What is he best way to demo two pairs of speakers, back to back?

Looking for some advice please.
This weekend I am going to demo two pairs of floor standing speakers in my home. Previously, I have demoed speakers at the dealer, due to the logistics of transporting large speakers back and forth in my humble VW Golf.
I won’t mention the two different brands of speakers, of which one pair is my own, as it’lI probably open up a can of worms.

Is it better to play a couple of my well known tracks on one pair of speakers, then repeat the same tracks with the other pair immediately after, or is there a better way to demo two pairs of speakers, without confusing one’s ears/brain?:thinking:

Just been through this process. It’s a case of picking a track which covers the full spectrum and is a at a good level and where you only need to play a short section to get the differences and details. Tracks with long intros are out. You want a track which is right in there from the start. My dealer delivered the demo speakers and was with us for the whole afternoon and insisted on doing all the moving and positioning work which was good when you’re talking of speakers costing several grand and which weight 20 or 30Kg! The dealer also insisted the other speakers were removed from the room which did mean an extended delay between the speaker swaps… about 10 mins I’d say. I admit, unless there’s a big difference between the speakers, then that 10 mins can be an issue, or it was for me anyway. I mean trying to remember the nuances and sound of speakers A and then going to speakers B etc… However we got there in the end though it entailed two afternoons of visits to get it sorted and then an afternoon for the delivery and setup. It’s service like this that makes me understand the high margins and price for good equipment.

btw the track we were using as our main yardstick was All I Need from Moon Safari but any track that you know well and which covers the dynamic range/style/etc. of the types of music you generally listen to. Mind you after listening some 30 plus times to the first couple of mins of All I Need over and over I can say I probably never want to hear that track ever again or for a very long time anyway! :wink:

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Morning David

I would lisen to a number of different music on both, yes the same tracks will give you a complete view of the same track on both,

but I would be looking for an speaker which covers the wide range of music you enjoy, what are you planning to lisen too? and your source chosse should also be considered

good luck

So one pair is the pair you already have if I understand your post correctly ? You know these already and how they sound in your system. Just move them out of the room for now, put the demo pair in (find the right position) and then listen to your system as you normally would. Once done put the old pair back in and see which you prefer.


I think this is the approach I’d take. I find it takes a while to settle into the character of a speaker/room combination and understand what you like and don’t like. You probably already know that for your existing speakers so could pay particular attention to those with the new set up and see how they compare. Also agree with using a variety of music especially if your tastes are wide and varied. Finally, for me the hardest element is the emotional side, how does what your listing to make you feel (different from how it sounds). I’ve failed in the past buying kit that sounded great but lackedemotional engagement. This usually takes time to emerge. Good luck and have fun.

Yes solwisesteve, lifting and moving 26kg speakers back and forth is not an easy task, not at my age anyway!:grinning:
I remember using ‘Come Together’ (The Beatles) as a demo track, and after hearing it for 20 times in a row, couldn’t listen to it for months after!:smile:

Morning Antz…
Rock/Pop is my main music library, but I do have a couple of classical albums too. These are mostly 24/96 and 16/44 files played through the NDX 2.
I have normally used Pink Floyd (Money, The Division Bell) and The Beatles (Come Together) as demo tracks.


james_n…Correct, I already own one pair. You say move them out of the room, not just to one side? It’s a back breaker to keep lifting back and forth 26kg speakers, but I guess there’s no other way…

Ok, Well out of the way to allow you to position the demo speakers correctly. We don’t want you knackering your back in the process !

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Yes Flachead, it does take time, so one must take their time.
I don’t think it will be night and day, because I did demo both speakers 5 months ago, but at two different dealers, as neither sold both brands. Also, they were demoed 5 days apart, which didn’t help. Both dealers are in the opposite direction of each other.

It was a close call between the two. Why did I choose the pair I’ve got? The price may have been one factor. The RRP is nearly 8k, but I got them for 3k less. I know, not a good reason to buy something.

My present speakers are big and not ‘easy on the eye’. Too big really for my room set up. This is why this demo must be done at home.

Hi DJM, Nothing really to add here from me apart from enjoy your music, enjoy the dem. Just one thing though, there ain’t nothing humble about a Golf!


I have owned an active pair of SBLs for some time, when I bought a NDS I realised that they were limiting my enjoyment of music. I listened to several speakers at my dealership and chose a pair to demo at home. I replaced the SBLs with the demo pair and just listened over long periods to the new speakers. for me it was about the comfort factor - did I enjoy listening over a long period of time? Needless to say I replaced the SBLs without a direct track to track comparison.

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I’d favour a longer term listen with the new speakers, use them for a couple of decent listening sessions and then swap back.

Quick swaps tend to reveal differences and it becomes difficult to determine which is more preferable in my experience.


i would certainly use the tracks you know and love on your system and then choose a couple that you don’t think cut it on your current speakers to hear there presentation of the music


Camphuw…I will do short bursts and long periods. Thanks

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Yes, it can get very confusing. "Was the bass tighter on the first pair, or was that on the second pair? “No definitely the first pair…or was it?” :thinking: This is exactly what I want to avoid.

Depends which model you’ve got!:smile:

Hi David, a lot of good advice here which I would mostly agree with. Certainly it is important to hear music you are very familiar with initially.

However, in my experience, and I haven’t auditioned speakers for some years now, it takes time to appreciate a speaker’s strengths and weaknesses and whether these suit you. Can you live with it? So be patient and extend the demo as long as you can. That initial euphoria of a “different” sound doesn’t always endure.

Good luck and enjoy!


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Good point Steve!:+1: