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Speakerquest (so far...) - Page 2

post #31 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Thats a pretty nice set-up. Seems like you've got all the bases covered... How do you like the sound of the Outlaw (amps) ??? I am pretty much waiting to get their upcoming HDMI based pre/pro (+)amp or possibly receiver, leaning toward separates though.

Actually, I didn't notice a whole lot of difference between the sound of the receiver amp and the Outlaw amp, though I'm one of those heretics that believes that most amps/CD players/cables sound pretty much the same. There might be incremental improvements to be had, but in my experience, upgrading amp/cables/CD player results in an incremental improvement up to a certain point. However, I'm a big believer in speakers (and their proper placement), room acoustics, and EQ for the bass frequencies. IMO, proper deployment of speakers, properly treating a room, properly integrating subs, and wise use of EQ will make a vast improvement in sound, much more than a different amp or CD player ever will.

I bought the Outlaw amp mainly for the few db of extra headroom, and it does that perfectly, esp. for the price I paid (bought it used off Ebay). It's plenty dynamic, and hardly ever gets warm.

The new Outlaw pre/pro looks pretty good, they have great prices as well. Emotiva might be another good online vendor to check out as well, as they seem to offer great value, akin to Outlaw.
post #32 of 2196
Thread Starter 
So.... is it raining in the Pac NW today? jus' kiddin' I actually want to move up there, glad to have you guys on board.
post #33 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

So.... is it raining in the Pac NW today? jus' kiddin' I actually want to move up there, glad to have you guys on board.

I actually saw that the sky had a strange blue color to it over the weekend, and there was this bright yellow ball that tracked across the sky. It was bizarre...

The only sucky thing for me living here in the NW is that my other hobby is...astronomy
post #34 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb View Post

I actually saw that the sky had a strange blue color to it over the weekend, and there was this bright yellow ball that tracked across the sky. It was bizarre...

The only sucky thing for me living here in the NW is that my other hobby is...astronomy

LOL
post #35 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzin View Post

"If I come across the big boys, I will give them a listen. Have you had a chance to hear them? If so, how did they sound?"

I dont remember the name of the shop,but there is an audio store out in the Thousand Oaks area(any of the LA audio society members should remember the name,as it was one of their monthly demo gatherings) .They had the 3.1's set up in a 5.1 HT config.

Very impressive sounding speaker,although not my cup of tea

Alan,
I think you are talking about Evolution Audio/Video in Aguora Hills

RayJr
post #36 of 2196
Yep,

Thats the place Ray Of course ,you were there also.Dont know if you listened to the references they had set up.
post #37 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb View Post

My gear:

1) Toshiba 50" HDTV (2002 model, 4:3 screen ratio and no 1080P capability)
2) Older Toshiba DVD player
3) Marantz SR 8500 receiver - also drives my surround speakers
4) Outlaw audio 750 amp - drives front and center speakers
5) Energy Veritas 2.1 mains
6) Energy AC 300 center - good tonal match with the Veritas mains
7) Polk RT25i (side) and RT28i (back) surrounds
8) Two Dayton RSS390 HF 15" subs, each in it's own sealed enclosure
9) Two Oaudio 500 watt amps driving the subs
10) Outlaw LFM -1 (their first sub) in a nearfield placement - evens out a 60hz dip in my room/listening position
11) Velodyne SMS-1 for sub EQ
12) 8 bass traps
13) 7 absorbing panels for early reflections

Next on the upgrade list: Towers for the fronts, with a matching center (and possibly surrounds). I'm actually pretty happy with my current speakers, but at some point the wife and I are planning on additions to our family, I figure stout floorstanders will be more child proof than stand mounted bookshelf speakers, as those seem pretty top heavy. Then upgrade the TV to 1080P widescreen with a pre/pro (or receiver) that has HDMI (my SR 8500 is DVI only, but this is moot since my TV only has analog inputs).

