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krabapple

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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?).


Not borne out by Amir's tests of actual AVRs. Nor are objective results audiophiles consider 'poor' necessarily even audible. But that's certainly part of the mythology.

In any case, EQ can mean many things. There's sophisticated digital measurement and filtering...there's things like dynamic level adjustment to compensate for loudness curve effects ...and there's simple treble and bass controls. (Floyd Toole, for one, considers all of them useful)

And there is no reason why it should work for home theater, but not music. Another audiophile myth.

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've used it for years, in several of its iterations (most recently: using the app with multiXT32). Have never, ever, heard such a disastrous effect, with a variety of rooms and systems.
 

symphara

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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.

View attachment 153759
I appreciate your answer, I just don't want to route my music through another always-on computer that I have to configure, install software on, keep up-to-date, worry about its security vulnerabilities etc.

Plus, most of the stuff I listen to these days is on Apple Music. Soon to be Spotify Lossless, so this software solution just doesn't work.

I also have the solid feeling that EQ (or any kind of processing such as upmixers) messes the sound too much. It's fine for movies, fixes coherence between lots of speakers in different places, but I don't enjoy it for stereo music.
 

MediumRare

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I appreciate your answer, I just don't want to route my music through another always-on computer that I have to configure, install software on, keep up-to-date, worry about its security vulnerabilities etc.

Plus, most of the stuff I listen to these days is on Apple Music. Soon to be Spotify Lossless, so this software solution just doesn't work.

I also have the solid feeling that EQ (or any kind of processing such as upmixers) messes the sound too much. It's fine for movies, fixes coherence between lots of speakers in different places, but I don't enjoy it for stereo music.
I don't understand what you mean by another computer. There are plenty of EQs for Apple Music and Spotify, I found this one in a few seconds, though I haven't tried it. Might not be spot on, but you get the idea: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tb-equalizer/id1473111210

Can anyone recommend a good EQ tool for iPhones?
 

symphara

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Not borne out by Amir's tests of actual AVRs. Nor are objective results audiophiles consider 'poor' necessarily even audible. But that's certainly part of the mythology.

In any case, EQ can mean many things. There's sophisticated digital measurement and filtering...there's things like dynamic level adjustment to compensate for loudness curve effects ...and there's simple treble and bass controls. (Floyd Toole, for one, considers all of them useful)

And there is no reason why it should work for home theater, but not music. Another audiophile myth.



I've used it for years, in several of its iterations (most recently: using the app with multiXT32). Have never, ever, heard such a disastrous effect, with a variety of rooms and systems.
What you’re saying can be boiled down to ”Amir’s charts say this therefore you MUST like it otherwise you’re a troglodyte” (you put it more politely). What I’m telling you is: I tried it. A lot of it. Going for the highly recommended speakers. The Revel, its name be praised. I got an UMIK and installed REW. I tried the EQ.

I didn’t like any of it. I think it’s all missing the point.

The cheap (<10k) Revels are dull and so are the KEFs. They’re competent, yes, but like a Toyota Corolla.
 

Duke

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Like Duke says above, the best sounding speakers get both the direct and reflected components of sound right. The direct component being a flat anechoic response, and the reflected component being the product of the speaker‘s off-axis behaviour and the room.

Wait - you and I agree on something... something that actually matters in our little world? You made my day!
 

Triliza

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What you’re saying can be boiled down to ”Amir’s charts say this therefore you MUST like it otherwise you’re a troglodyte” (you put it more politely). What I’m telling you is: I tried it. A lot of it. Going for the highly recommended speakers. The Revel, its name be praised. I got an UMIK and installed REW. I tried the EQ.

I didn’t like any of it. I think it’s all missing the point.

The cheap (<10k) Revels are dull and so are the KEFs. They’re competent, yes, but like a Toyota Corolla.

Amir charts are based on research done by Dr. Toole and others. As I understand it was the outcome of what most people seemed to like about different speakers. So the majority obviously liked what is used on the measurements here to evaluate speakers, if you were one of the participants on the testing group back then, you would be one of those that liked something else. Nothing wrong with that, reading speakers reviews though on this site shows IMO that most people still like speakers that agree with the findings of that research, and most of the times people agree with the impression they had of their speakers and the measurements presented here.

I think the Toyota Corolla analogy is a right one for your point of view. I can listen to most music just fine with my cheap in-ear headphones on my phone, but try to listen to some classical music with more than one piano playing, I get a headache after a couple of minutes. Coloration doesn't work well always.

