Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?

ddps and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 3019 times.

thebrieze

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #20 on: 23 Jul 2020, 10:48 pm »
I think it's important to note that Amir has an agenda, and that is to drive sales for Harmon, and all Harmon products, it maybe a long game but make no mistake it's exactly what's going on over there. If Jim were to review a  Harmon product and hate it while at the same time singing the praises of his own builds, cult ASR would lose their mind, people need to stop going to that site, period.  it's harmful to what we as audiophiles value and hopefully that's the music!!

Cheers,

Don
Have you read the ASR reviews of Arcam (Harman) AVR's?  Not pretty.

Gyosa

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #21 on: 23 Jul 2020, 11:53 pm »
Jim ,
Great response ....

As I suggested ..... it is , what it is ..... a small speaker made to do what small speakers do ...they have their limitations and purpose .

It’s unreasonable to expect  a WOW1 to provide the performance of a larger ( floor standing ) speaker ....

Again .... incredibly happy with my SCST’s.......

Bk

HT cOz

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #22 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:11 am »
Indeed great response Jim!  World Class all the way.   :thumb:

dB Cooper

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #23 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:17 am »
If what you want are speakers that will rattle your windows, Salk can provide them, but there won't be much room left on your desk...

DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 263
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #24 on: 24 Jul 2020, 01:46 am »
If what you want are speakers that will rattle your windows, Salk can provide them, but there won't be much room left on your desk...

I resemble this comment. 

They don't fit on my desk... but my SS12's, can rattle windows when called upon to do so.

Endo2112

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 89
  • Particularist
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #25 on: 24 Jul 2020, 04:47 am »
Tvyankee;

It is possible that Harmon makes good stuff, but it's also possible that Amir has an agenda, do you sell any Harmon products by chance??

Don

dB Cooper

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #26 on: 24 Jul 2020, 09:04 am »
I resemble this comment. 

They don't fit on my desk... but my SS12's, can rattle windows when called upon to do so.

As it happens, pretty much the speaker I had in mind  :icon_twisted:

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 9600
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #27 on: 24 Jul 2020, 11:20 am »
I'm a fan of Floyd Toole, who retired from Harmon as V.P. of acoustical engineering after 26 years with the National Research Center (formerly known as the Canadian Research Center).  He invented much of the leading edge measurement techniques used today and has published in the Audio Engineering Society.  Amir also used to work for Harmon and invested $100,000 U.S.D. of his own money into his modern testing setup, called Kippel, something that very few manufacturers would even bother learning how to use.  Kippel allows for very accurate measurements that closely correlate to what is heard from large panels of trained listeners using double blind testing, again something that almost no manufacturers ever conduct.

Over the years Toole has done both modern testing and extensive double blind testing, which puts him in extremely rarified air.  Amir is trying to follow in Toole's footsteps, but doesn't have a panel of trained listeners available.  He gets most his speakers from individuals who eagerly loan them to him, which he states.  From what I've read of his loudspeaker reviews he has quirks, he uses various Pink Panther figurines to characterize his overall opinions of products he tests which I find very hard to interpret, and likes his music really loud and bass heavy.  Which means an inefficient small monitor isn't going to be his cup of tea. 

Toole's measurements have correlated well with those panels of trained listeners.  By the way, he has also researched the types who make the best listeners and found audio engineers some of the best while reviewers and marketing types to be among the worst.  So much for the golden ears most of us love to glow over.  So with his background and the extensive research done at Harmon it shouldn't surprise anyone that Revel and JBL loudspeakers score well with Amir.  He discloses his former company association with every review of a Harmon product.  I see no agenda to sell Harmon on his part.  As Harmon follows Toole's methods I'd expect their loudspeakers to test well and helps explain why Amir has tested so many have volunteered their speakers for testing.

As far as listening or measuring first, a little background might be helpful.  Again with $100k invested and high correlations with double blind listening panels it makes sense that measuring be done first.  Once setup the Kippel automatically completes testing in about 2 hours, while Amir can do other things, like test DACs or write up a review.  He apparently takes than two hours to audition afterwards, depending on how worthy of his time the speaker is.  Note that his listens to just one speaker at a time, as recommended from Toole's research. 

Jim is a very nice guy, but like others on Audio Circle, he runs a small company lacks a Kippel, anechoic chamber, or large well trained listening panel setup in double blind testing that would be ideal.  So it should be of little surprise that one of his lesser products doesn't hold up to serious scrutiny. 

mav52

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #28 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:07 pm »
Measurements are one thing, but I really don't listen to measurements I listen to the sound the device is making and that is how I make my purchase. .

tvyankee

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #29 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:38 pm »
Don.

I do not sell Harman  never did never  will . I dont see why that would matter though. If you made any claims that had merit like proof other then running you mouth then maybe people might believe what you say. It sounds like some how you had a piece of equipment that sounds good to you that got a bad review.  I'm sorry you have hurt feelings.

