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Thread: Deciding on speakers to keep/ comparing - hard work

  1. #21
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,679
    I'm Martin.

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    Could be argued that it is possible to have a pretty much perfect source and amp but no speaker is perfect. I've got the Hi-fi Choice review of the 4312 Mk2 from when it came out. The technical report lists all sorts of issues but in the blind listening it walks it against the other speakers tested. I really fancied some but they were way above my pay grade at the time.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  2. #22
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 1,856
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Well the amp is a well respected and quality one which should do any of them justice.

    It's a tricky one with the speakers I used to have a pair of Snell K's and loved them, do you have them on Pirate stands(they weight a ton), I found this improved the bass and soundstage quite a bit, might be worth considering first before getting rid of them. I used to drive mine with an Audio Innovations Series 500 valve amp and these together were very well matched, dynamic and musical. The JBL's are great speakers but I believe will give more low down and if my understanding is right have a bit of a lift around 120hz, probably great for driving rock but maybe not so good for classical and more laid back stuff, but I could be wrong. IMO the Snells are probably the more accurate of the speakers and certainly should be good with all the fettling done.

    An approach I have taken several times is as below, and I found it helps to make some sense of it all.

    If it was me and I was confused I would pick 5-10 tracks that I know very well, make myself a little spread sheet and score each speaker for each track on top, mid, bass, musicality, separation/detail, attack and soundstage, scoring from 1-10 (1 poor, 10 can't be better). I would listen to all the tracks with each speaker and write down a score for each and at the end add them up. I would also make short notes along the way for each track and a summary at the end, so I did not forget my thoughts/feelings about them at the time.

    I would then have a break before moving onto then next pair of speaker so to avoid being influenced by what I had just listened to. Once I had listened to all 3 pairs I would compare notes and decide which was tops and to keep.

    For example tracks I use are, obviously you could just do yours:-

    10cc - Sheet Music, The Worst Band in the World - very dynamic and great separation of instruments

    Alan Parsons - I Robot, I Robot - a classic with lots going one, you will know if it sounds right

    Paul Simon - Graceland, Boy in the Bubble - a great pacey track with lots of drumming, listen out for the backing singers, should be clear

    Sinead O’Connor - I Feel So Different - a very telling track, her vocals are easily mucked up with sibilance if something is not right, you should be able to hear her breathy vocals, the bowed string sections should be clear and there is plenty of bass. The drumming on the following track has loads of attack to check out the speakers.

    Peter Gabriel - Security - Rhythm of the Heat - drumming and bass abounds on this track, his voice should be clear in the mix, and there is a lot of bass extension at the beginning and end.

    Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold - this is probably one of the most telling vocal tracks I know of, her voice should sound natural and unforced, if sibilance is creeping in it then its not right, listen to her acoustic guitar should sound warm and natural like it is in the room, the electric guitar as some subtle harmonics going on in several places which can be easily lost.

    Ravi Shankar - Portrait of a Genius, Tala Rasa Ranga - all natural instruments, a superb track to check out reproduction of drums, you should be able to clearly hear the two hand drums and how they interplay, the sitar should sit in the middle of the mix with the high ringing drone clear, there is hand percussion which should sound clean and crisp with a ring to it. The flute should sound smooth and natural.


    Personally I wouldn't choose between speakers before also hearing some orchestral, chamber and choral music on them.

    Sent from my BLN-L21 using Tapatalk
    I would agree, I was just giving some good examples.

    For orchestral I would choose a good rendition of Also Sprach Zarathusa (Richard Strauss) - some great deep bass and lots of dynamics.

    A good cello concerto is always a good one, cellos can be telling on the mid range.

    Choral music is not really my forte, but one piece that I think is good is Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday - Carlo Gesualdo (The Tallis Scholars) CD CDGIM015, some superb harmonies and a lovely sense of the church acoustics where it was recorded.

    Bach organ music can sort out the men from the boys speaker wise that is.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound


    Voyd the Voyd (slightly modified), SME IV arm(special build virtually a V) and JELCO TK850M(10"), Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Meridian 508 CD to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Vienna Acoustics Mozart SE speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre

  3. #23
    Join Date: Jun 2010

    Location: Bucharest

    Posts: 935
    I'm Geoff.

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    I have had similar dilemmas over the years. The best advice I can give is to go with your gut. It is only 'stuff' and it is replaceable, unlike loved ones. Just make a decision and have done with it. I've sold stuff I abolutely loved and I don't regret it.........much!

    Go with the speakers that you listen to the most. The advice on choral music is only relevant if you listen to it, even if it is now and then. Just using your most loved, and listened to music is the right way IMO.
    Main system: Sony TTS8000; SME IV; Audio Technica Art1; Denon PMA-850; SBT; Technics sh-x1000 DAC; Beovox MS150.2
    System 2 - SBT; Kinshaw Perception DAC; Lentek and Yamaha NS1000M
    System 3 - Taken over by my son! Chromecast; Beresford Caiman II; Klark Teknik Jade 1 active studio monitors.

  4. #24
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 2,814
    I'm Lawrence.

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    Yes theTallis Scholars recordings on Gimmel are excellent. Other good recordings are:

    Holst Planets Montreal SO/Dutoit Decca
    Haydn Cello Concertos Coin/AAM/Hogwood L'Oiseau Lyre
    Monteverdi - Sacred Vocal Music Kirkby etc/Parley of Instruments - Hyperion.
    Part - Frates/Tabula Rasa etc Little/Roscoe - EMI or HMV
    Vivaldi - Concertos Op.8 La Stravaganza Huggett/AAM/ Hogwood l'Oiseau Lyre

  5. #25
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

    Posts: 4,096
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philv View Post
    I have the snells up for sale at the moment as they are possibly easier to sell.
    Finances dictate, etc.

    For tne jbls, the 4312mk2 has great clarity amongst other attributes.
    Really impressed.
    And of course, 12 inch drivers.

    But tne L26 are just fun to listen to as well. Expecially after tne upgrades.
    The L26 are far better for tne mods.

    Are they the best JBLs?
    Of course not, tnere is always better.
    But having owned snell a3, kef 104/2 and some over well respected speakers, i seem to listen to music longer with the jbls.
    It does seem with L100 through 4312 and beyond, the jbls divide opinion.

    It’s not always about perfect reproduction of sound for me.
    By tne time sound passes through tnese compromised ears, who knows what sort of frequency curve i need from a speaker for it to sound great.

    A/b ing is hard i find because playing a snippet of music and switching via speaker out button to compare 2 speakers, i come to the conclusion a is ‘better’ than be.
    But in isolation b just sounds great.
    Don't be concerning yourself with JBL's 'dividing opinion' - only one opinion matters! I like Macca's idea, selling them all and buying better JBL's. You already like what your current ones do, so you'll probably get much the same only more so. And seek out the more desirable models, as these would be easier to move on if you decide they're not for you. But try to keep 'em a couple of years - give me time to save up

    One of the AOS members has/had a big JBL in his avatar, it looked the dog's danglies and no doubt sound amazing too.
    Excuse me, are you the Judean People's Front?

    T/T: Inspire Monarch, X200 tonearm, Ortofon 2M Black. Phono: Yaqin MS-22B CD: Densen Beat B400 Plus; Headphone/pre: Myryad Z40; Amp: Audion Silver Night 300b stereo
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  6. #26
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 1,856
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigmy Pony View Post
    Don't be concerning yourself with JBL's 'dividing opinion' - only one opinion matters! I like Macca's idea, selling them all and buying better JBL's. You already like what your current ones do, so you'll probably get much the same only more so. And seek out the more desirable models, as these would be easier to move on if you decide they're not for you. But try to keep 'em a couple of years - give me time to save up

    One of the AOS members has/had a big JBL in his avatar, it looked the dog's danglies and no doubt sound amazing too.
    Well yes if JBL's are Phil's bag then he should probably stick with them. But it depends on what he is looking for. If Phil wants a more natural and musical rendition then I would question having JBL's. If Phil sold all 3 speakers he would probably realise around £2K maybe more if lucky. There are some extremely good speakers out there for less than £2K. These are a good example Vienna-Acoustics-Beethoven-Speakers-Rosewood-Boxed-With-Stands-And-Grills they will blow a lot of speakers out of the water in terms of sound quality across the frequency range. I have a smaller model in the range and they are superb. They are not very well known in the UK, so are easily overlooked.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound


    Voyd the Voyd (slightly modified), SME IV arm(special build virtually a V) and JELCO TK850M(10"), Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Meridian 508 CD to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Vienna Acoustics Mozart SE speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre

  7. #27
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Lincs

    Posts: 688
    I'm Philip.

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    Ye gods man....noooo!

    I’ll soon have 4 sets if you put ideas in my head.


    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Well yes if JBL's are Phil's bag then he should probably stick with them. But it depends on what he is looking for. If Phil wants a more natural and musical rendition then I would question having JBL's. If Phil sold all 3 speakers he would probably realise around £2K maybe more if lucky. There are some extremely good speakers out there for less than £2K. These are a good example Vienna-Acoustics-Beethoven-Speakers-Rosewood-Boxed-With-Stands-And-Grills they will blow a lot of speakers out of the water in terms of sound quality across the frequency range. I have a smaller model in the range and they are superb. They are not very well known in the UK, so are easily overlooked.

  8. #28
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 1,856
    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philv View Post
    Ye gods man....noooo!

    I’ll soon have 4 sets if you put ideas in my head.
    No do the listening, sell 2 and then buy these, and then do it again and sell the pair you don't need.
    [FONT="Arial"]
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound


    Voyd the Voyd (slightly modified), SME IV arm(special build virtually a V) and JELCO TK850M(10"), Benz Micro LP-S & Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech AG-12-R4 High Performance Phono Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Meridian 508 CD to Caiman SEG, ALLNIC T1500 MKII SET 300B amp, Vienna Acoustics Mozart SE speakers and JBL L100 Century's , Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre

  9. #29
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Stoke on trent

    Posts: 540
    I'm Steve.

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    If it's difficult to decide between two pairs of speakers. Leave each pair on for a week without swapping. If you still can't decide....sell the more expensive ones.
    It's easy to latch onto what each speaker does well or struggles with when doing comparisons but harder to decide if you actually enjoy music through them if you're swapping over too regular.
    I've had speakers that I know are less technically proficient ie slightly looser bass but I've still enjoyed music through them more than the more technically capable set up..maybe this says more about my lack of of taste mind

  10. #30
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,679
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    . If Phil wants a more natural and musical rendition then I would question having JBL's. .
    JBLs do not sound natural? Not in my experience. I'd say they show up a lot of other speakers in terms of naturalness. 'Musical' I can never understand as a descriptor so I'm not even going there.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

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