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post #31 of 6914 Old 10-07-2007, 03:22 PM
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BTW, if you haven't checked out Dynaudio speakers, those are worth checking out also. I was floored by the Confidence C1 speakers for the price when I heard them recently...

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post #32 of 6914 Old 10-07-2007, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

I've never heard the 12A, but I have heard the 5A. To me they lacked the ability to present a decent 3D soundstage and they were grainy. Also to my ears they lacked an ability to present decent mid-range detail (i.e. they were not very transparent sounding). The 5a speakers I heard were set up by Vandersteen himself, so they were definitely set up correctly.

People do experience different things with stereophonics, so it isn't surprising to me that people experience different things with the same speakers... To my ears the W/P 8 speakers sound worlds better than the 5a speakers. I had the opportunity to buy either one and went with the speaker that made the music sound more like a "real" event to me instead of a compromised recording.

Sorry if I hit a nerve with you, as my intent was not to get you to start spouting the kind of anti-Wilson rhetoric you hear from Vandersteen fans like Richard Hardesty. It is apparent that is what happened, because you went from being friendly to attacking Wilson speakers when all I had said was that I don't like the 5a speakers...

Besides which, I think your reaction was just brand loyalty. You must not be happy with something about Vandersteens or else you wouldn't have started this thread and would just buy another pair of Vandersteens.

Oops, I did mean the 5A's...typo, sorry. Although, the quatros aren't quite as "dark" sounding as the 5A's.

You didn't hit a nerve at all. I was just giving an example of different strokes for different folks. And to be honest, I do have a small vendetta against Wilson because of an instance that happened to one of my good friends concerning his customer service/quality control. I don't want to delve into it though...no need to throw fuel on the fire.

I may have some brand loyalty, yes, but not so much as one would think, else I wouldn't be looking for another brand of speakers.

So no hard feelings I hope. I didn't mean to insult your intelligence or be unfriendly. I just wanted to get the point across that we all may like different sounds, and apparently the Vandersteen and Wilson sound isn't for everyone.

I have been wanted to get a demo of Dyns, but no dealer carries them around here. I'll have to take a roadtrip to get a listen, though. Thanks for the tip!

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #33 of 6914 Old 10-07-2007, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Pibbo View Post

Do you have the older C line? Because I've got a pair of the C-9s right now, and I can definitely say that the Reference line sounds like a CONSIDERABLE improvement to me. Same basic "personality", just much more refined, transparent, smooth, etc. I'd say the biggest improvement I noticed was in the highs, where my C-9s can get a little harsh and ringy at times, but the Reference's highs are always delicate and sweet with NO harshness.

I believe mine are from the C series. I've heard before about the new Reference line and have been curious about them. Your words certainly make me even more curious to hear them. They have gone up in price but I'd certainly be willing to pay more than I did since there is so much more of what I like, which is sort of how I'm interpreting what you're saying. The genetically superior next generation, so to speak...
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post #34 of 6914 Old 10-07-2007, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I have been wanted to get a demo of Dyns, but no dealer carries them around here. I'll have to take a roadtrip to get a listen, though. Thanks for the tip!

IMO the Dynaudio C1s sounded better than the Magico Minis, but to be fair, the C1s were in a room well treated for high frequency reflections, while the Minis were in a room without any treatments at all. My biggest complaint on the Minis were how bright they sounded and how cacophonous the music ended up being, both of which are highly likely signs of an untreated room and possibly not the speaker itself.

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post #35 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, that does sound like a room acoustics issue, though I have never heard the Magico's. I certainly don't want a speaker with over the top treble energy. My ears fatigue pretty quickly, so finding that "right balance" will be an interesting journey.

I have a decent list of speakers to start with, but please keep making recommendations. Do any of the Internet Direct guys want to add anything to my list based on my preferences?

P.S. Those Aerials Acoustic 7B's look real nice!

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #36 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I should add Mark Schifter added his two cents in a thread over in his forum. I have definitely added the open baffle x-statik (currently in the works) to my list. Thanks Mark!

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Hmm, that does sound like a room acoustics issue, though I have never heard the Magico's. I certainly don't want a speaker with over the top treble energy. My ears fatigue pretty quickly, so finding that "right balance" will be an interesting journey.

