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  1. #1
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    HT killed stereo

    On another thread somebody asked why I recently purchased Def Tech BP10 speakers when I am an audio only person. Well, that requires a thread of it's own. I have been a stereo lover for more than 20 years now and the available equipment has drastically changed due to home theater. Because home theater is where all the money is and because home theater equipment can be of much lower quality and still sell very well, the manufacturers have mostly stopped making affordable hi quality speakers. 20 years ago, you would go to a stereo store and they would have a wide range of amazing speaker products starting in the $1200 - $1500 range (for a pair). This was roughly double what big box stores were charging for their crap speakers. Fast forward to today. There seems to be only two choices, low fi speakers at best buy (etc) or hi end speakers which are great, but start out around 3k per pair. And for 3k, you get zero bass. If you want hi -end speakers with bass, you need 5k or more. This is roughly 5 times what big box stores charge for their crap speakers. So the price gap is now huge. This is becuase there's not enough money in making excellent speakers. Fidelity is not that important for HT use.

    So after auditioning many speakers in the under $1500 range, I felt the Def Techs offered the most for the money. Would these be my choice if I could spend 5k? No. But in my opinion, they are excellent for music or HT. For the $900 I spent, I have never heard a speaker that could compete side by side with them.

    By the way, for music listening, I hate subwoofers. They sound like crap most of the time. They grossly distort music. They do not integrate with the main speakers.

  2. #2
    seeking solace in music
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    Yes and No.

    I totally agree that the best speakers were made 20yrs ago. (I saw the future and collected 6 pairs of JR149.)

    Today the manufacturers have to follow the flow if they want to survive. They push "anti magnetic" or any other buzz words they can think of.

    The good news is that the manufacturers are pushing more of us into audiophilia! That makes us visit sites like this to understand how to circumvent the whole Hi-Fi mass dollar pocket.

    Regarding your observation of sub-units...... don't disregard them out of hand. If you buy to suit your system look carefully at the crossover frequencies. In fact, if you want a really good Sub then invest in an electronic crossover where you can adjust to your desired crossover frequency.

    Keep swinging

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  3. #3
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    Did you audition Paradigm or B&W both of which offer decent quality budget entry level and go up from there?

    For $900.00 you could have gotten a Dynaudio Audience 52 which is a bookshelf speaker that should best you Def Techs in every aspect. They would require a pretty good amp though.

    I do agree with you to some extent, for those who want a receiver and a easy to drive speaker to go with it, the options are much less than in the past. You have Polk, Klipsch, Infinity or Bose, none of which are going to give your Def Techs a run for their money. Infinity used to be a very good line for this nitch but they have gone down hill badly.

    The Paradigm and B&W are good choices though in the entry level. Some like Fluance and Axiom sold over the internet but I haven't heard any. Acoustic Energy are good budget speakers but their response was meant to be flat and are not the last word in bass response yet good sound quality overall in their price range.

    It's difficult to say the least but a sub can get close to seemless response with satelites. The problem is most people want to set their home sub up like a typical car stereo, turn the knob full around and let it rip. You aren't supposed to be able to hear where the sub is in the room, the response should blend. You can get close by ear but to get it there it would require a SPL meter and probably a parametric EQ.

  4. #4
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I'm enjoying hese speakers very much. They go down to 27 htz with their powered woofers. They are $1800 right now.

    http://www.av123.com/products_catego...akers&brand=54
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxwired
    On another thread somebody asked why I recently purchased Def Tech BP10 speakers when I am an audio only person. Well, that requires a thread of it's own. I have been a stereo lover for more than 20 years now and the available equipment has drastically changed due to home theater. Because home theater is where all the money is and because home theater equipment can be of much lower quality and still sell very well, the manufacturers have mostly stopped making affordable hi quality speakers. 20 years ago, you would go to a stereo store and they would have a wide range of amazing speaker products starting in the $1200 - $1500 range (for a pair). This was roughly double what big box stores were charging for their crap speakers. Fast forward to today. There seems to be only two choices, low fi speakers at best buy (etc) or hi end speakers which are great, but start out around 3k per pair. And for 3k, you get zero bass. If you want hi -end speakers with bass, you need 5k or more. This is roughly 5 times what big box stores charge for their crap speakers. So the price gap is now huge. This is becuase there's not enough money in making excellent speakers. Fidelity is not that important for HT use.

    So after auditioning many speakers in the under $1500 range, I felt the Def Techs offered the most for the money. Would these be my choice if I could spend 5k? No. But in my opinion, they are excellent for music or HT. For the $900 I spent, I have never heard a speaker that could compete side by side with them.

    By the way, for music listening, I hate subwoofers. They sound like crap most of the time. They grossly distort music. They do not integrate with the main speakers.
    I truly believe this thread would've gotten a much more sympathetic ear in the Vintage Gear forum. Nevertheless, I feel for ya dude.

    GMichael is our resident AVS123 rep, and he wouldn't steer you wrong.

  6. #6
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    Well there are a great many speaker brands out there making good speakers these days.Recently i heard some of Focal's Chorus 800 series and they are very good and reasonably priced, also heard the Focal Electra 1027 floorstander, while not cheap at around 8 grand a pair they sound amazing producing better sound than there 25k a pair Utopia series and i can honestly say they are possibly the most beautiful speaker i have ever seen, highly polished furniture grade cabinets.


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  7. #7
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    I find it hard to agree with the vintage speaker argument, even in the last 10 years and more so in the last 20, the tools to design speakers have improved substantially.

    I haven't been in the market for speakers in that price range for years, so I could be quite wrong, but Thielle Small parameters, Linkwitch Riley networks, exotic cone materials and design software have fundamentally changed what can be accomplished for a given effort or cost.
    Herman;

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  8. #8
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    I am the troublemaker (as usual) who asked about the deftechs.
    I thought it was a valid question, since there are so many audiophile grade speakers out these for the same price.
    You're like someone I know, you want a LOT of bass, not an accurate soundfield.
    I do agree on one thing, my music has sounded better lately since I AM SANS SUB.
    As for the DEFs, besides having DEAF in their name, I used to like these, but three hours spent listening to them while they changed out the radio in my car convinced me that they
    wouldnt do. The titanium speakers wore me out.
    And on movies they were great, but music? Thats not what they were made for.
    They were made for rock and rollers and HT nuts.
    A good audiophile grade speaker resembles a musical instrument more than a electromechanical device.
    DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, listen to some opera, totem, vienna acoustic, etc.
    If you like bass, B&w would be a good choice, they are known for their bass, even their bookshelfs, and they are very accurate and musical speaker.
    Triangle from france is very good, I am told.
    I will tell you this, ANY speaker with a titanium tweeter is going to be too harsh for serious music reproduction. Just my two cents.
    I mean, you want music, get musical speakers, you don't buy a cocker spaniel to race
    with greyhounds, after all
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  9. #9
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    This is actually one of my favorite discussions , AUDIO vs HT.
    The two are mutually incompatible, the demands of a HT system is totally different than a
    audio system.
    Thats not what marketing wonks tell you, they just assume that you will listen to your tunes on your HT, live with the compromises.
    Well, thats what I have had to do, but I am tired of it.
    With limited funds I am about to switch, take my best set of bookshelfs, put the floorstanders into HT duty, and get serious about my music again.
    But there is gear thats clearly made for the demands of HT, of which DEF-TECH
    is the most well known, so why buy this if you love music?,
    Anyway, I now beleive I have enough gear lying around to start a audio only system again,
    Become one of the "niche" of crazies who love good audio, instead of the HT herd
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
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  10. #10
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say HT killed stereo...

    it is true, however, that HT became a big factor, and pushed stereo away for a while. But here in Europe (don't know how it's there in the USA), but here stereo is having a big revival, even vinyl is coming back real hard here.

    Due to HT however, alot of brands biased their products to the HT side, and stereo stuff becomes a little more expensive...

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  11. #11
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    This is actually one of my favorite discussions , AUDIO vs HT.
    The two are mutually incompatible, the demands of a HT system is totally different than a
    audio system.
    While I won't go quite that far ("totally different"), I believe largely the same thing. For a given budget, one must necessarily compromise the two channel performance in order to provide the other three. Some time back, I debated that topic with Sir Terence where he took the other viewpoint. I must compromise the front speaker positioning in order to accommodate the screen. I would never choose to have any large item placed between the speakers.

