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Kloss
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When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts used, word of mouth or listening tests.

Or all or something else? Seems many just go by what others say [reviewer forums friends]etc and realy dont look into design and parts used.Thxs for any posts

Jim Tavegia
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I would rely less on friends unless their overall system was of excellent quality. Forums: maybe and reviewers yes if there is testing as in "Phile". I would then pick some speakers from that group for auditioning which should be imperitive before actually buying. With my hearing declining it might be important for me to pick a speaker system that has extended HF and maybe even a little bright since that is were my hearing loss is located. 25-30 years ago I would not be doing that. As always your mileage may vary.

I have been quite amazed lately at some of the speakers "Phile" has reviewed and tested that the reviewers still liked even though there appeared to some major measurement issues with the design. It only proves there is more to this hobby than just flat freq response.

Buddha
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I find that an essential part of my love fo hi fi is the eternal, and futile, quest to hear everything.

There is some shelf space that somehow got put aside in my otherwise poor memory for a giant Rolodex of sounds and rooms that I keep handy for future reference.

Then, as time goes by, when I am faced with a new speaker opportunity, I think of the room I am faced with and what I've heard and liked in the past.

I may be a model line or two behind a manufacturer's current product line up, but it seems to work out pretty well in deciding whose product to audition.

So, my first response is to say "personal experience," but that is also somewhat colored by having sought out well reviewed gear in the past listening journeys or biased toward manufacturers who go with live room set-ups instead of static displays.

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I guess this would be as good a time as any to bring up something this thread reminded me of.

I believe (opinion) that I can almost always "listen through" a bad room to see if a system has something going for it.

No room, no matter how badly put together, can manage to completely destroy every performance parameter of a speaker or system. There's always some little bit of range or near field positioning with good gear that will let me grab a glimpse of something that will let me know not to judge the gear too harshly and to seek out more listening opportunities.

If I hear a speaker that is hopeless in EVERY regard, even in a bad room, then that has almost always turned out to be a consistent outcome.

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On yet another tangent, and I mean this only in the nicest way possible, reviewers can be wrong. Not evil or ill intentioned, but mistaken. Not wrong in the sense that they mis-heard something, but mistaken in the sense that they can't have heard a piece of gear in every context in which it may be used. They can't have heard a speaker or system in every possible user's room or in every combination of equipment, so sometimes they may kvetch about bass in their room with sprung floors which may not relate at all to my experience with a concrete pad floor. My live room may present a different experience for a speaker than the reviewer's dead room. On and on...

So, it's great that reviewers describe their rooms, it's crucial, in fact. (Heck, we should demand photos of their rooms!) So even with reviews, I always want to take a listen for myself to give a piece of gear more context.

Pause

Well, it's not so much that they are mistaken...they are right in terms of their room and gear and all, but their opinion is not UNIVERSAL, if that makes more sense.

Sorry to go long...

Monty
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Most of the time I want to listen to a product/speaker before I buy. However, I do use reviews to narrow down what I might like and have bought gear based solely on a review.

Some reviewers are obviously much better at communicating their impressions and have a bank of trust with me that makes me more willing to take a chance.

I do research any potential purchase and will buy from a local dealer if the product is available in my market. In those instances I always listen first and am happy to pay the premium for it if I like it.

I'm not nearly as anal about my purchases as I used to be. With Ebay and Audigon around, if I don't like how something fits into my system I'll either hang on to it for future use or simply sell it.

The longer I mess around with this hobby the more often I find myself interested in products that aren't offered in my area. A good example is Thiel speakers. My experience with HiFi is limited to the relatively few components that my local dealers offer and not one of them offers the Thiel line of speakers. Naturally, from everything I have read about Thiel, I think they have the potential to be exactly what I like. Another example is Krell. You would think that a city with a population of over a million would have a Krell dealer, but nope.

Anyway, I think many dealers are reluctant to expand the brands they carry given the climate of high end audio and prefer to stick with companies that have appeal from a business survival standpoint. I suspect some brands are a lot more dealer friendly while others are considerably less so.

As for parts quality and design, yeah, I'm interested to the extent that they are geared toward the final sound as opposed to aesthetics. Personally, I've never seen a good looking speaker...ever. I've seen weird and less ugly speakers, but never a good looking one.

jamesgarvin
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Sorry. I think I developed Tavegitis and posted without logging in. "Mr Anonymous"

Jim Tavegia
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

My condition is strickly with age considerations. At least thats my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm thinking about wearing a name tag and looking down once in a while.

ohfourohnine
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

So, Monty, you've never seen a good looking speaker. I think my Sonus Fabers look pretty good. More importantly, so does "she who must be obeyed". There is, I think, some small possibility that I might like the sound of some of Harbeth offerings even better than I do my SF's, but I'll never know. The guy who said a man's home is his castle never met my irish wife and has no understanding of how the financial impact of divorce can put a damper on owning a good music system.

