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Customer Discussions > Speakers forum

How to choose Home Theater speakers


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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 1, 2012 4:28:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2012 7:04:58 PM PDT
So what do you think is more important when choosing a speaker for your Home Theater aside from price: speaker specifications, a particular brand(s) that you like, advice from someone else, and/or listening to the speakers?

What is most important when choosing speakers for a Home Theater system?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 6:27:01 PM PDT
The veneer...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 7:02:42 PM PDT
Right. Yeah, I'm a veneer guy too. Good post. Good post.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2012 8:17:49 PM PDT
My preference is what sounds good, and is affordable too of course. I don't care what it says on the grill (brand name) it all depends on the sound.

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 9:54:20 AM PDT
John Billman says:
any one have experience with Speakercraft AIM speakers

Posted on Jul 19, 2012 9:50:03 AM PDT
Couch Potato says:
Avoid Bose. It's all hype.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 7:00:20 PM PDT
"Avoid Bose. It's all hype"

Wouldn't a person be able to get past the hype if they listen to the speaker and compare it with other brands in a similar price range?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 7:50:06 PM PDT
Sure, but not before they are subjected to aggressive marketing that characterizes it as luxury designer product, sort of like Burberry made in China.

Since you trust your subjective senses so much, I wonder if you got your Best Buy to dim the lights for you while you ran your spectroradiometer to calibrate for the correct color of the TVs you were interested in buying? That's after you found a salesman to help you haul the Samsung next to the Sony.

Of course not. You looked at the Sony for a few minutes at their wildly distorted Dynamic setting, and then walked over to the Samsung, while trying to keep a fresh image of the game they had on, except now you're looking at a commercial. You didn't pay any attention to the specification, because you think it's all BS; you trust your eyes.

Then you got over to the Bose satellite/bass-module booth, with the highly unrealistic setup -- 2 speakers a ft out from a 30" screen, and "rear" speakers hung on a cord extended out from the booth over your head. A button on the screen says "Push for a demonstration", while they played a pre-optimized demo disc of sound effects and R&B that took full advantage of their midbass.

Then you went over to those ugly, old-fashioned B&W speakers (who uses wood these days?!), which are lined up at some random corner in the room along with 10 other models, using a switching system, and connected to an anonymous receiver hidden in the cabinets.

Which one sounds better? The Bose in the dedicated Bose room, or the B&W in Demo Room #2? I know! Let's do a test. We'll buy both of them, sit around the couch, and plug them to the same receiver, using a switch, and then describe the speakers in subjective terms, like this one sounds louder, that one sounds more brittle, this one is dark, etc. Because God knows objective measurements are all unreliable. Put away that mic and analysis software; Radio Shack meters are redundant for this exercise. Trust in your hearts.

Better yet -- we'll close our eyes and focus on the positive energy emitting from the 2 speakers with reiki. Whichever feels better is a keeper.
---------

Of course, the power of suggestion is proven scientifically to be real. Compare two cables: one being a generic made-in-China cable; the other bombastically constructed, with colorful Techflex, a custom head, with a name that sounds like a mythical creature. Listen to them long enough, and most people will probably hear a difference. Subjectively, you feel spending a few bucks more for this cable is more than justified. It's warmer, more dynamic, more expressive, and those violin strings just feel "right".

Or we can plug them both through a machine and figure out that they both have exactly the same electrical properties; a frequency sweep running through both of them would output exactly the same signal, so that a phase reversal would perfectly cancel them out.

Wouldn't you be able to just ignore the hype if you'd just compare it with other brands? No. Hype works. That's why Bose spends a lot of advertising dough every year.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 8:44:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2012 8:46:55 PM PDT
Since you believe that specifications are more important than listening, perhaps you can elaborate on the importance and use specific examples. What speaker specifications are important? How do you differentiate performance when specs look very similar, but product price isn't?

"That's why Bose spends a lot of advertising dough every year. "

How much does Bose spend on advertising? How much does B&W spend on advertising?

Posted on Jul 19, 2012 8:48:42 PM PDT
If Bose product are *universally* as horrid as purported, why do they sell so well? Why can't listeners discern?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2012 9:07:50 PM PDT
For all of the reasons I've cited above and in the other thread.

