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BluesDog
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Joined: Mar 17 2020 - 6:59am
What We Re-Learned Along The Way

I accompanied a friend in his quest for a final speaker choice in 5 reviews at 4 different establishments. The best speaker choice surprised both of us as the specs for the Revel Performa3 F206 made us feel it would be very bass shy (it wasn’t) Old Audiophile expected to like the PSB T3 much better but we both agreed that it wasn’t as clear as the 206 with muddier bass. The 206 had a compelling dispersion that was enjoyable outside the sweet spot. After listening the speakers on 5 different occasions I was left with my defenses removed about the 206 with the simple feeling of “I would like to have these speakers.” I got to briefly hear the 208 in less then ideal setup and was haunted by that speaker’s potential. I’m waiting patiently for next spring when I may be in a position to buy those puppies.

The biggest things we were reminded of along the way was 1) the importance of replicating your room conditions with close attention to the distance to the front and side walls as is feasible. 2) the importance of system matching the auditioned speakers to the amplification and speakers wires that you already have and 3) using your audiophile experience to determine how much weight the speakers, speakers wires, room acoustics and amplification factors into the eval.
The choice of amplification and cabling particularly had to be gauged in each place we went. What became more and more important was to utilize amplification as close to the sound and price of my friend's MC 5200.
We listened to a great Classe Delta and MAC MC275 stack that sounded amazing but noticed that amps or speaker wire far beyond what we currently owned greatly skewed results. We found we could more accurately gauge speaker performance with amps and speaker wire closer to our own equipment.
We found speaker specs to be a somewhat useful starting point but found a huge surprise with the performance of the Revel Performa3 F206 far exceeding it's stated specs. We found different speaker wire to be a significant part of the equation with differing audio characteristics.

COmusicaddict
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good thoughts

Thanks for sharing that. It is important to remove, or try to aurally account for, any variables in auditioning.

BluesDog
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Case In Point

It is tempting to listen to great integrated amps or separates when auditioning speakers. Audio shops want their speakers to sound their very best and want to further beguile you with OTHER STUFF. But you get a little set up for disappointment if you bring a pair of speakers home expecting them to sound the same as they did on an uber stack or integrated amp. When I accompanies a friend to NH to audition a Triangle Australe, a 6T, Dynaudio, and Vandersteen speakers we started out hearing them on a killer MAC stack including the MC275. We were gobsmacked about how the mighty MAC stack made all hr speakers sound, especially the Triangle and the 6T. But my friend wisely asked to hear the same list of speakers on his MC5200. They all still sounded very good but we weren’t quite overcome with “the wife be damned” lust. After that we tried to at least approximate the type of amp and power that was as close to the MC5200 as shops had on hand. Prior to re-calibrating our approach, we heard a pretty impressive Classe Delta separates combo that helped a Monitor Audio 300, 500, and Focal 926 be all they can be. A lesson for me was to concentrate on the speakers if that is your goal with the reverse being true of auditioning separates and integrated amps on speakers you are familiar with.

BluesDog
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Goes Without Saying

Professional reviewers and those who change components and speakers often would have the experience

Professional reviewers and those who often change components, speakers and interconnects would not need this level of caution and focus. They are better able to differentiate the effects of each components and audio pieces effect on the sonic signatures of what is taking place.

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