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Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Last seen: 2 min 23 sec ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
Average price of products reviewed in February 2014

It has just occurred to me that the products we reviewed in February were, refreshingly, relatively affordable.

Here are the products we reviewed in February, either in a column, follow-up, or complete equipment report:

Acoustical Systems SMARTractor cartridge-alignment tool: $650

ATC SCM v.3: $1499/pair

Audience Au24 SE: $1190/1m pair

Audio Art IC-3: $130/1m pair

Audio Art SC-5: $240/10ft pair

Auralic Vega: $3499

Bel Canto e.One DAC3.5 VBS: $4985

Benchmark ADC1 USB: $1795

Benchmark DAC2 HGC: $1995

Epos Elan 10: $1000/pair

Hagerman Audio Labs Trumpet Reference: $7200

iLive IAB13: $24.88

Lepai LP7498E: $199.99

NAD M51 Direct Digital: $1999

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium: $3199

Shindo D’Yquem monoblock: $24,995/pair

Stirling Broadcast SB-88: $3450/pair

That's 17 products with an average price of approximately $3415. If we remove the high- (Shindo D’Yquem monoblock: $24,995/pair) and low-priced (iLive IAB13: $24.88) outliers, we get an average price of approximately $2202—still a lot of money by most standards, but not the incredibly high cost for which we are often criticized.

Just saying. See? We're not always crazy.

pablolie's picture
Last seen: 2 days 19 hours ago
Joined: Oct 24 2013 - 11:58am
a trend...?

 maybe it is because audiophile nirvana is now affordable like never before? and the usual law of diminshing returns has become the law of barely discernible returns?

i mean, seriously, i have been doing this for a while (i am 50, i will admit, and an aspiring audiophile from age 16 onwards).

in the late 90s, the internet bubble allowed me to splurge and get together my dream system. and it was a pretty sweet one - you know you have something special when non-audiophiles suddenly pay attention and go curious and ask "uhm, tell me, what have you going on in here, it sounds awesome"...

and now - wow, it is amazing what you can put together with a budget of less than 10k. makes you wonder whether you should EVER pay more than 2-3k for any audio component in your system ever again, or just stay in that somewhat affordable bracket and wait for the next wave of innovation to deliver on even more amazing price-per-value.

i admired you guys called out the KEF LS50s as delivering A performance (limited extreme bass bla bla) at 1.5k, and that you keep calling out the value of very affordable gear. it is the utter truth, because as a long time fan i must say my late 90s >10k speakers are nowhere near the abilities of the KEF LS50.

keep educating the market. there is no excuse to *not* care about the quality of the sound you get these days, and since most people love music, my experience is that as soon as you expose them to something like a pair of Audioengine 2s they'll jump on it. and you guys are doing a commendable job of not being snobs. awesome. 'specially you, Stephen, and Bob Reina as well, but all of you review gear in a way i truly appreciate. i like to get excited about the >$50k esoterica, even though i know i shall never rationally consider it even if i succeed in my evil plan for world domination (bwaaaahahaha), but you guys are fair, even, rational etc

tmsorosk's picture
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
A trend

Good points -pablolle - . I've been at this hobby about the same amount of time as you and it's true that you can build a fine sounding system for $10k and diminshing returns certainly do have an influence . But that being said , I think the best way I can convey my thoughts would be to tell you about my two systems . I don't usually disclose the cost of the systems but since it's relevent to this discussion I will say that the second system is right around the 10k mark ,  you would need to add a digit to the price of the main system to be in the ball park . I do love sitting and listening to music on the smaller system and it always amazes me how good it is . But when I go to the main system it's immediately clear the two are worlds apart . The main systen simply sounds much closer to being at a live event . I won't recite a laundry list of adjectives about bass impact , detail and other pleasantries but when you sit back and listening to a favorite album on the better system you get a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment , I'm sure much like a musician after a grand performance .         


P.S.   there's a picture of the main system in the gallery if your interested , easy to find as it's one of the last ones posted - last time I checked . 

The system is recessed so some of the equipment is hidden by the front wall .

michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
about face

Over the 30 some years I've been doing this as a performer, engineer, store owner, client and designer I have found that the simple systems that cost far less are most of the time actually better sounding than the extreme $$$ systems.

