View Full Version : What do you listen for?
07-29-2002, 06:16 PM
I've been thinking a little over the last couple of days about why I like the speakers that I do.
For me, it's all about midrange. It really doesn't matter to me if a speaker can go dead flat to 20hz, nor do I get wrapped around the axle and threaten to stick ice picks in my ears because the tweeters in my HT rig don't match exactly.
One of the reason that I like Polks, particularly my RT7's is because I think Polk does an excellent job in the midrange area. Consistently I find Polks to have an open and airy midrange. My DQ-10's, IMO, produce the human voice as well as any speaker that I've heard.
Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there just to see what other folks look for in speakers.
07-29-2002, 06:25 PM
I don't know all the Jargin for explaining what I hear but in short as brief as possible...
I like to close my eyes and listen to the overall image that I get.
?Can I hear placement from certain areas regarding individual instruments or vocals.? almost like standing in front of the band.
I don't think I have the ability to hear or analyze music regarding individual frequency bands. My ear is extremely untrained.
07-29-2002, 06:31 PM
Very well put, that's what I am getting at. When I put in DMB "Crash" I want to hear Dave, front and center singing to me.
Less important to me is how low can the speaker go or how dynamic the highs are....
07-29-2002, 06:53 PM
A nice tight mid-bass punch and crisp high's. One reason why I really like my RT55's. They produce the perfect sound for my ears, even more so now biamped with the Adcom's.
I love sitting in the complete dark (beer in hand) and putting on a nice movie soundtrack in 2-channel. Just picked up the soundtrack for The Time Machine 2002. I love hearing music all around me with only 2 speakers running, not even the sub.
07-29-2002, 07:16 PM
I like to listen for imaging alot. I like hearing insturments come from different places in the soundstage, everywhere in between the two speakers. I think the best is putting on Sarah McLachlan, Dave Matthews, or Lorena McKennit late at night, while it's dark, and visualizing them standing right about where my center speaker is. Next trying to pick out where the instruments are behind them. Then I'm reminded what makes the price for my system all worth it.
07-29-2002, 07:49 PM
I don't know how to talk imaging and soundstage? But.....I think the material I'm listening to make a diffference in what I want a speaker to do. I think seperation of the material is one big thing I want a speaker to do. What I mean by this is each instrument and all vocals be easy to pick out from the rest of the material. This may be call "imaging" but I don't know. I do like a speaker to play low....TroyD said "dead flat to 20hz".....I'm not looking for that but I like a speaker that will come close. I also like 'big sound"...what the hell is that? I want a speaker that when I put some power to it....it will get up in my face without popping my ears. So....this is what a backwoods hillbillly mofo wants in a speaker.... :D
07-29-2002, 08:31 PM
I listen for new things. When a system elicits a sound I haven't heard on a track I'm familiar with, I'm impressed. But it has to maintain all the original sounds I've heard before, not just accentuate one little slice. Seperation or an 'airy' sound where when you have a series of chimes or whatever and you can hear each individual note..not where it's one continuous sound with occasional peaks in volume. Clarity first, rumble second.
I essentially described why I listen a few posts ago.
My preferances generally revolve around that saying "jack of all trades, but master of none". I enjoy a system which can bring to life the work of Mozarts concerto's, as well as provide me with the relaxing melodies of James Taylor. And when in the mood, I can blast some Incubus or Emenim..... All of them equally being portrayed as it was intended to be.
In the experience I have with the Polks, I actually notice a huge lack of mid-range. I hear the highs perfectly well, I hear the lows, but the mids seem to be lacking. I can put my ear right up to the mid range driver at a pretty good volume and be perfectly comfortable. Thats just me though.
07-29-2002, 11:43 PM
You know I had to think about this one before I posted.I actually posted a full long post and deleted it due to the fact It was very technical.I don't feel this way in the end........
