What aren't your speakers good at?

I was looking at some speaker designs by Troels Gravesen, and came across this snippet which I found really interesting:

This is the part I really hate because describing sound is impossible. We are extremely sensitive to any negative comments on performance. We can take any high-end speaker and start lining up what this speaker is not good at, because no speaker does it all. But we rarely read reviews like this in magazines. The magazine would very soon run out of speakers offered for reviews. A review is meant to sell speakers and we have to carefully read between the lines to try to find any reservation from the reviewer - in case there are any. Mostly it's "bla...bla... this is the best speaker I have had in my system, etc." Useless!

And I think the man has a point here. But he does fall into his own trap (probably on purpose as he wants to sell kits).

So I thought I’d ask, what don’t your speakers do well?

Mine, B&W 702s2, miss a certain scale. Especially midrange and up is extremely clear, but what’s missing is a sense of scale/grandeur with certain pieces.

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Repelling dust…


Being unobtrusive and as @Stilts said, repelling dust.

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I have Harbeth P3ESR and my comments are much the same as yours, I bought them for their ability with vocals

I knew there would be physical limitations on what was produced, but they are very good at vocals , my tastes are Cassidy, Baez, Black, Chapin-Carpenter, sometimes Sinatra , Cohen .

My Who days are behind me , and I would have got different speakers for that.

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My Shahinians obviously don’t give you pinpoint positioning of instruments, but then you don’t get that in real life either. Strangely enough, however, they give a very good sense of depth so that you feel you can walk around and between them. They are, however, absolutely useless for frying eggs.


Mine are poor at impressing those who think that speakers need to be the size of a wardrobe in order to be any good.


Until they hear them…? :slightly_smiling_face:

So far this is proving to be true. most comments in this thread seem to avoid the question.


may be a bit of an overkill but absolutely sufficient

Seriously though, you do get pin point imaging in real life, it’s a superb experience - both at a concert and at home. My current Falcon Q7 are not quite as good as my previous ProAc 10 S in this respect but sound more lifelike.

My speakers aren’t very good at letting me form a kinship with other fellow users.
I’m beginning to think I must be the only one in the whole wide world presently running a pair.

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My B&W804S replaced a pair of ES14s (power surge took out one of my 135s (and various other items), when it came back from Salisbury I found it had fried a speaker).
The early ES14s had incredibly fast responsive bass. The floor standing B&Ws lack that, it goes deeper, is better resolved, but lacks that lightning response. It’s not so slow it has any impact on listening, just by comparison.
Imaging doesn’t really matter to me enjoying music, but the imaging is quite constrained. I could probably keep doing micro adjustments to positioning, but as I say it doesn’t affect my musical enjoyment, so I just play another album.
I have to say that despite those 2 comments I’ve had 15 years of loving music through them.


B&W 804 D3 - IMHO, tighter and faster bass than earlier versions or most other boxes that size, but not if you believe they can go 40-50cm from rear and side walls. The off-axis listening also lacks focus, unlike my previous Shahinians, and moving them (perhaps while cleaning) by 3 inches more or less collapses the stereo image.

Neat Xplorers - work as well as the B&Ws in some situations. They can sometimes be even more involving, if not quite as deep in bass. However, the isobaric design means you can’t put them on a shag pile and may find a stone floor too reflecting. Also, visually, they impress no-one.

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Being light enough to easily lift and dust behind……

My Neat MF9s, given their top mounted super tweeters, are absolutely useless for standing drinks on.

Otherwise, they’re ab fab. :roll_eyes:

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They’d be great if you had a pet giraffe though; you could put the drinking bowl on top.

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Common question ”Is that thing on the top for karaoke”. Then they make a grab for it.



Mine are crap to get them positioned 100% even/symmetrical as they don’t have a single straight line, edge or corner anywhere… :flushed:

(had to make a special little tool to solve it… :upside_down_face:)

Why would that be any different than a “regular” drink? He’d have the same issue.

After hearing my speakers and system in a dealer’s demonstration room, and realising that the room they’re in is a big inhibitor to their performance. And then trying them temporarily in a different room at home as a result, and hearing a similar improvement. I honestly don’t think there’s anything about mine I’d like to improve.

I suspect in a larger room I would like a bit more bottom end, but where they are it isn’t the speakers that have anything missing. Probably more relevant to the listening room thread, hopefully it makes sense here too!?

Everyone here seems to have perfect speakers…
I have PMC 20.23s: they’re not very forgiving with poor recordings (it’s not their fault), and I think they could handle vocals a bit better. What I mean is that when I listen to a classical piece (tenor/baritone and piano), the voice often sounds slightly recessed, behind the piano rather than in front. My BC1s were excellent in that respect, but obviously not as good in other areas. Otherwise I’m very happy with the PMCs; it’s always a compromise anyway, and the room is important, as gthack points out.

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