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  1. #1
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    Any opinions on any of these?

    I am sort of looking at speakers, I'd like if possible to keep the high quality of my Dyn's while gaining in transparency and efficiency. Here's what I have in mind if you have actually heard any of these I'd appreciate your opinion and what gear you heard them with.

    Sonus Faber, I suspect the Toy tower might be too small for my room and the Liuto will be too difficult to drive. But I could actually get an in home listen.

    Focal, 826; the brand in a local big box store

    PSB, Synchrony Two; I'm concerned here because of mention of a dark character, this may be a way of saying "lack of transparency". In addition, the Dyn's are sort of dark, I'm trying to find a less damped sound.

    Monitor Audio, GX; I know not out yet but any experience with GS?

    I've considered the Klipsch Reference RF7II. Although I like Klipsch and find some models I've used fun I'm not convinced they could be my main speaker. In general, they seem not to hold the sound stage together at high volume despite claiming low distortion, not sure what the issue, they also don't have the type of bass I like. The Dyn's play deep and give a full body bass where the Klipsch provide sort of a surface bass. For instance, with Klipsch a Tom Tom sounds like it's being struck on the top but you don't get the sound of the body of the drum. The new Reference is supposed to have trickle down technology from the Paladium so I haven't totally ruled them out.

    As I posted on another thread I was all set to bring in a pair of Zu Audio, Soul Superfly but it looks like their high impedance will be a deal breaker. Still investigating this issue. Other suggestions of high efficient speakers that might sound good would be appreciated, well, other recs in general as well.

  2. #2
    Ajani
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    I suspect the Monitor Audio GX would mate nicely with your tube gear... My all time favourite small to medium room system consisted of a pair of Monitor Audio GS20s with a Musical Fidelity XT100 Hybrid integrated amp (tube pre & 50 watt SS power) and matching XRayV8 CDP...

    Another audition I had of the GS20s with audio refinement complete Integrated and CDP, involved listening to the sales rep's recording of his drum solo... The bass was magnificent... Deep and clean... not boomy yet never leaving you wanting more....

    Sadly I haven't tried any of the other speakers on your list... If the PSB Synchrony are much like their predecessor (the Platinum) then I doubt they'd be an improvement over the Dyns...

  3. #3
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    I briefly heard the GS bookshelf and was impressed, they are front runners. I have no experience with Focal, they may be good. The Sonus Faber have good mids & highs but I'm not sure about the bass, it could have been the recording but even the $12k model lacked in bass definition. Interesting having a speaker wrapped in leather.

  4. #4
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    Howdy Mr. P

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I am sort of looking at speakers, I'd like if possible to keep the high quality of my Dyn's while gaining in transparency and efficiency. Here's what I have in mind if you have actually heard any of these I'd appreciate your opinion and what gear you heard them with.

    Sonus Faber, I suspect the Toy tower might be too small for my room and the Liuto will be too difficult to drive. But I could actually get an in home listen.

    Focal, 826; the brand in a local big box store

    PSB, Synchrony Two; I'm concerned here because of mention of a dark character, this may be a way of saying "lack of transparency". In addition, the Dyn's are sort of dark, I'm trying to find a less damped sound.

    Monitor Audio, GX; I know not out yet but any experience with GS?

    I've considered the Klipsch Reference RF7II. Although I like Klipsch and find some models I've used fun I'm not convinced they could be my main speaker. In general, they seem not to hold the sound stage together at high volume despite claiming low distortion, not sure what the issue, they also don't have the type of bass I like. The Dyn's play deep and give a full body bass where the Klipsch provide sort of a surface bass. For instance, with Klipsch a Tom Tom sounds like it's being struck on the top but you don't get the sound of the body of the drum. The new Reference is supposed to have trickle down technology from the Paladium so I haven't totally ruled them out.

