Thanks for that long informative post. Has to help lots of folk.
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Scott, thanks for the "list". Sensible Sound has long been an advocate of Legacy products. I will agree that the Studio is a good little speaker but after that, my preferences differ from their's. Then again, speakers are phenomenally room, set-up and personal preference dependent, so someone else might love them. Obviously, the folks at Sensible Sound like them and i know others that post here have stated such also. Buy what suits your room and tastes and forget what anyone else thinks. I know what i like and i hope you do too. Sean
I am curious if you received their permission to post this information? They do not post this info on their own website. They post the table of contents and a little bit about the issue, I would assume, in the hope of getting you to buy the issue. Just as Stereophile does not post their recommended components because it is one of their best selling issues.
Whenever I see lists like this one (especially ones of this size), whether it's TSS or Stereophile's, I always wonder: Which were the models they listened to that year that they *didn't* like enough to recommend for the price? Obviously, a lot of other good speakers don't appear on the above list - were any of them auditioned and rejected? Or is this just basically a listing of their recently-heard speakers, omitting all those that TSS simply didn't get around to (or didn't want to get around to) listening to? This is the problem with magazines' "Recommended" lists, where they merely recommend everything they've heard, but they haven't heard everything that there is. What is a comsumer really supposed to take from such a list? With the recent hyper-inflation of the number of "Class A" recommended components in Stereophile, we may as well go back to the days of Julian Hirsch at Stereo Review, and not worry about bothering to listen critically to the gear under review at all. Just recommend 'em all!
"I hope to listen to other models when a dealer is eventually established in the Seattle area." I first heard the FOCUS at Cox Music up in Bothell - (425) 402-9096. All I got was a recording when I called, but I expect they're still reps.
PS - Altho the FOCUS was amazing, it was the MartinLogan SL3 that finally got me to part with the $.
I also deffinately agree with Zaikesman's post about such
lists. While I see many of these component lists in the
audio magazines; I do make a serious effort to listen to
most of the gear I'm buying before it goes into one of my
systems. And a "good" review does not necessarily put a
speaker or other component on my "must audition" list.
And as also mentioned above, out of the literally hundreds of models of speakers on the market - how many did
these people actually audition? What sort of music did they
play to evaluate these speakers? Was it string quartets or
heavy metal? Or maybe a mix of jazz vocals and/or orchestral
We all have our preferences for music and what we believe
sounds "right" and/or "true to the music". These lists are
maybe good starting points for auditioning speakers, but not
I think the list is missing some gems, but I can say that I completely agree with the Sensible Sounds' assessment of each and every speaker. RARELY, rarely, rarely, rarely (did I say rarely?) do I agree with so many reviews of speakers. Typcially, I feel that reviews either overlook some flaw, or favor some factor of a speaker that the reviewer is in love with himself. I tip my hat to Sensible Sound's ability to maintain a much better consistency in their reveiws than any of the other high end rags (Of course there will be those who wonder if they paid me to write these accolades)
Much as Ehider's praise of TSS's work may be deserved (and I admit that I wouldn't really know, as this is a mag that I only sometimes browse on the newsstand), Weedo's comment (which assumes correctly in my own case) makes me wonder: If we are to like such lists just because they include the speakers (or brand of speakers, or any other component) that we ourselves might own (and most of us, if we're being honest, would have to admit that we do in fact like such lists at least a little bit better when they do include our gear), then aren't we simply looking to "Recommended's" for exterior validation of our personal choices (assuming, of course, that we didn't actually choose it off said list in the first place)?
There was a comment in Stereophile a few years back about the fact that almost everything they review ends up on the recommended list. They replied that it is true, but it is because reviewers/editors pick out equipment to review that they think is going to be recommendable to start with, based upon hearing it at shows or manufacturer rep, and thus it generally is. A reasonable explanation, but still, oughtn't we know about the equipment to avoid too?
My theory is, audio equipment has evolved to the point where very little of it is wholly meritless once you get above a certain increasingly lower price point. I mean, one will certainly prefer some $2000 amps over others as a matter of taste in sonics, system compatibility, and features, but how many $2000 amps (or $1000 CDPs, etc.) from the big high end players can you actually say are bad and "not recommended" today?
Fifteen years ago, there were wide differences among components. Today, you sometimes have to do direct A-B comparisons with familiar recordings to really grasp a component's sonic signature. That's good, of course, because it indicates greater neutrality (and hence wider system compatibility). But it also means that the audio critics become less important, kind of like computer critics (can you even name one?).
BTW, in January 99, Fi did a recommended component list that had only 140 components, just a couple in each class, that really did have some semblence of representing the best and most recommendable stuff out there. RIP Fi.
No maggie 1.6s?...and they call themselves sensible? I dont think so...Legacy is all right...but lets be real...a majority of what you pay for is external cosmetics...i prefer to have my money spent on internal componets....something that the Vandersteen 2....at roughly half the cost...does so well....a phase-correct 3-way design that does 28hz...that is sensible
Phasecorrect: Choosing a speaker is very personal. While Vandy's may cost less than Legacy's, they are less efficient, will not play nearly as loud, will be higher in distortion at volume, etc... As such, one should buy the speaker that will work best for their specific type of listening and what their budget will support. This is NOT to say that i like Legacy better than Vandy ( quite the contrary ), but that there are trade-offs involved in most EVERY area of audio reproduction. That is where personal preference and making a decision comes into play. Sean