Review of Uncle Eric's "Batcave" with M&K 2510P speakers

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NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Caveats

1) I am a bit deaf, not uniformly across the frequency spectrum, so what sounds good to me may not sound good to you, or vice versa.

2) Only remotely comparable speaker systems I have listened to are B&W Nautilus 803s and 805s, plus Sonus Faber Home. So if you wonder why I keep harping on about these, they're my only basis for comparison.

3) I am very picky. I like clarity, neutrality, transparency, and precision.

4) My CD recordings may not be that wonderful.



The Batcave Sound System

Three M&K MPS2510P active speakers for the front channels. Four S85s (monopoles) for surrounds. S85s are driven by a pair of (oldish) Denon power amps. Subwoofer: the famous Velodyne HGS-18. Processor: Tag McLaren AV32R-bp192. Began with a Pioneer 656 playing an SACD recording, then switched to a Sony DVD player for films.


Video System

The projector retails for £18,000. (Yes, you read that correctly, eighteen). There is also some video scaling circuitry.


The Room

Lot of flat, hard surfaces which are rather unforgiving. (Floor has some carpet but is basically wooden). Right hand wall is all shelves.


The Look

When you first see the Velodyne sub you feel afraid. From Velodyne's website it is 23.5" x 21.25" x 18.5". It looks larger; looms like the black monolith in "2001". It's even scarier when you take the grill off. The speaker cone is 18 inches across. You expect to be knocked across the room like Michael J Fox at the beginning of "Back To The Future".

The 2510Ps (on stands) are smaller than you might expect - 12.5"x10.5"x14". Note the depth if you have a small room - lots of stuff round the back, cooling fins and so on, so they stick out a long way from the wall. The S85s are tiny.


Video Performance

Combination of video scaling and projector is amazing. Output is effectively 960-line progressive scan. Picture must be 10, maybe even 12 feet wide; you can't believe anything could blow a TV picture up that big without looking like crap. It looks incredible - I've seen cinema screens less good. No convergence problems or anything like that. Colour saturation is splendid. Contrast is great. The detail in the animals' fur in "Dinosaur" was beautiful.

Of course it will bring out any imperfections in the video source. "The Phantom Menace" has been mastered with the sharpness control turned way up to make it look good on a typical fuzzy TV set, but on this thing you get spurious dark or bright lines round the edges of things. Ugh.

Only real downside is it needs some heavy-duty cooling, and I could quite clearly hear the fans. They're not loud, but if you are a fanatical audiophile they would probably be enough to annoy you. Anything below about 30-40 dB I can't hear at all, but the noise was quite distinct when the sound system was off.


Music Performance

We started with an SACD recording (can't remember what). The instruments came through nicely, especially the saxophone. The vocals I was less happy with: a definite harshness there. We then switched to some classical CDs I had with me. Started with movement 3 of Saint-Saens' "Organ Symphony" (good test of a subwoofer's music abilities), then had the "Barber Of Seville" overture (Rossini) - nice fast, high stuff on the violins - and then Tchaikowski's overture to "Romeo and Juliet" - starts very eerie and mysterious, lots of lush, romantic stuff later.

(I've found that the ability of a system to handle acoustic instruments is often a good guide to its overall precision and clarity).

The subwoofer impressed me - most of the time I wasn't aware of it except as a feeling of pressure in my ears and a (disconcertingly strong) vibration in the floor boards. Occasionally I noticed when it hit some kind of room resonance. This is what a subwoofer ought to do - the more you are aware of sound coming from it, the less well it's working. You shouldn't notice it at all except when you switch it off and suddenly everything sounds cold and thin.

The main speakers were just a shade dissapointing for music. The treble was very fine, very precise, and most of the time the overall sound was basically good, but somehow there was a hard-edged quality to it, a slightly harsh effect. I noticed it most with the trumpets - they blared, a rather metallic sound. The sound reminded me a little of B&W's Nautilus 805s. I'd say the M&Ks are better, but not by as much as I was hoping.

Modern music would probably sound better.

There was also a slightly boxy quality to the speakers from time to time - suddenly it reminded you that you were listening to something coming out of a box 1 foot across.

