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Is there a way to understand the Law of Diminishing returns - Proac D2 vs Wharfedale Diamond 9.1

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
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18,595
I know this is a silly comparision, but I had some free time recently and I was trying things out.

I swapped the Proac D2 with Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 speakers. Both the speaker pairs are thoroughly run in.

Ofcourse, there is a difference in the speakers but the difference to my ears does not really justify the more than 1500 Pound price difference or the 12 times price difference. For sure the D2s did not sound 12 times better than the 9.1s

May be a rating system, possibly upto 100 points, with out considering the actual price of the speakers can be an indicative of the actual sound quality instead of putting the speakers in a price bracket and finding the best in that price bracket.

I would say that the 9.1 might be at 70 points and and D2 at 85 points, may be from the above consideration.

What do you think, in general about the entire price bracket based rating system?
 

datay

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Nov 19, 2008
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Martin Colloms has been doing something similar I believe for years i.e. an "objective" scale not taking price into account (and it ends up being quite divisive). What Hifi is pretty much the only place you find a star-rating system, price helps break it into groups (one other mag provides a buying guide divided into price brackets), as a consumer guide the magazine has to provide this as one of its main functions. To be fair they very often say when a product punches above its weight price-wise.

The arguments here are of course well-known e.g: craftmanship, economies of scale, fixings and finish, etc.; a Rolex and Timex both tell the time, blah blah blah. They are both playing the same music; how different can it sound? What does £1000 worth of difference mean to you?
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Did you ever try them both with the Inpol?......I think you might find that the differences get greater, as the amp (and source) get better.

You need to hear the Proacs bi-amped (if they can be) through the AVR 600. :shifty:
 

FennerMachine

New member
Feb 5, 2011
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Not heard the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's or ProAc D2, but...

If you compare a well balanced £600.00 system, CD player, amp, speakers, stands, cables...

To a well balanced £6000.00 system...

You may not get 10 times the sound quality, maybe 5 times, but that in itself is subjective...

But if you had that sort of budget available you would almost definitely get the more expensive system as it would be noticeably better and you would enjoy the music more.

It would need to be a well balanced system though to suit the listening room, otherwise the more expensive system could sound worse!
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
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datay said:
The arguments here are of course well-known e.g: craftmanship, economies of scale, fixings and finish, etc.; a Rolex and Timex both tell the time, blah blah blah. They are both playing the same music; how different can it sound? What does £1000 worth of difference mean to you?
I know what you mean! Since the subjective nature of the sound quality perceived by individuals vary (which is different with the watch analogy - all watches tell the same time which is definitely quantifiable. people may want Rolex for various other reasons beyond telling time)

I am just wondering, about my pruchases, especially when I was always believing that a higher price means better preceived sound quality and I guess it is time for me to look things beyond the price brackets!
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
1
18,595
CnoEvil said:
Did you ever try them both with the Inpol?......I think you might find that the differences get greater, as the amp (and source) get better. You need to hear the Proacs bi-amped (if they can be) through the AVR 600. :shifty:
:) I remember the sound of Inpol2 on the D2s and I do miss it in a way one misses the first love but very happy with his wife :)

Currently I tried both D2 and 9.1 in bi-amp mode from the P7. I was really comparing a 150 Pound speaker to 1750 pound speaker and for some one whose pockets are not deep enough, still so much could be achieved, is what I feel.

Especially with the impending relocation, I am weigting options more in the direction of wall-mount speakers as well as single box solutions (like AVR 600) and so I am dwelling on various possibilities.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
107
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18,595
FennerMachine said:
But if you had that sort of budget available you would almost definitely get the more expensive system as it would be noticeably better and you would enjoy the music more.

It would need to be a well balanced system though to suit the listening room, otherwise the more expensive system could sound worse!
You are right about the well balanced nature of the system. I once had Marantz PM-11 with Dynaudio Contour and it sounded awful. Regarding the budget, May be for some but for me, I look for most value for the money which is a very subjective thing. I have no problem in upgrading my Macbook Air every year and loosing out on resale / upgrade as it is a no brainer for me but I could never bring myself to spend loads of money on some expensive branded furniture. I guess it also boils down to how often we use an item.
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
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WishTree said:
I am just wondering, about my pruchases, especially when I was always believing that a higher price means better preceived sound quality and I guess it is time for me to look things beyond the price brackets!
why don't you try a different technology. everybody knows that speakers are the weakest link and "cone & dome " speakers are arguably the worst of the whole lot IMO. why don't you try good ribbons or electostats? I think you'll be impressed.