You know what also sells so well? Monster Cables. You know what didn't sell so well? Pioneer Elite Kuro's. Using sales to prove quality would get you called a fanboy troll in the video game forum because most people recognize how meaningless this is.

Posted on Aug 12, 2012 1:03:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2012 5:37:52 AM PDT
Jonathan,
Its interesting to observe that you consider speaker specifications as the ultimate criterion in choosing speakers, ridicule listening as a measure, and you fail repeatedly to reply to the question:

"What speaker specifications are important? How do you differentiate performance when specs look very similar, but product price isn't?"

The vast majority of manufacturers list just a few measures for their speakers. Yet speakers by any given manufacturer costing substantially more than than other models have very similar specs.

Here is an example using two Ascend Acoustic bookshelf speakers. A difference in price of $500. Both speakers are rated 8ohm and handle the same amount of power. The cheaper of the two is more efficient. The more expensive speaker delivers deeper bass, but that would irrelevent, if using a subwoofer. Both speakers are advertised to perform flat +/- 3dB within 80Hz (typical sub crossover) to 20kHz frequencies (upper end of human hearing ability). By your logic, the cheaper speaker wins with a system that will utilize a subwoofer because they will sound the same over the usable frequency range. For two channel listening, the more expensive speaker purchase is justfied only by the deeper bass output.

$848 pair
SIERRA-1 REFERENCE MONITOR...
39Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB
In-Room Sensitivity 87dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 44Hz - 22kHz ± 3dB
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 86.5dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Average Impedance 8 ohms
Minimum Recommended Power 45 watts
Maximum Continuous Power* 200 watts
Maximum Short Term Peak Power* 400 watts
Cabinet Exclusive V-LAM™ construction featuring vertically laminated bamboo. Bass reflex via flared rear port tube
Dimensions H x W x D** 14.25" x 7.5" x 10.5"
Weight (each) 20 lbs each
Shipping Weight (pair) 43 lbs per pair

$348 pair
CBM-170 SE SPECIFICATIONS...
53Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB
In-Room Sensitivity 91dB @ 1 watt / 1 meter
Frequency Response (Anechoic) 58Hz - 22kHz +/- 3dB
Sensitivity (Anechoic) 89dB @ 1 watt/ 1 meter
Average Impedance 8 ohms
Minimum Recommended Power 25 watts
Maximum Continuous Power* 200 watts
Maximum Short Term Peak Power* 400 watts
Cabinet Internally Braced 5/8" MDF, Magnetically Shielded, Bass Reflex via Rear Tuned Port
Dimensions H x W x D** 12" x 9" x 10"
Speaker Weight (each) 14 lbs each
Shipping Weight (pair) 32 lbs per pair

I believe that there are details not represented by the manufacturer that seperate the performance of the two speakers other than frequency response.

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 11:56:48 PM PDT
Mr. Jumps says:
Price is most important.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 11:40:36 AM PDT
Speakerman says:
Hello guys I was wondering if you can hook up a 2nd subwoofer to a Sony SAW3000? provided that they are both self amplified- My Receiver is only 5.1

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2012 3:31:18 PM PDT
mac says:
Hi Speakerman - The easy way is something like this: Pyramid RY6 1 Male to 2 Female RCA Adaptor

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2012 3:40:46 PM PDT
I don't ridicule listening as a measure. I take a comprehensive approach. I state facts -- yes, UtI, facts -- about the unreliability of listening to two different speakers, under two different systems, in two different environments, at two different dealerships. You can find this info anywhere if you were bothered to look.

As for a pure specification approach you could just as legitimately argue is fallacious. However, that's not what you're saying. You're trying to discount all specification as useless, as though they could never factor into your purchasing discussion at all.

So let's make this easy, shall we?

If you needed to know how to pair an amp in regards to power, then you should know the maximum continuous power, average impedance, and the sensitivity.

If you needed to know how to pair the speaker with an amp or the room acoustics, then ideally you would want frequency response measured in an anechoic chamber, or at least outside on ground level.

If you needed to know what kind of subwoofer to pair it with, you need to know its -3dB point, if you're using the typical crossover, and you could substantiate that specification with a frequency sweep. You could also use the type of internal crossover it has, if you want to bypass the speakers' internal bass/midbass drivers.

If you needed to know how to place your speaker, then you should know the location of the port, if it is ported. You should also ideally know the port frequency.