In fairness the acoustics of the room probably didn't help, and the left and right speakers were also set a distance apart that is appropriate for having a centre speaker between them, but means they were really too far apart for stereo imaging.


Film Performance

We began with a bit from "K2" - people hanging off the sides of mountains, cracking ice-bridges in caves, and the occasional avalanche - then had the pod race sequence from "The Phantom Menace" (a great test of the surround channels and sub), the opening "game" sequence from "Toy Story 2", and a little bit from "Dinosaur" (3D computer animation).

It was clear right from the start that this was what the system was designed for. There was still a hint of both the harshness and the boxiness that I'd noticed with the music, but they were much less noticeable. (Dialog was probably the most affected. Again, it reminded me a bit of B&W's Nautilus HTM2 centre - slightly sibilant, slightly rough, but not unclear. By contrast a cheaper centre speaker like B&W's CDM CNT - £400 - sounds absolutely shocking: fuzzy and muffled.)

The Tag processor did a great job of zooming sounds all over the room.

What impressed me the most was the precision and the subtlety during the quieter sections. When Buzz Lightyear was tiptoeing along the corridor of Zerg's fortress the gentle plink-plink of his footfalls was beautifully clear.

The crowd sounds in the pod race scene made you feel like you were standing right in the middle of them.

If volume is important to you, don't worry - these things will puncture your eardrums before they hit the top of their range.

The weakest part of the system, as you might expect, was the S85 rears. These simply weren't in the same class as the fronts. I noticed the deficit when the pod racers went into the underground cave section of the track, or when the Tuskan raiders' bullets ricocheted off the racers. Also the side speakers were a shade too localised for my tastes. I think it would have sounded better (more diffuse, anyway) with some M&K tripoles.


Overall

You need to remember what it is you're buying with the 2510Ps. Eric is offering them at what looks, at first glance, like an utterly astonishing price - they're as good as or better than the consumer S150P, and yet they cost £1400 each rather than £2200. But in fact, while Eric's price is certainly extremely good, the price of the consumer product is actually grotesquely inflated by M&K's UK Distributor, Gecko. Also remember that this is an active speaker: don't think of them as being speakers costing close to £3000 for a pair, but as speakers that cost £1400-£1500 for the pair with some REALLY good and beautifully well-matched power amps making up the rest of the cost (~£1500 for two channels).

So they should really be competing head to head with something like the B&W Nautilus 805s or Sonus Faber Grand Pianos. And at this level they trounce the competition. (They are dedicated satellites, of course, which means that they can't function properly without a subwoofer). I'd take the M&Ks without any hesitation over Nautilus 805s, unless you're so strapped for cash that you can't afford even a half-decent sub.

Put them up against Nautilus 803s, however, and it's less clearcut. The 803s I think are purer, clearer, less brazen, and remind you less that you are actually listening to speakers. For stereo listening I think the 803s are probably the better choice - but then at £3500 for the pair without amplification they damn well ought to be. (Having said that I'd have to listen to both systems in a similar acoustic environment to be certain. I heard the 803s in a listening room at Graham's Hifi which they obviously worked very hard on optimising. The Batcave is probably closer to a real living room.)

It's trickier when thinking about a home cinema system. The 803 sides and HTM1 centre are pretty well matched, but it's still not perfect; with an M&K setup you're actually using the same speaker at all three front positions, so the soundstage is immaculate. More importantly the Nautilus 800 series really doesn't have a satisfactory surround speaker. The SCM1 isn't bad, but it's (obviously) in the same class as the 805, not the 803 or HTM1, and it's also monopole only. There is no doubt in my mind that M&K 2510 monopoles or 2525 tripoles would do a substantially better job of the surround channels, especially the active versions. B&W obviously want people to buy from their new Signature range, and I've read reviews which suggest that Signature 805s are a significant step up from the Nautilus 805s, so the SCM1s are probably better too, but it really sticks in the throat to have pay so much extra for the finish on the case. So for creating an all-round soundstage, the M&Ks probably have the edge.

So there you are: the M&K speakers are beautifully controlled, splendidly dynamic, but with perhaps a hint of harshness, especially on CD material. They're best suited for surround film sound. And there's no question that, at Eric's prices, they're superb value for money.
 
