Many speakers are fare from perfect,bright and low sensitivity

gasolin

Well-known member
Sometimes it strikes me how many speakers are somewhat bright sounding

Triangle borea 3 (don't like how ithe highs sound on the borea 2's) https://www.i-fidelity.net/testberichte/hifi/triangle-borea-br03/seite-5.html

Dali oberon (as the concept and zensor has been)



B&W 607 s2 ae (bright loud,fatigue) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...kins-607-s2-anniversary-edition-review.21597/

Klipsch can be bright sounding

wharfedale evo 4.1 (mostly upper midrange lower tweeter) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/wharfedale-evo-4-1-review-speaker.28305/

Own a pair of Dynaudio emit m10's they are not super bright but the latest edtions are much darker and warmt sounding to my ears, so there must be something about the highs on the first versions they felt they needed to change.

Second speakers are also first editions, Mission lx-1 and they also need a little bright, tuning do to my amp and placement they are lowered a little more in the bass than the highs, the highs are lowered by mabye 2 db or 25% the bass is lowered mabye 1 db more or 35-40% total

Now the highs are more neutral but stil not to an extent where they are dark sounding, the bass has no bump but stil offers a good agile bass that never overpowers

Why are many speakers bright and often fatiguing to listen to ?

Yes many like a v curved sound signature or having problems hearing the highs as they get older but should those who make speakers compensate for that or are speaker manufacturers also people who needs (or want) to have bright sounding speakers ?

Second thing is sensitivity, it has also for a long time wondered why many speakers (especially klipsch) don't have the rated sensitivity = you also need to consider how much power your amp has, not just how they sound.

Klipsch RP-600M rated at 96 db but has a sensitivity just shy of 90 db https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-reference-premiere-rp-600m-loudspeaker-measurements

Dali spektor 1 and and Micca RB-42 are very low, so much many say to get most out of them (dynamics and power,spl) you need atleast 100 watt pr channel (and that is for low budget speakers)

Which book shelf speakers does do it right (without costing a furtune) don't sound bright when playing loud, high sensitivity, good bass (quality not quantity) and generally sounds good

Not all of us have space and money for big klipsch,zu adio,tektoon audio or som other brands that happens to offer a little more power (sensitivity) without sounding bright,forward when playing loud
 
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DougK1

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To an untrained ear in a showroom bright has an immediate impact and can sound wonderfully captivating. It's only after a couple of weeks at home they become headache inducing. I prefer slow burners which don't immediately draw your attention.

Also has a lot to do with personal preference, one man's bright is another man's detailed.
 

matthewpianist

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There's such variety in how speakers are voiced that it's the hardest part of a system to get right, even before the huge issue of room interactions.

I have finally found, in the Mission QX1 MkII, speakers that offer me the tonal balance I like best. Partly this is a timbral accuracy which allows the sound of instruments and voices to come through with their true character. I've heard very few speakers that do this well, and piano is a particular challenge. It's also a lovely sense of balance across the frequency range - no excessive bloom in the bass, no excessive brightness in the treble and lovely balance and projection in the midrange without ever sounding forced or overblown.

In the context of having owned a massive range of speakers, I believe the little Missions are exceptional, and not only 'for their price'. Would they work in every room and every system? No.
 
Amongst popular brands I’ve had at home, KEF seem broadly neutral, and QA 3000 series sound slightly mellow and rich tonally. No surprise they have won dozens of awards between them.

B&W and PMC are amongst those with typically a rising HF, but more to add ‘openness’ than brightness to my ears. Not my choice, but works well in modern room when fired straight ahead, with no toe-in (which I usually prefer, as I like a focussed image).

At budget level, the accompanying source and amplifier can play a big part, plus compromises in placement. Fortunately there is plenty of choice out there!
 

twinkletoes

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Back in the day, everything was easy to drive, and when I say back In the day I mean early 00's. but the cabinets where far bigger and though not a sign of less fatigue in of itself, most brands had silk domes. But things have gotten smaller , so now there harder to drive and require clever port tuning . But things were also tuned alot differently back then as well .

Mission used to be (dont know if they still are) big and bold and certainly not a relaxing listen. I personally loved that sound mixed it with NAD to really lean into it. It was a system that was unpolitically "live". latter I softened it with a marantz PM7200 run in class A.

Alot of todays speakers I find "tinny" sounding at the budget level. hence my speaker choice as ive gone up the ladder I want that live sound that I had back in the day with mission and NAD but the sweetness of the marantz. Unfortunately to find it I had to spend more money than I wanted to get those characteristics.


If you're looking to change, I'm guessing you are can't tell really.