JoeE SP9
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Anyone who buys speakers using reviews or someone elses ears gets what they worked for; something that satisfies everyone else but the buyer. Not listening before purchase is just plain stupid.

Logan
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I've bought other components unheard, or even sight unseen. But never speakers. If I can't audition them in my own listening room (not an easy room) with my own system I wouldn't touch them.

greenelec
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I usually give a lot of consideration to the reputation of the company producing the product. Then read reviews. Are the speakers designed by someone who has a rep for great designs? I also try to find out who else uses the speakers. Recording studios, Other manufacturers showing their gear, what do they use? The last pair of speakers I bought I took two years to decide. I bought Dunlavys (now defunct, so sad)they are the best I have ever heard. Like to hear Wilsons sometime. BE PATIENT!

Kloss
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I hear ya Jim many older folks have much hifrequincy reduction in their hearing.I do feel that some of the older loudspeaker designers voice there designs with a bit more on top because of this.On some systems I use ajustable transformers to raise or lower hifrequincy to match owners tastes room and system.I think other designers should consider there aging customer base.The loudspeaker can still be flat but if one needs a bit of extra enegy in upper range well why not ajust it in? The systems there to make the owners or users happy not other audiophiles and if your hearing is reduced in upper range then if you raise trebile its mostly flat to you.

Anthony Tam
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I never buy any "high end" audio component without at least a 3-day or longer home demo. Unless it's experienced within the context of my room, my equipment, my music- and heck, even my mood - I am not willing to part with my hard earned cash.

I rely on magazine reviews like Stereophile and forums like this one to give me ideas and "leads" on components that are within my price range (ceiling of $1500USD per component).

Colnmary
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I did the unthinkable and bough Blind and unheard my latest speakers and am extremely happy. I auditioned about 10 pairs with my own gear and other gear in shops and several paires at home and none were a sonic improvement on what I had.

I went by the following:-

1. Design I desired. True Three way.
2. Web reviews on speakers, both by owners and magazines.
3. Reviews on Drivers.
4. Company history and information on longativity etc etc.

I would usually recommend against this, but did it and was happy.

ohfourohnine
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Good Grief, you are much to be envied. Apparently New Zealand is not only alarmingly beautiful but it is also full of great hi-fi shops. Are the taxes exhorbitant?

Colnmary
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts


Quote:
Good Grief, you are much to be envied. Apparently New Zealand is not only alarmingly beautiful but it is also full of great hi-fi shops. Are the taxes exhorbitant?

No the Tax or GST as we call it, is 12.5% on all goods, whether audio or a car. My city has two great audio stores and another 4 or so chain stores that have some good gear, mainly speakers.

Peter Duminy
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Just my 2 cents worth, and IMHO, I would work out your budget first. Then Forums such as these and reviews can narrow down the list. After listening to say, 3 top models in your price range, try to remember the likes and dislikes after 3 or 4 days. If you can't remember any standout characteristics, then move on to more models. If one of those speakers however, makes you smile, and you can honestly say that it was great sound in your budget, then that's the model for you.

nrchy
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

If I had any credibility this would ruin it, but since I don't, it won't...

I live in a fairly small city, a LONG way from HiFi. You can't even see HiFi from here! Any real audio shops would involve a 4-5 hour jaunt in the car - and that's one way! So against anyone's better judgement I have purchased speakers without having heard them. I bought them used so there is much less risk involved, but still, I'm taking a chance.

Interestingly enough, I have never been disappointed with any speakers that I thought would be good. I bought a pair of active speakers (maybe from Paragigm) that I didn't care much for, but I didn't expect much. The real speakers I bought without hearing were Kharma Ceramique 1.0, and Talon Khites.

The Kharma's were obviously better speakers. They were great, if not a little big for my room. The Talons are very good, if not a little small for my room. BUT I had a fair idea of what I would be getting when I bought them. I read reviews and chatted with owners before pulling the trigger.

I might be an exception (my mother always said I was special) but I haven't been burned, or even much disappointed.

Monty
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

nrchy, you can just turn in your ring and your tie tac, cause you are out...of the Shrine. You might have to pack your bags and leave town. Ray Stevens, Shriner's Convention :P

nrchy
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

Monty, I have that song on my 300 disc changer at work!

I knew that confession was going to hurt me!

Monty
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Re: When you purchase loudspeakers do you base decision on parts

I have a lot of Ray Stevens' stuff. The guy just cracks me up. Clean humor, like Jerry Clower and Ray Stevens has become a lost Art.

Is there anything funnier than Ray Stevens' "It's Me Again, Margaret?"

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