Fun day auditioning high end speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by JasonIs, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. JasonIs

    JasonIs Agent

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    Went to 4 different stores to audition (for musical speakers) the Energy Veritas v2.3, Paradigm Studio 100s, Monitor Audio 60 Gold, Mirage OM-5, and some B/W speaker and Polk LSI 15, today in Orlando FL. First was the Energy Veritas v2.3. In my opinion the v2.3 sound great. The room where they were playing was fairly small so I wonder how they would sound in a larger room. They were very clean, clear with nice base response and most of all sounded very balanced to me. The salesman said they were $2500/pair. Then off to hear the paradigm studio 100s, to my disappointment after reading so many great reviews on this sight, I thought they sounded terrrible!!! very forward and bright sounding, pretty much like garbage especially for the price tag of $2400/pair. So the salesman said to try the B/W wich had a lot larger price tag, somwhere between $6000 and $8000 and once again I couldnt belive how terrible they were!! Do people really pay this much for these crappy speakers? Anyways off to hear the mirage at sound advice. The OM-5 sounded terrific especially since it has 2 powered woofers built into it. The only bad thing was that sometimes it didnt sound very clear, maybe a little muddled kinda warm, instead of clean and clear, but still sounded very good also sometimes seem to have too much base, it carried a price tag of $1800 per speaker. Then they switched to the monitor audio gold 60, wow how much clearer it was than the mirage! It sounded really good, clean, clear, balanced, neutral, it is one of the best speakers that I have ever heard. The monitor audio gold 60 was $2000/per speaker. Also tried kilipsh reference(terrible!!). Then drove to go hear the polk lsi15 but the dang salesman couldnt hook it up(what a waste of time). Nice thing about sound advice as you have 30 day return so for mirage and monitor audio you can return them, the smaller store that carried the veritas would not let me return them. So I have a dilema, I think I like the veritas v2.3 the best especially for the money compared to the others. I would like to also hear the v2.4. But i think i will try the monitor audio for a month since I can return them. Any thoughts on any of these speakers?
     
  2. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Well - if you have the credit to spare, you might as well try the mirage or monitor audio - then after a month, go compare them back to the Veritas and see what you think. Just make sure you get plenty of burn in time so you won't be comparing fresh out of the box speakers to the dealer's speakers which have been played for countless hours.
     
  3. John_ACa

    John_ACa Auditioning

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    My preference by far was for mirage over Monitor, Energy, and Paradigm. Movies were immersive to say the least. Musically they also were above everything except Totems.
     
  4. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Regarding your comments about B&W/Paradigm:

    Generally these speakers are highly regarded, and indeed they may be bright or just plain crap to you, which is fine. However, (this is important) -- what were the room conditions and what electronics were driving these speakers?

    As you may know, the room can play a huge factor in what speakers sound like. Also, many of these speakers don't provide the most pedestrian amplifier load. What will you be powering them with?
     
  5. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    John Totems are just amazing, period. I'm picking up a pair of Forest series in about a month.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Seriously, in cases like this I'd have to question the room environment and setups for those "crap" sounding speakers.

    I've done my fair share of high-end testing, and I definitely have my likes and dislikes, but nothing in the high-rent district has sounded like crap to me. Of course I've tried them in pretty controlled showrooms, with good equipment powering them, good acoustic environments, and with material I'm familiar with. There are definitely those I prefer vs. those I do not, but I could understand, if not agree with, why people like B&W (I don't) and other such brands.

    If they really sounded like crapped and were priced at $2000+, those companies would be out of business...
     
  7. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Two highly regarded speakers at the same dealer sounding like crap? I'm positive its their showroom and/or electronics. However, this also illustrates how critical it can be to audition the speakers in your own room too. The speakers that you really liked may not sound good in your room, it's happened to me. I auditioned some Thiels at the dealer and they were great, at home it was another story...
     
  8. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    A few reasons I have encountered as to why high end speaker auditions don't live up to speaker reputation (other than simply not liking the signature of the speaker):

    - Speakers set up poorly. Too close to back wall, side walls, other speakers, furniture, etc. Examples: I listened to a pair of B&W Nautilus 801's (I believe) which sounded extremely boomy. They were set up in the corner, squeezed in between the side walls and a huge wall unit. In another store, 2 different Martin Logan models were set up in a sub-par fashion, IMO. One pair (Aeons, I believe) was in the middle of this vast showroom, the other pair (which was larger) was placed in the corners of a very small room. Of course, there are way too many rooms where speakers are lined up from one side to the other.