If you needed to know how to connect your speaker to your amp or receiver, if you have one of those boutique brands, you should figure out if the speaker has RCA or balanced XLR outputs; and to eliminate noise, if the XLR are truly balanced.

If you ever needed to take apart the speaker and use the drivers in a new enclosure or use the enclosure with new drivers, it would be good to know the driver Q, Xmax, Xlim, resistance, coil inductance, weight, etc.

If you ever wanted to have a meaningful conversation with your audiophile friends, or to feed your ego, you should at least know the driver size, material, crossover type.

Some manufacturers provide ALL these details.
Most manufacturers provide some.
Bose provides ABSOLUTELY NOTHING besides net package weight.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2012 3:50:54 PM PDT
"By your logic, the cheaper speaker wins with a system that will utilize a subwoofer because they will sound the same over the usable frequency range. For two channel listening, the more expensive speaker purchase is justfied only by the deeper bass output."

That would be true, if all else is equal. The first clue we have that it's not is the weight, and also (doh!) the cabinet construction. I would speculate that the crossover is different. But even if that weren't the case, you would still fail at using my logic.

If I were serious about purchasing some speakers, for instance, I could go to an audio review forum like Stereophile or Audioholics, and find fully independently tested specifications that are made possible because manufacturers send their speakers out to third party reviewers and encourage them to be independently reviewed.

By contrast, Bose do not generally hand them out to independent reviewers, and discourage independent reviewers to post specifications of their speakers.

Find me 1 review on any Bose speakers with full specifications, with frequency response graphs on-axis and off-axis and correlating impedance, etc. If you can, I'll give you 3 points.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2012 5:56:17 PM PDT
"I don't ridicule listening as a measure. I take a comprehensive
approach. I state facts -- yes, UtI, facts -- about the unreliability
of listening to two different speakers, under two different systems, in
two different environments, at two different dealerships."

Sure, you pointed out the unreliability of comparing different speakers
under less than ideal conditions at the retailer (nothing technical,
mind you), but then you also wrote the following:

"I know! Let's do a test. We'll buy both of them, sit around the couch,
and plug them to the same receiver, using a switch, and then describe
the speakers in subjective terms, like this one sounds louder, that one
sounds more brittle, this one is dark, etc. Because God knows objective
measurements are all unreliable. Put away that mic and analysis software; Radio Shack meters are redundant for this exercise. Trust in
your hearts"

I would recommend that a person do exactly what you are ridiculing, and emphasize the point, if you can't hear a difference between the two speakers, then going through the trouble and expense of using mic and analysis software is irrelevant. If there is a noticeable audio
problem, an identical problem that occurs with both speakers, then it
is likely due to room conditions. Manufacturer speaker specs won't help.

You failed to identify why the more expensive Ascend Acoustic speaker
is worth the extra money. The specs that you listed are mere quidelines at best from a consumer standpoint. Remember, both models have a flat frequency response and 8ohm. What does overall weight matter, if both speakers have a flat frequency response? Are we paying for speakers by the pound? Doooh! right back atcha Homer. The speaker finish and weight offer no meaningfull indication of speaker performance, only a vague suggestion concerning price difference.

The nominal impedance measures offered by manufacturers are usually
useless since impedance varies dramatically across the overall
frequency band, and there is no industry standard established for
speaker impedance advertisement, nor for amps. Guess work for the
consumer that gives no guarantee of compatibility between amp and
speaker, and no indication of sound quality.

Frequency response is a vague guideline. Helpfull when choosing a
crossover, but not essential. And what does it reveal? That the speaker passes the muster when frequencies are swept across the speaker with a given voltage at distance of 1 meter. In real world conditions a speaker will often be subject to a variety of different frequencies simultaneously. That's where the differences in audio quality begin to exhibit in very noticeable ways that can be heard, and requires a home comparison, a practical method for choosing speakers.

You pad your reasoning with characteristics that are rarely or never
mentioned by the manufacturer, such as port location, size, crossover
freq, driver Q, Xmax, Xlim, resistance, coil inductance, weight, etc
(there's a nice spec), and xlr connectivity. You fail to mention that
product photos reveal some characteristics, such as port location. Of
course these specs are important to a speaker builder. So are this a
discusson concerning speaker selection or designing and building
speakers. Location of port has little, if any meaning to a consumer.

