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i hate popular speaker perceptions

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i hate popular speaker perceptions

Postby JamieW on Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:39 am

I just recently bought a new center channel. Went with a Mirage Omni CC as my center as the crossover frequency is very close to my Klipsch towers and Mirage Omnisat rears. They are also very similar in tone. But in my speaker shopping throughout the past few months, I have heard so many things that are just annoying.

It bothers me that Bose has spent so much money on marketting that the common perception is that Bose is the best. Bose is crap. If you got Bose, you wasted your money. Never get Bose anything. For the same price or often less, there are dozens upon dozens of better speaker manufacturers out there.

Pioneer Elite? Crap. It bothers me when people show me their OMG-IT-IS-SO-AWESOME home theater system and its a tower of Pioneer Elite with Pioneer Elite speakers. Why on earth does putting "Elite" on something make it more desirable? My fiance's brother has a friend who bragged about his Pioneer Elite system. This joker isn't even in the same sound class.

If you see Sony and it isn't a TV, run. Get the hell away from it. Sony speakers, Sony receivers, and most Sony disc players of any sort are crap.

Aiwa is crap. Aiwa stuff is too bass laden. I can turn down all my other speakers and just have my sub going and I've got an Aiwa.

6.1 and 7.1 are nearly useless. 7.1 probably will never catch on at all. 5.1 is the standard for recording and probably will be for a long time. 6.1 only offers a rear center channel which isn't necessary. The only things coming out of your rear channels are effects. You do not need a center for that.

It irks the crap out of me that people are willing to go drop $300 on a component and not know shit about what is out there. People will spend $1500 on some Bose/Sony miniature monostrosity and they could have gotten so much better for so much less.

And computer speakers...god, they are always crap. They have no presence, they do not disappear. They are no good for music. They are only good for that little alert sound you get when someone sends you a message. The hundreds of dollars people are willing to spend on sound cards and speakers for their computers is disgusting. There are such better solutions out there for music out of your computer than that.

And it bothers me when people listen to music in surround. Music is recorded in stereo. If you are listening to music in 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 or anything other than stereo with a sub, you are listening to music wrong. It is supposed to sound as though it is coming from a stage. And unless you are the musician, stage music doesn't come from every direction.
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Postby eliminator on Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:29 am

Mostly true, the reason I got the retail CL 7+1 AudigyZS/ 7+1 CL speakers is a great deal only (got both 4 under $180) :wink:
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Postby pranav81 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:00 am

I am happy with my Creative 4.1 speaker system with a Creative digital 4.1 soud card.Awesome music and gaming experience.. :)


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Postby VEFF on Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:54 am

I have Infinity fronts (discontinued), Advent rears (discontinued).
I bought a used - in excellent condition - Paradigm reference
LCR-450 center channel speaker on ebay for a great price and it is amazing.
Very neutral! It got great reviews in the press.
Bose, like you suggest, is not in the same league.

The company is based in Canada.
http://www.paradigm.com
http://www.paradigm.ca

I must, respectfully, disagree with your opinion of Pioneer Elite, especially when it comes to receivers.
For some reviews, you can check ecoustics.com for real user reviews and posts.
Elite is just below NAD in many people's opinions.
I have one, and can honestly say that it compares very favorably with the Nakamichi integrated amp (essentially a receiver without the tuner) I sold to replace with an Elite.

In any case, receiver (and other components) choice is very personal.
Some people like a bright sounding system, others like a more laid back sound.
Last edited by VEFF on Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby JamieW on Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:58 am

Veff, I'm very familiar with Paradigm. Excellent speakers. They were in the running for my new center along with Mirage, Vienna Acoustics, Linn, NHT, Klipsch, and Boston Acoustics. Very very good speakers.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:02 pm

JamieW wrote:Veff, I'm very familiar with Paradigm. Excellent speakers. They were in the running for my new center along with Mirage, Vienna Acoustics, Linn, NHT, Klipsch, and Boston Acoustics. Very very good speakers.


