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I believe it was Nelson Pass that once said "If the first watt sounds crappy, why do I need 199 more"?I agree with that statement in many ways. If your speakers sound dull, lifeless and boring at low volumes, perhaps the truth is, they just plain suck. I have always held the belief that the true test of a speaker is not how loud it can play, but how softly it can play and still be exciting.If you have to crank them to 80-90db, what are you looking for? Big dynamics? Are many speakers of today going to suddenly start to sound better?
a good point tyson (and doug i think was making roughly the same point also). some speakers may be "voiced" for larger rooms, much like your lambo is built to do 175mph and not 55. but to me it seems a little too convenient to think that all those bad sounding speakers tyson heard at RMAF would blossom into world champions if you moved them into a bigger room. maybe i'm wrong. i personally would want a speaker that can do it all well. seems to be a lot of speakers out there that can only do jazz, only rock, only big rooms, etc. of course, a little bookshelf cannot move enough air to fill a big room, which is no fault of the speaker.
Fck, why isn't my lambo kicking butt in rush hour traffic?
I have a theory that the room is just as crucial, if not more so then any of your speakers. On top of that, this critical component is constant variable in our own rigs and we spend a painstaking amount of time choosing the associated equipment both the complement this room and voice to our preferences.
For me, I'd much rather have speakers that can play from almost zero to moderately high volumes as opposed to one that only starts to sound good when your amp is already giving up some serious watts.
There are many ways to take the room out of the equation with a good design.
My Gedlee Abbeys are large speakers but work very well in a small room because they have constant directivity and are sealed, plus they roll off rather high for large speakers so the bottom end can be filled in with multiple subwoofers.
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