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How do you qualify Speakers ? - You cannot. its a matter of Your personal choice.

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

KiranPS

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Here are my ramblings about why you can never reliably qualify a speaker system and why there are so many great brands and speakers.

I believe that speakers brands are like Cuisine there is no good or bad. Just because you dont like Thai or Japanese food does not mean they are bad. There will be people who love them and there will be people who hate them. So unless you try them yourself you will never know. You can listen to suggestions but at the end of the day its your choice.

I also don't believe that spectral analysis and frequency response graphs
will give you the whole picture. How something sounds is a combination of multiple frequencies coming out of the speaker at the same time interacting with one another from different drivers at different locations in the baffle and then hitting your eardrum. Its a complex temporal system. Unless you can setup a individual mics that can pickup each frequency separately in 3-D over time you simply cannot capture what's really happening.

These graphs might be useful tools for Q/A purposes during
Manufacturing but not a way to judge the listening quality of the speakers.

Its like saying just because the we added 0.1% salt, 0.5% pepper and 5% tomato etc the biriyani will taste absolutely Great. The taste comes from cooking them together and how individual flavors and tastes interact to produce a great dish. Similarly we cannot say a dish is bad just because there is too little or too much tomato, it might actually make it taste better.

We dont qualify the taste of food using a spectrographs (or Mass spectrometry). We don't analyze the percentage of salt , pepper , turmeric etc in some dish and say its good or bad. When you know that the Taste sense can never be qualified by spectrograph, how come we do this for our hearing sense?

Extending the same analogy, food from a bad quality restaurant with low quality ingredients will taste bad, so speakers from companies who do not use good materials, QA and research will sound bad.

On the other hand just like there are great chefs in a 2 star restaurants who know serve up great food for low cost and 5 star chefs who make bland or even bad food, There are low cost speakers which sound much better than their expensive counterparts.

In conclusion - The speakers are a matter of choice.
Magazines and other reviewers can point you in a right direction but at the end of the day its your choice.

I will post a few more of my ramblings if you find it interesting.

Thanks
Ravi Kiran.
 
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technobhatt

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Arrey Kehna Kya Chahte Ho ?
(What exactly do you wanna say?)

If your assumption is true, then as per your theory...Choosing everything is life would be 'complex temporal system' !!
yeah..I do agree it's a matter of personal choice, but that comes only when one gets aware of all those 'spectral analysis and frequency response graphs' !!
 

grubyhalo

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Depends...
I agree with most everything stated here. I'd like to just add one more point to the mix. Just like food, the best option would be to cook at home, unless you are really really loaded...
 

corElement

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one-does-not-simply-qualify-a-speaker.jpg
 
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square_wave

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@Kiran,

This is correct just like anything else in life. But only valid if you compare speakers across various brands at similar price points. There is of course direct to customer brands and DIY which can throw the price point observation a little off balance!
 

Hiten

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Dear KiranPS,
Welcome to the forum.
I 100% agree with what you have posted. After comprehensive auditioning well made speakers there comes a time to make a choice and once the purchase is made with decided budget only music matters.
Warm Regards :)
 
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Thad E Ginathom

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Better to loose some of the analogies. Yes, if one wanted to, one could do some sort of complex analysis on the food that eat. Talking about sugar and salt is like talking about woofers and tweeters without the cabinet and other components. Any analysis of a speaker, even a completely subjective personal-like-dislike judgement is going to be made on the whole thing. Any objective measurement, graphing, etc is also going to be made on the whole thing, not on the parts.

There is no question that the sound coming from your speakers (and its interaction with your room) can be measured. The question is, how useful is that to us? Most of us do not even know what sounds happen at what frequencies.

(Do you mean quantify? Yes, of course we can)

Actually, that's fine: there is no requirement to be an audio engineer to enjoy music. There is no requirement to understand the frequency response graph of a speaker to enjoy its sound (and anyway, it will have been doctored by the marketing department). We buy what we like, and what will enhance one of the most pleasurable things in our lives: listening to music.

I think that all this measurement might become more important if a person wants to reproduce sound as exactly as they can, which may or may not be the same as personally pleasing.
 

doors666

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Not really, almost all of the people would prefer a B&W 8 series over their 6 series. There goes your theory out of the window. Now dont say they dont belong to different price points. the 'temporal lobing' doesnt understand that. Some speakers are clearly superior to others, while some others are close to each other and might be a matter of preference, like everything else in life e.g. food, cars, women etc etc etc.

An usher be718 will never ever loose to an altec lansing atp3 or mx5021. If someone says they do, he needs to get his head/ear checked.
 

KiranPS

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Thats totally true but the point I am trying to make is between B&W and say Klipsch. You can read my issues with Klipsch in a prev post. I did not like the speakers at all, but there are a lot of people who love them or they would not be in business.
 

doors666

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Thats totally true but the point I am trying to make is between B&W and say Klipsch. You can read my issues with Klipsch in a prev post. I did not like the speakers at all, but there are a lot of people who love them or they would not be in business.

Thats true with everything else in life too. some people like cane sofa, some like leather. speakers are nothing special, like everything else. We audiophiles might like to think that they are different, but they are not, same rules with everything else.
 

captrajesh

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Not really, almost all of the people would prefer a B&W 8 series over their 6 series. There goes your theory out of the window.

Doors666, he may be a fresher but has put it across brilliantly. The anology is so very relevant not only to speakers but also to other equipment too. Think about it.

Don't get me wrong, I never liked the present day models of B&W at all and I'm talking of their flagship series especially so because of the price-performance ratio.

@kiranPS, welcoe to HFV.
 

doors666

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Doors666, he may be a fresher but has put it across brilliantly. The anology is so very relevant not only to speakers but also to other equipment too. Think about it.

Don't get me wrong, I never liked the present day models of B&W at all and I'm talking of their flagship series especially so because of the price-performance ratio.

@kiranPS, welcoe to HFV.

I agree to whatever he said. I am just saying the analogy is applicable to everything in life like food, wine, booze, music, movies, women, cars, bikes, sofa, dining table, screw drivers, pliers, solder, soldering iron, camera, chappals, glasses etc. you name it. I just added that some speakers are universally superior to other irrespective of preferences due to vast differences in pricing, driver quality etc.

B&W was just an example. Anyway I have the older s2 series and those will soon be on the block as my new diy ones are almost ready. Too many speakers in the house, wife is pissed (5 pairs, 2 subs, 1 center):).
 
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captrajesh

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I just added that some speakers are universally superior to other irrespective of preferences due to vast differences in pricing, driver quality etc.

B&W was just an example.

I cannot subscribe to the view that "some speakers are universally superior to other irrespective of preferences" not withstanding vast differences in pricing, driver quality et al.

Superior in what way? Specs? There are a vast number of people including me who do not care specs as much as how they appeal to their ears.

AFA B&W are concerned, they are more a hype than SQ. Strictly IMHO, YMMV.
 

doors666

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I cannot subscribe to the view that "some speakers are universally superior to other irrespective of preferences" not withstanding vast differences in pricing, driver quality et al.

lets see who picks what out of these.

Altec Lansing ATP3 vs usher be 718
Altec Lansing voice of theater vs some puny ass computer plastic multimedia speakers.
B&W nautilus vs wharfedale 9.1
B&W 801 matrix vs bose whatever.
ATC SCM19/40 vs polk audio entry level rti whatever.
Cadence top of the line vs mission bottom of line.

Now for argument's sake, it can be said that there are some people will prefer the worse ones, but in reality that wont be the case. The only criteria being sound quality.

Extending the logic to amps (you already said its true of equipment also), you mean to say that there are some people who will actually prefer a yamaha avr361 to a nelson pass f5 v3 turbo
 

alpha1

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Here are my ramblings about why you can never reliably qualify a speaker system and why there are so many great brands and speakers.


I will post a few more of my ramblings if you find it interesting.

