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What is the worst speaker you've ever heard?

GXAlan

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Except…that’s not a Spin. It does not include a single component of a Spin - on axis and listening window FR, DI, and so on. It’s a “PIR,” a type of graph that has gotten popular on the internet because it’s simple, but does not provide much if any useful information on its own.

Put another way, showing that two speakers have the same PIR does not tell you anything about their respective sound quality.
You seem annoyed. :)

At low SPLs, how different do you think these sound?
newplot.png
 

GXAlan

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No one has questioned whether that can be done.

Maybe I held too negative of an incoming bias to the 901’s. A year ago, would you have said “there is no question I can get the Bose 901 to sound like the Revel F328Be, if I have access to EQ and I am sitting at the the MLP?”

I am not saying they are the same but more the point of, before ASR or Klippel NFS data was widely available to consumers, would you have predicted that the 901 in room would look like that?

Imagine 10 years ago…. Did you subscribe to no highs or lows, must be Bose?
 

jhaider

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You seem annoyed. :)

At low SPLs, how different do you think these sound?
Tbh I find superimposed comparisons of Spins hard to read. Too much info on one page. But if I’m reading right, 901 has a lumpy on axis and listening window married to a DI that’s basically omni with resonances.

What’s the link to SPL here? One would expect them to present music quite differently in a room regardless of SPL. Both could be enjoyable.

The broader point is PIR, regardless of loudspeakers, is basically useless but often held up without justification as being important or useful on its own.
 

fpitas

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Maybe I held too negative of an incoming bias to the 901’s. A year ago, would you have said “there is no question I can get the Bose 901 to sound like the Revel F328Be, if I have access to EQ and I am sitting at the the MLP?”

I am not saying they are the same but more the point of, before ASR or Klippel NFS data was widely available to consumers, would you have predicted that the 901 in room would look like that?

Imagine 10 years ago…. Did you subscribe to no highs or lows, must be Bose?
Given sufficient EQ? Of course. Is this a trick question?

I have never had much respect for Bose, except as a money generating machine.
 

Mr. Widget

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I have never had much respect for Bose, except as a money generating machine.
The 901 is a product from many decades ago and is not representative of the Bose of today.

Regarding respecting Bose, I have to respectfully disagree. I think Bose has top flight engineering and have proven they know what they are doing. They are just not looking at the same problems that we typically look at.

They don't appear to be interested in "audiophile" speakers or pro monitors. However they have seen the need to produce small consumer products, lightweight compact pro audio, noise cancelling headphones, and automotive audio. In each of these areas they have created very solid products that satisfy their market segments.

And yes, they have also proven to be good at making money too. ;)
 

GXAlan

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The 901 is a product from many decades ago and is not representative of the Bose of today.

Regarding respecting Bose, I have to respectfully disagree. I think Bose has top flight engineering and have proven they know what they are doing. They are just not looking at the same problems that we typically look at.

They don't appear to be interested in "audiophile" speakers or pro monitors. However they have seen the need to produce small consumer products, lightweight compact pro audio, noise cancelling headphones, and automotive audio. In each of these areas they have created very solid products that satisfy their market segments.

And yes, they have also proven to be good at making money too. ;)

What's impressive is that the majority owner of Bose is MIT.

Dr. Bose gifted the majority of company shares to MIT, although these are non-voting shares. Essentially, this makes Bose a bit like Rolex. The charter of the private company is to stay alive, pay the employees, and return dividends to shareholders, of which the majority of the dividend is given to MIT to support research and education.
 

pseudoid

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Oh, those [expletive deleted] Bose901s :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
I have never had much respect for Bose, except as a money generating machine.
Back in the day, when first introduced; people bought them because of shucking-and-jiving salesmen. :eek:
You knew many things were off with these speakers, at the first listen but how do you tell a new owner - You can't!:facepalm:
Attempting to properly position them and/or even resorting to parametric-EQs was a game of whack-a-mole.
Those speakers thought me my best lesson in attempts to help out others with audio hardware decisions:
Never recommend specific speakers to anyone!
You can loose friends...
 

gnarly

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Maybe I held too negative of an incoming bias to the 901’s. A year ago, would you have said “there is no question I can get the Bose 901 to sound like the Revel F328Be, if I have access to EQ and I am sitting at the the MLP?”

