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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:26 am
Posts: 201
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Hey all,

Thanks again to all those who responded to my recent question about standmounts. I'm going to audition some KEF reference 103.2 speakers tomorrow... Any advice on what to look/listen for in the audition process?

I have an idea of the sort of sound that appeals to me, but I don't know a lot about how to assess the condition of older speakers. The seller seems helpful & knowledgeable & the speakers look to be in great shape, so I'm not really worried, but if you have advice about how to assess I'd be grateful to hear it.

Thanks!


Last edited by two2the8 on Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 4:52 pm
Posts: 1050
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Assuming the speakers are to your liking sonically speaking and no physical signs of abuse or repair are present, I would run a series of sine waves or a slow continuous sweep that can be found online and burnt to a CD or flash drive, and measure the DC resistance of both speakers, at the very least. You could go even further if you possess an SPL meter. Listen for abnormal noises such as buzzes, rattles and whatnot.
Those tests will generally reveal many potential driver and/or filter issues.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 498
Location: Greater Montreal Area, QC, CA
I've sold a lot of stuff on CAM and once had a guy bring a multi-meter, and a stethoscope and ran all sorts of crazy tests on an $800 pair of speakers I sold him. It was a bit mucho IMO, but whatever makes people feel comfortable

Whenever I buy speakers, I simply listen to them with a song that I'm familiar with. That's it. no fancy tools.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:43 pm
Posts: 709
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
First off: are you looking to verify the speakers are good? or are you looking to see if you like them? If the later, do yourself, and the seller a favour, and tell him/her that you don't really know the speaker, and would like to have a listen first. They may be ok with that, they may not, but I prefer an honest start...

Assuming you're trying to verify the speakers are good, in no particular order:
- take the grills off, and look closely at the tweeter and woofer domes. Any signs of odd crinkles, that might indicate they've been pushed in by small fingers, and then pulled back out? Look at the woofer surrounds, foam? rubber? If foam, how old are the speakers? after 10 years or so, they're going to fail, and need to be rebuilt (not horribly difficult, but something to consider).
- take a look at the driver mounting screws, if they're mismatched, then why?
- Take along a few cd's you know and love, particularly ones with some deep bass, big dynamics, quiet passages, I find female vocals revealing. When playing something, go put your ear right up the drivers, and make sure they're all working.
- the sniff test! Is the seller a smoker? It can take a long time to get rid of tobacco smells! and a new one to consider: Vapeing. I recently bought something, and when I got it home, wondered what the funny smell coming from the thing was. It took me a while, but I'm now convinced it's from one of the sweet smelling e-ciggerettes. Some cleaning and time have reduced it, but it was annoying at first.

Cheers,Dave


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:52 pm
Posts: 335
Location: North Gower, ON, CA
- Take along a few cd's you know and love, particularly ones with some deep bass, big dynamics, quiet passages, Cheers,Dave[/quote]

Hi Dave, a stoopid question here, how do I listen for dynamics?
I know what the word means, but how do speakers with Poor Dynamics perform , everything at almost the same volume??
Ott.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:10 pm
Posts: 51
Location: mtl, QC, CA
Listen to the spks at above avg. volume. I went to checkout a pr for sale & the seller could not put the volume loud due to someone sleeping in the house. At my place they played fine at low to med. volume. At high volume one of the woofers vibrated due to damage. That's why he was selling them.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:45 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
greyowl77 wrote:
Listen to the spks at above avg. volume. I went to checkout a pr for sale & the seller could not put the volume loud due to someone sleeping in the house. At my place they played fine at low to med. volume. At high volume one of the woofers vibrated due to damage. That's why he was selling them.


At the end of the day, it is not only what you are buying, but also who you are doing business with. I ALWAYS read the feedback on the seller before I respond to an ad. It may sound a bit unfair to sellers who have no feedbacks. But banks check your credit rating before they grant you a loan. So why not?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:28 pm
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Location: Kaleden, BC, CA
oops - delete!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:57 am
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
Frankly it’s very hard to do a true test at the sellers place. Listening is the best test. You are trying to hear buzzing, vibrations. Test with music that has decent bass. You don’t want to push the speakers beyond their rating but get the bass going. That’s where you’ll hear anything being loose.

Check fasteners, screws to see if they’ve been repeatedly removed and retightened.

Check corners for obvious drops.

Other than that, it’s very rare that someone is selling busted speakers because it’s usually very obvious when speakers are compromised.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:26 am
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Thanks all, this is helpful.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 334
Location: Cambridge, ON, CA
Give a good listen at different volumes, know the settings the seller is using on the upstream electronics,note the associated equipment, look at the drivers, make sure all working and use common sense!

Oh and how they sound in that person's home.................. they might not sound the same in your home :D

It's not unusual for people to not like a speaker in their home after they get it home and hooked up ,running

All other things are good to go ...The room the speaker is in and its placement is the final arbitrator

I've also had people buy my equipment unheard to they wont come into someone's house period


Last edited by Tyreman on Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 334
Location: Cambridge, ON, CA
malthuse wrote:
Frankly it’s very hard to do a true test at the sellers place. Listening is the best test. You are trying to hear buzzing, vibrations. Test with music that has decent bass. You don’t want to push the speakers beyond their rating but get the bass going. That’s where you’ll hear anything being loose.

Check fasteners, screws to see if they’ve been repeatedly removed and retightened.

Check corners for obvious drops.

Other than that, it’s very rare that someone is selling busted speakers because it’s usually very obvious when speakers are compromised.

Good luck.


quite true


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 1115
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

malthuse wrote:' Frankly it’s very hard to do a true test at the sellers place.'

++ to that. Often the seller has not set them up very well. I have an old saying I made up - and here it is.

Lots of people have heard sound coming from two speakers but only a few have heard the stereo effect.

You can pretty much judge the internal condition of the speakers by the external care given to the enclosures. Hard use is usually evident. Put on something on (female voice is good) and listen to each speaker really close up - with your ear right on the grill fabric. Ask the seller if he can switch the amp to mono from stereo. 1) Each cabinet should sound about the same; 2) there should be no pops, buzzes, whumps or other anomalies; and 3) as you move your ear around you should be able to hear the transition to the tweeter where all the high energy frequencies emanate and it should be nicely voiced and clear.

Actual set-up in your home room is the acid test. Happy hunting.

Cheers,
David Neice

_________________
Chinese Proverb: 'Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, waits very, very long time'.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:25 pm
Posts: 892
Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
All great ideas!

Here is another, if the amp used for auditioning, or the source, has a mono switch - use it.
It will reveal any imbalances in output as well as harmonics.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:39 am
Posts: 182
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
cabinet condition means nothing, make sure all driver output equally that there is no weak ones.


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