I had a Toshiba HDTV for a while. A great TV at the time for the money. It served me well for many years until I broke down and bought a plasma. I was also very close to owning the Energy Veritas. I loved the sound of their main speakers, but I think I ended up going with Paradigm because they had a better center speaker. Overall though, it looks like you have pieced together a very capable system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb View Post

I'd love to see what you and funkmonkey are runnin' as well. Maybe we need a Pac NW home theater thread

I'm in a transition between speakers right now, but up until a few weeks ago, I owned these:



Until the new speakers arrive I'm running these :



Which will, in 2-4 weeks, be replaced by these:







Here's my front-end (it's staying):



Now don't get the wrong idea. I'm not rich. I'm just an average guy that makes certain sacrifices, and looks for really good deals to own some really nice gear. The Lexicon gear was bought used, but was still a stretch even at those prices, and I was only able to splurge on the new speakers because of a healthy and unexpected bonus from my workplace combined with a decent tax return.
post #38 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam2001 View Post

I'm here too! (live in Federal Way)

Good to know . . . good to know. You should put your location in your profile so us other Pac NWesterners don't feel so all alone.
post #39 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Damn, you've got some nice gear there, Tim. My current set-up is extremely modest, but now I can afford something a bit nicer. I'll post it if you guys want but you have to promise not to laugh too hard. Gotta wait until tomorrow though, my wife has the camera hidden somewhere...

Just got back from my accountant, and my Tax refund is going to cover most, if not all, of my fronts! Woohoo!!!
post #40 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I'm in a transition between speakers right now, but up until a few weeks ago, I owned these:


Are those Monitor Audio?
post #41 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Damn, you've got some nice gear there, Tim. My current set-up is extremely modest, but now I can afford something a bit nicer. I'll post it if you guys want but you have to promise not to laugh too hard. Gotta wait until tomorrow though, my wife has the camera hidden somewhere...

Just got back from my accountant, and my Tax refund is going to cover most, if not all, of my fronts! Woohoo!!!

I really wasn't meaning to 1-up you or make you feel less excited about your recent upgrade. The thing is, I'm almost 40 years old and I can still just barely afford what you see above. It is nice to come home to though.

Cheers and congrats!
post #42 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

Are those Monitor Audio?

You betcha! Great speaker. With a great recording, they do a great job of providing that "performer in the room" experience.
post #43 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I really wasn't meaning to 1-up you or make you feel less excited about your recent upgrade. The thing is, I'm almost 40 years old and I can still just barely afford what you see above. It is nice to come home to though.

Cheers and congrats!


Damn, that's some nice equipment hifi! I assume those are the GR 60's? The GR 20's are on my list to audition once I get the upgrade funds available. I'm thinking my room is probably a bit too small for the GR 60's.

Are the speakers you intend to upgrade to the Focal speakers? Does anyone carry Focals locally?

Again, sweet gear! My compliments. Going used seems like a good way to go. It seems like most hobbyists who are into the higher end gear a) take great care of their stuff and b) are always looking to upgrade, so their good - but - used stuff comes up for sale!
post #44 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I really wasn't meaning to 1-up you or make you feel less excited about your recent upgrade. The thing is, I'm almost 40 years old and I can still just barely afford what you see above. It is nice to come home to though.

Cheers and congrats!

No worries brother, I'll bet it is nice to come home to! I only have the new TV so far, everything else is going to be replaced (gradually). And for the record, I am going to be 40 this year. I have never been money hungry, never had a desk job, and never wore a suit to work (though now that doesn't sound nearly as bad as when I was young and idealistic, not to mention a bit rebellious)... I guess thats what happens when you go to art school... (you can see some of my work in the first shot, or more of it here if you're interested)



The electronics are 10 year old (or more) Onkyo, speakers were given to me to replace a pair that got destroyed during a party in my younger days. When I actually pull the trigger on the new set of speakers, they will be the first really good set I have owned. (although, I do own a pair of Audioengine5's that I use as computer speakers and for iPod listening at work sometimes. They are extremely good for the money.)

So this is where I am coming from, I have always wanted a nice system but really have not been able to afford it until now. My wife's car and my truck are payed off, houses are way overpriced here (still), so no mortgage to worry about, we don't have any kids (yet), and my wife wants me to get rid of the huge speakers... which I see as free license to get something nice (as long as they are smaller than the current ones ) She loves the XBR4, as do I, and my searching keeps me out of her hair for a couple of months. Win, win, win, win situation if you ask me... okay I am sure this is TMI, oh well...
Cheers,
Greg
post #45 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by deneb View Post

Damn, that's some nice equipment hifi! I assume those are the GR 60's? The GR 20's are on my list to audition once I get the upgrade funds available. I'm thinking my room is probably a bit too small for the GR 60's.

