25 best speakers of all time? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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AudiophileReview.com recently did a shootout with the best speakers their people have ever heard, above a certain price level. A lot of care went into this, and the results have their viewers humming with activity over there.

Fellow AVS'ers, I would like to see your take on their findings. You can find it here

http://audiophilereview.com/audiophi...-all-time.html

While I personally cannot afford the kind of speakers in that discussion, I have had the distinct privilege of having spent quality time in the presence of Mark Levinson, listening to his own stuff while he himself looked on and answered questions from behind the table at CES in one of their dedicated listening rooms. For testing, he had brought along an 80 year old veteran sax player who had written a book and was signing it for us at the show.

Mr. Levinson conducted his listening demonstration by recording a live 6 minute solo by this saxophone player, right then and there in the listening room. Then playing it back on his own gear, again right then and there. No recording studio, no padding on the walls - just 4 ornate wood walls, a very nice mike, a laptop for the recording, his amp and speakers, and about a dozen people in attendance.

When he played it back it sounded just like what we had heard live a few minutes before, but only around half the volume. So I pointed that out to Mark and asked if we could hear it back at the same level it had just been played at live, since a sax is a very loud instrument, esp. when enclosed by 4 solid walls. A kind of a knowingness came over his face, he grinned and cranked it up and played it again, this time - and completely effortlessy - at the same level as the sax itself. This time it was like you could close your eyes and feel the live performance all over again, all around you.

What ensued after that was a discussion around a question from me about what kind of compression scheme he had used in the laptop he had recorded it on - answer none, you don't really need any to do a completely fidelitous recording - and then he told us about a unique noise reduction he had come across many years ago about the time that Ray Dolby's 60db had pretty much taken over the entire audio industry for tape recordings. He told us of a man who had designed a 122 db noise suppression system, which never really got any press and as such never caught on with the populace. But it caught his attention!

It was an hour to be relived over and over, I assure you!

Be sure and post your comments here on this thread as well -

Mr Bob

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post #2 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:00 AM
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Nice!

This will be a thread to watch.

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post #3 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:09 AM
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What is the point if most people cant afford most of those in the list.
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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You don't know what you're missing until you hear it. Just because I have never owned a Lamborghini doesn't mean I don't want to drive one someday! My listening tests to Mark Levinson equipment opened my mind to possibilities I never knew existed before that!

b

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post #5 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:12 AM
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Lists like this are fun, however I also like lists of important loudspeakers. Designs significant to change the course of the industry.

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post #6 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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There's that over there too. My vintage Advents have been mentioned. It's not just the 25, there's plenty of runners up and game changers listed too, like how the Advent, KLH and AR brought in the end of cardboard edging vs. foam/cloth roll edging to the woofers, along with a brand new idea at the time: bouncing off a cushion of air instead of porting due to lowered pricing on higher wattage amplification. Increasing bass fidelity immensely.


b

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post #7 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:20 AM
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Guys,

Note: the Top 25 speakers is on AudiophileReview.com, our blog edited by Steve Stone. The link above looks correct.

Re: Mark Levinson: I personally worked and mentored with Mark in the mid-1990s at Cello and it was a blast. We had the Bugatti of audiophile systems at the time and some great, high profile clients willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars EVEN back then.

If you check out the slide show over at AudiophileReview.com - I'd love to hear what you think should be Number one. Note: you can vote on the slides too. Its interesting to see how everyone has their own favorites.

We hope you enjoy the feature and run with the ALWAYS COMPELLING debate of "if you had all the money in the world what are the best speakers ever"....

All the best!

Jerry
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bob View Post

You don't know what you're missing until you hear it. Just because I have never owned a Lamborghini doesn't mean I don't want to drive one someday! My listening tests to Mark Levinson equipment opened my mind to possibilities I never knew existed!

b

I sure know there are endless possibilities :-)
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryDelColliano View Post

Guys,

Note: the Top 25 speakers is on AudiophileReview.com, our blog edited by Steve Stone. The link above looks correct.



Jerry

Oops! Just corrected it above, thanks Jerry -

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post #10 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 11:27 AM
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Love seeing Canton in the top 8. They get no love on this forum.

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post #11 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 12:17 PM
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Some of these are not THAT out of reach to a lot of us. You could think of it this way. You might not be able to afford that lines top model but, like some of the Paradigm or Canton, they have many models under $1,000 that would still work!

Sounds good!
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post #12 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 12:47 PM
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I think Canton deserves the love. Excellent speakers on the high end. Some nice, more affordable models too.

What do you guys think about Wisdom Audio (an in-wall) making the list? This is THE HOTTEST speaker brand in high end. ALL of the top dealers are taking them on. Ribbon tweeters, bi-amped, partially powered, room corrected - EXPENSIVE.
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post #13 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 03:45 PM
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I know the point of speakers is to listen to them and audio quality is what matters. But, it's amazing how ugly some of these speakers are. You'd think for $40,000+ dollars in some cases, they could make them a little more aesthetically pleasing.

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Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 05:52 PM
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Interesting...
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post #15 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MrEastSide View Post

I know the point of speakers is to listen to them and audio quality is what matters. But, it's amazing how ugly some of these speakers are. You'd think for $40,000+ dollars in some cases, they could make them a little more aesthetically pleasing.

+1. I was invited to some demo at an upper end home theater shop and they had some Wilson audio stuff. The speakers were something like $100k and sounded great, but they were ugly as sin. Not something I'd be proud to show off. They almost looked cheap if that makes any sense.
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post #16 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 07:38 PM
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It is a nice list and great to see several in the under 10K range.

One of the few. DCM Time Window Seven owners.
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post #17 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Great to see you here, Tracy. Hope I've been doing some good on those posts you've been forwarding me over at the SPot -

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post #18 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 08:59 PM
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I'm surprised to see the JBL Everest II off the list at #40, since it would have been at least #5 on my list. Inasmuch as I haven't heard four of the other 39 speakers, I can't rank it any higher. I think the Ultima2 Salons by Revel are a bit low, but very close to where they should be if averaged with the original Salons.

The Wilson Watt Puppy/Sasha coming in at #1 clearly shows I'm not in the mainstream of the "audiophile community." It's a great speaker, but far from top ten material in my non-"audiophile community" appreciation.

Some of the other posters have identified valid omissions from the list, but it's really tough to get down to 25, and especially tough when the context is colored as it must be by those who put it together and their own experiences, prejudices, and romanticisms. It always brings some discussion, and as long as it remains civil, it's a fun exercise, even if ultimately futile. (My list would have had the JBL at #5 or higher as a result of my own experience, prejudice, and romanticism. I'm aware of that. )

Thanks for putting it together.

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post #19 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bob View Post

Great to see you here, Tracy. Hope I've been doing some good on those posts you've been forwarding me over at the SPot -

b

Hey Bob. As always, your help with calibration and service issues is most appreciated on The Spot and our new forum too.

One of the few. DCM Time Window Seven owners.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

The Wilson Watt Puppy/Sasha coming in at #1 clearly shows I'm not in the mainstream of the "audiophile community." It's a great speaker, but far from top ten material in my non-"audiophile community" appreciation.

It's hard to vote objectivity if you haven't heard a good many of the speakers on the list. For me, it was based on a mixture of reviews, reputation and lust factor.

One of the few. DCM Time Window Seven owners.
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post #21 of 22 Old 11-06-2011, 09:25 PM
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Nice list besides the random Def Tech speakers...

I would put the Utopia ahead of the Diamond. The Utopia EM is the best speaker I have ever heard.
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post #22 of 22 Old 11-07-2011, 06:39 AM
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The list has some really good choices and a few random head scratchers.
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