The more a designer or group of designers tweak their systems to sound the greatest they also are tuning that system into a very narrow set of conditions. Over the many years of tuning systems I have found that many things are being built into the products themselves that prevent them from be able to duplicate the same sound in the designers environment then again in the end listeners home. Proof of this is looking at all the best of the best products that have come and gone like a revolving door.

I understand that the business of this hobby dictates recreating the wheel, but how many times can it recreate itself?

Fact is, I believe there is another chapter and if Stereophile and some of the others jump on board with creating the mainstream again you will see not only a more healthy industry but some tricks to the sound that will take the average listener much further than in the past.

Funny, I remember my first diner with Larry as he looked at me and said "why do we need acoustics?" . Now I see "Roomtuning" as being it's own chapter.  But it doesn't stop there. The industry needs to make a turn and will. If the high end doesn't then there will be another hobby and hobbyist that will pick up on the idea of getting a system as a set of tools and tuning them in to create the sound you want in your own environment. I've been doing this for many years now, and as at first was all but black balled have now found that many listeners are looking at what makes sound and how do "I" (they) tune it in.The more these questions get raise (I have been raising them for quite some time) the more we can look at what is needed to make great sound.

Would it be surprising if we found out that we have over built these high end audio products to the point that they are so locked into a particular sound and they don't know how to make (reproduce) their signature sound in the average room or with the average electrical system? We shouldn't be cause this is what is happening. It's not that these products can't perform necessarily, it's that these products don't have the right conditions to be played in. How did I solve this? I built the tunable room and tunable furniture system and tweaks. Basically I had to make places where the systems made sense and the performance was able to be re-done. I over the years recieved so many calls and emails from the folks who bought the mega systems and were unhappy that I needed to create a hobby inside of the hobby of high end. I removed myself from the "debates" and went after why a product or system works or doesn't, and after an extremely painful road begain  what I call "the recovery of the hobby". Some reading this have turned off their computer already but for those still reading. Look at how the industry has declined. With every other tech industry advancing High End Audio has all but disappeared. Is it because the listener has changed? No, there are more listeners than ever buying record amounts of music.

The industry has been great in many ways but the one place it has failed is the reproduction of the system sounding good. We have not gone far enough in the area of "conditions" needed to reproduce what a system is producing, and instead of unlocking the door we have created a system of bad, good, better and best. People who are buying the best are not getting the best sound. Their getting the best sound under the perfect conditions. I wish I was wrong but I've been around way to long and been a part of way to much to be telling you a line.

Ask MG what his reference system is and you would faint. It's not a bunch of brand/stock products plugged in together, it's a system that is completely variable, and extremely simple. It tunes up just like a guitar. Before laughing too hard, let me ask you something. Can you go to a music store and pick up any CD and make it sound fantastic? Most don't even use Red Book anymore cause they couldn't get the sound out of it. But here I sit getting huge dynamic soundstages that are as big as the performance itself. Ready for the shocker. This guy who use to (and still does sometimes) travel around the world to tune in the best is using a $29.00 DVD player and a $99.00 receiver (it's not my only system). Of course these products are stripped and tuned and the rest of the system is completely custom, but the point is, why didn't I use brand X at $,$$$,$$$.00 and how am I able to go to my music shop (only one mile from my house) and pick out any piece of music and play it? Fact is, and as angry as this may make some, what SAM T. said years ago is right on the money. "simple is better"

Simple has always been better but we made a hobby into a fever, and fueled this fever with dollars and guilt. Guilt that worked in making you think class A was the best, and maybe in the minds of the writer is "in that particular context". This has nothing to do with will it work at your house. Sound doesn't and never has worked that way. This being still a fairly young industry will get this straight in time, but there is still much to learn and a big part of this is the "ego" factor. We think that if we hear this combo in this place than all will hear the same thing. It's a great thought but didn't and never has happened like that. There's far more to sound than a component and wall outlet to plug it into.

We may not get our collective heads on straight in our lifetime, but the day will come when we will finally start building products like they should be, simple and light weight, able to pass signal correctly instead of sucking the life out of it before it gets to your ears. Yes, we will have to adjust to our mag ads changing (we already are), but more we are going to have to accept that we have spent years over-building ourselves into bad sound.  I'm not saying you can't build expensive if you want, but your going to have to build better sounding and better sounding means a lot less mass and different, more musical, chassis and shipping mounts and a few basic others that we have made into our products that are hurting not helping the sound.