    - Acoustic environment sub-par. The previous item overlaps with this, but I have also seen dealers go too far overtreating a room, IMO. Maybe some folks like this, but it can make the room too unrealistic.

    - Speakers not broken in. Maybe my biggest bone to pick with the high end dealers. High end speakers, by virtue of their price, do not get much usage on the showroom floor. Dealers should make it a point to break them in, but they don't. From my auditioning, I could easily tell most of the time when a speaker is not broken in.

    - Speakers paired with the wrong equipment. This can often be hard to detect. There are the more obvious cases where the equipment quality simply does not match the speaker quality, but there are cases where the equipment does not complement the speaker. Unless one is familiar with the signature of suh equipment and the speakers, one can make a judgment of the speakers based on the assumption that the equipment used was appropriate for the speakers.

    Now for my soapbox issue [​IMG] : Based on my auditions and purchases within the last 2 years, I believe it is more appropriate to purchase less "woofage" for a given speaker line. In other words, get the lower model that supposedly provides the same qualities as the higher end speaker except in the area of bass output (e.g., one less woofer). Unless one's room has fairly good, smooth low freq response from the position where the mains are located (when the mains are positioned to deliver the best mid and high response), I feel that having the extra oomph in the mains will be a waste of $. Spend the money saved on a crossover, equalizer, and subwoofer instead (and if the system is shared with HT, one will have the sub already, if not the other items as well).

    Doug
     
  9. Kal

    Kal Agent

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    Everyone enjoys different sounding speakers - what's right to one person may too warm/mushy/bright/etc to the next person.

    So no problem if you found what's usually considered highly-regarded to not sound very good to your own ears.

    That being said however, you really should go listen to the Paradigms (and the others you didn't like) at a different dealer in a different room using different equipment.

    I've seen some very good speakers mated with horrible anxillary equipment and poorly placed in rooms, making good speakers sound like crap.

    Kal
     
  10. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Jason:

    I, too, live in central Florida. What dealer in the area has the Polk LSi's?
     
  11. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    2 to 1: the Paradigm's were the V3 and have no had a chance to break in yet. Wait a few more weeks and go back and listen to the Studio 100's.
     
  12. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    What is wrong with you people?

    If Jason states 'brand x' sounds like crap to his ears, why can you not accept it?

    Some folks just can't stand it when somebody refers to the very speakers they own (or have heard and hold in high regard) as 'sounding like crap' and the feel compelled to defend their own choices/opinions.

    I personally like some of the speakers that he stated as 'sounding like crap'. I guess that means we simply have different tastes. Bottom line.

    Ernest had the best reply. While most of you were caught up with your own frustration at the posters comments and trying to convince him that he must be wrong etc., Ernest focused on what the poster DID like and followed with a suggestion.

    I am posting this because I tire of the 'defending your honor' type replies. Its one thing if the poster just started looking at speakers and asks for opinions on what to listen to....which in that case I say 'pimp away'. But if the poster comes to the forum already listing his narrowed down selections...shouldn't the focus be on those rather than the speakers he already stated are out of the picture? It seems like a waste of time to focus on what the poster already ruled out.

    Not everybody is going to like what you own or have listend to. Some may even hate what you own or hold in high regard. Accept it. Move on.
     
  13. JasonIs

    JasonIs Agent

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    The polk lsi 15 are at Best Brands Cutting Edge Electronics in the Millennium Mall in Orlando. They dont have a clue whats going on there so it may be a waste of your time. The paradigms had been on the show room floor for a year, they were going to discount them because the new paradigm models were coming, so I am sure they had pleanty of break in time. Also I tried a store in Tampa and the Paradigms didnt sound much better. Maybe that isnt the speaker for me, I dont like "bright" forward sounding speakers. So now I am choosing between the Veritas v2.3 and v2.4 and the Mirage OSM-5 and Monitor Audio gold 60. I mainly just want them for music. I think I am leaning toward the Veritas because of price but I cant take them back after purchasing them, so i may just deal out the mula and get one from sound advice, you have a 60 day return policy there, cant beat that. If anyone has any advice with the Veritas would be much appreciated. I have a very large listening area. It is a great room opens up to the kitchen and dining room, with vaulted ceilings.
     
  14. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    What is wrong with you people?

