Adcom that came out with just as good but way cheaper units - or ATI or AMC or some such. Hafler is still in the recording studios - still got the name recognition happening.

And what do the opinions on AA have to do with anything you might have not heard in the past decade? Plenty of people I know swear by the Dunlavys and his design philosophy, and among the speakers I've heard in that general price range, the Dunlavys more than hold their own. John Dunlavy's failing was with his ability to run a company not his know-how as a designer (his previous company, Duntech, still operates in Australia; and that was another company that put out well-regarded speakers but got mismanaged into an ownership change).

David Hafler sold his company to Rockford Fosgate in the early-90s (where did I ever mention Crown?). The consumer amps with his original design were discontinued at that time. They left the market because those amps could not be profitably made in quantity, not because they did not measure up to the competition (those six-month waiting lists for Hafler amps were testament to how well regarded and in demand they were). Anything you might have tried out after that time with the Hafler name on it was designed by Rockford and aimed at the pro live audio market.


Prove to me that all people on the planet will like 88hz at 0db rather than at 10+ and 32hz - Cerwin Vega manages to stay in business with more than likely that exact sound. And if you're listening to rap then this is probably exactly what you would want. Big high - overpowered midbass/bass frequencies. Not saying it's universal that people want it but there is hardly any proof the reverse holds true over long listening sessions in real world non testing environments with large sample sizes with a variety of gear.

So, you agree that a frequency response with huge peaks and nulls is preferable? I mean you were the one that was blasting the whole notion of a flatter frequency response, so what other conclusion is there? The research design that you spell out with long real world listening sessions in non testing environments and large samples would be laughably inadequate to say anything meaningful that stands up to any degree of rigor.


The most accurate would accurately differentiate the recordings - that does not mean you'll like the way it presents a pop album. No one can gaurantee you'll like classical or pop on a given speaker - it is nonsense that all pop albums suck and all speakers should be rated by their ability to play acoustic instruments only - because we were not there at the recording. Best at everything - now you are doing exactly what you claimed I did "generalize and stereotype people, at least get your facts right."

In other words, you couldn't find a whiff of proof that I'd ever stated that it was not possible for a speaker to be good for both classical and pop recordings. Apology and retraction accepted.


Good for Floyd - irrelevant to the topic poor sample sizes both in subjects and gear.

So your sample of one is more valid to his sample of hundreds of sessions conducted over the years. You were the one that speculated about treble standing out on that infamous "wall-o-speakers", and I'm just pointing out that the research does not support that as a preferential determinant.


Why Audio Note gets into the mix here I don't know - people are free to buy whatever they like - If I heard Paradigm against what I usually heard them against they're probably fine - I mean against a Bose they're terrific. When I heard some others the Paradigms sound like Bose in comparison. Sorry but it's in hearing the better stuff that I came to re-evaluae opinions of stuff i knew - even B&W which I loved for so long has taken a dip in my books - it's not the speakers are any worse but my horizans have been expanded. WHich is not to say YOU or anyone else who hears a specific speaker in my case audio Note would even agree with me - for them they may have liked Audio Note and then felt the Paradigms exapnded their horizans to the point where AN sounds like a Bose to them now. Simply my personal impression.

There is no perfect speaker - I prefer the choices Audio Note has made in dealing with creating an imperfect speaker - it's as much art at hiding the weaknesses as it is building from a textbook. Lots measure very similar and sound nothing alike - so maybe look at the way it's measured.

Oh, but remember that we're the ones who are fooled by the wow factor in a demo room and will eventually tire of our speakers because of that flat treble response. It's okay for us minions to have preferences, but inevitable that buyer's remorse will creep in at some juncture because our gullibility in the demo room betrays us. Or at least that's what happens in fantasyland.

Okay, maybe I did jump the gun a bit with the Audio Note plugs.


