• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

YouTube and Speakers Tests

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I've mentioned this several times before in passing, but if you can't get out to audition every speaker ever made, or even ever speaker that you might have a passing interest in, then you might want to browse YouTube.

For virtually any and every speaker you can think of, somebody is showing it off on YouTube, and likely many of the other video sites on the internet.

Just a few things to remember, the audio quality of YouTube videos is always going to be compromised, sometimes severely so. People are driving their amps above reasonable limits with maximum bass boost, which in turn means they are overdriving the microphones in their video cameras.

So, you should never consider this a true and fair test, that can only happen in person, but these videos can give you some sense of a speaker, and whether this is a speaker you might want to pursue.

For myself, yes I do want to hear that a speaker has good bass, but far more important for me is the integrity of the midrange and treble. The midrange should be clear and distinct, if it is muddy or muddled, and the treble clear and distinct, but not overbearing. If can't attribute poor qualities in the areas to a lacking of the quality of the video, then that is not likely a speaker I'm interested in. Though fairly, the Drum and Bass crowd might find it perfect.

I also generally don't like 2-way speakers because I think it tends to compromise the midrange. Yet some 2-ways still manage to do an excellent job.

As an example, here is the very rare Diamond 9.3, while the video's audio quality is so-so, do notice the clarity of the midrange -

YouTube - Wharfedale Diamond 9.3

Now, here is a Wharfedale Diamond 9.6. Most of the 9.6 videos are trash, overdriven amp, hyper-bass, and distorted microphones. This particular video is very well balanced. Notice that the camera is very low, near the bottom of the speaker, which means you are to really getting balanced sound. But, I'm impressed with how tight and controlled the bass is, and though not so well balanced in the video, the midrange also sound impressive.

YouTube - Wharfedale 9.6

Here is another Diamond 9.6 video where the owner is massively overdriving them with a NAD C372 which is a 150 watt/channel stereo amp. You can see by how hard the bass drivers are jumping, that he is at ridiculous levels with the bass control to the max, but also notice how well the Diamonds handle the abuse. Also, notice the shot of the amp as he turns the volume up from about 60% to 80%, despite that being massively loud for the speakers, the amp, and the microphone, it still holds together reasonably well. I'm impressed that the Diamond can take that kind of abuse -

YouTube - Wharfedale Diamond 9.6 + NAD = Perfect Bass.

One speaker that is most often overlooked and somewhat hard to get an audition with are the many Dali models. There are tons of video featuring the Dali Concept and Ikon models, especially the model 7 in each line. Despite being complex multi-way speakers, my impression is that they hold together pretty well.

The sound quality in this video is moderately good, and is a sweet system. At on point he starts at the top and moves down the speaker so you can clearly hear the output of each speaker. Keep in mind this is Metallica -

Dali Ikon 7 speaker - "Metallica - Devil's Dance"
YouTube - Dali Ikon 7 speaker - "Metallica - Devil's Dance"

Not the best, but enough to impress me with the quality of the Dali speakers. It is extremely difficult to get a smooth well balance multi-way speaker system like this molded into a coherent response.

This is just a broad cross section to give you an idea of the possibilities, and I am by no means suggesting this substitutes for a real in-person audition, but, as I said, it can give you some sense of a speaker, if you are willing to view several videos and make some allowance for the poor quality of the video itself.

Nearly any speaker you can think of B&W 600's, B&W 800's, Monitor Audio, Mordaunt Short, they are all hear for the listening.

Sorry for the overly large post, and for being slightly off topic, but I do think this can be a resource for people shopping for speakers, IF they can keep the quality of the video itself in perspective.

For what it's worth.

Steve/bluewizard
 

GW43

Well-known Member
I've not laughed so much in ages!

Forgive me, but even if played these through my main system speakers (Monitor Audio GR10) rather than my computer speakers, the sound is not going to be anything other than the sound produced by a Monitor Audio speaker!
 

snig300

Active Member
thought it was just me thinking this was a joke,so you think you can test a £2000 setup through a laptop or pc speaker!not to mention differant rooms-amps-settings:nono:
 

Bald Monkey

Distinguished Member
:D Reminds me of the many 'screenshot' threads... :smashin:
 

paulst10

Distinguished Member
I think something Avi once said seems relevant to this thread :D

"Using photos to judge the quality of a projected image is a bit like auditioning HiFi speakers over the phone." (Avi.)

