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Bose and name recognition

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Anonymous
April 14, 2004 8:50:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

An article appeared recently in the local newspaper extolling the features
of a $3000 per night hotel suite. The features included "...five plasma
televisions, including one above the four-person bathtub in the master
bedroom suite; a sauna; a walk-in dressing room; a full commercial kitchen
and a surround-sound home entertainment system with Bose speakers."

Maybe we "audiophiles" are missing the point. The only feature of this
"high-end" suite mentioned by brand name was the Bose speakers! Cosumer
excess and value are usually, if not always, mutually exclusive.

More about : bose recognition

Anonymous
April 15, 2004 8:07:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> Maybe we "audiophiles" are missing the point. The only feature of this
> "high-end" suite mentioned by brand name was the Bose speakers! Cosumer
> excess and value are usually, if not always, mutually exclusive.

It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
*quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
conducted by expert tasters). The most, or at least more expensive,
automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
from paint to motor, just lousy? Yet we have heard from technicians on
this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.

-Sean
April 15, 2004 7:00:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Sean Fulop <sfulop@uchicago.edu> wrote in
news:c5l1q101miu@news1.newsguy.com:

> It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
> usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
> *quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
> expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
> conducted by expert tasters).

As you say...EXPERT tasters. There are those who cannot taste the
difference between a Merlot and a Chablis...or a boxed wine versus a
bottled wine.

The most, or at least more expensive,
> automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
> audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
> recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
> over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
> used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
> from paint to motor, just lousy?

And yet we have those in the general pulic who will buy only one brand of
car, no matter how good they are. Using Jaguar for an example, they were
coveted as a great car EVEN when they were mechanically problematic. Why?
Because of the brand name. Of course, their quality control has improved
in recent years, but that was after they were taken over by the giant of
Ford MoCo.

Yet we have heard from technicians on
> this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
> course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
> case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
> perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.
>
> -Sean

People only know what they have heard and seen. If they have not heard
high end equipment, Bose may seem to be good. My experience has been that
once I took a member of the general public who was looking at buying Bose
to a high-end dealer, Bose dropped off their list. Why? Because they
heard better. They were exposed to the option of better sound, and not
simply relying on the ads that the mass market electronic manufacturers put
out.
Anonymous
April 16, 2004 7:05:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> As you say...EXPERT tasters. There are those who cannot taste the
> difference between a Merlot and a Chablis...or a boxed wine versus a
> bottled wine.

Yes indeed, but for some reason most of those naive consumers are
willing to listen to the experts, particularly when their trying to make
a "good impression". Everyone knows that if they purposely advertised a
charity dinner (for example) as featuring "Beringer White Zinfandel",
wine "snobs" would snicker, and the snickering of those in the know
carries weight in the world of wine buying and wine serving, even among
the ignorant. Even airlines hire expert wine buyers to stock their
first-class and business-class galleys.

However, when audiophiles snicker about Bose being featured, nobody
listens, nobody cares. It's like we are snobs without the customary
influence that snobs have over the ignorant. We are snobs who are not
listened to. Businesses with an interest in audio presentations don't
hire audio experts (or anyone at all, for that matter) to make sure that
they use decent equipment. They simply buy Bose (e.g. movie theater
chains).

-Sean
Anonymous
April 16, 2004 7:09:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

From: Sean Fulop sfulop@uchicago.edu
>Date: 4/14/2004 9:07 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <c5l1q101miu@news1.newsguy.com>
>
>> Maybe we "audiophiles" are missing the point. The only feature of this
>> "high-end" suite mentioned by brand name was the Bose speakers! Cosumer
>> excess and value are usually, if not always, mutually exclusive.
>
>It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
>usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
>*quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
>expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
>conducted by expert tasters). The most, or at least more expensive,
>automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
>audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
>recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
>over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
>used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
>from paint to motor, just lousy? Yet we have heard from technicians on
>this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
>course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
>case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
>perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.
>
>-Sean
>
>
>
>
>
>

Cosmetics and clothing spring to mind. I am sure there are others. I believe
that some would argue that Rolls Royce has managed to sell a substandard
vehicle for an inflated price. I have no opinion on them.
Anonymous
April 16, 2004 7:11:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