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uncle eric

Guest
Nicolas,
Thanks for coming over.
Just a few points and dare I say observations from me.

Likewise, I am also very picky. I like clarity, neutrality, transparency, and precision.
I also like dynamic contrast. In fact, this is the weakness of many a speaker.

My dislikes....voiced (read coloured) altered, wooly, warm and nasel speakers.

First and formost, and perhaps most alarming to me is your hearing impediment across varying areas of the frequency spectrum. Sadly, I believe this is going to make sonic observations very difficult at best.

As I mentioned last night, from your recent posts here, you sounded like a man on a mission. Your various, "which speaker, processor, DVD player etc is best" questions have been asked and you've had an opportunity to even try a few variations at various dealers. I'm sure there is much more listening to be done yet.
The hard, no change that to impossible, part of your mission is that every demo room you will walk into will invariably have different acoustic properties and therefore will sonically have a different flavour. This is just the begining of your problems.

Lets look at another aspect where problems will arise and take for example, a look at your processor hunting. For the sake of argumnet lets look at the TAG. You will go to a dealer who will play the TAG through say, Martin Logans and a Wadia front end powered by Bryston. From here you might have another appointment and go to a dealer who sets up the Lex MC12 using a Meridian from end that might be powered by Krell amplification.

Which processor sounds best? Chances are you won't have a clue (and neither would I)......This is one of the pitfalls of demo's. Particularly when high end hardware is involved. At these levels, its not only price thats competative its performance. Listening to for fine naunces and variations in sonics are incredibly difficult anyway and this is compounded when most of the hardware surrounding the processor that you've focused on is different.

How did I choose my 192BP?
During the course of a week, I had 8 processors go through the Batcave with, and heres the important part, ALL peripheral equipemet unchanged.

The Batcave
Before this is broken into its various components a brief look at the objectives and qualities of this purpose built room.
This was built to an acoustically friendly ratio of 2-3-5.
In other words, 8.5 ft ceiling, 12.75ft width and 21.25 length.
For a room devoid of acoustic treatments (not for long I might add) the sonic character is excellent. While the use of wall to wall carpet was nigh on impossible, there is a heavy (and of course) dark, turkish rug that takes up most of the length and breadth of the room. However, all is not what it seems.
What looked like concrete hard surfaces was in fact studed out nine inch thick concrete walls with rubber placed on the surace of the battons. The plasterboard was then fixed onto this allowing some "give" on these seemingly hard surfaces. The entire right hand side of the Batcave is lined with floor to (almost) ceiling dark bookcases which also double up quite superbly as natural diffusers. There are six (black of course) leather recliners in a two rows of three arrangement. More on this later.

The Batcave and image quality
Most will know that I am not a trained CRT engineer so felt honoured when our resident Barco expert Roland Brooks made this comment a few weeks ago
Originally posted by Roland @ B4
Erics Black 808 would challenge most of the Runco and Cine 8 projectors installed by so called professionals
Thanks Roland.

I use a Stewart Studiotek 130 tab tensioned screen that measures 87"x49" and is in the 1.78-1 (16x9) format. This is generally regarded as the reference for CRT in both screen material and IMO size. Most respected videophiles wouldn't be caught dead with a screen of more than 7.5-8 ft for ANY crt.
*A note here* Nicolas mentioned the screen was 10, maybe 12 feet wide. As you can see from above, it is in fact just over 7ft wide. This is an ideal time to tell people who are looking to use excessively large screens to think again. If you can produce a clean image. All you need to do is view a little closer (my front row is 11/12 ft away) and your field of view widens to epic proportions.

