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Revealing speakers - startling
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
springer's Avatar
 

Revealing speakers - startling

So I got some new speakers for my home system (Spendor A1) and they are supplemented with a sub. Over the last few months I have been noticing that certain recordings sounds REAL bad on them. But also that certain recordings sounds real good on them.... wait a minute... how could this be when everything sounds good on my Neumann KH120's???

Well now I know what is meant by truly revealing monitors. I can even tell on the same CD when they used a different studio to record different cuts without listening carefully - it is just that dramatic.

I am unsure if some of the things I hear are choices made by mix engineers or if they were unaware of the glaring flies in the ointment because their room just didn't reflect them.
I know one thing - they do NOT forgive.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Welcome to the audiophile hole!

I've managed to put together a very nice hifi system at home and some of my favorite old albums sound like garbage. Also, I find myself listening to music I'm not that into just because the recordings sound so good.

Most people buy gear to listen to their music, audiophiles buy music to listen to their gear!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The diffs between honest monitors and hifi speakers?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

The BBC used Spendor, the WDR (Westdeutsche Rundfunk) did have special models (A45) imported by Püllmann for the German market. Many of my collegues used them for professional recordings in the 90s. Today Spendor is not aiming at the studio-monitor market anymore. I still do not know what a studio-monitor means. Genelec in the early days put a monitor into the freezing cold for many days, and then looked if they still were functioning well. Very important for an outside broadcasting van in Finland, and in the 1950s and 1960s Klein & Hummel were designed with a flat frequency curve in mind, but they sounded awful. I had an old collegue who told me, if it sounds great on the K+H OY, then the recording is really good. In my humble opinion the OY was the worst monitor I ever heard. I use Spendor SA350 monitors. They are at least 25 years old. No need for Klein & Hummels or nowadays Neumann KH.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
The Spendor BC1 and BC3 were great speakers. It was cool on the original BC3 how a complete BC1 lived in a larger box housing an bigger woofer.
Auratones and the OY served the same purpose.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
Rogers....Chartwell.....BBC LS3-5a were another iconic small classical monitor and home speaker, sat pretty comfortably between the domestic and pro camps, at least in the UK
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Rogers....Chartwell.....BBC LS3-5a were another iconic small classical monitor and home speaker, sat pretty comfortably between the domestic and pro camps, at least in the UK
It was the inspiration for the modern KEF LS50
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Since I have had some really excellent loudspeakers at home in a great room, I have been quite surprised at how bad a lot of pop recordings are, both recording and mastering. DSOTM for example, is pretty ordinary. (Flame away)

Classical and jazz fair much better. ECM recordings are superb generally.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Since I have had some really excellent loudspeakers at home in a great room, I have been quite surprised at how bad a lot of pop recordings are, both recording and mastering. DSOTM for example, is pretty ordinary. (Flame away)

Classical and jazz fair much better. ECM recordings are superb generally.
Perhaps the pop recordings you refer to have been subjected to more processing overall, in terms of editing, effects adding, phase manipulation or anomalies (intended or otherwise), eqing and compression...not to mention subsequent mastering to ameliorate the excesses of preceding steps. If it's a 'vintage pop' recording, it may have been treated to 'digitally remastered' attention as well ?

In general classical and minimal jazz, where the acoustic sound of instruments and voice are the primary reference, are subjected to less processing.

If the recording, mixing and mastering engineers of the pop recordings you reference had access to your current speakers, do you believe that might have informed or modified their practices...in the sense of more accurately reflecting, hearing and changing the results of their studio/mixing actions ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
So I got some new speakers for my home system (Spendor A1) and they are supplemented with a sub. Over the last few months I have been noticing that certain recordings sounds REAL bad on them. But also that certain recordings sounds real good on them.... wait a minute... how could this be when everything sounds good on my Neumann KH120's???

Well now I know what is meant by truly revealing monitors. I can even tell on the same CD when they used a different studio to record different cuts without listening carefully - it is just that dramatic.

I am unsure if some of the things I hear are choices made by mix engineers or if they were unaware of the glaring flies in the ointment because their room just didn't reflect them.
I know one thing - they do NOT forgive.
I think you just found out the difference between speakers that are a bit transparent versus speakers that are not transparent at all...

