I don't know. How do you define accurate? How do others define accurate? What conditions would have to exist in order for one to know what accurate actually sounds like? Maybe 'warm' actually is accurate. Don't know.
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Accurate usually means "true to the original" the original being whatever is fed to it as noted above.
OTOH, "warm" can be one or more of many things: a BBC type downward sloping speaker response curve, linear or non-linear distortion, muted high frequencies, augmented mid-bass frequencies, over-damped listening room, blown tweeter ;), a recording without strident highs, a well-balanced recording, lack of sibilance and very extended high frequencies...
It's just semantics but "warm" describes a particular type of sound. If everything sounds that way, it is probably not as "accurate" as it might be since these two words infer a different nature of the sound.
But its all semantics, ie meanings of words. Not of much value outside of discussion.
The only practical way to assess relative sound of different things is to compare them to a reference. ALways have a reference sound in mind for comparison based on systems and/or live music you have heard, if you care about these things. OR just listen to what you have and enjoy it for what it is if you can. Its all good. Technically right does not assure a happy listener. Music is art, though the gear needed to play it at home is based on science.
Well, if you want an easy answer you can take the many different, and opposing, opinions that you will surely get in response to your question (I like Mapman's, btw) and try to find some kind of concensus or distillation. Or, if you want a truly meaningful answer that will ring true no matter all the cries of: "you used different amps", "no two halls sound the same", "you don't know what the recording engineer had in mind", etc., you can make a commitment to listen to A LOT of live music over the course of, say, the next six months; and then you will have a better sense of what the ONLY true reference is all about. It won't tell you which speaker is accurate because there is no such thing; but, it will tell you which speakers get closer to being "accurate" than others. And some actually do a decent job of it; sometimes sounding "warm", other times sounding nasty and shrill and everything in between.
The late Brian Cheney did some very impressive live vs amplified sound comparisons at a few hifi shows that must have been difficult to set up and the results were very impressive. Surprisingly, the general public didn't seem very interested in the most honest, no excuses, speaker demonstration.
As a professional musician I have heard some post production studios and even some sound reinforcement setups that were very well done. So depending on ones subjective criteria I would say yes there are some very accurate speakers who performance are very dependent on the room and the execution of their setup which, as a whole, is no small task.
In all, the one thing all this has taught me is that there is no such thing as a full range speaker unless it contains a separately and very robust amplified bass design.
As a (long, long time) professional musician and professional live sound tech I'm AMAZED at the ability of tin eared or otherwise incompetant live sound techs to make a good system sound bad, or they lack the skills to make a mediocre system sound good. My local well equipped concert venue (I name names...The Center for the Arts in Natick, MA, or "TCAN") recently managed to make Shelby Lynn sound like she was playing from inside a small can. She wasn't. This was one of many recent poor sounding shows there...at $45 per ticket (Lynn) the crowd deserves better.
Agree Wolf. As a long,long time play around gia ta playa and concert goer I am amazed at how bad most of the venues sound. I can't beleive how bad they make some incredible musicians sound. If that was how I was introduced to them I wouldn't be as interested in them. A lot of times I say to myself 'I can't wait to hear real music again from my hi-fi system'. And then my dog slaps me and says 'that's not real'! Hey but it is a lot lot better in some cases.
It's virtually academic, unless you're setting them up in a laboratory. Even the most accurate/lowest distortion speaker, when placed into the average home environment, will exhibit significant changes in frequency response due to room interaction. Just find something that sounds good to your ear in your room.
Wolf, I so hear and feel that pain. When the folks at Meyer Sound Labs installed and calibrated their system at Yoshi's in Oakland the house reinforcement was simply stunning and throughout most of the room.
A few short weeks had past when the professional sound people began twiddling and that quality has never come close to the original setup since then.
The University Of California At Berkeley's Greek Theater is one of the crown jewels of outdoor acoustic architecture. It's simply amazing how sound companies take one look and begin hanging needles arrays totally overloading the space.
On the other hand, the crew working with the Fleet Foxes who had only heard of the Greek managed to come in and nailed it. Even the group on stage were amazed by what they were hearing.
If you know what the hell you're doing (and aren't deaf) ANY system can sound fine usually. Bands with too much stage volume are hardest in small rooms, but otherwise I find that keeping the hell out of the way with good mics, no compression, understanding trim pots, and having plenty of power amp headroom does ths job.
Many underestimate the power and headroom needed for BEST not just good results.. One of the most basic and common snafus for all audio affectionados to address IMHO.
I went to a show last summer where I asked a vendor to play some Rush on their very nice high efficiency speakers being shown off playing small ensemble acoustic jazz quite nicely off a <10 watt flea powered SET amp. It was totally underwhelming and the vendor admitted that the amp was underpowered for the task. I could have been cruel and asked for some big band jazz, but.....
For most speakers out there, 80-120 SS watts might get you in the ballpark but more is needed usually to hit a homerun regularly.
Newer high quality high efficiency Class D amps are the ticket to get there without having to deal with huge, heavy, power sucking amps. That's progress! Take advantage of it!
No - it is not possible to have a 100%$ accurate speaker - nor is it desirable.
For example it is well known that the most accurate speaker alignment called transient perfect sounds too thin and that a slightly less accurate alignment sounds more real.
Remember the purpose of reproduction is to evoke the feeling this is real so you can suspend what is obvious - namely this is a Hi Fi system and not live. That requires tricking the brain and quite likely slight deviations from strict accuracy will help that.