Thanks JamieW.

I noticed you mentioned Elite, after my original post, so I edited it.
As I said, receiver choice is very personal, and what sounds good to one person, may sound lousy to someone else, and vice versa.
I also bought Elite based on features (7.1 channel, THX Select Certified, dts es, DD EX, DPLII etc.) for the price ($484 online for a VSX-43TX, replaced by essentially similar VSX-53TX), with sound being the most important factor.

Most people strongly recommend auditioning receivers first to see what sounds best to your ears.
In addition, speaker brand and model choice can have a major effect on how a receiver sounds and vice versa.

Enjoy your system! :)

RE: Sony.
I agree 100% to stay away from their speakers and receivers.
Their DVD players, however, have done pretty well in terms of image quality, and are very fast at reading DVD-+R media.
Aiwa made some decent personal stereos (i.e. walkman type players), but their stereo systems and other components are definitely not the best.
Burners only:
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Plextor PX-716A TLA0304
Plextor PX-716A same TLA

LiteOn 52246S 52X CD-RW
LiteOn 52246S (another)
LiteOn 52327S 52X CD-RW
TDK 40X USB 2.0 CD-RW
TEAC CD-W540E 40X CD-RW
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Postby JamieW on Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:26 pm

I don't like Elite stuff for primarily cost reasons. You can get a comparable Denon for about the same price. But for some reason, you put Elite on the receiver and suddenly it jacks the price. The real flaw in Pioneer Elite systems is in the speakers. They are horrendous. I will grant Pioneer is better than Kenwood, Sony, Yamaha (iffy on this one), and a handful of others. But putting "Elite" on it jacks the price. Makes me angry.

However, I read an interesting article that said that basically all receivers are the same. You just need the room set up right and your speaker levels correct. It said that all a receiver really does is take a signal and multiply it. It was interesting, but I have a hard time swallowing it.

Ideally I think the "best" system is one that doesn't change the signal from the source media. In theory, the two best systems with equally sound friendly rooms would sound the exact same.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:57 pm

The Pioneer Elite receivers have a much better construction and also have better components than regular Pioneer receivers.
The weight alone demonstrates the size of the heat sink and transformer etc.

My brother bought a Denon 3803 recently (open box for $525 or something like that at ecost).
He is very happy.
Denon is not a bad choice at all. They combine good performance with good features for the price.
However, most people at ecoustics put Elite above Denon.
There is a thread somewhere about "best receiver (brand)".
I'll try to find it, since they have been archiving posts older than about 4 weeks.
Regardless of all that, guy A may hate Elite, Marantz and love Denon and Onkyo. Guy B may feel exactly the opposite...
Neither is wrong :)
As long as your ears (and you) are happy, that is all that counts :)


I don't trust that article you read. There are definitely differences between different receivers, in terms of sound quality.
Some people's ears may be more sensitive than others, but in a side by side comparison, there WILL be audible differences.

I agree with your description of an ideal system not altering the source signal('s sound).
Unfortunately most receivers do add some character to the sound, so it is important to listen first - if possible - if you want the best sound for your ears.
Burners only:
Pioneer DVR-115D
Pioneer DVR-111D
Plextor PX-716A TLA0304
Plextor PX-716A same TLA

LiteOn 52246S 52X CD-RW
LiteOn 52246S (another)
LiteOn 52327S 52X CD-RW
TDK 40X USB 2.0 CD-RW
TEAC CD-W540E 40X CD-RW
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Postby JamieW on Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:06 pm

Veff, just making sure you understand me. I don't think Pioneer Elite receivers are bad. It just bothers me that the word "Elite" seems to cost extra. Especially considering that a Rotel is just like $150 out of the Pioneer Elite cost.

I have a hard time with that article as well. I would have liked to be there for the testing, though.
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Postby jase on Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:45 pm

Must admit I agree with a lot of this.