Are the speakers you intend to upgrade to the Focal speakers? Does anyone carry Focals locally?

Again, sweet gear! My compliments. Going used seems like a good way to go. It seems like most hobbyists who are into the higher end gear a) take great care of their stuff and b) are always looking to upgrade, so their good - but - used stuff comes up for sale!

Thanks! It is nice to own some very special gear.

Yes, those are the GS60's. You would think that they would overwhlem a smaller room, but because they have flat bass response, you may be able to get away with it. The determining factor is how close you place them to the front and side walls. How big is your room?

About the Focal's. I had to drive to Silverdale to listen to them (about 1.5 hours from Redmond). But there is another place in Redmond that carries the lower Focal lines. The place is called "Automated Home Solutions".

You hit the nail on the head about buying used. Great value, and most of are so anal about the care of our equipment that it is like buying new. You have to know what you want though, as there is no way to demo it before hand.
post #46 of 2196
Funkmonkey -

Nice clean set-up and it sounds like you are on your way to making it even nicer.

I like your sculpture work. Me, I don't have an artistic bone in my body. I'm an analytical gear-head with a knack for technology, but ask me to draw something and you would think it was done by a retarded monkey on acid.

Good luck on your search for speakers that you feel bring you more joy than your current ones.

- Tim
post #47 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Funkmonkey -

Nice clean set-up and it sounds like you are on your way to making it even nicer.

I like your sculpture work. Me, I don't have an artistic bone in my body. I'm an analytical gear-head with a knack for technology, but ask me to draw something and you would think it was done by a retarded monkey on acid.

Good luck on your search for speakers that you feel bring you more joy than your current ones.

- Tim

Thanks, Tim. I just spent this afternoon auditioning some more, I'll do a write-up a little later.

What did you like about the Focals that made you want to replace the Monitors?
post #48 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Thanks, Tim. I just spent this afternoon auditioning some more, I'll do a write-up a little later.

What did you like about the Focals that made you want to replace the Monitors?

Well, it's a bit of a long story, but since you asked . . .

When Focal first released there Utopia line featuring the Beryllium tweeter I had a chance to hear them when I was in a local shop picking up a new sub. That must have been five or six years ago. To put it frankly, I had never heard sound coming from speakers that sounded so real. Not just really good hi-fi, but "real". They seemed to uncover detail without sounding bright or edgy like some speakers can that are considered detailed. And there was just so little coloration to the Focals--the type that lets you know you are listening to reproduced sound. It's something you don't realize is there until it has been removed. Kinda like listening through noise-canceling headphones.

So anyway, there was no way I could afford the Utopias (still can't), but the memory of their sound has always stuck with me and I use it as a reference when auditioning speakers that I can afford.

I had some Martin Logan electrostatics for a while, and those got me the "transparency" I was after, but they were so dynamically challenged when playing rock through them, that the sound became very fatiguing. And they just didn't do well with complex music (lots of different sounds playing at the same time).

Next I went with some Paradigm Signatures. Nice, clean, well balanced sound, but not the most transparent or colorless. Still, I was happy with them for longer than most. But I just couldn't get the sound of the Focal's out of my mind.

I stumbled across the Monitor Audio's while helping a friend pick out speakers. I was impressed with their clarity and they seemed to get me closer to the sound I was after. And, they were less expensive than my current speakers (the Paradigms), so I figured I could sell the Paradigms to fund the purchase of the MA's. Loved the speakers, though if I had a complaint about them it is that they can be a little edgy. Still I had no plans to part with them anytime soon.

Then the company I work for surprised us with a bonus, and I got a healthy tax return, so I said WTF, I should check out the Focal Electra's since they use a lot of the same tech that the Utopia do.

I knew the moment I listened to them, that the mids and highs were just as I remembered, but unfortunately the bass didn't sound right at all. Real boomy and one-notey. We moved the Electras all around the listening room to no avail. Needless to say, I was bummed. So close, yet so far away.

I left the showroom, but I just couldn't believe that the bass would be that bad from a company that has put so much effort into their drivers and has been making speakers since the early 80's.

