What was the single most mind boggling speaker swap you have ever made? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What was the single most mind boggling speaker swap you have ever made?

Several months ago, I had two systems. I had a pair of Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grands in my bedroom, and Klipsch RP-260's in the living room. I really hated the Vienna Acoustics, and decided to swap them out with some Magnepan MMG's I found locally. What I did not suspect was that I would enjoy them so much that I would choose to sell both setups and up my amplification game to get these Magnepans really goin. Now that I have the power to move forward, I'm looking for the next step in my journey (probably to a larger planar panel or move to electrostats) which has me wondering; what was the biggest WOW moment in your speaker journey thus far?
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqeeksMcGee View Post
Several months ago, I had two systems. I had a pair of Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grands in my bedroom, and Klipsch RP-260's in the living room. I really hated the Vienna Acoustics, and decided to swap them out with some Magnepan MMG's I found locally. What I did not suspect was that I would enjoy them so much that I would choose to sell both setups and up my amplification game to get these Magnepans really goin. Now that I have the power to move forward, I'm looking for the next step in my journey (probably to a larger planar panel or move to electrostats) which has me wondering; what was the biggest WOW moment in your speaker journey thus far?
When you hear conventional cone and dome speakers that sound just as open, transparent, and cohesive in the mids/highs as panel speakers but with better low bass integration.
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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When you hear conventional cone and dome speakers that sound just as open, transparent, and cohesive in the mids/highs as panel speakers but with better low bass integration.
Do you have any particular speakers in mind? I think that WOULD blow my mind, as they wouldn't be plagued by the lack of dynamics that I am currently living with.
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 08:25 AM
 
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I think the most affordable way to get there may be through the Goldenear Triton series. Truly a great value in this regard, they do a lot right.

I own Focal Sopra 2's and can confirm that in my room there is not a single metric where my previous speakers (Martin Logan Montis) could compete with them.
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqeeksMcGee View Post
Several months ago, I had two systems. I had a pair of Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grands in my bedroom, and Klipsch RP-260's in the living room. I really hated the Vienna Acoustics, and decided to swap them out with some Magnepan MMG's I found locally. What I did not suspect was that I would enjoy them so much that I would choose to sell both setups and up my amplification game to get these Magnepans really goin. Now that I have the power to move forward, I'm looking for the next step in my journey (probably to a larger planar panel or move to electrostats) which has me wondering; what was the biggest WOW moment in your speaker journey thus far?

I've owned just about every brand ESL on the market since 1959 from the Quad ESL57s, ESL63s, KLH9s, Dayton Wright XG8 Mk2, several Martin Logans, monoliths, CLSs, originals and IIZs, Statements, EMs, Sound Labs A1s, M1s, Pristines, plus just as many planar magnetics: Magneplanars 1-Us to 1-Ds plus the large Tympani IIIb and Magnepans SMGs, IIIAs and some others that I can no longer remember.

Result have been mostly good over the 60 years. The full range ESLs have got to be huge to have enough surface area to do what needs to be done in the low bass. The hybrids (ESL on top of cone woofer) weren't all that great in the early days because the speed of the panel greatly exceeded the speed of the cone woofer. That, however, has hugely improved over the years. What hasn't improved is the detail and time necessary to position these to sound their best. Some rooms end up being easy, some aren't. My current ML ESLs worked beautifully in my previous house, but have been a real bear here. I got through it, but it wasn't easy. And I got through it with no EQ, no measurements (until after I was done) and did it all the hard way.

I've also had 2nd, 3rd and sometimes four systems in the house concurrently with my ESLs, and those others had cone and domes. I have had plenty of opportunities to compare and I keep coming back to planars, specifically ESLs. First, you have to be willing to get these out into the room from the front wall. Second, since they are sorta of the 'electron microscope' of speakers, you have to pay more attention to the entire food chain including the source. There are exceptions, but they don't particularly like 'assembled' recordings. Yeah, you can listen to it, but it's very obvious. Live recordings, including loud rock and roll can be spectacular, thinking of Cream at Royal Albert, Stones, Sticky Fingers in Paris, Humble Pie at the Fillmore (1971) and the best might be Nils Lofgren, Acoustic Live (1991).

