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  1. #1

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    Default Why different spks for HT and music?

    I use mine for both.

    A good speaker is a good speaker.

    What say you?

  2. #2

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    Well, I guess it depends on the speakers. I have the RTi line for HT, and used to use them also for music; I thought they sounded great...but was not "attracted" to just sit and listen to music.

    I then heard music in different speakers and wow...what a difference; now I cannot stand how bright music sounds in my RTi8's.

    Now I have a pair of SDA's and a pair of Monitor Audio speakers in two separate rigs, and I cannot wait for the time I can sit down and listen. My problem now is which rig to use :)

    I think the big difference, for me at least, is the fact that I am now "called" to just sit down and listen to some music.

    Some speakers like the LSi line are great for both music and HT.
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  3. #3
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    n/m. the treble adjustment is there for a reason.
    Last edited by aaharvel; 02-16-2006 at 11:29 PM.

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    Speakers great for music usually work well with everything else but tend to have a higher price point. So they don't get used for 5.1 or 7.1 configurations.
    :)

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    I use RTi's for both music & HT, for now. I will keep the RTi's for HT, but will add higher end speakers for 2CH music. To each his own.
    Michael ;)
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaharvel
    the treble adjustment is there for a reason.
    IMO, If you have to use that, then something isn't right with your set up, be it the gear or speakers.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaharvel
    the treble adjustment is there for a reason.
    What's that? None of my rigs have it.

    Granted, not everyone can setup separate dedicated music and video systems, but those that can, do. The money I would spend on a pair of speakers for music listening is simply not the same I would spend on a surround system. Ie, I might spend $1500 on a PAIR of speakers for music, or $1500 on a complete 5.1 speaker system for home theater.

    Biggest reason? It's simply not needed. I'm no scientist, and will never claim to be, but there are studies on what the human brain can actually process with aural and visual stimuli at the same time. During a home theater experience, there is a LOT of visual for the brain to process - and it (your noggin) can't give both visual and aural stimulus the same 'processor time' (if you will), as it could either individually.

    You simply don't need a whole lot (HT wise), to enjoy both at the SAME time. Believe it or not, your picture SHOULD appear sharper, with the audio turned off. Visual can actually override aural in most people. (bigger screen, cheaper speakers, same experience - for the most part)

    Same goes with 2ch listening. Especially for those that close their eyes, dim or shut off the lights. The mind is able to focus more on ONE source of stimulation, and flaws become more apparent, and the end user becomes more picky, and more aware of what they are actually hearing.

    It's the difference between being able to pick out night and day differences, and finally knowing what nuances, time, speed, articulation, attack, presence etc REALLY are.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  8. #8

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    All this visual and aural stuff is gettin' me hot.................thats a hell of a long post there for you Russ.

  9. #9

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    Impressive post, Russ.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  10. #10

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    I have my moments, what can I say. ;)

    Now, off to the cave for some Beam and Knopfler. (Liver and Aural stimuli)
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  11. #11

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    I never had a doubt the post was pre-consumption. Too lucid & coherent to be any other way. Have a few for me............

  12. #12

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    No, it was post, believe me. Jerry Rice post. I was RIGHT in the middle of the field, albiet wide open, but right there still for the big hit.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  13. #13
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    I haven't seen a post like this from Russ in a good while.

    There is a fine line between what we deem necessary, and what we consider desirable. I too make camp with those who do not dump a whole lot of coin into their surround system. Since I have not developed a taste for multi channel music nor a desire for HT glamour, I simply want a system that meets my budget and personal sonic qualifications.

    In keeping to the original question;

    In the perfect world, a good speaker would be able to do it all incredibly well. But unfortunately we do not reside there, so instead, there are choices to be made. A nice single driver fold/horn speaker may move your soul for stereo – but it won’t have the gusto to provide the same type of experience for your movies.

    In most case scenarios, people will end up with different speakers for different purposes because they associate a certain format or style with a certain type of sound. For example, I could live with Klipsch Reference (bi-wired) towers in a theater rig – they are voiced for that application and do it exceptionally well, better than say a Polk LSi rig. But when I want that smooth, warmy buttery sound - The Lsi rig is what I would turn to. I have found that in most scenario’s, people just want a different type of sound to experience and enjoy. Once you have taken audio to the next level and approach it from a hobbyist stand-point, having just one type of sound becomes old and boring.

