Energy Veritas 2.8 - A High Point in Canadian Speaker Design

tomlinmgt

Moderator
I'm guessing the 1.8 or 2.8 would have fixed the scale issue.

Energy have always been challenging to match well with amps. They like lots of clean, clear power to do their thing. It's why I've never believed thar Bryston amps are the perfect match, even though they certainly have the balls to drive them well. My feeling has been, especially in the long term, that Bryston and Energy together Might be too much of a good thing.


My gut tells me that one of the big Levinsons, like @JohnVF or @S0und Dragon has, might work nicely. It would be fun to try anyway.
Not sure either of those larger Veritas models would've fixed the scale issue. I have ADS 1290/2's which have a similar driver complement (except fabric dome mids and tweeters) and although they can create a sound stage of satisfying scale and density, they still sound rather hamstrung next to something like Altec 19's or big Acoustats. And remember, I was using a pair of 12" sealed subs with my 2.2's, so they had a very well bolstered first octave. I feel it boils down to driver radiating surface area. IME, the more you have, the more scale you get. And with that, the oh so important sense of heft and mass without strain...and that means in the mids as much as it does the lower frequencies.

Maybe the aluminum drivers aren't for me. Just looking at them ignites an expectation that they're going to be lean or cold. Like Richard said about his experience with the 2.8's, I find them entertaining in short bursts...and I guess that's why I keep them around. They do have the ability to entertain, it's just that a little bit goes a long way. I don't find myself yearning for them after I've had them in a system for a few days. What usually happens that sours the milk is I'll have one of those days where my circuits are fried from an exhausting day, then I'll sit down for a listen with the 2.2's and it's like I'm taking a hot shower and someone keeps using the plumbing somewhere else in the house, sporadically robbing my supply of hot water and interrupting the therapeutic value of the moment.

I still have a few combinations of electronics to try with them...and of course the Denafrips DAC that will be arriving soon. It's just a matter of making the time to try to sort it all out...which, honestly, probably won't happen any time soon as I have more appealing audio endeavors on deck and that always seems to be the case. Which means I should probably sell them.
 
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prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Not sure either of those larger Veritas models would've fixed the scale issue. I have ADS 1290/2's which have a similar driver complement (except fabric dome mids and tweeters) and although they can create a sound stage of satisfying scale and density, they still sound rather hamstrung next to something like Altec 19's or big Acoustats. And remember, I was using a pair of 12" sealed subs with my 2.2's, so they had a very well bolstered first octave. I feel it boils down to driver radiating surface area. IME, the more you have, the more scale you get. And with that, the oh so important sense of heft and mass without strain...and that means in the mids as much as it does the lower frequencies.

Maybe the aluminum drivers aren't for me. Just looking at them ignites an expectation that they're going to be lean or cold. Like Richard said about his experience with the 2.8's, I find them entertaining in short bursts...and I guess that's why I keep them around. They do have the ability to entertain, it's just that a little bit goes a long way. I don't find myself yearning for them after I've had them in a system for a few days. What usually happens that sours the milk is I'll have one of those days where my circuits are fried from an exhausting day, then I'll sit down for a listen with the 2.2's and it's like I'm taking a hot shower and someone keeps using the plumbing somewhere else in the house, sporadically robbing my supply of hot water and interrupting the therapeutic value of the moment.

I still have a few combinations of electronics to try with them...and of course the Denafrips DAC that will be arriving soon. It's just a matter of making the time to try to sort it all out...which, honestly, probably won't happen any time soon as I have more appealing audio endeavors on deck and that always seems to be the case. Which means I should probably sell them.
Could be so many things.
'The original 2.2 was known to have a design issue with the that made the harsher sounding. Back before the Klipsch days, API had awesome customer service, and they looked after the issue quickly. If you were out of warranty, they offered very inexpensive replacement or repair. Truly a great company to deal with. The 2.2i corrected the issue. Could it be yours are suffering from that?

The Veritas line is odd in its ability to change with the equipment feeding them. Ive seen reviews where they are called tipped up and bright, and others where they were considered to be warm sounding.

I wish I was closer to you. I'd buy them from you as a restoration project. Get the drivers rebuilt by the guy up here that bought all the equipment after API was closed down, and see what could be made of them.
 
I feel it boils down to driver radiating surface area. IME, the more you have, the more scale you get. And with that, the oh so important sense of heft and mass without strain...and that means in the mids as much as it does the lower frequencies.
I love this sentence.

I just picked up some Quart 650 S and they fall into the Canadian lineage somewhere too.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
So much of this stuff is about finding what does or doesn't work without resorting to across the board generalizations, as they're usually more a sign of tribalism than reality.
 

tomlinmgt

Moderator
Could be so many things.
'The original 2.2 was known to have a design issue with the that made the harsher sounding. Back before the Klipsch days, API had awesome customer service, and they looked after the issue quickly. If you were out of warranty, they offered very inexpensive replacement or repair. Truly a great company to deal with. The 2.2i corrected the issue. Could it be yours are suffering from that?

The Veritas line is odd in its ability to change with the equipment feeding them. Ive seen reviews where they are called tipped up and bright, and others where they were considered to be warm sounding.

I wish I was closer to you. I'd buy them from you as a restoration project. Get the drivers rebuilt by the guy up here that bought all the equipment after API was closed down, and see what could be made of them.
Well, always sucks a little when you find out you have the model that was the reason for the one that "got it right". Lol
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Well, always sucks a little when you find out you have the model that was the reason for the one that "got it right". Lol
Hey, it happens. They added the "i" for a reason. And I don't know that it's the case with yours. Just throwing an option out there.

Make enough of everything, and you will build some bad ones. At least, API did it right and looked after their customers well.

And yes, I'm still pissed off that Klipsch ruined them.
 
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tomlinmgt

Moderator
Hey, it happens. They added the "i" for a reason. And I don't know thar it's the case with yours. Just throwing an option out there.

Make enough of everything, and you will build some bad ones. At least, API did it right and looked after their customers well.

And yes, I'm still pissed off that Klipsch ruined them.
It's apparent that Energy/API was intent on making something special here. I mean, they're built like a tank. They have the most solid and non resonant cabinet of any speaker Ive ever owned with several interesting and unique (without being gimmicky) features incorporated into the design. Although, I have read the mid bass driver has a potential magnet shift issue if driven hard.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
It's apparent that Energy/API was intent on making something special here. I mean, they're built like a tank. They have the most solid and non resonant cabinet of any speaker Ive ever owned with several interesting and unique (without being gimmicky) features incorporated into the design. Although, I have read the mid bass driver has a potential magnet shift issue if driven hard.
UnIike most manufacturers, they built everything in house. Which means more control over the outcome, and more opportunities to screw stuff up. I can't imagine what it would have cost to tool up something like that.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
And then there are those who have heard ALL the amps and speakers you mention, and many, many more, and choose something different then what you do. How do they differentiate? They listen to a lot of equipment, and chose for themselves what connects them to the music.

I see no issue with Stereophile having multiple different types of amps, for instance, all in class A. Nor is it that hard to find negative reviews I Stereophile. Bryston, for instance, mentioned a few times in this thread, was beat up pretty badly by Stereophile. But there really is very little truly bad quality equipment out there today. There may be equipment that is not to one person or another's taste, but little that is truly bad.

As always, it is up to the individual to listen to as much equipment as they can, putting a system together that minimize the weaknesses and most fully connects them with their music.
Well said, and for the record, I should have bought the much more expensive Sugden A21SE Signature that my dealer both recommended and thoroughly demonstrated, and also allowed me to take home to try with my ProAc Tablette 8 Reference Signature speakers, instead of the Musical Fidelity A308 that I ended up with.

At least I'm willing to admit my mistake, even though it is yet to be rectified, some 16 or so years later.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Funny, As much as I liked the sound of the A21. The one I demo'd buzzed slightly. It was enough to distract me from enjoying it and thus it was not a successful demo.
 

Richard Austen

Junior Member
Well, always sucks a little when you find out you have the model that was the reason for the one that "got it right". Lol

Don't feel too bad - almost every company comes out with a "fix" every 4-6 years whether it is real or imagined. Marketing 101 is when a product's sales plateaus, in this case, once the product has been through a 5-year review cycle, a new version has to come out to then get passed through the review cycle again. These new reviews all of a sudden mention problems they never mentioned with the earlier versions.

When I first and second and third auditioned the Magnepan 1.6 I always said "these sound kinda bright and I can hear the ribbon sizzle sound. No mention of this and people got mad at me on forums. Then the 1.7 came out and more and more people said - wow the 1.7 fixes that treble issue of the 1.6 - funny how that works. And I found the 1,7 to be one of the dullest speakers I have heard - people get mad - then Magnepan comes out with the LRS - a speaker "so much more engaging" than the 1.7. I have not heard it but I sorta laugh.