From: Gonzo gonzalez1@hotmail.com
>Date: 4/15/2004 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <c5m81j0qtr@news2.newsguy.com>
>
>Sean Fulop <sfulop@uchicago.edu> wrote in
>news:c5l1q101miu@news1.newsguy.com:
>
>> It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
>> usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
>> *quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
>> expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
>> conducted by expert tasters).
>
>As you say...EXPERT tasters. There are those who cannot taste the
>difference between a Merlot and a Chablis...or a boxed wine versus a
>bottled wine.
>
> The most, or at least more expensive,
>> automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
>> audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
>> recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
>> over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
>> used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
>> from paint to motor, just lousy?
>
>And yet we have those in the general pulic who will buy only one brand of
>car, no matter how good they are. Using Jaguar for an example, they were
>coveted as a great car EVEN when they were mechanically problematic. Why?
>Because of the brand name. Of course, their quality control has improved
>in recent years, but that was after they were taken over by the giant of
>Ford MoCo.
>
> Yet we have heard from technicians on
>> this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
>> course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
>> case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
>> perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.
>>
>> -Sean
>
>People only know what they have heard and seen. If they have not heard
>high end equipment, Bose may seem to be good. My experience has been that
>once I took a member of the general public who was looking at buying Bose
>to a high-end dealer, Bose dropped off their list. Why? Because they
>heard better. They were exposed to the option of better sound, and not
>simply relying on the ads that the mass market electronic manufacturers put
>out.
>
>
>
>
>
>

I think you gave a bad example. Aside from the fact that Jag improved their QC
well before Ford took over, the assertion that people bought Jags because of
the brand name is quite presumptuous. No other car looks or feels like a Jag.
Each of their models is quite unique from anything else on the market and has
appeal that goes beyond the label.
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 4:42:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good in
comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage to
sell a lot of speakers.

Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you make
out?

--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)
"Sean Fulop" <sfulop@uchicago.edu> wrote in message
news:c5l1q101miu@news1.newsguy.com...
> > Maybe we "audiophiles" are missing the point. The only feature of this
> > "high-end" suite mentioned by brand name was the Bose speakers! Cosumer
> > excess and value are usually, if not always, mutually exclusive.
>
> It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
> usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
> *quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
> expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
> conducted by expert tasters). The most, or at least more expensive,
> automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
> audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
> recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
> over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
> used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
> from paint to motor, just lousy? Yet we have heard from technicians on
> this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
> course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
> case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
> perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.
>
> -Sean
April 23, 2004 5:35:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

GRL wrote:

> Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good in
> comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage to
> sell a lot of speakers.
>
> Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you make
> out?
>

What's interesting to me is that a lot of audiophiles will endorse or at
least tolerate products like expensive cables, SET's, power cords, etc.,
and yet take such a strong stance against, if not flat-out despise, Bose
products. IMO, Bose designs its products to meet certain needs, and they
have achieved what they set out to do. AFAIK, Bose does not make wild
claims about their products' performance, unlike some so-called high-end
suppliers. Aren't some of us being a bit hypocritical?
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 8:34:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Like many of you I have gritted my teeth when I heard people brag abut Bose.
I am not a Bose lover. Nevertheless I think that all the criticism of Bose
is overwrought. In over 20 years in the AV business I have never sold Bose;
only tried to sell against them. Since speaker parts and repair were (and
still are) a major part of my business I have stocked sold a lot of Bose
speaker parts and repaired many Bose speakers. I have even improved a few
with parts substitutions.

If you ask me "Are they really junk, like some people say?", I would say
no.
If you asked "Are they junk compared to what you could get for the same
price if you really knew what you were doing?". I might say "Junk is a
harsh word. Poor value might be more accurate."

Bose has such amazing marketing skills that if they were applied to the
automotive market they might convince the buying public that a Hyundai is
better than a Lexus. Is the Hyundai junk? No, but if it were offered at the
same price as a Lexus many knowledgeable people would overlook its virtues
and call it junk.

Bose marketing is not just advertising, it starts with discovering how to
please the public. I heard that Bose does a great deal of research with
consumer focus groups. Like political researchers they use the groups to
find out what people like both in sound and in apearance. By "people" I
gather that they mean average people, not audiophiles. My guess is that this
research allows them to engineer a product that is really cheap to make, yet
satisfies the needs of the general public so well that, accompanied by
massive advertising, it can be sold at prices that stagger those of us who
know about the competing products that are available.

I have to admit that I admire the Bose company, if not their products. How
can you not admire competence, even in your opponents?

