• 01-14-2004, 11:00 AM
    acqui
    Best speakers for classical, flamenco, acoustic string guitar music?
    My father has a pair of Ohm Walsh 5's that are a bit older but I absolutely love those speakers. The problem is that they are way too large. I have a set of Infinity Kappas but I want to get another set of speakers for my family room, with the intention of eventually adding a couple of rears and center for a smaller HT system. I was wondering what you guys would recommend for this type of music? I am looking for something that sounds similar to the Ohm Walsh series. I was told Mirage? Budget is $1000-$1500 for the pair. They must also have a center channel matched that I can add at a later date if possible. My girlfriend listens to alot of classical, flamenco, and acoustic string guitar type music.Thanks for any suggestions.
  • 01-14-2004, 01:47 PM
    Bryan
    Unfortunately I've never heard the Ohm Walsh before. However, speakers you may want to look at are the VMPS QSO 626R, nOrh ceramic or wood 4.0 (though you could purchase all five for $850 delivered), ACI Emerald, Odyssey Nightingale, Onix Rocket RS 550, or Magnepan MG 1.6.
  • 01-16-2004, 03:58 AM
    manek
    A british brand called monitor audio

    very good for this kind of music.
  • 01-16-2004, 09:10 AM
    newbsterv2
    That's an easy one. Magnepan MMG or MG12. These are somewhat large but very thing. But for acoustic instruments there is no speaker below $2,000 that can do what the Maggies do for %550, $1,200 respectively. I would go with the MMG's directly from Magnepan. Nylon string guitar doesn't have much low frequency energy. These speakers use ribbon technology to move air. I think you'd be amazed by ther sound quality. Check their site out. They also sell a center channel direct from magnepan for $300 now. Actually come to think of it..........they have a new model that mounts to the side of an entertainment center. That's even better for ya!! Good luck!!!

    www.magnepan.com



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by acqui
    My father has a pair of Ohm Walsh 5's that are a bit older but I absolutely love those speakers. The problem is that they are way too large. I have a set of Infinity Kappas but I want to get another set of speakers for my family room, with the intention of eventually adding a couple of rears and center for a smaller HT system. I was wondering what you guys would recommend for this type of music? I am looking for something that sounds similar to the Ohm Walsh series. I was told Mirage? Budget is $1000-$1500 for the pair. They must also have a center channel matched that I can add at a later date if possible. My girlfriend listens to alot of classical, flamenco, and acoustic string guitar type music.Thanks for any suggestions.

  • 01-16-2004, 10:48 AM
    Woochifer
    Do you have the newer Kappas or one of the original models (with the ribbon tweeters and polydome midrange drivers)? I remember that the original top-of-the-line Kappa model was surprisingly good with acoustic guitar. Very spacious sound.

    The best acoustic guitar reproduction I've ever heard was from a pair of Martin Logans, but those might be a tad out of your price range.
  • 01-16-2004, 12:34 PM
    topspeed
    80% of all classical music is mastered on B&W's, so I would certainly take a look at their discontinued CDM NT line or the new 705's. The 'stats and planers mentioned would also be a fine choice although the smaller Maggies are purported to have sweet spots that may make placement more challenging in small areas.

    Good Luck
  • 01-16-2004, 01:21 PM
    Feanor
    Speaking as a one-time Ohm/Walsh owner ...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    That's an easy one. Magnepan MMG or MG12.

    I absolutely agree with the Magneplanar suggestion for the types of music mentioned. But remember that all Magneplanars need to be placed 3 feet or more from front or side walls so they are large speakers in effect. These distances are about right also for Ohm Walsh model because they are true omnidirectional spearkers.

    I owned a pair of Ohm F's many years ago. I traded them for B&W DM7's. I came to regret that. The Ohms had great transparency and soundstage -- not unlike the Magneplanars.
  • 01-16-2004, 05:55 PM
    AlaskanGuy
    Try Vienna Haydn
    Try out the Vienna Haydn (around $1000). Very well regarded speakers. I auditioned them recently, and the performance on a guitar demo was wonderful.
  • 01-17-2004, 11:26 AM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by acqui
    My father has a pair of Ohm Walsh 5's that are a bit older but I absolutely love those speakers. The problem is that they are way too large. I have a set of Infinity Kappas but I want to get another set of speakers for my family room, with the intention of eventually adding a couple of rears and center for a smaller HT system. I was wondering what you guys would recommend for this type of music? I am looking for something that sounds similar to the Ohm Walsh series. I was told Mirage? Budget is $1000-$1500 for the pair. They must also have a center channel matched that I can add at a later date if possible. My girlfriend listens to alot of classical, flamenco, and acoustic string guitar type music.Thanks for any suggestions.

    This is an easy one, as there's only a few speakers that come to mind;

    Magnepan, preferably a 3 series (scary real)
    Thiel 1.6 on up, with the 3.6's being the best bet
    And of course the Ohm Walshes

    If your looking for a smaller speaker, why not try the new line of "mini" Walshes. Your not going to get that "Walsh" kind of sound out of any other box speaker.
  • 01-17-2004, 01:00 PM
    RGA
    Well you're going to get a lot of responses with everyone touting particular speakers, including me. The trick is to be patient. I kept my Wharfedales and was looking around for four years until moving to a new set of speakers.

    I don't necessarily buy into the notion that certain speakers are better for classical and rock...if that's the case then they may live up to one's notion of how something OUGHT to sound but is probably not doing something correctly. Martin Logan's and planar designs at lower price points don't move enough air and are simply not dynamicly life-like - yet oddly people say they're great for classical and at DETAIL they are supurb...but a full orchestra with full bidied texture and tone belting it out they sound a bit flat and dull. Even expensive MLs have a bit of that contend with and never integrate their woofers properly.

    You can go by reviews but guess what every speaker on the market(or 90%+) will have a terrific review by someone. Every company posts up all those nice things reviewers were paid err honestly has to say about them).

    I would not call Mirage a particularly great speaker, at least not to me as they are to me irritating in the highs...Not having heard the Ohm Walsh series if Mirage is what the dealer
    thinks is closest then hey go for it...not everyone likes the same thing. But Ohm Walsh is still around so why not look at them first?

    I geenrally prefer a good boxed design over panels and stats - both make their trade-offs you have to choose the one you want. I would suggest the Audio Note line of course for this or any type of music, a number of quad ESL owners have made the shift to Audio Note...one of the only boxed speakers I have ever heard that can match the advantages of the stat while keeping the robust dynamics of the boxed design...neat trick which is why I bought em.

    However, they have no interest in surround sound and don't produce a center channel. That said the dealers here have dumped their systems and have created rather impressive surround sound systems with all Audio Note largely because they like close wall placement and have dynamics for dense home theater movie material. Either The AN E/D and AN K can be had in your budget. The AN K is said to have a tighter bass response quicker through the mid band while the E is a bit more full bodied and a touch bloomier.

    Audio Note does sell small cheaper speakers that can be used as rears and apparently people use the Rel Strata III as an effective subwoofer(have not heard it though).

    Reviews of K($1500.00Cdn at soundhounds.com)
    ""AN-K/L
    This is actually the greatest bargain in audio speakers...ever!

    This sealed box (infinite baffle) speaker is designed to be placed on 52cm high stands between 45 and 60cm from a side or rear wall. I have compared this speaker to small stand mounted speakers costing over $12,000.00 and the AN-K/L was obviously better; more dynamic, more detailed, more transparent, and clearly more alive! Used alone or with a sub-woofer, this speaker is worthy of inclusion in cost-no-object systems. With Audio Note amplification, this speaker is capable of palpable realism.

    It measures 45 x 28 x 20cm. and weighs 8.6 kg. AN-K/L is 90 dB/watt/m sensitive and is happy, in a small room with less than 10 watts.

    "Voices have a rare realism and coherence; the message simply cuts through the medium." Hi-Fi Choice, May 1992.

    "The sound is dynamically believable and more time coherent than most too, all of which makes a real contribution to breaking down the barriers between reproduction and reality." Hi-Fi Choice, September 1992."

    AN E ($2000.00CDN at Soundhounds.com)
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=475
    http://www.stereotimes.com/speak071701.shtm

    These reviews have discussions following the reviews
    http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...74993&review=1
    http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...04884&review=1
    http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...11315&review=1
    http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...02595&review=1

    My own K review http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.pl?...48241&review=1


    Now if you want the usual and want home theater sooner due to cost(though you can probably get away with a different brand center channel you'd have to try many of them out to get a good fit)...the side leaning kinds are all compromised anyway so it's just a battle of getting closest...none are EVER going to integrate perfectly even from the same company. You want 5 identical speakers at the identical height with the identical power for perfection...that's assuming the speakers are any good to start with.

