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  1. #1
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    Speakers made by component manufacturers

    usually SUCK. Don't you agree, at least for the most part. Why is it that decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood, and many others make such cheesy speakers? Do they think they actually complement their components and product lines, do they think that we think they sound good etc? Plasticy, hot glued paper cones, and did I say plasticy, I just don't get it. This has always intrigued me, anyone know the answers?

    Thanks...

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    Well, look at what kind of speakers are produced by these companies. They produce HT in a box set-ups for average users who just want surround sound for the weekends when they pop a movie in. For the most part, those people won't notice the difference between a good custom set-up to a 5 satalite +sub deal. As for HK making crappy speakers, they've gone downhill in the past few years. They used to make awesome products but now that they sell mainly to the big box stores, they have seemed to focus more on image.

  3. #3
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by J*E*Cole
    usually SUCK. Don't you agree, at least for the most part. Why is it that decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood, and many others make such cheesy speakers? Do they think they actually complement their components and product lines, do they think that we think they sound good etc? Plasticy, hot glued paper cones, and did I say plasticy, I just don't get it. This has always intrigued me, anyone know the answers?

    Thanks...

    Perhaps it is that you're giving them way to much credit by stating that they are 'decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood."

    I am not surprised by the sound of their speakers because the sound of their amps and other equipment are the industry equivelant of the speakers. And I have a marantz receiver and had a Pioneer Elite and heard the flagships of all the big ones a few years ago. I buy a receiver because it has features just as I would buy an all in one printer. But if I'm serious about music replay then the Marantz or my Elite or the others just don't cut it. Movies are fine enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calegrant
    Well, look at what kind of speakers are produced by these companies. They produce HT in a box set-ups for average users who just want surround sound for the weekends when they pop a movie in. For the most part, those people won't notice the difference between a good custom set-up to a 5 satalite +sub deal. As for HK making crappy speakers, they've gone downhill in the past few years. They used to make awesome products but now that they sell mainly to the big box stores, they have seemed to focus more on image.
    Yeah but these guys were turning them out long before there was HT, let alone the "In A Box" kind.

  5. #5
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    Once again RGA misses the point. JE Cole is right. Pioneer, Yamaha, Sony, etc make some gawdawful speakers. I disagree with RGA's assumption that Pioneer, H/K, etc are crappy manufacturers. Their products all perform well, and often excel brilliantly at the tasks they're designed to perform for the money they charge. What more could you ask? Tell me what $300 a/v receiver is suppose to do for $300? Truth is, a lot of those cheap electronics capture 80-90% of the performance of equipment costing 10 times the pricetag. That leaves more money for solving the worlds problems...not a bad thing IMO.

    I'm pretty sure even RGA will agree with that most people would prefer a nice pair of speakers, say, AN E's for the sake of argument, powered by a $300 H/K receiver over a pair of $300 tower Pioneer speakers powered by a McIntosh or Bryston. Those $300 receivers sound a helluva lot closer to high end amps than those $300 Pioneer speakers do.

    I bought some Pioneer drivers last year (you can always find Pioneer drivers at places like Madisound or Parts Express on clearout) for $0.89 each. Yep....those drivers used in $200-$400 speakers. Yikes. Typically I see $3-$10 dollar drivers used in $200-$400 speakers. Maybe the odd $15 woofer. Of course these are retail prices, manufacturers probably pay 1/2 of that, maybe less.

    There's an old saying that a recipe is only as good as its ingredients. Add in really crappy pressboard and a generic, low grade crossover and it's easy to see why those speakers don't sound all that great. They tend to sound only a bit better than Boombox/Mini-System speakers, and only because they barely get a flat frequency response and have better extension and power handling because of their size.

    As to why these companies sell these poor speakers? $$$ If you can make a speaker for for $15 bucks and sell it for $100, that's a pretty darn profitable venture. Sign me up. Can't knock them for that. We should be asking "why do people continue to buy these speakers?"

    That, I can't answer.