Don't believe me? How about I show up at your place with a Sherwood receiver and Magnazox DVD player and we make a little wager. I don't own stock in either one of these companies lol, but can tell you that if you are a serious listener that can look past brands and faceplates and are open to tuning your systems in you might find that there are some "basic built" gems to be had.

The question for the hobby is "have you over built your product"? Is it possible that technology has come so far that what you have considered in the past to be low fi has caught up or maybe even past up high end? Maybe high end is so locked into a "fixed" sound that it is almost impossible to set it up in another environment and have it sound as good? I have made it my life to explore and have found this to be true. In the past I have tried to introduce this concept and have been treated and greeted with flames, but so many are finding this to be true now that I think the the minds are starting to open up a little. But the real test is in listening and not words, and just like I said years ago roomtuning is a must, I'm telling you now low mass and vibration control instead of dampening are the keys to the future of this hobby along with the listener becoming more of a participant in their own sound.

michael green


pablolie's picture
Last seen: 2 days 19 hours ago
Joined: Oct 24 2013 - 11:58am
to put it like oscar wilde...

"as soon as a truth become a fact it loses all intellectual value" :-)

that is what makes this hobby so fascinating. we are sure of one thing today, and are forced to revise it tomorrow. every time we think we have settled on the magic system we have found "for life", gnawing little things start to bother us. it doesn't matter how much we paid for a component :-)

as i mentioned, i can utterly and totally appreciate even the most irrational audiophile excess because of the passion that went into creating (even though often mixed with commercial opportunism) a product -irrespective of the voodoo science marketing pitch ("harmonizes the subatomic monade bla bla")- simply because of the over the top design and the tactile quality of it. just like i love to look at a $500k Audemars Piguet watch, i love to take in cost-considerations-are-an-outright-insult audio creations. because there is always something intriguingly different about the sound, there is always some part that gets emphasized more and it helps us gain new perspectives into listening to our favorite music.

i do indeed think one can create magificent sounding systems for under 10k. they can be built to cater to every listening preference, very sharply analytical or dripping mellifluous sweet excess. my current system is far more analytical than my 15 year old, several-times-the-cost system. whether it is because the speakers are heavily mid-range biased or whether the room was much larger (prolly both the case some) i don't know. but i must admit it is not quite as much fun to LOOK and TOUCH my current system, utter shame on the more snobbish side of me, and that sometimes i ache for the midrange umph that makes listening to some poorly recorded material far more fun. in my current system, some old records are near unlistenable - but on the other hand good recordings sound triumphantly satisfying...

guess what i am trying to say is that by the nature of our hobby, it is impossible to capture "best at everything for everybody" in a single system. i can relate to the school that says "hey, the lowest SNR and most linear reponse is best according to numbers and that's that", but i think that doesn't take into account our psyche, which ultimately also needs to be catered to.

as i type this, i am listening to Adagio radio on Pandora, straight off my desktop driving AudioEngine 2s that I got for all of $159, and -rationally- i could live with this. prolly beats the beejeezuz out of the technics system i had as a student, which i *loved*, and which prolly cost me 20 times that in today's money terms. in fact i have a cabin that only has a computer and AudioEngine 5, and i have spent many satisfying hours listening to all kinds of music there in seclusion. it is all "best for certain considerations". but in my main quarters, where i chill with a glass of port after work, i need to know i put more care and effort into what i call my "music shrine". it needs to engage me more, because that is what makes me snap out of daily worries and focus on something else.

PS: tmsorosk- lovely... lovely system.

michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
the hobby of listening returns?

When we start seeing people talk about components and systems based on sound we will see the hobby return. Here's what I ask everyone since I've learned about the key to great sound.

Is your system intune? We're  just barely starting to talk about matching systems on a deeper level and the more we understand and put this into practice and design, the closer we are going to get to the next level to this hobby for all price ranges.

One of the most common questions I get asked is "well if you can do this with cheap stuff (tune it), it must sound a lot better with the higher end products"?

The answer to this from the view of tuning a system is, "the playing field is completely even once the tuning begins". If you put a stock system next to a system that has been made into tools it's pretty much game over. How extreme someone wants to go into tuning is what determines how good the sound will get. It's important to note, not all tweaking is good tweaking and there are many systems out there right now that have recommended tweaks on them and they sound horrible. There's a difference between tweaking and tuning. Tweaking is making differences, tuning is making a system variable, so the parts and pieces can work together. Many tweaks out there do the same design mistakes that over built products do. They lock you into a sound. As I have said before just because someone has a system that they heard with a few songs that sounded cool, it doesn't mean that this system will even come close to working at your place.