I have a decent list of speakers to start with, but please keep making recommendations. Do any of the Internet Direct guys want to add anything to my list based on my preferences?

P.S. Those Aerials Acoustic 7B's look real nice!

I would love to see the look on your face when you find out the 7B's are $5000/pair and another $500 for the bases.

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post #38 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 07:02 AM
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Nuance, it sounds like you're going to take some time to make your decision, which is a good idea. I would suggest you locate an Anthony Gallo dealer and listen to the Reference 3.1. Unique design, no baffle, open and airy highs that compare favorably with Magnepans, with the benefit that they have excellent bass, large sweetspot and are not finecky as far as room placement. They also do not dominate the room as they are about 40" tall and 8" wide. I have a 2 channel system and the soundstage is wide and precise. If there is one complaint I've heard, it is image height when you're standing. Doesn't bother me because I'm sitting if doing serious listening. I have the optional subamp which extends the response from 34hz down to 22hz, but it is not necessary for the types of music I prefer. I usually only turn it on when watching movies, for added slam. Personally, I don't think an outboard sub is necessary but some do. I think the efficency is around 89db and I'm driving them with a Pioneer receiver putting out 140 WPC but I'm looking for something that will deliver a higher current level. Around 3K new and the subamp is $900 but both can be found for less used. I've had mine for 10 months and have no regrets at all. Good luck in your search!
http://www.roundsound.com/reference-3-speakers.htm
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post #39 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

I would love to see the look on your face when you find out the 7B's are $5000/pair and another $500 for the bases.


Then you should have been at my house last night; my heart sank a little...DOH! I guess they would be something to save up for one day, if I like them of course.

$5000 is a little too much says me, but as I mentioned earlier, if they knock my socks off I'll start saving.

Iceman, thanks for the info. There is actually a contracting company that performs large HT installations in my area that supplies Anthony Gallo speakers. I will check 'em out.

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #40 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by craigsub View Post

I would love to see the look on your face when you find out the 7B's are $5000/pair and another $500 for the bases.


Welllllll....Craig. That Five grand could buy a 1995 Crown Vic, I suppose.

I already scared the pants off him when I told Nuance that they were $5k each ...my wife was nagging me to get off the computer and I erred. But I corrected it a moment later. So now Nuance is thrilled that they're not TEN grand. LOL!!

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post #41 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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^ haha, that's true. 5 is much better than 10.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #42 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 11:19 AM
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I think that $5k is a great price point for speakers. Lots of amazing choices! Start saving those pennies, Nuance!
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post #43 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

I think that $5k is a great price point for speakers. Lots of amazing choices! Start saving those pennies, Nuance!

Oh yes, will do.

Say, you've listened to a lot over the years haven't you? What are your recommendations?

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #44 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Oh yes, will do.

Say, you've listened to a lot over the years haven't you? What are your recommendations?

I listened to just about everything I could back 18 months ago, yep. I had Maggie MMGs and fell in love with them. I felt as though the planar sound had ruined me for all "boxes", and they just about did. I was pretty sure I was going to jump into some Magnepan 3.6s. What I basically realized was that it wasn't so much the radiation pattern that I loved as much as it was the realism, transparency, and overall lack of coloration that came along with the Maggies.

I listened to the Gallos, Von Schweikert, B&W, JM Labs, the Paradigm Signatures, Martin Logan, etc....it wasn't until a local audio dealer with whom I'd become friends had me down for a listen to some DeVore Fidelity Super 8s that I finally found what I was looking for. They were very transparent, had a wonderful soundstage, precise imaging, and plenty of dynamics. They aren't bottom feeders, but they go low enough to where I can run them full range w/out a sub for music and be plenty happy.

I had a few conversations with John DeVore, read some reviews, listened to them a few more times, and then fate sealed my decision: Someone who had ordered a pair in a special veneer - Italian Ebony - had canceled his order after hearing the Silverbacks (the DeVore flagship speaker). So, they were offered to me and I jumped at them.

Pics dont' do them justice at all, but you can see them in the link in my signature below. They look much nicer in person.

The two main changes I've made to my system since picking up the Super 8s have been the addition of a Butler hybrid tube amp and some room treatments. Both made a nice improvement in the sound, but I've heard what the Super 8s can do in an ideal situation (my audio dealer friend's listening room is sick!), and I know I can improve things even more. But they're great for both music and HT (I use an SVS with them for HT), and I have had no desire to look elsewhere since picking them up.