    Now back to expanding on Russ’s comments;

    I have held the belief that this hobby is half-way determined by your state of mind. I agree with the general assessment that the average person is incapable of creating a detailed analysis of both audio and visual mediums while they are performing during the same time. I feel it is less due to the stimuli that both formats alone give off, and more due to the added element of plot. Whether it’s a full fledge movie, or a commercial on basic cable, your mind is now having to process plots and events on the screen which evoke a wide range of senses including emotion, memory, and recognition. When you see a picture of a rose on television, your mind instantly reminds you of your experience with roses – their texture, scent, occasions which bear significance, and so on. All of this occurring at nano-second pace. All it takes is a minor, non-complex plot to distract one’s mind away from critical analysis of all senses.

    A prime example of when the average person can focus on both audio and visual stimuli would be HD Discovery, and channels of that sort. Most of those programs contain slow film or picture frame like images. The premise of these programs are to showcase a stunning audio/video experience. You will see sunrises, mountain streams, plants, animals, all things you know and can identify with – but without the added element of the plot.

    On the audio side of things, I will once again have to offer a ‘flip side’. Personally, I find late night listening sessions to be the most personal and non subjective moments. At this point, I am ready to relax – I am ready for music and to hear a beautiful sound. I am in a free state of mind where things can just un-wind themselves. Nights like those are when I typically find solace in my system, and with audio.

    However, this could not be further from the truth during the middle of the day. During the day, I notice I am disenchanted with just about every system. I find there are too many distractions. During the bustle of the day, it can be difficult to avoid the noise of other people, pets, appliances, and things of that sort. Even the sunlight itself can be very distracting – as it creates a whole new presence in and of itself. The fresh thoughts of the day run through the mind and I just cannot find myself in a state of mind that allows me to enjoy any stereo experience. It is then, when my mind is anything but focused, is when I hear the systems faults in all their nasty “glory”. Sure, I always knew they were there – but frustration and discomfort causes me to hone right on in – leaving me miserable.

    Of course, much of that is just how I operate. This post is a brief description of my own observations on those matters. It is from these personal experiences and side observations of others habits and routines that has left me more and more convinced that a margain of this hobby is all in your head.
    Last edited by Zero; 02-17-2006 at 03:58 AM.

  14. #14

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    Carrying on a bit with this subject. TV was called and still is by some, the boob tube. The reasoning behind that is simple. Take a room full of people talking, socalizing, etc., turn on a TV set and everyone in the room shuts up! Happens every time and hence, we have the boob tube. Now, take the same room full of people and turn on some music at a reasonable level, the conversations continue. Happens every time.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumingman
    I use mine for both.

    A good speaker is a good speaker.

    What say you?
    Amen to that. A good loudspeaker reproduces a recorded source as faithfully as possible period. The guy at audioperfectionist.com and some harman articles discuss this in detail. The whole idea of a good HT speaker vs. good music speaker takes into account the different demands of both and how the weaknesses or timbre of said speaker will affect movies or music. So it kinda nnoys me seeing this discussed over and over, the idea should be most accurate reproduction for all sources.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN
    Biggest reason? It's simply not needed. I'm no scientist, and will never claim to be, but there are studies on what the human brain can actually process with aural and visual stimuli at the same time. During a home theater experience, there is a LOT of visual for the brain to process - and it (your noggin) can't give both visual and aural stimulus the same 'processor time' (if you will), as it could either individually.