I use a Barco 808s (8" Tubes) projector which I've had since nearly new. Feeding the Barco is a Sony 7700 Cinematrix moded player that is still quite unique for what it does. This Frank Doorhof (based in Holland) moded player was probably the first DVD player ever to internally scale interlaced DVD signals. At the flick of a switch/switches, this can scale from resolutions of 480p to 1200p. If your projection device can handle it, this is capable of stunning images. Its weak points are (some, not all) animation, during which combing can occur on some fast moving scenes. De-interlacing is also not up there with the best of them. However, throw in film based material (99% of my viewing), and the images can be hugely detailed and quite breath taking.
The front (screen) wall is matt black along with the ceiling while the three side walls are in midnight navy. When the lights (controlled by Futronix) are off, the matt black surround of the Stewart screen dissapears into the black screen wall and you are left with an image that appears to be suspended in mid air right in front of you. As my equipment is to the rear and side of the room, there are no flashing lights or L.E.D's to distract and take away what is an imensely enjoyable experience.
Future upgrades for the Batcaves image factory. I'm anticipating the arrival of a new (but discontinued) Sony G70 8" CRT. These are liquid coupled and have less "halo" effect as most of the air coupled Barco units seem to have. Colours also have the edge here. Barco's are notorious for their orangey reds (which can, at the expense of losing some brightness, be cured with filters).

Another future upgrade is the TAG top loader. Not only will this be a Video upgrade (with the inclusion of TAGs up and coming new internal scaler) but will also double up as perhaps the best audio upgrade in The Batcave since the TAG AVR32 and M&K2510P's began living there.

Audio Performance in the Batcave

I'm currently using the wallet friendly but rather nice Pioneer 656 for SACD and DVD-A duty and the Sony 7700 for CD (and scaled video) duty. As I say, the TAG top loader will make a huge impact on disc spinning sound (and Video) quality.
I've recently introduced a trio of M&K's flagship 2510P powered studio monitors together with TAG's bargain AVR32 192BP.
The temorary surrounds are the domestic SS150 tri-pole sides and S85's. Amplification of these surrounds is also temporary as I'm using a pair of Denons now discontinued THX spec amps (POA2 and POA3) These will be replaced by M&K Pro powered tri-pole sides and/or powered monopole rears, or single tri-pole rear as yet undecided.
 
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uncle eric

Guest
The M&K MPS 2510P's has a frequency response of 80 Hz to 20 kHz. It actually integrates two identical internal amplifiers, which is an optimum application because it allows one amplifier to drive the tweeters while the other drives the woofers. This design enables the output of the amplifier to match the full rating of the drivers. The amp will deliver its full 150 watts to the woofers, as long as no high frequencies exist. In theory, the result is a pure, untainted sound that doesn't compromise details—this is due to the lower distortion and higher damping factor (the amplifier's ability to control the cone movement).
The speaker measures 12 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 16 inches and weighs a some 45 Lbs. There are three 1-inch soft-dome transmission-line tweeters and two M&K-reference 5 1/4-inch polypropylene woofers. All of the drivers are magnetically shielded. Unlike M&K's pro speakers of old, these can be used with of pin-mounted grilles Howvever, as Nicolas found out last night, There's no grille like no grille :D
On the back panel, there are both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA/low-level) inputs, as well as a bypass output for connecting an extra speaker for higher (gulp) output.
Additionally, there's a switchable, electronic, 80-Hz, second-order, Linkwitz-Riley high-pass filter, which forms a forth-order filter in combination with the speaker's acoustic rolloff and uses a selectable level control with variable and fixed (THX) settings. There is also a variable dispersion switch.
Due to my single tier seating and to keep relections to a minimum, I have mine switched to Narrow vertical dispersion.

One of the reasons why I may consider these same speakers all around is that M&K achieves, by design an active phase-focused crossover concept. The crossover used allows an accurate response in both time and frequency domains, creating a very wide horizontal plane and thus optimizing a three-dimensional soundstage wherever (within reason) one sits.

As Karl (Respectamonkee) and Gary found out on Tuesday evening, this allows each listener in the room to hear the sound as it is meant to be heard, whether they're seated in on- or off-axis areas. Not a lot of speakers do that :rolleyes:

Going back to the performance aspect of these great, great speakers. Even with budget disc spinners, the sonic imagery that the 2510P convey, are amongst the cleanest, most neutral and transparrent sound I've ever heard anywhere at any price.
With exceptionally accurate vocals and music—the way it was intended to be heard, they convey a very transparent soundstage and three-dimensional sound.
I've had maybe 10-15 people in my room with the knowledge and fussyness of people like Nic Rhodes and each noted a tremendous separation and accuracy of the instruments, with detail and clarity many have not heard in a speaker at this or any price point. Many, myself included, can literally place each instrument's location in the room. These speakers are nothing less than amazing IMO.
As for Godzilla, I don't think he needs to be mentioned. The HGS-18 was almost built to be married with the M&K2510P's. They blend in, in such an uncanny way, its almost like listening to one speaker. 12.5Hz-20KHz. Utterly seamless and utterly compelling.

