Audiophile View of Two LED Brands

Before LED lighting & flashlights became an interest, home audio was my obsession going back to 1990. I learned from Stereo Review technical writing on acoustic theory and principles and read hundreds of reviews about components, receivers and speakers. I went to numerous hi-end equipment stores and marveled at demos on items I couldn't afford and intently listened to and compared those items that I thought I just might be able to purchase. I built speakers with Vifa, Audax, Infinity, Dayton Audio, Pioneer and other brand drivers. I custom built my own passive cross-overs. I even worked at a car audio shop and constructed enclosures based on designs from Orion, Rockford Fosgate, MTX and Diamond Audio but I digress. Home theater became a reality and I set up my home and planned, plus installed systems at friends homes.

In the last year or so, I've been experimenting with Samsung LH351Ds in various reflectors and TIRs with tints from 4000K to 5000K and SST40s with tints from 5000K to 6500K. I prefer the Samsungs in OP reflectors and TIRs and really like the SSTs in an SMO reflector.

So, an idea of framing these observations via the lens of my audio experiences:

Samsung LH351D = Polk Audio ie. smooth, full experience.

Luminus SST40 = JBL/Infinity/Harman-Kardon ie. crisp, radiant experience.

Of course, mid and hi frequencies are directional and in using the terms above to connote the emitted light quality, Polk Audio has been using soft dome tweeters for decades and Harman family products have been using hard domes with materials including aluminum, metal matrix (MMD) and ceramics (CMMD).

Any audio folks out there in BLF with observations over a similar time frame? Does this make any sense to y'all?

I can see how you can compare the build quality of the light to the build quality of the amplifier or receiver but I can’t see how you compare it to the characteristics of LED’s. You are comparing something you see with something you hear. Not sure how that is possible.

Does not make any sense to me.
Light can be measured precisely and effects are repeatable no matter person or place making it while audiophile judgement is just middle age superstition.

I’m an audio guy and I can see what you’re doing. You’re comparing the subjective qualities of the audio and LED experience and making connections with the type of “atmosphere” they induce.

I think most folks here are very focused on charts and measurements and care little about comparing the subjective experience of different LEDs. Maybe if there’s an interior lighting hobby community they might understand your comparisons better.

I personally find that what I see and what I measure don’t always agree. For example, when I measure a 4000K XP-L HI and a 4000K LH351D, the Cree measures much higher duv and indeed if you take a photo of the two side by side it appears much greener than the Samsung. However, when I look at them side by side with my own eyes, the Cree looks downright pink next to the Samsung.

I look at the charts and duv measurements that are posted around the forums, but I always like to see an LED installed in a light in person before I decide whether I like it or not. In this way, audio gear and LEDs are similar: charts and measurements aren’t everything.

There are plenty of objective measurements of audio equipment, which are repeatable under scientific conditions.

John Atkinson over at STEREOPHILE does them for every reviewed component.


If you look at scientific double-blind tests, most stuff in hifi are fake and a tremendous waste of money. Its so easy to manipulate how we perceived things.

You mean I wasted my money on Nordost $7k speaker wires ——- LOL

It’s your money, you could do whatever you wanted with them. :smiley:

I know a lot about double-blind testing and audio gear.

What people don’t realize is that ‘critical listening,’ much like other human endeavors, is often times a learned skill and most people don’t possess the skill.

Get a bunch of professional musicians, recording engineers, piano tuners and conductors in the same room and get back to us.

Standing in a BestBuy and listening to some mass produced HT system, not so much so.


On Polish audio forum, a few years back there was a guy who offered prize 2.500$ for “audiophile” who could in blind test hear differences between cables as many claimed can hear.
No one dares to participate.
End of story. Go with fairy tales somewhere else.

Most professional musicians can’t hear from years of playing

I was joking about the speaker wires—I stopped at 3k in 1996 —- It’s an affliction like any thing else —racing etc
But there is definitely differences in cables-tubes-components — you get more out of components for sure
In 1996 around tax season I sold all my high end gear —paid my taxes then I bought old stuff —It’s amazing — 1959 EV speakers —bottlehead preamp and a set of SET amps

I don’t own any flashlights with these emitters so I was really disappointed when the LH351D /FW3A never came to fruition. :confounded:
I am not such an amplifier buff either but I can see the analogy between audio speakers and flashlights.

Some speakers are just eye openers, when a friend of mine played some music on his Pioneer speakers from the 70’s, the whole room just “lit up” . I was like “wooh I have been listening to these songs for years and I never saw that there was a whole row of instruments in that back row” .

I simply use power cords of the size they use in washing machines for my 80+ pound transmission-line speakers. I got the advice from a salesman in a high end audio shop. Only tip: use same length cord for all channels.
It may be different for those who are so totally committed (and rich) they can afford to rebuild their home around their private audio theatre.

I’m looking for:

LED = Thiel

Can be driven hard to shine

Any recommendation?

Now that's what I'm talking about! That's a great quest! Unfortunately, no recommendation but it would be significantly cheaper .

Just like in our hobby, there is power, source (Analog-Analog, Digital-Aanalog conversion) components, pre-amplification, low level signal (via RCA, optical 'cables'), amplification, high level signal (via speaker wires) and output devices (speakers). The final, critical step in this process is what I'm talking about. It is certainly a subjective topic.

I'm not MIDDLE-AGED! ...Oh, wait...

Ding, ding, ding! Exactly!

Hey, don’t laff.

I flat-braid my own oxygen-free Cu magnet-wire into multiple caduceus-pairs to insure zero stray inductance or RF pickup, and get the cleanest crispest PWMed light available on the market from my F13 hosts, bar none.

Absolutely correct!

Now what we like and seems to be the best for us, the user/listener is affected by the variables such as marketing, aesthetics and ultimately "How does it sound in the room it's installed?" I think the standard for a good company is to let the consumer try it out in their listening environment.