Hear the Difference; Own the Difference by Jason Dorazio
OK, in my last article for The TSS Reader, I was a bit emotional in my thoughts on the disappearance of the critical audition. Recently, one person made me feel a little optimistic for the future.
A young man, in his mid-twenties, stopped in looking for a pair of speakers for his first foray into good sound. He had a budget in mind of $350.00 for the pair. I introduced him to three pairs of speakers that were within, or below, his price range and gave a bit of background information on all three brands. After inquiring into the types of music he listens to, I began setting up a two of the three models for him to audition.
With music he selected, rather than the age-old audio store practice of choosing music for the customer that makes everything sound great, he critically evaluated the Phase Technology V4 and the Klipsch Reference RB-51. In between songs, we shared our feelings on the differences between both models. It was a conversation based solely on sound quality, and our similar tastes in music, rather than “this speaker sounds better because of cast baskets” or some other beaten-to-death audio sales approach. Materials make one speaker different than another, but if the end result doesn’t sound good to you, then who cares about cast baskets, diamond tweeters, or how many midrange drivers are in it?
The Phase Techs performed admirably with tracks from Soul Coughing, The Clash, and others, but came up a bit short in high frequency presentation with a song by KMFDM. Ultimately, because of the overall balance of sonic performance, and the fact that he heard things in his music that he never heard before, he chose the V4 over the Klipsch Reference. While he expressed that both speakers were very good, his ears preferred the Phase Tech V4.
The Speaker Shop is a place to feel comfortable and audition affordable products with your music and your ears. You don’t have to know all the terminology for why one product is better than the other. It is all about how it sounds to you and when your ear tells you, “this is how it is supposed to sound.”
Buying a sound system is an experience, and if you love music, the only way to be happy with what you purchase is to get out and listen as much as possible.
Thanks again to our newest customer for restoring my faith in the future of the audition process.
All the very best, Jason Dorazio
While a little old, for a fun read on a music legend’s speaker auditioning session, check this out: