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chambers1517's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Nov 1 2006 - 11:30am
How can you tell what really sounds good?

I have a set of Klipschorns that I listen to two channel on. I have had them for about ten years. Every other speaker I have listened to has sounded dull and lifeless compared to them. I recently aquired another set of speakers and placed them in the room with the Klipschorns. It is a large room 20x28 and both sets are at the front with the Klipschorns in the corners. The other speakers were about twelve feet apart on the front wall. As I expected they sounded dull and lifeless. One day I was working on the room and let them play as I was busy. After a while I got use to them and began to enjoy them. When I switched back to the Klipschorns they seemed overbearing. I listened to them a while and they began to sound better. My conclusion is maybe you just get use to a certain sound and when something sounds different you may not like it even if it is actually better. I had to give the other set back and once again my Klipschorns reign supreme, or at least I think they do.

Lick-T's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 14 2006 - 8:04pm
Re: How can you tell what really sounds good?

I think you've asked the million dollar question!

I believe we do get used to the way music sounds in our sytems and that then becomes our reference. In my opinion, the only way to learn to hear colorations, artifacts and distortions in music reproduction is constant exposure to live, unamplified music. By taking the reproduction system out of the picture, you can learn what sorts of things at adds and subtracts to the music.

I also think that regular exposure to lots of different audio systems, even headphone listening, will average out your ear. That is, it will stop making your Klipshorns sound like the "truth" and everything else as wrong. Not saying your Klipshorns aren't great, but every good system does some things well, and other things not as well. The broader experience your ear can have with great sound, both live and reproduced, the better you'll be able to know what sounds good.

The great part is, unless your are completely OCD, the process of learning is really fun!

Duvet's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: Jul 4 2009 - 12:36am
Re: How can you tell what really sounds good?

I find if im tapping my feet things are heading the right direction . I like fast incisive speakers with really clear mids and extended treble . I have to be careful i marry that with amplification thats not of the same ilk .

rabpaul's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jan 6 2008 - 8:58pm
Re: How can you tell what really sounds good?

Your own system, the one you spend most of the time listening to, will automatically become your reference and any and all other systems you listen to will always be compared to this reference. The exposure to real live music and how that sounds when compared to what you have at home is a guide to sounding good e.g listen to a ride cymbal or a high hat (when tapped) and compare to this reproduced at home and you will know what its supposed to sound like. There is also another dimension to sounding good i.e resolving of detail. The more detail you have the better that system will sound to you. As your system improves and becomes quieter you will hear more details. Details such as hearing a piano, harpsichord or triangle in the background which was previously hidden and now revealed, adding to the music.
I think we all have something inbuilt that tells us this is "better" and while someone else may have that same inbuilt sense that says its not.
What's important is what sounds good to you and not what sounds good to a visitor. I think there can be no dispute as to what sounds right if you are comparing how your system reproduces it compared to the real thing.

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm
Re: How can you tell what really sounds good?

What really sounds good is whatever you think it is.
You compared two different speakers to each other. All speakers are wrong, some are less wrong some are more wrong. You should be comparing speakers to live un-amplified music not to each other. If you do that it's very easy to tell what really sounds good. Whatever speaker sounds more like real live un-amplified is the better one.

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