It's the same thing when I auditioned the Wilson Sophia, the Paradigm Studio 100, And the Revel Ultima Salon. all highly problematic sounding and what do you know? All got replaced with a "V2" To be fair all three were "better" than the prior model. Though I could not say that in Paradigm's case after the 100V2 - the 100V3 was rubbish - they cheaped out on the cabinet and it has a hollow cabinet sound. The Paradigm dealer noted that the problem was this was around the time when Paradigm brought out the S8 (their 4 times price marginally better than the 100V2 speaker). So the 100V3 was made to sound worse so that when people would audition the S8 they would say "wow it's so much better than the 100V3" Which it was - but it wasn't so much better than the 100V2. The 100V3 was soon replaced by the 100V4 - meh - and I sort of left them behind because the S8 and their standmounts were mediocre overpriced affairs - and the series eventually got axed - they were so good nobody bought them and the line ended. Usually, when stuff gets discontinued it's a pretty good indicator of how wonderful they are.

You never know - time will be the indicator if the version you have is the more sought after one. Look at all the LS-3/5a versions are out there. People view some better than others - and the age of manufacture isn't the telling feature. Harbeth seems to be moving to metal tweeters over soft domes in the .3 series so we'll see how it works out. Seems like the .2 series just came out not long ago but that didn't last long - already a 40.3 and XD label. I tend to like Harbeth but I worry about some of the comments from friends who have issues with the new ones - mainly the treble. Contrary to popular belief this isn't rocket science - of course, that won't stop makers from selling it as if it were rocket science with heaping piles of mumbo jumbo to try and convince you. Sort of like cars selling you the mood-light package and 22 cupholders. Yes but will the engine last 200,000miles? I don't see that anywhere in the full colour glossy booklets that talk about the fancy, but fake, cross-stitching in the rear arm-rest.

Sorry I am cranky today.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Don't feel too bad - almost every company comes out with a "fix" every 4-6 years whether it is real or imagined. Marketing 101 is when a product's sales plateaus, in this case, once the product has been through a 5-year review cycle, a new version has to come out to then get passed through the review cycle again. These new reviews all of a sudden mention problems they never mentioned with the earlier versions.

When I first and second and third auditioned the Magnepan 1.6 I always said "these sound kinda bright and I can hear the ribbon sizzle sound. No mention of this and people got mad at me on forums. Then the 1.7 came out and more and more people said - wow the 1.7 fixes that treble issue of the 1.6 - funny how that works. And I found the 1,7 to be one of the dullest speakers I have heard - people get mad - then Magnepan comes out with the LRS - a speaker "so much more engaging" than the 1.7. I have not heard it but I sorta laugh.

It's the same thing when I auditioned the Wilson Sophia, the Paradigm Studio 100, And the Revel Ultima Salon. all highly problematic sounding and what do you know? All got replaced with a "V2" To be fair all three were "better" than the prior model. Though I could not say that in Paradigm's case after the 100V2 - the 100V3 was rubbish - they cheaped out on the cabinet and it has a hollow cabinet sound. The Paradigm dealer noted that the problem was this was around the time when Paradigm brought out the S8 (their 4 times price marginally better than the 100V2 speaker). So the 100V3 was made to sound worse so that when people would audition the S8 they would say "wow it's so much better than the 100V3" Which it was - but it wasn't so much better than the 100V2. The 100V3 was soon replaced by the 100V4 - meh - and I sort of left them behind because the S8 and their standmounts were mediocre overpriced affairs - and the series eventually got axed - they were so good nobody bought them and the line ended. Usually, when stuff gets discontinued it's a pretty good indicator of how wonderful they are.

You never know - time will be the indicator if the version you have is the more sought after one. Look at all the LS-3/5a versions are out there. People view some better than others - and the age of manufacture isn't the telling feature. Harbeth seems to be moving to metal tweeters over soft domes in the .3 series so we'll see how it works out. Seems like the .2 series just came out not long ago but that didn't last long - already a 40.3 and XD label. I tend to like Harbeth but I worry about some of the comments from friends who have issues with the new ones - mainly the treble. Contrary to popular belief this isn't rocket science - of course, that won't stop makers from selling it as if it were rocket science with heaping piles of mumbo jumbo to try and convince you. Sort of like cars selling you the mood-light package and 22 cupholders. Yes but will the engine last 200,000miles? I don't see that anywhere in the full colour glossy booklets that talk about the fancy, but fake, cross-stitching in the rear arm-rest.

