• 02-11-2004, 09:00 AM
    psonic
    how do you rate these floorstanders? this is my demo list...
    I have been auditioning floorstanders under $1000. I am in the Philadelphia area and open to driving around a bit and auditioning others you may recommend, only new floorstanders though. This is what I have listened to at length so far in no particular order just to get your candid impressions and see how they compare with mine...


    boston acoustics VR2 http://www.bostonacoustics.com/hs_pr...7&CategoryID=2

    energy C-5 http://www.energyloudspeakers.com/co...kers1_c-5.html

    b&w 603 http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/...l%20DM603%20S3

    kef Q5 http://www.kef.com/products/qseries/qseries5.html

    paradigm monitor 9 http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...nitorSpecs.htm

    magnepan MMG http://www.magnepan.com/
  • 02-11-2004, 11:35 AM
    markw
    They are all fine, well built speakers from reputable companies who stand behind what they sell. What matters most is YOUR impression of them. You'll be the one living with them, not us.

    FWIW, I've got maggies myself.
  • 02-11-2004, 11:39 AM
    JSE
    What Mark said. Except I own Bostons. :D

    JSE
  • 02-11-2004, 03:13 PM
    TinHere
    See if you can get an audition of Rocket 550's. Check at http://www.audioenvy.com/ to see if anyone in your area has them or post a request at the AV123.com forum if nobody nearby is listed.

    Info about 550's at:

    http://www.av123.com/products_produc...rs&product=3.1

    Happy hunting.
  • 02-11-2004, 05:18 PM
    Pat D
    I believe you could get a pair of Paradigm Studio 60s under $1000, which I think are even better than Monitor 9s. Anyway, you have an excellent list and it is your taste that is important.
  • 02-11-2004, 08:51 PM
    RGA
    Pretty much agree with the others...but since you asked I would take all the speakers over the Paradigm Monitor 9 though I have not heard the Magnepan(which I should imagine will have an entirely distinct sound). Planars and stats have certain advantages and disadvantages but I prefer music to have a more meat on the bones presentation than that with which I have heard from planars. But they have supporters.

    The Energy C5 and 603S3 I like because if home theater is your bag they both front nice home theater but also sound musically solid. You do have to watch out for the treble response in both lines and the 603S3 has a bigger warmer sound than the punchy but thinner sounding Energy. I only heard the standmount Kef and it was an entertaining speaker - might sound a bit too polite for me...but the floorstander is bigger so - you'd be best to judge.

    DO try and listen in the same room with the same gear wher possible.

    I would also try and find the Audio Note Absolute Zero Two as it's in your price range and is also a floorstander. It's supposed to be very good and is very tube amp or low power amp friendly should you ever want to try tubes. The AN-K is a standmount version that I preferred over the standmounts from all the companies you list so who knows the floorstander may be as well. http://www.hifi.com.sg/products/spea.../az-series.htm

    3 different reviews from one review site...

    "Of all the components in the system, the AZ-Two speakers were the most enjoyable. Sonically, the Twos recalled the other horn speakers we’ve reviewed, the Loth-X Ion 4s. Both speakers produce a warm, coherent, and robust sound. However, the Twos have greater top end extension. I briefly considered keeping them as high-sensitivity backup speakers, but my experiment with the Anthem convinced me that the AZ-Twos and P Zero monoblocks sounded best when used together. (One thing: Audio Note must find something to protect the tweeters better than the salsa cups from El Pollo Loco that I used!) The Audio Note Zero System is one of the most satisfyingly musical performers I have heard in my home. The sound is decidedly non-audiophile. I discovered no new audio treats on my CDs. Instead, I found myself easing into the music and following musical lines and performances. The Zero System may not be much to look at, but its musical involvement is much greater than the sum of its parts."

    "The 24/96 DAC-Zero processor and CD-Drive are next in the chain. The DAC also utilizes a 6111WA tube in the output stage. The P Zero monoblock amps are small and light enough to carry with one hand. Each produces eight watts via two ECL882 (6BM8) tubes run in class AB2. Those eight watts power Audio Note’s AZ-Two speakers. The AZ-Twos are two-way, rear-horn-loaded designs. Each speaker features a soft dome tweeter and an eight-inch paper-coned woofer. The woofer sports a serious foam surround. However, because of their 93 dB sensitivity, the AZ-Twos don’t have to flex too much muscle to produce hefty levels of sound.

    And what a lovely sound the system makes! I can sum up the Zero System’s sound with four letters: Q-U-A-D. The system was smooth, coherent, musical, and easy to listen to, reminicent of our esteemed A.D. Banerjee’s E.A.R./Quad system. Music sounded organic and vibrant. No region in the frequency range was too agressive."

