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The technology of conventional speakers is a well known and easy to produce technology, with small variations in S.Q. compared to the acoustic active and passive methods of controls.... The increase of S.Q. in a treated room versus a non treated room is insane... Insane...
Gives me a pair of speakers and you will not recognize their sound if I treat the room....
That is the lesson I learned.... My speakers cost me used 50 bucks and they beat the crap of anything I ever listen to in the treated room I homemade created for them.... Dont buy before thinking.... My best to you....
No. Mostly it's manufacturers who set trends. After all, if someone isn't making it you can't buy it.
Manufacturers also have to stir up interest. They need to create buzz (no pun intended) about the latest and greatest, and a whole bunch of people go chasing after it, and a bunch more are at least subliminally affected.
Mass-market manufacturers (and by this I mean companies like B&W) often pretty much determine what a whole bunch of consumers can buy, unless they're motivated enough to drive four hours each way or go down the path of mail order/
Sometimes, smart people with ideas that are somewhat "different" from the norm help here.
Take Mr. Jim Winey, an engineer at 3-M in the 1960's, who was working with materials that gave him the idea for Magneplaners. As one audio writer put it:
"To be clear, not everyone really wants to hear the input signal unaltered. Some folks like their systems to offer certain colors that please their ears. While I would never argue with whatever brings anyone their listening pleasure, this entry is directed toward folks who want the colors to come from the music and not from the gear used to listen to it."
Thus the fascination I have had with these speakers since first hearing them in my shop in 1974. I brought my cornet and guitar(s) to the shop and played them while the speakers were on.
That was it. From then on, after listening to ALL the boxes in my shop--a so-called "high-end" shop--I realized that I had been mistaken about the accuracy of speaker sound reproduction all those years past.
When you reproduce the recorded information as it was recorded, you finally understand what Mr. Winey was doing. For those who prefer "colors" with their music, I totally understand. BUY WHAT YOU LIKE was the motto in my shop and remains my watchword.
BUT, if you want that "uncolored" reproduction, you do have a valid choice.
The industry is now run by large groups whonare swallowing up brands and large dealerships/distributors who dictate to these groups what products they want.
Then they'll employ well known designers within the industry to oversee product development, but sharing platforms and parts, much like the car industry.
High End hifi is becoming very generic, but I do see alot of interesting small brands coming thru, esp loudspeakers. Maybe in response to this