    Loads of options some already metioned. Von Sweikert(SP?) has been getting raves lately, Dynaudio, and the list goes on. Good luck and listen to as MUCH as you possibly can before you decide. The speakers if you choose right can be a part of your home for decades.
  • 01-17-2004, 07:36 PM
    acqui
    I have the new Kapp 400's, which are quite good. However, I do love the Walsh speakers but just haven't got the space for them. I have not listened to the Magnepan speakers but heard quite good things about them. I will go this weekend and audition the B&W, as well as the Mirage. Thanks for all of your input guys.
  • 01-17-2004, 07:59 PM
    huds
    I have the non i De Capos which I picked up used and I find they work extremely well with classical music. They throw a huge soundstage and I am constantly amazed when I am listening from them. The only problem I can say about them is they suffer from low wife appeal because of their looks.
  • 01-17-2004, 08:13 PM
    ryewoods
    As others have said, go with Maggies if you can. The 1.6 are a little over your price ceiling (I *believe* they are $1649) but well worth it. You will forget you are listening to music from speakers...it will feel like you are there!
  • 01-19-2004, 08:56 PM
    slbenz
    Speaker Recommendations
    Damon,

    Like the other posters, I would recommend a set of Magnepans or Martin Logans. They will give you the best reproduction of your musical preference in your price range.

    Ben
  • 01-19-2004, 09:49 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by slbenz
    Damon,

    Like the other posters, I would recommend a set of Magnepans or Martin Logans. They will give you the best reproduction of your musical preference in your price range.

    Ben

    And you've heard every speaker in this price range I presume? As nice as the ML's and the concept of planars and electrostats in general...they are far from perfect transducers. The fact that such speakers happen to sound superior to many or most of the heavily marketed boxed speaker designs of similar price points is probably true...then again people have to listen to good quality boxed speakers before they jump to those conclusions. I have heard ML's directly against certain boxed speakers at considerably less money and the ML's didn't fair well - even on classical music material. Light strings perhaps but not full on orchestral works.

    One dealer here turned down Magnepan because in their view they're just too innacurate to be taken seriously and dynamics were the issue. I generally don't believe dealers because they have alterior motives - Namely to sell what they carry. But this particular dealer could easily have the rights to the line and turned them down. They also carry plenty of Uglier products and carry ML so their not against a panel design. Accuracy issues with Magnepan have been noted many times by a number of people and only one higher end dealer carries them in BC.

    Such speakers are making a trade-off to produce the sound they get. I would rather discuss Martin Logan because I have actually heard the line and while they have a certain intrigue of doing cetain things very well they also do certain things very very badly. Bass integration is extremely important to have instrumental cohesion(the low notes of instrument moving to the higher notes seamlessly). ML does a poor job of this - it's still a problem with the Oddysey a 9k speaker which IMO rules it out right there as a speaker I would want. The woofer simply can not keep up with the speed of the panel. They require significant power and significant space andthey are more tempermental to keep free of damage. The speakers are dynamically poor so you get a rather flat holographic sound(which is good) but loses the visceral impact of raucous recordings...ie; They don't rock. The panel speakers I heard 8 years ago(which may have been Magnepan) had the identical problem. Vandersteen as an aside also has this issue with dynamic material.

    Light strings or single instrumentals or small ensembles don't have a lot of dynamic impact but a lotof dance/trance and large symphonic works and some Jazz does.

    IMO all of that is a lot to trade in for the boxed speakers that give a bit on the transparency(simply because they can't move fast enough). And of course poor bioxes with poor materials will sound boxy and won't provide the holographics of many a panel and electrostat.

    Note I'm not telling people what to prefer either because ML is still very high on my list and Magnepan may be too when I hear them in a few months(sooner I hope). I'm just illustrating that a LOT of people who have listened to these lines choose other speakers...even boxed speakers - and the reason they do are solely or partly in the above.
  • 01-20-2004, 12:21 AM
    manek
    guys....the author has abudget of 1000-1500 dollars.

    A lot of speakers within that budget sound good.....infact some of them sound great. i dont know what Ohm walsh sounds like but i do know that :

    B&W 603.S3 sounds really good.
    Monitor Audio Silver S6, Bronze B4 and B6 are really nice and revealing
    Jamo D590 is really good, soft and mellow
    Cadence Arita - sheer delight
    PSB 4T, 5T - solid all round performance
    Dynaudio audience 62 and 72 - exquisite
    Canton Ergo 702 - german engineering (need i say more???)
    Boston Acoustics VR2 or VR3 - east coast rich, lush sound
    Totem Forest (3000$) but excellent

    Let me know if you need any more references.
  • 01-20-2004, 05:25 AM
    skeptic
    Separating the men from the boys
    While other posters have given you specific makes and model numbers, I'm going to suggest that you go audition the most likely candidates for yourself because only YOU can decide which of these are best. Take your girlfriend along since she has more familiarity with classical music and therefore will be more critical. She also probably has better hearing than you do.

    Accurately reproducing acoustic instruments both individually and in ensemble including guitars is the greatest challenge for audio reproduction equipment and is in fact, whether other people like it or not, was what high fidelity was originally about and IMO should still be about. Sound systems for listening to other types of music are fine too by IMO not really high fidelity because there is no fidelity to any event that might have happened in the real world (serious jazz is the one exception and of course opera is in the category of classical music as I see it.)

