Originally Posted by enricoclaudio
+1. I have lost count of how many times I have recommended PSA MTM speakers for 100% HT use. They are great speakers for movies and it's very hard to find something like them in their price range. However, if you listen to some music, and that music is mostly jazz, vocals, latin or classical even if it's only 20%, those are not the best speakers for that task. In that case Ascend Acoustics Sierra w/RAAL or Salk Sound speakers are my recommendation. Compression drivers are not my cup of tee with music. I do prefer a more warm and laid back kinda sound for music reproduction. Another thing that I discovered lately is that when listening to my Sierra w/RAAL speakers at very loud volume, like -5dB from reference, they sound as dynamic as speakers with compression drivers but with even more detail. Again, this is my personal experience and either way I do recommend audition speakers and get the ones that sound better in your room with the material you are familiar the most.
I have to disagree that all compression drivers have an inherent sound character that isn't warm, or isn't ideal for certain types of music. Many specific speakers certainly do, but some speakers using compression drivers have spectacular neutral and smooth sound, just with superior dynamics. Some examples are JTR 3-way speakers (210RT, 215RT, 212HTR, etc) and JBL M2, 708, 4367. Those speakers lack nothing in terms of sound quality.
I have heard Sierras w/RAAL and I agree that they are great sounding and beautiful looking speakers. They can't match the dynamics of great sounding speakers using high end compression drivers and an order of magnitude more output capability, though.
I also have to disagree with the notion that great sounding speakers using compression drivers aren't ideal for certain types of music. If they are great sounding, neutral speakers, they should sound great with all types of music. My experience is that very dynamic speakers only expand the types of music that sounds good. I used to blame my audiophile speakers for being "too revealing" for "bad recordings" and making them sound dull. It turned out that those speakers lacked dynamics and didn't have a flat frequency response.
I think it's more accurate to say that non-neutral speakers that favor certain frequencies will sound "more clear" or "more revealing" to certain recordings. It's just a trick where they are emphasizing key parts of certain recordings, and not something I want in my speakers.
The Sierra RAALs have a flat frequency response, with undistorted treble...good stuff, and certainly a welcome change after listening to speakers with rolled off or distorted treble. They are lacking in the bass department, but I know you are well covered there.
I haven't heard PSAs, but I understand that they deliver impressive dynamics and a great value, although I don't believe they are neutral sounding speakers.
I will give you this...compression driver speakers that match or beat the Sierra RAAL sound quality tend to be more expensive. They generally require more expensive components and very talented designers. The compression drivers and horns are flexible tools, though, and can be used to achieve lots of different types of results.