Now I know from being in this hobby for a while that the room can affect the sound, but until I had this experience with the Focals, I had no idea how bad some rooms are.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, because at the time I was listening to them, I figured that if it were the room, you could fix it with proper placement of the speakers in the room. Apparently not.

Somewhat desperate (I really wanted these to work), I go back to the store the next day to ask them if we can try the speakers in a different room. The salesman says OK and moves them to rather small theater room (they only have two rooms). Once we got the speakers positioned about three feet from the front wall and 1.5 feet from the side walls, the bass was unbelievably better. It gained a good octave of bottom end and it now had definition.

I don't think that the Focal's are any more difficult to place than your average speaker, rather I think that first room was just really bad for bass. Sad that that room is their main 2 channel listening room. They certainly aren't doing themselves any favors.

Cheers,

- Tim
post #49 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the story, Tim. I really like the sound of the Be tweeter too. Besides Focal and the Ushers, do you know offhand any other speakers that use one?

You brought up something that I experienced today while listening to a pair of Quad 22L's and similarly with Dynaudio Focus 220. Both speakers were rear ported and suffering from somewhat indistinct bass, but only with some music. Both of them were placed in front of a row of speakers that were between them and the wall. Your comments above make me wonder how much effect this would have on the definition in the bass. This seems to be fairly common practice with dealers that I have come across, they place one speaker directly in front of another set that is sitting in the ideal position... My inexperience with auditioning has prevented me from second guessing them up to this point, but I think from now on I will insist on unobstructed air space from the back of the speaker to the wall. At least with the rear ported models, as I am sure that this is not as much of an issue with a front ported speaker...

Have you had a chance to hear the Quad 22L's? if so what did you think? The pair I listened to today had a ridiculously low ($500) price on them, and I almost bought them thinking I could always resell (they were a pair they had from a trade in excellent condition) or use them as surrounds when I find audio-nirvana... still might have to pick them up before they are gone.
post #50 of 2196
Funk -

Actually other speakers anywhere in the room will affect the sound, but having them directly behind a rear ported speaker would most likely be the worst case scenario.

Sorry, I have not heard the Quad's, but they are quite popular on the UK forums I hang out at. All that matters though is if they sound good to you. I don't know what they go for normally, but only expect to get around 50% of full MSRP for them in the used market.

I know the Be tweeter is the highlight of the Focal's, but they've got some impressive tech in their mid and bass drivers to. Ultra-light and stiff, using aerospace foams and whatnot.

Other speakers with Be tweeters: Paradigm Signature, Pioneer EX, Revel Ultima. Paradigm is by far the lowest entry point for the tech. Haven't had the chance to hear them, though there is a thread here from someone that raves about the S6's.

Cheers,

- Tim
post #51 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Round 6:

Yesterday turned out to be a Dynaudio kind of day. The first place I went, actually to hear the Thiel's, couldn't carry them because another dealer was too close. Other locations of the same name carried them, but not the one I went to... What I did find was a wide selection of B&W and Dynaudio, and one little surprise in the form of a pair of Quad 22L's...
I used the same CD's and same tracks that I have been using to test most of the speakers I have been listening to, and I gotta tell ya, I am starting to get sick of hearing those songs! With the speakers that I like, I find myself delving further into each CD so I can just enjoy the music. The speakers that I don't feel a connection with, I find myself pushing through all my test tracks, hoping I will find something engaging in the sound.

Here we go (again)...

Dynaudio Audience 72-SE(≈$2500)

Started with Jazz, and found the Audience 72-SE's to present nice piano sounds, clear cymbals, and a fairly accurate, but dry tone on Grant Green's guitar. I thought that these speakers imaged well with this recording. I moved into Fela Kuti and first noticed that the bass was decent and carried some impact with it. The highs came across tight, with decent sounding brass, though I was starting to feel like the music was veiled with these speakers (recessed mids maybe). <"Veiled" is a term I have read in several user reviews of equipment, but one that I myself have never used until now.> The recording of Fela Kuti is a very dynamic one, that through these speakers seemed much less so, if that makes any sense to you. I played the Beatles "Come Together" and felt that the bass guitar was warm and smooth but lacked any sort of punch to it. The electric guitars were forward but vocals seemed recessed. Erykah Badu was missing something with the 72's, bass was not all that deep, rim shots didn't sound true, I had heard enough of this speaker. On to the next in the Dynaudio line...