On a final note, with respect Nicolas, your insistance to hear everything at -10 to -20 below reference (you want to hear the sound not the loudness???) robbed the system of what it does best. It was trying to talk to you but alas.........
Don't get me wrong, this system sounds as good at low levels as it does when charging hard. But its dynamics are probably the best I've heard anywhere on the planet. Its a shame the demo went along without the M&K's and Godzilla barely making a whimper.

As an aside. I was having dinner this evening with an old friend Mel Bagshaw who first put over the idea of an 007 Exhibition to the Science Museam in London. Mel B (as I like to call him) had previously launched a hugely succesfull Batman exhibition in another major museam last year. Mel brought along, one of the BFI's (British Film Institutes) directors with a view of asking me to tempararilly install a sound/image section in an up and coming major "History of Film" exhibition.
After leaving the restaurant, we of course headed back to the Batcave. Now this guy watches/listens to more films in a week than you and I in 3 months.
His reaction to image and sound quality in The Batcave was :eek: :eek: :eek: :D
Er, I got the job.
 

Apocalypse

Standard Member
Interesting, but surely a system like Eric's must be heard at reference volume for a definitive opinion?
 

Branxx

Standard Member
I noticed it most with the trumpets - they blared, a rather metallic sound.
I've noticed that as well, but rather then comparing with yet another set of speakers, I went to a live venue to check. The trumpets sounded blurred and metallic.

My conclusion 1: Avoid listening to instruments that sound crap in real life unless one is using the speakers (and other components) that corrects for these anomalies.

My conclusion 2: I was pleased to learn that M&K reproduced the sounds exactly as they are in real life. That saved me a lot of time as I feel I am not missing on attending live music performances.
 

dts_boy

Well-known Member
I was pleased to learn that M&K reproduced the sounds exactly as they are in real life. That saved me a lot of time as I feel I am not missing on attending live music performances
...does that mean they're good then?:D
 

Guest
M&K MPS2510P's.....


Look up the Dictionary:

Find the word MIDRANGE


It should read:

M&K MP2510P's

You cant beat peoples opinions.


Adzman:) :) :)
 

Ian J

Banned
I shall have to be careful whom I invite to my home in future as I would hate to find an extensive review of my furnishings and surround sound system appearing the following day for all the world to read.
 

Bone Daddy

Active Member
That review is already on - line,but only on the `Meals on wheels` forum :D
 

Ian J

Banned
Originally posted by Bone Daddy
That review is already on - line,but only on the `Meals on wheels` forum :D

Could you make sure that you're not late with my lunch again please.
 
B

bob007

Guest
Originally posted by uncle eric


On a final note, with respect Nicolas, your insistance to hear everything at -10 to -20 below reference (you want to hear the sound not the loudness???) robbed the system of what it does best. It was trying to talk to you but alas.........
Godzilla and the M&K's nearly went into a coma then?

Why am I thinking of Headphones. :D
 

Matt F

Active Member
Originally posted by NicolasB

Four S85s (monopoles) for surrounds. S85s are driven by a pair of (oldish) Denon power amps.....

Also the side speakers were a shade too localised for my tastes. I think it would have sounded better (more diffuse, anyway) with some M&K tripoles.

So, Eric should change his S85's at the sides for some M&K Tripoles - that's a good idea.... but hang on a minute.....

Originally posted by uncle eric
The temorary surrounds are the domestic SS150 tri-pole sides and S85's.

:confused:

Doesn't help the credibility of the review methinks.

Matt.
 

Bone Daddy

Active Member
Sorry Ian,everything mashed and liquidized as usual I take it,blimey have to get me skates on down that `42,don`t want you starving.
 