    In my household, it is also a practical consideration. I can listen to my tunes upstairs while the wife enjoys watching video in the family room.

    rw

  12. #12
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    I didn't realize B&W were known for bass. All the models I've heard I would describe as flat, not really accentuating in any one area. They are almost what became known as the stereotype "the British sound". I like some of the titanium products I've heard. It can give an authenic sound to cymbals and other highs. I can see on the wrong gear it might become offensive. Some people don't care for an extended or authentic highs though and prefer an amp or speakers with a roll off or warmer presentation.

    In mass market USA I'd say HT is still the driving force. There seems to be a growing interest again in 2 channel and some manufacturers offer features such as "theater bypass" to help integrate higher quality stereo systems with HT.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    This is actually one of my favorite discussions , AUDIO vs HT.
    The two are mutually incompatible, the demands of a HT system is totally different than a
    audio system.
    Thats not what marketing wonks tell you, they just assume that you will listen to your tunes on your HT, live with the compromises.
    Well, thats what I have had to do, but I am tired of it.
    With limited funds I am about to switch, take my best set of bookshelfs, put the floorstanders into HT duty, and get serious about my music again.
    But there is gear thats clearly made for the demands of HT, of which DEF-TECH
    is the most well known, so why buy this if you love music?,
    Anyway, I now beleive I have enough gear lying around to start a audio only system again,
    Become one of the "niche" of crazies who love good audio, instead of the HT herd
    I think I would fall in agreement with pixelthis. I've tried integrating the two in my home and found that i preferred completely separate systems for both.

    Regarding speakers--I am a vintage speaker fanatic. I enjoy buying the hardware for a fraction of its original price HOWEVER, I also know these items are aged and often require additional funds to refurbish or repair. This often drives the prices back up to the cost of new equipment. Vintage equipment can often be more costly to own and operate than newer equipment.

    But I've auditioned speakers such as Sonus Faber or Wilson that would challenge my vintage speaker preferences. It is the price tag of such items that saves me from indulging

    I just know that twenty years from now, Ill probably find a pre-owned pair on eBay for a fraction of its original price tag.

  14. #14
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    If you don't have a separate room, the money to buy 2 sets of main speakers or room for 2 sets of fronts speakers, then integrating is a good option and is basically still having 2 systems. Actually, having 2 sets of speakers close to each other can degrade the performance while they play.

    The best way to integrate is to use a stereo preamp or integrated with a "Theater Bypass" feature or some type of other unity gain input. You run the front preamp output of your HT receiver or processor to that input. When watching a movie through the receiver it then will use the stereo amp as a slave to drive the front speakers. When you want to listen to stereo playback just use the integrated as normal. You would hook all music sources to the stereo integrated/preamp and your video sources to the HT unit. You have 2 systems but they share one set of main speakers, but the speakers are always driven by the stereo unit.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    I am the troublemaker (as usual) who asked about the deftechs.
    I thought it was a valid question, since there are so many audiophile grade speakers out these for the same price.
    You're like someone I know, you want a LOT of bass, not an accurate soundfield.
    I do agree on one thing, my music has sounded better lately since I AM SANS SUB.
    As for the DEFs, besides having DEAF in their name, I used to like these, but three hours spent listening to them while they changed out the radio in my car convinced me that they
    wouldnt do. The titanium speakers wore me out.
    And on movies they were great, but music? Thats not what they were made for.
    They were made for rock and rollers and HT nuts.
    A good audiophile grade speaker resembles a musical instrument more than a electromechanical device.
    DO YOURSELF A FAVOR, listen to some opera, totem, vienna acoustic, etc.
    If you like bass, B&w would be a good choice, they are known for their bass, even their bookshelfs, and they are very accurate and musical speaker.
    Triangle from france is very good, I am told.
    I will tell you this, ANY speaker with a titanium tweeter is going to be too harsh for serious music reproduction. Just my two cents.
    I mean, you want music, get musical speakers, you don't buy a cocker spaniel to race
    with greyhounds, after all
    First of all, thanks to everyone for responding. I enjoy the exchange. As it turns out, I have in fact heard many of the hi-end brands. I do not like B&W products, regardless of how neutral and accurate they are, they are too laid back for me. They do not create listening excitement. I have heard totems and liked them. I have heard many great brands, revels are wonderful. However, I won't buy a speaker that is beautifully accurate but dies after 60hz. It will just not provide the sound I want. And all the hi-end brands I have heard only offer dinky choices in the under $1500 range. Few people (in any) given a blind audition would ever select any of the highend bookshelfs (or mini floor standers) over the Def Tech BP10's.

