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Speakers that don't seem to match their measurements

RobL

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True, but I feel I could pick out Genelec 8 series speakers, unsighted, compared to another pair (perhaps several) from the sound signature alone.
Would be an interesting experiment…you might find it more difficult that you think, if the speaker have similar extension.

What is a DUT? I'm not sure I agree in that a loudspeaker, more so than any other piece of audio equipment, is a collection of compromises of one sort or another. It is the most flawed part in the chain, introducing far more distortion, of one sort or another, than any other part.

This is without going into whether narrow or wide directivity is more accurate and other questions which are more a question of taste/application, than accuracy.
DUT = device under test
Loudspeakers have their own particular metrics used to evaluate their performance and obviously “intended use” constrains the evaluation. There are other factors like dispersion angle (“directivity” is a term I would use more to refer to the similarity between on and off-axis performance) that might be a design objective but not necessarily.

Doesn't that presume that all the measurements today (as done by Amir) are everything we need. Again, it is not necessarily as clear cut as it seems. I feel that certain types of flaws (which all speakers have by their nature) may be more egregious to one listener or another, listening to one type of music or another, than others.

There are some tests like multi-tone IMD measurements that aren’t performed in Amir’s tests, but they are often available through other sources (S&R or Erin etc.). You are right, not everything is completely understood regarding distortion perceptibility but I think enough is known to set a low threshold and abide by it.

A lot of the 'wonder box' speakers reviewed here (I use the term not to disparage them, but to suggest they do very well on measurement tests) would have trouble filling a room 6 or 7 metres in each direction with sound with 1 person in, let alone 5 or 15 people. So, it is rather more a case of which areas a speaker is excellent and whether that is relevant to the listener/application.
Yes, horses for courses.
Well, one flaw is it is not going to fill anything more than a moderate size room with sound. Does that matter, is it truly a flaw?....well, it all depends. The preference scoring is weighted in favour of certain qualities in a speaker, but does it actually function as a true ranking table, like some (certainly most newcomers) think it does. No, I think we've established it doesn't.

I think an individual probably needs a relatively high level of knowledge to read the charts and be able to pick which speaker they would most prefer. Some say that if you don't like a speaker that gets a high preference score, then the fault is with the individual - for me this is putting the cart before the horse.

FWIW, speakers with relatively similar performance can have rather different presentations, that may or may not suit an individual. I am most concerned, given how difficult it is to properly audition speakers in your own home, with finding out what positive aspects I need in a speaker and what negatives are less worrisome, rather than leaving it all to the charts/preference scores.

This is my somewhat fumbling approach to the matter anyway.
I actually find audible differences in well measuring speakers to be very small. Just to clarify, my beef is with the idea that a supremely well measuring speaker (via our current metrics) could sound “bad”…to anyone. I don’t agree.
 

DMill

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I think speakers that measure well perform well in their intended use case. I recently recall a post around Genelec 8030s at 3 meters. And maybe just a little more oomph might be nice when you really want to crank it. Most of us can agree the 8030 is a good speaker and certainly measures great. Just not enough of it for larger living spaces.

i actually find that we dismiss speakers that have a very narrow deviation at a certain frequency as being terrible. When in fact, for the most part, sound very good. Albeit flawed in measurements.
 
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antcollinet

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If a “damn near perfectly measuring speaker” sounds “pretty bad” and “jumbled and muddled” to you, you need to look beyond the speaker for the issue.
Exactly - you can't separate the speaker from the environment.
 
OP
D

dfuller

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Exactly - you can't separate the speaker from the environment.
And yet, other speakers in the exact same place in the room, which are also SOTA in terms of performance, sounded notably better. 8Cs and Kiis were totally fine, Neumanns were fine, PSIs were fine, hell even the ATCs sounded pretty good in spite of their fairly obvious flaws. It was just the Genelecs. And even with Genelec, it's only the 8___ series that has this problem for me. The mains are totally fine even in far from ideal environments.
 

Sancus

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True, but I feel I could pick out Genelec 8 series speakers, unsighted, compared to another pair (perhaps several) from the sound signature alone.
Have you actually tried to pick things out of audio fully, properly blinded?

I feel like people who have learn to have much less confidence in their sighted listening capabilities than this.

The problem with these types of thread is lots of opinions, no evidence.

I mean >50% the time people are talking about sighted listening of speakers in unfamiliar rooms with no room correction(or even worse, unknown correction performed unverified by other people).

Sorry but that kind of stuff is 100% worthless. Even Amir's "subjective" listening tests have better variable control than you'll find in an audio retailer.
 