    By this criteria, about 90 to 95 percent of all loudspeakers will be eliminated from the running because of gross frequency response errors or frequency response limitations, poor high frequency dispersion, and other objectionable distortions. Strange as this sounds, you might also look to the used market although it's harder to find places to audition used equipment because many of today's speakers are too bright or even shrill to reproduce classical music accurately. They are intended to catch a shopper's ear in a rapid fire switching comparison in a dealer's demo room.

    Take recordings you and your girlfriend are familiar with which represent the best the recording technology has to offer with you, and plan to spend a lot of time listening before you buy. If you AB speakers, only compare two at a time, be certain that they are playing at the same loudness, and that you can return them if you don't like them when you get them home. Played with your amplifier in your listening environment, they may sound different than they sounded elsewhere.

    Good luck
  • 01-20-2004, 05:46 AM
    manek
    SKEPTIC is right....nothings better than hearing them yourselves. Different people have different hearing abilities and likes and dis-likes.

    The important thing is to take your time and repeat an audition multiple times if need be. Its your money and you want to spend it well.
  • 01-20-2004, 05:29 PM
    RGA
    Skeptic is right that many speakers are sold on the wall o-speakers philosophy. WHichever speaker can bang you on your butt with overbloated bass and extremely bright though innacurate treble will STAND-OUT from the initially less exciting speakers.

    Where he is kinda right is in the reference process. Using "good" recordings of classical music is no use because plenty of good recordings simply don't produce the same instruments the same way. You will be choosing a speaker based on how you think the music OUGHT to sound rather than the way it ACTUALLY should sound.

    Accuracy in a speaker is easy to find. The speaker that has the MOST differentiation of discs will tell you what is most accurate. If all rock discs sound bad then the speakers suck, if only classical sounds good well your speakers suck. If your speakers produce voices ALWAYS dead center and yet the singer is actually center left there's a problem. Lot's of speakers with so called prestine soundstaging actually just shove most material to the center to be sure that's what you hear every single disc...and why the Amanda Marshal CD sounds so horrible on so many speaker systems and quite enjoyable on mine (at far less cost I might add).

    I like this approach because it removes preconceived bias of what you THINK the recording should sound like rather than really discovering true audible accuracy.
    "Comparison By Contrast" (partial quotes)

    "The way to sort out which system or component is more accurate is to invert the test. Instead of comparing a handful of recordings - presumed to be definitive - on two different systems to determine which one coincides with our present feeling about the way that music ought to sound, play a larger number of recordings of vastly different styles and recording technique on two different systems to hear which system reveals more differences between the recordings. This is a procedure which anyone with ears can make use of, but requires letting go of some of our favoured practices and prejudices.

    In more detail, it would go something like this: Line up about two dozen recordings of different kinds of music - pop vocal, orchestral, jazz, chamber music, folk, rock, opera, piano - music you like, but recordings of which you are unfamiliar. (It is very important to avoid your favourite "test" recordings, presuming that they will tell you what you need to know about some performance parameter or other, because doing so will likely only serve to confirm or deny an expectation based on prior "performances" you have heard on other systems or components. More later.) First with one system and then the other, play through complete numbers from all of these in one sitting. (The two systems may be entirely different or have only one variable such as cables, amplifier, or speaker)..../...

    Some orchestral recordings, for example, will present stages beyond the confines of the speaker borders, others tend to gather between the speakers; some will seem to articulate instruments in space; others present them in a mass as if perceived from a balcony; some will present the winds recessed deep into the orchestra; others up front; some will overwhelm us with a bass drum of tremendous power; others barely distinguish between the character of timpani and bass drum. In respect to our critical evaluation process, it is of absolutely no consequence that these differences may have resulted from performing style or recording methodology and manufacture, or that they may have completely misrepresented the actual live event. Therefore, when comparing two speaker systems, it would be a mistake to assume that the one which always presents a gigantic stage well beyond the confines of the speakers, for example, is more accurate. You might like - even prefer - what the system does to staging, but the other speaker, because it is realizing differences between recordings, is very likely more accurate; and in respect to all the other variables from recording to recording, may turn out to be more revealing of the performance.

    Some pop vocal recordings present us with resonant voices, others dry; some as part of the instrumental texture, others envelope us leaving the accompanying instruments and vocals well in the background; some are nasal, some gravelly, some metallic, others warm. The "Comparison by Reference" method would have us respond positively to that playback system, together with the associated "reference" recording, that achieves a pre-conceived notion of how the vocal is presented and how it sounds in relation to the instruments in regard to such parameters as relative size, shape, level, weight, definition, et al. Over time, we find ourselves preferring a particular presentation of pop vocal (or orchestral balance, or rock thwack, or jazz intimacy, or piano percussiveness - you name it) and infer a correctness when approximated by certain recordings. We then compound our mistake by raising these recordings to reference status (pace Prof. Johnson), and then seek this "correct" presentation from every system we later evaluate; and if it isn't there, we are likely to dismiss that system as incorrect. The problem is that since neither recording nor playback system was accurate to begin with, the expectation that later systems should comply is dangerous. In fact, if their presentations are consistently similar, then they must be inaccurate by definition simply because either by default or intention no two recordings are exactly similar. And while there are other important criteria which any satisfactory audio component or system must satisfy - absence of fatigue being one of the most essential - very little is not subsumed by the new method of comparison offered here.


    When a system is found wanting because it does not uniformly reproduce large stages or warm voices, we will end up with a system which will compromise other aspects of accuracy, for not all recordings are capable in themselves of reproducing large stages or warm voices. When a playback system can reproduce gigantic stages or warm voices from some recordings and flat, constrained stages or cool voices from others, it follows that such a system is not getting in the way of those characteristics.

    Detail and Resolution
    We'd like to briefly examine one of the more interesting misperceptions common to audio critique. Many listeners speak of a playback system's resolving power in terms of its ability to articulate detail, i.e. previous unnoticed phenomena. However, it is more likely that what these listeners are responding to when they say such-and-such has more "detail" is: unconnected micro-events in the frequency and time domains. (These are events that, if they were properly connected, would have realized the correct presentation of harmonic structure, attack, and legato.)

    Because these events are of incredibly short duration and because there is absolutely no analog to such events in the natural world and are now being revealed to them by the sheer excellence of their audio, these listeners believe that they are hearing something for the first time, which they are! And largely because of this, they are more easily misled into a belief that what they are hearing is relevant and correct. The matter is aided and abetted by the apparentness of the perception. These "details" are undeniably there; it is only their meaning which has become subverted. The truth is that we only perceive such "detail" from an audio playback system; but never in a live musical performance.

    "Resolution" on the other hand is the effect produced when these micro-events are connected ... in other words, when the events are so small that detail is unperceivable. When these events are correctly connected, we experience a more accurate sense of a musical performance. This is not unlike the way in which we perceive the difference between video and film. Video would seem to have more detail, more apparent individual visual events; but film obviously has greater resolution. If it weren't for the fact that detail in video is made up of such large particles as compared to the micro-events which exist in audio, we might not have been misled about the term "detail", and would have called it by its proper name, which is "grain". Grain creates the perception of more events, particularly in the treble region, because they are made to stand out from the musical texture in an unnaturally highlighted form. In true high-resolution audio systems, grain disappears and is replaced by a seamless flow of connected musical happenings. [cf. "As Time Goes By" Positive Feedback Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4-5, Fall '93]."

    :cool: [This last bit is my gripe to a TEE about metal tweeters that are touted as being more detailed. They call attention to the fact that they are tweeters and not an instrument.] :cool:

    The false prophet which diverts many audiophiles from the road to AUDIO HEAVEN is the notion that their audio system ought to portray each type of music in a certain way regardless of the recording methodology. An accurate playback system plays back the music as it was recorded onto the specific disc or LP being played; it does not re-interpret this information to coincide with some prejudice about the way music ought to sound through an audio system. (This explains why many people think that some speakers are especially suitable for rock and others for classical; if so, both are inaccurate.) To put it another way, you can't turn a toad into a prince without having turned some rabbits into rats.

    Only if your audio system is designed to be as accurate as possible - that is, only if it is dedicated to high contrast reproduction - can it hope to recover the uniqueness of any recorded musical performance. Only then can it possibly achieve for the listener an emotional connection with any and every recording - no matter the instrumental or vocal medium and no matter the message. Boredom and frustration are the inevitable alternatives. Think about it."
    (Revised by L. Norwitz for the present edition from the published essays under the same title in Positive Feedback Magazine, December, January and February 1994).

    This is precisely why when a speaker is supposedly only good at "Classical" or "Rock" then I immediately know the speaker maker is full of BS...and I have heard 100k systems that could do one well but not the other...and it makes no difference which they're better at...if they can't do both then they're suspect.
  • 01-20-2004, 07:09 PM
    ryewoods
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    While other posters have given you specific makes and model numbers, I'm going to suggest that you go audition the most likely candidates for yourself because only YOU can decide which of these are best. Take your girlfriend along since she has more familiarity with classical music and therefore will be more critical. She also probably has better hearing than you do.