Having said that I tend to just throw any old system together for home cinema, all you're really after is loud crashes there :lol:

For my main hifi system, I have a John Shearne Phase 2 reference amplifier, Linn LP12 record deck, Cyrus dAD3Q CD player and Rogers LS55 speakers (a derivative of the speakers designed by the BBC).

Result, a very natural, unforced sound. The main problem with the Japanese speakers in general is that they do everything well, but the result sounds a little artificial in my experience.
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Postby Ian on Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:49 pm

JamieW wrote:Veff, just making sure you understand me. I don't think Pioneer Elite receivers are bad. It just bothers me that the word "Elite" seems to cost extra.


It's like their Premier car stereo line. The normal model and the Premier model have almost identical specs. Supposedly the Premiers are built to higher standards. Personally, I think you're just paying for the little logo.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:32 pm

JamieW,

Yes, I didn't think you were saying they were bad. :)
I must say though that regular Pioneer receivers really do not sound as good as Elite.
I am not saying there is a HUGE difference by any means, but it will be noticeable in an A-B comparison of the two.
Whether the price difference is justifiable, is an entirely personal opinion.

All,
(Some of this is possibly repetitive, since I typed the response to JamieW in this same post, after typing the rest):
The Elite line really does have better components and design than the regular line, honest.
Whether the price difference is justified is another matter entirely, and is probably a matter of personal opinion.

Quite frankly, I would NOT have paid the $1200 that is quoted as the MSRP for my Elite VSX-43TX or even the $799 it sells for at some non-online retailers (I paid $484 + $29 shipping for a NEW unit).
For $800, I would probably have gotten a reasonably-priced NAD or Marantz model, or even a used Rotel.
For $484, however, the VSX-43TX is definitely worth $100 more than a regular Pioneer receiver of similar power ratings IMO.
Many of the people at ecoustics have been into high end audio for 20 - 30 years, and they are into this in a big way (I am not to be honest, although I have done research).
They have done side-by-side comparisons with regular Pioneers, as have magazines such as Stereophile etc.

I use it for both HT and music, so muscality was important to me.
As jase says, sound quality isn't critical in a HT-only system, since HT is more about special effects than music.

Rotel, which was mentioned by JamieW, is probably one of the top two or three receiver lines out there, period, in terms of musicality etc.
However, there is no Rotel (NEW) anywhere near $484.
I decided to keep my budget down due to other realtively recent purchases.
I agree that for $1200, you could probably buy a very nice Rotel, slightly used if you want a newer model with new surround sound capabilities such as dts es and DD EX, and DPL-II etc. :)
Rotels also look great!

I also believe that the real world power output of Elite models, on the whole, seems to be much better than the regular Pioneer receivers, when it comes to a comparison to mfr rated output
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Hollow/3401/ratevsac.htm
Check the latest Pioneer in the chart to the latest Elite, since it is a bit old.
Burners only:
Pioneer DVR-115D
Pioneer DVR-111D
Plextor PX-716A TLA0304
Plextor PX-716A same TLA

LiteOn 52246S 52X CD-RW
LiteOn 52246S (another)
LiteOn 52327S 52X CD-RW
TDK 40X USB 2.0 CD-RW
TEAC CD-W540E 40X CD-RW
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Postby CowboySlim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:09 pm

My Heathkit amplifier and speakers still sound just fine.

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Postby burninfool on Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:37 pm

CowboySlim wrote:My Heathkit amplifier and speakers still sound just fine.

Slim


Is Heathkit still around?I loved thumbing through their catalogs when I was young.

