speaker upgrade options? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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04-24-2004, 10:51 AM
I'm looking for suggestions of floor standing speakers that will better the performance of my thiel 1.5s with a similar size ( about 32-34" tall) pricing of $1.5k used to $3k new.

Names I've run across but haven't heard yet include the Audes Blues & Souls, Silverline speakers, Soliloquy 5.3. I'm enjoying some Taylo Reference Monitors in my den, which image and and sound great, but have limited base and aren't the most beautiful looking speakers.




04-24-2004, 11:21 AM
Well my experience is that good looks and good sound don't go hand in hand. Also, Why must the speaker be a floorstander? Some large standmounts will produce more bass than floorstanders. For instance the Audio Note AN E standmount at 1/5 the price produces deeper bass response than the B&W N801 much larger floorstanding speaker.

Tell us what you want from a speaker. I was not terribly thrilled with Thiel nor apparently is the rest of the British COlumbian market since it was dumped and hasn't returned here to my knowledge.

Speakers are too subjective - I can suggest you listen to Audio Note and several others here will offer up their suggestions as well. In the end you have to close the review books and go listen to speakers in the same room with the same gear and decide for yourself. Don't get caught up into the BUZZ-words like imaging and detail. If a speaker makes you think of those things then it's a bad speaker for when you listen to a symphony or just a guy playing an acoustic guitar I don't remember sitting there thinking wow check out the detail on that violin/oboe/cello/piano or the imaging of the drums.

04-24-2004, 12:19 PM
you say "limited bass" what kind of extention are you looking for? Some are happy with 40Hz while others need 20 to be satisfied. If you want good looking, take a look at Quad L-series like the 22L, but that goes to 30Hz. If you want bass...then RGA's suggestion of AN E goes down to 16Hz in the corner -6dB. Of course, depends what you like and want. Quad uses soft dome and AN uses....something not metal i think. If you like brightness, then these may not be for you.

...I think Bturk might drop in and give his signature line...just about now...

04-25-2004, 07:25 PM
The audio note E goes out to 23khz well beyond the human threshold of hearing. The reason they are not bright sounding is that they are not distorting. Metal drivers have terrible break-up properties and the reason they are used is because cheap soft domes don't extened. So enter the metal driver which has the extension. Good soft domes extend AND have better break-up properties and are a closer match to the material of the woofer. Timbre matching helps if the drivers within the speaker actually timbre match - that is why I laugh at the folks who want home theater to timbre match across the front when the actual speaker doesn't even get it right. Brightness or detail is just another word for distortion...really catches your attention in the showroom - and then irritates within 3 months. Interestingly you see Metal on the cheapest PMC speaker but after that all their models use soft dome. Recycled aluminum must be cheaper than building good silk fabric drivers.

Best way is to listen --- You know to the speakers and not the magazine writers - especially the American magazine writers.

PS Audio Note uses Vifa and SEAS drivers - which have been modified to such an extent that there is no OEM replacement. All are soft dome materials (Silk/Fabric) --- and drivers don't ge better than those offered by VIfa or SEAS.

04-25-2004, 07:35 PM
hey RGA,
What does SEAS and Vifa mean? Are those company names? Are they exclusive to AN? or do other companies use them too?

04-26-2004, 10:10 AM
hey RGA,
What does SEAS and Vifa mean? Are those company names? Are they exclusive to AN? or do other companies use them too?
They are driver manufacturers whose drivers wind up in a great many brands of speakers. :cool:

04-26-2004, 04:41 PM
hey RGA,
What does SEAS and Vifa mean? Are those company names? Are they exclusive to AN? or do other companies use them too?

They are companies who make the physical drivers. VIFA and SEAS among others are as Worf notes used in a number of speakers...and can be purchased directly in higher end speaker kits. JM Labs used to and still does make drivers for other manufacturers as did Dynaudio. The drivers in all Totem speakers were from Dynaudio until recently when Totem was forced to change.

The driver is not necessarily as important as what the company does with it. For instance the VIFA tweeter is based of the TD19 but the TD19 itself comes with ferro-fluid cooling and doesn't come with Audio Note wiring. Both are altered for Audio Note and only Audio Note. Generally drivers from VIFA or SEAS are superior or held in higher regard than many others -- but it is the implementaion that is still most important. The crossovers are built by Audio Note and Audio Note uses the best physical parts available anywhere by anyone in their equipment. Some of the capacitors alone cost more than some pretty good speakers.