This industry has been down this road for a long time, and I wonder why we as a hobby are still not getting it. There are not a lot of people out there that feel their system can deliver 100% of the time. The question that needs to be answered is, Why? Why can I not get the sound I want? or Why does that sound happen only from time to time? Years ago we started to answer this but the industry got so interested in moving boxes and climbing certain mountains that we became derailed. Making a handsome product became one of the biggest mistakes we could have made. Designers and the high end experts became perhaps a little too big for their britches (sorry guys). I saw this happen first hand. When we should have been figuring out how to make a system work in someones home we jumped onboard the money train, acting like every component we got was going to "fix" it (the sound). Everyone reading this knows exactly what I'm saying. You heard about a component, bought it, and as soon as it was put in the system you started shopping for the next product to replace it. We didn't stop to teach how to listen and make good sound in the home. Lets be honest here, we bought into the whole golden calf thing hook line and sinker. Don't blame the writers, they were going through the same thing, and don't blame the designers, they weren't able to visit your home and build it at your home custom for you. We all got caught up in a fever, and I don't doubt that some where along the way these components did sound their best. But let me share something with you from maybe a unique perspective.

In 1990, I entered the high end audio industry as a designer by showing up at the CES with enough acoustical products to treat 87 show rooms. The show was a buzz and it was a blast (we did this all over the world for the next 5 years). We got to see everyone setup and we also got to see these designers blaming each other for the sound, if it wasn't right, and with the shortness of a show of course it wasn't right. There's no way a system can even come close to settling in 3 days. But here's my point. All these systems were being put together and at the end of the day maybe able to produce 1/10 of the recorded music. (Where do I come up with 1/10? Measure the size of your soundstage and then amount of music being played in it as compared to the actual event size and material.) This should have set off flares, it did for me. Why are these systems only playing part of the music? I didn't doubt that these guys were putting their best design forward (they would have to answer this), but when these products were linked together they were far from giving the whole picture. I saw the same thing when I went to reviewers homes and stores, other shows and listeners houses. The answer for the reason these systems were not working was clear as a bell. There is something about electricity, audio signal, sound waves and mechanics that needs to take place in this hobby that was not. Why are these systems not able to work together?

so what's wrong?

Their missing one key principle that the other parts to the music world are doing but high end audio doesn't. Musical instrument, at whatever price point, have to be tuned together to make music. Until we get our minds around that we are dealing with a vibrating signal that, as with musical instruments, needs to vibrate, and then tuned together with the vibrations of the other components through the audio chain, we are not going to have systems that play the rest of the music, and play it intune.

Why do many lower price system today beat up on the higher priced ones? The "big" dollar ones are locked into their designers sound and can't  be easily tuned into new environments or other designers design. Think about it, your buying a bunch of components and trying to match them together right? You buy cables and tweaks and can hear differences but still the system comes close sometimes but not really. Why is this not working? You've been doing this 30 years, and it's still not working. You've bought 10 systems by now and it's still not getting what you thought it should.

There's a whole other chapter to this hobby and when you make it a priority your going to be shocked.

Things need to be more than plugged into each other. It would be great if that would have worked but it didn't. There's more going on with the signal and the different types of signal and waves that your system has to go through before it tells your ears things are good. If you want sound beyond the tini soundstages we have been listening to and the hit and miss, then your going to have to dig deeper. If you like the hobby of buying and replacing that's totally a hobby too, but if you want the hobby of listening to all the music in the world your going to be faced with a pill that at first may be hard to swallow. That pill is this "we've over built this hobby". We are (on a whole) preventing the music from getting through the audio chain in balance and intune. As a result we are dampening and losing musical content. We need to put on the brakes and see first if I'm telling you the truth, and then take a look at how to fix it.

this may look like I'm going off topic

What your going to find out if you take the time to explore, is that if you follow the simple formulas involved in tuning you can use, and maybe should be using, products that are being built with a more open and lighter weight designing. A lot of the lower priced products (maybe by mistake) when stripped and tuned sound a lot better than the ones that don't have a same amount of signal passing through them. This of course gets into a study on the signal which we have done for the last 25+ years. You can do your own experienments or I'd be happy to show you how to get started.

