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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Attack and Decay

    As some of you know I have been switching speakers back and forth for a few years now. This evening I was thinking about notes and music when it hit me. Notes have attack and decay and I realized the difference between both pairs of my speakers are attack and decay.

    The Monitor Audio RS6's are very good with the beginning of the note or the attack but very little decay. Some notes end too quickly. I have commented in the past that I thought it was too dynamic but it has more to do with the decay of notes. This makes the sound too punchy and less musical.

    The MFSL OML1's are great at decay of the notes but not as fast at the attack. The musical flow is much better when a new note begins as the last is fading. The type of music I enjoy most the decay of the notes is very important. A pianist can shorten or lengthen the decay of notes by the use of pedals. The OML1's display this quite well but could use a faster attack.

    Now I know my next speakers will need to have both fast attack and good decay of the notes. I find the OML1's more musical because of the proper length of decay. I guess I find the ending of the notes more important than the beginning.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Anyone with suggestions for speakers that have both attack and good decay for notes. I should mention that fast attack with little decay can be tiring and too much decay with slow attack can become boring.

    Thanks in advance.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Anyone with suggestions for speakers that have both attack and good decay for notes. I should mention that fast attack with little decay can be tiring and too much decay with slow attack can become boring.

    Thanks in advance.
    Pick up a used pair of Dunlavy SCIVs and pair them with Audio Research tube preamp and amp. Audio Research has, from the SP3 on, tried to capture both the correct attack AND decay of notes. Most tube units get the decay, but not the attack. Most ss units get the attack, but not the decay.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I am sure some amps are better at attack and delay. The two amps I have allowed me to hear the difference between the two pair of speakers I listen to mostly. The Monitor Audio RS6's would pair well with an amp that is weak on the attack but with full decay. Yes a tube amp would pair well with the RS6's.

    The MFSL OML1's have good decay. They do not need help in that regard. The Krell S-300i does not exagerate decay but is not as leading edge as some SS amps. I think that is why I find the combo so enjoyable and musical. The bass is tight with the combo but a little deeper would be nice. That is part of the reason I am still thinking about my next speakers.

    I do not play a musical instrument but I was recently playing around with a friends piano. I listened to the notes as I struck the keys. I played with the pedals and heard the differences of decay of the individual notes. Once home I listened to solo piano recordings and heard which speaker produced the more natural piano sound. The OML1 is my preferred speaker with my current system.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
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  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Anyone with suggestions for speakers that have both attack and good decay for notes. I should mention that fast attack with little decay can be tiring and too much decay with slow attack can become boring.

    Thanks in advance.
    I'm certain RGA will get around to recommending Audio Note.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    ... Some notes end too quickly. I have commented in the past that I thought it was too dynamic but it has more to do with the decay of notes. This makes the sound too punchy and less musical.
    ....
    Long decay = ringing???

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I'm certain RGA will get around to recommending Audio Note.

    Looking forward to it. In one review I read about Audio Note speakers, there is not only the need for corner placement, they also have better bass with tube amps with low damping. Do not think they would work well with the Krell.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Of course the Vento has very good attack and decay. But I was all set to purchase the Monitor Audio GX 100 until I listened to the Vento,s. The Monitors where brighter with not as good midrange presence. But having said that...the GX 100 where new and I'm sure they where not broken in. JM you have to put that Monitor Audio GX100 on your list. It did most things excellent and I will caulk what I found wrong to not being broken in....and besides....it is a beautiful Stand mount speaker.... With that high gloss wood grain....did I mention that it had excellent attack as well as decay?
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  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I don't know about audio note...but I did listen to the Harbeth and the ProAc. I like the ProAc but can't see what they see I the Harbeth. I guess I would have to get them in my own room. They did nothing for me....over priced if you ask me. also I like DeVore...but Harbeth...not for me.
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  10. #10
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    I'd like to hear the latest version of the standmount RM7 from Joseph Audio. From what I've read, it might be close to what you're looking for, JM. If I really had the itch, I might pick up a used pair of an earlier version without an audition depending on price. They seem to hold their value.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin View Post
    I'd like to hear the latest version of the standmount RM7 from Joseph Audio. From what I've read, it might be close to what you're looking for, JM. If I really had the itch, I might pick up a used pair of an earlier version without an audition depending on price. They seem to hold their value.

    A very good idea. I have heard an early version of the RM7 and was impressed. I also have heard a number of the Infinite Slope speakers. That may be my answer.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  12. #12
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    Hi JM, to the point... from my personal listening experience of over a year of listening to these speakers, The Reference 3A Episodes have great attack and decay...they sure are pricey though...another option but no longer in production would be the large stand mount from Usher, the 718 Be....Usher speakers attack, attack and attack but the 718 with the Be tweeter has great insight with decay as well.
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin View Post
    I'd like to hear the latest version of the standmount RM7 from Joseph Audio. From what I've read, it might be close to what you're looking for, JM. If I really had the itch, I might pick up a used pair of an earlier version without an audition depending on price. They seem to hold their value.
    A new pair of RM7XL are $2,300 a pair. When I heard a pair of Infinite Slope bookshelf speakers that are quite similar in design I remember they had incredible imaging. Used would be the way to go.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  14. #14
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy View Post
    Hi JM, to the point... from my personal listening experience of over a year of listening to these speakers, The Reference 3A Episodes have great attack and decay...they sure are pricey though...another option but no longer in production would be the large stand mount from Usher, the 718 Be....Usher speakers attack, attack and attack but the 718 with the Be tweeter has great insight with decay as well.


    The Reference 3A's are nice speakers. I have only heard the bookshelf models but if they get better from there, wow. I have yet to hear a pair of Usher speakers but Parts Express has a kit that Feanor pointed out that has been considered. I have been thinking about assembling a kit speaker and that one should sound nice when built.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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    Monitor Audio RS6
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  15. #15
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I think that Joseph Audio RM7XL was $2300 about 5 years ago.....have they not gone up? It would be fun to take a listen. Nice review in Stereophile.....nice inner detail...I think they use ScanSpeak drives? Any body know? Looks like they are Seas or Scanspeak. I would like to take a listen....no place around these parts though.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  16. #16
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Since I have been using the new speaker cables with much greater detail the RS6's are not as much about attack. The cables have complimented both pairs of speakers. While the greater detail in the midrange helped with the dryness of the OML1's the timing of the cables helped the RS6's sound better paced.

    The RS6's have always been more open in the midrange without being in your face. The OML1'a had a more recessed midrange which sometimes robbed some of the excitement of the music. The OML1's midrange did give the effect of a deeper soundstage. I had read that the Monitor Audio's sound best with better electronics but IMHO they are sensitive to the quality of cables.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Since I have been using the new speaker cables with much greater detail the RS6's are not as much about attack. The cables have complimented both pairs of speakers. While the greater detail in the midrange helped with the dryness of the OML1's the timing of the cables helped the RS6's sound better paced.

    The RS6's have always been more open in the midrange without being in your face. The OML1'a had a more recessed midrange which sometimes robbed some of the excitement of the music. The OML1's midrange did give the effect of a deeper soundstage. I had read that the Monitor Audio's sound best with better electronics but IMHO they are sensitive to the quality of cables.
    But you said earlier in this thread that you wanted fast attack in your next pair of speakers. It's like you can't decide which date to ask to the prom.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    But you said earlier in this thread that you wanted fast attack in your next pair of speakers. It's like you can't decide which date to ask to the prom.


    Now I know my next speakers will need to have both fast attack and good decay of the notes.

    My quote above from my post.