    "This extraordinary system inserts few “errors” into the reproduction of music. You get a full snapshot of the musical event. For the cost of some single components, you get a full impression of music, from the color of the sound to the rhythm of the beat and the emotion of the message. Highly, highly recommended."
    http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...ionotezero.htm
  • 02-12-2004, 07:32 AM
    brigrizzme
    Ears are like eyes.
    They're all different.
    Trust your own.
  • 02-12-2004, 04:37 PM
    psonic
    Geetings all,

    I am auditioning and using my own ears, and would not buy anything based on an online review or recommend. I have a very good ear for good speakers now, as I have listened to a lot of reference level expensive gear over the last year, so I am not hear for advice, as my mind is already made up unless something better comes along I have not heard yet. What I really want is your impressions of any of these, just to see if you saw the same strengths and weaknesses as I or if there is something else out there worth hearing.

    I only have a minute right now so I'll try to respond...

    RGA, the Kef Q5 is very nice and musical and with more bass compared to the C5. They are now my top 2, (even had them side by side!) and I am in love with the Kef's sound for just a little more money, fwiw Q5 is nicer looking and bi-wirable also. Comparing all I heard the C5 is just a little laid back, although very refined and neutral, with the Q5 being more lively although not boxy or boomy, yes its internally braced. There is a Audio Note dealer within 30min so I will call them about an audition. The 603 did not really move me, perhaps because it reminded me of my boston cr9 (without the boominess I have) very much.

    Pat D, the studio 60s are priced around double some of these models.

    Thanks
  • 02-12-2004, 06:39 PM
    RGA
    Well you are on the right track listening obviously to much higher end speakers and it appears you have set a budget and are looking to their lower end models ot see how they fare.

    Look all of these speaker makers are reputable and can back their stuff up. The only reaso I added the Audio Note to the list is because they have a distinctly different approach to speaker making and will undoubtedly have a very different sound than some of the others. After a while when you consistantly hear the same KIND of speaker something else is either going to sound a bit off or incredibly right. The trick is determining if the different sound is correct. When I first heard the Martin Logan electrostats I felt they were the best speakers that could possibly be made...so transparent so detailed it was incredible. After several listens over time that advantage had been dispelled by the lack of integration of bass and a rather artificial feel sensed on more dynamic music...I still love the elctrostat sound but they're far from the perfection I heard on first listen.

    I would suggest before you go to the Audio Note dealer to do research on some of their other speakers that may fall into your budget and also find out what else they carry. There are many terrific lesser advertised speakers that may have models in your price range. No one location carries everything and heck there are probably 30 speakers that are not sold in Vancouver BC that I would like to hear - such as Von Shweikert, Harbeth, ATC, etc.

    My personal preference has led me away from speakers using metal tweeters though there are exceptions from JM Labs and B&W's Nautilus lines - but to my ear they become a bit harsh on longer listening with lower levels. You may not have the issue but you asked for strengths and weaknesses so this is a generalization - rather overly sweeping - of what I've heard over the years. I really feel a lot of speakers are being made to produce the pyrotechnics of home theater and not the organic presentation of music. It's almost a push to stress or highlight the midbass(creating a hum) and highlight and stress the treble...the pluck of a guitar is overly pronounced and totally made the Paradigm Monitor 5 unlistenable on guitar work from Jesse Cook.

    Just some musings.
  • 02-13-2004, 04:06 AM
    phillyguy
    I have been following this thread, waiting to see what you have narrowed your choices to. Especially since I am from the suburbs of Philly. I have listening to the same speakers as you and I have come to the same conclusion! For me a close third, was Mirage. Try checking out Tweeter, if you care for another choice. What placed them further down was the omnipolar design, I wasn't sure if I really cared for it. Did you list to the Sapphire line @ Tweeter? They sound really bright next to the Mirage, but that may be due to the Mirage being omnipolar. You may have already known this but you can listen to the KEF's and Energy side by side at World Wide Stereo in Ardmore. You may want to try to audition some Missions also, if you can find them. I have an older pair that I love, but haven't been able to find them around Philly yet. If you decide on Energy, check out Overtures in Delaware. They offered me a great deal on the C5's in a 5.1 system. Good luck, and let us know what you end up chossing.
  • 02-13-2004, 05:01 AM
    kexodusc
    The Paradigm Monitor, Energy Cons, and B&W 603's all sound better in smaller, bookshelf versions in my opinion. If I had to rate the ones I've heard from your list it'd be as follows:
    1) Magnepan MMG
    2) Paradigm Monitor 9's AND Boston Acoustic VR2's (a virtual tie, maybe slight edge to Paradigm on account of brighter sound for classical music, Boston's sound a bit warmer, preference thing)
    3) Energy C-5's
    4) B&W 603's

    I have no idea how the kef Q5's sound, never heard them before.
    I've owned the Energy's before, they served me very well, my best friend swears by the 603's.
    You've got a very good list here.
  • 02-13-2004, 07:01 PM
    Feanor
    MMGs above the others that I've heard
    That is, the B&W, Energy, and Paradigms.

