Are some speakers more "revealing" or "unforgiving" than others?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RobertSchaez, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. RobertSchaez

    RobertSchaez Stunt Coordinator

    May 1, 2002
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    I have read that certain speakers don't like poorly recorded material or "lesser" quality electronics (Well, who does?) However, what makes certain brands more sensitive than others? I would think it would be the old "garbage in-garbage out" idea that if you don't give any speakers a good signal, from the electronics or CD, that they won't sound as good as with higher quality gear and a well-recorded CD? Are there speakers capable of somehow masking a bad signal and is there a trade off somewhere?
  2. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 10, 1998
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    In my experience, this comes down to personal preference...
    Speakers from different manufacturers do sound different, due to drivers, crossovers, cabinet design, driver layout, etc. Some speakers are known to be more 'musical' and 'forgiving'. Others are known as 'analytical' and 'revealing'. Yes the source and amp will make a difference too... but the speakers themselves will have their own sound character.
    I used these subjective terms to narrow my search for speakers (gleaned from reviews, etc). I knew I wanted a more clean/crisp midrange than my old speakers were delivering and when I heard the Revel M20's, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
    I can't say for sure, due to the many differences between speaker designs, but often speakers that 'gloss over' bad recordings have a rolled-off high end so that the sound is less abrasive.
    Again, trust your ears, and your own preference. What sounds good to you is all that is important.
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Yes some speakers are most definatly "More revealing" than
    others.. Generally speaking a High Efficiency speaker that
    uses any type of Metallic or Ceramic Dome or Horn for it's
    High Frequencies will show every single defect in your
    source gear and your recordings.
    When you hear people talk about the sound of a speaker you
    hear terms like "Forward Sounding" "Laid Back" "Neutral"
    "Warm" and "Bright"
    These are all ways of describing how revealing the mid and
    tweeters are in a speaker design. I myself prefer a bright
    or forward sounding speaking with "In your face" Mids and
    Trebel the downside is that bad recordings sound horrid and
    source gear deficiencies are easily translated into the
    sound output.
    Laid back or Warm speakers generally have Silk, AeroGel or
    Doped Fabric Tweeters they are smooth sounding they roll off
    quicker typicaly than Metal Domes and they tend to smooth
    out the deficincies in media and equipment.
    I don't care for that sound, I want something as accurate
    as bright as possible, if that means that I have to contend
    with poor recordings being almost unlistenable well then that
    is just the price I will pay, and if my equipment is not
    good enough that only gives me more incentive to upgrade [​IMG]
  4. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

    Dec 9, 2000
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    Maybe you have hearing loss and you need that screeming treble to 30kHz, I remmeber reading your 130db car cruzzing, and it's comfortable!
    Just kidding.[​IMG]
    The boys have pretty much covered the basics of your question.
    Bottom line, purchase what sounds good to YOU regardless if it's forward, bright, warm, neutral, dull, super laid back, etc.
    And I prefer a VERY GOOD SILK (usually) by the way! [​IMG]
    I can tell ever time Brett turns his system on, my ears start to ring....[​IMG]
    Hows the sub coming along Brett...?
  5. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 31, 2002
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    very accurate speakers are very revealing. personally, i like to hear all the details in a recording.

    some of the "laid-back" designs that "smooth out deficiences" in equipment are actually coloring the sound by rolling off the treble.

    i have an entire klipsch setup and it is very revealing. i would rather decide if i want to "smooth out" the sound. i can always turn down the treble, but a laid back speaker doesn't allow you the choice.
  6. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

    Nov 20, 2002
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    You can turn down the treble, just as someone with a mellow speaker can turn up the treble I imagine.

    I, too, prefer the sound of an accurate speaker where the mid/highs aren't muted.
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Say what? Huh? Hold on let me clean the blood out of my
    ears.. [​IMG]
    The sub is on hold.. I ordered an AV12 I am waiting for
    them to become available.. A couple weeks and no more I hope!
    I did go and buy myself a RatShack Digital SPL Meter today
    I need to get down and dirty and make sure I get everything
    calibrated, My hearing is fairly good but I could still be
    off by 5-7Db on my "by ear" calibration.
    Tomorrow is going to be an EXCITING day! My Onkyo M-282
    Power Amp will show up from the friendly Mr. Ups Man.. And
    my new Turn Table and Cartridge should show up in the parcel.
    Needless to say I will be wiring the new amp in, Bi Amping
    my Mains (sending about 230 Watts RMS to them with the new
    amp) and also setting up the turn table and listening to
    some old vinyl..
    *We now return you to the scheduled topic* [​IMG]

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