    You simply don't need a whole lot (HT wise), to enjoy both at the SAME time. Believe it or not, your picture SHOULD appear sharper, with the audio turned off. Visual can actually override aural in most people. (bigger screen, cheaper speakers, same experience - for the most part)

    Same goes with 2ch listening. Especially for those that close their eyes, dim or shut off the lights. The mind is able to focus more on ONE source of stimulation, and flaws become more apparent, and the end user becomes more picky, and more aware of what they are actually hearing.
    Well Im going to have to go out on a limb here and disagree with you Russ. the "going out on a limb" refers to disagreeing with you and your 10,000+ posts :) When you study people's ability to process visual and aural stimuli (I am using my college psych courses on these subjects as reference) you are kinda right but taking it too far. People are capable of understanding VAST amounts of info at any given time, as we need it to walk around and function and it is one of our most important everyday needs. True people can focus on something more if they focus on one sense at a time, but this does not mean that one can't distinguish differences in quality of sound or picture simply because they are doing both at the same time. In fact people are capable of detecting very minute differences even amid plenty of distractions, as people's ability to detect abnormalities in our complex surroundings is essential to everyday functioning, as well as an acquired evolutionary tool. To say that HT strains the visual processing capabilities of our brain is silly, there is more being processed just walking down the street or driving, rather than sitting down and focusing on a box of moving pictures directly in front of us.

    Hence one should strive to get the most accurate reproduction of source material no matter what the goal is, HT or music, hence my opinion given above. Anything audio or visual stimuli that is 'flawed' or differentiating itself from 'real' stimuli will jump out and make itself known as 'not real' to our brains in a hurry, even among a certain degree of chaos.

    what I guess I am saying is that while your mention of being able to focus more on one stimulus at a time is true, it certainly doesnt have enough of an impact to warrant the viewpoint on HT vs. music you mentioned. This effect is so slight that is should have a negligible impact.

    Overall my enjoyment of movies depends on my ability to dissociate or 'get lost' in a movie experience. This lets me have a more emotional connection with the subject matter. I think the audio helps me do this as much if not more than the visual aspect of this. People can dissociate or daydream in many situations, losing track of reality for a while. Your visual sense kind of goes on auto pilot and focuses on whats in front of you, like when you drive home and realize you dont remember the past 5 minutes although you have been performing a complex task such as driving. A sudden unexpected sound is what will most likely jar you out of your daydream. So for me a more realistic an immersive aural experience will help me enjoy a movie better. Although a better or bigger picture is all the better, that will definitely help too. Maybe thats just me, or maybe thats me being a big movie buff but thats my preference.
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  17. #17

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    Usually, a good music speaker will be a good ht speaker while a good ht speaker does not guarantee a good music speaker.

    The former, needs to be powerful enough to provide sufficient volume though.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey_V
    Usually, a good music speaker will be a good ht speaker while a good ht speaker does not guarantee a good music speaker.

    The former, needs to be powerful enough to provide sufficient volume though.
    It's true.... completely agreed.

    Most of speakers are good to watch movies...

    FEW speakers are good to listen music.

    (Example: Yamaha speakers :( )

  19. #19
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    it's just with certain cd's and mp3's. Movies are fine. Sacd's are fine. Quality recorded redbook is fine.
    the small stuff just bothers me that's all. I'm itching for a self-enclosed 2ch. setup for CRITICAL listening.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by StopherJJ1980
    Well Im going to have to go out on a limb here and disagree with you Russ. the "going out on a limb" refers to disagreeing with you and your 10,000+ posts :) When you study people's ability to process visual and aural stimuli (I am using my college psych courses on these subjects as reference) you are kinda right but taking it too far. People are capable of understanding VAST amounts of info at any given time, as we need it to walk around and function and it is one of our most important everyday needs. True people can focus on something more if they focus on one sense at a time, but this does not mean that one can't distinguish differences in quality of sound or picture simply because they are doing both at the same time. In fact people are capable of detecting very minute differences even amid plenty of distractions, as people's ability to detect abnormalities in our complex surroundings is essential to everyday functioning, as well as an acquired evolutionary tool. To say that HT strains the visual processing capabilities of our brain is silly, there is more being processed just walking down the street or driving, rather than sitting down and focusing on a box of moving pictures directly in front of us.

