Speaker rating question..


Just wondering, in the case of rating the condition of a speaker using Audiogons guide, do you people think the Bottom of a speaker should be taken into the Rating of a speaker?....i ask, as i cant imagine in any situation where a speaker bottom doesnt get scratched while moving them on a floor or placed on a Speaker stand.

So say a speaker is 100% blemish free, but the bottom is scuffed, would that qualify for a 9/10?
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That's a tough one to answer. When people post the condition of an amp, they don't report on the condition of its feet. It occurs to me that it would be virtually impossible to set up a pair of speakers without at least a little scuffing taking place.
Let me know when you get the definative answer, I'm curious too.
The Audiogon rating scale says yes, the bottom of a speaker should be considered.

The 9/10 rating specifies:

"Speakers should be perfect except for the back or bottom, which may show slight indentations from stand mounting, but the indentations do not show through the veneer..."

My interpretation of the rating scale indicates to me that the answer to your question is yes, a floorstander with some bottom scuff marks would still qualify as a 9/10.

Does anyone out there disagree?
The Audiogon rating scale says yes, the bottom of a speaker should be considered.

The 9/10 rating specifies:

"Speakers should be perfect except for the back or bottom, which may show slight indentations from stand mounting, but the indentations do not show through the veneer..."

My interpretation of the rating scale indicates to me that the answer to your question is yes, a floorstander with some bottom scuff marks would still qualify as a 9/10.

Does anyone out there disagree?
My recent experience on Audiogon has been that many sellers are overrating their gear. I believe we've experienced "grade-creep", just like the Stereophile RC ratings. A 7/10 piece is a very clean piece according to the standards, but as of now that's considered the lowest saleable rating you can give for working gear, from what I can tell. My impression is that almost no one feels comfortable rating their decent-shape gear less than a 9/10 these days, or if they do, they include a disclaimer stating that it's just for age or something similar, clearly implying that if they weren't so scrupulous, anybody would think their item was at least a 9/10. Way too much gear is being listed at 10/10 when it's too old or too well-used, which is like grading a used record that's been played more than once as "Mint" - it's definitionally incorrect. I have bought a few "9/10" items on Audiogon that strictly speaking did not deserve the designation - 8/10 or 7/10, or even 6/10 would have been more appropriate. We have effectively created a four-grade system out of an eleven-step scale: New or "10/10", practically perfect or "9/10", good or "8/10", and OK or "7/10". Honesty and accuracy, which nobody should be penalized for, have been sacrificed.
I agree with Zaikesman.

Only new should really be a 10/10.

9/10 should be reserved for almost new, rarely played equipment. (Either not even, or maybe just, broken in).

8/10 should be for used, but well taken care of equipment (like most of us have!).

7/10 should be for equipment that has started taking small amounts of abuse (i.e. scratches, dents, things that don't really affect the actual playing).

6/10 should be for equipment that is really starting to take a beating, but still works as intended.

5/10 and below should be reserved for equipment that is either severely visually damaged, no longer working as new, broken and no longer working, and/or a combination of the above factors.

This system would really let the purchaser have a better idea of what to expect when buying equipment. (Of course, you can always ask these questions of the seller! I always do.)

My thoughts on the subject anyway!
Kurt, please read the posted Audiogon definitions of their AGS scale (just click on any grade, or look it up from the front page) - I think you'll find that the kind of system you desire has always been the official law of the land...it's just that sellers have moved away from adhering to the formula, and buyers have been complicit. Inflationary pressure will always exist in this situation, and I don't know that there's anything Audiogon can really do to rectify it.

The indisputable fact that online buyers and sellers are often reluctant or unwilling to leave any negative feedback for fear of retaliatory feedback tends to render members' feedback ratings over-optimistic, and of little use in determining many things, one of which is whether a seller can be counted upon to give a literally accurate AGS grade. Sad but true, and a buyer who presses sellers for minutely detailed descriptions of actual condition can probably expect some sellers to move on to other buyers in many instances.

When buyers are less demanding of accuracy in grading, or when they are simply less experienced in trading the way we do here, what ultimately happens - since a lot of us are in reality simply passing around gear between ourselves over time - is that in order to recoup what was paid for a piece of gear that may have been euphemistically graded when it they bought it, sellers will be inclined to perpetuate the problem by grading gear the same way it was sold to them if they decide later on to resell it. It creates a bit of a vicious circle, where the first seller overgrades because a realistic grade is no longer considered to be desirable to buyers, the first buyer doesn't leave negative feedback stating that the gear was overgraded because he doesn't want to receive negative feedback, and then when he sells, he has to do the same thing himself if he doesn't want to lose money in the process.

After doing this kind of buying and selling fairly lightly over two years or so, I have only recently realized all of this fully. That's the learning curve, and it's too slow to halt the process. Now I am getting to know better, and can start adjusting my expectations accordingly, but you cannot opt out of the cycle completely if you want to do business.
I have read them, and I actually disagree with them, albeit slightly. I do not think they should have 11 catagories. The entire world rates things on a scale of 1 to 10, not 1 to 11 (the 11th being "new"). If they only let new products be a 10/10, that would force more people to list their products closer to their actual condition. (I also think that photos of the actual product for sale should be mandatory, rather than optional.)

Boy, we really went out on a tangent from the original topic of whether a small scuff on the bottom of a speaker is a 9/10 though, huh?! Oh well, we audiophiles are an opinionated bunch.
Yes we are - I wouldn't have it any other way. Which is why I'll add that IMO, no matter how many steps the grading scale had in it, the same basic phenomenon would occur. The 10/10 grade does have a purpose distinct from "New", but by rights should be seen very rarely. The really superfluous part of the AGS system is the lower grades - no one is in the habit of specifying exactly how decrepit their gear is with graded precision.