The method you are implying to find speakers that suit each ones tastes is theoretically the right one, but practically difficult to do, and for some of us near impossible. We would have to go to retail shop (none near me) and listen to some speakers, dunno about you, but personally I wouldn't be sure that I would make the right decision on such an environment. Then we have to bring the speakers on our room, and what, hope that they sound the same as in the shop? Unless you have treated your room correctly, which me and a lot of people don't know much about, or cannot do it because of space/aesthetics. EQ can make the difference there.

So yeah, if I was to buy new speakers, I would read the speakers reviews here, look around the internet for some more impressions, and buy them. If I didn't like them, would do better next time based on the knowledge acquired. Of course my speaker budget atm is about 1000$, I suppose if you are to spend a lot of money, you'd go differently about it.
 

A Surfer

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Enjoy your straw man argument (bold), and your system.

(I find In Through the Out Door to be one of the *worst* LZ albums in every way..and I pity 'audiophiles' who 'can no longer even listen to' the rest)
It isn't a strawman argument, chill out, it was an opinion, which I am perfectly entitled to hold and express. You can also hold your pity where I'm concerned but thank you anyway. I think In Through The Out Doors is brilliant, as are several other Zeppelin albums.
 

Doodski

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I think In Through The Out Doors is brilliant, as are several other Zeppelin albums.
I like them all and am surprised we don't see Led Zep played in the music threads here @ASR. I prefer Led Zep III and Physical Graffiti. :D I have a large selection of Led Zep and think I will use it more now. The problem with Led Zep for me is that it takes me about 30 minutes to clean my ears out and adjust to the sound of Led Zep and then I don't stop and thennn everything else sound flat and boring after Led Zep.
 

Newman

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Wait - you and I agree on something... something that actually matters in our little world? You made my day!
Whoa, maybe I had better go back and review what I wrote! ;)
 

Mart68

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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…

This makes a good point which I think is often missed. We don't get to choose what we like or don't like, this is true of music, food, many things, it's also true of the presentation of a hi-fi system. Hence the 20% of outliers in the Harman tests. 20% is significant.

Observing one's own behaviour is a valid test. if you're listening to less music then the system isn't cutting it regardless of measured performance.

I'd suggest many people establish early on the presentation they are looking for, formative experiences. For me it was two sytems heard as a teenager, a demo of the B&W Matrix floorstanders at a dealer and a JVC/ JBL L100 system belonging to a friend's father. I spent 30 years chasing that sound before I got it. I used the 'try everything and see what sticks' approach. It worked in the end but now I have a house full of equipment I don't use.

If I'd known anything about audio science I could have massively reduced that time and expense. And that is the real point. the research should be used as a method to get what you want, not some theoretical perfection that you never listen to because you don't like it. I don't think I am personally in the 20% outlier group, but if you are, don't worry about it.
 

symphara

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Amir charts are based on research done by Dr. Toole and others. As I understand it was the outcome of what most people seemed to like about different speakers. So the majority obviously liked what is used on the measurements here to evaluate speakers, if you were one of the participants on the testing group back then, you would be one of those that liked something else. Nothing wrong with that, reading speakers reviews though on this site shows IMO that most people still like speakers that agree with the findings of that research, and most of the times people agree with the impression they had of their speakers and the measurements presented here.

I think the Toyota Corolla analogy is a right one for your point of view. I can listen to most music just fine with my cheap in-ear headphones on my phone, but try to listen to some classical music with more than one piano playing, I get a headache after a couple of minutes. Coloration doesn't work well always.

The method you are implying to find speakers that suit each ones tastes is theoretically the right one, but practically difficult to do, and for some of us near impossible. We would have to go to retail shop (none near me) and listen to some speakers, dunno about you, but personally I wouldn't be sure that I would make the right decision on such an environment. Then we have to bring the speakers on our room, and what, hope that they sound the same as in the shop? Unless you have treated your room correctly, which me and a lot of people don't know much about, or cannot do it because of space/aesthetics. EQ can make the difference there.

So yeah, if I was to buy new speakers, I would read the speakers reviews here, look around the internet for some more impressions, and buy them. If I didn't like them, would do better next time based on the knowledge acquired. Of course my speaker budget atm is about 1000$, I suppose if you are to spend a lot of money, you'd go differently about it.
What I said upfront is that the best thing you can do is a home demonstration. If your budget is $1000, you are more likely to be able to order from a large shop with a return policy, so at least you have some insurance.
 

