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Question What is in your opinion a hyped and dull speaker

AJM1981

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Mar 26, 2021
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Given most speakers I can imagine others like them and that given some conditions in choices for a room I could even own them. This even extends to brands like Bose.

But there are some of which I don't understand why people hyped them.

In times I didn't do that much personal research I got a pair of Tannoy Mercury M1's.



They were speaker of the year in their class somewhere in the late 90s and even nowadays some people consider this a great speaker. In design terms the M1 is nice and the sound is not bad. However I have never understood why it won an award.

In terms of second hand trade they still do pretty well and online people seem to love them.

Do you have any similar experiences?
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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I have similar experiences. Too many to name. I'd rather not come out with anything new and controversial, so I'll stick to what I have shared with community in the past.


Not a fan of entry level Marantz amps and entry level Q Acoustic speakers. Also never understood the fuss about KEF LS50. These are not popular opinions but based on my experiences.

Oh and don't start me on ESS Sabre DACs 😂
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
99
27
70
I have similar experiences. Too many to name. I'd rather not come out with anything new and controversial, so I'll stick to what I have shared with community in the past.


Not a fan of entry level Marantz amps and entry level Q Acoustic speakers. Also never understood the fuss about KEF LS50. These are not popular opinions but based on my experiences.

Oh and don't start me on ESS Sabre DACs 😂
Don't mind a negative opinion personally. I am not really tribal about gear. Sometimes I like to read critical and negative opinions about stuff I like over praises that some reviewers give in which I wonder how much the manufacturer paid them.
 
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jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
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Given most speakers I can imagine others like them and that given some conditions in choices for a room I could even own them. This even extends to brands like Bose.

But there are some of which I don't understand why people hyped them.
PMC Speakers. Put me to sleep. Loads of people love them and they multiple awards. This just illustrates the importance of auditioning equipment.

Mercedes cars. Far too polite for me.

Cr-Apple. Doing wonders for the envelope business, little else.

All in my not very humble opinion!
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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I have been lucky with speakers. A bit of research and the odd audition meant I almost never really had a duffer. The one exception was an Epos bookshelf which truly sounded terrible. I can't remember the model. Looked nice though for the week I had it before I moved it on.
 

CheshirePete

Active member
Oct 12, 2020
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I have similar experiences. Too many to name. I'd rather not come out with anything new and controversial, so I'll stick to what I have shared with community in the past.


Not a fan of entry level Marantz amps and entry level Q Acoustic speakers. Also never understood the fuss about KEF LS50. These are not popular opinions but based on my experiences.

Oh and don't start me on ESS Sabre DACs 😂
I have owned the LS50's and couldn't really hear what all the fuss was about, ownership seems to have become almost like a cult.

I had the QA 3300 for a week, they just sounded lifeless and dull so I sent them back.

We all hear things differently, so if people enjoy them, that's fair enough.
 
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insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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I have been lucky with speakers. A bit of research and the odd audition meant I almost never really had a duffer. The one exception was an Epos bookshelf which truly sounded terrible. I can't remember the model. Looked nice though for the week I had it before I moved it on.
Never heard a bad sounding Epos. You must've been unlucky
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
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I have owned the LS50's and couldn't really hear what all the fuss was about, ownership seems to have become almost like a cult.

I had the QA 3300 for a week, they just sounded lifeless and dull so I sent them back.

We all hear things differently, so if people enjoy them, that's fair enough.
It could well be the Ls50s have a bit of a cult status because they refer back to the Ls5's and kind of look futuristic in both style and technical design. The sound is also really well for the fact it is produced from a single point.

I concider them slightly overpriced for what they are but ok, given that it has taken a lot of R&D work it probably is at the right value for Kef and the target group seems to be the people who also buy these things for their style of interior. It is a product Apple could have developed in the past if it would be into this business. Just to outline the kind of customers.

The old Ls50's are debatable but the hype with the Meta's is worse in my opinion. It is driven completely around this labyrinth that absorbs the sound waves from the back. But there is the thing, they slam the old pricetag of the LS50 on them . Some audiophiles run away with this as the next best thing. While in some reviews in which this different element is not hyped they mainly indicate that the Meta's have a slightly different signature which is not worth the money for a replacement.

