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BasicHIFI1 1st February 2017 06:36 AM

Auditioning Speakers
 
This interesting article as well as recent discussions have made me think again about how I test the speakers that I am experimenting with, and also evaulating the entire sound reproduction system.

I do not have the sensitive instruments to test my speakers, no an anechoic chamber, but this may be beside the point. I have been, after all, listening to music and testing what I hear 'subjectively'.

I have come up with some working guidelines to evaluate audio systems by ear only:
  • Frequency range - do I hear the lowest frequency and highest frequency instruments?
  • Clarity - Can I hear all the instruments playing all the time clearly. If it is a familiar track, can I hear what I hear with headphones and do I hear any detail I had not heard before?
  • Can I hear what seems to be distortion?
  • Are the percussion sounds sharp and clearly defined or sort or muffled and woolly?
  • Do I hear any unnatural (to me) colorations of sound- boxiness, sizzling sounds from the tweeters?
  • Do the music and vocals sound natural?

There are only a few high powered systems and headphones that will pass fare well in the above set of tests, so it is kind of a basic hi fi filter.

Anything more to add? It seems a good way to do things.

BasicHIFI1 1st February 2017 07:26 AM

The questionnaire inf figure 6 should help. Is this some sort of standard?

https://www.bksv.com/media/doc/17-197.pdf

midrange 2nd February 2017 03:05 PM

I always compare any new speaker to my reference commercial speakers; with whatever listening test I am using.

BasicHIFI1 3rd February 2017 04:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by midrange (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/303098-auditioning-speakers-post4973604.html#post4973604)
I always compare any new speaker to my reference commercial speakers; with whatever listening test I am using.

OK so how do you test them - A/B testing or from memory?

BasicHIFI1 3rd February 2017 04:46 AM

Basic HiFI system reviewing chart
 
1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 596534

Rudimentary testing chart. Of course it needs to be refined but you get the idea. Interesting to see the variation between people who review a system using this chart to review systems.

What I have shown is what I remember from my on wall open baffle without the tweeter connected.

midrange 3rd February 2017 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BasicHIFI1 (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/303098-auditioning-speakers-post4974252.html#post4974252)
OK so how do you test them - A/B testing or from memory?

A/B testing. I usually use the same audition pieces as well. I also use spoken voice off the radio, which can be very revealing of colourations.

wesayso 3rd February 2017 03:25 PM

I like to use a wide variety of musical genres to judge my personal attempts in Stereo reproduction. While chances are they won't all be "the best" in audiophile terms of recordings, the last thing I want is to end up with a few (so called) well recorded songs to listen to.

If something is off it might not display itself completely in one genre. I also take my time in judging. Weeks rather than minutes to see if some change is for the better.

I do like my speakers more than my headphones. Not that I have bad headphones or equipment on that side, the speakers give me more thrills resembling "being there".
They should after spending 5 to 6 years coming up with the plans, building it, adjusting it and learning from it all.

BasicHIFI1 6th February 2017 09:00 AM

Attempt at actual audition in living room
 
Listened to this album (CD)

on the Sony reciever I have pictured in my thread, with the original mini-fridge sized speakers (Sony ES-333).

This time listening for specific instruments. This was a real eye openener - the bass is nowhere as well defined as I want it to be, and I had to listen hard to hear much of the treble - high hat, cymbals.

Also, I now notice that some songs seem to be recorded more loudly than others.

Angling the speakers in a little I seem to have built myself a nice soundstage.

All this from simply attempting to come up with a system for listening to speakers. Meanwhile my friends amp and speakers are so clear and they sound brand new.

drewan 6th February 2017 08:11 PM

Quote:

Meanwhile my friends amp and speakers are so clear and they sound brand new.
You make it sound (Yeuch pun) as though speakers deteriorate like paint dis-colours or cushions get compressed. Is that what you meant?

BasicHIFI1 7th February 2017 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drewan (https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/303098-auditioning-speakers-post4978787.html#post4978787)
You make it sound (Yeuch pun) as though speakers deteriorate like paint dis-colours or cushions get compressed. Is that what you meant?

Well yes, in this climate these things tend to deteriorate with age, come to think of it, we live close enought to the sea to cause corrosion. I had a TV that went bad due to not being used for a few years. The system I am listening to was in storage for quite a few years.

But more to the point, audio equipment seems to need to be carefully maintained and kept in good order, the fact that there are few moving parts does not mean much.

How do you care for and mantain speakers? Never heard of it being done. It is all so relevant because once you audition speakers and find or build ones you like they have to be kept that way.

Quote:

Believe it or not, your sound equipment is most vulnerable not while you are using it, but while you are not using it! Besides the normal wear and tear that you expect to have, to the needle, motor, cords, etc., the biggest enemies your sound system has are dampness, neglect, and helpers.
http://www.hiltonaudio.com/taking-ca...equipment.html


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