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Thread: What Kind of Speakers are Best?

  1. #21
    Join Date: Jul 2009

    Location: Hampshire, UK

    Posts: 1,863
    I'm Buriedunderaloadofturntables.

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    If I compile my all-time speaker top 10, then positions 1, 2 and 3 are occupied by large active loudspeakers with at least 4 drive units, a minimum of 750W of amplification and some sort of room correction/DSP facility.

    Sadly I can't afford any of 'em...
    Adam.

  2. #22
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 435
    I'm Russell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    You call those speakers?

    These are speakers .... https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...-wall-of-sound

    Now, those are proper JBLs, Martin
    I saw Judas Priest back in '79, and the speakers were from all to wall and all the way against the ceiling of the colosseum! I told my friend I thought most were fake, just for looks. But once the show started I was sure they were all real! I thought the house was going to come down on our heads! Especially when he stuck the mic in the tailpipe of his Harley.


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  3. #23
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 435
    I'm Russell.

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    I've heard some Klispchhorn speakers that were amazing. For horns, yes they were colored I guess, but seemed so clear and bright. They seemed to shine much more on acoustic music, a solo acoustic guitar, or piano concert. Rock music was too busy, congested maybe? But at times it was very real, female vocals were to die for. But, expensive and huge! Massive. And very telling of upstream gear. Any shortcomings would stick out like a sore thumb. But, I've heard smaller horns that were not so hard to live with. And were great ways to show off the beautiful flavor of a small tubed amp, seeing they are so sensitive.

    The speakers I heard that were the best ever were Martin Logans. So they did have the built in bass dynamic woofer. But the gear driving them was beyond reproach. Giant Krell monoblocks, a Klyne preamp! It cost $5 grand Back in 1987! Driven by the Sony 608ES i was buying. The salesman had to run me off after about 6 hours. Wow I wanted those speakers! But was a poor man back then. I think I'll start shopping for some now.

    But, as Neil was saying, the room is critical. You can't put KlispchHorns in a closet. And many great sounding speakers need room, they need 4 feet of space on all sides before they ever start to open up.

    The first "Good" speakers I ever owned were Vandersteen 2c with the stands. They are surprisingly good for their price and size. 4 way speakers with each driver in its own box, a good solid crossover, it did many things well and was easy to live with for over 25 years. I've considered buying some Vandersteen 3's or 5's.

    These Legacy Focus speakers I have now are very nice, and do so many things well. They are huge 4 way box speakers, very good selection of drivers, top notch x-over. I think they could sound much better if I had room to move them. I just cannot pull them 6 feet into the room, I have to deal with furniture placement, in a 16x20 foot room. I do enjoy the way they sound. They've got dynamics. They've got slam, they do vocals well, I can hear all the instruments and bass and drums are excellent. But, I've got to wonder what a pair of Martin Logans would sound like in here? Or Vandersteen 3's? Too bad I can't just borrow them and have strong men come and set them up for me! To live with for a month before making up my mind.


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  4. #24
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 16,585
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    These Legacy Focus speakers I have now are very nice, and do so many things well. .

    I'm not surprised. Just looked them up, holey moley! Twin 12 inch bass drivers, AMT tweeters. In volume my room is about the same as yours (29'x12') and I have pondered whether I actually need a bigger speaker than the JM labs with their rinky-dink little twin 7 inch bass drivers. Just a guess but I reckon big electrostatics would just be different, not better. Of course if it is a difference you prefer...

    Re having 4 feet clear on all sides of the speaker, lucky man who has the room to do that. I would think passive room treatment could go some way to creating that effect, though, not dabbled in that area myself yet so guessing.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SL1200 with Sumiko h/s & Nagaoka MP50 * Firebottle valve MM phono stage * Parasound CDPi1000 * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  5. #25
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 435
    I'm Russell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I'm not surprised. Just looked them up, holey moley! Twin 12 inch bass drivers, AMT tweeters. In volume my room is about the same as yours (29'x12') and I have pondered whether I actually need a bigger speaker than the JM labs with their rinky-dink little twin 7 inch bass drivers. Just a guess but I reckon big electrostatics would just be different, not better. Of course if it is a difference you prefer...

