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Reference speakers/receiver worth the price?
6 replies to this topic
Posted January 03 2013 - 01:57 AM
Hello all, I rarely post on here, but have been watching the forum for nearly a decade. I finally have a permanent home to build a home theater. I am an audiophile and have done a lot with my car. My friend that owns the shop that works on my car does a lot of high-end home audio systems in Silicon Valley. He is trying to convince me to upgrade from my current Klipsh Reference series speakers that are about 10 years old to new stuff. He wants me to go with reference style hardware that does frequencies from 20Hz to 150kHz. My question is is this really worth it. Since the human ear can hear roughly from 20Hz to 20kHz, is it worth it going 130kHz above what I can hear or will this just piss off my dogs? Price is not the issue, he sells me everything at his cost. Thanks
Posted January 03 2013 - 04:27 AM
To me - no. I've posted this story before so ignore it if you have read it. A few years ago, my wife and I had a chance to audition a $55,000 pair of Egglestons at their factory in Memphis. $90,000 of amps, a $20,000 record player and cables costing more than my entire system. My wife commented to me "Those speakers sound better than the ones you built but not THAT much better." Also, it's easy to reproduce sound above 20k hz. Going below 20hz is difficult especially when trying to get a flat response below 100hz. Room induced peaks and valleys can be difficult if not impossible to work with. If you want to go to the next level, go that route.
Posted January 03 2013 - 04:37 AM
To add to what Robert said... I buy and sell used AV gear as a living...and hobby. (spent close to a decade doing wholesale into Amazon, Meijer, Target, Walmart, HH Gregg, Fry etc...) About two years ago I stumbled upon a guy moving from Chicago back to Europe. He'd been here 8 years. His company downsized...took his parachute and went home.... I bought all the AV gear he had...for darn near a song. It was all a mishmash of stuff though. He had trouble selling it because it didn't match(Krell amps being fed by Arcam...) The "prized" possession were his Waterfall Audio. I forget which ones, but they weren't the Niagara(those are $55,000-ish). I had other "matched stuff" where I completed a Krell set and sold that quick. The Waterfall I had for 2 summers(I like to money flip within 60 days). Essentially here was a $1000 speaker set that "cost" $5000 because it was "pretty". I "almost" kept the Waterfall(cause they are pretty)...but when I saw how much completing a 7.1 was going to cost...I passed.
Posted January 03 2013 - 09:15 AM
People have different sensitivities when it comes to hearing. Thus, 20 to 20,000hz is no stead fast rule. Since you are an audiophile, I can assume you listen to music (as well as movies) and avoid those speakers and/or systems which produce ear fatigue. Unfortunately, such speakers and/or systems are not your 200 dollar receiver and/or 200 dollar pair of speakers. Nor do they need to cost 50 grand. While specs have some level of importance in the first round selection of components, they are not the end all. I assume you have a choice. Since price is no object, once you have selected a group of contenders, I would disregard these specs at that point and go with what sounds great to you.
Posted January 03 2013 - 04:17 PM
And there's more to a great speaker then frequency response. There's also "soundstage' and 'stereo seperation" and "imaging" and "presence". These things are much more noticable in the HT than in car audio. I've had many different speakers in recent years, mostly entry-level to mid-range and almost always bought used, but I purchased a pair of higher end Dynaudio Audience 40's off ebay ($340) a few months ago. They were the entry-level line in Dynaudio's lineup a few years ago. Even though they are a pretty small speaker (about the size of the average speaker with a 5" driver) they have a 1" soft dome tweeter and a 5.9 in mid-bass driver. While I've really enjoyed most every other speaker I've had yet, these are remarkable little speakers. They fill the room with sound, play very loud without distortion or break-up and sound like there are 5-6 speakers accross the front of the room, not just two. Not everyone will appreciate a really good speaker like this but if you think you will then you should consider something better than what the big-box stores have to offer. Building your own from a proven design like Robert did is a good way to go (there are companies/indiveduals selling kits/plans all over the internet) as is buying used like I and Sam do. As for frequency response, I think 150 khz is a bit of over-kill . A claimed 50 khz is the highest response I've noticed so far, and never really believed it anyway. But even though the human ear can only hear down to 20 hz the human body can feel a lot lower than that. But maybe you should nail those pictures to the wall first.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Dynaudio Audience 50's, 40's 122C, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.
"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Adcom GF-700 5.1 receiver, OPPO BDP-80 BR player, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have...too much to list. Help me.
Posted January 04 2013 - 01:25 AM
The Eggleston's I listened to used Dynaudio tweeters. In fact, the model is specially made for Eggleston and one other company. The mids were off-the-shelf Morel but with a cast basket instead of stamped. The "extra" stuff that Gene mentioned is really in the crossover design. That's where it goes from engineering to an art.
Posted January 04 2013 - 01:40 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I know that the hearing range of 20Hz to 20kHz is a general thing and some people hear higher or lower than others, but 150kHz just seemed too high to be worth it. I'm going to stick to non-reference stuff. I have my Onkyo NR708 that I'm happy with. I do need to buy new speakers to fit the room as my old floor standing Klipsh RF series speakers won't fit because we have book cases, so I want to get fronts and rears that match. The center is already picked and installed because the spot where it can go is so small, I was very limited, but I was able to fit a Def Tech Mythos 7 there. The room is only 12 wide and it is a living room/kitchen, so it is a long "L" shape, but I can mount the rears next to the sitting area, so listening should still be good.
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