IMO it is still the weakest link in the entire chain.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

revealing in terms of what? first and foremost, it's the room and positioning which decide how speakers behave...

i favour horn-loaded systems (and especially coax systems for surround work) - i'm using large tad/augspurger stereo mains, tannoy mid-fields for surrounds and genelec overheads (and occasionaly on location if not using fostex broadband speakers) - dsp in front of all of them !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
BBC designs revealed all the 'anomalies'
Quad revealed the 'closest approach to sound'
Never the twain could meet.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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Plush's Avatar
The Spendor sound is a very appealing sound tailored for home listening. It has good detail.
I admire them greatly, especially a speaker like the Spendor SP/1.

But Spendor is not a super revealing speaker.

The better the speaker, the worse the program material sounds on it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
It was the inspiration for the modern KEF LS50
I don't have the LS50, but I do have the old 101's from the 70's. Wanting to move up to the real thing, I sprang for a pair of Rogers. Not enough difference to justify the outlay, so I flipped the Rogers.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
I have KH120s on my desk, Harbeth Compact 7s and P3ESRs in my reference systems. Those Harbeths pull off the neat trick of being HONEST and also pleasant to listen to for hours. I love them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
So I got some new speakers for my home system (Spendor A1) and they are supplemented with a sub. Over the last few months I have been noticing that certain recordings sounds REAL bad on them. But also that certain recordings sounds real good on them.... wait a minute... how could this be when everything sounds good on my Neumann KH120's???

Well now I know what is meant by truly revealing monitors. I can even tell on the same CD when they used a different studio to record different cuts without listening carefully - it is just that dramatic.

I am unsure if some of the things I hear are choices made by mix engineers or if they were unaware of the glaring flies in the ointment because their room just didn't reflect them.
I know one thing - they do NOT forgive.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
I have KH120s on my desk, Harbeth Compact 7s and P3ESRs in my reference systems. Those Harbeths pull off the neat trick of being HONEST and also pleasant to listen to for hours. I believe the P3ESR is similar to the Spendor A1, at least in concept. I love the BBC inspired speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
So I got some new speakers for my home system (Spendor A1) and they are supplemented with a sub. Over the last few months I have been noticing that certain recordings sounds REAL bad on them. But also that certain recordings sounds real good on them.... wait a minute... how could this be when everything sounds good on my Neumann KH120's???

Well now I know what is meant by truly revealing monitors. I can even tell on the same CD when they used a different studio to record different cuts without listening carefully - it is just that dramatic.

I am unsure if some of the things I hear are choices made by mix engineers or if they were unaware of the glaring flies in the ointment because their room just didn't reflect them.
I know one thing - they do NOT forgive.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Since I have had some really excellent loudspeakers at home in a great room, I have been quite surprised at how bad a lot of pop recordings are, both recording and mastering. DSOTM for example, is pretty ordinary. (Flame away)

Classical and jazz fair much better. ECM recordings are superb generally.
For that reason I would expect your loudspeakers, and the others mentioned in this thread, to experience no great difficulty in reproducing the dizzying dynamic range of your favourite ECM CD (or download, or vinyl) as listed here (helpful album/artist search box at the top) :
http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=&album=

Remember, anything above 14 dB is considered "best practice"...if you'd like measure your own recordings' DR, you can try this tool >>> https://www.maat.digital/dro2/
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
The LS50 deserves every bit of praise it gets. Incredible value for money. Pinpoint imaging, very transparent and more bass than it has any right to have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
It was the inspiration for the modern KEF LS50
Old 1 day ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
So I got some new speakers for my home system (Spendor A1) and they are supplemented with a sub. Over the last few months I have been noticing that certain recordings sounds REAL bad on them. But also that certain recordings sounds real good on them.... wait a minute... how could this be when everything sounds good on my Neumann KH120's???

Well now I know what is meant by truly revealing monitors. I can even tell on the same CD when they used a different studio to record different cuts without listening carefully - it is just that dramatic.

I am unsure if some of the things I hear are choices made by mix engineers or if they were unaware of the glaring flies in the ointment because their room just didn't reflect them.
I know one thing - they do NOT forgive.
Spendor SP1 speakers are what I'm using for monitoring, hifi and editing/mastering.
Three pairs altogether, hopefully maintaining consistent listening across the board for all three purposes.

Using them for hifi too means being able to compare what you're recording against other folks' recordings.

I have a pair flightcased for location, they are more than worth the effort of carrying into the job!
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