    Hence one should strive to get the most accurate reproduction of source material no matter what the goal is, HT or music, hence my opinion given above. Anything audio or visual stimuli that is 'flawed' or differentiating itself from 'real' stimuli will jump out and make itself known as 'not real' to our brains in a hurry, even among a certain degree of chaos.

    what I guess I am saying is that while your mention of being able to focus more on one stimulus at a time is true, it certainly doesnt have enough of an impact to warrant the viewpoint on HT vs. music you mentioned. This effect is so slight that is should have a negligible impact.

    Overall my enjoyment of movies depends on my ability to dissociate or 'get lost' in a movie experience. This lets me have a more emotional connection with the subject matter. I think the audio helps me do this as much if not more than the visual aspect of this. People can dissociate or daydream in many situations, losing track of reality for a while. Your visual sense kind of goes on auto pilot and focuses on whats in front of you, like when you drive home and realize you dont remember the past 5 minutes although you have been performing a complex task such as driving. A sudden unexpected sound is what will most likely jar you out of your daydream. So for me a more realistic an immersive aural experience will help me enjoy a movie better. Although a better or bigger picture is all the better, that will definitely help too. Maybe thats just me, or maybe thats me being a big movie buff but thats my preference.

    It depends on what your listening habits are and what you are trying to get from the experience. When I sit to watch a movie, the visual is primary and the aural is secondary. I have no trouble watching a movie an following along both visually and aurally as the entire package is what the experience is about. Also the associated electronics and speakers don't have to be the "best" in their field to make it highly enjoyable.

    Where I have problems is when I sit down to watch and critically listen to a music DVD. I find my aural senses are constantly distracted by the visual's. Certainly not to a degree where I wouldn't notice apparent flaws. Part of this is since I don't want anything between my speakers to mess with the imaging my TV is set off to the right corner of the room. So my 2-ch speakers are directly in front of me and the TV is about 3 1/2 feet to the right. So to watch and listen my head has to be slightly turned. I like to hear the instruments all over the stage, all the back-up singers in the proper place, the snap of the snare, the decay of a crash cymbal or the tizz of a high-hat, or the left floor tom or the slightly right of left 2nd floor tom, all in their natural position on the stage (fore and aft as well as left to right and everything inbetween). I find it very hard to concentrate on these highly satisfying aural cues, if I'm watching the screen regardless if it's directly in front of me or slightly off to the side.

    I agree with Russ 100%, listening with the lights off or eyes closed opens up a whole new world when things are set up properly. Visual stimulis is always going to compete with aural stimulis and other senses. Eliminating one or the other heightens the other (s). We can process vast amounts of info from muliple stimuli, but some acuity will be sacraficed when processing multiple stimuli. That's what the real issue here is, No?

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    We can process vast amounts of info from muliple stimuli, but some acuity will be sacraficed when processing multiple stimuli. That's what the real issue here is, No?
    Yep!

    I found out years ago that if I closed my eyes at a live show the sound became even sweeter. I mean it's neat to watch the performers and all, but for pure sound the visual detracts from the aural.
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    Granted, not everyone can setup separate dedicated music and video systems, but those that can, do. The money I would spend on a pair of speakers for music listening is simply not the same I would spend on a surround system. Ie, I might spend $1500 on a PAIR of speakers for music, or $1500 on a complete 5.1 speaker system for home theater.

    Biggest reason? It's simply not needed. I'm no scientist, and will never claim to be, but there are studies on what the human brain can actually process with aural and visual stimuli at the same time. During a home theater experience, there is a LOT of visual for the brain to process - and it (your noggin) can't give both visual and aural stimulus the same 'processor time' (if you will), as it could either individually.

    You simply don't need a whole lot (HT wise), to enjoy both at the SAME time. Believe it or not, your picture SHOULD appear sharper, with the audio turned off. Visual can actually override aural in most people. (bigger screen, cheaper speakers, same experience - for the most part)

    Same goes with 2ch listening. Especially for those that close their eyes, dim or shut off the lights. The mind is able to focus more on ONE source of stimulation, and flaws become more apparent, and the end user becomes more picky, and more aware of what they are actually hearing.