I've listened to virtually everything else on the market and they're still, in spite of some issues / placement difficulties, out in front for me.
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 09:22 AM
 
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I bought a minty demo set of Elac Uni-Fi UF5s, and my mind was blown away with what my $ 500.00 got me.
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post #7 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqeeksMcGee View Post
Several months ago, I had two systems. I had a pair of Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grands in my bedroom, and Klipsch RP-260's in the living room. I really hated the Vienna Acoustics, and decided to swap them out with some Magnepan MMG's I found locally. What I did not suspect was that I would enjoy them so much that I would choose to sell both setups and up my amplification game to get these Magnepans really goin. Now that I have the power to move forward, I'm looking for the next step in my journey (probably to a larger planar panel or move to electrostats) which has me wondering; what was the biggest WOW moment in your speaker journey thus far?
If you're married or SOed, good to make sure that the other half is OK with ruining a room to get these to work to their best. I have two divorces to prove that I went too far.

I'll post some reviews when I can find them from a couple of reviewers who took it that far.

These are two of them:

https://www.hometheatershack.com/for...er-review.html

https://www.hometheatershack.com/for...tml#post680654

These are older reviews, but the technique is similar. Surprising that these came from HT fanboi mags, but the reviewer is pretty close.

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post #8 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
If you're married or SOed good to make sure that the other half is OK with ruining a room to get these to work to their best. I have two divorces to prove that I went too far.

I'll post some reviews when I can find them from a couple of reviewers who took it that far.

These are two of them:

https://www.hometheatershack.com/for...er-review.html

https://www.hometheatershack.com/for...tml#post680654

These are older reviews, but the technique is similar. Surprising that these came from HT fanboi mags, but the reviewer is pretty close.
We are currently in an apartment looking at a house, and as much as I want to to pull the trigger on ML's, they won't work in this current space so there isn't much point in jumping the gun. The lady has agreed to a dedicated listening room in which I'll have full control as long as I let her set up an art station. That is an easy trade off. Once I figure out what that space looks like, I'm likely going to try my best to work out some ESL's unless someone changes my mind before then. I heard some Martin Logans last night for the first time and even in the terrible space they were in, it was easy to see their potential. The Magnepans are light, and easy to push back against the wall when not in use and pull them out for more critical listening, making them a decent fit for my current space. With my next move on standby, I'll have plenty of time to listen to every speaker I can get my hands on.
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post #9 of 35 Old 12-14-2018, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SqeeksMcGee View Post
We are currently in an apartment looking at a house, and as much as I want to to pull the trigger on ML's, they won't work in this current space so there isn't much point in jumping the gun. The lady has agreed to a dedicated listening room in which I'll have full control as long as I let her set up an art station. That is an easy trade off. Once I figure out what that space looks like, I'm likely going to try my best to work out some ESL's unless someone changes my mind before then. I heard some Martin Logans last night for the first time and even in the terrible space they were in, it was easy to see their potential. The Magnepans are light, and easy to push back against the wall when not in use and pull them out for more critical listening, making them a decent fit for my current space. With my next move on standby, I'll have plenty of time to listen to every speaker I can get my hands on.

And the smaller MLs are pretty light so they can be moved out of the way with the caveat that millimeters and fractions of a degree matter for proper positioning. The tiniest of changes are audible. Get in your favorite near-field environment and have a helper rotate slightly while you listen. You'll quickly see what I'm talking about
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 03:23 AM
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Mine is pretty easy. Sold a pair of Paradigm Studio 10 v5 bookshelf speakers, which I truly liked, and bought a pair of supercharged song towers from Salk. Revelatory, is maybe not a good enough word to describe them.
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
And the smaller MLs are pretty light so they can be moved out of the way with the caveat that millimeters and fractions of a degree matter for proper positioning. The tiniest of changes are audible. Get in your favorite near-field environment and have a helper rotate slightly while you listen. You'll quickly see what I'm talking about
I've always said that MLs are great speakers, especially for a person who lives alone, the sweet spot is just this big- ()

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post #12 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 10:16 AM
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I've always said that MLs are great speakers, especially for a person who lives alone, the sweet spot is just this big- ()

Not true, but more so than it use to be with my super up close near field positioning. I've gone backwards a bit in that regard. I still have stage way off axis, but it shifts as if one move to the side of the stage at Yoshi's
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 03:29 PM
 
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I hated the Dynavoice M65, insane hard to match, I liked the Dynavoice F6 more...