    Accurately reproducing acoustic instruments both individually and in ensemble including guitars is the greatest challenge for audio reproduction equipment and is in fact, whether other people like it or not, was what high fidelity was originally about and IMO should still be about. Sound systems for listening to other types of music are fine too by IMO not really high fidelity because there is no fidelity to any event that might have happened in the real world (serious jazz is the one exception and of course opera is in the category of classical music as I see it.)

    By this criteria, about 90 to 95 percent of all loudspeakers will be eliminated from the running because of gross frequency response errors or frequency response limitations, poor high frequency dispersion, and other objectionable distortions. Strange as this sounds, you might also look to the used market although it's harder to find places to audition used equipment because many of today's speakers are too bright or even shrill to reproduce classical music accurately. They are intended to catch a shopper's ear in a rapid fire switching comparison in a dealer's demo room.

    Take recordings you and your girlfriend are familiar with which represent the best the recording technology has to offer with you, and plan to spend a lot of time listening before you buy. If you AB speakers, only compare two at a time, be certain that they are playing at the same loudness, and that you can return them if you don't like them when you get them home. Played with your amplifier in your listening environment, they may sound different than they sounded elsewhere.

    Good luck

    Very true, and good post. He should definitely check out the offerings from Spendor, Harbeth, Soliloquy, Sonus Faber, Ellis Audio, JM Reynaud, ACI, Dynaudio, Von Schweikert, Meadowlark, Usher, Alón, Vienna Acoustics, and Amphion, among others and see what suits his needs best. My personal recommendation was the Maggie 1.6 because it is undoubtedly the best speaker I have heard at around the $1500 mark. It too has its faults, starting with size. It also doesn't go that deep (probably the low 40's), and is not the easiest speaker to drive. But with all speakers you must make trade offs. Hopefully, the original poster will find a set of loudspeakers that fits his needs perfectly!
  • 01-21-2004, 01:24 PM
    Worf101
    As a curent Ohm Walsh Owner....
    I'd recommend getting a used set of Ohm Walsh 4's (there's a pair on ebay now) , 3's or even 2's since you feel space is of the essence. I currently own Ohm Walsh 4's, F's (ver.2) and 2's. The F's were my main's until recently when I acquiesced to domestic blackmail, and they will be again. If you love the sound... get the sound. I think they're the coolest looking speakers around as well.

    Da Worfster
  • 01-21-2004, 04:10 PM
    acqui
    Thanks very much for all of your input everyone. I've auditioned a few of the above mentioned and I have to say, I was impressed with the Dynaudio, Magnepans, and also the B&W. However, though all of them were very nice, none of them really matched the sound I get from the Walsh 5's. I hope that all of you will have a chance to one day hear them. I am not audiophile per se because I am not familiar with all of the terminiology and measurement characteristics. I usually just go by my years and I can honestly say, I really do enjoy those speakers. Worf perhaps understands what I am talking about because he has them. That said, the other speakers are also very good.
  • 01-21-2004, 06:33 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Skeptic is right that many speakers are sold on the wall o-speakers philosophy. WHichever speaker can bang you on your butt with overbloated bass and extremely bright though innacurate treble will STAND-OUT from the initially less exciting speakers.

    You mean like that "WALL O-SPEAKERS" that my three local B&W and Dynaudio dealers use? I didn't know that those speakers banged my butt with overbloated bass and extremely bright though innacurate [sp] treble. Heaven forbid if those "WALL O-SPEAKERS" dealers also carried JBLs.

    Your generalization doesn't really hold up when compared to what listening test subjects identify as the characteristics that form their speaker preferences: linear midrange response, wide dispersion, and freedom from distortion. Furthermore, if all that speaker designers were after was to design speakers that stood out, they would just bump up their efficiency, since it's the loudness more than anything that loads the dice in favor of one speaker model over another. If speakers were sold on your so-called "WALL O-SPEAKERS" philosophy, then all speakers out there would use horn drivers.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Accuracy in a speaker is easy to find. The speaker that has the MOST differentiation of discs will tell you what is most accurate. If all rock discs sound bad then the speakers suck, if only classical sounds good well your speakers suck. If your speakers produce voices ALWAYS dead center and yet the singer is actually center left there's a problem. Lot's of speakers with so called prestine soundstaging actually just shove most material to the center to be sure that's what you hear every single disc...and why the Amanda Marshal CD sounds so horrible on so many speaker systems and quite enjoyable on mine (at far less cost I might add).

    What happened to your "WALL O-SPEAKERS" argument? I thought that speakers were designed to bang your butt, and now you're telling me that accuracy in a speaker is easy to find? Accurate is a VERY relative term, since no one speaker out there is anywhere close to completely accurate throughout the frequency range. All speakers make compromises, and those compromises that are closest to our own preferences are the ones that we subjectively regard as accurate or "good" sounding. There is no universal definition of accuracy as you seem to feel there is, that is unless your personal definition is authoritative, which of course it is not.