I think what you originally posted in this thread is the key....you took an inventory on what qualities you want out of a speaker, and now you can find the best fit for you. For a while I wasn't exactly sure I had a real grasp on the specific qualities that most appealed to me. I was allowing the speakers to lead me down that path until I figured it out. Once I DID figure it out, it became much easier to rule out some of the products I was auditioning. When you know what you want out of your system, it's quite a bit easier to put the pieces together, I think.

BTW, I dont' know if you have them on your short list, but some other speakers you might want to listen to are the Salk HT-3s, the Odyssey Loreleis, and the Omega Acoustics stuff. Those are three lines I never had the chance to audition, but I hear lots of good things about them.
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post #45 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Summa, there is a lot of good information in what you just posted. Thanks a lot buddy, that is exactly what I was looking for! It sounds like you made the exact same journey I have, the difference being you have arrived at (or near) the end. Congrats on your purchase! I hope to one day be as satisfied as you.

Thanks!

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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post #46 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Summa, there is a lot of good information in what you just posted. Thanks a lot buddy, that is exactly what I was looking for! It sounds like you made the exact same journey I have, the difference being you have arrived at (or near) the end. Congrats on your purchase! I hope to one day be as satisfied as you.

Thanks!


Thanks, man I think I'm lucky in the sense that I really don't like the whole process of auditioning an endless number of speakers or all sorts of gear. I like the part where I'm just satisfied with what I have and can enjoy it, you know? I think a lot of people love the idea of getting new ****, and that's what drives them more than anything. I'm not saying I don't enjoy getting new things, cause I do....but what drives me is the same thing that's driving you - the pursuit of a speaker that can reproduce music and/or movie soundtracks in the manner you feel is most satisfying.

When I make a purchase, I have to research the HELL out of it. I put a lot of time and energy into it...just can't help it. So for me, when it comes time to buy something, that means work, lol. The work always pays off, and I feel I've made a nice progression from when I first started in this hobby, but yeah, it feels good to be able to see a thread about some great new speaker and not be like, "wow, I wish I had THAT!" I'm still interested in what's going on in the hobby, of course, but I don't sit here and drool over a pair of speakers like I used to do.

For my purposes, I know I have the best match given my tastes and preferences. And I have no doubt that you'll end up in the same place since, in my opinion, you're doing it the right way. I'm looking forward to hearing about which products you audition, and which direction you go next...part of why I love these forums is because I enjoy hearing about what others are doing, seeing pics of their gear and set-ups, etc....I think that's pretty cool
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post #47 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

So for me, when it comes time to buy something, that means work, lol.

Work?!? I eschew work. It is all about pleasure...

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post #48 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

I've never heard the 12A, but I have heard the 5A. To me they lacked the ability to present a decent 3D soundstage and they were grainy. Also to my ears they lacked an ability to present decent mid-range detail (i.e. they were not very transparent sounding). The 5a speakers I heard were set up by Vandersteen himself, so they were definitely set up correctly.

Did you hear them at the show in NY in May?

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post #49 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 06:09 PM
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Nuance, it sounds like you're going to take some time to make your decision, which is a good idea. I would suggest you locate an Anthony Gallo dealer and listen to the Reference 3.1. Unique design, no baffle, open and airy highs that compare favorably with Magnepans, with the benefit that they have excellent bass, large sweetspot and are not finecky as far as room placement

. I finally heard the Gallo 3.1 and came away with a completely different opinion from what I'd read in a review. The reviewer said that there was no sense of the sound character changing from the various drivers, that the soonic character was very coherent. I thought the bass was very good, the highs were a little too forward but nice sounding, and the midrange was recessed, making voices sound too far back. Not sure if room acoustics would make the midrange sound recessed.
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post #50 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 06:31 PM
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Nuance -

I know exactly what you are going through, but my gut reaction to your quest for the perfect speaker is that you may be chasing a rainbow. I know, because I have been through quite a few high-quality speaker brands in the last four years trying to do the same thing you are. I've come to the conclusion that eventually, you will find something not to like about just about any speaker. None of them are perfect, and even the ones that measure flat on-axis, are far from it off-axis, so the power response (both direct and reflected energy) of the speaker in your room will dictate the sound you hear. In fact, if you are going to consider measurements and graphs as part of the qualifying criteria, forget looking at just the on-axis FR. It means very little in regards to the in-room response. And then there is the inevitable fact that some recordings are going to sound good on one speaker and crap on another. You may have to be happy with the speaker that is the least offensive while giving you the most of what you want, or just plan on switching speakers every few years at least.