    As I posted on another thread I was all set to bring in a pair of Zu Audio, Soul Superfly but it looks like their high impedance will be a deal breaker. Still investigating this issue. Other suggestions of high efficient speakers that might sound good would be appreciated, well, other recs in general as well.
    I've heard several models of ATC speakers a few years ago and all the accolades they receive are well deserved. I am assuming that bass response plus clarity and definition is what you want in a floor stander. You may want to consider ATC speakers and seek out an audition. Here is a review of a floor stander from ATC.

    http://whathifi.com/Review/ATC-SCM40/

    LeRoy

  5. #5
    Swing rakeford's Avatar
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    I have the Klipsch RF-7s (old style cira 2004) powered by my Yamaha RX-797. I really enjoy the setup, but I don't have much to compare them too.

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  6. #6
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    I've heard several models of ATC speakers a few years ago and all the accolades they receive are well deserved. I am assuming that bass response plus clarity and definition is what you want in a floor stander. You may want to consider ATC speakers and seek out an audition. Here is a review of a floor stander from ATC.

    http://whathifi.com/Review/ATC-SCM40/

    LeRoy
    ATC are a brand I would love to try... They have a fantastic reputation for their Speakers and Amplifiers.... Nothing but 5 Star reviews for their products on WHF:

    http://whathifi.com/ATC/

  7. #7
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    I haven't heard of ATC but will check them out.

    Any info on Tannoy or Lowther?

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    For my audio tastes, I've never heard a Tannoy speaker that I like, but that's just me. Have yet to hear Lowther speakers.

    Here is a dated piece of info that might help you narrow down the manufacturers to consider.

    http://www.techradar.com/news/home-c...peakers-163318

    Good luck with the auditions.

    LeRoy

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    Hey, Dynaudio got in there.

  10. #10
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    I like my little Focal 806S but I didn't like their floorstander brothers. I was interested in a pair on Craigslist, so I took my Adcom amp to the seller's house and listened for maybe 30 minutes or so with my CDs. I thought the highs sounded great and the bass was decent, but the midrange seemed a bit muffled. They didn't really seem to get loud, either, but I could live with that. I no longer use a 200-watt amp - I'm down to 50 watts. I really wanted to like them because his price was good, but it just didn't happen for me.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Mr Peabody are you looking to replace your Dyns or are you looking to get a second set of speakers for something to give you something different from what you've had for a while. I love the dynaudio sound but I could understand having something different occasionally as well to give your music to you form another perspective. Let me know your progress and what you find. I have looked at most of the speakers you have talked about just for interest sake and would not mind hearing how they compare.

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  12. #12
    RGA
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    Frankly if you want to spend the money to go in a different direction then go in a different direction not the same/similar retread direction. Not the list is bad or anything but if you're going for higher efficiency with bass and truly special sound then I personally don't think MA, Sonus Faber Toy, or lower level JM Labs or PSB gets you there. I'm not slagging them they're all fine reputable makers of competitive speakers but IMO the lot of them are also Ho-Hum down the same path kind of stuff. Slapping a leather wrap or a ribbon tweeter may be good marketing but I don't know. I liked the Toy - bass is a little thick but pretty ample and they sound like Sonus Faber

    Audio Note J or E (J has the bass of the Contour 5.4 but far easier to drive, far smaller, sounds far better and costs far less, is far uglier, requires corner or else the bass is not as deep - drops to Contour 3.4 level - my dealer carries both lines), Tannoy Kensington SE (others may fit the bill but this and the Westminsters are the ones I've heard enough to say anything about and the latter is way out there price wise - The price has risen on them - around $13k but they're beautiful and have solid bass to around 30hz), You can not use a flea amp with them though - they probably like at least 30 watts of El34 or KT 88 power and up. Sonist loudspeakers if budget is a major issue can be run with 8 watts, Teresonic has speakers in the $5k range but they have their limits in terms of bass but have strengths that outclass a lot of others in the midrange (though the Ingenium does have good bass it doesn't do all that well with rock at volume - flea watts will work great though - single driver speakers 3 watts is enough. And Lastly Harbeth - but be careful which ones - some are fine with little power some are not. But Harbeth has a rich full bodied sound and sounded good at CES with digital front ends or tubes.

    I am recommending this based on the need for higher sensitivity. I liked the SF Toy for the money - but I also tend to prefer simpler loudspeakers because they usually sound more transparent and possess better cohesion. Dual concentric, single driver, and AN which just manages to do it as well as two driver speakers can do it. The Sonist don't do this as nearly as well as the others but they're also a lot less money and they are relatively easy to drive and they don't sound irritating considering they use a ribbon tweeter (although integration is a problem because they do).

    Basically, if you're ear has gotten good enough to realize that good high efficiency speakers are superior (and you know where I stand here) then at some point I am betting the other realizations, low powered SET for example, will be on the horizon. Whether that happens or not getting a speaker that can handle as much amplifier choice as possible gives you far more upgrade options in the future. I can run 1000 watt mono blocks on my speakers and 4 watts and get to leave the room volume levels on both. That to me is a speaker that lets me hear the amplifiers rather than being pigeon holed on one type of amplifier choice for the rest of my life.

  13. #13
    Ajani
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    RGA,

    have you tried any Zu Audio speakers, and if so what are your thoughts on them?

    In another thread I suggested that Mr. Peabody could check out the new Zu Omen Definition (high efficiency & dual full range drivers):



    http://www.zuaudio.com/store/omen/def/

    OMEN DEF Quick Specs
    Efficiency: 98 dB 1W/1m (see measures)
    Impedance: 6 Ohm nominal (see measures)
    Third generation ZuRG driver/cabinet loading technology
    Height: 47" tall + footers
    Footprint: 12" square
    Tube and solid-state friendly!
    Manufactured in Ogden, Utah, USA

  14. #14
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    Sonus Faber Liuto - Really like it (SF fan). Low end may sound a bit sluggish for some but thats my preference.

    Sonus Faber Toy - Never heard it but from the size, specs and gut feeling i think they'd be too limited.

    Focal 826 - I'd never buy a french speaker but I have to admit they seem to be good compromise for all types of listeners but for people like us that's probably not a good thing.

    PSB Synchrony 2 - I like a whole helluva lot but could not tell if you'd think they were more or less dark than your Dynaudio's.

    Monitor Audio - Have heard a few models and never liked any of them. I want to get up and leave after listening a while.

    ATC - Never bothered to listen to anything but their active models which are fantastic. I usually like other speakers who use ATC drivers as well.

    Tannoy - The D300 and D500 are some of my all time favorite speakers. Have not kept up with their current offerings.

    ZU - Omen series = blah

    Audio Note - Never heard any model but they have a die hard following. Have to make it a point to audition someday.

  15. #15
    Ajani
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    So let's compare exhibit A:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060
    Monitor Audio - Have heard a few models and never liked any of them. I want to get up and leave after listening a while.
    Versus exhibit B:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060
    ZU - Omen series = blah
    So Monitor Audio you've heard and disliked... Excellent, that's a clear opinion...

    The ZU Omens on the other hand: Were you one of the relatively few persons who auditioned a pair? Or are you just dismissing them without having listened?

  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Mr P., I have heard the PSB synchrony 1's and they are very transparent with excellent bass and control. My good friend has them with a ARC tube preamp, Nuforce 9 monoblocks and Marantz SA8001 CDP and they sound fantastic. He use to run a Bell's Hot Rod amp with them which had a more tubey sound but the Nuforce amps really make these speakers shine. And they are not dark sounding by any means. They are very resloving, well controlled with no fatigue. They are easliy one of my favorite speakers in that price range.

    While I can't speak for the Synchrony 2's, but if they sound anything like the One's you won't be disappointed.
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  17. #17
    RGA
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    Ajani

    Certainly that seems like a good suggestion because as I noted - if Highish efficiency has been tantalizing then look into speakers that fit the mold. I have not heard the Zu line but in general these would be speakers I would gravitate to all else being equal. I still prefer a two driver two way sort of design over using more drivers so perhaps the Omen or Essence would be more interesting - though of course I would not say until I heard them. The specs certainly seem to suggest an easy drive and those I know who have heard them describe them as fun. This reminds me of my own Wharfedale Vanguards which are also dead easy to drive being mostly in the 10ohm range 95dbsensitive.

