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Who would buy a speaker without listening to it?

Would you buy a speaker without first listening to it?

  • Yes, but only if I had no way to audition it

  • Yes, if I trust the reviews and measurements

  • Yes, if it were inexpensive or could be returned

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

Pearljam5000

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Oct 12, 2020
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I'd buy any Genelec without listening to it.
But that's an exception
I'd need to listen to any other speaker before buying.
 

Spkrdctr

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I bought a pair of used Hales Revelation Three un-auditioned based on reviews (yes, unfortunately Stereophile) but also recommendation from a trusted friend who owned a pair and whom has similar musical taste. The Veneer was beat up and the grill-socks were completely missing.
However.
1. The seller was a business owner who runs a High End AV install business and turns around traded in equipment.
2. He tested them in his shop to verify all drivers were working.
3. The price was $350 (!for the pair!)
4. He delivered them for free...in a WHITE VAN (!!!)
I ended up re-veneering them and they have purred away in my system for years now.
I think what made them such a good buy was being delivered in a white van. That is a piece of history as I think all the white vans selling cheap speakers have gone. In 20 years no one will have a clue about "white van speakers".
 

DonH56

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I have seen this question come up a few times. I think things have changed over the last 20 years in terms of the quality and quantity of information we now have access to. Does that change anyone's view?

I would never have considered doing this 20 years ago, a few of my recent purchases have been based on trusted reviews (which included music listening) and measurements.
Late, and did not read the rest, this is just my opinion.

My last speakers I bought without auditioning, though I listened to comparable speakers (Revel and others). In the past I usually wanted to bring the speakers home to audition but that is virtually (practically) impossible to do now. Fewer stores that stock speakers, and even fewer that would let you take them home or set them up at home to audition. Plus I would have had to drive a ways to audition different speakers assuming they had them in stock (most places did not have Salon2's in stock when I was looking a few years ago). I did have the option to return mine to my dealer if I did not like them (though they were drop-shipped from Harman).

I've auditioned, owned, and had at home enough speakers over the years that I am not too uncomfortable buying without listening first, though I would look for a place that offered returns. That opinion is bolstered by the advent of more detailed and available measurements using things like the Klippel system. That makes it easier to rule out the bad ones and focus on the ones I am likely to want. Then the 'net provides access to many more folk with whom I can discuss pros and cons and compare systems to zero in on a speaker (or anything else) that I am confident I will enjoy. That depends upon years of interaction, even if just online, in my case as I want to have some idea of the person on the other keyboard. :) That led to calls and emails with my dealer and some high-power folk associated with Harman at one time or another. Talking with some of the industry legends was a treat in itself.
 

Holmz

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Oct 3, 2021
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Unlike a recording, though, an instrument sound doesn’t come with another room‘s sound around it.
Sure… i suppose.
But the speaker and the piano both interact with the room.
and a recording may also have the sound of the room it was recorded in.

i like sweet-n-sour when it is an Asian or Hawaiian dish… but I do not want to spice the speaker choice with the room choice.


It’s about sound, it’s about anticipating how the sound will change over time and it’s about playability. And consideration for the space the piano will occupy.
Most people looking at a Steinway would likely have a decent room, and if they already had a piano, then the room is/was likely a a driving force in the selection of the house.

What people seem to be talking about here… or how I am reading it… is that we have say a teenager setting a garage for the band scenario.
And that they choose a Casio keyboard because it sounds good in that particular garage.

That is a lot different than scenario, than saying, “I know the garage is not a great room, but uncle Mike said we can use his ol Steinway.”

granted… I do not own or play a piano, so maybe it is more nuanced than I think.
but I would not be opposed to selecting a speaker without an in-room demo.
Klipple, and other measurements, should generally provide a way to get a good idea how it should perform.
 

Justdafactsmaam

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Sure… i suppose.
But the speaker and the piano both interact with the room.
and a recording may also have the sound of the room it was recorded in.

i like sweet-n-sour when it is an Asian or Hawaiian dish… but I do not want to spice the speaker choice with the room choice.



Most people looking at a Steinway would likely have a decent room, and if they already had a piano, then the room is/was likely a a driving force in the selection of the house.

What people seem to be talking about here… or how I am reading it… is that we have say a teenager setting a garage for the band scenario.
And that they choose a Casio keyboard because it sounds good in that particular garage.

That is a lot different than scenario, than saying, “I know the garage is not a great room, but uncle Mike said we can use his ol Steinway.”

granted… I do not own or play a piano, so maybe it is more nuanced than I think.
but I would not be opposed to selecting a speaker without an in-room demo.
Klipple, and other measurements, should generally provide a way to get a good idea how it should perform.
Steinway doesn’t do home auditions. Not even for major symphonies
 
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