I started this hobby in the early 90's, and at that time I was more interested in movies than music. Over time that changed and I wanted a system that would do both well. I have always loved music as much if not more than movies, but in the early 90's surround sound was new and exciting. Here's a brief account of what I went through in my search for the perfect speakers.

1st good quality speakers meant mainly for movies: 5.1 M&K THX certified system. Nice and compact, dynamic and exciting on movies, but also lean, dry, and analytical sounding on music. They were also a bit bright and emphasized sibilance, which I found quite annoying the longer I had them. Had these for about four years, but it was time to start the search for a better set of speakers . . .

2nd system: Aerial Acoustics 7B's, CC3, and SR3's (kept the MK sub). These measure ruler flat on-axis and received the most hyped-up, glowing review Ultimate AV Mag has ever given a surround sound speaker package. I don't think Ultimate AV made a single criticism of the speakers. (Yes, I know virtually all speaker reviews are positive, but there are at least a couple of minor negatives stated.) No one but an HT installer carried them in my area, so I bought them sight unseen (unheard?). A major no-no, I know, but what can I say, I was new at this. I had to drive two hours to get them, and I couldn't imagine being more excited. Got them home, hooked them up, and while they weren't offensively bad in any way, they did very little to impress me. The center speaker sounded boxy and chesty, and the 7B's had no life or sparkle to them. OK, so maybe I like a sound that is a little lifted up top, at least on axis. Definitely not the last word in transparency or dynamics. Yes, they could play loudly without strain, but they had very little jump or snap to their sound. Now I know that the 7B's have been recommended by another poster in this thread, and it is not my intent to discredit him. I am just stating my experience with them and it just goes to show you that we all value different things when it comes to sound reproduction. We all say that we want the same thingaccuracy, but obviously, our perspective on what is accurate differs from one person to the next.

3rd system: Vienna Acoustics Mozart, Maestro Center, Waltz surrounds (kept the MK sub again). These are still amongst my favorite speakers for music, but they simply didn't cut it for movies. Do they have flat on-axis FR? No way. They have a significant and intentional dip in the 2-4kHz region and a little lift at the top of the treble. They very easy to listen to, with never a chance of fatigue. However they never cam across as dull or overly polite. They sparkled up top, had a nice warm and reasonably tight bass and somewhat laidback, but never dull midrange. Very nice for music, and not noticeably colored in any way, despite the lack of accuracy in their FR. Unfortunately they didn't make the cut because that dip in the 2-4kHz region made it very difficult to understand spoken dialog in movies. So much so that my wife and I were constantly asking each other what was being said while watching TV and movies. The bass drivers would also bottom out during dynamic passages in movies or when rocking out. Lastly, not that is has anything to do with the sound quality, but their build quality was a little disappointing as well. I was able to catch these things soon enough that I was able to return the entire package to the store within their 30 day return period. Whew!

4th system: Martin Logan Aeon i, Cinema i center, Script I surrounds, MK subwoofer. After having been through a few speakers at this point, I asked to take the Aeon's home for a day to listen before I made a commitment to buy them. I also listened to them at the store prior to that. But I think at the time, I was so enamored by the slick looking electrostatic panels, that I pushed down some concerns I had with them. They were also just so damn transparent sounding, like there was no speaker their at all. Their transparency was very seductive. As you can see above, I ended up buying a 5 speaker set based on this limited in-home audition. After livening with them for a few months, and the honeymoon was over, I started to notice several things I really didn't like about them. First, they were too directional for HT. Sitting even slightly off center made the speaker closest to you dominate the sound. Second, because the Aeons are relatively small for an ESL speaker, they had very limited dynamics at moderately loud volumes. They became compressed and congested when pushed. And they really sucked for rock music, which is meant to be played loud and is often already highly compressed. Last but not least, I found them very fatiguing to listen to, even at medium to low volume. There was something strange about how their sound coupled to my ear. I know that this may sound strange but it felt like there was pressure on my eardrums when I listened to them.