My advice would be to look outside the box and not look at the usual suspects. Look toward the American brands as they are tuned very differently, much like older British designs used be, brands such as JBL, maybe klipsch (I think they sound sweet as a nut) revel, loved mine when I had them. These are bold easy to drive brands that arn't fatiguing at all. Revel might not be within budget though but if you can stretch worth a listen.

I don't know! my experience is running dry these days, the last time I was researching systems was back in 2017 and I have no inclination of box swapping any more and have lost interest in the "modern" sound.
I found the sound I really like then sold it then took 17 years to find it again and ended up spending for the privilege of getting it back, I pretty much when through all the brands I think.

Personally if you like what you have I leave well alone.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
Why are many speakers bright and often fatiguing to listen to ?

I agree with this, I've tried several speakers over the last year and returned or sold on for this exact reason.
I find bright speakers raelly hard to deal with but that may be because I have tinnitus.

Which book shelf speakers does do it right (without costing a furtune) don't sound bright when playing loud, high sensitivity, good bass (quality not quantity) and generally sounds good

I've Elac B5.2;s which arean't bright at all and great bass, I was limited on depth as they sit on a window sill or I would have tried their 6.2's or maybe their reference.

I also have Wharfedale 9.1's in a desktop setup, again not bright at all which suggest some of their others may not be.

In my main listening room I have ProAcs, again for the same reason.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
When i have a pair of bright speakers i tend to don't angle them like dali also recommends with many of there speakers

I do that now more or less with all of my speakers to avoid to much highs and reflections from my monitor when angled

Mission lx have for me a relaxing sound where some say dynamics arent super good (i have not problems with dynamics), they MK2 sound a little brighter and less bass heavy to me lx 1 vs lx 3 mk2, i think bass was do to the amp, curently i use tone cotrols to get a good balance

Normaly use bass,treble at 0db but why when the sound is out of balance, im lucky to be able to have a good balance with the bass,treble adjusted,lowered and therefor also have a cleaner sound at high volume (my missions are a little louder than my dynaudios) do to not having the bass and treble at 0db .

On a low budegt it's often hard to find all of it, something that isn't bright, that has a good sensitivity, can play loud and don't sound to forward in the highs and a good bass
 

Stuart83

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I know I went back to older missions not long ago for a second system getting another pair of past favourites the mx3's which are the older typical warm mission sound.
For my main system I demoed a few and I found most too "bright" infact some made me almost wince especially as my personal preference is a warm sound.
In the end I shocked myself coming away from modern mission speakers and getting QA'S with twin 6 and half inch drivers which are nice and deep.

I remember driver size being important to me finding anything under 6" not enough in a single driver set-up thus sounding brighter than usual unless they were a set of two as with the mx3s.

The older mission 763i 8" were one of the deepest bass rich warm speakers I've ever had a true floor shaker I miss them greatly.

I remember older speakers through the yrs like the old tannoys I had in my DJ yrs being deep and rich.
It was common place for me to leak out bass and add treble when matching beats to stop it going too far yet now it would be the other way around.

I have noticed all things speaker airing toward a brighter sound in modern kit I think it points to making speakers smaller in general especially narrower.

Having said that there are speakers with small drivers that are warm they just have to be looked for rather than found.

The general consensus Generally speaking is larger speakers have more bass and mids but roll off some treble. Smaller speakers are more touch sensitive and much brighter.

In my hifi journey so far I've always found bigger speakers more to my taste and less bright.

Please don't think I have a negative view on small speakers though.
I remember sitting in ore at a pair of PMC standmounts and absolutely loved my first pair of speakers the mission 763i and all speakers need an element if brightness to add detail afterall.
 
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gasolin

Well-known member
Once had a pa amp that had 2x300 watt in 8 ohm, 450 watt in 4 ohm and bridged 900 watt + a pair of QX 2 (first versions) they could play loud and had bass like no other mid sized bookshelf speaker, that was fun but i had tendency to play a little to loud but the bass was deep and punchy, thought the highs wasn't 100% clean , ringing or something from the highs

Finish on my pair wasn't good

According to avsforum the QX-2 mkII can have Fractional sluggishness to deep bass

Someone suggested the QX-1 MKII that might would 'solve' the bass issue mentioned in the review

My mission LX-1 are small but i hear bass and can be louder than my dynaudios and i like there size

At the moment under £200 or just under 230€ for a pair (close to 50% off) since i usually don't have 2 pair of speaker unlees it's for my tv /which i don't use anymore)

 
I think the tonal balance of a speaker is less important than choosing the right speaker to work well in any given room. Firing a brighter speaker directly forward to counteract its brightness may work on the face of things, but the you're gaining reflected HF from the side walls, even though it may be more gentle to the ear (depending on distances), which then means you're hearing more of your room and less of your speakers.