Thanks
Ravi Kiran.
That's the exact reason why I say that my Creative Gigaworks is better than your B&W!

I PREFER THAT SOUND.
Does that make me a fool?
You bet!

*** Meanwhile ***
I think that all this measurement might become more important if a person wants to reproduce sound as exactly as they can, which may or may not be the same as personally pleasing.

That's the exact reason why I say that my Creative Gigaworks is better than your B&W!

I PREFER THAT SOUND.
Does that make me a fool?
You tell me ...
 

captrajesh

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lets see who picks what out of these.

Altec Lansing ATP3 vs usher be 718
Altec Lansing voice of theater vs some puny ass computer plastic multimedia speakers.
B&W nautilus vs wharfedale 9.1
B&W 801 matrix vs bose whatever.
ATC SCM19/40 vs polk audio entry level rti whatever.
Cadence top of the line vs mission bottom of line.

Now for argument's sake, it can be said that there are some people will prefer the worse ones, but in reality that wont be the case. The only criteria being sound quality.

Extending the logic to amps (you already said its true of equipment also), you mean to say that there are some people who will actually prefer a yamaha avr361 to a nelson pass f5 v3 turbo

When one pits an entry level stuff against an acclaimed stuff, then there is no contest.

I was apprehensive in accepting your statement that B&W is universally superior to other speakers without naming what are the other speakers that it is being compared to.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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That's the exact reason why I say that my Creative Gigaworks is better than your B&W!

I PREFER THAT SOUND.
Does that make me a fool?
You bet!
Well, exactly!

This is something that "audiophiles" don't like to admit. Not even if they exclude themselves and say other hifi buyers ;). However, it rears its "ugly" head regularly in the forum... People do not buy High Fidelity, truth to original performance, they buy the sound they like to hear. Bright, warm, bass-heavy --- this will depend on the taste of the listener, just as much as will the music we play depend on our taste.

The concept of High Fidelity arose from the wish of those who attended concerts of acoustic music, classical, orchestral, jazz, etc, to get as close to the experience of live performance as possible. Most of us here, now, do not attend those concerts in the first place, so how are we to judge the fidelity of the reproduction? But we can instantly say if we like it or not.

What can we do?

--- we can enjoy the music we love, reproduced with tone values and flavours that suit our rooms, our ears, and that we like.

OR

--- we can listen to more live music, and get more critical about comparing our home listening experience. This is hard, especially here where there is not much acoustic classical music, and even the classical Indian music is fed to us through dubious PA systems.

--- we can be influenced by fellow music lovers who get to more concerts than we do.

--- we can go shopping for flat response speakers. In the domestic world, even the specs will have been doctored to make the graph look good. I think this is the reason why some of us have become increasingly interested in pro studio monitoring equipment, designed to present the music as it is, not to enhance it to our tastes. We won't necessarily enjoy that, though!
I PREFER THAT SOUND.
Does that make me a fool?
No: it makes you someone who is enjoying music as you want to hear it.

What would make you a fool is if you start claiming that your speakers, suiting your tastes are actually the reference, most real, most hifi sound for everyone.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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captrajesh said:
When one pits an entry level stuff against an acclaimed stuff, then there is no contest.
But read this

The Dishonesty of Sighted Listening Tests

Brand biases and employee loyalty to Harman products were also a factor in the sighted tests, since three of the four products (G,D, and S) were Harman branded. Loudspeaker T was a large, expensive ($3.6k) competitor's speaker that had received critical acclaim in the audiophile press for its sound quality. However, not even Harman brand loyalty could overpower listeners' prejudices associated with the relatively small size, low price, and plastic materials of loudspeaker S; in the sighted test, it was less preferred to Loudspeaker T, in contrast to the blind test where it was slightly preferred over loudspeaker T.

Whatever our reality, there is always something to challenge it :D. And, in the absence of inverted snobbery, and supposing the presence of the necessary $3.6k, I expect that the hfif name (we don't know it here) and a nicely-made wood cabinet would almost certainly have worked its magic on me
 
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