Wylie Williams
The Speaker and Stereo Store

"GRL" <GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM> wrote in message
news:BDZhc.4708$cF6.246449@attbi_s04...
> Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good in
> comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage to
> sell a lot of speakers.
>
> Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you make
> out?
>
> --
>
> - GRL
>
> "It's good to want things."
>
> Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
> Visual Basic programmer)
> "Sean Fulop" <sfulop@uchicago.edu> wrote in message
> news:c5l1q101miu@news1.newsguy.com...
> > > Maybe we "audiophiles" are missing the point. The only feature of
this
> > > "high-end" suite mentioned by brand name was the Bose speakers!
Cosumer
> > > excess and value are usually, if not always, mutually exclusive.
> >
> > It is a funny point. While I agree that consumer excess and *value* are
> > usually mutually exclusive, it is not the case that consumer excess and
> > *quality* are mutually exclusive. In general, for instance, the most
> > expensive wine in the world is, indeed, the best (in blind tastings
> > conducted by expert tasters). The most, or at least more expensive,
> > automobiles are the "best" by numerous measures, etc. In the case of
> > audio, it seems that the general consumer is so totally unable to
> > recognize good from bad, that pure marketing and brand recognition takes
> > over. Seriously, how long would Mercedes remain a coveted brand if they
> > used uniformly substandard everything in their vehicles? If they were,
> > from paint to motor, just lousy? Yet we have heard from technicians on
> > this very forum that Bose speakers contain "junk drivers" etc. And of
> > course we can all hear how awful they sound. I can't think of a similar
> > case, of an entire genre of product in which the general consumer is so
> > perfectly unable to tell good from bad that s/he is easily sold on junk.
> >
> > -Sean
>
Anonymous
April 23, 2004 9:08:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

GRL wrote:

> Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good in
> comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage to
> sell a lot of speakers.
>
> Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you make
> out?
==============================

I have a difficult time taking Consumer Reports seriously for anything
beyond what meaningful performance aspects they can measure objectively.

For instance, in one test of single-lens reflex cameras, Consumer
Reports used, as the primary Ratings factor beyond their objective
measurements of performance (lens sharpness and flare, and shutter
accuracy)...CAMERA WEIGHT! Never mind that convenience and versatility
of controls are more important in something like a camera, than an ounce
or so of weight, one way or another.

In their ratings of automobiles, their ratings of individual performance
factors sometimes do not agree with the relative overall quality ratings
of the cars being tested. Their response, whenever challenged, has been
that they "weight" some factors differently than others when deciding
overall quality. Yet, even this "weighting" seems to change from one
test to the next. At times it is almost as though they decide which one
they like best, subjectively; then "rig" the individual performance
factors to approximately support this judgment.

Their "benchmarks" of Good, Very Good, Excellent, etc., also are
inconsistent. Sometimes they have actually ADMITTED it; at one point in
the late 70s or early 80s, they changed their ratings of how automobiles
ride, in one swoop making the prior month's Good into the next month's
Very Good. If you missed the small article that said so, you'd never
have known.

Getting back on topic, over the last couple of decades, Consumer
Reports's loudspeaker ratings, which for their target audience distills
to the "Accuracy Score," have seemed inadequate. Their writers do
mention that two speakers with the same Accuracy Score may sound quite
different, but not enough recognition is given to what causes these
differences, since the Accuracy Score is essentially based on
steady-state frequency response measurement in an anechoic chamber. A
speaker could measure near-perfect in such conditions and yet have
compressed dynamics; have horrific hangover on bass transients; extreme
roughness in treble response with irregularities too narrow for the
measuring methodology; and perform poorly/differently on varying
amplifiers due to uneven impedance vs. frequency, and capacitive
loading; and yet still have a high Accuracy Score. A couple of years
ago, some cheap Panasonic loudspeakers built for their stack systems
seemed have gotten their high Accuracy Scores in the anechoic chamber,
when in real life, they actually don't sound good in normal listening.

In an earlier age, during the mid 1960s, Consumer Reports staffers
actually LISTENED to components, as well as measuring them. They even
pointed out that the audibly smooth sound of a speaker, perhaps the
factor actually resulting in its high rating, was actually due to a
broad, shallow (around 1dB) dip in measured frequency response centered
at around 1000 Hz.
Anonymous
April 24, 2004 3:55:31 AM

Archived from groups: (More info?)

"GRL" GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM wrote:


>Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good in
>comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage to
>sell a lot of speakers.

Yeah, and McDonalds manages to sell a lot of burgers.

IIRC, Consumer Reports got their asses sued by Bose a few years back for giving
a Bose product a bad (but honest) review. Ever since, CR has had nothing but
good things to say about Bose products, fearing another lawsuit.

>Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you make
>out?

Not even during drug induced hallucinations...