Sorry I am cranky today.
Yes, marketing can be involved in those decisions. Or, as I explained above in the case of the Energy speakers that are the subject of this thread, good engineering upgrades to correct an acknowledged problem.

I certainly don't see an issue in marketing a product. Our favourite manufacturers are all in this to make a profit. People like to get paid for their efforts. Putting food on the table and a roof over their and their families heads is a noble goal. As is giving us something to help us relax after a busy and stressful day, and to bring a little musical joy to our lives. If they don't market their wares, then they won't sell. It gets even harder when companies are trying to make a volume product, especially at more affordable price points. Sure, some have survived by providing Veblen goods to a cult of fanatical followers, but that aproach doesn't work In a high volume market.

It isn't like there is one right approach to choosing a system, or one correct sound. In the end, it Is up to every person to listen to the equipment that draws them in, and purchase the ones That connect them most closely with the music they enjoy. The lucky ones get years of musical enjoyment out of their purchase. Seems fair to me.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I think there is a definite inherent danger to locking in on any one position as gospel in audio. It really comes down to taste and preference. So many folks in audio love the Altec Horn sound. Or the JBL sound. Or the Klipsch sound. None of them appeal to me. Put me in a room with most OB's and I will claw through the wall to escape. But that does not mean that it is bad sound. It is really just my preference and my dramatic flair. Except for those OB's... they are the devils speakers.

All kidding aside. If I told you that I sold my Harbeth's for a pair of Onkyo speakers, Most folks in the "know" would call me insane. But that is exactly what happened to me. However, these were not what you would expect Onkyo speakers to be. Wait till you see what's in the pipeline next... I may be excommunicated from the church of latter day audiophiles once and for all!
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I think there is a definite inherent danger to locking in on any one position as gospel in audio. It really comes down to taste and preference. So many folks in audio love the Altec Horn sound. Or the JBL sound. Or the Klipsch sound. None of them appeal to me. Put me in a room with most OB's and I will claw through the wall to escape. But that does not mean that it is bad sound. It is really just my preference and my dramatic flair. Except for those OB's... they are the devils speakers.

All kidding aside. If I told you that I sold my Harbeth's for a pair of Onkyo speakers, Most folks in the "know" would call me insane. But that is exactly what happened to me. However, these were not what you would expect Onkyo speakers to be. Wait till you see what's in the pipeline next... I may be excommunicated from the church of latter day audiophiles once and for all!
Obviously, you are wrong. Meadowlark is the ONLY way.
 

tomlinmgt

Moderator
I think there is a definite inherent danger to locking in on any one position as gospel in audio. It really comes down to taste and preference. So many folks in audio love the Altec Horn sound. Or the JBL sound. Or the Klipsch sound. None of them appeal to me. Put me in a room with most OB's and I will claw through the wall to escape. But that does not mean that it is bad sound. It is really just my preference and my dramatic flair. Except for those OB's... they are the devils speakers.

All kidding aside. If I told you that I sold my Harbeth's for a pair of Onkyo speakers, Most folks in the "know" would call me insane. But that is exactly what happened to me. However, these were not what you would expect Onkyo speakers to be. Wait till you see what's in the pipeline next... I may be excommunicated from the church of latter day audiophiles once and for all!
Since we all have our own unique physiological characteristics, not to mention environmental factors, that influence what we hear, personal taste ruling the day is hifi axiom.
I mean, after hearing GR Research's NX-Tremes with the OB servo subs, I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't be fully impressed and happy to own those. Yet, there was a guy in the room that was comparing them against Wilson Sashas and not favorably. I heard Wilson Sashas in a showcase setting and just couldn't see why people in the store were gushing about them...and talking down the Orangutans in the demo room next door like a day old bologna sandwich. It can be a little frustrating, but without the moving target, I think the hobby would get boring quickly.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
All kidding aside. If I told you that I sold my Harbeth's for a pair of Onkyo speakers, Most folks in the "know" would call me insane.
One of the biggest things of many things in audio that I find to be a turnoff is the tribalism that infests it, be it around an approach, a brand, or an era. And yet it seems that more people adhere to a tribe than don't.... at least online, where it seems the point of a lot of it is to go to war for your particular way of listening to music.

As such I think I"m supposed to fight you for turning your back on my dear Harbeths. Give me time, I'll have to shave down my skin to a thinner layer than it is :)

I know you weren't expecting that, we know each other too well.... just joking about it. But I'm sure there are people who really would question any number of things about you or your ears/hearing/taste for choosing what you did... like they're you, in your listening chair. You made the call with your own ears, like so many people who listened to some of the speakers slagged in this thread did, and preferred them over some of the ones put on a pedestal. Not suggesting the Onkyos deserve any sort of slagging...they look rather cool to me and I bet that have a scale the Harbeths couldn't dream of...my biggest gripe with them. For their size they're rather anemic in the bass department, and the Harbeth 'tribe' passes that off as 'accurate tuneful' bass when really, I think it's just kind of specific fault they have, the result of focusing on getting the midrange more correct, which I'm not against, but its also not a perfect speaker...). I guess I could shove them in corners and pretend it's a feature not a fault.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I happen to really enjoy the Devore and Zu sound. But I am in the minority among my audio circle in that position. I am still hoping to come across a pair of OB speakers that I could sit and listen to. I would love to "get it". But I do not. I love Horns for what they do, Dynamics and strong fidelity. Nothing conveys horns like horns. But could not live with them long term for a variety of reasons. That said, folks like @ICTWoody have shown me that Horns do not have to be towering grey boxes or baroque antique side table cabinetry.
As to Harbeth. They are great at what they do. For acoustic and Jazz, they are hard if not impossible to beat. The timbre and musicality is just pleasing to the ear. At least up until the new series, which I have not heard to form an opinion on myself.

As to the new kings of the audio show circuit? I would be a liar if I were to tell you that they are not impressive and extremely capable when set up and matched correctly. Having heard the Wilson XVX Chronosonic and the Focal Grand Utopia and the Sonus Faber Stradivari with a top flight of accompanying electronics in a properly curated and configured room. It is a humbling and rewarding sonic experience. There are things that these systems are capable of that simply blow my mind. To hear true high fidelity in the entire audible and inaudible spectrum is almost a religious experience. Hearing recordings as either intended by the artist or presented in such a manner as to make you believe this is what was intended IS THE GRAIL. But they should at their respective price points for entry as well as the time and effort put into the assembly of the system as a whole. Coming to a place of acceptance that there are no true giant killers was not an easy pill to swallow. That does not mean that there is not fantastic gear to be had at lower price points. Nor does that mean that you cannot be perfectly content with the gear you have.

Which brings me to the real meat and potatoes of my thinking. Systems are the sum of their parts. Including the space in which they occupy. A system requires thought and attention to every detail. Each part needs to be complimentary to the next. It also requires a bit of experience and a proper sense of likes and dislikes. I am starting to believe that it is not necessarily a class of component that I may like or dislike as much as the way it is put together in the entire make up of a system. Don't get me wrong, there is good, and down right bad gear out there. Vintage, modern and in between. But I would argue that it is not just the likes of a type of gear, but its implementation as well. As my ability to hear pieces and determine synergy improved, my satisfaction with my systems improved. that said, I have swung and missed also. That is inevitable in this hobby.

It is my sincere hope that the situation will allow for speaker demoing once again this year. A modern and new production speaker is in the cards for 2022 or even 23 and I would like to demo as may speakers as possible in order to make an educated choice. I suspect that I will be saving up for them as I do not believe this will be a cheap endeavor in the slightest. Hence the longish timeline, unless I stumble on a pile of cash. What I do know is that what I am looking for is probably not going to be a golden oldie of yesteryear. I already have that. I will be gushing about a nouveau vintage piece soon enough. But it is a place holder. I want to experience the new stuff and as the technology trickles down the line, I believe it can be achieved.
 
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Richard Austen

Junior Member
One of the biggest things of many things in audio that I find to be a turnoff is the tribalism that infests it, be it around an approach, a brand, or an era. And yet it seems that more people adhere to a tribe than don't.... at least online, where it seems the point of a lot of it is to go to war for your particular way of listening to music.

As such I think I"m supposed to fight you for turning your back on my dear Harbeths. Give me time, I'll have to shave down my skin to a thinner layer than it is :)

I know you weren't expecting that, we know each other too well.... just joking about it. But I'm sure there are people who really would question any number of things about you or your ears/hearing/taste for choosing what you did... like they're you, in your listening chair. You made the call with your own ears, like so many people who listened to some of the speakers slagged in this thread did, and preferred them over some of the ones put on a pedestal. Not suggesting the Onkyos deserve any sort of slagging...they look rather cool to me and I bet that have a scale the Harbeths couldn't dream of...my biggest gripe with them. For their size they're rather anemic in the bass department, and the Harbeth 'tribe' passes that off as 'accurate tuneful' bass when really, I think it's just kind of specific fault they have, the result of focusing on getting the midrange more correct, which I'm not against, but its also not a perfect speaker...). I guess I could shove them in corners and pretend it's a feature not a fault.

