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Interesting Beolab 90 Postmortem: Back to the Real World

Fitzcaraldo215

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#1
I am slow on my reading catchup after the holidays. But, I encountered this and I bought it might be of interest, at least to some of you:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-82#DyZWx1K1sp8EW6C4.97

Yes, it is Kal's views as he returns to earth and his normal system after having lived with the Beolab 90's, which he considered the best speakers he had ever heard. That review us in the same issue. This follows article is brief as it pertains to the Beolabs, so I will not give his conclusions away.

Sure, it is subjective, but I think those who read Kal regularly know that he is as intellectually honest as they come. We are also dealing in areas of listener reactions here for which there are no good objective metrics. I have not heard the Beolabs, but it also exactly mirrors my own reactions upon hearing some quite exalted stereos, as I do with some regularity.
 

watchnerd

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#2
I am slow on my reading catchup after the holidays. But, I encountered this and I bought it might be of interest, at least to some of you:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-82#DyZWx1K1sp8EW6C4.97

Yes, it is Kal's views as he returns to earth and his normal system after having lived with the Beolab 90's, which he considered the best speakers he had ever heard. That review us in the same issue. This follows article is brief as it pertains to the Beolabs, so I will not give his conclusions away.

Sure, it is subjective, but I think those who read Kal regularly know that he is as intellectually honest as they come. We are also dealing in areas of listener reactions here for which there are no good objective metrics. I have not heard the Beolabs, but it also exactly mirrors my own reactions upon hearing some quite exalted stereos, as I do with some regularity.
So the $85,000 speakers can't beat decade old multi-channel?

I'm not really surprised.
 

amirm

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#3
I have always said that even cheap multi-channel systems can beat the highest end stereo. Just let the rear channels loose and they create a sense of envelopment that no stereo system can produce.

Outside of that, Kal's article is full of gems on building high-performance silent system with fantastic performance. Highly recommended read.

Multi-channel is on my todo list :).
 

fas42

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#4
And I have always said that I haven't heard a multi-channel yet that does it, for me, :p :D. Sense of envelopment? Easy peasy, with a fully competent stereo setup ... :)
 

Thomas savage

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#6
But imagine a multi channel Beolab system.
Keith
Or two beolabs up front and three kii audio speakers filling in.. Or are they not so good now the Dutch and Dutch offerings have come out?

Or shall we use the new active JBL offerings ?

Affordable active studio monitors that utilise DSP to the fullest ( like the new JBL) used as a surround system could be epic:)
 

Purité Audio

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#10
Or two beolabs up front and three kii audio speakers filling in.. Or are they not so good now the Dutch and Dutch offerings have come out?

Or shall we use the new active JBL offerings ?

Affordable active studio monitors that utilise DSP to the fullest ( like the new JBL) used as a surround system could be epic:)
The Kii's really are excellent you should really hear them for yourself,
Keith
 

Thomas savage

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#11
The Kii's really are excellent you should really hear them for yourself,
Keith
Well I asked lol the JBL intrest me more tbh iv had it with start ups and the kii three won't go loud enough while holding its shiiit together..
 

Purité Audio

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#12
Get Kharma to put you in touch with their nearest dealer, which I suspect will be themselves!
Keith
 

Thomas savage

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#13
Get Kharma to put you in touch with their nearest dealer, which I suspect will be themselves!
Keith
Yes, I did and a guy in Cheltenham is poised to bring down the 4356853896 or what ever it's called but I'm thinking if I change I want to ditch passive speakers so I chose not to waste his time.
 

watchnerd

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#14
Well I asked lol the JBL intrest me more tbh iv had it with start ups and the kii three won't go loud enough while holding its shiiit together..
FWIW, the Dolby ATMOS mix stage at PostWorks in NYC was built around the JBL 708s. Presumably that installation can hit reference levels with headroom to spare.
 

Purité Audio

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#15
I heard the new smaller ( randomly generated number) JBL at the Indulgence show, unfortunately there was considerable room resonance which Kharma didn't have the nous to fix!
I would have showed them how if they had asked.
Keith
 
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Fitzcaraldo215

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Thread Starter #16
I have always said that even cheap multi-channel systems can beat the highest end stereo. Just let the rear channels loose and they create a sense of envelopment that no stereo system can produce.

Outside of that, Kal's article is full of gems on building high-performance silent system with fantastic performance. Highly recommended read.

Multi-channel is on my todo list :).
Kal and I have compared notes on that and we are in agreement that somewhere in the $5-$10k total system price range for either, Mch gains the sonic winning hand, never to lose it to stereo at any price higher than that.

The only problem is people's preferences in recorded source material. There are tons of really excellent, discretely miked, hi rez Mch recordings in classical. Fortunately, that is what Kal, other friends and I prefer. Unfortunately, the number of top notch non-classical albums in Mch is quite limited by comparison. And, artificially simulated Mch or pop oldies remastered for Mch do not truly represent what Mch can do.
 

watchnerd

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#17
Kal and I have compared notes on that and we are in agreement that somewhere in the $5-$10k total system price range for either, Mch gains the sonic winning hand, never to lose it to stereo at any price higher than that.

The only problem is people's preferences in recorded source material. There are tons of really excellent, discretely miked, hi rez Mch recordings in classical. Fortunately, that is what Kal, other friends and I prefer. Unfortunately, the number of top notch non-classical albums in Mch is quite limited by comparison. And, artificially simulated Mch or pop oldies remastered for Mch do not truly represent what Mch can do.
Have you compared multi-ch classical to listening to headphones using HRTF?

I know it's apples vs oranges, but for me, HRTF beats multi-channel and you don't need special recordings.

And to keep the somatic experience, you can keep a subwoofer in the mix.
 
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Fitzcaraldo215

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Thread Starter #18
Have you compared multi-ch classical to listening to headphones using HRTF?

I know it's apples vs oranges, but for me, HRTF beats multi-channel and you don't need special recordings.

And to keep the somatic experience, you can keep a subwoofer in the mix.
Someday, in my rocking chair in an old folks' home, I envision myself with a Smyth Realizer including HRTF calibration and head tracker, but playing Mch recordings, not stereo.

I do not agree that at all that phones, especially stereo phones, can exceed Mch via speakers, even with HRTF. It still lacks too much spatial information in stereo. To each, his or her own, of course.
 

oivavoi

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#19
Have you compared multi-ch classical to listening to headphones using HRTF?

I know it's apples vs oranges, but for me, HRTF beats multi-channel and you don't need special recordings.

And to keep the somatic experience, you can keep a subwoofer in the mix.
What kind of software or technical thingies are you using for getting HRTF to work? Do you need special phones?
 

Kal Rubinson

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#20
Have you compared multi-ch classical to listening to headphones using HRTF?

I know it's apples vs oranges, but for me, HRTF beats multi-channel and you don't need special recordings.

And to keep the somatic experience, you can keep a subwoofer in the mix.
The only phone listening I have tried was with the Smyth Realiser. That was motivated by a fascination with the technology and I was amazed to find that it was excellent. However, I cannot wear headphones comfortably, so they are a no-go for me.
 
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