Jeff
Anonymous
April 24, 2004 10:29:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Gene Poon" <sheehans@ap.net> wrote in message
news:o 4cic.8694$0u6.1627749@attbi_s03...
> GRL wrote:
>
> > Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty
good in
> > comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does
manage to
> > sell a lot of speakers.
> >
> > Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as
you make
> > out?
> ==============================
>
> I have a difficult time taking Consumer Reports seriously for
anything
> beyond what meaningful performance aspects they can measure
objectively.

I can't imagine taking anything seriously that ISN'T based on what can
be measured objectively. What else is there? If CR were to publish
someone's opinion on the sound of a speaker, whose opinion should it
be?

Norm Strong
Anonymous
April 25, 2004 7:22:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"normanstrong" wrote
> I can't imagine taking anything seriously that ISN'T based on what can
> be measured objectively.

I agree with you that objective measurements are desirable. But where do
you find objective measurement data on a wide variety of speakers? And when
you find them, are they complete enough to be of value?

Wylie Williams
The Speaker and Stereo Store
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 3:26:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Wylie Williams" wyberwil@earthlink.net
wrote:

>"normanstrong" wrote
>> I can't imagine taking anything seriously that ISN'T based on what can
>> be measured objectively.
>
> I agree with you that objective measurements are desirable. But where do
>you find objective measurement data on a wide variety of speakers? And when
>you find them, are they complete enough to be of value?
>
>Wylie Williams
>The Speaker and Stereo Store

As much as I often disagree with Stereophile and its listening comments I will
say that the magazine publishes the most complete set of speaker measurements
in print today, at least for high-end equipment.

Sound & Vision (me) publishes measurement data for more consumer-end
loudspeakers although the magazine supplies less total space for same. The last
issue of The Audio Critic also had quite extensive speaker measurements.
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 3:42:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"chung" <chunglau@covad.net> wrote in message
news:c6b63202vum@news3.newsguy.com...
> GRL wrote:
>
> > Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good
in
> > comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage
to
> > sell a lot of speakers.
> >
> > Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you
make
> > out?
> >
>
> What's interesting to me is that a lot of audiophiles will endorse or at
> least tolerate products like expensive cables, SET's, power cords, etc.,
> and yet take such a strong stance against, if not flat-out despise, Bose
> products. IMO, Bose designs its products to meet certain needs, and they
> have achieved what they set out to do. AFAIK, Bose does not make wild
> claims about their products' performance, unlike some so-called high-end
> suppliers. Aren't some of us being a bit hypocritical?

"the only small box that creates a whole wall of sound" is not hyperbole?
April 26, 2004 4:58:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Harry Lavo wrote:

> "chung" <chunglau@covad.net> wrote in message
> news:c6b63202vum@news3.newsguy.com...
>> GRL wrote:
>>
>> > Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good
> in
>> > comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage
> to
>> > sell a lot of speakers.
>> >
>> > Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you
> make
>> > out?
>> >
>>
>> What's interesting to me is that a lot of audiophiles will endorse or at
>> least tolerate products like expensive cables, SET's, power cords, etc.,
>> and yet take such a strong stance against, if not flat-out despise, Bose
>> products. IMO, Bose designs its products to meet certain needs, and they
>> have achieved what they set out to do. AFAIK, Bose does not make wild
>> claims about their products' performance, unlike some so-called high-end
>> suppliers. Aren't some of us being a bit hypocritical?
>
> "the only small box that creates a whole wall of sound" is not hyperbole?

The Bose system is small, wouldn't you say so? You can play it loud,
too, right?

I'm sure you would agree that in the scale of hyberboles, that does not
come close to being in the same ballpark as what makers of cables/power
cords/cable-lifts, etc. say, right?
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 4:10:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

chung wrote:

> The Bose system is small, wouldn't you say so? You can play it loud,
> too, right?
>
> I'm sure you would agree that in the scale of hyberboles, that does not
> come close to being in the same ballpark as what makers of cables/power
> cords/cable-lifts, etc. say, right?

I can make a piezo speaker screech until your ears can't stand it
anymore. 3-4mm thick and maybe an inch or two in diameter.
Anonymous
April 26, 2004 9:29:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

vnionpac2001@aol.com (UnionPac2001) wrote in message news:<c6cadj015iv@news3.newsgvy.com>...
> "GRL" GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM wrote:
>
>
> >Well, yov may "all" hear how awfvl they sovnd, bvt they do pretty good in
> >comparison tests that Consvmer Reports does and the company does manage to
> >sell a lot of speakers.
>
> Yeah, and McDonalds manages to sell a lot of bvrgers.
>
> IIRC, Consvmer Reports got their asses sved by Bose a few years back for
> giving a Bose prodvct a bad (bvt honest) review.