    The flaw to the argument that your long quoted piece espouses is that they seem to feel that it is possible to do a reference comparison by comparing a disc reproduction with a live instrument. Without knowing anything about the original recording, the original instruments, the acoustical environment, the miking technique, the processing involved, etc. you're doing nothing but guessing how the recording is "supposed" to sound.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    This is precisely why when a speaker is supposedly only good at "Classical" or "Rock" then I immediately know the speaker maker is full of BS...and I have heard 100k systems that could do one well but not the other...and it makes no difference which they're better at...if they can't do both then they're suspect.

    There are plenty of speakers that are only good at one thing, so how's that BS? The vintage JBLs had a signature sound that was very agreeable with classic rock. It was no coincidence that the JBL L100 and their studio monitors were frequently used to master those recordings. When I whip out my old AC/DC or Who albums on my parents' L65s, it sounds like those recordings were born to be heard on those types of speakers. But, try throwing a Miles Davis LP or just about any recent digital recording on those speakers, and it's good night now. Same thing with the older B&Ws. Wonderful and rich sound with acoustic music, but throw on a Led Zep LP and they sound anemic.

    It's nice to have versatile speakers, but there's no magic bullet to suggest that there is a one-size-fits-all solution out there, especially if you're at all price conscious. To me, the BS is when someone says that they got a pair of speakers that makes everything played through there sound great.
  • 01-21-2004, 11:00 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    You mean like that "WALL O-SPEAKERS" that my three local B&W and Dynaudio dealers use? I didn't know that those speakers banged my butt with overbloated bass and extremely bright though innacurate [sp] treble. Heaven forbid if those "WALL O-SPEAKERS" dealers also carried JBLs.

    I'm sorry should have said competant high end dealer...one that would set up a room with one set of speakers not having 14 speakers set up beside each-other with some sort of speaker selecting switch box. High end dealers don't do that. Dealers that carry high end equipment MIGHT but there is a difference in dealers. None here do that to my knowledge and I pretty much know all the dealers in the Vancouver met area.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Your generalization doesn't really hold up when compared to what listening test subjects identify as the characteristics that form their speaker preferences: linear midrange response, wide dispersion, and freedom from distortion. Furthermore, if all that speaker designers were after was to design speakers that stood out, they would just bump up their efficiency, since it's the loudness more than anything that loads the dice in favor of one speaker model over another. If speakers were sold on your so-called "WALL O-SPEAKERS" philosophy, then all speakers out there would use horn drivers.

    Sensitivity is at play but simply doing that can make a speaker sound honky too...which is probably why a lot of Horns fell out of favour...you run the risk of hearing too much treble and not enough bass response. Most set-ups are in bad rooms in surround sound set-ups running with receivers with a DSP mode of some sort on. Knowing the way most of it is sold the dealers in most of these places would be foolish to set all knobs to flat in 2 channel as then you'd actually hear the two speakers normally.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    What happened to your "WALL O-SPEAKERS" argument? I thought that speakers were designed to bang your butt, and now you're telling me that accuracy in a speaker is easy to find? Accurate is a VERY relative term, since no one speaker out there is anywhere close to completely accurate throughout the frequency range. All speakers make compromises, and those compromises that are closest to our own preferences are the ones that we subjectively regard as accurate or "good" sounding. There is no universal definition of accuracy as you seem to feel there is, that is unless your personal definition is authoritative, which of course it is not.

    There is more and less accurate...my goal is not the pursuit of perfect accuracy since it's impossible. The Wall o Speakers speakers are not accurate or usually even good. See Skeptic's points above. Again no high end dealer that is competant would set them up this way...It's not my fault that you don't shop at such places.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The flaw to the argument that your long quoted piece espouses is that they seem to feel that it is possible to do a reference comparison by comparing a disc reproduction with a live instrument. Without knowing anything about the original recording, the original instruments, the acoustical environment, the miking technique, the processing involved, etc. you're doing nothing but guessing how the recording is "supposed" to sound.

    Actually they were not saying to compare discs to live...quite the opposite actually. They make a note as to the recording being the unknown element so searching for accuracy is next to impossible. That said if you have a large sample of recordings as the co-writer of that piece does at over 35,000 LPs and buckets of the other formats the speaker that can highlight the differences from LP to LP CD to CD is probably giving you more insight that the system is serving a better window to the source than a speaker, amp etc that seems to make a lot of stuff sound the same.

    I have instrumental discs where on some speakers the guitar is left center and on other speakers it's dead center. We presume the first is wrong because an instrumental solo is usually center...yet the second speaker that produced it left of center on another disc the solo is dead center. The first speaker had em both center which may indicate a deliberate movement to the middle...it's nice but it clearly got one recording wrong. That's soundstaging but tonal accuracy is my concern.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    There are plenty of speakers that are only good at one thing, so how's that BS? The vintage JBLs had a signature sound that was very agreeable with classic rock. It was no coincidence that the JBL L100 and their studio monitors were frequently used to master those recordings. When I whip out my old AC/DC or Who albums on my parents' L65s, it sounds like those recordings were born to be heard on those types of speakers. But, try throwing a Miles Davis LP or just about any recent digital recording on those speakers, and it's good night now. Same thing with the older B&Ws. Wonderful and rich sound with acoustic music, but throw on a Led Zep LP and they sound anemic.

    It's nice to have versatile speakers, but there's no magic bullet to suggest that there is a one-size-fits-all solution out there, especially if you're at all price conscious. To me, the BS is when someone says that they got a pair of speakers that makes everything played through there sound great.

    Yes some speakers can do rock music well in that it can sound pleasing because a thin recording of the beatles cd may be enhanced if you have a tubby bass performer to give a nice fat sound where as on another speaker it may sound thin and shrill. It is about preference of course. And all speakers make compromises. It is not BS however to get a speaker that can do both rock and classical music to a very high level(maybe you need to hear one)...the ones that can are high end speakers IMO. Price isn't even the issue because many expensive ones(and I say expensive in the MEGA price range too) can't and many not so exhorbitant ones can. This does not mean they may not have frequency response irregularities or other weaknesses but they are likely in areas less noticed by the human ear.

    Sounding GREAT with Led Zep or AC/DC and also with Vivaldi and Miles Davis from Speaker is possible and it didn't cost me much to attain it in the big schema of audio pricing. Under 3kCdn albeit some pieces used. This is not to say that someone would not prefer to listen to AC/DC for the pure impact on another set of speakers like Cerwin Vega if they're having a party. Or if you're listening to Izhak Perlman's violin works you may want Quad. Now flipping those discs to the other speakers with Perlman on the Cerwin Vegas the sound will probably be dreadful and the Quad will probably make a mess of the AC/DC. Interestingly the Quad stat at 7-8k will be considered high end while the Cerwin is considered low end junk. Well not to the AC/DC crowd it's not perhaps.

    Playing AC/DC subjectively through the AN E Sec will be highly enjoyable though won't have the last bit of belt a lower end Cerwin has...and it will play Symphonic works with huge scale and impact but not the last bit of holographics that the Quad exhibits perhaps. The Difference is the AN E doesn't completely turn to Shi! if you don't give it the specific recording to make it sound good. And since the owner is comfortable playing any disc through his speaers for repoters reviewers testers customers and anyone else...that tells me more that at least he's not afraid any genre - or even of lesser recordings.

    All speakers have compromises...I like the speakers that don't continuously remind me of them however...there are a lot fewer ones out there than I first realized - and MORE money can help but not always.
  • 01-22-2004, 03:09 AM
    maxg
    Huge number of recommendations in this thread....
    I am sure most of the recommendations are not made lightly. However, I have something of a problem with recommending a speaker to anyone without, at least, having some idea of the room they listen in, prefered volume levels, prefered source (DVD, CD, Vinyl), supporting equipment (amps, preamps etc.), importance of other aspects of the playback (depth, soundstage W.H.Y.) and so on and so forth.

    I wont recommend any given speaker (oh well - maybe to go take a listen to Klipsch - but only because it hasnot be mentioned yet and has a very different sound from anything listed here).

    I would recommend not making any decisions until you have tested your short list at home, in your environment, with your music.

    In other words - do the tour of the dealers near you by all means - but be aware that anything you listen to could sound very different when you get it home. Use the visits to build the short-list.

    Speakers, and their interaction with your room, will do more to dictate the ultimate sound of your music than any other factor in audio. There is no right and no wrong (if there was then there would not be so many options and designs to choose from).

    Even your testing methodology is up to you. Some people studiously perform analytical listening taking notes as they go, others just put the music on and see if it moves them, still others look for key points in given muscal passages to see if they sound "right".

    A friend of mine, who has what I regard as a seriously kick-butt system chose his by putting on some music and reading a book. He worked on the basis if he could concentrate on the book the system wasnt for him. Seemed madness to me, but it is his money and it appears to have worked.

    Ultimately this is your system and your music - choose what is right for you and you cant go far wrong.

    Looking at the right of this page as I type there is an advert for a pair of Swan Speakers 6.1 in cherry for $929. They might be nice (I have never heard them) but that doesnt really make them any less relevent to you....