I'll explain my real thought on this matter,
I listen for the experience.Emotional responce.I want the speakers and or the system to involve my emotional side.I want to sit and listen to the music and not the speaker calling attention to itself.I really don't care what it's spec's are.I learned the hard way about them.
here's the bottom line.When I was seeking new Home Theater speakers with the mains being good enough for me to reproduce 2 channel music,All I really wanted was to hear Lorenna Mckinnitt sing.Not hear how low the speaker can go, or any other spec type thing I could come up with.i have noticed when I sit and listen to a speaker to judge it,I don't really enjoy it for what it is.I find all of it's faults and move on.
Listening changes with moods as well.Sometimes you want your face punced in and other times you want to kick back and relax.
Depth clarity detail smoothness effertless airy are all good things to listen for,
But my heart is what I listen to....................
07-30-2002, 09:54 AM
I want to sit back and relax and enjoy the music. I like it to sound just like the singer is live and in person in my Cave.
07-30-2002, 10:02 AM
How is the cave coming, there Charlie? I'm still waiting for a demo!
07-30-2002, 11:27 AM
I like listening to how the material was mixed. A well mixed CD with SDA's really make it for me. I guess I'm pointing to imaging and soundstage like many others here.
07-30-2002, 04:15 PM
Not sure about what I listen for in the positive sense, but I know that I hate "booming" bass that eliminates subtlety from the bass region & drowns out some of the higher-frequency sound. Some of this is a room placement & sound treatment issue, but some of it is the spkr. I'll take a quality small monitor over a cheap casket any day of the wk.
07-30-2002, 04:43 PM
I'll take a quality small monitor over a cheap casket any day of the wk.
I'm wondering what a "cheap casket" is?
07-30-2002, 05:19 PM
I think that would be a cheaper big cabinent with 12 or 15" woofer? Maybe.
07-30-2002, 06:18 PM
a cheap, lousy big speaker that is great for keg parties and you can afford to replace it when a drunk smashes into it. the kind of speaker i used to love because "they rock, man!"
07-30-2002, 09:01 PM
I'm looking for the illusion of space, the air from the horn, the finger moving up and down the strings, the vibration, and decay after the pluck of the bass. All the ques that define and make music alive. Polks do these things well for a reasonable price. It's
not one element ie. the mid or highs it's the whole presentation
done well. I can't afforfd B&W, JM Lab, or Wilson Audio but with a
Polk I can wonder what the hell are they listening to...
08-01-2002, 03:29 AM
I listen for clarity, accuracy, and the ability to convey the format i'm listening to faithfully.
If it's got punch. I want to feel it.
If it's got detail. I want to hear it.
If it's poorly recorded. I want to know it.
Also, if it's got a nice set of tweeters and a cute little woofer, then I want to touch it. He He He.
08-01-2002, 01:22 PM
I need all things that make a speaker good for me.
Immersion: Do these speakers draw me in to them, or am I simply listening?
Dynamics: I want a speaker that when I'm not paying attention and crank a low track, blows my doors off the next. And yet, I turn it up to enjoy the subtilities, not amplify what should otherwise be laid back. When the big bang hits, I want to turn it down because of volume, not because it sounds like **** with all drivers playing at their peek.
Imaging and soundstage: Because of room dictated speaker separation, I need a speaker that can cast a seamless soundstage and can image with a separation of 12ft or so. In my current rig, my Polks provide most of the soundstage, and my Acoustiflex provide most of the imaging with their horn mids.
Accuracy: I'm not as worried about vocals, as I am about acoustic instruments. For a test I like percussion. Namely cowbells, xylophone, kettle drums. Regardless of artist renderings, thes sounds are fast and all sound similar.
Loudness: Not often, but sometimes I wanna rock the joint.
Range: Sure a wide range is good, but not that important. For me 50-18K @ 100% is better than 20-20K @ 85%.
If I could choose any speaker design and have the electronics best suited, it'd be like this. Electrostatics with conventionals directly behind on 150/ch tubes or high end horns on 100/ch tubes.
I've been checking out single driver full-range speakers lately. Since I don't have funds or space for ESL or quality horns, this is my next logical step. Best of all worlds.
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