Speaker Pricing and Reviews

Hi Everyone,

I just posted two entries to my blog that I think you'll find interesting and hopefully informative. I've been doing a lot of analysis and trying to compare my personal hearing experiences with reviews, especially at Stereophile which has caused me to post a couple of pieces online.  Please let me know what you think. One of the common replies is that there is more than frequency response to speakers, which is true, but then why do so many of the over-hyped speakers Stereophile reviews share a common frequency  response (FR) curve?

The more I go back in time looking at Stereophile FR charts, the more apparent the Stereophile curve becomes.

Please let me know what you think.


Neither link seems to work for me.
On one hand,can you blame a speaker mfg.for making something that will sound good to the end user?? 
On the other hand,should they charge $100k for those speakers??
  It appears that some speaker mfg's have hired audiologists instead of engineers. 
No, not at all, but it's a lot cheaper to buy a nanoDIGI to alter the FR for $170to match your hearing loss than to buy a speaker for tens of thousands of dollars. :)

It's also not nearly neutral, so don't sell it to me as such.


Hi Erik. Frankly I do not believe those articles, especially the hearing aid BS. Besides, this is the reason the stereophile review is simply one of many other professional and non-professional reviews. Are hearing aids involved in every case? 

What I don't believe is that a speaker as non-neutral as the B&W 802's or Golden Ears are being touted as the best available.

As other critics have written, my ears hurt from listening to treble boosted that much. So, either the speakers are making the reviewers feel like they have the ears of a teenager, or something else is going on.

I also don't believe the Golden Ear curve just happens to match perfectly with the B&W curves. It's not possible with such completely different technologies. I'm not the most knowledgable speaker maker out there, but you'd have a tough time convincing me this was all coincidental.

So, I don't have proof, but I also don't think they are being objective.  At best, what I would say is that if B&W managed to convince so many that their speakers were a neutral reference (objectively, they are not) then maybe they set the standard that is being measured by.  They set the fashion if you will, and reviewers, knowingly or not, are basing their tastes on that.


I wanted to post something else. I make really neutral measuring and low distortion speakers. I don't sell any but my designs are free and on my blog. One thing I've noticed, is that music lovers love my speakers, and when they listen they want to try out all sorts of different music. Card carrying audiophiles do not. I wonder if this isn't the audiophiles becoming acclimated to a type of sound?

Also, one thing I can tell you  is that reviewers often fall for "discerning" speakers. I've analyzed crossovers from a couple of famous brands, and guess what? They deliberately have very low impedance around the midbass to bass region. In on case, clipping off the offending circuit produces zero frequency changes, but raises the minimum impedance by about an ohm and a half.

So, my point? It's that altering speakers to make them appeal to audiophiles is a very different thing than making speakers which are the best sounding. :)


The examples only include three speakers, two of which are different versions of the same model. Are there more of "so many" speakers that have the same response?

I don’t find the GE to match the frequency response of the B&Ws exactly. What I see is a pretty flat response until 9000hz that may be tipped up because of the limited dispersion of a ribbon vs a cone. Further, Stereophile has applauded YG and KEF for their flat responses. There is irony of using Stereophile’s PUBLISHED measurements against them. I do not know what is up with the B&Ws, though. 
While auditioning speakers, 1) make sure your canals are not obstructed with earwax     2) don't expect accurate listening if having allergic symptoms then ( or a URI/cold of course),   3) make sure to place  yourself in the sweet spot,  4) do so alone to avoid somebody else's opinions, and distraction while listening 
Waterz, that's actually really good advice. I use liquid soap in the shower for just such a reason.  Regular use of it and the shower stream in the ear canal keeps my ears unobstructed. As soon as I hear the center of the music balance shift, I know I didn't bathe. :D :D :D 
Ohlala, the power of full page ads.  If you really want to be offended, listen to Golden Ear Triton 5's.  To be honest, the B&W's sound far less offensive than the GET's despite sharing a frequency response. Whatever the problem with the GET's is, its far beyond the frequency response alone. However, what two brands have recently had multi-page background spreads?