There is no one speaker fix-all solution, and you won't get all your desired requirements from one speaker, especially from a smaller bookshelf speaker, which will be compromised in any number of ways to be able to produce a speaker that will appeal to many people.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
My experience of speakers has been quite the opposite really. I've not heard many speakers in the last 3 years, but most of the speakers I've heard sounded quite warm and dull and I've often wondered why companies are afraid of the treble region and the detail it brings, particularly with modern recordings and high res stuff. Many designs favour the safe and warm sound and I still struggle to know why. Most speakers end up in living rooms and most living rooms have curtains and drapes, carpets and soft sofas. This is usually balanced out with glass, ceilings and walls. Every room is different and it's not very useful listening to speakers in a shop, due to the particular choice of their furnishings etc. My QA3030i sound slightly soft at the top end and I do think this is a deliberate attempt to reduce any fatiguing brightness, although I am looking for something with a bit more sparkle. I think my Audiolab Omnia is also partly to blame and has been designed to give a more forgiving sound. My system does sound a bit warm and cosy, but the sound never strays into boominess, especially now the foam bungs are in place. There is a nice weight to the sound and bags of midrange detail. I would consider QA speakers again and I'm trying to get a demo of the QA5040 floorstander. I do prefer a warts and all presentation to the sound and if you have very accurate and detailed speakers, you might not like the sound of many of the recordings you own. This isn't the speakers at fault, it's shortcomings in many poor recordings or lack of care in the mastering process. I would like Mission to release a new version of the 751 and also provide matching stands. I remember hearing these speakers many years ago, on the end of some KI Signature Marantz components and I've not heard anything as good since. A really energetic and dynamic bounce to the sound and loads of detail in the midrange and treble. I might try and audition a few standmounts this year to see if there's anything out there with some life to the sound.
 
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Sometimes it strikes me how many speakers are somewhat bright sounding

Triangle borea 3 (don't like how ithe highs sound on the borea 2's) https://www.i-fidelity.net/testberichte/hifi/triangle-borea-br03/seite-5.html

Dali oberon (as the concept and zensor has been)



B&W 607 s2 ae (bright loud,fatigue) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...kins-607-s2-anniversary-edition-review.21597/

Klipsch can be bright sounding

wharfedale evo 4.1 (mostly upper midrange lower tweeter) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/wharfedale-evo-4-1-review-speaker.28305/

Own a pair of Dynaudio emit m10's they are not super bright but the latest edtions are much darker and warmt sounding to my ears, so there must be something about the highs on the first versions they felt they needed to change.

Second speakers are also first editions, Mission lx-1 and they also need a little bright, tuning do to my amp and placement they are lowered a little more in the bass than the highs, the highs are lowered by mabye 2 db or 25% the bass is lowered mabye 1 db more or 35-40% total

Now the highs are more neutral but stil not to an extent where they are dark sounding, the bass has no bump but stil offers a good agile bass that never overpowers

Why are many speakers bright and often fatiguing to listen to ?

Yes many like a v curved sound signature or having problems hearing the highs as they get older but should those who make speakers compensate for that or are speaker manufacturers also people who needs (or want) to have bright sounding speakers ?

Second thing is sensitivity, it has also for a long time wondered why many speakers (especially klipsch) don't have the rated sensitivity = you also need to consider how much power your amp has, not just how they sound.

Klipsch RP-600M rated at 96 db but has a sensitivity just shy of 90 db https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-reference-premiere-rp-600m-loudspeaker-measurements

Dali spektor 1 and and Micca RB-42 are very low, so much many say to get most out of them (dynamics and power,spl) you need atleast 100 watt pr channel (and that is for low budget speakers)

Which book shelf speakers does do it right (without costing a furtune) don't sound bright when playing loud, high sensitivity, good bass (quality not quantity) and generally sounds good

Not all of us have space and money for big klipsch,zu adio,tektoon audio or som other brands that happens to offer a little more power (sensitivity) without sounding bright,forward when playing loud
There's a number of factors at play. Get a system that synergises with each other, room acoustics. If your room has the acoustics of ampty barn you don't buy a bright set-up -- it's fingernails down a blackboard.

There are plenty of amps and sources that are more forgiving, such as Marantz, Arcam, Roksan, Musical Fidelity, or any Class A or tube amps.

I wouldn't pair B&W speakers with the likes of Cyrus or Naim unless you enjoy self-torture.

But you're experienced enough to know this.
 

Gray

Well-known member
I wouldn't pair B&W speakers with the likes of Cyrus or Naim unless you enjoy self-torture.
I'm glad you made it clear that you wouldn't pair PP.....👍
Because I regard that as a sweeping generalisation based on the idea of 'house sounds'.