    It's the difference between being able to pick out night and day differences, and finally knowing what nuances, time, speed, articulation, attack, presence etc REALLY are.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    As usual Russ makes many excellent points which I agree with. However, at the risk of stating the obvious, how we rationalize our speaker outlays in large measure is determined by whether we consider ourselves Home Theater Enthusiasts or Audiophiles. Its a rare breed that is equally enthusiastic about both venues. As much as I like to try to discuss the "science" of this hobby, emotional preferences eventually seem to cloud the issue. I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised about this, a hobby such as ours is intended to increase our overall enjoyment, its an inherently non-scientific, subjective topic. Why else would I have an emotional attachment to a set of speakers almost 20 yers old? :o

    I am of the opinion that a "good" speaker is an accurate (flat frequency response) speaker, and it is desirable in both music and home theater venues. However, it has often been pointed out that the acoustics of the room has the greatest influence on the quality of sound. Regardless of how "good" a speaker is, put it in the wrong acoustic environment and we may be wasting our money, this is true of music or home theater. Therefore, for certain less than ideal room configurations, such as when you are using a multi-purpose room versus a dedicated home theater, or a dedicated listening room, it may be possible to compromise on the accuracy of any audio component, including speakers, without it becoming any more obvious to the listener(s).

    Suppose we do have the luxury of a dedicated home theater, or a dedicated listening room, in which we are able to add the appropriate acoustic treatments for that particular venue, now it becomes important to use accurate audio components, including speakers, because the room is contributing less coloration and permitting us to better discriminate the effects of those components on the overall sound quality. This is true for either home theater or music.

    However, the ideal acoustic environment varies with the venue. Two-Channel Music requires a livier room because ambience is provided by reflections of the sound from the main speakers off of the room boundaries. Whereas Multi-Channel Movies or Multi-Channel Music require a deader acoustic enviroment because the ambience is mainly being provided by the surround speakers. So if someone happens to be one of those rare individuals that is BOTH a home theater enthusiast and a Two-Channel Music audiophile, you really do need two dedicated rooms to get the acoustics right. Once you have invested the research, time and money in designing and constructing dedicated rooms, it might be questionable to risk compromising the sound quality for either venue by unduely economizing on speakers .

    However, here is where a lot of personal preference comes into play. I would venture to say that most of us who have gone to the trouble of designing and building a dedicated room either aren't equally enthusiastic about movies and music, or do not have the financial resources to design and build two high-quality dedicated rooms. In such cases it is only to be expected that one venue would take precedence over the other. So an enthusiast that is predominantly a Two-Channel audiophile is more likely to spend more on his/her speakers, or any audio component for that matter, in his/her listening room versus his/her home theater room. Any science that bolters that decision is of course going to be welcome.

    If indeed it is music that requires "good" speakers, the home theater enthusiast of course can make the valid argument "How many movie soundtracks don't have lots of music?" :D

    I don't know whether or not our brains have the capacity to simultaneously process aural and visual stimuli to the same degee as it can process them individually. However, its obvious that some folks have more acute and better trained hearing and have less difficulty with this than others. From my own experence I had a friend over who had no difficulty in hearing a slight timbre match problem between my mains and my old center speaker while watching a movie. I could only discern the difference when listening to test tones.

    Regardless, it is irrefutable that our hearing is influenced by visual cues. It is a well documented fact that our perception of the direction of a sound can be easily be fooled into following on-screen action. This comes in handy in home theaters where the center channel speaker can't be "perfectly" centered behind a perforated screen. Furthermore, the less acute our hearing is in a given direction, the easier it is to fool it with visual cues. So sounds coming from above or behind us are less likely to sound incorrectly positioned because our hearing has more difficulty localizing sound coming from those directions. Helicopter flyovers do sound like they are coming from high in the sky even though the speakers are only a few feet above our ears.

    It is equally irrefutable that a solitary listener with his/her eyes closed versus a group of folks watching a movie, is in a much better position to focus just on the music, and therefore, is more conducive to critical listening than a movie.

    So I suppose in theory one could scientifically argue, that perhaps speakers with pin point imaging or "perfect" frequency response might not be needed as much for movies. ;)

    However, as was mentioned nowadays, they are beginning to produce multi-channel music DVD's. I find that watching a well-mixed concert, in a dedicated treated room, with my friends, on a big screen, with the best speakers and audio components that I can afford, adds to the sense of realism and of being there, and therefore OVERALL enjoyment, without placing a higher priority on visual over aural or visa versa. If critcial listening becomes an important consideration I can always turn off the projector and listen by myself in the dark, knowing my speakers are up to the task.

