On again, off again
I guess I was somewhat taken by surprise at a comment on our Community Forums in the thread about our upcoming Arnie Nudell loudspeaker line. In it, I suggest the new speakers won’t need more than a few degrees of toe in and that seems to have come as a surprise to readers used to generous toe in on their speakers.
It is true most speakers require a good degree of toe in to sound right. It’s also true we’re not fans of that technique nor would we design a speaker that required it. In my opinion, toe-in is a holdover from years past when speakers were monaural.
But, Arnie Nudell wanted nothing to do with pointing speakers at the listeners because it narrowed and restricted the sweet spot in a way that was unnatural. In his view, one we at PS Audio subscribe to as well, speakers should have even on and off-axis response so that there is a broad and natural sweet spot that more closely resembles a seat at a live concert.
Unusual? Apparently. But then, change is always tough. It sometimes takes years to break old habits.
“Wow, really nice looking stereo you have there,” I said.
And, it was. A big set of Wilson loudspeakers powered by a stack of McIntosh electronics with their signature blue meters dominating the room.
“How’s it sound?” I asked.
Turns out not to good. The dealer had recommended the setup as the best available—exactly what the customer had wanted—then proceeded to connect the affair through wallplate binding posts and shoved the speakers against the wall.
Wilsons, of course, require immaculate setup and they are never against the wall. They also aren’t particularly appreciative of McIntosh electronics and certainly not happy with less than good cabling. Everything was wrong.
I felt sorry for the customer. He wanted to own a status stereo and expected the dealer to provide him not only an expensive kit but a matching audio experience. He got the hodgepodge kit, the dealer got paid. The taste of the experience soured this poor fellow.
On the one hand, we can pass judgment and suggest he should have done his homework. At a minimum, he should have complained he wasn’t happy with the sound. On the other hand, I don’t think that’s fair. In my view, the dealer preyed on his ignorance—an unforgivable action. How could this customer know what to expect the system to sound like?
We all seek status. It’s incumbent on those of us with knowledge to care enough to help others attain theirs.