Everything changed with the smaller Xtz 99.26, for the better..
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 03:58 PM
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electrostatic speakers and sopra 3's...one day I will be there...maybe after I sell my boat...

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post #15 of 35 Old 12-15-2018, 04:22 PM
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Probably my first high end speaker "swap." That is, moving from some decent, inexpensive dynamic monitors to Quad ESL 63s. There's nothing like the change from dynamic speaker to a panel speaker. It's a different world. From then on I'd say most of my speaker changes have been various versions of "different" not in some way head-spinningly "better."



A close second might be the arrival years ago of my MBL omni-directional monitors. Those two are their own world in terms of imaging and dimensionality.
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-16-2018, 02:45 PM
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Back in the early 90's, I upgraded from a pair of Infinity Reference One bookshelf speakers to a pair of DCM Time Frame TM-1000 floor-standing speakers. Incredible sound difference. It's a shame I came home one evening to find that my girlfriend's cat had shredded the speakers and grills ruining them.

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post #17 of 35 Old 12-16-2018, 03:24 PM
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Back in the early 90's, I upgraded from a pair of Infinity Reference One bookshelf speakers to a pair of DCM Time Frame TM-1000 floor-standing speakers. Incredible sound difference. It's a shame I came home one evening to find that my girlfriend's cat had shredded the speakers and grills ruining them.

John

I still have them. Surrounds are shot and I imagine that I'll never get around to restoring them.
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When I upgraded my lcr to PSA MT-110's from Def Tech Sm55's and pc2000.
Night and day difference!
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Do you have any particular speakers in mind? I think that WOULD blow my mind, as they wouldn't be plagued by the lack of dynamics that I am currently living with.
Danleys.
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Quote:
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which has me wondering; what was the biggest WOW moment in your speaker journey thus far?
Going from the typical small audiophile cone/dome speakers to high efficiency units. My Khorns were the entry drug, but that changed once I went active with them and got the drivers all time aligned and they went to a different level. Still not without a lot of faults, but at least they didn't sound constipated like every other cone/dome low eff speaker I'd ever heard.


I've had a number of panels over the years and they sound splashy to me and annoying, due to the time of flight differences between the top and centre of the panels causing combing.


One of the few speakers I really want to hear is the Legacy Audio V.

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post #21 of 35 Old 12-17-2018, 07:36 AM
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Traded a Phillips HTiB for a set of Heresy 3's and loved them so I bought Klipsch RB 61's for my HT as well as Klipsch center channel and surrounds. Fast forward to this year and I pick up KEF Q100's and put them in the bedroom and disconnect the Heresy's. Holy crap was I floored by these little boxes. Sadly the Heresy 3's are in my closet. Still love them but they aren't perfect for what i am listening to in music now. I still enjoy the Heresy speakers and the Klipsch HT speakers. I really like those for movies especially paired with an Onkyo.

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post #22 of 35 Old 12-18-2018, 12:46 PM
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My biggest moment was when switching from my 10 year old B&W 604 S3's to a pair of JBL Studio 590's. The clarity and dynamics of that horn loaded compression driver is truly astounding, and the crossover point of 1.5khz means that the horn carries so much more information than your typical tweeter and allows the midbase driver transition to be more natural.
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-25-2019, 07:17 PM
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Advent Utility in 1971. Started descent in 1980 with Bose 901, but kept Advents.

Built my man cave around Yamaha RX-870 HT receiver taking audio from Vizio 4K TV driving the old Advents.

But my son moved back in and I lost my man cave to him. My office got moved into an unused living room and I'm stuck with the Bose 901s driven by Yamaha AX-592 stereo amplifier. 901s look much better in the living room than the dog-eared Advents. ;-)
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-26-2019, 03:47 PM
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I replaced $25,000 worth of stereo equipment in the 90s with a Bose Wave Radio because Paul Harvey told me to.
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-27-2019, 11:15 AM
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Fun topic. I use to do a BUNCH of A & B comparisons at the place I worked. The question is really really loaded. It’s really about room and synergy with other products.

At the sub 2k price range it’s really tough to beat magnapan .7 speakers. You’ll need a couple little musical subs, but when blended right it can really sound amazing.


