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“The Sensible Sound” magazine the ASR forum of pre-internet days?

Eric Natural

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I just re-read thru the review of my loudspeakers in vol. 20(pg 38) & I was mistaken sating Azcel had the same(MonitorAudio Studio 6). It was David Rich who reviewed them favorably and then bought a set. Azcel was still referencing Spica TC50s for standmounts. Also a nice speaker fwiw.
I wanted the Studios after having had a pair of MA R700s that were roughly the same dimensions. They also rocked
Peace
 

anmpr1

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I wanted the Studios after having had a pair of MA R700s that were roughly the same dimensions. They also rocked

The more I reflect, the more I'm convinced that loudspeaker selection remains subjective in the final analysis. It's what you like, what you can afford, and what trade offs you don't mind. Possibly what your wife will put up with.

Howard Ferstler was one of the Sensible Sound reviewers (S$S as they shortened it, using the dollar sign $ meaning 'value', as opposed to, say, Microsoft's abbreviation--M$ :)). Ferstler was known for a pretty vast knowledge of recorded music--his thing was cataloguing and rating recordings by 'sonic merit' . One of his articles talks about his first introduction to 'quality' hi-fi. Encountering the AR 3a 'sound'. It was the New England or East Coast sonic presentation, which eventually led Howard to embrace Roy Allison's loudspeakers.

For his part Aczel never thought much of those designs (once calling audio loudspeaker guru Henry Kloss 'a legend in his own mind'). Nor was he enamored with the loose low-end (or no low end) with enhanced midrange West Coast style (Hear that boom, hear that tinkle? You've obviously got a JBL!) Aczel's ideal was to have the loudspeakers 'disappear'--making you think you didn't have a loudspeaker. It's why (I believe) he was enamoured with Harold Beveridge's electrostatic, which 'bathed' you in floor to ceiling (and wherever else) sound--a weird experience for sure. Because of that ideal he eventually settled on the Linkwitz invention.

FWIW, I never understood the appeal of anything AR, but always gravitated to the West Coast JBL type of sound. It was more of what I called 'live' music. At least what I experienced when I listened live. I went to concerts (jazz or classical, or small clubs) and never heard 'imaging', and 'front to back depth', and the other stuff reviewers were talking about. I didn't understand their sonic language in relation to live music.

Over the years I lived with the AR 3a, and subsequently owned KLH and Advent clones. Couldn't relate to any of them, much. But I was glad for the experience.

I remember telling Aczel that of all the loudspeakers I've owned (and I've owned so many that I should be embarrassed over it) the one set I always kept with me, even if it was boxed up due to lack of space, was a pair of JBL L100 I bought in or around 1976. I knew what he was thinking, but graciously replied, "Well, if it makes you happy..." He was right about that-- my L100s (paired with a Pioneer SX-1980) made me happy. Still have the speakers, but sadly not the 1980.

In a closet somewhere I have one of the well-known NRC designed small boxes. Said to be based upon Dr. Toole's research, but I don't know that for a fact. It was in their advertising, I think. And while I have nothing against them--they sound nice, I don't use them at all. For me it's just a variation on what Howard Ferstler was writing about. At the same time I'll die listening to my refrigerator sized horn loudspeakers. A large horn loudspeaker is what I want, and what I have. Every time I read something in print about why I shouldn't like them, I crank up the Victrola and immediately know that I am right, and the rest of the world is wrong! :cool:

The problem today is that it is difficult (almost impossible) to find a place where you can demo a variety of loudspeakers--take them home and live with 'em. Back in the heyday of hi-fi consumers had a dozen dealers within driving distance, each selling half a dozen different brands. So you could easily pick and choose. Now, for the most part, you have to read a review and pick what you think you might like. But first you have to understand the reviewer's sonic point of view. What they are searching for in sound, and then try and associate theirs with whatever you personally are looking for.

Secondly, you should make sure and get a return shipping label if later, after your in-home demo, you decide you don't like what they sent and want to send them back.
 

nehringk

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Haven't been on this site for a while -- suddenly I've landed on a thread about T$S! Obviously I'm biased, as I edited the darn thing for many years. Those were the fun days of audio, so may things going on at once, so many personalities. We used to really enjoy CES in Chicago, that was quite a show. Many interesting personalities who are sadly gone now -- Bud Fried (once talked about sending my daughter to Harvard -- hah!), John Iverson (dropping his amp on the floor to demonstrate its build quality), Dick Shahinian (slicing deli meat while playing Sibelius). That was back when a preamp that cost $2,000 seemed really expensive (yeah, I know it was long time ago and there has been inflation and I am an old fogey now, but still...) and there were all kinds of audio magazines, both mainstream and "underground." Of course there was no internet, no cell phones, no PCs (geez, I really am sounding like an old fossil!)

