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Old 15th June 2011, 12:38 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by brsanko View Post
The fact that most of them have no clue as to how electronics actually work, or as to what is causeing the distortion that is making that speaker sound "fat" or "thin" in the midbass, or the fact that the bass sounds "slow" on this recording because of the resonances in the cabinet from the bass speaker. Then they insist on using terms like "Brittel sounding" or "liquid" which are simply learned catch phrases that most likely mean something completely different to every reviewer. I used to love to read stereophile magazine and could just imaging how the speakers sounded from the discriptions the authors used. Then I started experimenting with building speakers myself and using various amplifiers and realized that if these guys really had "golden ears" they would know what it was that was giving a product a certain "sound" and then they would know how to fix it. Because what they all want you to believe an audio component either sounds right or it sounds wrong and if it sounds wrong the problem is usually pretty easy to diagnose and then fix. The problem that makes for so many differentr opinions out there is that most people like it when it sounds wrong and they do all sorts of things to get that certain distortion or compression that they love. Which is fine.
In full support of this, with a twist: I love how Stereophile helps keeping a market alive that would perrish without such magazines, but you have to take it for what it is.

For example, take that silly 36 K preamp they evaluate in there latest issue. They show some dismal measurements (from memory, about 2 % THD at a 600 Ohm load). Yet, it is the most transparent thing they have ever heard. One of the captions is even "non sound".

FYI: an OPA134 does 0.00008% THD and, as Linkwitz mentioned on his site, has the noise equivalent of a 3 KOhm resistor. I'd like to see how many of these you could daisy chain before in ABX-testing a consistant difference starts being heard between pure signal and daisy chain. And then do the same for that rarified pre-amp. Going completely off course, the math behind this could be that you actually need to spend more $$$ buying OPA134's than pre-amps before results start showing up.

But, without Stereophile, I would not have known about it, and I like to know that these esoteric objects are around. Because they make you think, and because you need a petri dish to give evolutionary forces in audio development a chance.
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Old 15th June 2011, 12:50 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by brsanko View Post
The fact that most of them have no clue as to how electronics actually work,
some do some don't I suspect. they aren't there to fix anything, they're role is quite alot like a wine reviewer, which is not to fix the wine, just to say what they taste. (I agree though that the vocab could be better standardized for much of it)
In any case, I find the first ~ 30% or so of a typical review is informative about the speaker or device being reviewed. The middle third or so is a bunch of the less scientific "fluff" about listening to this or that (which I all but completely ignore and skim through quickly so as not to waste my time) And then the last 3rd is semi-useful notes of interest coming to the summary of what the reviewer thinks of said equipment. You just have to take it for what it is...

lest this thread just turn into more review mag & reviewer diatribes, I though the the articles timely, and interesting as there were also a couple reviews of smallish 2-ways in the issue and it sort of brings us back to the topic of this thread.As AstroSonic points out a few posts back, I think both threads conclude much as we do, that FR or wideband drivers do quite a lot right, though they do sound different, and work within a different set of handicaps...

and the Rethm seems a commercial example of this "FAST" method that's been discussed
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:11 AM   #263
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Chaz and Astro, the Beta 12lta is a very good driver that's a lot of fun to listen to. I just added the phase plug and that's it. I tried the 98 cent tweak but it did nothing to my ears. Just cutting out the dustcap improved the sound by reducing some kind of resonance... the plug eliminates this and smooths the sound... just like the chart indicate. The mod works great!

Agreed on the 'ebb and flow' the larger driver brings the music to life with ease compared to smaller drivers. I own the much more expensive TB 1808 but prefer the cheaper 12lta... the 1808 does not need a tweeter or woofer to sound full range whereas the 12lta does... think of it as a wide range driver that needs help on top and bottom and you will have a fantastic system that's very efficient... i listen to it pretty close in a small room... it sounds great... but taking a few steps back, it sounds even better. Can't wait to get it on an ob!
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