5th system: KEF Reference 203's, 202 center, and matching dipolar surrounds, MK subwoofer. You would think that I would have learned my lesson in buying speakers without listening to them first, but I was desperate to find a speaker I could be happy with and I was confident that I could make a well informed decision off of measurements, reviews and past experience with the KEF brand. Again there were no dealers that stocked these speakers, so I ordered them through an HT installer. They measured almost ruler flat from the bass to the treble, so I was confident that what ever I fed them should be true to the recording. Boy was I wrong. They were very forward and even aggressive sounding through the lower to mid-treble. Other than this, they did sound quite balanced, but man were they fatiguing. I'm an idiot for buying these, but like I said, I thought it was a calculated risk based on the measurements. It didn't take long for me to know that these were not the speaker for me, but I remember hoping that they would mellow out and even-out with break-in. Never happened. Sold them after about three months. There was absolutely nothing in the FR graphs that showed a peak in the mid-treble, so the reason for their sound quality is still a mystery to me.

At this point, I swore that I would never again buy a set of speakers without first listening to them, so I asked to borrow some speakers from the local hi-fi shop.

1st audition: Borrowed a pair of Dynaudio Contour S3.4's to bring home. Pretty good overall, and again they have very flat response on-axis, but I noticed in my room a bit of lower-treble glare that I knew would be a problem in the long run. In looking at the off-axis measurements for these speakers (after I listened to them), sure enough they have broader response in the low-treble than in the upper-mids and upper-treble, thus reflecting more energy in this region and skewing the power response.

2nd audition: Paradigm Signatures. These just so happen to be the speakers I have happily owned for the past two years and i thought they were speakers that I could be happy with for a long time. They are generally well balanced, though a bit bright and a bit forward (just a little). Excellent soundstage, great detail, can be played at high volumes without strain, efficient, and dynamic. They seemed to offer most of what I wanted, with no faults that I couldn't live with. I typically don't mind a little extra energy up top on a speaker (to accentuate detail), but don't much care for a mid-forward sound. These were a little more forward than I wanted, but not so much that it bothered me. In fact that direct sort of sound kinda grew on me. But you know what? Even though they had a good run, they are being replaced. Over the last few months, I started to dial in on a shouty and somewhat resonant quality to vocals in music. I first heard it during moderately loud listening, but then it started hearing it all the time even at lower volumes.

About two months ago, I started the search again. I really only had to potential choices this time though, as I had either already listened to everything available in my area, or the brands that I would like to hear are no longer available locally (like Revel).

I listened to the Paradigm Signature V2 (with new aluminum midrange drivers and Beryllium tweeters), and the Monitor Audio Gold Signature series. I ultimately chose the Monitor Audio's. Tonally they sound neutral trough the bass, mids and lower-treble and slightly lifted in the upper treble. But what really drew me to them is that they have close to the transparency of an electrostatic, but the dynamics of well a dynamic driver. Are they the right speaker for you? I dunno. Are they worth a listen? Sure. But the point to all of this is that you really shouldn't rule out any speakers in your price range, even if the measurements don't look so hot or if one person likes them or another doesn't. You might just find that the technically less accurate speaker is more pleasing to listen to with your music in your room. Sure a thread like this may help you get a general idea as to which speakers to consider, but then again just look at the recommendation for the Aerials. One poster loves them, I don't. Who's right? Should you listen to them or shouldn't you? If I were the only one to post my feelings on them would you have ruled them out?

I'm not saying that you shouldn't keep looking, as that is part of the fun in this hobby, but again I think you are either going to have to learn to be happy with the shortcomings of the speakers you have, or plan on a long journey of speaker replacements until you finally whittle it down, if that is even possible. I think I would be fooling myself if I said that the Monitor Audio's are going to be the last speaker I ever own, but hopefully they will last me a few years . . . .

Best of luck on the hunt, and just be sure to enjoy the ride!
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post #51 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 07:16 PM
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Hifisponge, what kind of room treatments do you have?
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post #52 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 07:26 PM
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Used Revel Studios can be found for <$5K.
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post #53 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow...hifisponge, that post was amazing. Thanks man, I really appreciate it!