I never generalise based on opinions of 'house sounds' (regardless of how popular those opinions have become).
I once had B&W paired with Cyrus. It was not 'torture' for me.
No pairing has ever been torture for me - though, as far as I'm concerned, obviously reduced / rolled-off HF is the worst trait that any speaker can possess.

To me, metallic percussion (such as symbols) must sound like metallic percussion - and not like it's mostly covered with a blanket.
But, as always, each to their own 👍
 
I'm glad you made it clear that you wouldn't pair PP.....👍
Because I regard that as a sweeping generalisation based on the idea of 'house sounds'.

I never generalise based on opinions of 'house sounds' (regardless of how popular those opinions have become).
I once had B&W paired with Cyrus. It was not 'torture' for me.
No pairing has ever been torture for me - though, as far as I'm concerned, obviously reduced / rolled-off HF is the worst trait that any speaker can possess.

To me, metallic percussion (such as symbols) must sound like metallic percussion - and not like it's mostly covered with a blanket.
But, as always, each to their own 👍
Depends how far you're going back. Old B&Ws were more forgiving than modern incarnations, take the likes of the 602s of the early to mid 2000s.

Modern incarnations seem, to my ears, to be picky with amplification.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
Depends how far you're going back. Old B&Ws were more forgiving than modern incarnations, take the likes of the 602s of the early to mid 2000s.

Modern incarnations seem, to my ears, to be picky with amplification.
I've listened to many B&W speakers and the bass depth and extension are phenomenal for the cabinet size, but the midrange seems to be sucked out with many B&W speakers.leaving the treble exposed and often sounding splashy and sibilant. I'm sure the high end models sound better, but you 'd still need to be careful with partnering equipment. I remember hearing an online demo of the 805 D3 through my PC speakers and they sounded incredible in the treble and this was through my really average quality PC speakers. I would love to hear these, or their successors, in the same room. The 805 D3 were £4500 plus stands and the 805 D4 are £7000 plus stands so it's very unlikely I will ever get to own a pair of these. I bet they sound amazing at the end of a grippy, powerful amp with real PRaT and detail. B&W and Cyrus would be incredible and again, if you think this combo would be edge of the seat, you're probably listening to poor recordings. Not the speakers fault.
 
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podknocker

Well-known member
I'm glad you made it clear that you wouldn't pair PP.....👍
Because I regard that as a sweeping generalisation based on the idea of 'house sounds'.

I never generalise based on opinions of 'house sounds' (regardless of how popular those opinions have become).
I once had B&W paired with Cyrus. It was not 'torture' for me.
No pairing has ever been torture for me - though, as far as I'm concerned, obviously reduced / rolled-off HF is the worst trait that any speaker can possess.

To me, metallic percussion (such as symbols) must sound like metallic percussion - and not like it's mostly covered with a blanket.
But, as always, each to their own 👍
I agree entirely. My QA3030i are rolled off early in the treble and it's done to prevent anything in the treble becoming offensive to the listener. I hate this attitude and I think speakers should give you a clear window to the music. Again. if you think your system sounds bright/harsh/shrill etc. you're possibly listening to crappy recordings.
 
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I agree entirely. My QA3030i are rolled off early in the treble and it's done to prevent anything in the treble becoming offensive to the listener. I hate this attitude and I think speakers should give you a clear window to the music. Again. if you think your system sounds bright/harsh/shrill etc. you're possibly listening to crappy recordings.
Given how many people here complain about ‘shrillness’ or similar issues, I differ on this. I think the QA are very cannily balanced, and their huge sales are probably partly because of this.

Ideally, I agree you may seek a more neutral balance (my ATCs are pretty typical of that), and many will choose a yet more prominent top-end, as exemplified by PMC, Monitor Audio and B&W. Interesting too that the costlier and newer QA5000 series seem to be brighter.
 
I've listened to many B&W speakers and the bass depth and extension are phenomenal for the cabinet size, but the midrange seems to be sucked out with many B&W speakers.leaving the treble exposed and often sounding splashy and sibilant. I'm sure the high end models sound better, but you 'd still need to be careful with partnering equipment. I remember hearing an online demo of the 805 D3 through my PC speakers and they sounded incredible in the treble and this was through my really average quality PC speakers. I would love to hear these, or their successors, in the same room. The 805 D3 were £4500 plus stands and the 805 D4 are £7000 plus stands so it's very unlikely I will ever get to own a pair of these. I bet they sound amazing at the end of a grippy, powerful amp with real PRaT and detail. B&W and Cyrus would be incredible and again, if you think this combo would be edge of the seat, you're probably listening to poor recordings. Not the speakers fault.
One of my hi-fi hates, as I've mentioned many times, is a rolled off treble.

My amp, speakers and CDP are fairly neutral, so neutrality should be a better word. No way does it sound bright or shrill, the flipside it sounds cozy, almost gooey.
 

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