here's what I'm saying

High end audio, if reversed, could make and will make a whole new hobby. Once the pendulum swings from high mass to low mass (look at cars and other types of products) you are going to find a ton more music. I spent all these years exploring this and have taken apart about every product that has been made, and I can tell you low mass designing is going to blow away high mass in the future of high end audio and mid fi, or whatever fi you wish to be a part of. It's already happening in drivers as we have found over built drivers sound worse, it's happening in chassis and circuit boards, and when we get on to this the doors are going to fly open with light weight great sounding components that are all about today. When this does happen we are going to have one big advantage over the boat anchor days. Products will be able to be tuned and will be more like turntables and tubes "variable". I've been making adjustable parts for years now and they are amazing. When some of high ends inovation heads in this direction you'll see a wave of products that will be much more like musical instruments. People will be getting the designer's best and be able to tune it in when it gets to their homes.


michael green


tmsorosk's picture
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
Michaels comments

You've made many good points as usual Michael , I think most of us appreciate having you here .

I have one question about your comment in regard to over built drivers , in what ways do you consider them over built ? 

thanks  Tim

michael green
michael green's picture
Last seen: 21 hours 35 min ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
over built drivers and parts

Hi Tim

Happy to be here! Hope your listening tonight is going great.

Something I always think about. I don't know (this is just my thinking) how a speaker designer can not be an acoustical designer. I also don't know how a speaker cabinet designer can not be a mechanical, or even amplifier designer. These parts and pieces are so closely tied together, but I still see the industry trying to separate them as if one can do the others job. If you sit back and look at high end audio more than mid or low fi (using these loosely) you will see that the parts and pieces used in high end are far more substantial, but if you look at what it takes to put a sound wave in motion, or make a room pressurized it takes hardly a whisper. Audio performance is based on efficiency but not the way we might be thinking. When we think of it we might be thinking the ability to push or overrule, force something into submission, but that's not natural. Natural is when something happens according to it's ease of balance (it happened naturally). Natural in balance is being "in-tune". It's when energy is working at it's momentum relation. It's kinda like move rest/ move rest and keeps growing in a spherical pattern (in audio terms).

If we talk speakers we have to talk rooms, and if we talk amplifiers we have to talk rooms. Our rooms are the last amplified state before our ears are activated. An audiophiles worst nightmare is to look at his or hers room as a distortion maker. Your room is a natural amplifier an if it is undercontrolled you lose music and if it is overcontrolled you lose music. A typical rooms amplification can be rated in db's but I like to  refer it to double up or more. If you stand outside and talk without reflections you are at zero/flat and when you walk into a pressurized room it increases to be whatever the measurements and materials tells it to. An empty room is the starting point and from that line forward you are either going to distort the room or tune it. You guys can follow me any time you want on TuneLand to watch me tune rooms, but to keep it simple, if a room is tuned and doubled up your going to find that your amplifier and speakers are going to work a ton less as compared to a room that is out of tune and over done.

When reading my stuff you will see me saying we have way over done it. In the case of drivers to get the best sound there are 3 major parts, the cabinet, the room and the amp. All 3 vibrate and all 3 should. Sound is vibration and every moving part in the audio chain has the same type of natural balancing thing going on as I talked about with the room.  You make any one of these too little or too much and the driver suffers not being able to do it's vibrating properly in balance, in tune.  Test, go to your speaker and slightly losen your drivers. Sound changed didn't it? Your cabinets are not as inert as you have been led to believe. When we did our tests on cabinets we found that they weren't really inert at all, but shifted up in pitch. Every cabinet we tested that had screws connecting the drivers to the cabinet, the cabinet became part of the sound. Audiophile engineers are going to say that it's air movement that makes the sound and I call BS loud and clear. Not one cabinet that we have ever tested has been separated vibration wise from the driver as soon as the driver was attached to it. We also found that the cabinet had as much to do with the sound of the driver as the changing of volume and shape of the cabinet, many times more. It's time to throw away the inert card, but more importantly time to bring in the tune card.