It is important to note that vltimately, this svit was dismissed on
appeal as grovndless.

> Ever since, CR has had nothing bvt
> good things to say abovt Bose prodvcts, fearing another lawsvit.

Yov have any evidence that this is the case?
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 3:27:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> BTW I remember in the late '90s they said that the Paradigm Titan
> sounded "disturbing" due to the midbass peak. That sounds pretty
> subjective to me.

I don't recall that CU ever tested a Paradigm speaker. What issue
would that be?

Norm Strong
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 4:12:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

As for your camera example, if CR did weight camera weight as heavily as you
say, they were at least making an objective judgement within that aspect,
which is fine. In point of fact, camera weight (and size) are very important
to much of the camera buying public, if not most. It is a perfectly
justifiable rating criteria. You get into something like which style of menu
or other controls are better or worse and you get into subjective evaluation
since some people will like one style while others will prefer another. Hard
to judge which is better unless the system is really bad.

As for you statement about their ratings of cars, I really don't understand
what your objection is to their methodology, so I can't comment. I do know,
that as a mainstream (non-buff) magazine they do a very good job of rating
cars for non-enthusiasts and they make their judgements based on aspects of
performance that mainstream buyers really care about without bias. (On the
other hand, there are clearly some car guys on their staff, given their
general love affair with BMW's and obvious disappointment with BMW
reliability.)

Your argument against their testing protocol is not good given the target
audience of CR. They are not testing for high-end heads. They are testing
for Mr. and Mrs. middle-America who have no other source of objective
evaluation of hi-fi components. The accuracy score plus the objective
frequency response curve they give (plus the short text evaluation) are
completely adequate for that audience. Far better than anything they will
find in a big-box stores audio department and more trustworthy than audio
salons where the snake-oil flows freely. I am curious what your source is
for the statement you make about those good-scoring Panasonic speakers that
did not sound good.

Finally I'm not sure I understand your statement: about the CR tests of old
"They even pointed out that the audibly smooth sound of a speaker, perhaps
the factor actually resulting in its high rating, was actually due to a
broad, shallow (around 1dB) dip in measured frequency response centered at
around 1000 Hz.". Using the CR rating system, flat frequency response is
rewarded with a high score. As such your statement only makes sense to me if
you mean that the near flat response of that speaker (1 dB broad dip is
basically nothing) yielded both good sound and a high score, validating
their test protocol. I assume you meant this as a compliment to CR on their
test protocol?

--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)
"Gene Poon" <sheehans@ap.net> wrote in message
news:o 4cic.8694$0u6.1627749@attbi_s03...
> GRL wrote:
>
> > Well, you may "all" hear how awful they sound, but they do pretty good
in
> > comparison tests that Consumer Reports does and the company does manage
to
> > sell a lot of speakers.
> >
> > Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, they are not as bad as you
make
> > out?
> ==============================
>
> I have a difficult time taking Consumer Reports seriously for anything
> beyond what meaningful performance aspects they can measure objectively.
>
> For instance, in one test of single-lens reflex cameras, Consumer
> Reports used, as the primary Ratings factor beyond their objective
> measurements of performance (lens sharpness and flare, and shutter
> accuracy)...CAMERA WEIGHT! Never mind that convenience and versatility
> of controls are more important in something like a camera, than an ounce
> or so of weight, one way or another.
>
> In their ratings of automobiles, their ratings of individual performance
> factors sometimes do not agree with the relative overall quality ratings
> of the cars being tested. Their response, whenever challenged, has been
> that they "weight" some factors differently than others when deciding
> overall quality. Yet, even this "weighting" seems to change from one
> test to the next. At times it is almost as though they decide which one
> they like best, subjectively; then "rig" the individual performance
> factors to approximately support this judgment.
>
> Their "benchmarks" of Good, Very Good, Excellent, etc., also are
> inconsistent. Sometimes they have actually ADMITTED it; at one point in
> the late 70s or early 80s, they changed their ratings of how automobiles
> ride, in one swoop making the prior month's Good into the next month's
> Very Good. If you missed the small article that said so, you'd never
> have known.
>
> Getting back on topic, over the last couple of decades, Consumer
> Reports's loudspeaker ratings, which for their target audience distills
> to the "Accuracy Score," have seemed inadequate. Their writers do
> mention that two speakers with the same Accuracy Score may sound quite
> different, but not enough recognition is given to what causes these
> differences, since the Accuracy Score is essentially based on
> steady-state frequency response measurement in an anechoic chamber. A
> speaker could measure near-perfect in such conditions and yet have
> compressed dynamics; have horrific hangover on bass transients; extreme
> roughness in treble response with irregularities too narrow for the
> measuring methodology; and perform poorly/differently on varying
> amplifiers due to uneven impedance vs. frequency, and capacitive
> loading; and yet still have a high Accuracy Score. A couple of years
> ago, some cheap Panasonic loudspeakers built for their stack systems
> seemed have gotten their high Accuracy Scores in the anechoic chamber,
> when in real life, they actually don't sound good in normal listening.
>
> In an earlier age, during the mid 1960s, Consumer Reports staffers
> actually LISTENED to components, as well as measuring them. They even
> pointed out that the audibly smooth sound of a speaker, perhaps the
> factor actually resulting in its high rating, was actually due to a
> broad, shallow (around 1dB) dip in measured frequency response centered
> at around 1000 Hz.
>
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 4:27:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Yovr claim abovt CR fear-of Bose is totally vnsvbstantiated making it merely
yovr opinion, which is fine. Yov are entitled to hold incorrect views.