I agree with much of what you said. Measurements do not a great speaker make. I would prefer to start with a flat FR, but as you mentioned, the FR off axis won't remain flat, so that certainly does suck. I have never found a speaker that maintained a flat FR off axis...it's a shame.

You are right, there is no such thing as a perfect speaker. This is why I need to find a speaker with who's minor faults I am willing to live with. Do I know what attributes I am willing to let slide? No, not yet. That is something I am really going to have to ponder, and I thank you for bringing that up because I had not yet put much thought into it.

If I had the funds, I would probably play this game until the good Lord took me home, but I don't have that luxury. That's why I have asked for you guy's (and gals') help. And no worries, just because someone likes one speaker (or dislikes it) doesn't mean I automatically sway that way. My intention is to get a research list. The recommendations given aren't all going to make it past that research list, but some will. There are soooo many choices out there...I don't have time to find them all. Fortunately you all have been helpful enough to bring some of those brands which I may have missed to light. For that I am grateful! As you mentioned hifi, this journey could be endless, but trust me, your opinions are helping me get closer to the end (before I die, lol).

I should note, my room isn't treated yet. I just moved, so room treatments are yet to come, but they will be installed, no question. With that being said, was your room treated hifisponge?

I have been searching for YEARS in order to find a speaker dynamic enough for HT but accurate, detailed and transparent enough for music. Thus far, based on my research and experience, that just may not be possible. Drat!

Thank you all for you help. I have a good list going thus far, but there is plenty room left.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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post #54 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 08:04 PM
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I'm going through the same situation right now. I have 18 years of history of pursuing good sound. When I first came to the States, as a student my first pair of speakers were Polk Audio. There were OK, much better than anything I've ever heard to that date as a young and poor student. But my visit to high-end store and introduction to Thiel showed me a world beyond Polk Audio.
In short I went from Polk to
Vandersteen 2c
Audio Artistry Beethoven
Thiel 3.5
Sonus Faber Extrema
Aerial 10
Audio Physic Avanti II
Audio Physic Caldera II
Sonus Faber Stradivarius
Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario (mu current speakers)

In all this, my experience with Sonus Faber Extrema was the most memorable. They had certain musical quality that was captivating. I would listen at night always with certain sense of pleasure that almost no other speakers have reproduced after them. Why did I not keep them? They were minimonitors, lacking bass. Audio Physic provided me with wonderful coherent sound from top to bottom, but that Sonus Faber magic was missing. Until just last year I got Sonus Faber again. I had 45k Stradivaris at home for a few months, but ultimately I preferred less expensive Sonus Faber Amati Anniversario, that to my ear was a bit more transparent and had better soundstage and still with that magic musical signature. No wonder, they are built like a musical instrument. But...
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post #55 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 08:15 PM
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Just recently I started for the first time thinking about multichannel audio and video, and wild idea started haunting me: What if I can incorporate both?

Then a few months ago I was introduced to a few incredibly enticing reports from a Munich 2007 High-End Show. They were talking about a new speaker that sounded perfect in every parameter possible. I will be attending Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Colorado this coming weekend just to have a chance to hear this speakers!

I will be intentionally mysterious in this post about the speaker maker as a teaser but will be reporting in a week if I truly find that they meet the hype they generated in such a short time. If all these reports are true, they would meet every single parameter of a perfect speaker, right down to relatively affordable cost. And they would be perfect for audio and video based system.

This is from a few reports:
Upon entering, we were the only visitors and took a seat facing two ...loudspeakers...
...Well, some eight minutes later we had tears in our eyes and a warm feeling in our solar plexus. ...Above all, things were so intensely musical that it was downright scary.

The gentleman introduced himself as.... and asked if he might explain a little about his speakers. For years he has been struggling with the sound of loudspeakers. As a musician and composer -- he is a pianist -- he wanted to get the sound of a piano right when reproduced with other instruments. He had experimented with classic piston drivers, electrostatics, magnetics, NXT flat panels and more to finally come up with a better solution.