Anyway, I really appreciate what Amir is doing with this site. I'm not here often -- I tend to binge watch every once in a while. These days I review mostly classical and a few jazz CDs for Classical Candor, a blog that John Puccio (who was the Music Editor at T$S) started and then retired from recently. I subscribe to TAS and Stero[hile just because they are relatively cheap and I want to keep up with what is going on -- but I am appalled by the craziness of the high end, which has pretty much gone cuckoo. I think T$S could have remained viable had the publisher not let the business side of it wither, but that's water under the bridge -- and long ago. I had my fun, and am forever grateful for the experience. I got to interact with a number of fascinating people and play with some really fun gear while enjoying music -- what could be better?!
 

jsrtheta

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The more I reflect, the more I'm convinced that loudspeaker selection remains subjective in the final analysis. It's what you like, what you can afford, and what trade offs you don't mind. Possibly what your wife will put up with.

Howard Ferstler was one of the Sensible Sound reviewers (S$S as they shortened it, using the dollar sign $ meaning 'value', as opposed to, say, Microsoft's abbreviation--M$ :)). Ferstler was known for a pretty vast knowledge of recorded music--his thing was cataloguing and rating recordings by 'sonic merit' . One of his articles talks about his first introduction to 'quality' hi-fi. Encountering the AR 3a 'sound'. It was the New England or East Coast sonic presentation, which eventually led Howard to embrace Roy Allison's loudspeakers.

For his part Aczel never thought much of those designs (once calling audio loudspeaker guru Henry Kloss 'a legend in his own mind'). Nor was he enamored with the loose low-end (or no low end) with enhanced midrange West Coast style (Hear that boom, hear that tinkle? You've obviously got a JBL!) Aczel's ideal was to have the loudspeakers 'disappear'--making you think you didn't have a loudspeaker. It's why (I believe) he was enamoured with Harold Beveridge's electrostatic, which 'bathed' you in floor to ceiling (and wherever else) sound--a weird experience for sure. Because of that ideal he eventually settled on the Linkwitz invention.

FWIW, I never understood the appeal of anything AR, but always gravitated to the West Coast JBL type of sound. It was more of what I called 'live' music. At least what I experienced when I listened live. I went to concerts (jazz or classical, or small clubs) and never heard 'imaging', and 'front to back depth', and the other stuff reviewers were talking about. I didn't understand their sonic language in relation to live music.

Over the years I lived with the AR 3a, and subsequently owned KLH and Advent clones. Couldn't relate to any of them, much. But I was glad for the experience.

I remember telling Aczel that of all the loudspeakers I've owned (and I've owned so many that I should be embarrassed over it) the one set I always kept with me, even if it was boxed up due to lack of space, was a pair of JBL L100 I bought in or around 1976. I knew what he was thinking, but graciously replied, "Well, if it makes you happy..." He was right about that-- my L100s (paired with a Pioneer SX-1980) made me happy. Still have the speakers, but sadly not the 1980.

In a closet somewhere I have one of the well-known NRC designed small boxes. Said to be based upon Dr. Toole's research, but I don't know that for a fact. It was in their advertising, I think. And while I have nothing against them--they sound nice, I don't use them at all. For me it's just a variation on what Howard Ferstler was writing about. At the same time I'll die listening to my refrigerator sized horn loudspeakers. A large horn loudspeaker is what I want, and what I have. Every time I read something in print about why I shouldn't like them, I crank up the Victrola and immediately know that I am right, and the rest of the world is wrong! :cool:

The problem today is that it is difficult (almost impossible) to find a place where you can demo a variety of loudspeakers--take them home and live with 'em. Back in the heyday of hi-fi consumers had a dozen dealers within driving distance, each selling half a dozen different brands. So you could easily pick and choose. Now, for the most part, you have to read a review and pick what you think you might like. But first you have to understand the reviewer's sonic point of view. What they are searching for in sound, and then try and associate theirs with whatever you personally are looking for.

Secondly, you should make sure and get a return shipping label if later, after your in-home demo, you decide you don't like what they sent and want to send them back.
AR was very much a Massachusetts thing. That's the market they were aiming for, and they hit the bull's eye.
 
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