ThoFi

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This makes a good point which I think is often missed. We don't get to choose what we like or don't like, this is true of music, food, many things, it's also true of the presentation of a hi-fi system. Hence the 20% of outliers in the Harman tests. 20% is significant.

Observing one's own behaviour is a valid test. if you're listening to less music then the system isn't cutting it regardless of measured performance.

I'd suggest many people establish early on the presentation they are looking for, formative experiences. For me it was two sytems heard as a teenager, a demo of the B&W Matrix floorstanders at a dealer and a JVC/ JBL L100 system belonging to a friend's father. I spent 30 years chasing that sound before I got it. I used the 'try everything and see what sticks' approach. It worked in the end but now I have a house full of equipment I don't use.

If I'd known anything about audio science I could have massively reduced that time and expense. And that is the real point. the research should be used as a method to get what you want, not some theoretical perfection that you never listen to because you don't like it. I don't think I am personally in the 20% outlier group, but if you are, don't worry about it.

Totally agree.
I believe in science and also the hifi measurements. They also can be the starting point.
But I don’t agree if people say that neutral, flat is the best.
I heard people say that they buy hifi gear only because of neutral, flat etc measurement. they also say there is no need to listen to because they will sound great anyway.
I was stupid enough to follow that and, as I wrote, bought a high power, neutral, flat Hypex Class D, without demo it before. Not to my taste…
I think it is all not to difficult.
For me it is all about a rough sound signature.
For example, If you don’t like extended high frequencies (like me) there a well known brands you should avoid…
Second. You must demo at home because room acoustics is major important.

To me. Measurements do NOT tell the whole story.
 

Doodski

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Totally agree.
I believe in science and also the hifi measurements. They also can be the starting point.
But I don’t agree if people say that neutral, flat is the best.
I heard people say that they buy hifi gear only because of neutral, flat etc measurement. they also say there is no need to listen to because they will sound great anyway.
I was stupid enough to follow that and, as I wrote, bought a high power, neutral, flat Hypex Class D, without demo it before. Not to my taste…
I think it is all not to difficult.
For me it is all about a rough sound signature.
For example, If you don’t like extended high frequencies (like me) there a well known brands you should avoid…
Second. You must demo at home because room acoustics is major important.

To me. Measurements do NOT tell the whole story.
I've handled and heard some hundreds of different models of speakers and have come to the conclusion that I have to hear them and be more subjective than objective about choosing them. There are just too many variables with speakers. Yes, I look at specs to ensure I get the basics covered but when it comes to the sound it's my ears that decide for me. For amplifiers I am not so picky.
 

Mart68

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Totally agree.
I believe in science and also the hifi measurements. They also can be the starting point.
But I don’t agree if people say that neutral, flat is the best.
I heard people say that they buy hifi gear only because of neutral, flat etc measurement. they also say there is no need to listen to because they will sound great anyway.
I was stupid enough to follow that and, as I wrote, bought a high power, neutral, flat Hypex Class D, without demo it before. Not to my taste…
I think it is all not to difficult.
For me it is all about a rough sound signature.
For example, If you don’t like extended high frequencies (like me) there a well known brands you should avoid…
Second. You must demo at home because room acoustics is major important.

To me. Measurements do NOT tell the whole story.

I don't think you were stupid to buy the Hypex amp, it made sense, plus you have to find out what you don't like to establish where to go to get what you do like.

Starting with neutral and best measured performance is the logical approach, regardless.

There are things in hi-fi we can't yet measure? No. But it's complex and once you involve personal preference, even more complex,
 

ThoFi

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Measurements only and also reviews at ASR did not tell the whole story.
For example the Linn Akurate DSM.
The report shows the DAC measurements and was compared to other DAC.
People complained the price etc.
But what do they do not consider was everything else the Linn is.
A unit with multiple inputs and outputs, a streamer, a pre amp, has room acoustics EQ SW, balance control, output attenuation, a phone amp, has air play, internet radio, tidal, qobuz,…..many useful things.
…..
 

ThoFi

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An example and analogy of technical imperfection.
Harley Davidson.
Loved by many but with lots of technical flaws.
Heavy, not agile,loud, vibrant, bad fuel consumption, bad emission,…
 
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