On the other hand, Bose speakers do well in svbjective testing backed by
data collected by CR.

And no, I don't own any Bose speakers. Never have. Probably never will. (OK,
maybe in a car.) I do own PSB, NHT, and Paradigm. I object to Bose on a
valve basis, not on a performance basis. CR tells me they work pretty darn
good and I believe them.

--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, hvmorist, chemist,
Visval Basic programmer)
"UnionPac2001" <vnionpac2001@aol.com> wrote in message
news:c6cadj015iv@news3.newsgvy.com...
> "GRL" GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM wrote:
>
>
> >Well, yov may "all" hear how awfvl they sovnd, bvt they do pretty good in
> >comparison tests that Consvmer Reports does and the company does manage
to
> >sell a lot of speakers.
>
> Yeah, and McDonalds manages to sell a lot of bvrgers.
>
> IIRC, Consvmer Reports got their asses sved by Bose a few years back for
giving
> a Bose prodvct a bad (bvt honest) review. Ever since, CR has had nothing
bvt
> good things to say abovt Bose prodvcts, fearing another lawsvit.
>
> >Ever occvr to yov that maybe, jvst maybe, they are not as bad as yov make
> >ovt?
>
> Not even dvring drvg indvced hallvcinations...
>
> Jeff
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 5:19:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 00:27:40 +0000, GRL wrote:

> Your claim about CR fear-of Bose is totally unsubstantiated making it merely
> your opinion, which is fine. You are entitled to hold incorrect views.
>
> On the other hand, Bose speakers do well in subjective testing backed by
> data collected by CR.
>
> And no, I don't own any Bose speakers. Never have. Probably never will. (OK,
> maybe in a car.) I do own PSB, NHT, and Paradigm. I object to Bose on a
> value basis, not on a performance basis. CR tells me they work pretty darn
> good and I believe them.

I use Bose in a professional setting all the time (802's) and have them in
one of my cars and they are not *that* bad.
Overpriced for sure, but not terrible sounding.

However, CR as far as I know, did testing in anechoic chambers which would
yield terrible results for speakers like Allison or Maggies which are
designed to be placed in specific locations in the room.
IOW their response takes room reflections into account, kind of like Bose
in general.
CR did not take this into account in their tests.

Even still, a typical home user could never expect to achieve the same
results, both good and bad, that CR got because of the anechoic chamber
measurements.

In the past CR has liked Boston Acoustics which I have found to be
excellent but overly bright.
They liked Advent, which I find to be dull.
They hated Bose, which I actually find to be quite decent, but way, and I
mean WAY, overpriced.
Personally I like Maggies, Dahlquist, Infinity, PD and Tannoy.

--
Elliot Zimmerman
"Life is Precious"
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 7:55:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <c6mq9h02gqb@news1.newsguy.com>, normanstrong wrote:
>> BTW I remember in the late '90s they said that the Paradigm Titan
>> sounded "disturbing" due to the midbass peak. That sounds pretty
>> subjective to me.
>
> I don't recall that CU ever tested a Paradigm speaker. What issue
> would that be?
>
> Norm Strong

It was a bit earlier than I recalled, Feb., 1996, page 31 to be exact.
(Ah, the joys of access to a university library.) The exact quote was
"Spike in mid-bass creates a boomy quality that may sound disturbing."
Their overall recommendation was "Okay". Regarding the
Boston Acoustics CR7, they said "Uneven response creates a sound
quality that may be disturbing." The recommendation was "There are
better choices, especially at this price."
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 3:56:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Jim West wrote:


> It was a bit earlier than I recalled, Feb., 1996, page 31 to be exact.
> (Ah, the joys of access to a university library.) The exact quote was
> "Spike in mid-bass creates a boomy quality that may sound disturbing."
> Their overall recommendation was "Okay". Regarding the
> Boston Acoustics CR7, they said "Uneven response creates a sound
> quality that may be disturbing." The recommendation was "There are
> better choices, especially at this price."

