Blind listening test with Orions, cheap pro sound and even cheaper DIY - diyAudio
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Old 18th November 2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Blind listening test with Orions, cheap pro sound and even cheaper DIY

Gainphile posted a thread about a blind listening test comparing the Linkwitz Orion speaker ($9000) to an inexpensive pro speaker and what looks like a very cheap diy speaker. The test was done blind where a black curtain concealed the speakers. Without repeating the post I wanted to let others here know about it in case you don't visit the Multi-way forum...

Link to the test and its results:
http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/SLReport10.05.pdf

Link to the original post:
Linkwitz Orions beaten by Behringer.... what!!?

I think many of us already recognize that price doesn't always equal performance. I also believe most of us recognize that we like what we like and convincing us otherwise is futile. And, i do believe full range driver fans LISTEN to their designs because it's the way the music sounds to us that makes us passionate about what we design and build. WE don't get wrapped up in expensive components or complicated wiring. WE keep it simple and listen carefully. I don't think there is one among us that would debate a blind listening test where an inexpensive speaker outperformed an expensive one. We'd just chuckle and go home to enjoy our systems.

Obviously there are a zillion variables but ultimately the reviewers preferred the much cheaper speakers (Actually the cheapie diy speaker came out on top, tho it's an oddball design using Radio Shack wall speakers mounted on four sides of the cabinet.) This is encouraging!

Having bought expensive Morel and Dynaudio components over the years i learned the hard way that spending lots of money doesn't ensure good performance. Keep on listening AND building!

Zilla
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Old 18th November 2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Don't know much about the topic but aren't the Orions designed with nice drive units, suspect amps and horrid multi opamp crossovers by a designer who is convinced that electronics make no difference? From my pov it's a recipe for disaster.
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Old 18th November 2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Out of personal experience I have to say that I prefer 8 or 10 op amps in the circuit to a single inductor since it is less damaging to the accuracy as perceived by myself and everybody else who has listened to my speakers before and after I went active with my Tannoy DualConcentrics. And substantially so!
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Old 18th November 2010, 05:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
horrid... ...crossovers
Linkwitz-Riley crossovers.

Phase-coherent crossovers.

The de facto standard for professional audio active crossovers.

Linkwitz-Riley Crossovers: A Primer

Jealousy will get you nowhere.

w
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Old 18th November 2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godzilla View Post
Gainphile posted a thread about a blind listening test comparing the Linkwitz Orion speaker ($9000) to an inexpensive pro speaker and what looks like a very cheap diy speaker. The test was done blind where a black curtain concealed the speakers.
But was only concerened with one very small aspect of the listening experience (ability to imitate the space of a concert hall) and did not address overall quality,

If one takes this to heart then all we can say from this is that every loudspeaker should have drivers on all 4 sides (if a monkey coffin)

People are ignoring the premise and extrapolating the results to the whole performance of the loudspeaker.

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Old 18th November 2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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>>> But was only concerened with one very small aspect of the listening experience (ability to imitate the space of a concert hall) and did not address overall quality...

True. But since their is a large difference in price among the speakers in the test, plus the 'challenge' itself was put forth by Mr. Linkwitz himself, the results are surprising, fun and intriguing to me.

It would not have surprised me if a FrugalHorn setup optimally (something required by the test) would have enveloped that room with sound, threw a wider soundstage, had pinpoint imaging and performed better than those speakers... then again, given the variables, it may have finished last. Regardless, there will be some percentage of listeners who prefer any one of the others over another. I doubt the judges were not swayed by the overall presentation of the sound produced.
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Old 18th November 2010, 05:57 PM   #7
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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I've heard the Orions myself at BAF last month. They did everything you would want from a speaker quite well. They can easily serve as a reference. Regardless of what the tests show, they are quite good as loudspeakers.

On the Dark Side of Moon, right before 'Time' and the after the plane takes off, there is a quiet passage where the you can hear the plane in the sky, off at some distance. On the Orions, it sounded freakishly real... like there was really a plane outside flying over us.
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Old 18th November 2010, 06:32 PM   #8
doug20 is offline doug20  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
Don't know much about the topic but aren't the Orions designed with nice drive units, suspect amps and horrid multi opamp crossovers by a designer who is convinced that electronics make no difference? From my pov it's a recipe for disaster.
Wow, Linkwitz has nothing on you

you have what designs to offer again? Any websites helping the masses understand audio a little better WITH some data and science to back up your opinion???? I think I will be hearing crickets.....

FWIW, my record against audiophile to believers is 20 - 0 and Thousands of $$$$ betting them in a controlled listening test they could not pick the 'BETTER' peice of electronics. I even would bet on the differences. I know, I know controlled listening is flawed and we would rather have all uncontrolled expectation bias. Lucky the rest of the world do not have audiophiles running something like the FDA, just imagine the discussion.....we do not need controlled tests. Let people just take the drug and make their own conclusions without controlling the variables ...YIKES

Last edited by doug20; 18th November 2010 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 18th November 2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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That Eickmeier speakers use DML's right ?

This test was about overcoming the listening
venue and little else ?

A conventional piston acting speaker cannot win
in a "disappearing test" against reasonably well
working DML under "living room like" conditions.

Do not worry about it, the result has little to do with
either SL's design strategy or the Orions.
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Last edited by LineArray; 18th November 2010 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 18th November 2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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Hi doug20

To be fair to analog_sa, he is not the only one who believes that. There are quite few people who have written papers who believe op amps are not ideal devices for audio. That doesn't mean they cant be used to good effect though.

Could you tell me more about your blind test?
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