    How's that for an emotional rationalization for having decent speakers in a home theater? :D

    Regards,

    Larry

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    I guess the main argument in this whole 2 channel speaker quality vs HT speaker quality is partially due to the fact that with HT, you have multiple speakers to help out. The center channel exists which can circumvent any inability for the mains to image properly down the middle for instance. Of course, it doesnt hurt if the speaker is awesome for music, since HT - IMO - is a little lenient when it comes to the scrutiny of the audio material.

    Most of the time, we're too engrossed in the visuals that we dont mind if the explosion is alittle too synthesized or overly hot.

    My goal is to have 2 systems:
    1 for HT.
    1 for 2Channel.

    I am going to do this for 1 reason, money. Of course I would love to build an HT system with the same caliber speakers as in my 2Ch system, but that would require too much money. I think this is why most audiophiles like to keep the 2 separate, it's easier to tailor the 2 channel system to your liking if all you have to deal with are 2 speakers instead of a multitude more.
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  24. #24

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    I think another factor is how familiar you are with the source material.

    With music, because we have often heard a particular piece or song dozens or even hundreds of times, it becomes easy to discern differences, limitations, likes, dislikes etc. with different speakers at different price points. With better and better speakers, you'll get more familiar with the nuances of a song or piece and start to form and impression of what speakers and equipment sound more "right" to you, and give you a more emotional connection to the music.

    With movies, it's often a one time thing - rent and return, etc. Therefor, we typically don't become as familiar with a movie soundtrack and do not have a strong predetermined or subconscious definition of "right" in terms of sound reproduction. Your brain does not have a point of comparison or existing emotional connection to the movie's soundtrack. Because of this, I think this is another reason why you can get buy with lower cost/performance speakers for movies and still have an enjoyable experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam2434
    I think another factor is how familiar you are with the source material.

    With music, because we have often heard a particular piece or song dozens or even hundreds of times, it becomes easy to discern differences, limitations, likes, dislikes etc. with different speakers at different price points. With better and better speakers, you'll get more familiar with the nuances of a song or piece and start to form and impression of what speakers and equipment sound more "right" to you, and give you a more emotional connection to the music.

    With movies, it's often a one time thing - rent and return, etc. Therefor, we typically don't become as familiar with a movie soundtrack and do not have a strong predetermined or subconscious definition of "right" in terms of sound reproduction. Your brain does not have a point of comparison or existing emotional connection to the movie's soundtrack. Because of this, I think this is another reason why you can get buy with lower cost/performance speakers for movies and still have an enjoyable experience.
    Hi Adam,

    I think your point is well taken if you are trying to compare the performance of different speakers or systems.

    While I would be the first to admit I don't know what a Tyranasaurous is supposed to sound like, if you are trying to determine whether your home theater sounds "right" you have ample dialog. As you know listening to the spoken or singing human voice is particularly useful to pick up anomolies in your sound system. Just as you may have a favorite piece of music to make comparisons, there is nothing to prevent a home theater enthusiast from using a reference movie to make comparisons "by ear" if they have a good ear.

    However, one of my concerns about listening to something familiar is that it is possible for your ear to get used to poor sound. The most notable example of this would be folks that are habitually exposed to boomy bass. After a while they develop an aquired taste for that type of sound.

    Larry

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    Larry,

    Yes, I agree that using a movie as reference is totally valid and doable. For me personally, that doesn't work because I'm not a repeat movie watcher. I might use a particular scene for an LFE reference, but that's about it.

    I can definitely form an opinion on a set of speakers for HT without having seen the movie multiple times. It's just that many of the limitations, anomalies, dislikes, etc. don't "bug" me as much for a movie as they would for my favorite, familiar music.

    That's why I always use familiar music to test and compare speakers - to "get to know them" first with music, even if they were for a HT set-up.

    Adam
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