Well, since they only test mid-fi under $400 crud, it's not going
to be a pair of Genelecs.

I remmber when they tested a B&W 601, which is their budget model,
and it nearly aced the tests.

I'd like for them to test some $500-$2000 speakers for a change.
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 8:39:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <uEDjc.248$RE1.50176@attbi_s54>, Elliot Zimmerman wrote:
>
> However, CR as far as I know, did testing in anechoic chambers which would
> yield terrible results for speakers like Allison or Maggies which are
> designed to be placed in specific locations in the room.

In addition to the anechoic results, they do consistently comment upon
the room placement that yielded flatest response for them, which is
really all that can be objectively stated. They point out that room
placement, as well as room geometry, furnishing, etc. can have a
significant effect on sound and that "tinker(ing) a bit" is beneficial
for those who are "more particular" (taken from the August 2001, page 35
sidebar at the bottom). As has been pointed out, they always state that
speakers that test the same in their accuracy measurements can sound
very different, and that ideally you should have the option to return
a pair that you decide you do not like in your environment. This is
all excellent advice. I really do not understand all the CR bashing.

> Even still, a typical home user could never expect to achieve the same
> results, both good and bad, that CR got because of the anechoic chamber
> measurements.

This is true about any measured response since all rooms are different.
Measured response can never be more than a starting point.
Anonymous
April 28, 2004 8:39:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

GRL asked:

> Finally I'm not sure I understand your statement: about the CR tests of old
> "They even pointed out that the audibly smooth sound of a speaker, perhaps
> the factor actually resulting in its high rating, was actually due to a
> broad, shallow (around 1dB) dip in measured frequency response centered at
> around 1000 Hz.". Using the CR rating system, flat frequency response is
> rewarded with a high score. As such your statement only makes sense to me if
> you mean that the near flat response of that speaker (1 dB broad dip is
> basically nothing) yielded both good sound and a high score, validating
> their test protocol. I assume you meant this as a compliment to CR on their
> test protocol?

I don't know how old you are, so this may have been well before you
began reading Consumer Reports. The speaker in question was the AR-3,
which makes this comment nearly 40 years old. Although the magazine
clearly judged the AR-3 highly on the basis of its good sound, there was
no "high score" in accuracy involved because there was no "accuracy
score" at that time. I did mean the comment as a compliment to Consumer
Reports, in the day when their judgments of loudspeaker performance were
subjective. They uncovered the AR-3's secret when nobody else did.
Anonymous
April 29, 2004 7:46:37 AM

Archived from groups: (More info?)

>You have any evidence that this is the case?

No. I should have placed the word "apparently" between "products" and
"fearing". My bad...

Jeff
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 6:56:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I remember (fondly) the AR3a's. The AR3's were slightly before the time my
interest in audio developed.

I still don't understand the statement. I take you to mean that CR said that
the AR3's "smooth" sound was due to a shallow dip centered around 1 kHz. As
I said, that is virtually flat as far as speaker response goes and would be
considered a very minor flaw. It would not be the cause of "smooth"
response, however, except in the sense that it is a flaw so minor as to be
non-detectable.

--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)
"Gene Poon" <sheehans@ap.net> wrote in message
news:97Rjc.6048$RE1.748831@attbi_s54...
> GRL asked:
>
> > Finally I'm not sure I understand your statement: about the CR tests of
old
> > "They even pointed out that the audibly smooth sound of a speaker,
perhaps
> > the factor actually resulting in its high rating, was actually due to a
> > broad, shallow (around 1dB) dip in measured frequency response centered
at
> > around 1000 Hz.". Using the CR rating system, flat frequency response is
> > rewarded with a high score. As such your statement only makes sense to
me if
> > you mean that the near flat response of that speaker (1 dB broad dip is
> > basically nothing) yielded both good sound and a high score, validating
> > their test protocol. I assume you meant this as a compliment to CR on
their
> > test protocol?
>
> I don't know how old you are, so this may have been well before you
> began reading Consumer Reports. The speaker in question was the AR-3,
> which makes this comment nearly 40 years old. Although the magazine
> clearly judged the AR-3 highly on the basis of its good sound, there was
> no "high score" in accuracy involved because there was no "accuracy
> score" at that time. I did mean the comment as a compliment to Consumer
> Reports, in the day when their judgments of loudspeaker performance were
> subjective. They uncovered the AR-3's secret when nobody else did.
>
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 7:49:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