If you look at the kali speaker review  over there you will see a scene just like this one play out  where the manufacturer joins to say hey I think the review is off like Jim and did find something legit and Amir did the review again and  the speaker did rather well. This is exactly how this is done. So Don before you blow your lid relax have a beer and dont accuse just because you don't like something unless you have proof ie facts.

Cheers




johzel

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #30 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:40 pm »
Measurements are one thing, but I really don't listen to measurements I listen to the sound the device is making and that is how I make my purchase. .

Exactly.  As a person with a degree in mathematics I appreciate and find value in the "science" of attempting to quantify our world.  As a psychologist, however, I find that believing you can reduce the incredible complexity of perceptual psychology (i.e. the brain's ability to interpret and make sense of what it, in this case,"hears") to a single or set of "numbers" to be, as I wrote before, bogus.  As the saying goes, not everything that can be measured is important and not everything that is important can be measured . . . perhaps some day??

jtwrace

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #31 on: 24 Jul 2020, 12:48 pm »
Tvyankee;

It is possible that Harmon makes good stuff, but it's also possible that Amir has an agenda, do you sell any Harmon products by chance??

Don
You're correct, he does have an agenda.  That's to give standard approved scientific objective  data on equipment (speakers and electronics) to the public.   :)

DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 263
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #32 on: 24 Jul 2020, 01:33 pm »
I've not looked at Amir's page that often.  I've looked at the DAC measurements a bit as I feel that those measurements at least avoid "garbage in".  But everything downstream in a system is so much listener preference, room effect etc... 

I suppose if there is something that measures completely ridiculously out of whack I would most likely hear it.

But for instance I've read that Toole found a flat response is what most listeners liked, but I've also read several studies that show listeners like a little second order harmonic distortion - which I presume would not measure quite as well. (I could be wrong)  But those seem to contradict each other to begin with.

I've tried Levinson and Pass Labs gear in my room at the same time, on the same speakers.  I presume the Levinson might measure a bit better and there were a few things I liked about it, but I really found the Pass Labs to be more my flavor.   I could absolutely pick out differences.  I believe Nelson actually engineers a little 2nd order distortion into his amps. (maybe they wouldn't measure as well!).  In fact I took the Levinson gear to Marty's house to listen on his SS12's (and he has pass gear).  We preferred the Pass labs there also, and his room is completely different than mine.

Many listeners find they prefer Tube Amps, I have to think they won't measure all that well.

Like most things in life, it seems there is a "middle" ground.

But in looking at some of the threads on ASR, it's like a soap opera for a bunch of geeky dudes. 

I'm pretty sure that my SS12's "measure well". (I was there when Jim measured mine).

I'm pretty sure even if they didn't, they are the best sounding speakers I have ever owned, or really heard under about 50k.

roscoe65

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 759
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #33 on: 24 Jul 2020, 01:56 pm »
I’ve been reading retail audio magazines since the 1970’s, including “High Fidelity”, which was almost a pure objectivist magazine.  Their top recommendations were along those lines.

I’m a big fan of measurements.  For me they do two things:  help me understand the parameters and limitations of my equipment and to help me better understand how measurements affect the sound and how I can use them to improve my listening experience.

The key is understanding what measurements are important and how to interpret them.  I confess that this knowledge and skill is beyond my expertise.  There are skilled designers who understand what measurements imply and how making something measure better can make it sound better and conversely, sometimes making something sound better makes it measure worse.  Just as importantly, designers and listeners value different aspects of the musical reproduction.  Since design involves inevitable compromise, emphasizing one aspect will come at the expense of another.

We are also missing the crucial elements of setup and system matching.  All of us have experienced times when speakers will not work in our room or are demanding up upstream electronics.  I have no idea of Amir’s setup, but given the fact that he does not always listen to the equipment under review I would call into question his methodology.  Another key component is break in and burn in.  While some may assert that this is hogwash, a number of MIL-SPEC companies prescribe burn in for electronic components.  Even if you don’t believe in break in, the only cost is the time to let the equipment run in.  To not do so strikes me as lazy.

I have an objection to the use of measurements alone in the evaluation of equipment that is intended to provide subjective enjoyment.  It is completely missing the point.  Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of products I have personally heard that would “fail” Amir’s test:

1.  Spica TC-50
2.  Yamamoto A-08S
3.  Omega Super Alnico monitor
4.  Quad ESL-57
5.  Audible Illusions Modulus 3
6.  Firstwatt F3
7.  DBAudiolabs Traniquility NOS DAC
8.  Superphon Revelation Dual Mono

More specific to the Salk speakers in question:  from my understanding Salk often executes the designs of Dennis Murphy, including the WOW1.  As Jim asserted, the WOW1 is a design using a magnesium bass unit intended to meet a very specific set of parameters.  Dennis’s original design for the speaker was the MBOW1, using the GR Research M130 driver, followed by the CAOW1, using the Seas C15RLY.  The designs are in escalating order of forgiveness.  There are potentially three “flavors” of the speaker.  Three different listeners may each prefer a different model.  That how subjectivism works.

johzel

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #34 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:00 pm »

But in looking at some of the threads on ASR, it's like a soap opera for a bunch of geeky dudes. 