    If Jason states 'brand x' sounds like crap to his ears, why can you not accept it?

    Some folks just can't stand it when somebody refers to the very speakers they own (or have heard and hold in high regard) as 'sounding like crap' and the feel compelled to defend their own choices/opinions.

    I personally like some of the speakers that he stated as 'sounding like crap'. I guess that means we simply have different tastes. Bottom line.

    Ernest had the best reply. While most of you were caught up with your own disbelief and frustration at the posters comments and trying to convince him that he must be wrong etc., Ernest focused on what the poster DID like and followed with a suggestion.

    I am posting this because I tire of the 'defending your honor' type replies. Its one thing if the poster just started looking at speakers and asks for opinions on what to listen to....which in that case I say 'pimp away'. If somebody comes to the forum already listing his/her narrowed down selections...shouldn't the focus be on those rather than the speakers they didn't prefer (and in this case were referred to as 'crap')?

    If I listen to a speaker and find it to be sub-par or even lousy, nobody in this forum is going to convince me otherwise. Seems like such a waste to try.

    Not everybody is going to like what you own or have listend to. Some may even hate what you own or hold in high regard. Accept it. Move on.
     
  15. JasonIs

    JasonIs Agent

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    Just some more info, I like all types of music, from classical, to enya, sade, to tool, incubus, deftones, pantera and so on. I took a cd that was the band "a perfect circle" wich has songs that take from a bunch of styles, and i played the same songs on every speaker I tested. The paradigm and some others couldnt handle some of the heavier parts of the songs, it sounded so bad to me that i wanted to turn the volumne down, now thats not a good sign.
     
  16. Gerry S

    Gerry S Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I settled on Energy. First it was the 2.2's, then the 2.3's and finally I ended up buying the 2.4's.

    I do not think that I wasted money by acquiring the 2.4 vs the 2.3 or 2.2. I think the extra woofer(s) is worth it!

    Not to question your likes or dislikes, but I found the Mirage to be a much different sounding speaker than the Veritas. To me the Mirage sounded as if the sound was distant: like the stage just stuck at the front of the listening room.

    Anyway if you go for the Veritas, I've heard some discussion that they are going with a new version. You may be able to cut a deal for some floor models and save $$$. That was the only way I could jump from the 2.2's and afford the 2.4's.

    Whatever you decide I am sure you'll enjoy it. Just let your own ears be the judge.

    -Gerry
     
  17. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Mike_Gr I agree with you fully for what it is worth. We all have our different tastes and reasoning. Jason I guess you don't like my speakers and I take no offense at all. What would this world be if one shoe/speaker fits all? I think it would be very boring to say the least and this Forum would have to be shut down for lack of interest??[​IMG]
     
  18. JasonIs

    JasonIs Agent

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    Actually I like the veritas v2.3 very much, they didnt have the v2.4 to audition. But when i auditioned the v2.3 the room was very small, and i have a very large room, so without the capability of returning them if i dont like them, i am wondering if they will be able to fill my room, about 23 x 24 wich includes the kitchen, but it is all open with the great room. Also I too thought the mirage sounded different, they sounded a little muddled and not as clear. The only other that was close was the monitor audio gold 60, so i am wondering wich is better for just music listening. Also I have a SVS PB2+ on the way [​IMG] , ordered 3 weeks ago, but they are still on back order so i am not sure when it will get here. Just trying to get some nice speakers to go with it.
     
  19. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    This speaker thing is very subjective and so much depends on your ears, your room, your equipment and music tastes. There will be no size fits all in the speaker department ever. Even the owner of the Rocket Onix company will tell you to go listen to as much as you can and let your own ears tell you. Get a place that will allow you take them home for a demo (even if you have to pay for shipping... sorry but I never could stand whiners that whine about shipping costs) and test them out for yourself. Klipsh folks love theirs, Paridigm folks love theirs, Rocket folks love theirs and the list goes on. It still boils down to no one can tell you what to buy but the information you receive on these forums is invaluable and will help on your decision.
     
  20. JasonIs

    JasonIs Agent

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    Yes, but all stores do not allow you to audition the speakers in your house with the freedom of bringing them back for a full refund. Example the Energy Veritas v2.3, i could not bring it back once I purchased them. So there in itself makes for a tough decision. Thats why I post here to get the opinions of others that may have the speakers, to make an educated decision before spending that much money. Plus who has the time or resource to audition multiples of speakers?
     

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