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Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
A demo in a dealer's listening room only tells you what those loudspeakers will sound like in that room. With a little hifi experience the dealers demo room will tell you a bit about what those loudspeakers might sound like in your space but you need to know what to listen for and what is largely irrelevant in what you are hearing.

So buying well specified, full range speaker on the second hand market is no risk at all IMHO. Buying from a well pedigreed studio loudspeaker manufacturer (PMC, ATC, Adam etc. etc.) minimises the risk further.

Buying speakers that are "too big" for a room is an interesting comment that has come up a few times in this thread. The reason I buy large speakers is because to get down to 20Hz you have to buy big or supplement small speakers with sub-woofer(s). Yes this can have a knock on in terms of room overloading, but there are electronic and physical ways of dealing with any spikes in a room's response so that you can get full range without overloading. Small speakers are never going to give you what is not there in the LF, so I say buying big and dealing with the associated LF issues is the only way of getting a complete experience.
 

paulkebab

New member
Dec 26, 2014
66
0
0
Gazzip said:
A demo in a dealer's listening room only tells you what those loudspeakers will sound like in that room. With a little hifi experience the dealers demo room will tell you a bit about what those loudspeakers might sound like in your space but you need to know what to listen for and what is largely irrelevant in what you are hearing.

So buying well specified, full range speaker on the second hand market is no risk at all IMHO. Buying from a well pedigreed studio loudspeaker manufacturer (PMC, ATC, Adam etc. etc.) minimises the risk further.

Buying speakers that are "too big" for a room is an interesting comment that has come up a few times in this thread. The reason I buy large speakers is because to get down to 20Hz you have to buy big or supplement small speakers with sub-woofer(s). Yes this can have a knock on in terms of room overloading, but there are electronic and physical ways of dealing with any spikes in a room's response so that you can get full range without overloading. Small speakers are never going to give you what is not there in the LF, so I say buying big and dealing with the associated LF issues is the only way of getting a complete experience.
One needs to decide what sort of sound presentation they like - fat, thin, bassy, vocal, detail above all else? I think Gazzip and me share a passion for the transmission line sound, nothing comes close. That sound will be someone else's nightmare though, so maybe the answer is a basic sound test to appreciate the different ways music can be presented by different speakers then go from there. Everyone's ears are different :)
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
267
60
10,970
Well when I brought my speakers I needed to get it right to my taste by having a demo if I liked what I heard then I buy them . Ones I got them at home and they sound rubbish I take them back because spending large sums of money that for some of us is hard to come by you do not want to make a mistake in getting something that is not right for my needs or anyone else who is thinking of buying the right speaker or amplifier

what I find confusing is a lot of people on here say it's important to demo first I thought that's how we all went about things in this hobby but I still think those of you that buy speakers that cost any amount of money without a demo first is just plan crazy . Just because it's a well made speaker or name does not mean they are any good just because a set of speakers cost £5000 does not mean they are good or better then a £500 speaker price does not always have to come into it .

But maybe those of you who do buy without a demo just look at the spec sheet and say yep that will do .
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
paulkebab said:
One needs to decide what sort of sound presentation they like - fat, thin, bassy, vocal, detail above all else? I think Gazzip and me share a passion for the transmission line sound, nothing comes close. That sound will be someone else's nightmare though, so maybe the answer is a basic sound test to appreciate the different ways music can be presented by different speakers then go from there. Everyone's ears are different :)
Exactly. Treat the dealer's demo room as a basic sound test to point you sonically in the right direction and then demo those speakers along with other similar equipment at home. Also if you are like me and easily distracted/annoyed then for god's sake take a day off work to do the home demo when your partner/kids/dog/phone are not going to keep interupting!

As a basic sound test is also the way to treat hifi show demos for anybody who is going to Bristol this weekend.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
manicm said:
stereoman said:
A bad loudspeaker will never give you a satisifying sound no matter how expensive source and amp is. Even if they output better sound because of the electronics - it will not help and save the system.
The opposite is also true - a bad source or amplification will NEVER make an excellent speaker sound good either. Sometimes it really is a case of garbage in, garbage out. As David said - a budget speaker can be more easily flattered by a good source and amplification, but a great speaker will not be flattered by a bad source.

Where I do agree with the op 100% is to get speakers suitable for the environment.
manicm, to take one highly specific example: would you rate a Denon DN-C630 and a Creek CAS 4040 as a bad source and amplifier?

I think that calling them "bad" would be a reasonable description. The Creek is the worst sounding two channel amp I've ever bought. This lack of relative quality is entirely forgiveable - given their cost when new and their value today on the 2nd hand market (£15 for a Denon with a sticky drawer button and £70 for the Creek).