That has certainly been my impression of that site.  I suppose they would accuse me of participating in soap operas for "non-geeky dudes" . . . and so it goes.   :thumb:

thebrieze

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #35 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:05 pm »
Measurements are one thing, but I really don't listen to measurements I listen to the sound the device is making and that is how I make my purchase. .

The sound you hear in a showroom is nowhere near the actual sound the device is making, or how it will sound in your room. In both cases, the room and other components dramatically alter the actual sound the device is making.

If that’s your criteria for choosing equipment to buy you should actually look at objective measurements that are done against a benchmark, so you can objectively compare devices against each other.

Interestingly, that is exactly one of Amir’s goals, allowing an objective comparison between components. That is why he uses standardized levels for his tests. Unfortunately, in this case the level itself pushed the speaker beyond its limits. It has been suggested, he create a category for small speakers.

That said, given the large diversity of Salk speakers, it is very hard to browse the site and understand the design goals  of each speaker line, and how to select the type of speakers to focus on based on ones needs. Especially since most Salk speakers cluster around similar prices, it’s harder to differentiate based on price.

I suggest Jim create a matrix of good/better/best type markers for various design goals and speakers to help customers easily hone in a set of suitable choices.

RonN5

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #36 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:25 pm »
If as Jim has said, many of his speakers are a result of building something with the drivers a customer has asked for  while optimizing the overall sound...there really is no good, better, best...there are only speakers built to satisfy a particular customer...that other customers have tried and liked as well. 

Maybe it would be helpful for each speaker to understand the original design goals...and then to go read what owners of the speaker say about how it sounds...hopefully with some insight into their rooms, equipment and music.

RonN5

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #37 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:31 pm »
I don't think that Amir is doing anything nefarious to "preference" Harman.  I think that Amir truly believes that if it doesn't measure well it can't sound good...and maybe by measuring first and listening second, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

I also suspect that if I sold you a speaker and you took it home and reported back to me that you really liked it.  Then I said, I have some bad news, we measured this speaker and the measurements turned out rather poorly...you would start hearing things that bothered you and sooner or later replace the speaker...in other words, the power of suggestion...it is a strong thing for most of us human beings.

Amir's measurements are a service to the hobby....his pronouncements on how they sound, less so.

dB Cooper

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #38 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:42 pm »
Measurements are one thing, but I really don't listen to measurements I listen to the sound the device is making and that is how I make my purchase. .

Another thing you probably don't do- I know I don't- is listen in an anechoic chamber, yet that remains the standard for testung and evaluation. I found a Floyd Toole video where he discussed the problems with bass reproduction in rooms due to standing waves. These problems were solved nearly fifty years ago by Roy Allison, but today his work seems to be largely forgotten (including by Toole). I wrote Toole at his facebook page to inquire if he was familiar with the Allison research (I don't see how he could not be, given his background) and get his 'take' on it, but received no reply.

Perhaps the Allison approach is forgotten because the more accurate speakers are, the more alike they will sound. That creates differentiation problems for the marketing department, which has to convince the potential customer of what makes their product different. Perhaps it is because another approach often employed- the multiple-sub or "swarm" approach- sells more boxes. Maybe both. Just my 2 cents. Just for giggles here is the last page of a vintage Allison brochure. Today AFAIK only Larsen speakers are designed with similar goals.





Getting back to Amir and ASR. I do think measurements matter- they describe the behavior of a given component but not necessarily the experience of listening to it. Both have their place and neither viewpoint should be 'off limits'. Data can at least be evaluated and compared in ways opinions can't.

CurtisIIX

Re: Jim , have you seen this by any chance ?
« Reply #39 on: 24 Jul 2020, 02:51 pm »
You're correct, he does have an agenda.  That's to give standard approved scientific objective  data on equipment (speakers and electronics) to the public.   :)

Whose standards? Who has approved these measurements?  Products that fall outside his test suite are routinely trashed as poorly engineered without considering typical use cases and engineering trade-offs. Look at any review where there is an auto-mute circuit or line-level output less than 2V single ended. As an engineer, I appreciate Jim's response discussing engineering design trade-offs for the WOW1.

I don't think that he has an agenda re: Harman products. I am not a member of the forum (just an avid lurker), but it would nice to know if he can/does sell Harman products to his forum members. It never appears that he advertises as such, and I am guessing it could violate his distribution agreements for his company if he is selling into markets with existing area retailers.

Amir does have a business model with his site though - this model is content creation, not rigorous scientific analysis. He requests donations at the bottom of each of his reviews through Patreon and site membership upgrades. This revenue is going to be proportional to number reviews/measurements he posts. This is where the site can get bothersome, as shown with the Salk measurements. He didn't appear to solicit a response prior to publishing the review, probably to keep to the one review per day cadence that will sustain his donations. Also, his Klippel system is a black box measurement system. There are going to be limitations which may not be known to the user, and it takes time and effort evaluate this system. Granted he has taken time of evaluate issues, but then abruptly stops and blames the device under test (see: Neumann KH80 and many early Kippel measurement reviews).