New review of FR30 in Hi-Fi News - June 2022

Having used a single component including streamer, DAC, preamp, phono, amplifiers and DSP since 2016, were I to change to a component system I honestly don’t know where I would start. I could list a system, but I would have to win the lottery first. Even with 3 good local dealers with a good range of stock available on loan, the thought of doing it would be more stress than fun.

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Recommended for people who doesn’t do critical listening and move around? Isn’t that like only 1% of us?

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Well, I think that the best part of that video is the talk from Pete from Magenta. I think he’s done a better job than any of us (myself included) in describing the aims of the project and the technology and goals of the speaker. I hope that we clip that and make that available on the website.

While that reviewer had a lot of good things to say though as he mentions, he almost exclusively reviews and listens to headphones these days. Certainly headphones have a lot more specificity than speakers, though I much prefer listening to speakers.

I’m sure that the guys at magenta set up the speaker set things up as best possible, imaging is a little little setup and room dependent. Paul tends to set things up with speakers rather close together but not toed in (as a starting point) as he likes a bigger, wider, and slightly diffuse sound with things happening well outside the width of the speaker and behind them.

With additional toe in or a further seating distance (and or larger room) and other factors (like side walls) can bring things into tighter focus. Also, room treatments play a big factor in this.

The FR30 integrates best at 8+ feet away from the speaker (because of the distance between the vertically arrayed drivers) and they appear to be a bit possibly a bit close in the video, because of the room and seating arrangement.

In my opinion, the BHK gear that we have here is on the powerful, vivid, “big”, musical and slightly fun side of things, something Bascom called “boogie factor” whereas some other gear might be more analytical and give a sense of resolution and be more to certain people’s tastes. I think that we have a great combination with our gear but it depends on what you’re after.

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Regarding, walking around the room, the speaker has very wide horizontal coverage at around 140 degrees but rather narrow vertical coverage around the crossover and so isn’t necessarily a “walk around the room” speaker, in my opinion. It does play quite loud effortlessly and so if extra bourbon is consumed and dancing ensues, I think it can hang.

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I’ve seen a number of people reference that review and zero in on the walking around the room thing, like they didn’t bother getting to the end of the video, where he outlines a lot of positives, especially regarding dynamics and texture, which I’ve found are always strong points of PS Audio gear.
Why do people feel the need to pluck what they consider a “negative” out of a review and ignore all of the positive comments? It’s typical of Internet forums and it’s the worst element, too. “HA! GOTCHA!!” moments, as if people who’ve never designed a product like this, let alone brought one to market, somehow know more than the designers.
I’ve read a few reviewers who’ve discussed the dangers of one not-so-positive comment in the context of seven or eight very positives ones, where the online community picks up the negative and runs with it. It’s incredibly unfair.
We see this a lot with measurements, too. “Oh that measures a treble peak, so I won’t even go near it - what was the designer thinking?!?!” It’s like measuring and weighing a football and condemning it, without actually ever kicking it!
System and room dependence. It’s what makes measurements not as important as listening. And too often measurements are given as absolute authority, requiring no justification whatsoever, as if they’re a law higher than anybody’s ability to listen or, god forbid, personal taste.
So here we have ONE GUY who actually says nothing negative about a product, and qualifies his experience very deliberately as saying HE DOESN’T HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH PRODUCTS OF THIS TYPE (he’s been clear and honest). Yet the online comments focus on the perceived negative. Wow. Absurd.
And let’s not forget favourable reviews elsewhere. But one comment in one video from a confessed non-experienced guy outweighs them. Gosh and golly.
So how about we spend as much energy discussing all of the positives? That way, maybe @Chris_Brunhaver doesn’t need to turn up and defend himself. Which is also absurd.

You could buy this speaker, or one from Wilson, or one from Sonus faber, or anyone else. Buy what you like. Give it praise for it does well that fits with your aesthetic. But don’t then damn other speakers for doing what you personally like. Judge them on what they’re designed to do. There is NO “absolute sound”. If there were, speaker designs in the high end would be converging on a common goal. But hey, they don’t.

Rant over. I’m not sorry for it. Passionate defence of excellence is needed. Elitism, insofar as it encourages the very best minds to do their very best work, is sorely lacking in the online conversation. We don’t criticise Nobel Laureates for being great, do we?
All the best
Mick
(No, I’ve not been drinking, but I will now…)

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It’s very simple. Because the speaker is unavailable to hear, costs $29k, and from a company without a track record in speakers. Those aren’t criticisms, but they are facts.

If the speaker were available to listen to (the decision to skip Axpona was mind boggling), people could trust their ears and overlook indicated deficiencies in reviews. So far, they can’t do that (listen) unless they drop $29k, which just isn’t realistic for 99.999% given the three facts above (by far most importantly - NOT AVAILABLE TO HEAR (in US anyway)).