    Re having 4 feet clear on all sides of the speaker, lucky man who has the room to do that. I would think passive room treatment could go some way to creating that effect, though, not dabbled in that area myself yet so guessing.
    Yes these guys have the bass! It was hard to squeeze out of them until I got the Krell. Then I had to move them 2 feet farther into the room to tame the bass a bit. It has a 12 inch radiator on the back, with two 3 inch ports as well. So a lot of bass coming from the rear. The highs are as smooth as they could be, surprisingly easy treble. The D'Appolito arrangement at the top gives some fair imaging if you get in the sweet spot. But speaker placement is tricky, you need to get back a ways to get it just right, probably farther than I am able to get. But what they do best is they can rock! If you apply the juice these babies can rock the house big time! Real live concert bass right in the house, without being harsh at all! In fact, since I've had the Krell, I find myself listening at lower volume levels. It has satisfying bass at tiny volumes, so, it does many things right. Bass guitar, kick drum, and synthesizer are suddenly there! Bass synth can be surprisingly present at times. But, it's not dark or boomy, bass is tight and overall frequencies are balanced. These are real, "full range" speakers.

    What I cannot get them to do is give that 3D in the room realism. That spooky I thought I heard that guitar in the room feeling. The Electrostatics can do this, at least the ones I heard were doing it with ease! But that is one of the pitfalls of buying all used gear, you can't go hear it, or hear it in your system before you buy. You've got to depend on reviews and advice from fellow 'philes, and some theory and faith. I'd love to hear a pair of the Tannoy's in here! And some Martin Logans, or even Magnapan's, or perhaps some of those nice B&W Nautilus speakers that are so popular. When I win the lotto I'll let you all know how they all sound!




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  6. #26
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,436
    I'm Alan.

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    Maggies are good, without a doubt, but you do need an amp that drives 4 ohms well.

  7. #27
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 200
    I'm Dennis.

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    Interesting User211. I heard the Scintillas in about '90, impressive apart from the need to have the head controlled to within a few mms to get the top.

    Which actives Beobloke, Nautilus snails by any chance?

  8. #28
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 25,522
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    Interesting User211. I heard the Scintillas in about '90, impressive apart from the need to have the head controlled to within a few mms to get the top.
    I've heard them on occasion years back. I don't recall a top directivity issue though. I did think they sounded about as good as any speaker I'd ever heard.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  9. #29
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos & Cambrian mountains, Wales

    Posts: 8,507
    I'm Jerry.

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    Lots of ways to move air.

    Most technologies can work well.

    For cones and domes in boxes it's all down to the implementation, imo. Many I wouldn't take on a dare, but some have really worked well for me. I'm not aware of anything particularly special about the design or materials, but Leema Xaviers were probably the best 'traditional' speakers I have owned. A moderate sized 3-way, they just sounded right and also ticked my 'audiophile boxes' like neutrality, rez, focus and dynamic tracking. Some JBL L110 vintage boxes were also great.

    For the ultimate rez (and slam) Justin's (user211) Apogee-based Interstalla ribbon speakers driven by his Accuphase mono amps are jaw dropping. I'm quite a high rez kind of listener but these were just a bit too much for me! Great fun to visit, but I'm not at all sure I could live with them. TMI.

    Electrostatics - I never could get on with hybrids but I have enjoyed some full rangers, most notably Martin Logan CLS2z, and Quad 57 can be great, too (but there are some really drab sounding ones around as well, probably in need of a refurb). Both really need a sub for full range music (electronic or orchestral), and that's a real can o' worms that I never got close to properly sorting.

    Horns - usually too coloured for my tastes. They can shift air very impressively, though, and can have fantastic resolution. I had a pair of Avantgarde horn hybrids for quite a few years and they worked well with minimal horn colouration, so it can be done.

    I've settled on flexing carbon fibre petals integrated with a cone bass cabinet for the last 7 years, and couldn't be happier.

    Loudspeakers are all idiosyncratic and very subject to personal taste, and it seems to me that the more expensive they get the increasingly different they sound from each other! Which is an interesting observation in itself.
    Jerry

    Main systems:
    Spotify Premium streaming, DAC3 NOS TDA1543. Pure Sound L10 preamp, Pass X150 power amo. Speakers: MBL 116F. Cryo Silver i/c & Western Electric 16GA spkr cables. ProJect and Nordost Magus power cables

    Headphones: Fostex T50RP mk3, AKG 551, JBL Synchros S700, B&O H6, PSB M4U-1, B&O Form 2 & 2a and Sony XBA-H1 & SoundMagic E50 IEM headphones

    2nd system: Spotify Premium streaming / Pioneer DV-535, Audiolab MDAC, Black Cat power amp, Chario Syntar 100T speakers. Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT-150, SoundMagic E10 IEM headphones

    3rd system: Portable CD player, Kinter MA-180 T amp, Klegg Symphony 102 speakers

  10. #30
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,436
    I'm Alan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    ..... it seems to me that the more expensive they get the increasingly different they sound from each other! Which is an interesting observation in itself.
    Indeed Jerry, you would have thought that if money is being spent to achieve 'better' reproduction then the opposite should be the case.

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