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krabapple

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Plus, the Harman test was done in their specific (and probably carefully controlled) room, if memory serves me. It proves nothing about preference in a random living room.


You need to familiarize yourself with the research. What would be the point of it if it had no application to 'random living rooms'?
 

symphara

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And thereafter make sure you never change rooms...or any furniture in the room.

What I really don't get is why reasoning like yours keep bobbing up for air on a forum devoted to measurable performance and its correlates to subjective 'performance'.
I just don’t believe it’s relevant. The measurements probably just reflect part of the picture. Amir’s Salon 2 speakers aren’t great because they follow some curve, they’re great for other reasons (reasons that probably make them so expensive). They’d be great even if you were to deviate from this curve that you see as ideal.
 

ThoFi

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It’s a shame to see all the kind of aggressive posts.
Everyone should be allowed to share his point of view.
Aren't there other bigger problems out there.
Its only about music.
 

Robin L

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Spocko

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Chasing "flatness" seems to me a fool's errand. Better to look for speakers whose sound you enjoy, in your room. The most important thing you can get is a home demo.
The issue is where do you start if this is your first pair of speakers or a significant upgrade to something more expensive. You have a short list of 10 speakers, which one do you buy first? I suggest starting with the one that measures flat and take it from there.
 

Spocko

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It proves nothing about preference in a random living room.
This is akin to saying, "The Porsche 911 does great on the track but its performance on the track proves nothing about driving around as a daily driver." There are many conclusions you can extrapolate from the Harman study that can be directly applied to any random living room - such as listeners prefer the Harman curve in any room including random ones.
 

symphara

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The issue is where do you start if this is your first pair of speakers or a significant upgrade to something more expensive. You have a short list of 10 speakers, which one do you buy first? I suggest starting with the one that measures flat and take it from there.
I did that, didn’t work out. When I went to audition them, they sounded dull. I couldn’t find any correlation between the ”curve” and how nice a speaker sounds. For me, “nice” is the ability to reproduce instruments realistically and create a complex soundstage that lets you forget you’re listening to a couple of boxes.
 

symphara

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This is akin to saying, "The Porsche 911 does great on the track but its performance on the track proves nothing about driving around as a daily driver." There are many conclusions you can extrapolate from the Harman study that can be directly applied to any random living room - such as listeners prefer the Harman curve in any room including random ones.
Bad analogy. Actually it does prove relatively little. If you were to drive especially a track-focused 911, such as one of the GTx cars (or the Cayman GT4), you’d quickly discover that precisely what makes it great on track makes it hardly usable as a daily driver, on public roads. They have a harsh, unforgiving suspension that will drive you mad very quickly. And the chassis is very rigid, you’ll feel all of it. The 911 is hardly a practical car to begin with, and the track-focused cars lack rear seats, which further dims their practicality.
 

tomtoo

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I did that, didn’t work out. When I went to audition them, they sounded dull. I couldn’t find any correlation between the ”curve” and how nice a speaker sounds. For me, “nice” is the ability to reproduce instruments realistically and create a complex soundstage that lets you forget you’re listening to a couple of boxes.

For 80% it works.
 

krabapple

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I did that, didn’t work out. When I went to audition them, they sounded dull. I couldn’t find any correlation between the ”curve” and how nice a speaker sounds. For me, “nice” is the ability to reproduce instruments realistically and create a complex soundstage that lets you forget you’re listening to a couple of boxes.

So, you just randomly audition speakers until you find one that happens to sound 'right' in your room. And heaven forbid you apply any EQ after

It's 2021. We've got better tools now.
 

ThoFi

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To me there is no wrong or right.
I think I experienced both.
My neutral set up was
Linn Akurate DSM streamer (good measurement) the March Audio P252 power amp (Hypex Class D, good m.) and Harbeth SHL5 40An.
The sound was extremely detailed, fast… But too much for my ears. I needed to turn off the music after 1h.
I did start listen less with my system.
(I tried different position of speaker, listening position, absorber…)

My not neutral set up is
Linn Akurate DSM, the Willsenton R8 integrated tube amp and the Harbeth.
Now I enjoy my music again.

I do not say one is better than the other.
But I experienced I only like to listen one kind of system…
 

symphara

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So, you just randomly audition speakers until you find one that happens to sound 'right' in your room. And heaven forbid you apply any EQ after

It's 2021. We've got better tools now.
I didn’t say randomly. Pick whatever interests you - tech, looks, bass response, price, any combination. Then audition and remember that what you hear when you audition will be different in your own room.

As for EQ, I firmly believe it’s effective for home theatre use, not so much for music. It’s not even easy to come by, restrictive if what it means is running your stereo audio through your AV receiver’s poor pre-amp section (and for most people that’s what it means). Amps with EQ are rare and expensive. Roon is expensive, extraordinarily inconvenient (it needs a dedicated PC!) and limited in its use (no Spotify, no AirPlay etc - can you even run your CD player through it?).

I personally tried Audyssey XT32 on my receiver. For music it measures better (in REW) and at the same time it’s a total sonic disaster. Like listening to the speakers from a different room.

I also have a TDAI-1120 with RoomPerfect. RoomPerfect did absolutely nothing for me, it’s not detectable if you turn it on or off. So much for EQ.
 

tomtoo

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To me there is no wrong or right.
I think I experienced both.
My neutral set up was
Linn Akurate DSM streamer (good measurement) the March Audio P252 power amp (Hypex Class D, good m.) and Harbeth SHL5 40An.
The sound was extremely detailed, fast… But too much for my ears. I needed to turn off the music after 1h.
I did start listen less with my system.
(I tried different position of speaker, listening position, absorber…)

My not neutral set up is
Linn Akurate DSM, the Willsenton R8 integrated tube amp and the Harbeth.
Now I enjoy my music again.

I do not say one is better than the other.
But I experienced I only like to listen one kind of system…


;)
 

Spocko

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Bad analogy. Actually it does prove relatively little. If you were to drive especially a track-focused 911, such as one of the GTx cars (or the Cayman GT4), you’d quickly discover that precisely what makes it great on track makes it hardly usable as a daily driver, on public roads. They have a harsh, unforgiving suspension that will drive you mad very quickly. And the chassis is very rigid, you’ll feel all of it. The 911 is hardly a practical car to begin with, and the track-focused cars lack rear seats, which further dims their practicality.
Forget the GT3, I'm talking the humble 911 base car - great daily driver, completely usable at the track.
 

symphara

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Forget the GT3, I'm talking the humble 911 base car - great daily driver, completely usable at the track.
It's a great car, fabulous on a mountain road, but just an ok daily driver. A Boxster is actually a better daily driver - it's smaller and the rear trunk is hugely convenient.

However neither is anywhere as good daily driver as a comfortable MB, Audi or BMW, and if speed and handling is what you want, they have that too.
 

MediumRare

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As for EQ, I firmly believe it’s effective for home theatre use, not so much for music. It’s not even easy to come by....
You did list several expensive and awkward to use EQs, sorry they didn't work for you.

In contrast to your frustrating experience, I have found REW (to identify filters) + the Audio Units function in Audirvana to be very easy to use, very effective for music, and free. I'm sure other good music players have that capability as well. I was able to solve some fairly significant room issues, although not RT60 - that would require physical treatments, I believe.

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