    Secondly, although I have not spent hours listening to these speakers, this review from avrev.com mentions the reputation of harsh metal tweeters and states that this is not a problem for def techs.

    "The BP7000SCís tweeter is nearly without rival in terms of air, extension and ultimate sweetness. I tend to shy away from aluminum tweeters as, more often than not, they are brittle and can become harsh at louder volumes. Well, the BP7000SCís tweeter doesnít fall into this camp."

    http://www.avrev.com/equip/definitiv...rs/index2.html

    The same tweeter used in my bp10's.

  16. #16
    Up & Coming Bottlehead jt1stcav's Avatar
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    Stereo may be dead to the typical joe-schmoe consumer who buys HT gear at BB or CC, but it's far from dead with the many audiophiles still among us!

    And subs work great when they're properly integrated and tuned with your loudspeakers and the room...there's no reason why they shouldn't be unless one knows not what they're doing as far as adjusting them and proper placement.

    And my Triangle Zephyr's titanium tweeters are anything BUT harsh or shrill!

    Just my humble opinion...
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    [QUOTE=jaxwired]First of all, thanks to everyone for responding. I enjoy the exchange. As it turns out, I have in fact heard many of the hi-end brands. I do not like B&W products, regardless of how neutral and accurate they are, they are too laid back for me. They do not create listening excitement. I have heard totems and liked them. I have heard many great brands, revels are wonderful. However, I won't buy a speaker that is beautifully accurate but dies after 60hz. It will just not provide the sound I want. And all the hi-end brands I have heard only offer dinky choices in the under $1500 range. Few people (in any) given a blind audition would ever select any of the highend bookshelfs (or mini floor standers) over the Def Tech BP10's.

    Secondly, although I have not spent hours listening to these speakers, this review from avrev.com mentions the reputation of harsh metal tweeters and states that this is not a problem for def techs.

    "The BP7000SCís tweeter is nearly without rival in terms of air, extension and ultimate sweetness. I tend to shy away from aluminum tweeters as, more often than not, they are brittle and can become harsh at louder volumes. Well, the BP7000SCís tweeter doesnít fall into this camp."

    http://www.avrev.com/equip/definitiv...rs/index2.html

    The same tweeter used in my bp10's.[/QUOTE

    I think that reviewer was in error, I beleive the defs are titanium, at least thats what I was told by the salesman.
    Whatever they're made of, after several hours I was ready to scream.
    To each his own I guess, thats why they make different ones.
    And the B&W might seem "laid back", this is because they require a bit of juice, you have to turn up the amp, they need current, turn up the vollume and BLAM.
    Beautiful music, and bass down to 50hz]
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  18. #18
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    Ok, second thoughts set in. I actually had not heard the Def Techs in several years. I just went back to hear them yesterday and I must have had the flu last time I listened to them. Or maybe they have super sensitivity to placement or room acoustic. But for whatever reason, they sounded inaccurate and actually quite awful to me. I canceled my order.

    I was also wrong about B&W, I had not listened to them in several years, but having auditioned the CM7 yesterday, I was impressed. They were much more open and forward than I have heard from B&W before. The only issue was that they are somewhat bass anemic. The other speaker I'm considering now is the Monitor Audio RS6 or RS8. They also sound very accurate and musical to me...Thoughts?

    Thanks for all the feedback, you guys saved me from a horrible mistake. I am humbled.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I love the B&W sound. I find them to be very dynamic and accurate. If I didnt have my magnepans I probably would be running B&W's along with a REL or ML non ported sub.
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