Dynaudio Audience 82:(≈$2800)

Top of the Audience line, and for $300 more than the 72 SE's you get better definition, and more bass impact, and a more enveloping sound. I started with the Hard rock of Fu Manchu, which I did not listen to on the 72's. The electric guitars sounded decent though they did not have as much of an aggressive quality that I have heard on other speakers. The 82's still sounded a bit veiled to me, still laid back. At this point I am wondering if this is just the Dynaudio sound. I put in Fela Kuti and immediately noticed that they sounded more clear, the congestion I was hearing in the 72's was better. Horns came through with more of an edge to them. I put in the Beatles and found a better more enveloping overall sound. There was more bass impact, and vocals were more forward. I felt that this speaker improved significantly on the shortcomings of the 72. Erykah Badu had a deeper bass line, but not as deep as some of the other speakers I have auditioned. Vocals were better, a more balanced sound, and rimshots sounded crisp though more like wood on wood than wood on metal. I put in Red Snapper, a disk I used in earlier rounds; it is electronic based with an upright acoustic bass, some deep synth tones, and a variety of sounds that stretch the upper end. They provide a very nice atmosphere and at times a very wide musical spectrum. With electronic music I found the Auduence 82's to hint at the sub bass, but not to present it fully. overall I would say that they did a pretty good job with it. My lasting impression with the Dynaudio 82's is that they performed far better with Jazz and electronic music (music that is not so dense) than they did with rock, though in this department they did much better than the smaller 72 SE's.

Dynaudio Focus 220:(≈$3000)

I swear these must have gone up in price in the last month, because the Focus 220's were on my original list of speakers to audition, when my budget was capped at $2000... So, naturally I had to listen to them. Before I comment on their sound, I have to say that these are beautiful looking speakers. The veiner and finish are gorgeous, pictures do not do these babies justice...
I started with the Beatles this time and thought that the Focus 220's had a very nice presentation. Highs, mids and lows all came across very smooth, and well balanced. I thought that this is a speaker that has a neutral sound. (Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think I have said that about any of the speakers I have listened to so far, except maybe the Vandersteens... but this one I think embodies it.) On "Come Together" guitars and drums sounded meaty, and cymbals clear. The bell in "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" rang true. Drums in "The End" (could be my favorite break beat of all time) did not get lost in the din of the crescendo. Vocals were smooth throughout. I wanted to listen to all of Abbey Road, start to finish on these speakers, but I had several more tests ahead.
Next up was Fela Kuti "Shuffering And Shmiling" (yes, thats the way they spelled it on the album) and the nice recording here came through beautifully. The horns sounded natural, slightly shrill where they would be when played live, not bright, not rolled off, but correct. The mids and highs were exceptional with afro-beat, and that cymbals were tight and accurate and had a nice decay. At this point I began to notice that the Focus 220's were missing a bit of clarity in the bottom end. (I think that it was due to their placement directly in front of the Audience 82's, and the fact that the Focus 220's are a rear ported design. Because of this less than ideal placement I am inclined to believe that they would perform at least equal to their $200 cheaper cousins in terms of bass clarity with better placement. This is my 20/20 hindsight, speaking)
Erykah Badu proved to have a velvety smooth and full bass-line, that also (and a little annoyingly) seemed to lack a bit of definition. Rim shots sounded good though still not quite wood on metal true. Her vocals came across smokey and lush. Despite what I was hearing as a little bit of a loose bottom end, I thought these speakers were very easy to listen to.
Red Snapper went in and nice clarity came out. Acoustic instruments sounded crisp, and electro beats were handled with grace. Tight synth drums were tight, and the upper range was crystal clear. I also began to notice that the Focus 220's were imaging nicely, though off axis listening suffered a bit(as it does with most speakers).
Fu Manchu proved to be the first recording to reveal a more laidback nature to the 220's. They were not as aggressive in the mids as other speakers have been with this recording. Again I noticed the lack of definition in the bass, but nothing too severe. They sounded more closed in with this recording, not as open as they did with other music. Here they may be revealing the recording itself, which is admittedly less that ideal.
Grant Green sounded great. All the Dynaudios seemed to like Jazz better than rock. The acoustic bass sounded a bit sloppy though. (I really do not mean to dwell on that, because I think that better placement would go a long way to resolve it and I am really just transcribing my notes here to organize my thoughts in my own head.)
Upper bass, mids and highs are very nice on the Dynaudio Focus 220's, though they do not have that tight, quickness in the very bottom that I am looking for. But due to placement issues I think they deserve a second listen, in a more ideal location (like my home? )
I get the impression the high price tag is a common trait for all Dynaudio speakers and think that they are about $1000 too high across the board. Okay maybe $500, but only because they are so pretty...