:)
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Ah...right...I thought that might be the reaction.

Keep in mind that in my original post, I pointed out several times that this method was of limited use, and the video quality was also limited. I'm not saying this is where you end your search, but this might help some people decide where to start their search.

There are a near infinite number of speakers out there. There has to be some way of determining which is worth pursuing within your budget. These videos can give you some sense of a speaker but little more than that. Which is all I ever claimed.

I'm not saying they are the ultimate solution to speaker shopping, only that they do have some value if you keep them in perspective. The key being, to keep them in perspective.

True, you can call around to various dealers and arrange an audition, but how many phone calls, how much traveling, how much expense, and how many auditions do you go through to eliminate the speakers you don't like?

AND AT SOME POINT, that is exactly what you should do, go to auditions, but it would be better to apply this to a short list than a long list.

So, I'm by no means saying that this is the last step or even the preferred step in speaker buying. Only that it can serve as a very early step in deciding if you want to pursue a given speaker further.

In a sense, this is more the first step in shopping, but certainly not the preferred method of deciding or buying. It is merely one more readily available tool at your disposal.

Further, since the video/audio quality is so poor, I recommended you listen to several videos of a given speaker to help expand your perspective.

No these can't tell you with certainty what a given speaker sounds like, but they are a valid tool in giving an early sense of whether a given speaker might be something you might want to consider.

Again, if you can keep what you see and hear in perspective, I think it is a worthwhile tool, and much cheaper than spending your life going from audio store to audio store weeding out speakers you have no interest in.

It is a quick and easy overview, and I never represented it as more than that.

Further, there are many informative videos reviewing these speakers and other equipment. In fact, this very forum has many video reviews of various audio and video equipment available.

http://www.avforums.com/tv/

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=AVForumsTV&view=videos

These videos aren't and shouldn't be the source of the deciding factor in purchasing, but they can be valuable in gathering information that you can apply toward an eventual purchase.

So, I acknowledge the limits of this information, not only acknowledged it, but emphasized it. It is none the less information that when used wisely, if you have the intelligence to keep it in perspective, can be a valuable resource.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

Haizum74

Active Member
The first video is great. Very nice song. Although a lot of 'Shh' and 'S''s coming from the speakers. Nice Christmassy curtains too.
 
Last edited:

GMC79

Distinguished Member
I knew what u meant bluewizard.;)
People can get to peek at what they might look like in their setup more than anything or may get a bit of a review from the person doing the video etc (which u see many of), which is the main thing.
Remember when i seen a video of PB13 Ultra on youtube, sure sounded like a cheapo 10quid car audio sub driven with a output from a PSP cos of crap camera auido :rotfl: but u got to see em in action :smashin:
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
The bloke with the Dali floor-standers is suffering from a slight case of upper mid bloom. I recommend pulling them out from the corners by 150mm and adding 5deg of toe in.

The 9.3s could do with 0.5kg less sand in each stand to liven up the bass a touch too.

Russell
 

stainless-steel

Active Member
Bluewizard, you appear to be doing a pretty good impersonation of David Icke a respected British sports personality - right up 'till the point when he explained how George Bush and the Royal family are actually descended from a race of lizards known as the Babylonian Brotherhood.

Rather than elaborating with another 400 word essay, I'd recommend just admitting that it was either a big joke we all fell hook line and sinker for.:thumbsup::D
Or it was a simple misjudgement on your part.:smashin:

If I'm honest I can't help feeling that further attempts to justify your stance will just erode the respect you've gained with your many useful and helpful posts.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
I'd recommend just admitting that it was either a big joke we all fell hook line and sinker for.:thumbsup::D

Except no-one fell for it....

To be truthful, I think youtube can be useful for assessing the size of speakers, but anything else? Before I say something derogatory, I'll get me coat.....:D
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
...

Rather than elaborating with another 400 word essay, I'd recommend just admitting that it was either a big joke we all fell hook line and sinker for.:thumbsup::D

Or it was a simple misjudgement on your part.:smashin:

....

No not a joke, but certainly nothing to be taken dead serious either.

It is a resource, yes - an admittedly limited resource, but a resource none the less.

Each speaker comes with dozens of videos, certainly out of dozens of videos you can get some little something?