YSC

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And yet, other speakers in the exact same place in the room, which are also SOTA in terms of performance, sounded notably better. 8Cs and Kiis were totally fine, Neumanns were fine, PSIs were fine, hell even the ATCs sounded pretty good in spite of their fairly obvious flaws. It was just the Genelecs. And even with Genelec, it's only the 8___ series that has this problem for me. The mains are totally fine even in far from ideal environments.
If that's the case, I believe that you've just bring in those speakers into your room for the testing time, did you know if the 8361 were calibrated elsewhere and then bring to the spot? you know they remembers the GLM calibration so if you just put another person's genelec on your spot, chances are it was calibrated in another room and mess up in your spot.
 

Digby

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Have you actually tried to pick things out of audio fully, properly blinded?
Not yet

I feel like people who have learn to have much less confidence in their sighted listening capabilities than this.
I don't think I could do it for many speakers, just the Genelec 8s. They have a certain sound that, dare I say, I could recognise a mile off (given the right source material).

The problem with these types of thread is lots of opinions, no evidence.
It is anecdotal evidence, if you have enough of this kind of evidence (preferably with controls) you can call it a study and then it becomes science.

I know what you mean and somewhat agree, but somewhat don't, in that I think personal experience does have value. I don't think our ears are as easily tricked as some here say. We are pattern recognition animals and it is possible to recognise patterns across different listening environments and situations.

I mean >50% the time people are talking about sighted listening of speakers in unfamiliar rooms with no room correction(or even worse, unknown correction performed unverified by other people).

Sorry but that kind of stuff is 100% worthless. Even Amir's "subjective" listening tests have better variable control than you'll find in an audio retailer.
I don't agree. There is a video on YT of Genelec 8 series speakers being compared to other brands (think it was Neumann and some other, I can fetch the link again if ppl are interested). The person had used EQ to get the speakers response as close to each as possible. In that video I heard the same 'character' from the Genelec that I had heard in my own room. I could be imagining it, of course, but we can recognise a person's voice down a telephone line, so I don't think we need a perfect setting to recognise certain things.

They may have less validity, and are to be taken with a grain of salt, but 100% worthless is surely wrong AFAICS.
 

sigbergaudio

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Everyone hears differently
That's my guess .

That doesn't really hold water, everyone hears reality with their own ears, and most probably don't think reality sounds wrong to their ears. So if speakers accurately can reproduce reality, it should sound right to everyone?

That being said, I think we have different preferences with regards to what we value (soundstage, good bass, vocal reproduction, etc etc) and what we can accept as flaws - and the combination of what is important and what is less important to an individual, may lead them to a different speaker than another individual.

The reason behind these preferences can be a combination of what they're used to, what musical genres they prefer, possibly cultural aspects, what type of room they use the speakers in, etc.
 

sigbergaudio

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Many here say auditioning has little to no value outside your own room, do you disagree?

Auditioning a proper setup in a decent room has value, but you need to understand the limitations both of the room you are auditioning in as well as the limitations of your own listening space to be able to evaluate properly.
 

Pearljam5000

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That doesn't really hold water, everyone hears reality with their own ears, and most probably don't think reality sounds wrong to their ears. So if speakers accurately can reproduce reality, it should sound right to everyone?

That being said, I think we have different preferences with regards to what we value (soundstage, good bass, vocal reproduction, etc etc) and what we can accept as flaws - and the combination of what is important and what is less important to an individual, may lead them to a different speaker than another individual.

The reason behind these preferences can be a combination of what they're used to, what musical genres they prefer, possibly cultural aspects, what type of room they use the speakers in, etc.
Every human hears differently and that's a fact .
No one has the exact same hearing and/or damage to their hearing as the next guy.
How can you explain several people listening to the same speaker and hearing different things ? I'm not talking about preferences
Ones person's "bright"is another's "dark" sounding speaker
 

FrantzM

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Every human hears differently and that's a fact .
No one has the exact same hearing and/or damage to their hearing as the next guy.
How can you explain several people listening to the same speaker and hearing different things ? I'm not talking about preferences
Ones person's "bright"is another's "dark" sounding speaker
Please read and re-read this @sigbergaudio reply above... Please.


Happy Holidays,

Peace,
 

Doenerkunde

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That being said, I think we have different preferences with regards to what we value (soundstage, good bass, vocal reproduction, etc etc) and what we can accept as flaws - and the combination of what is important and what is less important to an individual, may lead them to a different speaker than another individual.

The reason behind these preferences can be a combination of what they're used to, what musical genres they prefer, possibly cultural aspects, what type of room they use the speakers in, etc.

According to Harman/Toole/Olive research there are differences in preference between trained and untrained listeners:

1611883562500.png


Matches my personal experience: Whenever I got friends to buy some kind of hifi system they would always tend to up bass and highs via tone control.

It could also explain why OP found the PMCs to be so engaging, while they Genelecs sounded muddled in comparison.

I think many people on here tend to overlook the fact that Amir is a trained listener, while they themselves may not be in that category.
 

sigbergaudio

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Every human hears differently and that's a fact .

Every human has basically the same hearing, but they can have different hearing deficients that means the sensitivity to different frequencies can differ. In what way the brain compensates for this I don't think anyone completely understands.

No one has the exact same hearing and/or damage to their hearing as the next guy.
How can you explain several people listening to the same speaker and hearing different things ? I'm not talking about preferences
Ones person's "bright"is another's "dark" sounding speaker

I think it can be explained largely by what I mentioned above. When someone listen to our speakers and say they miss sparkle at the top end, it often has natural explanations like for instance that they have a bright speaker at home, so that is what they are used to. :)

Some also has grown to have an inherently wrong picture of what live instruments actually sound like (they are typically not bright) through a life of listening to bright sounding "high end" speakers (and not a lot of actual live music), and use that as their reference.
 

mhardy6647

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I can tell I am old, because when y'all invoke a loudspeaker called "JBL 300" -- all I can think of is this.

1703072501123.jpeg

source: https://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?24872-Jbl-L300-Summit

That said, "unpleasantly bright and kind of tubby"* describes the JBL sonic character since time immemorial to a tee, from my perspective! :cool:

Doesn't stop folks from paying crazy money for vintage examples of the brand, though. ;)
_______________________
* https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-match-their-measurements.50554/#post-1816517
 

YSC

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That doesn't really hold water, everyone hears reality with their own ears, and most probably don't think reality sounds wrong to their ears. So if speakers accurately can reproduce reality, it should sound right to everyone?

That being said, I think we have different preferences with regards to what we value (soundstage, good bass, vocal reproduction, etc etc) and what we can accept as flaws - and the combination of what is important and what is less important to an individual, may lead them to a different speaker than another individual.

The reason behind these preferences can be a combination of what they're used to, what musical genres they prefer, possibly cultural aspects, what type of room they use the speakers in, etc.
But I kind of partly agree, since hearing loss is very common, one would certainly prefer a boost in certain frequency range that his/her hearing is degrading, so maybe someone with a loss in mid range he would feel the recording he likes becomes dull or muddled for example? But given that isn’t the case I think it’s always better for a speaker to be as true to life as possible
 

sigbergaudio

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According to Harman/Toole/Olive research there are differences in preference between trained and untrained listeners:

View attachment 335700

Matches my personal experience: Whenever I got friends to buy some kind of hifi system they would always tend to up bass and highs via tone control.

It could also explain why OP found the PMCs to be so engaging, while they Genelecs sounded muddled in comparison.

I think many people on here tend to overlook the fact that Amir is a trained listener, while they themselves may not be in that category.

I think this graph is a bit easy to misunderstand, for good measure (pun intended) I started a thread about it here:
 

sigbergaudio

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But I kind of partly agree, since hearing loss is very common, one would certainly prefer a boost in certain frequency range that his/her hearing is degrading, so maybe someone with a loss in mid range he would feel the recording he likes becomes dull or muddled for example? But given that isn’t the case I think it’s always better for a speaker to be as true to life as possible

I agree to what you are saying to an extent, but at the same time I don't think older people sit at live concerts and go "the sound is dull."
I suspect the brain compensates for this in a way we don't completely understand. But possibly our brains do that better at live events than when listening to loudspeakers. Hard to know. :)
 

Digby

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I suspect the brain compensates for this in a way we don't completely understand. But possibly our brains do that better at live events than when listening to loudspeakers. Hard to know. :)
Stereo reproduction and unamplified live music aren't the same, much is lost in stereo, so maybe this is an attempt to add some of what is lost in the stereo recording/reproduction?
 

Digby

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Auditioning a proper setup in a decent room has value, but you need to understand the limitations both of the room you are auditioning in as well as the limitations of your own listening space to be able to evaluate properly.
What are the limits? I suppose if there are speakers available that you are familiar with to compare to, then you have an understanding of how those you are familiar with sound in your space, can hear how they sound in the room you are auditioning in and from there roughly gauge what other speakers would be of interest/sound like in your room.
 

sigbergaudio

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Stereo reproduction and unamplified live music aren't the same, much is lost in stereo, so maybe this is an attempt to add some of what is lost in the stereo recording/reproduction?

Please define "this". :)
 
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