I don't disregard speaker specifications, but I realize that they are vague and largely of little value.

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 10:07:59 AM PDT
Mr. Jumps says:
THe reality is you can't decipher which speakers are better from printed data.
As general rule more expensive speakers are better than cheaper speakers.
Once you arrive at around ~ 1,000 dollar price however, things change.

A speaker costing 2,400 dollars isn't necessarily better than a speaker costing 1,200 dollars.
So how can you get past all the speaker company BS, to find which speaker is best?

1. Obviously listen to them. At different volumes including very loud. This can be hard to do cause you
don't always have side by side comparison situations.

2. Touch them and knock on them. Good speakers have good speaker cabinets. If the cabinetry does not have good
damping capability than it isn't going to have good acoustics no matter if they have super dooper speakers inside.
* Note this is why heavier speakers will often sound better.

3. Open them up and look inside. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to distinguish quality components from cheap components.
Also important is how the layout and install of the components look. Good engineering or Malaysian sweat box? How do the spider basket
and voice coil look? Stamped steel or high quality metal?

So if we had the opportunity to apply 1-3 against the 800 dollar and 300 dollar speakers listed above we could probably make an informed decision.
Depending on the quality of the amp, there may not be much difference between these speakers. Why? They have much different sensitivities. And amp providing only 60 watt per channel
is not going make those reference monitors sound very nice. It certainly isn't going to have the head room to make them sound potent at high volume. It may perform a little better with the cheaper
speaker because it has a higher sensitivity. So someone with the cheap receiver might opt for the cheaper speaker, and they would
have made the correct decision (for them).

Also I never dismiss low or mid end speakers. They are getting better and better every year. I went to an audio fest this spring and I got to listen to
a speaker by Sony in a hotel room. It was a vicious piece of equipment, possibly the best speaker I heard at the entire show (and everybody was there). It was called the AR-1. When they turned it up it
almost blew you out of the room. My point is the mid size and big speaker manufacturers know exactly what they are doing. You can find great stuff from Harmon, KEF, PSB, Polk, that will destroy, and if you wait long enuff
you will get it at a good price.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 1:23:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 18, 2012 1:31:58 PM PDT
I find interesting that you tried to discredit my previous assertion with a sarcastic quote that I wrote to show how obviously fruitless it is to ignore and specification whatsoever, even when doing an A/B comparison. Your approach is one from ignorance and sentimentality. There are standards to audio reproduction -- ones that could be learned and developed since they encapsulate the intent of musical directors and artists. Sure, you may prefer a sound, but without sufficient comparison and knowledge of why a certain instrument should sound as it is; and without knowledge of different factors of consideration in which speakers are built -- all that could be empirically measured -- your opinions are faulty in their incompleteness.

In my previous post, I showed to you clearly the importance of measurements for various exercises. Without nominal impedance, sensitivity, and knowing how well your speaker could handle power, you might as well blow a tweeter or two before you finish calibrating your system. These are general guidelines that apply to every speaker purchase. It's interesting, here, that you choose to attack my reasoning by cherry-picking two speakers with limited specification (I have no interest in them whatsoever), and offer that because the specifications are similar, and the price is so different, all specification is inherently useless. What?! To begin with, I've never said on-axis frequency response was the be-all, end-all specification that judges all speakers. And I never said that all manufacturers are honest in their specifications either.

But it is disingenuous, and frankly disturbing, that you would use certain sets of vague specification to discredit all specification. You wouldn't think because a certain scientist cheated, that all global warming -- no, all science, period -- is useless, would you? You wouldn't let a mathematical mistake discredit math, would you? Or a certain car manufacturer that didn't measure an engine according to national specification: would that prove that all manufacturer engine measurements are useless? Of course not, and those positions are patently absurd.

But how would you know the good ones from the faulty ones? Through independent research! If Bose wanted to stand above the fray, all they simply had to do was pay several independent testing centers to provide an objective overview of their superior specification. But instead they take the path towards ignorance, and your apologizing for their human resources cover-up is almost laughable. You wonder why none of the other manufacturers are so self-conscious about their specifications that they fear that if some other brands publishes specifications that exceed theirs, they would be done for. You wonder why no other brand, then, chooses simply to not publish any specifications whatsoever. Well, you don't wonder, but hopefully thinking consumers will.

