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How to audition speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

kvandhi

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hi HFV members,
I am starting new thread on How to auditioning the speakers (Stereo music only ). I have read some magazines ,they have mentioned that keep all the base,treble in amp to 0 level and audition the speakers of all brands with same volume level .

Please help me to understand,which is best way to audition Stereo.

Even if the topic is already discussed in HFV, please link me those urls,
 
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kvandhi

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After 4 days i got only one reply, Guys Wake up :) , just share your experience on auditioning speakers and some guidelines to follow.
 

venkatcr

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Please help me to understand,which is best way to audition Stereo.
Why should an expert share his expertise with you? :)

Even if the topic is already discussed in HFV, please link me those urls,
When I joined the forum a few years ago, I spent over two weeks going through literally every thread and taking notes, before I made a single post. Learn to do some work yourself. Don't expect people to spoon feed you.

Answers to all your questions on auditioning can be had by simply reading the reviews that are there in HFV.

Cheers
 

marsilians

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After 4 days i got only one reply, Guys Wake up :) , just share your experience on auditioning speakers and some guidelines to follow.
I agree with Venkat - you have to do your homework before starting new threads. When I read the thread title I was led to an impression that you were going to consolidate information on how to audition speakers.

Your answers are answered in a no. of posted and are only a few clicks away.
 

kvandhi

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thanks venkatcr for replying, I didnt ask for reviews, anyhow i am reading all the speaker/amp reviews in this forum.
My basic question is for auditioning speaker, how to manage the eq settings or bass/treble balance.
well this forum is very much useful for learning bits and pieces of Audio products.
 

venkatcr

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thanks venkatcr for replying, I didnt ask for reviews, anyhow i am reading all the speaker/amp reviews in this forum. My basic question is for auditioning speaker, how to manage the eq settings or bass/treble balance. well this forum is very much useful for learning bits and pieces of Audio products.
Settings on an amplifier is the last thing you worry about in an audition. Do you know and understand all the terms involved with auditioning such as sound stage, musicality, clarity, frequency separation, toeing in, ear fatigue, etc? More important, do you know how to identify these aspects with your own ears.

That is why Mars and I have suggested that you read the various reviews in HFV. All these terms have been explained in some form or the other, and more important, if you read carefully, you will learn to identify these aspects during an audition.

Cheers
 

sonosphere

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Hi Skvandhi,
I understand from your first post that you are looking for guidelines that will help you setup all involved components based on a common criteria (for e.g keeping Bass /treble neutral, listening to speakers at same volume level etc.)

For above, I have the addtional advice:
Ask the audio-setup demonstrator, what is the recommended clear space to be left around the speaker being auditioned, then decide how much space you can afford to leave in your room. You should first listen the speaker at recommended location, and then at the location that is feasible at home. This approach may take twice the time, but will give you more realistic assessment of the best speaker can sound and how it would eventually sound at home.

Some suggestions:
1. Before you go for audition, think about what kind of sound you are looking for, that will make your next audio-setup more enjoyable than your present one. There is always a past reference (it may even be your mass-market TV sound). May be you are looking for better bass than your existing system, or more dynamics etc. This basic preference should be the first criteria for making choice during audition.

2. While exploring the audio scene on web or thru talk with audiophiles, you may not understand /appreciate terms* like, tone being "strident /airy /brittle" etc.... don't worry too much about it. Art appreciation develops over some time, and there is no need to wait for audition till you start appreciating majority of such terms. While technical assessment does lead to better choice, don't allow your brain to get ahead of your heart. Focus first on enjoyment factor, then on whatever technicalities you can appreciate presently.

*terms example >> http://www.hifivision.com/articles-guides/7452-cheat-sheet-terms-used-oddiophiles.html

Hope the above helps,
Regds,
Sonosphere
 

murali_n

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Hi skvandhi,

My tips will be :

1. Take your amp, interconnects and speaker wires along.

2. Test the new speaker with the above.

3. Pl carry your own CDs(avoid MP3s).

4. Listen to more genre of music.

5. Only play songs that you have listened many times and familiar with.

6. Play with Bass & Treble in neutral position (or) with "Source direct" in ON position.

7. Never hear with too low or at high volume level, keep volume at a comfortable level.

8. Never change the source or IC/Speaker cables in between each song, the same combo has to be maintained when auditioning different models of speakers. Only then a person can differentiate the qualities of each speaker.

9. If Bookshelves place it on a Stand and audition.

10. If Floor stander, give good clearance between the back and side walls, at least 0.5 mts.

11. Never audition in a cramped room.

12. Maintain same or slightly more distance from the speakers , as much as the distance between them.

Hope this helps.

N.Murali
 

bhagwan

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Hi skvandhi,

My tips will be :

1. Take your amp, interconnects and speaker wires along.

2. Test the new speaker with the above.

3. Pl carry your own CDs(avoid MP3s).

4. Listen to more genre of music.

5. Only play songs that you have listened many times and familiar with.

6. Play with Bass & Treble in neutral position (or) with "Source direct" in ON position.

7. Never hear with too low or at high volume level, keep volume at a comfortable level.

8. Never change the source or IC/Speaker cables in between each song, the same combo has to be maintained when auditioning different models of speakers. Only then a person can differentiate the qualities of each speaker.