And since you love the infomercials you know you do here are some:
--(snip)



Right on cue.

pelly3s
06-02-2004, 04:51 PM
I have personally never heard of Sony MDR-750's, I have heard of the 7502, 7506, 7509's. In every studio I have ever been all I ever see is 7506's, 7509's, and AKG 240's. This seems to be one of those arguements just like what is the best speaker, or does bi-wiring make a difference. best word of advice just go out and listen to a bunch of different headphones for like 20 minutes a peice and see which ones sound best and are less tiring on the ears.

RGA
06-02-2004, 05:27 PM
"In other words, you couldn't find a whiff of proof that I'd ever stated that it was not possible for a speaker to be good for both classical and pop recordings. Apology and retraction accepted."

Okay you better explain the following to me better then:

"And most pop recordings are EQ'd and monitored based on how they would sound on small audio speakers and car audio systems, which is how most of them get played back in the end. That's why for a past decade and a half, the Yamaha NS10 was so widely used as a nearfield monitor, not because of its absolute accuracy but because of how its monitoring playback is applicable to those types of systems"

Right so you're saying most pop albums are deliberately made for to sound good on lousy systems: I then read that and thought ok then good systems these recording should then sound lousy which was the way they were recorded - they were recorded to compensate for bad systems so a good system which has no compromise would turn said recordings to trash. But the good classical recordings well - they are all recorded using the best by this logic for only people who are rich have any real taste in music anyway so would be played back on an expensive system that would gleam the best out of it. Sorry but that's the way it sounded to me that if pop sounds good it's because your system isn't....and that's not true in my experience


"So your sample of one is more valid to his sample of hundreds of sessions conducted over the years. You were the one that speculated about treble standing out on that infamous "wall-o-speakers", and I'm just pointing out that the research does not support that as a preferential determinant."


1) Blah blah blah - not good enough as proof from Toole - I don't have it either but I don't pass off in valid environments as a way to PROVE it. My persoanly listening - and other audiophiles.

2) Hi-fi Choice's listening panel is FAR more relevant to a buyer...and even there I don't agree woith their blind listening panels view that the B&W CM2 is a 5 star speaker. I can GENERALLY agree with the overall marks of all the speakers they've tested that I've heard and probably say I agree with the 80% - but then that is all stats and nobody is dumb enough to put all their eggs into omeone elses results of listening tests. Well some are but not me.

Woochifer
06-03-2004, 11:12 AM
Right so you're saying most pop albums are deliberately made for to sound good on lousy systems: I then read that and thought ok then good systems these recording should then sound lousy which was the way they were recorded - they were recorded to compensate for bad systems so a good system which has no compromise would turn said recordings to trash. But the good classical recordings well - they are all recorded using the best by this logic for only people who are rich have any real taste in music anyway so would be played back on an expensive system that would gleam the best out of it. Sorry but that's the way it sounded to me that if pop sounds good it's because your system isn't....and that's not true in my experience

Where do I use the terms "lousy" or "trash" or "rich"? I'm pointing out that the Yamaha NS10 was a popular monitoring speaker because it approximated what a recording would sound like when played back on a car audio or compact audio system. If you interpret that to mean "lousy" or "trash" then that's your own thesaurus. A recording monitored and optimized to the NS10 playback is not optimized for a full range speaker, but that does not equate to lousy sound on all full range speaker playbacks either. All it means is that the playback will sound decent on the likeliest types of playback systems that the audience will use. If that has the side effect of sounding "lousy" on some high end audio systems, it certainly doesn't mean that it won't sound good on others. And there are other recordings that simply won't sound good on any system, including a lot of classical recordings (ever listen to any of the digital recordings that used the original Soundstream recorder, or some of Columbia's multitracked classical recordings?). And in case you need to know yet again, at no time did I ever say that it was not possible for a speaker to be good at both pop and classical music.



1) Blah blah blah - not good enough as proof from Toole - I don't have it either but I don't pass off in valid environments as a way to PROVE it. My persoanly listening - and other audiophiles.