To counter your argument of product photos with regards to Bose, Bose, laughably, posts no product photos besides an isometric brochure shot from the front. Did I "fail" to mention these things, because they're irrelevant to our topic. But I've seen plenty of reviewers that do post detailed measurements of frequency response (e.g. http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/psb-imagine-t/psb-imagine-measurements), which Bose and you actively discourage, and plenty of high-end speaker manufacturers that do list detailed specification, such as port location (common), port size (common), crossover (common), driver Q (uncommon), system Q (common in bass), Xmax/Xlim/coil inductance (uncommon in bass). Location of the port has plenty to do with the consumer when it comes to speaker placement and room design.

If your reasoning is that because typical consumers are not well-read in what various specification mean, that manufacturers should just stop printing them, and also discourage third-party reviewers to stop printing them, for the sake of reducing "confusion", then I am beyond words. It is not in the best interest of manufacturers to pander to consumer ignorance, for how can you advertise your features if none of them matter or could be put to words? The end result of what you are advocating would be a systematic return to the dark ages where speakers are simply designed to differ from other brands without an objective goal.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 2:46:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 18, 2012 2:52:11 PM PDT
I'll answer this question now that I have the full picture -- specifications that you neglected to mention, strangely enough, from the manufacturer itself, proving Ascend Acoustics integrity after all. These specifications are then backed up mostly by measurements from the National Research Council of Canada's anechoic chamber (conducted by Soundstage! magazine).

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1/srm1meas.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170meas.html
http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/speakers/ascend_sierra1/
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/ascend_cbm170/

I would prefer that these frequency response graphs be measured as close to reference as possible, but now that we have them in hand, we can see that they are measured in a medium, somewhat loud, volume, and they will be valid for up to around 90dB. The Sierra-1 has a "deviation from linearity" measurement that shows barely any deviation from 70dB to 90dB, but what I'm really interested in is what would happen when the speakers are pushed to 100dB, which is closer to a movie reference volume.

From the graphs the first thing we notice is the CBM-170 SE (from here on referred to as "CBM") actually has a smoother low-end fall off compared to the Sierra-1; it looks like the Sierra-1 is designed with maybe an EQ to give it just a little hump before a drastic fall off that accounts for the "lower bass" listed in the specification.

More importantly is probably the mid-range hump in the Sierra-1 (the CBM is actually flatter on-axis) that seems to give Sierra-1 better off-axis frequency response in the mid-range, as it seem to flatten out up to 45 degrees horizontal when the CBM is showing a sizable dip. In the higher frequencies however the CBM seems to hold up better, falling only 7dB to 10kHz at 45 degrees off axis, when the Sierra-1 dips 11dB at the same, and only gets worse from there.

Judging from the frequency response plots, I would speculate that the Sierra-1 would have a darker sound signature than the CBM, which might be desirable to some, but it's important to note.

When it comes to on-axis frequency response though, the CBM wins hands down. It is pretty much flat throughout the entire spectrum, where as the Sierra-1 has a small hump at around 90Hz (presumably, where parametric EQ kicks in), a very sizable hump at around 800Hz, and a sizable dip at around 3kHz (presumably where the mid-range crossovers are). Impedance charts show the CBM having wider impedance swings from 4ohms, whereas the Sierra-1 has 5ohms as its lowest. Spectral analysis shows the Sierra-1 having better decay at upper-mid frequencies.

Finally, one of the most important reasons why frequency response cannot be taken as a vacuum on its own -- distortion. Soundstage!'s measurements show both speakers being driven at 90dB, but the Sierra-1's THD below 100Hz is as much as 10dB higher than the CBM up to 70dB! This would be unacceptable to me; in my opinion, the supposed bass in the Sierra-1 based on this measurement alone would seem almost unusable. We might as well just put a high pass at 90Hz and let the bass fall naturally like the CBM at probably the same distortion levels. Above 100Hz and all the way to 700Hz however, the CBM is riddled with distortion, and while the Sierra-1 has a large THD hump at 600Hz, it is relatively distortion free in the upper mid-range. This probably corresponds to the spectral decay issues that the CBM seem to be having in upper mid-range, I can picture it probably has ringing, harshness driven at louder volumes.