So they’re left to read reviews and fill in blanks, but that is not convincing to anyone used to hearing before buying.

This just my opinion and it won’t be popular here, but so be it.

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My point was that in the review there was one element taken to be a criticism (which really wasn’t) and it’s the idea that’s taken hold online. Running with the negative because it’s a chance to pile on and be critical (like your comment about Axpona; you’ve been pretty scathing, but did you ask PS Audio why before you jumped in to condemn?). Again, there are a lot of very positive comments in that video that don’t get talked about. Why? Gosh I sound cynical…

So, that decision to focus on a perceived negative has nothing to do with its scarcity, cost or origins. The decision is about cynicism and online invisibility. There’s no balance. How about this…

“I was really interested to hear the reviewer say the speaker wasn’t for someone who likes pinpoint imaging for analytical listening, and I wonder what other speakers in this price bracket are like in this regard. Still, he does go on to suggest the speaker excels in other areas; I wonder if it exceeds its price competitors in those areas. Sadly, it’s just not widely available enough yet to directly compare to something like the Wilson speakers that evidently (I’ve not heard them myself) have spectacular imaging. I’d have loved to hear them at Axpona; does anyone know why they weren’t shown?”

Fair, balanced, expresses concerns yet doesn’t assume to know more than designers/engineers/the company. In short, it’s considered and polite.

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They lost 10k, so did everyone else. Unfortunate but cost of doing business (not defending Axpona). They more than recoup that loss on one fr30 sale. Call it scathing if you want, that’s fine.

To more particularly address your question, I think the reason is people don’t trust reviews. Why? Because we’ve all read flowery reviews that make the product sound amazing and then when we hear it, it’s terrible (for me it was Goldenear speakers- no offense GE fans, ymmv, subjective hobby). Reviews are simply expected to be positive.

So of course non positive comments stand out and will get discussed especially when people can’t hear for themselves

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I get your point.

But, do you know PS Audio’s budget? What their margin is? And how many pairs of FR30 they have to sell to recoup the years of R&D? If not, the comment is just a cynical value judgement.

If people don’t trust reviews, then why watch them and comment? And why not, “it’s unusual to see a negative comment”, to which the reviewer could reply, “it’s not a negative comment, it’s a statement about what type of listener this product might suit”.

Is it just me? Am I the only one tired of negativity and cynicism and the cult of the individual and the eroding of manners and kindness and community? There are so many brilliantly helpful and constructive threads on this forum that the negativity stands out in stark relief.

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No, but surely they make over $10k on a low volume $30k sale, and recouping the R&D budget is all the more reason to do everything possible to sell more. It’s a business decision they’ll live with, and the covid thing I’m sure played a small part. It’s not Axpona per se but the bigger issue of not being anywhere available to hear. Time will tell and for record nobody was more complimentary than me concerning the HFN review in this very thread (or I should say the score, I haven’t seen the review)

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No.

:+1:

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Choosing not to participate at Axpona (this year) and moving to a direct-sales model (in the US) are not decisions that somehow prevent or enable PSA to recoup their costs and hit their margin target. The success of the product will be borne out over time.

PSA’s transparency throughout the R&D, specification and fabrication cycle have skewed our perception of the process. Most companies don’t reveal a pending product line until it is much further along. Add the disruptions to labor and material supply wrought by COVID-19 to our non-typical awareness of and sensitivity to the product development cycle and it can seem like PSA has fumbled the football. (I don’t think they have, all in all.)

The actual number of pairs of these speakers appears to be few and far between. As production and distribution ramps up here and abroad, PSA and the industry will begin to get a sense of the success of the product. Until then, everyone (including, I would assert, PSA) is just “crystal balling”.

FWIW.

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Agree

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You are not the only one saddened by the negativity, cynicism, erosion of manners, disappearing sense of community.

Paul’s post minutes ago in the AirLens thread is directly on point:

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We do infact, if they happen to have an option that steps outside of the main stream native.
Case in point, Robert Malone

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It’s not just you and I wholeheartedly agree with what you’re saying. There are some nothing more than trolls on this forum that let the side down imho.

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Robert Malone isn’t a Nobel Laureate, is he?

Nope. Malone is not a Nobel Laureate.

As this gets us into discussing COVID-19 we will stop here on the topic of Mr. Malone.

If anyone wants to learn more about Mr. Malone and his claims there is plenty of material online.

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I apologize if seeming too negative. I didn’t think I was. The forum is almost always extremely positive. That shouldn’t mean there can’t be contrary views if presented respectfully.

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OK, OK, I’ll behave. :wink:

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