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Subjective Listening Tests

Dang it. Sometimes pure measurements just don't tell the whole story. I was able to hear the two midrange peaks, but that was far overshadowed by the overall musicality (is that really a word?) of the 3050M's. MidiLand is one of those few, and I mean very few, manufacturers that listens to their products. Despite the obvious sonic aberrations, the 3-piece set always managed to draw me into the sound instead of drive me away. This magic becomes addicting and over the decades of listening to hundreds of speakers becomes painfully obvious in the first few minutes of any decently recorded selection being fired up.

Yes, the midrange was tilted to the lightweight side, but that is not to equate it to sounding thin and harsh. Quite the contrary, voices and strings sounded clean and clear and even if a bit too pronounced. I found myself wanting to re-examine much of my eclectic music collection. This is a good thing.

Akin to the excellent full range 4060 satellites, the little screamers did exhibit a surprising high frequency extension. No, don't expect -3dB@20KHz, but the last octave was there, just not as strong as it could have been with tweeters.

The subwoofer was meant to be placed near the junction of at least two walls. If placed far out into the room, it cannot produce enough SPL to keep up with the satellites although the frequency response would be unusually flat for this price range. I would have preferred a lower sub cutoff, but again MidiLand chose quality over quantity. The woofer exhibited very little high Q sloppy bass. What a welcome relief.

Conclusion

Frankly, I'm ecstatic to find any speaker with this kind of sonic truth at any price, let alone in the sub-$100 class. After reviewing units in the $200-$300 range with dreadful results, I finally was able to listen and enjoy the music, not have it assault my ears and make me eager for the time to arrive when I could turn them off.

I'm disappointed with the 50W claim being so far off. I think MidiLand should post more accurate numbers or simply do what Boston Acoustics did, few if any specs at all. Do people really buy subjective items by comparing objective numbers? I hope not. The S4-3050M's slips into my very exclusive ranks of the long term listenable. Recommended.

William Yaple
11/19/00

 





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