Everyone has a different experience with audio equipment which leads some to a tribe and another to be baffled by it. Linn was one of the early "cults" in audio along with NAIM where the former required pretty much and all Linn systems. The fans were called Linnies. Indeed, this can be attributed to people like myself who are into Audio Note or folks who are into HE speakers and SET amps or people who are into panels.

Add discussions on forums usually go down spiral threads of disagreement. But the thing is - I was no sitting beside you at the time you auditioned and fell in love with the sound of something - if I were sitting beside you listening to the same music at the same volume - maybe I too would hand over my credit card.

If you think about Audio is entirely different than other hobbies. If I drive a Minivan in Vancouver and you drive the exact same minivan in Florida - we're both going to have pretty much the same experience assuming the roads are decently made.

Audio however is a slave to numerous variables. Is the room appropriately sized for the speakers, and the construction of the room, and the sound deadening furniture - room treatments/construction? Amplifiers? Sources? Music played? Volume level? etc.

Mirroring the experience is next to impossible.

I have heard numerous speakers numerous times and have had polar opposite responses. I hated the KEF LS-50 the first three times I heard them but then in Bangkok in a shopping mall of all places I enjoyed them connected to a Marantz AVR that uses EI transformers - Marantz can sound a little mellow for a receiver. I decided to get a pair in to see how they might be with my Line Magnetic 219IA - so here is a speaker I didn't love but I heard enough in them to get a set home and see what I could do with them with perhaps a more ideal match - playing off the strengths of the amp to the weakness I was hearing in the speaker - to get a balance.

Of course Linn, Audio Note, Naim, Roksan, Krell, ATC, and even Rega among several others are selling "complete" systems, in essence, to create that "balance" or referential house sound for you. If you really want to know what ATC is about it helps to listen to an all ATC system.

But even here - I listen to an ATC system at one shop and then I listen to it at Hit Audio. The former runs the actives or passives with Parasound and Bricasti. The latter was running the speakers with Melody Valve Audio and Line Magnetic and Rogue Audio - all-tube brands.

Now if you walk into the first shop maybe you hate the sound and now your perception of ATC will be very different from mine if I auditioned them in the second shop. What is that saying "You never get a second chance to make a first impression"

So it is very difficult once you have an experience with something to then listen to it a second time without bringing the baggage of the first experience you had into the room. Expectation bias is big. Not to mention other biases. Price, looks, technology. Some people view a high price as "being better" while others immediately react negatively to it and view it as "it must be a ripoff" - All partly why people demand blind testing.

I remember at an Audio Show I looked forward to hearing my AN E's and went in there and they were boomy, smeared, and even bright which is unusual - All Audio Note gear being used. The room would not make my top 20 and considering it was a small show I was not too impressed - and it didn't get better by the last day either.

I put myself in the shoes of others - I am on a forum and everyone is saying this company is great - If I heard that room as my "first Impression" I would have roundly the opposite opinion of them today! Similarly my experience with MBL and YG Acoustics - eesh they were both awful. Then a year or 2 later at another show in smaller rooms and better rooms they were both stunning.

Now I am a fairly easy-going guy - MBL and YG Acoustics proved to me that they have the ability to sound great so even if the next 5 shows or at a dealer they stink it up - I know that with work they can be good.

Focal -a speaker, I have always been luke-warm to sounded really good at a show - actually the best room but it was not for sale. The room was part of the Tape Project and Bob Hodus an acoustics expert who worked at Abbey Road set up the room and speakers. Heavily treated the entire wall behind the speakers and raised them above what Focal recommends. The tape source also affords them a huge advantage in sound quality. Still, it was great - they have the ability to sound great - never heard the greatness before or after but it's capable.

So ultimately it comes down to sitting in the same room at the same time listening to the same music - then see how much people actually disagree with the sound. At California Audio Show 2017 I was listening to the Audio Note room - meh - wasn't that great. Another reviewer agreed. That was Saturday. On Sunday I played Guns N' Roses and some other harder hitting stuff at a higher level. I brought the other reviewer back in and our opinions were polar opposite to the first day. He had it as a top room. So even at the same show in the same room with the same gear, the music played the level, etc changes opinions on a dime.
 
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