James45

Standard Member
Originally posted by Matt F

Doesn't help the credibility of the review methinks.

Neither does NicholasB's string of "what's the best...." threads throughout the forum.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Well, I seem to have made myself very unpopular, don't I?

A few comments, in no particular order.

First: who am I? Just someone trying to put together a sound system. The above "review" certainly isn't going to end up anywhere other than on this forum.

Flat-out inaccuracies in the review: 1) I don't know quite how I ended up with those room and screen dimensions. I wasn't making notes at the time, but instead sitting at my desk trying to visualise the space the next day; but even so my brain definitely went one way and my fingers the other when I was typing that part. I should have proof-read it more carefully. 2) When I asked Eric what the surround speakers were I thought I was asking about all four, while Eric obviously thought I was asking about the surround back pair, so there was a simple miscommunication there. (In passing, though, I got surprisingly little effect from the side tripoles - certainly much less than I've experienced with cheaper M&K tripoles in the past in smaller rooms).

Poor phraseology in the review: having read over it again today, I realise that I phrased the part about the room acoustics in a way that came across as very much more negative than I intended. The acoustics in the bat cave are quite nice, and probably much more like those in a real living room than the average highly-optimised HiFi listening room. Having said that, the reverberation time is still a bit on the high side - I noticed that even just chatting to Eric before the system was switched on - and Eric himself clearly thinks the acoustics could be improved or he wouldn't be planning acoustic treatments.

But that actually wasn't what I really wanted to talk about at all. The point I was actually trying (and, sadly, failing) to make was much the same one that Eric discusses at some length, namely how difficult it is to compare two systems when you haven't heard them in the same acoustic space. I am well aware of this, and indeed said so quite explicitly.

Lack of experience of systems: I am well aware of the fact that my experience of sound systems is limited. It is precisely for this reason that I made no attempt to comment on (for example) the quality of the Tag processor. This Saturday I'm off to Rayleigh to listen to three or four different processors (including, I hope, Arcam, Tag and Meridian) in the same room with the same speakers and the same power amplification. After that I may feel qualified to offer some sort of opinion on how they compare. Then again I may not.

As far as speakers are concerned I have actually heard quite a number of different setups at different price levels in the past couple of months (for example: KEF eggs, B&W 600 series 3, M&K K series, M&K S85s, B&W CDM NT, Monitor Audio Gold Ref 20, Sonus Faber Home, B&W Nautilus 805/HTM2, 803/HTM1, and also B&W signature SCM1 and HTM1); I've also heard some of these speakers with two, three or even four different sets of electronics driving them. And I feel I am beginning to get an idea for what sort of influence the speakers in particular have on the eventual sound quality. There is a sort of hard-edged effect which I have heard from several different sets of speakers that drops off as the system improves and very markedly almost dissappears when you go up to something like the Nautilus 803. It was precisely this type of hard-edged quality (albeit in a milder from) that I was getting from the 2510P speakers. Was it the quality of the recording? Perhaps. Was it because the DVD player was a less-than-perfect CD player? Maybe. Was it because the sound wasn't loud enough? Perhaps. Was it a function of the room acoustics? Conceivably. But the fact remains: that's what I was hearing, and I've heard it before. It's very distinctive.

Hearing loss and reference level: while it's true that my hearing is odd, this doesn't, in and of itself, completely disqualify me from having a useful opinion. If I'm using the musical response of a system to gauge its quality, then what I want is for the sound of a given instrument, as produced by that system playing back a recording, to sound as similar as possible to the way the same instrument would sound in real life. (That might not be everybody's goal, but it's mine).

Now, if the real sound and the recorded sound are actually very similar, then the way that I will hear both sounds will also be very similar. It may be that what I'm hearing in both cases is completely different to what someone would else would hear, but if the same differences apply to both live and recorded sound then the process of comparing them remains valid.

Having said that, there are still problems. In many cases you need to ask not "does the recorded sound resemble the live sound" but "are the differences between the live and the recorded sounds of a sort that is easily tolerable or irritating?" At that point non-unifrom hearing loss becomes a problem. If there's a discrepancy in a part of the audio spectrum where my deafness is comparatively severe then it will annoy me less than it would annoy a normal person. Conversely if it's in a part of the spectrum where the loss is comparatively mild then it will annoy me more than it will annoy a normal person, because that part of the spectrum contributes more to my overall perception of the sound.