Speaking about the old Ls50; the LS50 wireless is cool but its market price is miles and miles over the top in my opinion.
 
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AndyCC72

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Jan 13, 2021
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LS50’s with subs is sublime in my opinion. The sound genuinely blows me away sometimes. My LS50 and 2 x Rel T5i’s cost me £1600. My work colleague has some Dali floor standers that cost slightly more.. I know what I prefer.

Prior to adding the subs I really liked the LS50’s but knew there wasn’t enough bottom end for my tastes and the music I listen to. I think that would be the same for any stand mount costing £550 to be fair.

I definitely see what all the fuss is about. Love my LS50’s. playing London Grammar’s new album on them now... exquisite sounding to my untrained ear
 
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AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
99
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70
LS50’s with subs is sublime in my opinion. The sound genuinely blows me away sometimes. My LS50 and 2 x Rel T5i’s cost me £1600. My work colleague has some Dali floor standers that cost slightly more.. I know what I prefer.

Prior to adding the subs I really liked the LS50’s but knew there wasn’t enough bottom end for my tastes and the music I listen to. I think that would be the same for any stand mount costing £550 to be fair.

I definitely see what all the fuss is about. Love my LS50’s. playing London Grammar’s new album on them now... exquisite sounding to my untrained ear
That is one fine speaker. I almost got a pair but since I am more into 3 way I went for the Wharfedale Evo's 4.2 which are quite bit similar in range, though not in sound signature.

In terms of the Ls50 and the Tannoys I mentioned there is a world of difference. Also the kind of hype is different. The Tannoys I mentioned were just lousy averages. I think the standards of measurement were also a bit different those times.

Maybe it won an award because it was just the most average balanced speaker in its category like in the same way a random 'gray model Pc with averages' won an award in the 90s.

With the Ls50s it is more a love it or hate it Apple kind of cult hype. I am not really against that.
 

Paul Clarke

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2007
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To paraphrase a well known saying - "Beauty is in the ear of the beholder".
As we know, there can be a whole host of reasons why equipment and people don't match.
In this thread alone people haven't liked Epos and PMC. I loved my ES14s and have used PMC for well over a decade.
For my two pence worth, I always found VDH cables flat and lifeless.
 

CheshirePete

Active member
Oct 12, 2020
18
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25
That is one fine speaker. I almost got a pair but since I am more into 3 way I went for the Wharfedale Evo's 4.2 which are quite bit similar in range, though not in sound signature.

In terms of the Ls50 and the Tannoys I mentioned there is a world of difference. Also the kind of hype is different. The Tannoys I mentioned were just lousy averages. I think the standards of measurement were also a bit different those times.

Maybe it won an award because it was just the most average balanced speaker in its category like in the same way a random 'gray model Pc with averages' won an award in the 90s.

With the Ls50s it is more a love it or hate it Apple kind of cult hype. I am not really against that.
I have also just got a pair of Evo 4.2's, how are you finding them and may I ask what amplification you are using?

Personally, after quite a bit of repositioning and the breaking in period (which seems to have had made quite a difference), I think they are a lot of speaker for the money.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
147
38
10,620
I have similar experiences. Too many to name. I'd rather not come out with anything new and controversial, so I'll stick to what I have shared with community in the past.


Not a fan of entry level Marantz amps and entry level Q Acoustic speakers. Also never understood the fuss about KEF LS50. These are not popular opinions but based on my experiences.

Oh and don't start me on ESS Sabre DACs 😂
You certainly aren't wrong with entry level Marantz amps.
For me to be able to tell obvious flaws when comparing against competition, it's obvious they shouldn't be seen as anything particularly special.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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252
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What riles me more are the brands people deliberately ignore.

One of my favourite cheap speakers are the Usher S 520. WHAT HI-Fi gave them only 3 stars but when I demoed them they sounded sublime for the price. I've recommended these several times on this forum over the years, yet people still tend to look at the so-called bigger brands.