9. If Bookshelves place it on a Stand and audition.

10. If Floor stander, give good clearance between the back and side walls, at least 0.5 mts.

11. Never audition in a cramped room.

12. Maintain same or slightly more distance from the speakers , as much as the distance between them.

Hope this helps.

N.Murali
Super post;
Great help.
I too can learn a few things from here....

I just have a small comment on point # 10.

Why gap from rear wall only for floor stander & not for Bookshelf ?

What is the least Gap to keep from side walls ? Minimum gap from rear wall ?

Where to sit ?

How 'high' to sit ?

Your help & pointers are truly appreciated.......

This is a good thread. I like the question raised....
Most audiophile I know, do not have a 'clear' idea of how speakers or any audio set up should be auditioned & evaluated.....
;)
 

square_wave

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Apart from some very useful pointers by the other members, there are some other pointers which are very useful.

1.Expectations from the new loudspeaker. What is your past reference and what are you missing in them?

2.Are you looking for comments from very seasoned audiophiles for whom accuracy is of utmost importance? Such folks take a lot of pain in positioning and such to gain a very natural presentation from the speakers.

3.To attain relevant answers to your question, please tell us more about yourself and what you aspire from your music reproduction system. Is there some clear goal that you seek ? For example, a cheap floor stander/party speaker hunter armed with some AVR will want something very different from someone who has managed to find some great sounding tube amp and is looking for the most accurate sounding speaker he can find in his budget.

4.Music choice

Please elaborate more and more seasoned guys may join in to help. Otherwise generic questions like these will be doomed.
 

kvandhi

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Guys, thanks for posting all your great advices, this help us to learn on some good tips on audition.
My understanding on Speaker placement for BS, It should be triangle of equal distance between you and speakers.
I am used with nearfield listening on my bose companion 3, so i am interested to move on Some quality BS,Amp and CDP stereo setup. I have read lot about B&W 685, so i am inclined to 685 setup.
 

anm

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I think this is a very important question and if something meaningful comes out of this, this can be a sticky. Kvandhi, I think you have asked a pretty good question, which lot of us ignore before starting auditioning.

There are lots of factors to consider - distance from speakers, tow-in, height of tweeter etc.
When comparing lot of speakers, it is advised that everything else (amp, cdp, room) to be kept constant.


hi HFV members,
I am starting new thread on How to auditioning the speakers (Stereo music only ). I have read some magazines ,they have mentioned that keep all the base,treble in amp to 0 level and audition the speakers of all brands with same volume level .

Please help me to understand,which is best way to audition Stereo.

Even if the topic is already discussed in HFV, please link me those urls,
 

bhagwan

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As anm said this is a good topic & I could not agree more.
Lots of things work by convention - tweeter height should be @ 'ear' level or 36 inches off the ground, in my case the tweeter is 44.5 inches off the ground & my speaker is a 'simple' 2 way book shelf......
My listening distance from Tweeter to my ear is about 72 inches & the speakers are 88 inches. So I personally do not follow any of the guidelines @ home, but this I have come to after years of 'experimenting'
What was said before by murali_n is almost perfect.
All the Best !
 

captrajesh

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I think very good advices have been given to start your hunt. My advice is, try to rope in an experienced audiophile who has been exposed to several good systems; not to tell you which speaker is good or which is bad but to help you identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Moreover, it makes you feel more confident; just like how a weak boy would face the school bully when accompanied by his big brother.:p
 

anm

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you may do a first iteration alone and then with an audiophile friend, and then a third one alone :)

I think very good advices have been given to start your hunt. My advice is, try to rope in an experienced audiophile who has been exposed to several good systems; not to tell you which speaker is good or which is bad but to help you identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Moreover, it makes you feel more confident; just like how a weak boy would face the school bully when accompanied by his big brother.:p
 

bhagwan

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you may do a first iteration alone and then with an audiophile friend, and then a third one alone :)
This is a 'good' suggestion...

However, I must say, the path to 'progress' is one that is chosen & carved by oneself.
Any / Every 'audiophile' has a set of parameters that they look for in any set up. Let us name them as 'a' / 'b' / 'c' / 'd' etc. etc.
All 'audiophiles' may have the same set parameters or some may have 'e' & 'f' too. To add to that my parameters may be 'b' / 'd' / 'a' / 'c' & some other audiophile may like 'c' / 'a' / 'd' / 'b' [there are many combinations possible & many more letters of the alphabet still to go].

My point being, set your own targets.
Learn as you go along, good to have a 'master' to guide, so long as the master does not 'impose' his opinion [listening style] on you.

This can be great fun & an excellent learning curve.

All the Best !
 

Rajiv

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However, I must say, the path to 'progress' is one that is chosen & carved by oneself.

My point being, set your own targets.
Learn as you go along, good to have a 'master' to guide, so long as the master does not 'impose' his opinion[listening style] on you.

True.Could not agree more.

Regards
Rajiv
 
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