If you have a cabinet that is shifting up in pitch it is throwing off the natural balance of the drivers attached. The drivers sound and test weird. Yes, if the original testing of the drivers were done with the drivers attached to MDF in dampened acoustical chambers the testing is off from the drivers natural vibratory resonant response. Boy does this ever open up a can of worms! But honestly, didn't we all know this day would come? Look at all the corrective crossovers that have to be used, This isn't what speakers are supposed to be about, us spending all of our time correcting them. Back a few years ago we were making wonderful drivers that vibrated and when attached to well tuned cabinets sounded great but then we put on our engineer caps instead of keeping on our ears, and sound went by the side to some sonic graveyard, I'm not sure where it went but it went.

It is not that hard to take a nice resonant driver and make a great sounding speaker. Well, lol. One you need to use cabinets that are not going for inert with the pitch sent up. Second the knuckle test has to change from dead to tone. You don't want your cabinet to be dead it makes the sound dead, then you have to use all that corrective crap and it all ends up a mess or a speaker that has to be place against a wall to bring it back to life or a speaker that works in only a few rooms with only a few songs. You want the cabinet to be (that magic word) intune with the driver.

Drivers (many of them) have gone from easy to drive (I'm not talking efficiency ratings) to weird out of pitch, out of balance monsters. Go back to the room for a second. You know how I was talking about how a room is to be a natural amplifier operating with ease, not forced? Well, a driver should operate the same way. It shouldn't have to have a magnet on it that forces it to move, but a magnet that hardly has to work to drive it. It should move with ease as if floating in it's surround, and also in balance weight wise so the cast is not pulling down on it. It should strum like a guitar and not forced like a cannon. It should be light weight so that when attached to the cabinet there is a clean transfer of vibration between the driver and cabinet. I for example don't use rubber seals but direct couple the driver. It's more about the vibration than the pressure. There is plenty of pressure in the room and cabinet to make a driver move, and you will be shocked at how light weight you can make a cabinet that sounds great.


First thing to look at with a speaker is, does the off axis phasing problem disappear. If you have a speaker that gets phasy off axis you have something out of balance and the sound is not forming naturally. The easier the sound comes off of any object and forms a spherical pattern the better the pressure will build into equal sonic pressure zones, and that's the key to great sound. Second thing to listen for is does the speaker work with the room. Your room should be louder than your speaker. If you walk in your room and the speaker is louder than the room pointing at itself instead of there being a flow and soundstage all over the room this is telling you your speaker is over built and your room or speaker or both are producing out of tune notes. I did a lot of testing with this one when I work as the acoustician for United Musical Instruments and played with how the speaker compares to the musical instrument and how when we built speakers to do what instruments do the sound was amazing. Speakers that vibrate intune and full range are dynamic, full and anything but distorted sounding. I bring this up because speakers that are over built clearly distort and even though the microphone in many test don't pick up this sin of omission we hear it all the time with over built products. It's not what the speaker is doing, it's what it isn't. Parts of the sound are completely missing with cabinets that are over built along with the drivers in them. Not only does the pitch shift up but the drivers fail to turn the frequencies into notes. Drivers need to be able to vibrate enough to fill in the gaps between the frequencies, meaning the in and out movement needs to happen like a drum and not again forced making something to stiff to move, move. High compression is different of course but these are made for casting the wave further before the spheres form.

The material make of a driver like the cabinet is part of the sound. Thick dull materials make the speaker sound like it is in mud. It may even have a fast drive unit but still sound rubbery. Dampening the baskets can make the same dull rubbery sound. If someone wants to tune the basket I would recommend voicing it by putting wood on it instead of speaker gup, but if the direct couple is successful most of the ring is gone. Keep in mind there is a difference between coil ring and basket ring. Coil ring is something that works it's way up through the center of the driver and when attached to an over build cabinet will sound off like a bell. The cabinet shifting up in pitch will amplify this sound and even make the basket ring. Stuffing the cabinet with foam can even make this sound worse as well as cause a distortion between the drivers out and in motion. If inside the cabinet the sound is dulled it will also dull the output. You'll see many speakers with foam inside, we have found this to be a huge distortion maker. Foam does not kill sound it muffles it. If you hold a piece of foam up to you when you talk you will hear how it deadens (muffles) the sound of your voice. A speaker is no different. There is no way to hide the sound of the materials in on or around our speakers.

You know it's kind of funny, when I chose drivers I'm going to listen to they usually are at the bottom of the food chain $$$ wise and yet with a nicely tuned cabinet that can be voiced to the room they sound like a million bucks as compared to the lifeless, dull dead, damped, hard to drive, rubberized, magic materialized monsters that are so coveted.

michael green


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