Another I'll throw into the mix is Monitor Audio Silver ranges. I've owned the RS6 for donkeys years, but people still say "they're too bright". Not in my experience, and I've heard them with numerous amps over the years. That said, I would avoid Naim and Cyrus as they can sound too mechanical for my taste.
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
99
27
70
What riles me more are the brands people deliberately ignore.

One of my favourite cheap speakers are the Usher S 520. WHAT HI-Fi gave them only 3 stars but when I demoed them they sounded sublime for the price. I've recommended these several times on this forum over the years, yet people still tend to look at the so-called bigger brands.

Another I'll throw into the mix is Monitor Audio Silver ranges. I've owned the RS6 for donkeys years, but people still say "they're too bright". Not in my experience, and I've heard them with numerous amps over the years. That said, I would avoid Naim and Cyrus as they can sound too mechanical for my taste.
I certainly believe you that the ones mentioned are really good speakers. I have a pair of Madisons in a second room which I could in sound easily price for 500 euro or above, but in terms of design there is simply nothing worth to mention (they pull out this box that also other brands use). Its retail price is 75 euro. The only thing cheap about them is the design mentioned and the fact the screwed in binding posts are random in position and some almost have an impossible angle as they didn't care about functional details that kind of matter.

The reason bigger brands are more sought after is about these details and their ability to maintain a price level in the future given their name. Brands like Kef and B&W make sure that stories about their speakers are everywhere. And I am sure I would almost not be able to sell the Madisons or maybe even give them away already after unboxing because there are literally no professional reviews apart from one user review in which someone traded his branded speaker for this one. If I would not be familiar to the surprise effect of them I would yawn it away as junk on the second hand market.
 
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AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
99
27
70
I have also just got a pair of Evo 4.2's, how are you finding them and may I ask what amplification you are using?

Personally, after quite a bit of repositioning and the breaking in period (which seems to have had made quite a difference), I think they are a lot of speaker for the money.
I will reply this one in the central evo 4.2 topic, i think it deserves to be upped. :)
 
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James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
147
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What riles me more are the brands people deliberately ignore.

One of my favourite cheap speakers are the Usher S 520. WHAT HI-Fi gave them only 3 stars but when I demoed them they sounded sublime for the price. I've recommended these several times on this forum over the years, yet people still tend to look at the so-called bigger brands.

Another I'll throw into the mix is Monitor Audio Silver ranges. I've owned the RS6 for donkeys years, but people still say "they're too bright". Not in my experience, and I've heard them with numerous amps over the years. That said, I would avoid Naim and Cyrus as they can sound too mechanical for my taste.
Quite possibly easily explained.
What Hifi, in their reviews, they want excitement (possibly fake excitement) and a huge soundstage.
Oh, and bass.
Having now got a pair of RX3s settling in, I can see why What Hifi said what they did about them, to an extent.
But should a speaker sound all exciting if the song doesn't sound exciting? Should a speaker lie to you? Because it seems to me thats what What Hifi want. Get an exciting song, and the speakers will sound exciting. Get a boring song, and well, the RX3s will relay that to you.
So unless your Ushers have these traits in abundance, then I find it's pot luck as to what the review score is. ie, don't necessarily pay any attention to average reviews. The real score is how much an individual wants to listen to music with said equipment. I am now constantly listening to music, and my music is reinvented. That's how exciting these Rega's are, and no doubt it is the same for you and the Usher's.

As for this term 'bright'. Isn't that peoples favourite term?
If someone wants oodles of detail, but the speaker misses a drum beat- Ooh, the speaker is too bright!!!
If someone wants a full 360 immersive sound, but he or she can work out where the speaker is placed- Ooh, they are too bright!
I know, but you get the idea!
 