Steve/bluewizard
 

snig300

Active Member
I'm sorry but I know very little about speakers etc but to me it's the same as trying to sell someone a HDTV by showing them how good the picture is on your mobile,its just is not going to work,saying that you can tell anything as to how good a speaker is by listening to that speaker from a crap speaker is crazy,mate you just need to say you made a mistake and lol rather than saying there are loads of clips out there,like the amount of clips has anything to do with the sound quailty!

no harm ment:thumbsup:
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Each speaker comes with dozens of videos, certainly out of dozens of videos you can get some little something?

Not on the audio side you can't. It really is like assessing the video quality of a display panel through the lense of a camcorder....
 

markswift2003

Active Member
Hey - give the guy a break.

At the very least it's generating some interesting debate and makes a change from the "I've got 150 quid to spend on a stadium PA, which one should I buy..."
 

snig300

Active Member
Hey - give the guy a break.

At the very least it's generating some interesting debate and makes a change from the "I've got 150 quid to spend on a stadium PA, which one should I buy..."

"
give us a break! that is what we are doing debating,is your idea of dabating agreeing with everything? and all I have seen are posts pointing out why he is wrong and no one has been rude or nasty.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Snig300,

You seem to think I am saying that you can use this information to determine what speaker to buy. I'm not.

I'm saying that if used wisely, you an add these videos to the other information you have to determine if a given speaker might be something you might be interested in looking at further or auditioning.

In the first Diamond 9.6 video I posted, given the camera angle and sound quality, I wondered if the person had overdubbed the sound onto the video. But if he did, he did an immaculate job of synchronizing the video and sound. The woofer movement is in perfect sync. And I was impressed at how well the sound held together. Of course, this guy is presenting his speakers reasonably. He doesn't have every knob cranked to the max.

In the second Diamond 9.6 video, the poster is massively abusing these speakers with a 150w RMS amp. I'm amazed at how well the Diamond took that level of abuse. There are other Diamond videos where they are being similarly abused, and they take it in stride. To me, that is valuable information.

So, both those videos were worth while and informative to me.

As bad as the Dali video was, I was very impressed with the Dali speakers, which it is very unlikely that I will ever have a chance to hear in person. Of course, I watched about a dozen videos, so my impression is a composite.

Now can I say, I now know what a Dali Concept or Ikon speaker sounds like. Well, no, but I do now have a sense of the speaker and a sense that they do a decent job of holding the sound together.

I'm impressed, never having a chance to hear them before, but I would never use that as the basis for buying them, it has just stimulated my interest in them as a possible speaker of interest.

I seem to be getting two reactions.

Those who are not taking this the least bit serious, and I'm fine with that. It is not intended to be a serious tool.

And those who are taking this way too serious. To them, lighten up.

It is what it is, accept it, reject it, have a laugh or two. Whatever. The resource is there, if you want to use it, fine. If you don't, really that's perfectly fine too.

I posted this because in several instances, someone has said what about this speaker or that speaker? And I pointed them to reviews and references and to YouTube videos to help the get a sense of a speaker. But it is never intended to be more than that.

I agree, you can't listen to a £1000 speaker on some crappola £25 computer speakers and say you know what that speaker is like. Just like you can't watch a travel log on Europe and say you know what Europe is like.

But it does give you some sense of the place, some sense of whether this is something you might be interested in.

That's all I'm saying.

Steve/bluewizard
 

markswift2003

Active Member
"
give us a break! that is what we are doing debating,is your idea of dabating agreeing with everything? and all I have seen are posts pointing out why he is wrong and no one has been rude or nasty.

Yeah, but I think you may have missed the spirit in which the original post was meant and taken it rather literally.

Mind you, you said you "know very little about speakers etc.." so you're forgiven.

;)
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Now can I say, I now know what a Dali Concept or Ikon speaker sounds like. Well, no, but I do now have a sense of the speaker and a sense that they do a decent job of holding the sound together.

There is absolutely no way you can tell that from any youtube video. I still think this is a joke and I hope no-one who's new to this game actually listens to a word you've said, other than to see visually how speakers look in a room/size etc.

That may sound harsh, but there's enough bad advice on here without something as ridiculous as this getting attention...
 

The latest video from AVForums

Fidelity in Motion's David Mackenzie talks about his work on disc encoding & the future of Blu-ray
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom