Home > Clint's Blog > All together for a bookshelf speaker shootoff

All together for a bookshelf speaker shootoff

July 13th, 2007

People love shootouts. Heck, WE love speaker shootouts. And we’ve wanted to line one up for some time. Back in May we started the planning stages and assembled a bunch of products for extended loan and review. Now we’re here. We’re ready. We’re… well, we’re doing a lot of cable swapping and listening.

I’m sitting here in Reference System 1 along with Gene DellaSala, Tom Andry and J. Walker Clarke. We’re arranging a handful of loudspeakers from the likes of Hsu Research, RBH Sound, Dali, Ascend Acoustics, AV123, Polk Audio and Usher Audio. It’s not often that we can get together like this to compare and contrast eight (8) pairs of speakers – with measurements. So far the morning has been filled with unboxing speakers, setup, photos… and a heated discussion of how we could have forgotten to bring Gears of War to fill in the time in between measurements.

We’re taking measurements of each speaker now to properly test and confirm the sensitivity and enable us to accurately match levels and make apples-to-apples comparisons. It’s a quick process with the LMS system (when it doesn’t crash, that is) and we’re just about ready to

NEWS FLASH: Gene has just confirmed that Bose 201 Series 4s actually measure OK because the tweeter is set so high (and off-axis) that it blends back into the system to generate a fairly flat response… who knew? PS. The Bose measurement occurred prior to this round of testing and we don’t intend to add it into this shootout. We would, but it’s not a currently-shipping speaker (Bose is up to Series V now.)

Hey, I think Gene’s about done with LMS, so it’s time to start the fun part – listening to music on these speakers and taking notes on how each does with respect to another… We’ll be posting a shootout review on Audioholics.com so the real skinny will be available there.

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  1. July 13th, 2007 at 15:11 | #1

    you people should be jealous. this room is amazing!

    (blogged from my iPhone…)

  2. avaserfi
    July 13th, 2007 at 15:20 | #2

    That sounds like a blast. You guys are going to have some good reading for us sometime soon then :). Its disappointing the Bose couldn’t compete in this competition its not like they would have taken up much space!

  3. Coheednme13
    July 13th, 2007 at 22:47 | #3

    Man I wish I could have a speaker shoot out. The only shoot-out I get to see is between my girlfriend and my mom. I can’t wait to see the results, I bet there is a couple of speakers in there I am contemplating on.

  4. Coheednme13
    July 13th, 2007 at 22:50 | #4

    Hey when are you guys going to post more on the Audioholics state of the ce union? I am gonna be there. You guys need to be advertising it more like on the podcast and other sites, AVS, Axiom. Sorry, marketing major. Can’t wait to meet some of you guys. Tom and J, I’ll bring my cats for you to meet and they can tear up the demo grills.

  5. BobMac
    July 17th, 2007 at 12:51 | #5

    I’ve heard about Gene’s room being great, but what makes it so?

  6. majorloser
    July 17th, 2007 at 20:47 | #6
  7. hopjohn
    July 19th, 2007 at 14:38 | #7

    Coheednme13: Tom and J, I’ll bring my cats for you to meet and they can tear up the demo grills.

    If you do, just be sure Clint doesn’t drop them off at Walmart.

    BobMac:What makes it so?

    According to Tom and J, the room is freakishly flat (in room frequency response), more so than even some manufacturer’s test rooms. Did I get that right guys?

  8. July 19th, 2007 at 15:41 | #8

    Well, I don’t know that we can say that the room was freakishly flat, but Gene’s speakers, in that room, with Audyssey and four subs, measures freakishly flat. It’s a heavily treated room with lots of absorption and diffusion purposely placed. It’s a little dead but not unnaturally so. It is definitely better than some of the manufacturer’s rooms I’ve been in/heard of. But manufacturers set up their rooms that way for different reasons. Gene was looking for the best sound while many manufacturers are looking for a good representation of the rooms of their clients so they have a better idea how their speakers will sound in a their theoretical environment.

  9. July 19th, 2007 at 17:53 | #9

    Freakishly, in a way where Freakish means I WANT THIS ROOM….

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