Now manicm, how do you think my EV Sentry III and EV Patrician 800 speakers sound when fed by the Denon and Creek? Compared to say, for example, a Chord DAVE, Naim Statements (or 552/500's) and PMC Fact 12's?
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Blacksabbath25 said:
Well when I brought my speakers I needed to get it right to my taste by having a demo if I liked what I heard then I buy them . Ones I got them at home and they sound rubbish I take them back because spending large sums of money that for some of us is hard to come by you do not want to make a mistake in getting something that is not right for my needs or anyone else who is thinking of buying the right speaker or amplifier

what I find confusing is a lot of people on here say it's important to demo first I thought that's how we all went about things in this hobby but I still think those of you that buy speakers that cost any amount of money without a demo first is just plan crazy . Just because it's a well made speaker or name does not mean they are any good just because a set of speakers cost £5000 does not mean they are good or better then a £500 speaker price does not always have to come into it .

But maybe those of you who do buy without a demo just look at the spec sheet and say yep that will do .
In my case yes for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, I have for nearly 15 years been buying from PMC's well respected studio range. I know I like their nearfield monitors and I know I like their larger studio monitors. I would not therefore hesitate in buying new PMC products of this type on-spec alone. The only pairs of PMC I ever actually auditioned were the PB1i's and the FACT 12's. Why, because they are domestic floorstanders, which is a fundamental departure from how PMC made their reputation, namely making transmission line studio monitors, so I thought I should hear them first.

Secondly, I nearly always buy secondhand so I know that in the unlikely event that PMC produce a turkey which I don't like, then I will be able to shift them on for little or no loss. Sometimes even for a small profit!

The Fact 12's are an exception to my second rule because I purchased them new and demoed them first. Funnily enough they are the only loudspeakers that I have had to move on because I wasn't 100% satisfied, and at a massive loss to boot. Says a lot for the always demo before you buy mantra!
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
davidf said:
Whilst there are some systems that will rub up against the very vague rules concerning this subject, I generally differ.

Yes, speakers can, and usually do make the most noticeable effect on the overall sound. This is because they're not solid state like amplifiers and digital sources, where differences are usually less noticeable. They're analogue, mechanical beings that have a larger scope to affect the sound, good or bad.

I would like to say though that it is surprising just how good a well designed "budget" speaker can be when fed with high quality amplification and source. A speaker can ONLY reproduce what it is given, send them a low quality signal and it can only amplify a low quality signal. Send them a high quality signal, and they have a better "base" to work from, and you're more likely to have a better sounding system. Of course, they're then limited to their own abilities, but above £500, there really shouldn't be any worry about a speaker's quality if it has been built for quality first (not size and output).

Most of the time, people end up with crazy expensive speakers because they've bought an ex demo deal or some used bargain. That's all well and good, everyone likes a bargain, but the majority of the time they don't have the amplifier to handle them properly, and usually end up on a forum complaining that their system doesn't sound as good as the rrp would suggest, or just doesn't excite them. Plus, it also usually means they've bought them without auditioning, so there's not even any guarantee they're going to like what they do - double trouble!

It's about balancing a system. By all means take into account future upgrades, but make sure you make those upgrades, otherwise you fall into the above trap. Putting together a great sounding system isn't just about buying expensive products. It's about balancing the system and getting the right speaker to work in your room.

Another point is that, given the system is the same, the speaker itself will sound exactly the same at home as it does in the dealer's demo room. It can't sound different, it's the same speaker! What is different is how the room's acoustics interacting with the sound coming from the speakers.

Above all though, source is still important. And so is the amplifier, which has to properly drive and control what the loudspeaker needs (and has been designed) to do. By all means start with the speaker you want or need, but then make sure you provide a source with a good enough signal, and an amplifier that can allow those speakers to perform as they have been intended. It's the key to any good sounding system.
Very sensible advice.
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
58
0
10,540
Blacksabbath25 said:
Well when I brought my speakers I needed to get it right to my taste  by having a demo if I liked what I heard then I buy them . Ones I got them at home and they sound rubbish I take them back because spending large sums of money that for some of us is hard to come by you do not want to make a mistake in getting something that is not right for my needs or anyone else who is thinking of buying the right speaker or amplifier 

what I find confusing is a lot of people on here say it's important to demo first I thought that's how we all went about things in this hobby but I still think those of you that buy speakers that cost any amount of money without a demo first is just plan crazy . Just because it's a well made speaker or name does not mean they are any good just because a set of speakers cost £5000 does not mean they are good or better then a £500 speaker price does not always have to come into it . 

But maybe those of you who do buy without a demo just look at the spec sheet and say yep that will do .
I don't even look at the specs, they often mean very little.

I see a speaker with good reputation and buy ìt.
If I don't like it I just sell it on, so far the most I've lost is a tenner.

To be fair I doubt the same would work for more upmarket speakers though
 

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