Put it this way: if some hypothetical system seems to me to be lacking in treble (the 2510Ps certainly aren't) then it will definitely be the case that it will also seem to be lacking in treble for anyone else. But you may find that more or less of an issue than I do.

I do also have some problems with dynamic range. Anything below 30-40 dB I can't hear at all, but at the other end of the scale people with normal hearing seem to be able to enjoy music (in nightclubs, for example) being played at volumes that quite literally make my ears hurt in a matter of seconds. Even a bit below that I find that when the sound hits a certain volume I start to lose the ability to resolve the separate bits of what's going on: it just sounds loud rather than good. So if a system needs to be played at THX reference level to get the best out of it, then that in itself is a very significant drawback from my perspective. It may not be from yours.

Real sound vs recorded sound: I actually played in an orchestra for several years at both school and university level, and I've attended plenty of classical concerts, many given by nationally- or even internationally-known orchestras. So I know what a trumpet sounds like, thank you very much. To give you an idea of what I mean by calling the sound "harsh" or "hard-edged" or "strident", think about the difference between a trumpet being played by a professional and gifted classical musician and the same trumpet being played by a not very talentented twelve year old. That is a big exaggeration, of course: it's nowhere near as dramatic as that. But the difference is in the same direction. To put it another way: think about the difference between the sound of a clarinet and the sound of a saxophone. Again, it's nowhere near as dramatic as that, but it's in the same direction.

Appropriateness: if someone invites me round to their house to listen to their own system, it would be inappropriate for me to post a critique of the decoration in their living room. If I go to a HiFi dealership and listen to some equipment with a view to deciding whether or not I want to buy it, I consider it entirely appropriate to post details of the experience on an internet forum whose entire raison d'être is to allow its members to exchange opinions about audiovisual equipment. Eric is a dealer, and his bat cave is his demo room, and the reason I went there was because I wanted to listen to some 2510P speakers to help me decide if I wanted to buy them. So that puts the experience very much closer to the second category than the first.
 
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Inukjuak

Guest
Originally posted by NicolasB

4) My CD recordings may not be that wonderful.



Music Performance

We then switched to some classical CDs I had with me


The main speakers were just a shade dissapointing for music.
Enough said.
 

James45

Standard Member
Originally posted by NicolasB
it would be inappropriate for me to post a critique of the decoration in their living room

then allow me Eric's living room is very tastefully decorated as is his kitchen/dining room... ever thought of a career in interior design Eric?:D
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Inukjuak: I could, of course, have said "I've listened to exactly the same recordings on a different system and they sounded substantially better. Enough said." My arrogance and presumption, however, have limits, so I chose not to.

On tripoles: it occurs to me that all of the M&K tripole surrounds I've heard before have been in 5.1 rather than 7.1 systems. That put the rear speakers well behind me and nearly in the corners - certainly within a foot or two of the back wall - and often angled inwards too. With Eric's setup the tripoles' side drivers were radiating directly along the axis of the room with the walls being much farther away. That would have made the side-firing sound relatively more subtle (when compared to the directly radiated sound) than would have been the case in the systems I've heard before. Probably why I didn't realise my mistake. There were actually a few places where I thought "hmm, that sounds very diffuse for direct radiators" but there were also a few points where I thought "I'm more aware than I want to be of where the surround speakers are". (shrug)
 
C

Couch Potato

Guest
I'm also considering upgrading my speakers and have 3 shortlisted, M&K, KEF Ref and B&W 80X. One thing I have noticed is that an awfull lot of other brands are colouring the sound. The M&K in particular are about as neutral as you can get, which is why they are used in studio's. They are also not very forgiving, if the source is crap, they sound crap (no offence here Eric!!) They are perfectly suited to AV use and are acknowledged not to be the best performers for 2 chanel use, I think it just shows their quality that they can compete with the likes of KEF and B&W for music listening when this is not their natural domain.

Eric, you have a PM.