    See I want two dates to the prom. I was comparing the RS6 with the old cables seeming to emphasize the attack at the expense of decay. The OML1's had less attack but good decay. AQ cables use multiple individually insulated solid core wires they call their Spread Spectrum Technology and this wire is spread in all the right ways. Both speakers have shown an improvement in performance. Neither speaker has become my dream speaker but both more enjoyable. I do want a speaker where the notes start when they should and end when they should.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
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  19. #19
    RGA
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    Waiting for me to respond - well the speakers I would recommend won't work well with the Krell - but that's not the speaker's fault. Part of lack of decay is a trait of most SS amplifiers and the inability to recreate three dimensions in order to hear the hall. And while the attack is evident it's often artificially strident and the whole thing winds up sounding artificial and tinny. One reason after the long weekend with Bryston it went back to the store.

    If decay is "more important" then until the amp situation is addressed speaker choices don't much matter - speakers can't fix what feeds them.

    There is a thread currently on AudioAsylum about this Krell amp.

    Negative reviews! Put our money where our mouths are? - JoshT - Critic's Corner

    I defended Krell yet again as another long thread had a published a very negative review of a $5,000+ Krell amp. (again on the linked page above)

    Personally I've never understood the appeal of these amps and most amps like them. There are plenty of very nice speakers I could recommend but unfortunately 95% of the time they're connected to Tubes/SETS. I guess it's just mere coincidence.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    Waiting for me to respond - well the speakers I would recommend won't work well with the Krell - but that's not the speaker's fault. Part of lack of decay is a trait of most SS amplifiers and the inability to recreate three dimensions in order to hear the hall. And while the attack is evident it's often artificially strident and the whole thing winds up sounding artificial and tinny. One reason after the long weekend with Bryston it went back to the store.

    If decay is "more important" then until the amp situation is addressed speaker choices don't much matter - speakers can't fix what feeds them.

    There is a thread currently on AudioAsylum about this Krell amp.

    Negative reviews! Put our money where our mouths are? - JoshT - Critic's Corner

    I defended Krell yet again as another long thread had a published a very negative review of a $5,000+ Krell amp. (again on the linked page above)

    Personally I've never understood the appeal of these amps and most amps like them. There are plenty of very nice speakers I could recommend but unfortunately 95% of the time they're connected to Tubes/SETS. I guess it's just mere coincidence.


    I find it interesting that using the Krell S-300i I hear the RS6's having more attack than decay and the OML1's having better decay than attack. Therefore the amp is not the issue but the differences in speakers. Feel free to post your biases if you must but they are of little use to me. .... .. .. ....., full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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  21. #21
    Stereo value > car value texlle's Avatar
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    JM, any reservations about owning electrostats?
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  22. #22
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texlle View Post
    JM, any reservations about owning electrostats?


    Room size, electrical outlets and expense are a few of my concerns. Years ago I was impressed by a pair of Innersound electrostats but I only heard the music the store had on hand. I do tend to look mostly at cones and domes in a box.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Biases drawn from experience. That tends to be how they're formed.

    I suppose the best solution would be to go to the horse's mouth - ask Krell what they think is a good speaker match )other than their own).

    Or look at past show reports of Krell and see what Krell brought as their speakers - perhaps that speaker line has something affordable.

    That would be the place I would start. I think the last time I heard Krell was when they were connected to Wilson. Wilson unfortunately for me hasn't sounded all that great the times I've heard them. They sounded best with Rogue Audio but that is not totally the amplifiers because the particular Wilson was better suited to the room.

    It sounds like you want a speaker between the two you have now - a best of both worlds. And of course geared for SS. I think the only person to know this is you cause I doubt anyone on this board has heard both your speakers connected to that specific amplifier.

  24. #24
    Stereo value > car value texlle's Avatar
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    I know Dynaudio does much of their testing/demonstration using Krell gear. Of course this does not necessarily evidence that the two are the best matches for one another, but it proves that there is some merit to the match. Personally, I would think this combo would come off a bit analytical, but Dynaudio may be a brand to look into, if you haven't already.
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  25. #25
    RGA
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    Plenty of companies probably think analytical/bright is accurate though so that may be exactly what one or both is all about.

    Dynaudio at the last show I was at was running Octave 40 watt tube amplifiers.

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