    I try to list 5 or so makers because they're not all available in any given area.

    I also forgot to mention Acoustic Zen which make very good speakers in their price classes and were run with modest power Tri amplification.

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    RGA, I never said I thought more efficient speakers sounded better than less efficient speakers. If I am to get new mains something more efficient would be desirable. My amps push the Dyn's well enough but if I got something that didn't make them work as hard then the better. I actually thought about Audio Note but they are no where near me and I don't want to build anything. We have a new store and I believe they offer Harbeth, that could be something to look into.

    Ajani, I saw the Omen Def. Zu says they will have a Soul Def next year. The price though would be pushing my budget. One thing that bugs me about their pricing, MD and Amazon both have Zu models cheaper than Zu's own website. The Zu rep assured me the Def was a better speaker than the Omen, not just more. He said the Def cabinet was a trickle from the Definition. The brand really has my interest. I really couldn't afford the Soul Def at his proposed MSRP range but if they came out at a discounted price like the Omen, and Amazon shows the Essence at $1999.00 which is $1600.00 cheaper than Zu's site, if I caught a discount like that I could make it happen.

  19. #19
    RGA
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    Mr. P

    Can I recommend an alternate. Go to an audio Show. Keep your speakers for now and make a trip of it. You can buy and sell speakers but in general it's a big pain in the arse and you are kind of playing the "someone else likes it so I might too" game.

    Shows are not perfect but the CAS one Dagogo puts on is open to the public, CES is easy to get into if you create a fake profile and pretend you're in business - they never check.

    What this does is have all the big boys together - all in the same/similar rooms so no real advantages for any of them, hooked up to gear the makers think make them sound their best (or good enough). If you go in to a place like this with 15 speaker makers that you are interested in you can then really get an idea of what you like. Moreover, you can slash the list down to top contenders for home auditions.

    A vacation like this may run you $1500 for travel/hotel but it's something that can last you years and years. You may end up finding a $3k speaker that beats a $6k speaker you were planning to get. Sure you paid $1500 for a trip but you still saved $1500 from overpaying on the $6k speaker over the $3k one.

    And you will be surprised or I suppose unsurprised to find that plenty of $5k speakers beat plenty of $30k+ speakers.

    Is ZU one - I have no idea but at a show you can hear a hundred speakers in your price class and have a pretty great idea of pretty much everything available in your budget. Very few stones will be left unturned. As a reviewer it is harder because I am listening to huge variety of price ranges so I can't zero in and focus on a given price bracket.

    Lastly, if something does stand out for you can bypass the dealer and buy them from the manufacturer and maybe get a reduced rate.

  20. #20
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Shows are the WORST place to make any decision on speakers. Don't EVER make your decision there. Unless you live in a hotel room the acoustics will not match your living space.
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  21. #21
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Shows are the WORST place to make any decision on speakers. Don't EVER make your decision there. Unless you live in a hotel room the acoustics will not match your living space.

    Touché, I thought the same thing. Why go somewhere that the systems have been set up in a hurry and the acoustics are most likely inferior to your own room at home. Plus you have Jim and Slim talking about what they are hearing and not letting you listen for yourself. I think I will stick with the personal listening experience at a shop or better yet on my own system at home.

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  22. #22
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    RGA, I was merely throwing out what I'm researching to see if any one had opinions that might help me narrow the field. I plan to audition before I buy. There could be something to eliminate a brand or push me in another's direction. It would really be a pain to have to bring all in for a trial/return cycle. I'm not in any big hurry either, it's not like I'm hurting for speakers

    On the PMC suggestion, if you are familiar with the line what model is their floorstander?