AJM1981

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2021
99
27
70
Quite possibly easily explained.
What Hifi, in their reviews, they want excitement (possibly fake excitement) and a huge soundstage.
Oh, and bass.
Having now got a pair of RX3s settling in, I can see why What Hifi said what they did about them, to an extent.
But should a speaker sound all exciting if the song doesn't sound exciting? Should a speaker lie to you? Because it seems to me thats what What Hifi want. Get an exciting song, and the speakers will sound exciting. Get a boring song, and well, the RX3s will relay that to you.
So unless your Ushers have these traits in abundance, then I find it's pot luck as to what the review score is. ie, don't necessarily pay any attention to average reviews. The real score is how much an individual wants to listen to music with said equipment. I am now constantly listening to music, and my music is reinvented. That's how exciting these Rega's are, and no doubt it is the same for you and the Usher's.

As for this term 'bright'. Isn't that peoples favourite term?
If someone wants oodles of detail, but the speaker misses a drum beat- Ooh, the speaker is too bright!!!
If someone wants a full 360 immersive sound, but he or she can work out where the speaker is placed- Ooh, they are too bright!
I know, but you get the idea!
Bright might be translated to other things or something negative but it just means treble focused. It is one of the many signatures a speaker can have and among the many I like. Speakers like Klipsch produces are brighter than the average but that is a horn tweeter property which can be reduced at taste by placement.

The bright signature entering modern bookshelves is something I support. Take bookshelves from ages ago and they were balanced but lacked any higher resolution and were never really outspoken. Sometimes the midranges were smudged. Maybe it is even save to state that the age of bad consumer Hifi is kind of over. Even at entry levels.
 
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millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
779
361
11,270
Given most speakers I can imagine others like them and that given some conditions in choices for a room I could even own them. This even extends to brands like Bose.

But there are some of which I don't understand why people hyped them.

In times I didn't do that much personal research I got a pair of Tannoy Mercury M1's.



They were speaker of the year in their class somewhere in the late 90s and even nowadays some people consider this a great speaker. In design terms the M1 is nice and the sound is not bad. However I have never understood why it won an award.

In terms of second hand trade they still do pretty well and online people seem to love them.

Do you have any similar experiences?
Never had a problem with Tannoy and for the money, those speakers used to deliver a sound that belies their price and size, that's why they got good reviews. What were the 80-100quid speakers back in the day. but they are very much a product of there time. Really fat sound not trying to be accurate at all what they were was fun.

But YES with a lot of brands

PMC
ATC
A number of KEF products
Marantz only like one amp the PM7200
Denon AVR's,
Naim

Brand's I was pleasantly surprised by to counter the neagtivitiy

Revel
klipsch hereitage series
pioneer stable platter CD players and AVR's
Onkyo AVR's
 

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
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18,670
I have similar experiences. Too many to name. I'd rather not come out with anything new and controversial, so I'll stick to what I have shared with community in the past.


Not a fan of entry level Marantz amps and entry level Q Acoustic speakers. Also never understood the fuss about KEF LS50. These are not popular opinions but based on my experiences.

Oh and don't start me on ESS Sabre DACs 😂
I had the Q Acoustics Concept 20's and thought they were rubbish, conversely I absolutely loved the LS50's and had 3 or 4 great years with them as my main speakers.
 
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insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
996
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WWe
I had the Q Acoustics Concept 20's and thought they were rubbish, conversely I absolutely loved the LS50's and had 3 or 4 great years with them as my main speakers.
We all hear different and we all look for different things. I'm yet to hear any KEF speakers that I really like. I can appreciate some but that's about it.
 
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Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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PMC Speakers. Put me to sleep. Loads of people love them and they multiple awards. This just illustrates the importance of auditioning equipment.
This ia an interesting post as I have had similar experiences but it may be due to partnering.

PMC for me with anything approaching a neutral amp sounds boring as hell and with an analytical amp just darn right fatiguing (Audiolab I’m looking at you). This experience alone almost put me off, but then I discovered they sound gorgeous when partnered with a fluid / sweet sounding amp. For my tastes I think it needs that to calm the grainy treble and fill out the anaemic mids.

Maybe a victim of their own transparency?

I also heard a £20,000 PMC 5.0 system running off a top line Arcam receiver and that was pretty “meh”. It had moments where it was impressive, but overall I walked away cold.
 
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