All different ways to answer this. I still do a lot of A & B testing, tube rolling, speaker and interconnect wires, amps, speakers....
But now it all under the coin of myself and a few friends and that’s more limiting than when I worked for a company the stocked flagship Wilson Audio, Sonus Fabre, Monitor Audio, Triad, Paradigm, and many others. When you start hearing 30k plus speakers it changes your expectations.
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-28-2019, 05:30 AM
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I'd say replacing a pair of B&W 602's that had the ear killer gold tweeters with the ring lense, with a modest pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170's. Once I had the 170's st up and started playing tracks, it was a "Wow!" moment. I was not expecting the sound I heard out of those little 2 ways.

It took a few years, then I jumped on the Sierra-1 bandwagon. That was a big leap forward. I have been keeping them as current as possible by upgrading them, 1st to the NrT tweeter/crossover, and currently the RAAL tweeter/SEAS Woofer/crossover configuration. It is unusual for me to have stayed with the same speaker brand and, basically, same model for this many years, but these have not left me wanting something different. If I came upon a windfall where I could spend many times their cost on something then I might start looking for something "better", otherwise I have not heard anything that would make me replace them.

For those who prefer the planar type speakers, consider adding a Rythmik Direct Servo subwoofer. The speed and control should pair exceptionally well.

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post #27 of 35 Old 02-05-2019, 08:18 PM
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Horns! Different than the small point source and OB speakers.
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post #28 of 35 Old 02-05-2019, 10:38 PM
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I've only owned 4ish pairs of speakers and the best upgrade I've experienced was going from Pioneer BS-22s to KEF Q100s. In terms of subs, going from dual Dayton SUB-1200s to a single UM18 mini-marty was also a "life changing" experience.

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post #29 of 35 Old 02-06-2019, 05:12 AM
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When I upgraded from standard run-of-the-mill bookshelfs to floor standing Apogee Centaur Minor ribbon speakers...amazing, i.e., in fact I still use them for some dedicated stereo/ analog listening.

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post #30 of 35 Old 02-06-2019, 07:58 AM
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This was back in the '90's (I'm old!--get off my lawn!)

Wife and kids went to go visit grandma for the weekend, I had a new abode to play in and the living room was huge, fully carpeted and plenty of space to make a mess. I had just purchased some very expensive, 157 pound each 3-way PA speakers with 103dB 1w/1m efficiency rating and just completed getting all the equipment to actively bi-amp them properly. Upon testing in bars/nightclubs and outside venues--they sounded really good for PA speakers! I just HAD to know--what will they do in my living room?

Pulled out my appliance dolly to move them around--positioned around 2 feet from the boundries so the bezel was about 4 feet from the back wall (they are BIG) and crossed my fingers the limited vertical dispersion of the mids/tweets via waveguides won't overload the carpeting. Did the "mirror" trick to find the first reflection points, moved the sofa on one side and love seat to the other to absorb. Ambled into the kids room with bungie cords, wrapped the sheets/blankets to the matress and hauled both of them into the living room. Placed them on the walls on top of the sofa/love seat as absorbers at the first reflection points. Grabbed the matresses and blanket from my bedroom and leaned them on the back wall. Took my sampling club mixer, wired it into the "rack", set the XO point for 400 Hz 4th order, high pass at 40Hz and pulled the gains down on the amplifiers. Bumped up the signal strength on the crossover and ran it a bit to do some sweeps. Some minor touch ups with the EQ and the meter gave results to my liking--let's see what it will do. Glancing around the living room with matresses, furniture, blankets everywhere, XLR cables and PA speaker cables strewn around--WAF level = divorce court.

Threw in my PA test CDs, Mariah Carey MTV Unplugged--mids and highs sounded very clean. Enter Sandman next, no distortion no matter how spirited the level--nice! Changed the toe in to more angular (time-intesity trading) and everything sounded "big". Set the limiters for 200 watts for mid/highs and 750 watts for the bass for proper protection and the pro amps will never hit their limiters. Fire in the hole! Here comes the Telarc sampler discs--the most extreme dynamic range stuff I owned--see if I could make the monsters earn their keep. My listening distance was around 3.5 meters or 15 feet and it sounded very, very good--I was surprised. There was little distortion at low, medium and war volume--speakers did not power compress, no pushing the limits of Xmax, no vent noises just as you pushed the system louder, it went louder with no change in sound quality. It was not the "best" sound I've heard, it sure was the best sound quality I've heard at high SPLs or the huge peaks from Telarc classical discs. The system had dynamics nailed and I played around with it all day playing all sorts of things through the system. Invited a buddy over, he brought his "reference disc" which was Too Short--So you want to be a gangster. Chest slam, no problem... those P Audio woofers absorbed all the power allowed by the limiter without blinking. We then removed the pictures, knick knack garbage from the walls and fixed some room related shaking issues--pushed it to rock concert levels. The limiter lights started to
tap on the woofer side of things but the room was at it's limits, our ears were past theirs but the system kept going with no apparant complaints.