As I was wandering around the listening room I noticed a pair of small black towers hiding next some cardboard speaker boxes, set off to the side, not very noticeable. When I looked a little closer I realized that they were on my list! I asked the manager about them and he said he took them in on a trade and told me the price which was incredible considering their condition and the msrp. He said he would gladly hook them up so I could have a listen. Unfortunately he put them in the same spot as he had put the Focus 220's, and being another rear ported design I think the bass suffered because of it...

Quad 22L(msrp≈$1800)

First thing I noted about the Quads was that they were more focused than the Dynaudios I had been listening to (read: didn't sound as good off axis, pretty tight sweet-spot... while this is may be good in other parts of life , maybe not the best thing with speakers ) They did however have a very nice open presentation, cymbals sounded good, and the mids were perhaps slightly forward with Grant Green. I noticed the same sloppy acoustic bass that I noticed with the Focus 220's, which is why I made my conclusions about placement. I figured what are the chances that two speakers from two different companies would create identical weirdness? I slipped in Re Snapper to test out the sub bass, and found it was there, well, at least hinted at. I thought they would be perfect candidates to run with a sub. (funny, because when I got home last night I searched for comments about this speaker from other people to see how they compared to my observations and most of them commented on how low this speaker went, again reinforcing my placement theory and the importance of listening to these speakers yourself) The Beatles vocals sounded good, as did the upper frequencies. Fu Manchu was suitably chunky but seemed to be missing the lowest octave. I came away with the impression that the Quad 22L's were a "bookshelf" speaker in a tall box.



On the way out of the shop I stopped to give a very brief (refresher)listen to the
B&W CM-7(revisited)
I was not as impressed as I was the first time I heard them (more things to compare them to now) but I still felt that they were quite good. The bass went pretty low, though not as low as some and was a little loose. I still have an appreciation for their open sound and they impressed me enough on first listen to give them a second sit down in the future.



____________

Okay I set out to hear the Thiels yesterday and, darn it I was going to do it. I did. At another shop about 2-3 miles from the first.

Thiel CS 1.6:(≈$2500)

I listened to the Thiel's through a Creek integrated amp that put out 50wpc (I think) in an attempt to equate the Onkyo I have at home, and I feel that with more power that they very well may be capable of more in the bass department. (For the record, I think the salesman had some off-base preconceived notions about what he called "some crappy home theater receiver")
I started out with Grant Green and immediately the highs came off very crisp. There was nice tone to the guitar. The acoustic bass was somewhere in the deep background, and the cymbals were way up front. Kind of made for a distorted soundstage. Saxophone sounded good. There was a definite edge to the sound of the Thiels. Fela Kuti sounded bright overall and I felt the bottom end was lacking. However, the trumpets and saxophones did not sound as harsh as I expected them to, they actually sounded quite good. The Beatles bass punch was there but failed to envelop. Vocals sounded pretty good, as did the guitar. At this point I was definitely feeling that these were not the speakers for me, and my ears were tired. I really thought that the Thiel CS 1.6 would benefit greatly by a tube amp. I pressed on with Erykah Badu and heard the bass there but not full enough, rim shots were crisp, cymbal hits were downright brittle. Kick drum came strangely forward and sound more electro than acoustic. Just for a, "why not?" I put on Fu Manchu and found a lack of lower mids. This speaker definitely favors the high end. The bass was recessed again; there but not full. That is what makes me feel increased amplification would bring the bass out of the Thiels. Not a favorable audition for me, not the sound I am looking for, though they looked pretty cool with the grills off.