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    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J*E*Cole
    usually SUCK. Don't you agree, at least for the most part. Why is it that decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood, and many others make such cheesy speakers? Do they think they actually complement their components and product lines, do they think that we think they sound good etc? Plasticy, hot glued paper cones, and did I say plasticy, I just don't get it. This has always intrigued me, anyone know the answers?

    Thanks...

    I wouldn't agree with that.

    there are simply different levels of products that they offer.

    I love the quality of my Pioneer TAD 1601a woofers great product...great build...great sound.

    JBL has also offered some nice drivers (past and current). Come to think of it...Sony is supposed to offer some high end speakers too(although not in the U.S.)

    take care,
    dan
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  7. #7
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I would have to agree that many mid level component makers, produce less than mid level speakers. I love my Yamaha receiver but couldn't stand the sound of Yamaha speakers. Onkyo is the same way. Good receivers but their speakers make Bose sound like top of the line.
    I did have a nice pair of Pioneer speakers in the 70's. But I don't think they make anything great anymore.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  8. #8
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    Dan beat me to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by J*E*Cole
    usually SUCK. Don't you agree, at least for the most part. Why is it that decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood, and many others make such cheesy speakers? Do they think they actually complement their components and product lines, do they think that we think they sound good etc? Plasticy, hot glued paper cones, and did I say plasticy, I just don't get it. This has always intrigued me, anyone know the answers?

    Thanks...
    I don't know about you guys, but wouldn't begrudge Santa for leaving a pair of TAD/Pioneer Model 1's under my tree!




    These speaker are state of the art by anyone's definition. The level of construction on these puppies is mind boggling.

    You should also consider that HK makes terrific speakers, they just happen to call them Revel (a division of Harman Int'l). If Santa wants to supplant the TAD 1's with some Salon's, I guess I'd take 'em.




    As we all know, AN makes everything from the source to the loudspeaker. There are other front end manufacturers that are venturing into the loudspeaker business with excellent results such as Macintosh and Krell as well.


    BTW, good to see you again Dan. I hope your back is feeling better.

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Nice Pioneers.
    I thought HK speakers where called Infinity's.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Nice Pioneers.
    I thought HK speakers where called Infinity's.
    Harman International is not a single manufacturer, but a conglomerate of many acquired companies each with their own development groups. Infinity is but one of their divisions. So is JBL. Crown. Studer.

    HK Brands

    Back to the original question, I agree. Generally speaking, I prefer companies who focus on their core competency.

    rw

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Speakers are in a very different area of expertise from the front end components, and there's a lot more grey area with speakers because so much of how they sound simply comes down to preference. Generally, the mass market manufacturers don't sell a whole lot of speakers by themselves. They primarily make speakers so that they can package something with a HTIB, or mini-system.

    This is no different than 20 years ago when manufacturers used to sell matched rack systems and compact all-in-one systems, and package them with those wide and squaty speakers that were too big for bookshelves and too short for floorstanding.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    I don't know about you guys, but wouldn't begrudge Santa for leaving a pair of TAD/Pioneer Model 1's under my tree!




    These speaker are state of the art by anyone's definition. The level of construction on these puppies is mind boggling.

    You should also consider that HK makes terrific speakers, they just happen to call them Revel (a division of Harman Int'l). If Santa wants to supplant the TAD 1's with some Salon's, I guess I'd take 'em.




    As we all know, AN makes everything from the source to the loudspeaker. There are other front end manufacturers that are venturing into the loudspeaker business with excellent results .


    BTW, good to see you again Dan. I hope your back is feeling better.
    such as Macintosh and Krell as well

    Yeah but these two brands at least would die of embarassment if ANYthing they produced was less than almost perfect.

  13. #13
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J*E*Cole
    such as Macintosh and Krell as well

    Yeah but these two brands at least would die of embarassment if ANYthing they produced was less than almost perfect.
    Can't speak for the Krell, but have you ever heard a Mac speaker?

    I wasn't at all impressed with their big guy. They too, should focus on their big blue meters IMHO.

    rw

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Perhaps it is that you're giving them way to much credit by stating that they are 'decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood."

    I am not surprised by the sound of their speakers because the sound of their amps and other equipment are the industry equivelant of the speakers. And I have a marantz receiver and had a Pioneer Elite and heard the flagships of all the big ones a few years ago. I buy a receiver because it has features just as I would buy an all in one printer. But if I'm serious about music replay then the Marantz or my Elite or the others just don't cut it. Movies are fine enough.
    Amen to that!


    PS:
    Don't you agree, at least for the most part.
    Revel and others make some good ones but mostly its crap.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by J*E*Cole
    usually SUCK. Don't you agree, at least for the most part. Why is it that decent mfg's like Pioneer, Sony, HK, Kenwood, and many others make such cheesy speakers? Do they think they actually complement their components and product lines, do they think that we think they sound good etc? Plasticy, hot glued paper cones, and did I say plasticy, I just don't get it. This has always intrigued me, anyone know the answers?

    Thanks...
    Companies make products to fit various price points.. If a products cost USD100, it is probably going to sound like USD100. However most of these companies also make some quality products for specific markets, especially the Japanese and Chinese markets (unsurprisingly), and here the likes Krell, Audio Note etc, have to compete in the same market as the Pioneers and Sonys of this world and sometimes, the mass market manufacturers give them a good trumping, A few products of note are Pioneer TAD1, if Mr. Linkwitz no less calls it SOTA and says it redefines what is possible from a commercial design, I think it is SOTA. The Fujitsu Eclipse TD which effectively redefined what is possible from a single driver crossoverless design and Sony released supertweeters with extension to 70KHz long before any of the High End manufacturers got into the game.However that mass market manufacturers tend to market iconic products in only a few markets, and most Japanese mfrs have exited a number of western markets, most notably the North American markets in recent years.

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    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    I don't know about you guys, but wouldn't begrudge Santa for leaving a pair of TAD/Pioneer Model 1's under my tree!


    BTW, good to see you again Dan. I hope your back is feeling better.

    The back and neck are doing MUCH beeter! Thanks for the kind words


    How abuout these TAD's. They're in a custom cabinet owned by Andre at e-speakers.com. I hope it doesn't mind me posting a pic of them...they're just so darn nice!



    take care...and Happy Thanksgiving (to those who it applies) (to those who it does not) Have a nice day

    dan
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    How about Epos/Creek,Naim,Linn,and Quad,their are plenty of good speakers made by the same manufacture.I think its the best way to achieve system synergy,after all thats what every audiophile is after anyway isnt it?

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by T BOMB25
    How about Epos/Creek,Naim,Linn,and Quad,their are plenty of good speakers made by the same manufacture.I think its the best way to achieve system synergy,after all thats what every audiophile is after anyway isnt it?
    Yes and Soundmind was saying this years ago that one company should build the entire chain front to back as much as possible so that they have control of the resulting sound. Few companies can do it all and most companies are interested in sales primarily. Certainly the big ones are. They may make an amp and a speaker and a cd palyer and cables etc but they may be made by separate divicsions in separate counttries with no one really saying "ok this amp this cd player and this speaker are well suited so we shall call this level A and then find other componants that work really well together and is better than A so we'll call it leve A1. No, the accounting department says to the engineering department we need a cd player amp and speakers all for $1,000.00 we want to make $700 priofit you factor in $50.00 to ship $150.00 for the dealer profit and it has to have these features and it has to look better than Yamaha and Pioneer and it has to last through a 2 year warranty without falling apart - you also need a remote for both units.

    There are many companies who make the whole chain - Pioneer Elite had speakers but they were constracted out and merely used the Pioneer Elite name - there is no one guy who listened to hundreds and hundreds of alternatives and made sure that the speaker would be a great sounding match for their equipment - they called out many companies and gave them a design appearance and profit line and found the group who could meet the profit margin and build desired. The Elite speaker was not halfbad either and better than anything else I had heard from them and from a number of mainstream competitors interestingly, but that was more the exception to the rule.