Store bought speakers(eg.Bose,Polk) are overpriced so I build my own speakers.My first speakers that I built in high school are in my living room and get used everyday,I originally used RadioShack drivers but have since upgraded.I have built at least 20 pairs and my friends say they sound great.
If anyone is interested in building their own speakers here's some good sites:
http://www.lalena.com/audio/
http://www.scrounge.org/speak/speak.htm
http://www.colomar.com/Shavano/construction.html
www.partsexpress.com
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Postby Dartman on Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:09 pm

Heathkit is long gone but they did have some killer amps in the early 80's like the one I'm using for my sub. My best frind built it and I ended up with it after he died. I also built my main speakers and I'm using a Onkyo 777 home theatre type reciever 5.1 DD/DTS etc.
I had a Sony 2070 before it that just sounded realy nice with stereo music or dolby pro logic but it didn't do 5.1 at all and I wanted something that sounded as nice as the Sony did with the new audio processing. It doesn't have all the neat features display wise and EQ wise but it does sound as good or better so I bought it.
I have some Altec Lansing acs 48 speakers on my computer that are 2 piece with a sub. They are disco'd and getting old but they still sound better then most speakrs of this type I've heard since and better then some of the crappy home units I've heard.
Too many high end folks buy all the BS about special cables, green pens for your cd's, special more better speaker wire etc.
They are driving away the new generation with all this stuff and spending thousands for one cable that makes your system sound better ;)
They don't even believe in blind testing to see if it really makes a difference, if you believe your 1200 dollar cable sounds better it will.
I build my stuff to sound flat and put out whatcomes in, I also made my speakers to have broad sound dispersion so you get a nice broad sound stage and image and I think I succeeded considering my investment.
2 channel, 5 channel, 7.1, who cares as long as it sounds good to you just kick back and enjoy.
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Postby F1Pilot on Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:48 pm

I have a few friends into high end audio stuff. One of them who is prety fanatical about it has made the move from Paradigms (which I thought sounded sweet as hell) to Triangles (I think that's what the brand is). His amp went from a Sim Audio to a Balanced 600. I didn't realize how much wire costs for those systems. Damn.
I teach Music 101
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Postby burninfool on Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:56 pm

"Too many high end folks buy all the BS about special cables, green pens for your cd's, special more better speaker wire etc."

So true,especially Monster cables.I bought a set one time,took them home and listened on both speakers...no difference.Then I hooked up one speaker with Monster and the other with my old cable...no differance,got my money back.
Here's my cable guide:
<100w per ch. or <25ft from amp=18ga
>100w per ch. or >25ft from amp=16ga
Outdoor or in-wall =UL 14ga
Pro sound =UL 12ga
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Postby jase on Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:12 pm

In fairness a *decent* cable can make a difference to sound. When I moved mine, I noticed the record deck sounded a bit flat, until I noticed I'd used one of the cheap free phono leads instead of the usual one I got with the deck. Changing it over did make a subtle difference. But I agree that spending hundreds on cables is a total waste of money.

Likewise you do need a speaker cable capable of transmitting the current through -- bellwire on a 100W/channel amp simply won't do. However, you don't actually need anything more than 13A mains cable -- the "proper" speaker cable just looks the part more :roll:
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Postby BuddhaTB on Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:10 pm

I don't care what you guys have to say, but I love my sound card and speakers. :P

SB Audigy 2
Logitech Z-560 4.1 400 Watts THX Speaker System
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Postby NoSmartz on Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:52 am

Quite a few years ago Aiwa was made by Sony.You buy one you get the same with the other.My mother dealt with Pioneer,Sony,Kenwood etc when she worked overseas.Bose,Pioneer,etc...are "consumer" high end products.I never thought any of those brands were the greatest.Usually the greatest products are never advertised.Only "audiophiles" concern themselves with DTS and 5.1 sound.They also never concern themselves with their checkbooks either.I've owned a Pioneer vsx-4800 for over 13 years and have never had any probs.Speakers,that's a different story.Infinity,Jbl:both rotted away(paper cones).Now I have HEADPHONES!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with those on the all-in-one sysytems.You can build a great system for close to the same amount of bread than you can buy one of those things..Those all-in-ones are for people who don't have patients to figure out how to hook up all the pretty wires.

E
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