There was no breakup, no smearing, no annoying highs, just the music filling the room. And there was no such thing as a point source. There was simply imaging but not as you know it, i.e. without typical pin-point stereo effects. The sound was merely there filling the room. Forget about soundstage in the sense that musician A is exactly there and on his own. Yes, he is there but simply as part of the remainder. Wandering about the room did not disturb this imaging either. The front-to-back perspective remained consistent and locked.

This experience proved so overwhelming that we jumped at the opportunity to audition a pair of the largest... loudspeakers in our own Rotterdam environment. ...has developed a truly new and affordable full-range musical instrument that plays music like the real thing. The top model is 10,000/pr euros.
--------------

Anyone knows which speakers they are talking about?
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post #56 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Hifisponge, what kind of room treatments do you have?

OK, so here's where I get the collective audiophile slap . . ., and yes I know better, but I have no room treatments.

I have, however done all that I can to make our multipurpose living room as audio-friendly as possible. Thick shag carpet, overstuffed furniture, heavy drapes over the windows . . . The room is certainly not full of hard surfaces, and is not overly "live". And in my defense, many of the negative traits I have experienced with the speakers I've owned have been echoed in the professional reviews of those same speakers, so it isn't just my room.

With that said, I fully understand the benefits of an acoustically treated room and have every intention of having a dedicated room for sound in my next house, but for now I, like many others here, have wives to live with that don't want the main living room to look like a recording studio. And yes, I know there are attractive options for room treatment, but this really isn't the house or the room to invest that sort of effort in.
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post #57 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemed67 View Post

Just recently I started for the first time thinking about multichannel audio and video, and wild idea started haunting me: What if I can incorporate both?

Then a few months ago I was introduced to a few incredibly enticing reports from a Munich 2007 High-End Show. They were talking about a new speaker that sounded perfect in every parameter possible. I will be attending Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Colorado this coming weekend just to have a chance to hear this speakers!

I will be intentionally mysterious in this post about the speaker maker as a teaser but will be reporting in a week if I truly find that they meet the hype they generated in such a short time. If all these reports are true, they would meet every single parameter of a perfect speaker, right down to relatively affordable cost. And they would be perfect for audio and video based system.

This is from a few reports:
Upon entering, we were the only visitors and took a seat facing two ...loudspeakers...
...Well, some eight minutes later we had tears in our eyes and a warm feeling in our solar plexus. ...Above all, things were so intensely musical that it was downright scary.

The gentleman introduced himself as.... and asked if he might explain a little about his speakers. For years he has been struggling with the sound of loudspeakers. As a musician and composer -- he is a pianist -- he wanted to get the sound of a piano right when reproduced with other instruments. He had experimented with classic piston drivers, electrostatics, magnetics, NXT flat panels and more to finally come up with a better solution.

There was no breakup, no smearing, no annoying highs, just the music filling the room. And there was no such thing as a point source. There was simply imaging but not as you know it, i.e. without typical pin-point stereo effects. The sound was merely there filling the room. Forget about soundstage in the sense that musician A is exactly there and on his own. Yes, he is there but simply as part of the remainder. Wandering about the room did not disturb this imaging either. The front-to-back perspective remained consistent and locked.

This experience proved so overwhelming that we jumped at the opportunity to audition a pair of the largest... loudspeakers in our own Rotterdam environment. ...has developed a truly new and affordable full-range musical instrument that plays music like the real thing. The top model is 10,000/pr euros.
--------------

Anyone knows which speakers they are talking about?

If you don't tell me I might throw-up with anxiety! Not dynamic drivers, not ESLs, not ribbons . . . what the hell are they using? Lasers? No, sharks with lasers strapped to their heads! At least let me see what they look like!
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post #58 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 09:05 PM
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Another report from well known audio veteran on these mysterious new speakers:

Most written descriptions of audio equipment and the sound they produce are viewed as clichés. That's not the intention of the writers of course, but that's the way it turns out. All the typical descriptive words such as staggering', awesome', jaw-dropping' and so on have become devalued by overuse or inappropriate use. So we won't be using any of those words here nor indeed during our demonstration. Instead we'll stick to the facts.

What you will hear is quite literally a world first: A new and unique full-range loudspeaker system. No ribbons (even though we love ribbons), no electrostatic devices (even though we love those too) and no cone drivers or subwoofers. Moreover no hype and no tricks. Promise!