Realistically, that system set up would not fly even if I was single. My buddy was single and he thought a bomb hit my living room--it looked like hell in there. We pulled the matresses and blankets off the walls, moved the furniture back to it's stock location and tried to fix room related issues with EQ--no dice! The sound quality went from very good to quite good but it was obvious the room was starting to come into play again. We drank a few too many beers, my buddy stayed the night and he helped me pull the PA system out of the living room and get it all put away before the one that must be obeyed showed back up. When she arrived, we were listening to tunes with the traditional bookshelves and small subs--no harm, no foul.

Threw the last kid out of the house two decades later, my small bookshelves and subs did the duty very well for sound quality, ease of placement and the kids did not destroy them. Now I can have unlimited tunes and pondered the beastly PA system from back in the day. After doing PA for 8 years back in the day, I knew I wanted those same dynamics, low distortion and limited vertical dispersion but I wanted the cleaner sound of speakers designed for strictly sound quality. Time to dust off that speaker design book again, read up on the latest designs in oblate spheroid horns, line arrays and subwoofer management systems.

Am I like the ending of Casino? The Gangster PA system of monster speakers at 103dB 1w/1m with a few KW of amp power now relegated to "suburban schmuck" of AVRs and consumer bookshelves? No, I use smaller speakers at 36 pounds, not 157 pounds but they use cleaner/better higher quality compression drivers with much improved horn flares. I "gave up" 5dB of efficiency but 98dB or 99dB of efficiency in a living room should do it! Now that I'm older and wiser, the limiters are to protect me--not the speakers so I don't need more than 50 watts max anyway. The schmuck AVR even laughs at me. I stealthed the inner gangster, three subs that look like furniture and a full testosterone 1 KW pro amp to provide juice to two of those subs--the third with a plate amp. All the evil pro sound bits are covered by pretty speaker grills or hidden away from view. It might look like Walter White in the living room but once it fires up even people that don't care about audio (99.9% of the population) they know they are being scammed--it goes from WW to Heisenburg in dynamics.

I guess I'll never be an "audiophile". While the media slobbers over the same giant Class A/B amps with aluminum heatsinks--I look at the stadium amps with copper heatsinks and smart fan cooling. Sure, copper heatsinks and smart fan controls cost considerably more than a aluminum heatsink--figure the consumers might get a trickle down of the good stuff eventually. My eureka moment was with those best PA speakers decades ago, it's called dynamics and low distortion--you can have decent sound with dynamics. That was what I chased after that, if I can't get at least 115dB at one meter out of a speaker at low distortion with it operating well within it's linear range--I pass on that. My limiters are set at 106dB at my MLP for mids/highs and 116dB for the subs in my HT system--very low distortion as the speakers and AVR just loafs along--the subs are not exactly loafing but thanks to muliples and room loading and limiters--they do very well. I am content.

The massive dynaimics, SPL and larger than life sound of my youth experiment? It's in the garage! It has the capability to go +10dB higher than the HT system because garage systems are supposed to be big, very ugly with a rack of pro, studio and club equipment to feed the beast. No worries about going OCD about sound quality either--the limit IS the room--riding mowers, tool boxes, cement floors and christmas decorations instantly destroy any ability for sonic greatness. Those big line arrays in the garage will need the crossover capacitors replaced in 2042, I am content with the speakers so somebody remind me!

Technologically speaking, I'd say that the new wavegude designs of this century allow the very high efficiency, high output of such things but allow much cleaner, lower distortion over the 90's era stuff I owned. Now that AMTs are improving enough to handle 100 watts at 1,200 Hz while exceeding 100dB 1w/1m--and they use waveguides, it will be interesting to see how the upstart AMTs compare against the incredible compression drivers. Eventually the graphene nut will be cracked so the AMT VS compression driver battle has just started. We live in interesting and dynamic times.
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