I recently swapped my box speakers for planar quasi ribbon/ magnetostatic ones and I'm not going back to boxes of any kind. I must say that the speakers I'm using ATM are not perfect but I can see/hear their potential and I'm working to unleash it. they appear not to be a complete product and need some DIY tinkering. stay tuned folks, more on that yet to come. ;)

I also think that if you replaced xover components in your Proacs for some really good quality ones you'd be able to hear the difference more easily. but that would raise the cost of the speakers considerably.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
In 1997 a Dutch newspaper organised a (blind) listening test. Tested were 8 pairs of loudspeakers. Standmounts and floorstanding models, from cheap to very expensive. I am not mentioning makes and types here, since these are not relevant anymore.

Front end, cabling and amplification: top quality. Three pieces of music (on cd): 1 classical piece, 1 jazz piece and 1 popsong.

The panel: a director of a theater, a (well known) musician, a music critic, and a (female!) audio "freak". The panel members had to fill in forms (8 criteria) and had no idea which speakers they were hearing. Only after finishing the test they could see which loudspeakers where involved.

The cheapest set ended last and the most expensive speakers (twelve times the price of the cheapest) ended third.

Winners of the test ex aequo: the second most expensive and the one but cheapest ( :clap: ) speakers.

What can (or should...) we learn out of this? The price tag has only little (or maybe even nothing? ) to do with musical qualities! This also means that before buying you have to listen; and keep in mind: What sounds best is best!
 

Sabby

New member
Jul 22, 2009
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oldric_naubhoff said:
WishTree said:
I am just wondering, about my pruchases, especially when I was always believing that a higher price means better preceived sound quality and I guess it is time for me to look things beyond the price brackets!
why don't you try a different technology. everybody knows that speakers are the weakest link and "cone & dome " speakers are arguably the worst of the whole lot IMO. why don't you try good ribbons or electostats? I think you'll be impressed.

I recently swapped my box speakers for planar quasi ribbon/ magnetostatic ones and I'm not going back to boxes of any kind. I must say that the speakers I'm using ATM are not perfect but I can see/hear their potential and I'm working to unleash it. they appear not to be a complete product and need some DIY tinkering. stay tuned folks, more on that yet to come. ;)

I also think that if you replaced xover components in your Proacs for some really good quality ones you'd be able to hear the difference more easily. but that would raise the cost of the speakers considerably.
I'm fully in agreement with the idea of moving away from box speakers. I recently changed my speakers to Magneplanar MG12's and the difference compared to my previous box speakers was astounding. The sound is so much more open and transparent, not at all like the sound coming from 2 boxes. The only perceived weakness is that you won't get very deep bass, but that can easily be addressed with a good quality sub. Certainly after listening to what panel speakers can do, I will not be able to go back to box speakers ever again.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Mar 11, 2011
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Sabby said:
The only perceived weakness is that you won't get very deep bass, but that can easily be addressed with a good quality sub.
how nice to hear I'm not the only one around here. I know altruistic_lemon also has MG12 but he left recently in protest of "clandestine moderation".

anyway the weakness you're talking about is the thing I want to fix. I want to upgrade the crossover as it's using very mediocre parts. especially ferrite core inductors and polypropylene caps are on the way out. and those parts are in the bass exactly. when I'm done the bass should get firmer a lot and the top end and mids should benefit too. there should be even more delicacy and resolution. anyway people report that after fiddling with the XO they forget about using subs so I think the whole thing is worth the hassle.

if you're interested you could go to Magnestand web site. have a read about the mod and especially about the XO mod.

oh, and one more thing. you may be confusing bass extension for bass bloom/ bloat. MG12s are specified at 45Hz, as you well know. and they go so deep. it's just that bass level is not elevated above the rest of the spectrum and bass is quicker than from average box speaker. still they definitely lack some body in mid bass and I hope the XO will solve this issue for me.
 

Sabby

New member
Jul 22, 2009
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oldric_naubhoff said:
oh, and one more thing. you may be confusing bass extension for bass bloom/ bloat. MG12s are specified at 45Hz, as you well know. and they go so deep. it's just that bass level is not elevated above the rest of the spectrum and bass is quicker than from average box speaker. still they definitely lack some body in mid bass and I hope the XO will solve this issue for me.
Actually I'm more than satisfied with the bass of the MG12. I find it taut and fast with no bloating. It's just that some people used to the bass from box speakers might be under the impression that the MG12's lack bass, especially when listening to music with a heavy bass content. The MG12's just present everything so naturally without emphasising any part of the frequency spectrum.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your proposed mods and whether it makes the improvements you are expecting.
 

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