The only other thing of interest to me in this shop (i.e. in my price range) was a pair of bookshelves:

PSB Synchrony 2B (≈$1500)

We decided to increase the power to see what these things were actually capable of, and set them up in the same room. After a couple of false starts which included me telling the salesman that only one speaker was working, and another one when I noticed there was no bass coming from one speaker. Once we got that all figured out these little guys sounded great. With Erykah Badu the PSB's produced an impressive amount of bass, rim shots were crisp and sounded authentic. Vocals were rich and smooth. Fela Kuti had a nice full range of sound going on, with good detail. Horns had a slight edge to them without sounding bright, and cymbals sounded great. With Red Snapper the acoustic bass sounded pretty good but failed to fully envelop. Electro beats were handled nicely. I get the impression that these are really good "all around" speakers. The Beatles gave a pretty even sound, nothing stood out, could be I am hearing another nearly neutral speaker. On "Come Together" the guitars were slightly forward, but I think that it was the way it was intended. In "The End" the drums sounded excellent, and easily panned across the soundstage with the recording. Fu Manchu sounded pretty good but lacked a bit of growl on these speakers.
I liked the PSB Synchrony 2B, and I am interested in finding out more about them and the other speakers in the Synchrony family.


Jump to Round 7
post #52 of 2196
Thread Starter 
No problem, now you just have to run around all over town and listen to them all and add your impressions

Whoooooo... trippy This was supposed to be a reply to the (#53)post by akavn but somehow appeared before it... cool. Waaait a minute dude, yer in the future aren't you??? your clock says it's 11:40 when you posted that. check out the time on the edit* sweet!
post #53 of 2196
Another great audition summary! I'd be interested to read your impressions of the floorstanding PSB Synchrony line, though I think they start at 3k.

Something's going on with the forum, it put this post ahead of the last one in this thread as opposed to becoming the new last post. Weird...
post #54 of 2196
This is a great thread as a survey of speakers in this price range. Thanks.
post #55 of 2196
Funk -

Another great set of write-ups! Not to often do people take the time to put that much detail into their descriptions. You must have spent as much time taking notes as you did listening.

BTW - PM me with the artist(s) of the break beat stuff you listen to. I listen to a lot of electronic music and I'm always looking for new material. Other suggestions in other genres are welcome too.

Oh, and if you are looking to expand your audiophile vocabulary, here's a great resource:

http://stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

Cheers,

- Tim
post #56 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Funk -

Another great set of write-ups! Not to often do people take the time to put that much detail into their descriptions. You must have spent as much time taking notes as you did listening.

BTW - PM me with the artist(s) of the break beat stuff you listen to. I listen to a lot of electronic music and I'm always looking for new material. Other suggestions in other genres are welcome too.

Oh, and if you are looking to expand your audiophile vocabulary, here's a great resource:

http://stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html

Cheers,

- Tim

Thanks Tim, I know that my vocabulary is a little lacking when it comes to audiophile terms. I will read through that article later tonight, and I will PM you some of my favorite electronica, if you will do the same. I too am always on the hunt for new music. It's an addiction really. I worked in record stores when I was in college to both support and feed my habit. Having the discount let me explore a bit, plus influence from other employees, we would bring in our own music to listen to and could sometimes open up new stuff to hear it...
post #57 of 2196
Funk have you a chance to hear the revels when i was shopping really liked them alot
but my budget kept me at bay.
post #58 of 2196
Thread Starter 
Which model did you hear oz ? and how much were they, if you remember?
post #59 of 2196
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkmonkey View Post

Thanks Tim, I know that my vocabulary is a little lacking when it comes to audiophile terms. I will read through that article later tonight, and I will PM you some of my favorite electronica, if you will do the same. I too am always on the hunt for new music. It's an addiction really. I worked in record stores when I was in college to both support and feed my habit. Having the discount let me explore a bit, plus influence from other employees, we would bring in our own music to listen to and could sometimes open up new stuff to hear it...

I don't think you vocab is lacking at all, it's just you said you weren't sure if you were used the term "veiled" correctly, so I thought the glossary would help. That's all.

I'll gladly swap Electronica artist lists with you.

- Tim
post #60 of 2196
Thread Starter 
I contacted Revel's marketing rep yesterday and told her that i couldn't find the F-12's anywhere to listen to, and I searched up to a 60 mile radius on Revels website contacting dealers by phone, and nobody has them... So the rep said she would be glad to locate some for me but Probably will not find them until Monday. I hope she finds something close.
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