Boy, just mention Floyd Toole and you go into a perpetual see no evil, hear no evil mode. What part of Dr. Toole's conclusions get your delicate sensibilities into such an hysterical hissy fit? Or did the Doc kill your puppy in a previous life? I mean, what part of flatter midrange frequency response, or low distortion, or even off-axis response is so agregious in your view? If your personal experience somehow contradicts those conclusions, then I guess you got a basis for screaming bloody murder every time his name is brought up. And if indeed he did kill your puppy, accept my condolances.


2) Hi-fi Choice's listening panel is FAR more relevant to a buyer...and even there I don't agree woith their blind listening panels view that the B&W CM2 is a 5 star speaker. I can GENERALLY agree with the overall marks of all the speakers they've tested that I've heard and probably say I agree with the 80% - but then that is all stats and nobody is dumb enough to put all their eggs into omeone elses results of listening tests. Well some are but not me.

Let's see, you've been complaining about Toole's listening tests having not enough samples (I guess hundreds of test subjects is not enough for you), short duration tests, unfamiliar listening environments. So, I guess that Hi-Fi Choice's methodology solved all of those issues, right? Oh, I get it. Their conclusions agree with your preferences, so therefore their methodology must have greater validity for making generalized conclusions about speaker preferences. I guess you indeed are just smarter than everyone else because some British magazine agrees with you 80% of the time. After all, we're all dumb enough to believe that objective measurements and bias controls are valuable tools in evaluating speakers. Didn't know that all research that doesn't agree with your preferences is invalid just because you said so. I mean, high treble response and wow factor are all that consumers look for in "wall-o-speaker" demos just because you said so -- screw what Toole's team concluded about midrange response, distortion, and off-axis response! I get it now.

RGA
06-03-2004, 05:07 PM
Where do I use the terms "lousy" or "trash" or "rich"? I'm pointing out that the Yamaha NS10 was a popular monitoring speaker because it approximated what a recording would sound like when played back on a car audio or compact audio system. If you interpret that to mean "lousy" or "trash" then that's your own thesaurus. A recording monitored and optimized to the NS10 playback is not optimized for a full range speaker, but that does not equate to lousy sound on all full range speaker playbacks either. All it means is that the playback will sound decent on the likeliest types of playback systems that the audience will use. If that has the side effect of sounding "lousy" on some high end audio systems, it certainly doesn't mean that it won't sound good on others. And there are other recordings that simply won't sound good on any system, including a lot of classical recordings (ever listen to any of the digital recordings that used the original Soundstream recorder, or some of Columbia's multitracked classical recordings?). And in case you need to know yet again, at no time did I ever say that it was not possible for a speaker to be good at both pop and classical music.

That is fine - so you would not need to know what kind of music someone listens to in order to make a suggestion - but yet you do this often. A good speaker will do both well - a bad speaker won't.




Boy, just mention Floyd Toole and you go into a perpetual see no evil, hear no evil mode. What part of Dr. Toole's conclusions get your delicate sensibilities into such an hysterical hissy fit? Or did the Doc kill your puppy in a previous life? I mean, what part of flatter midrange frequency response, or low distortion, or even off-axis response is so agregious in your view? If your personal experience somehow contradicts those conclusions, then I guess you got a basis for screaming bloody murder every time his name is brought up. And if indeed he did kill your puppy, accept my condolances.

He is drawing conclusion from limited research - that simple really. It needs to be cross-reference against another type of listening to confirm the results. For instance when Hi-fi Choice does their more real world listening session and rate them - say there are 8 in a given session then if Toole is correct the listening panels in BOTH arenas will choose the identical speaker as BEST and the identical speaker as WORST - every single time. But that isn't even what TOole was doing anyway - he was simply trying to generalize a frequency response - which is more pleasing to some listeners over less pelasing to some listeners in an artificial environment in A/B sessions ...nothing measures totally flat in the real world = and not everyone chose the same speaker as being preferred - so in fact unless YOU and I were in that room on those session there is no way we would know if we were in the 90% who agree or the 5% dissenter group - thanks I listen to speakers before I buy them - you can buy off the graph.