Steve
 
L

Lowrider

Guest
I don´t understand why some of you are upset with Nicolas, when I bring forum members to listen to my sistem I insist that they post their opinions, good and bad, so I can ear other people opinions of their findings, and learn more...

Also, Eric is a dealer, trying to sell equipment, (besides beeing a nice person and very helpful in the forum), so anyone that goes there "professionally" should be entitled to post his opinion, all Eric should do, and did, is to explain why things happened the way his "client" understood...

Now, it is a common understanding that professional speakers are not very good with music, too revealing, or whatever, the pro Dynaudio dealer in Portugal uses PMC speakers at home, and doesn´t recomend them for home music listening, for the same reasons Nicolas didn´t like them that much...
 
G

Geoffrey Shrek

Guest
Originally posted by Lowrider
Now, it is a common understanding that professional speakers are not very good with music, too revealing
Thats your credibility down the drain. What a load of nonsense.
 

Respectamonkeee

Standard Member
As Eric said, Sofaboy (gary) and myself popped over to the batcave for a little chat and a demo on Tuesday night..

TBH i was expecting an actual cave but was pleasantly suprised to find a purpuse built out building.....of the above specs thats Erics pointed out.....

On entering into the room i tripped over Garys jaw..then Eric following behind me tripped over mine!!!

After we gathered our composuer the fun began

We started with a sacd from i beilve Al green (forgive me Eric if it wasnt :) )....Lots of great sax and trumpets very punchy and bright......i started smiling

Next was the Eagles which i beilve may of been DTS audio but again not sure....Now this made me sit up and take notice, i'd heard from i freind that this was a great disc and worth a buy...I ordered this today...

Then it was onto the cinema....Eric powered up the Barco and the screen rolled down,I can see why peps rave about these monsters the picture was fantastic bright,sharp beautiful colours and deep blacks..

Eric stuck his DTS demo dvd in and cranked the volume to about minus 5-10 reference levels and chose the ice scene from Titan AE.Excellant choice, I have this disc and knew what it sounded like on my rig(Blue room mini pods and REL qe100)

From the 1st ice crack i knew i had died and gone to AV heavan
I felt like i was right there in space floating in a sea of ice shards....I honestly can say i have never heard or felt anything like that before, Godzilla is truely a wicked bit of kit....Erics front sound stage was seemless and has a "being there" like quality


After a few more movie clips it was Time for the Roger Waters live dvd..

Althought the movies i had scene and heard were, with out doubt excellant in their sonic capabilites it wasnt until i heard Money thats my ears had truly heard

If Eric had a dry ice machine plugged in bilging smoke about and possibly turned the heat up in the room to max..You could have actualy been there...

This gave me goose bumps and all the hair on my arms stood up..

i've never heard any set up that created such an amazing atmosphere...just sublime....the smile on my face was a full stooopid grin ,i must of looked like the joker....quite fitting as i was in the batcave;)

So 2 very impressed guys drove the 40 min drive back....with 1 word emblazened in our minds AWSOME

cheers for the Demo eric and we'll see you again at the end of the month......for part 2

;)
 

Guest
Thats your credibility down the drain. What a load of nonsense

A tad unfair on Lowrider....
He's entitled to his view mate & always speaks some interesting stuff as well.....

I personally love the 'honesty' of studio monitors.
I suppose it's a hang over from the days when i used to (try) & make my own drum & bass tunes.
In that situation you needed to know that what you were mixing/sampling/EQ'ing, would be able to sound right when played out..
I suppose i have got used to their sound & they can hardly be blamed for replaying what the artist(s) had laid down in the studio.
I've used Mackie, Dynaudio, Harbeth & Yamaha monitors & listened to KRK, Tannoy, Genelec & a few others........

Long live the pro monitor:)

Right!....where's my Cubase VST gone?

Adzman.....'On a project Studio tip'
 

JSW

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Respectamonkeee


Next was the Eagles which i beilve may of been DTS audio but again not sure....Now this made me sit up and take notice, i'd heard from i freind that this was a great disc and worth a buy...I ordered this today...



Oooooooooooooo eat humble pie Karl ;) :D :p
 
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