  23. #23
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    Touché, I thought the same thing. Why go somewhere that the systems have been set up in a hurry and the acoustics are most likely inferior to your own room at home. Plus you have Jim and Slim talking about what they are hearing and not letting you listen for yourself. I think I will stick with the personal listening experience at a shop or better yet on my own system at home.
    You got that right! In addition you get sonic overload after about the 11'th room, so your shot for any kind of critical listening. Don't get me wrong though; GO to shows! It's fun to play with all the gear. Just don't make your final decision on what to buy there.
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  24. #24
    RGA
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    Audio Shows are dependent on the room quality - nevertheless as I said the pros are:

    1) All rooms are roughly the same so all rooms have the same "disadvantage/Advantage"
    2) All rooms are run by the manufacturer and dealer and set-up by them who are "more expert" than the average audiophile on set-up requirements for the given room
    3) All ancillary gear that is used is selected by the manufacturer or typically top dealer/distributor

    Loudspeakers are NOT designed to ONLY work in a customer's home. Since all customers have totally different rooms of varying quality and size and shape it's garbage excuse to say it will sound bad at a show or a dealer's home or an apartment or a cement basement. Plenty of "houses" even new ones have paper thin walls and relatively poor acoustics - the rooms at The Show in the Flamingo and Bellagio were quite good and better than a LOT of houses I have been to with audiophiles who have multi-thousand dollar systems.

    Moreover, if the rooms were so bad then how does that explain the truly "exceptional" sounding rooms that do in fact play at shows. Putting my critical thinking hat on I say gee if these ten systems can sound great and a whole pile sound mediocre and they are all in rooms of the exact same construction then why would I blame the room? System A sounds 10/10 in the room System B sounds 3/10 in the room - then the "room" is certainly capable of delivering 10/10 sound quality therefore it's not the room.

    Granted it could be set-up but again if the manufacturer can't set-it up why on earth would a customer be able to do it better?

    The other way is to simply cross check which I have done. I made it a point to listen to several speakers at a dealer, in a few homes, in my home and at a show and in every case the speakers sounded very largely the same in every location used. Some differences in bass but in general - what I hear with the Maggie 20.1 at CES was the same as what I heard in Vancouver's show case room ( a dedicated professionally acoustically treated room) and the open space room at Soundhounds). Subtle differences but easily enough to get what they can do. This goes for B&W, Harbeth, AN, Sonus Faber, Quads, Dynaudios, and numerous others. Once the baseline is there and you have the ability to filter out the room (easier with nearfield speakers I grant you) then to me the rest is merely excuses for mediocre sound quality and lack of experience judging quality music replay.

    Indeed, many dealers go to audio shows basing what they sell on what they hear - they are investing large on such decisions. Some people have the ears for it I guess.

    I am not saying don't listen at home but you can't make direct quick comparisons at home with 100 loudspeakers. Most audiophiles who trot the listen at home because it's the only place on earth it can sound good have 1 set of speakers and they bring in one or two others. So that's great you compared 3 loudspeakers but that is "hardly" playing the field. And even dealers - most of them anyway, only select the mainstream audiophile brands - because they're easiest to sell. Big corporation speakers amps etc but bigger is almost never better.

    An Audio Show puts a pile of makers on the map and IMO anyway, the best "sound" does not come from the companies advertised on every other page of every magazine. Gallo, Trenner&Freidl, AN, Harbeth, Sonist, KingSound, Studio Electric, Acoustic Zen, Silbatone, Acapella, Usher Loudspeakers, all sounded a helluva lot better than the usual Paradigm, Magnepan, B&W, SF, of the world. Most of these makers most people have never heard of because High End dealers are shifting to home theater in droves and if a company doesn't make such offerings they are not getting carried. So listening at home won't happen if you don't know about them (not heavily marketed) and you can't hear them at a dealer since few carry them.

    That is why I said use a show to target speakers in a given price class and cross off the ones you know won't likely cut it and then from that list you can bring them home.
    Last edited by RGA; 12-03-2010 at 07:50 PM.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I was not trying to say that shows are a bad thing. I think shows are a good way to see the manufacturers that you might not be able to see otherwise and get some physical since of the products. But I was just saying that I don't believe that I would make a big purchasing decision based off of something that I heard at a show without hearing it in a more controlled environment without all the people and it is true that a persons ability to due critical listening suffers after a while of hearing different setups in my opinion.

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