Do people perceive sound differently in other countries?

February 4, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

5 comments on “Do people perceive sound differently in other countries?”

  1. Hi Paul,
    I went to the RMAF last October and found that the European speaker manufacturers products had a soft sounding mid-range presentation. I asked a few of their reps about this and they explained that the listening rooms over there are smaller and made of very hard materials. No wall to wall carpeting etc. I must say, I preferred the softer sound.
    Roger

    1. I seem to prefer the softer sound as well but not at the expense of detail. When a speaker is not harsh or edgy but has gobs of detail for me that is part of what makes the magic! Then some speakers, like my BGRadia LA600’s on the wrong music and turned up to higher levels could sound hard and edgy, but when they were right on some music they were absolutely amazing. Despite being line arrays some carpet padding at first reflection points were a huge help as well as a different amplifier and preamp. Synergy!!!! So much is the room and synergy! When everything is so right you’ve never heard anything better, it becomes all about the music and no matter what you toss in the tray or on the platter it sounds better than anything you’ve ever had (or in some cases heard) reproduced.
      My holy grail- Infinity Epsilons on inexpensive Parasound Amps and Preamps (before Halo) with a 5 disc Yamaha CD changer and it’s own built in DAC. I know some of you must be puking. I always imagine what it could have been with a better transport and DAC, perhaps more expensive amps and pre, but it was absolute perfection to my ears for weeks until the speakers went elsewhere! I have never been able to replace that systems performance from A-Z and constantly seeking the holy grail since. Paul- I’m counting on you!!!! No pressure!!!!

    2. I think the small room concept is logical, as when you travel in Europe space is more compact overall.

      I have Mission 780 Argonauts from the 80's ( Tall Towers ) , which utilize a horn tweeters, similar to the Klipsch style speaker. I had Klipsch KG-4's prior to the Argonauts so I liked the horn tweeter sound. The Argonauts were built by Mission specifically for the US Market which probably supports the concept of an overall softer sound in Europe. Almost 30 years later I still enjoy my Argonauts sound and still use the KG4's in our second home.

      Argonaut review https://www.stereophile.com/content/mission-system-mission-780-argonaut-loudspeaker

      1. Jim, I am always curious about speaker possibilities, so I went to the Stereophile review. Looking at the specifications, I was pleased to see the sensitivity for the 780s was high, just what I require for my low power SE tube amp.

        So I jumped over to the Mission site to look at their current line-up and was sorely disappointed! They are all about home theatre speakers now, it seems, and high sensitivity has pretty much gone out the window.

        A few weeks ago I auditioned Triangle Gaia II speakers with my 2-watt amp. They are VERY good, and they are French. They sound nothing like more reserved British speakers. I don't know if the North American imports are voiced differently, but I suspect not. So perhaps the European "sound" isn't universal or times may be changing.

        1. Yes I would agree with your findings on the new Mission speakers In the 80’s it was the time of the towers. Today stylish more compact designs seem to be what is selling It has been a long time since I actually was in the speaker market so have no suggestions. Good luck in your search

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