I am not saying they are the same but more the point of, before ASR or Klippel NFS data was widely available to consumers, would you have predicted that the 901 in room would look like that?

Imagine 10 years ago…. Did you subscribe to no highs or lows, must be Bose?

I've long had a soft spot for Bose 901's. Bought a pair of used series 2 back in the early seventies, and powered them with a dynaco 400.
Sold them when I became a fan of electrostats. After acquiring several pairs of electrostats, I kind missed the ole 'party sound' of the 901's and bought a new pair in the early nineties. Adcom 300 monoblocks.
Still have the 901 series 6 running in my garage, hung from the ceiling.

So very familiar with them.
And I must say...yes, I still subscribe to 'no highs, no lows, it must be Bose ' :)

The 901's low-end rolls off pretty fast, even with the processor boost..
It can't come close to matching any of my systems, that all have larger sub drivers. (which i personally consider mandatory to achieve lows that maintain SPL with highs..)
And the 901's can't match the low end of one of my electrostat pairs used alone.

The 901's high end may measure like it's all there with an RTA, but the response is the sum of 8 drivers' room reflections and one driver's direct sound.
All the multiple arrivals make for a very smoothed-over HF/VHF to my ears. A transfer function shows very low coherence in the HF/VHF, as proof positive.

All that said, I still very much enjoy the 901's.
I made a comment in another thread how they help make about any recording sound decent.
The fuzzy highs, and the rolled off lows balance out to make for an overall agreeable tonality, ime.
The tonality problems with most recordings, are usually located at one end or another of the spectrum (or both), to my ears.
Having the recordings low and high ends effectively squelched, can really help sometimes i think.
Plus, the sheer amount of reflected sound is a big smooth over too.
 

Doodski

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I've long had a soft spot for Bose 901's. Bought a pair of used series 2 back in the early seventies, and powered them with a dynaco 400.
Sold them when I became a fan of electrostats. After acquiring several pairs of electrostats, I kind missed the ole 'party sound' of the 901's and bought a new pair in the early nineties. Adcom 300 monoblocks.
Still have the 901 series 6 running in my garage, hung from the ceiling.

So very familiar with them.
And I must say...yes, I still subscribe to 'no highs, no lows, it must be Bose ' :)

The 901's low-end rolls off pretty fast, even with the processor boost..
It can't come close to matching any of my systems, that all have larger sub drivers. (which i personally consider mandatory to achieve lows that maintain SPL with highs..)
And the 901's can't match the low end of one of my electrostat pairs used alone.

The 901's high end may measure like it's all there with an RTA, but the response is the sum of 8 drivers' room reflections and one driver's direct sound.
All the multiple arrivals make for a very smoothed-over HF/VHF to my ears. A transfer function shows very low coherence in the HF/VHF, as proof positive.

All that said, I still very much enjoy the 901's.
I made a comment in another thread how they help make about any recording sound decent.
The fuzzy highs, and the rolled off lows balance out to make for an overall agreeable tonality, ime.
The tonality problems with most recordings, are usually located at one end or another of the spectrum (or both), to my ears.
Having the recordings low and high ends effectively squelched, can really help sometimes i think.
Plus, the sheer amount of reflected sound is a big smooth over too.
I ran a 4 speaker Bose car speaker with Bose amp system for my college study. The guy at the stereo store gave me a smoking deal on it and I could not refuse it. I knew it was cheesy but for the price I was very happy. I drove 124 highway miles per day commuting to and from a college study in technical drafting. That Bose stereo saved my bacon because I was dozing at the wheel sometimes because I worked afternoons full time and attended college in the daytime. It sounded like a lot of effects where added to the imaging and the midrange was kind of cool.
zzzzzzzzzz Ad-1981-Bose-Car-Audio.png
 

Mr. Widget

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I've long had a soft spot for Bose 901's.
My experience with 901s is extremely limited. Heard them when I was 14 or 15 and was blown away by them... but since my reference back then would have been decent table radios, that was hardly a challenge.

Around 2015 a client bought a pair and asked me to help set them up. His room was a better echo chamber than listening room. They sounded terrible and he sent them back. Thank you 30 day trial. He replaced them with some of Anthony Gallo's sub and sphere creations... still sounded pretty terrible. Some rooms shouldn't have speakers in them.
 

Svend P

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Cerwin Vega dc 1515

A friend had these. The impact from the bass was impressive, but they sounded as if they were connected with opposite polarity. Mostly honky sound. One day my friend was away, I tried changing the polarity one one speaker, but it didn't change the sound one bit.

musikanlaeg-cerwin-vega-dc-1515.jpg
 

pseudoid

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I had splurged on a pair of Infinity POS-IIs [No: Not today's meaning.], while working to 'pay-as-you-go' college.:)
...but since my reference back then would have been decent table radios,
It was a proud moment for me, like 'never forgetting your first g/f.;)
 
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Some Martin Logan hybrids.

Awful, even me absolutely loving the ML hybrid look for well over a decade couldn't save them from sounding horrid ^^
 

Martini

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Apple HomePod-2. Sadly all the internet reviews about this "Smart" speaker sounding fantastic are bull-poopy. The bass is way to emphasized in the standard setting. They do provide a "reduce bass" setting and it does help, but I find it still a little too much in a bedroom setting; primarily because it still muddies the low mids. The next big problem is the treble is very sibilant, to the point of making many recording unlistenable. If it were not for the speaker being so sibilant, it would be tolerable with the reduced bass setting. The disappointing thing is, Apple utilizes computational feedback via its microphones to tune the device to the setting, so these issues should not exist. This means Apple either doesn't know how good speakers sound, or lacks the programming skill to achieve good results, or is unable to overcome low quality tweeter issues with programing, or simply wanted to "Wow" those without knowledge/understanding with loud volume from a small package and marketing non-sense. There are other issues with the HomePod, but I'll just stuck to the sound.
 

MyCuriosity

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I don't know about worst because we have to define worst against what. Also, are we referring to sound only or the general experience? For sure i didn't like any Revel speaker I've heard and didn't like the looks either. Another speaker i didn't like was the Klipsch Cornwall.
 

pseudoid

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I don't know about worst because we have to define worst against what.
AudioPrecision does not yet provide those types of measurements.
I am certain @dfuller was asking for other members' subjective feelings.

It is obvious that @badspeakerdesigner feelings that Vandersteen2C as being the "worst" can NOT even be disputed (or bickered over) by someone (such as myself) who is fully satisfied with them to the point of purchasing upgraded versions of the V2C, twice over.

Don't keep us in suspense and just tell us what you think are your worst!;)
 
OP
D

dfuller

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AudioPrecision does not yet provide those types of measurements.
I am certain @dfuller was asking for other members' subjective feelings.

It is obvious that @badspeakerdesigner feelings that Vandersteen2C as being the "worst" can NOT even be disputed (or bickered over) by someone (such as myself) who is fully satisfied with them to the point of purchasing upgraded versions of the V2C, twice over.

Don't keep us in suspense and just tell us what you think are your worst!;)
Yeah it's pretty much entirely subjective. As we know with speakers objectively and subjectively good don't always perfectly align (they usually do align pretty closely, but not always).

It's more interesting to see how bad shows up on a graph.
 

Punter16

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I wouldn't say the worst but a great example of jumping the shark was when Mirage went to the "UFO" tweeter for their omnipolar speaker line. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Those sounded really bad and were a complete drop off sonically from their previous generations.
 
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