If you are considering direct radiators (not reflective designs like Maggies
or 901's or Def Techs or the like), which most speakers are, the only fair
way to comparison test them for frequency response is in a anechoic chamber.
Otherwise you are testing the room as much as the speakers. (I think that's
how many if not most speakers are tested during their design, anyway,
witness the great use made of the Canadian government owned facility by
Canadian firms, like PSB, that produce excellent speakers.)

--

- GRL

"It's good to want things."

Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist,
Visual Basic programmer)
"Elliot Zimmerman" <octal_madness@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uEDjc.248$RE1.50176@attbi_s54...
> On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 00:27:40 +0000, GRL wrote:
>
> > Your claim about CR fear-of Bose is totally unsubstantiated making it
merely
> > your opinion, which is fine. You are entitled to hold incorrect views.
> >
> > On the other hand, Bose speakers do well in subjective testing backed by
> > data collected by CR.
> >
> > And no, I don't own any Bose speakers. Never have. Probably never will.
(OK,
> > maybe in a car.) I do own PSB, NHT, and Paradigm. I object to Bose on a
> > value basis, not on a performance basis. CR tells me they work pretty
darn
> > good and I believe them.
>
> I use Bose in a professional setting all the time (802's) and have them in
> one of my cars and they are not *that* bad.
> Overpriced for sure, but not terrible sounding.
>
> However, CR as far as I know, did testing in anechoic chambers which would
> yield terrible results for speakers like Allison or Maggies which are
> designed to be placed in specific locations in the room.
> IOW their response takes room reflections into account, kind of like Bose
> in general.
> CR did not take this into account in their tests.
>
> Even still, a typical home user could never expect to achieve the same
> results, both good and bad, that CR got because of the anechoic chamber
> measurements.
>
> In the past CR has liked Boston Acoustics which I have found to be
> excellent but overly bright.
> They liked Advent, which I find to be dull.
> They hated Bose, which I actually find to be quite decent, but way, and I
> mean WAY, overpriced.
> Personally I like Maggies, Dahlquist, Infinity, PD and Tannoy.
>
> --
> Elliot Zimmerman
> "Life is Precious"
>
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 4:05:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"GRL" <GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM> wrote

> I still don't understand the statement. I take you to mean that CR said that
> the AR3's "smooth" sound was due to a shallow dip centered around 1 kHz. As
> I said, that is virtually flat as far as speaker response goes and would be
> considered a very minor flaw. It would not be the cause of "smooth"
> response, however, except in the sense that it is a flaw so minor as to be
> non-detectable.
====================

It's what Consumer Reports wrote in the magazine, whether you
understand it or not. The article is from a test in the early to mid
1960s. A shallow dip centered around 1 kHz was apparently detectable
and audible to them, and at the time, audibility (what this group now
calls 'subjective testing') was the basis of Consumer Reports's
ratings.

The AR-3 was their top-rated loudspeaker in that issue.
Anonymous
April 30, 2004 8:14:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

sheehans@ap.net (Gene Poon):

>"GRL" <GLitwinski@CHARTERMI.COM> wrote
>
>> I still don't understand the statement. I take you to mean that CR said
>that
>> the AR3's "smooth" sound was due to a shallow dip centered around 1 kHz. As
>> I said, that is virtually flat as far as speaker response goes and would be
>> considered a very minor flaw. It would not be the cause of "smooth"
>> response, however, except in the sense that it is a flaw so minor as to be
>> non-detectable.
>====================
>
>It's what Consumer Reports wrote in the magazine, whether you
>understand it or not. The article is from a test in the early to mid
>1960s. A shallow dip centered around 1 kHz was apparently detectable
>and audible to them, and at the time, audibility (what this group now
>calls 'subjective testing') was the basis of Consumer Reports's
>ratings.
>
>The AR-3 was their top-rated loudspeaker in that issue.

Whether a "shallow" dip "around" 1 kHz is audible depends on the width of the
dip (as well as the depth.) For example a -2 dB dip 1/12 of an octave wide
would certainly be inaudible. But 1/3 of an octave it may be. A full octave for
certain.
!