Let's see, you've been complaining about Toole's listening tests having not enough samples (I guess hundreds of test subjects is not enough for you), short duration tests, unfamiliar listening environments. So, I guess that Hi-Fi Choice's methodology solved all of those issues, right? Oh, I get it. Their conclusions agree with your preferences, so therefore their methodology must have greater validity for making generalized conclusions about speaker preferences. I guess you indeed are just smarter than everyone else because some British magazine agrees with you 80% of the time. After all, we're all dumb enough to believe that objective measurements and bias controls are valuable tools in evaluating speakers. Didn't know that all research that doesn't agree with your preferences is invalid just because you said so. I mean, high treble response and wow factor are all that consumers look for in "wall-o-speaker" demos just because you said so -- screw what Toole's team concluded about midrange response, distortion, and off-axis response! I get it now.

You love to invent arguments and turn them around - Where did i say Hi-fi choice is right because I agree with them? They are right because they are right - and that's why i agree with them - their approach is closer to a valid form of listening test. Music listening in a normal listening environment is not a grill session - Hi-fi Choice controls bias to the relevance of the actual buyer - the tests the others do are too far removed from being valid to a shopper.

As for bright speakers selling - that is my observation and salespeople who notice the buying habits of conssumers in my immediate circle for the last 10 years. Dealers often put the treble and bass up to get a speaker to stand out - or any componant. No one wants the plain sounding one when the pomps and pipes model "blows them away" You can fly here right now and I will take you to the Future Shop and when we go into the sound room and look at their subwoofer you will see it cranked full on to max - just to impress the unsuspecting. I would further bet that their receivers have at least one of the two frequncy knobs cranked up.

Speaker makers know that too - they know that when a car crashes it would be great if the crunch is ear startling and the bass thunderous - and the more you can make it thunder and crunch the better chance you will sell your speaker against maybe a more accurate speaker which isn't as jacked up. And you said it way back when that H/T is much bigger a sales point than two channel audio - and multi-channel music is a miniscule seller right now as well - H/T FOR MOVIES is driving the market. If you want to succeed selling your H/T package you better wow em - That is what most shoppers after all WANT. Who cares if music sucks as a result - most people(well most people I know) listen to music in the car more than at home - so Ford Stock radio versus a home theater package speaker system maybe the latter sounds better for two channel music - most people don't care and are quite happy like my friend to listen to his 15 year old Samsung $89.00 portable stereo. If those are some poeple that then go into a panel to listen to a few speakers for 20 minutes what are they going to expect to hear more bass - more treble - hell Bose sells satellites - and that's pretty much ALL they're capable of. Almost all Satelite systems for that matter - so if Great midrange frequency response is what all anyone cares about and will easily choose that then my manager friend who tries his darndest to sell good speakers to people even after they listen to the Totems and Missions and Energies - despite the fact they look way better and are almost as small and built better STILL want the Bose which are easily the WORST in the midrange but boy can you hear the tweeter

Woochifer
06-04-2004, 05:48 PM
That is fine - so you would not need to know what kind of music someone listens to in order to make a suggestion - but yet you do this often. A good speaker will do both well - a bad speaker won't.

True, however if someone comes onto this board wanting suggestions for something that will best play hip-hop, I will suggest those speakers that I've heard that do hip-hop well, including those speakers that aren't as good with other genres. Speakers like Paradigm and B&W I regard as fine all-arounders, but neither of them are the best I've heard at hip hop. They'll do justice to the music, but others I've heard are better for that genre, so why not suggest those alternatives as well, especially if the person doesn't care one bit about how a speaker sounds with acoustic music?


He is drawing conclusion from limited research - that simple really. It needs to be cross-reference against another type of listening to confirm the results. For instance when Hi-fi Choice does their more real world listening session and rate them - say there are 8 in a given session then if Toole is correct the listening panels in BOTH arenas will choose the identical speaker as BEST and the identical speaker as WORST - every single time. But that isn't even what TOole was doing anyway - he was simply trying to generalize a frequency response - which is more pleasing to some listeners over less pelasing to some listeners in an artificial environment in A/B sessions ...nothing measures totally flat in the real world = and not everyone chose the same speaker as being preferred - so in fact unless YOU and I were in that room on those session there is no way we would know if we were in the 90% who agree or the 5% dissenter group - thanks I listen to speakers before I buy them - you can buy off the graph.

First off, Toole's tests measured a LOT more than just frequency response. Second, "real world" tests mean that you're no longer controlling for any of the environmental variables, which would make any data generated far less usable and explanatory than anything that Dr. Toole's team put together. Lastly, his tests were not about brand identification, but about identifying the characteristics that most prominently drive what people prefer. Nothing in his tests ever said that there was a speaker that measured perfectly flat, but there are speakers that measure flattER than others in specific frequency ranges, and its the midrange that drives preferences more often in controlled listenings.


You love to invent arguments and turn them around - Where did i say Hi-fi choice is right because I agree with them? They are right because they are right - and that's why i agree with them - their approach is closer to a valid form of listening test. Music listening in a normal listening environment is not a grill session - Hi-fi Choice controls bias to the relevance of the actual buyer - the tests the others do are too far removed from being valid to a shopper.

In other words, Hi-Fi Choice is right because you said so. No need to invent an argument, you just made mine right there.


As for bright speakers selling - that is my observation and salespeople who notice the buying habits of conssumers in my immediate circle for the last 10 years. Dealers often put the treble and bass up to get a speaker to stand out - or any componant. No one wants the plain sounding one when the pomps and pipes model "blows them away" You can fly here right now and I will take you to the Future Shop and when we go into the sound room and look at their subwoofer you will see it cranked full on to max - just to impress the unsuspecting. I would further bet that their receivers have at least one of the two frequncy knobs cranked up.

At low volumes, I would buy that argument simply because human hearing is less sensitive at certain frequencies at low levels. However, the only consistently valid determinent that I've seen over the years is that people will more often prefer something that's louder. Nothing I've ever seen about treble or bass alone driving preferences more so than that.


Speaker makers know that too - they know that when a car crashes it would be great if the crunch is ear startling and the bass thunderous - and the more you can make it thunder and crunch the better chance you will sell your speaker against maybe a more accurate speaker which isn't as jacked up. And you said it way back when that H/T is much bigger a sales point than two channel audio - and multi-channel music is a miniscule seller right now as well - H/T FOR MOVIES is driving the market. If you want to succeed selling your H/T package you better wow em - That is what most shoppers after all WANT. Who cares if music sucks as a result - most people(well most people I know) listen to music in the car more than at home - so Ford Stock radio versus a home theater package speaker system maybe the latter sounds better for two channel music - most people don't care and are quite happy like my friend to listen to his 15 year old Samsung $89.00 portable stereo. If those are some poeple that then go into a panel to listen to a few speakers for 20 minutes what are they going to expect to hear more bass - more treble - hell Bose sells satellites - and that's pretty much ALL they're capable of. Almost all Satelite systems for that matter - so if Great midrange frequency response is what all anyone cares about and will easily choose that then my manager friend who tries his darndest to sell good speakers to people even after they listen to the Totems and Missions and Energies - despite the fact they look way better and are almost as small and built better STILL want the Bose which are easily the WORST in the midrange but boy can you hear the tweeter

You sure make a lot of assumptions about how other people use their systems. In that crunch example, that's more about how loud the system is than anything. And about a system that can reproduce the entire frequency range. If you were to compare two systems that can reproduce most of the frequency range, the one that exaggerates the bass more might fare well in some specific listenings, but will likely fail in most others. With level matching, the speaker that exaggerates the bass will need to be dialed back because, all other things being equal, the bass will drive the overall SPL reading. That's the only way you can get a fair comparison.

The example of Totem, Mission, or Energy vs. Bose is not applicable because the listenings are sighted, which introduces all kinds of biases. Just in the time I've spent in audio stores over the years and overhearing what customers say after a demo with any kind of higher end speaker, very often they won't believe what their own ears tell them because those "other" speakers couldn't possibly sound as good as Bose. They went into the audition expecting that the Bose would sound better, and they came out of the demo still ready to buy Bose, even though their ears were telling them that the Bose sounded inferior. In any kind of bias controlled listening, I doubt that the Bose speakers would be preferred most often because of their generally uneven midrange response and higher distortion levels.

RGA
06-04-2004, 09:12 PM
I agree with you on your last paragraph about Bose. I was at my delaer today discussing a lot of the buying habits they've seen over the last 30 years of operation. Your Bose statement is correct - but doesn't just apply to Bose - They have people in who like the sound of an unknown much more than the speaker they came in to buy - but because they have done so much pre-research to actually LISTENING and because of the overwhelming advertising (ie; review(s)) they tend to assume that maybe they're hearing wrong and are supposed to after all like the "best" or rated class A or given 5 star speaker better. People like re-assurment that they dun good when buying. And I have not been exempt from it myself so I can add myself to their 30 years.

Now you or I today would not likely be suckered - but back ten years ago when there was no internet to speak of I did get suckered when I was new to all this.

Research is a good and bad tool depending on what you're doing. There was a fellow on another board who wanted a tIme aligned speaker because he read a lot of research - but never heard them. So he ruled out how many companies right off the bat - not hearing them. He came up with Thiel, Dunlavey, Vandersteen GMA. Nothing wrong with making them your speaker or anything it's personal taste - but the technology itself? I mean the 3 of those I've heard sound almost nothing alike - so there is more to it than Just time alignment.

The problem is the techno-babble drives some - the looks drive some - the hype drives some - I wish sound would drive it ---- if your goal is totally about sound - certainly we have other reasons to buy - Wife factor - kids who could wreck them - I would not want Magnepan if I had cats etc.

vr6ofpain
10-19-2004, 08:10 AM
Anyone listen to some Shure E2c's? The $99 in ear. I am debating over these and either the SR60 or SR80(though I read the 80's sound "murky" without a headphone amp).

Keep in mind my tastes are for a more laid back, mellow top end. I would be doing 95% of my listening through the 3.5mm(1/8") jack on my CPU, since my CP-3 does not have a headphone jack.

Anyone willing to describe the sound of their:

- Shure E2c

- Grado SR60

- Grado SR80


Thanks.

btw: I had a pair of Senn's back in high school that sounded good but I wasn't super impressed with, they were ~$80, believe they were the HD455 or something like that, they had red foam on the outsides behind the driver with black plastic diagonal slats over the foam(if this helps bring them to mind to anyone). what I am really hoping is that these Shure's or Grado's sound better than those. Also I am interested and leaning toward the Shure's because they are in ear, because my ears "burn" after wearing on ear's for extended periods of time.

vr6ofpain
10-28-2004, 03:37 PM
Get yourself some Koss portaPro's. They are $37.95, very portable(they fold up) and sound awesome. Sound much better than a pair of $80 Sennheiser's(HD-455) I had a while back, and they are more comfortable. I am totally happy with this purchase.

Amazon sells them for $37.95, with free shipping(5-9 business days), and no tax. Can't do much better than that. Think of it this way, you can get a set of Grado SR80's for your home($85.10 @ audioadvisor.com), and a set of these Koss portaPros for the go($37.95 @ amazon.com). Total cost to you, would be less than $150 for both to your door!

Think about it....