    The tough part for smaller companies like Epos and Quad and even Linn is that they are not one or two man at the top companies anymore. Linn doesn't run Linn a company does. So while they still put out lovely chains of equipment in that you can purchase a nice sounding amp/cd player/speaker/turntable and wiring from them they don't really get ambitious and build cost no object gear. But an all Linn system (despite some quircky remotes and strange odd ball functions) sounds nice.

    I respected Linn under Linn because they designed all their own stuff. In many respects I can respect them more than Audio Note in that regard. Linn from my understanding designed and built everything they make. Audio Note primarily started as an amp maker. Most of the other gear is purchased platforms from other makers. Respect is probably not the right word. AN's reasoning was why fix it if ain't broke - so buying the rights to the Systemdek II turntables by seeing that while already very good and sought after they could make a suped up turrbo version of it then that saves a lot of time rather than designing it from scratch.

    Still Linn and I believe Quad went so far as to have weird connections that relied on the other componant and you could not mix and match. Linn and Quad wanted you to hear their vision of music replay by making the whole or msot of the chain and it was one or two people's vision. And for the most part at least you know where they stand or even how it sounds.

    I can't tell you how an Arcam Integrated amp truly sounds or what the sonic goal of Arcam is. I don't think they do either. They'll say accuracy yadadada -- but let me listen to a full Arcam set-up someplace (granted they now have speakers but for a long time they didn't. Want to see where they stand.

  19. #19
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    I was re-reading this thread and

    realized that yes, there are a few mfg's who make some good speakers, very few, but for the most part names like Pioneer, Sony, Onkyo, Yamaha, H/K, etc, are the 'decent' mfg's I was referring to in the original post, and BTW here I'm referring to their components, although a couple I believe excel pretty well over the others, like H/K, but with maybe the exception of Sony, these all are huge brands with some very loyal fans of each and for good reason, and like kexodusk said, these guys capture 80-90% of the performance of more expensive brands.

    But their speakers, still suck, however I have found that while some have made some successful collaborations like the Pioneer/TAD's, if you see just the company name, like for example, Pioneer, or Yamaha with nothing else attached to it, then those are the ones that suck.

  20. #20
    RGA
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    Well it depends on who invents terms like capturing 80-90% of the sound -- which is it 80 or 90? That's a big difference and why only 90% and what 10% os missing Take 10% of the rivets holding your elctrioc slidie out on an RV together and it may not matter but then again leaving some of those rivets out may make the slide out break on first try as did happen with my folks fifth wheel.

    It depends how important this is to you - receivers I have had and still have but I also own dead easy to drive speakers for the last 15 years and it may seem like the Marantz and the top of the line discreet amplifiers massive caped copper underbellied gold plated out the yingyang Pioneer Elite was putting out 80%-90% but whatever 10-20% it was missing was the very lifeblood of the the music replay.

    The big guys do make excellent units - Sony and Phillips make some of the world's best transports -- they sell them to companies like Arcam and Audio Note etc --- Sony though does not use them in their own machines -- they use sanyon or some cheap transport. Sony CAN do it but there is no money it in it for them at the retail level - selling a $4,000.00 Transport in the Sony Store in your local mall will have it rot there until the end of time. Selling a 300 Disc changer that does everything for $329.00Cad is much better...Hey I have one and it is damn fun and for the money actually sounds quite decent - certainly as good as any $329.00 single disc player I have heard and the added features make it a no brainer for me.

    Even the Marantz at $600.00Cad I could understand someone buying over a $600.00 integrated from NAD. the nad just isn;t that much better and the featuresyou have to trade are many.

    Someone else noted that for what it is and the features you get they're not that bad. The Marantz is more than competantly built and against the direct comeptitors was the only one that had preouts, had more feautes and has a longer warranty. it was also the heaviest in its class and for the $300.00 Cad that I paid what do you want. 80-90% of the sound of a great amp? That might depend on how low resolution the speakers are that that view is based and for how long a session that that view was based.

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