My conclusion is that if I wanted casual speakers, so I could invite family and friends over for sports, or late night TV with a beer, or even watch movies at relatively low volume (especially if I have a center speaker to take care of the mid-range), I would choose the CBM for its better off-axis tweeter response. Its markedly inferiority in distortion probably wouldn't come into play in casual usage, if it isn't being driven hard. If I'm using the speakers for a higher-end music setup, or to watch moves in a home theater at louder volume, I would take the Sierra-1 despite its less-flat frequency response, because it has less mid-range and tweeter distortion, and with better decay I perceive that it will have better coherence. After all, a less-than-perfect frequency response could be corrected with Audyssey MultEQ. Not to mention Dark Cherry Gloss looks better than matte black.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 5:00:03 PM PDT
"it is disingenuous, and frankly disturbing, that you would use certain sets of vague specification to discredit all specification"

The disingenuousness is on the part of the industry which offers only vague specifications as a standard practice. The information I provided
is only one example of what would be considered a pandemic in your
vision. You bought different models of Monitor Audio speakers at
various times. What specs do they advertise?

You find it strange that I didn't mention Ascend posting detailed
output measures, however I find it FAR more strange that they did. I
would hope we both agree that manufacturers RARELY offer anything
concerning output other than a suggestion concerning linearity and
frequency, and impedance.

Observing your comments before discovering the Ascend output measures and after, it makes my point more vivid than ever. Before, a vague notion full of guess work, nothing remotely conclusive even though one item is double the price, versus After, a fairly informed idea of a few key particulars.

So what does the consumer do? Purchase only from Ascend or from the
miniscule sample of products measured by Audioholics and Stereophile,
the only two online publications of which I'm aware that give the
consumer a better educated guess? I'm certain that you would be hard
pressed to find manufacturers offering the same detail in their assessment.

By the way, padding your responses with ludicrous assertions on my behalf only makes you look like your trying to be a jerk.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 5:10:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2012 5:11:17 PM PDT
Jumps,

I agree with your comments that there are signs of a well-built speaker and that listening is important, particularly if both both models are purchased and tried at home.

However, wouldn't it be better if the manufacturer had a universal set of measurement guidelines and required to list the measures for the consumer. As opposed to the customer pulling the speaker apart and getting a couple of simple measurements from the manufacturer with no standardization in obtaining the measure. I believe that the aloofness is an intentional business practice that seldom benefits the business, certainly not the consumer.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2012 3:51:11 PM PDT
I don't care what you think I'm trying to be. Bottom line is you're arguing for total lack of information in the face of incomplete information. Should I call you a perfectionist? Somehow that doesn't quite fit. The only ludicrous assertion is the one you're making.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 8:28:15 PM PDT
"I don't care what you think I'm trying to be."

Ain't that the truth.

"Bottom line is you're arguing for total lack of information in the face of incomplete information."

Not at all. I'm arguing against your assertion that listening to speakers at home is a joke comparison from my premise that:
- speaker manufacturers don't provide ENOUGH information to make a solid choice when comparing speakers
- that the specifications they offer aren't controlled by industry standards
- lack of standardization renders certain specifications meaningless for comparison
- therefore, improvement is needed and the consumer should listen to the speakers in their own home before choosing

I give credit where credit is due. Ascend makes an effort to inform their prospective customer with meaningful information; a preface before charting:

"*All of the measurements you see below are unsmoothed and use a 5dB/division scale where appropriate. It is common for loudspeaker manufacturers to publish measurements that have been smoothed to 1/3 octave (meaning 3 graph points per each octave) and use a 10dB/division scale. This has a tendency to make the graphs look smoother than they are.

For comparison purposes, if you would like to see the same on-axis frequency response graph smoothed to 1/3 octave and using a 10dB/division scale, please click here."

Ascend informs that they are not smoothing, UNLIKE OTHER MANUFACTURERS. That is a loaded statement that underlines everything that I have been stating.

Furthermore, according to Audophile online publication, no anechoic chamber exists allowing a measurement of frequency response below 100Hz. Therefore, all measurements are quasi-anechoic in practice and low bass frequency response is dubious. The measurement is unspecified EVEN with the case of Ascend.

You have failed to make a solid case for your specification infatuation, demonstrated your lack of informed decision when comparing the Ascend models, and, by silence in responding to my query regarding your choice in purchase of Monitor Audio speakers, a company that follows the standard practice of offering a few, fuzzy specs, demonstrate that you don't practice what you preach.
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