For most people, how we achieve what we achieve is probably interesting for only a short while, if that. If you want to know the details come and talk to us. You might however be interested to note that there are no teams of laboratory bound white coated boffins here. Instead we have a distinctly intriguing combination of a world-renowned concert pianist and an audio engineer with over 25 years experience working with panel loudspeakers.

We have all the electronic measuring equipment of course and the wide-ranging know-how necessary to properly understand the subtleties of loudspeaker design. But we have also allowed ourselves complete freedom to think about psycho-acoustics in new ways, and then apply the appropriate technologies to achieve our goals.

The sound of our loudspeakers has all the positive attributes of the classic designs we grew up with, the ones we all know, love and respect. But we also achieve something extra - difficult to define in words. It is the sort of visceral excitement that comes from any music heard played live by accomplished musicians. But now this is achievable at any volume level and listening position in any room. The traditional 'sweet-spot' and specific volume requirement described as realistic' by some and rather too loud' by others are both startlingly absent.

Bass extension is what you'd expect: Sustained thunder on organ notes yet capable of lightening fast transients as typified by a rim-shot in a smoky jazz club. The speakers go loud of course, but can whisper too. There's a whole lot more, but you'll know if our sound is the sound for you within seconds.

Finally, you'll hear and see that our loudspeakers are modestly priced and can be driven by relatively small integrated amplifiers."
----------

Anyone knows what speakers he is talking about?
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post #59 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 09:11 PM
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To the OP...just a note.

With the exception of the Dynaudio's, I've heard all the speakers mentioned by Hifisponge. I think his was a fine and detailed post that does indeed mark the personal nature of loudspeaker preference...and the difficulty that you face. But let me say that I intentionally have not gotten into the fine details of the AA speakers and how they may compare with other labels...for a reason. It is your ears in your setup that must be pleased, not ours. The making of recommendations for your audition is the best we should offer. If you like, Nuance, I'd be glad to detail the specifics of the clean and dynamic performance and perceived excellence that I and many others have found in the Aerials over other brands in that price range.

Instead though, allow me to just advise you again to audition, be mindful of your budget (which is why I recommended the 7B's over the 9's), your room acoustics (and treatments), and consider the ancillary equipment you'll be using (or acquiring). It's entirely possible that Hifisponge's amp section was a poor fit with the Aerials. That could be the reason for their lackluster presentation for his tastes. We don't know. It's possible that he wanted much more musical coloration from the speakers (which is why the Aerials sounded so very ....neutral...to him). We don't know. It could be the speakers interacting with his room. We don't know.

So I'll reiterate. Listen for yourself and don't strain your brain or your budget () with this search of yours. There is a thrill in the chase, and that should be your focus. And I agree with Hifisponge. A perfect speaker does not exist. But I believe that one that meets your requirements does. It is perhaps not the AA's. But it surely could be.

Good hunting.

MARGARITAS,
they're not just for breakfast anymore.
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post #60 of 6914 Old 10-08-2007, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

OK, so here's where I get the collective audiophile slap . . ., and yes I know better, but I have no room treatments.

I have, however done all that I can to make our multipurpose living room as audio-friendly as possible. Thick shag carpet, overstuffed furniture, heavy drapes over the windows . . . The room is certainly not full of hard surfaces, and is not overly "live". And in my defense, many of the negative traits I have experienced with the speakers I've owned have been echoed in the professional reviews of those same speakers, so it isn't just my room.

With that said, I fully understand the benefits of an acoustically treated room and have every intention of having a dedicated room for sound in my next house, but for now I, like many others here, have wives to live with that don't want the main living room to look like a recording studio. And yes, I know there are attractive options for room treatment, but this really isn't the house or the room to invest that sort of effort in.

Okay, cause I noticed you mentioned one of your former set-ups not being very clear with vocals during movies. I recently put some treatments up in my room, and one of the biggest differences I've noticed pertains to just that. I run a phantom center, which I really prefer unless sitting off-axis. Well, one of my chairs is outside the left speaker, and it really wasn't anything like sitting nearer the sweet spot. Well, now that I've treated the room, the off-axis sound is MUCH better. Vocals are crystal clear no matter where you sit.

I guess it's sort of my soapbox issue lately, but I think it's hard to get a real feel for what your speakers can do unless you take the room out of the equation to the greatest extent possible.
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