    As RGA guesses, the Magneplanar sound is distinctive. I would say an exceptional soundstage and transparency, with a "musicians in the room" sound that the other's don't have. That said, if you're a rock fan they might not have the "sock" that you crave if used by themselves.

    I use my MMGs with subwoofer, (PSP Subsonic 6), crossed over at 80Hz. That way I give up a little bass precision but gain more dynamic range and loudness with orchestral crecendos -- and rock as often as I listen to it.
  • 02-13-2004, 07:55 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    That is, the B&W, Energy, and Paradigms.

    As RGA guesses, the Magneplanar sound is distinctive. I would say an exceptional soundstage and transparency, with a "musicians in the room" sound that the other's don't have. That said, if you're a rock fan they might not have the "sock" that you crave if used by themselves.

    I use my MMGs with subwoofer, (PSP Subsonic 6), crossed over at 80Hz. That way I give up a little bass precision but gain more dynamic range and loudness with orchestral crecendos -- and rock as often as I listen to it.

    Feaner, Just so you know Magnepan does not have the corner of the market on soundstage and transparency or the musicians in the room...nor is this an advantage inherent to planars and stats OVER boxed spekaers...though genrally speaking a planar or electrostat have an advantage over MOST boxed speakers in certain regards.

    I mention this because many people and has been mentioned in reviews left Quad electrostats to buy Audio Note which are in fact boxed designs. Audio Note's boxes happen to be significantly different than most however which may make them an exception to the rule.
  • 02-14-2004, 03:14 AM
    markw
    I know people who have traded in Lincolns for Hyundai as well.
    Simply put, while some monkey coffins may come somewhat close to planars, planars have a distinct sound unlike ANY box speaker. I think it could be called openness, spaciousness, or air. You either love it or hate it. I started out with MMG's and shortly afterwards wanted more, more and more. Traded up to the 1.6's and haven't looked back since.

    I do have box speakers, but there are some things they simply cannot do. That's why planars sell.
  • 02-14-2004, 03:36 AM
    manek
    Frankly I did not like the Maggies. Compared to Cadence hybrid electrostats they are nothing. Sorry to say that but its just my opinion. There are many boxed designs which take the pants off many full planar speakers like dynaudio, candece, jamo D870, JM-focal, sonus-farber. You can get open and airy sound from the mentioned speakers and they are very good at it. You would'nt believe that you are hearing boxes.

    Psonic you should hear the dynes, cadence, jamo D870, Jamo d590, Sonus farber grand. Trust me you will forget the planars. The higher end B&W's are also very very good.

    You also need to figure out how the speakers will sound in your home so try and get a home audition if possible.
  • 02-14-2004, 07:30 AM
    Feanor
    Planars don't have a monopoly on good sound
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Feaner, Just so you know Magnepan does not have the corner of the market on soundstage and transparency or the musicians in the room...

    Point is, though, that MMGs have the qualities mentioned, and are really the only speakers that do for US$550, or under $1000 for that matter.
  • 02-14-2004, 11:52 AM
    RGA
    Yes but the MMG also lacks bass, dynamics top end extension, volume level, ease of driveability, ease of positioning all for a bit more delicacy in the mnidband. To me that would be a lot to trade for a novelty. Others won't feel that way so that's fine it's a preference.

    Note this is not my own listening this is reviewers and various owner's comments and a dealer here...who refused to pick up the line.

    I have heard some expensive Stats - if I listened to small ensemble works and strings Stats win...full orchestra and rock or dance and they lose. And obviously many people have 10k and have listened to Magnepan ML and Quad and actually went with something of the non planar design for a reason...preference.
  • 02-14-2004, 12:04 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Simply put, while some monkey coffins may come somewhat close to planars, planars have a distinct sound unlike ANY box speaker. I think it could be called openness, spaciousness, or air. You either love it or hate it. I started out with MMG's and shortly afterwards wanted more, more and more. Traded up to the 1.6's and haven't looked back since.

    I do have box speakers, but there are some things they simply cannot do. That's why planars sell.

    The point of many boxed speakers is not to sound like a panel...that would imply that panels are accurate which of course aren't. The typical verbiage of openness and air is used due to visual cues because their is openness and air around the speaker. And the reverse argument is the sound is hollow, shallow and without support. Boxed instruments have a box...piano, cello, guitar violin sound rich and warm the way they're supposed to through good boxed speakers.

    I'm also puzzled by your last statement...Planars sell? They're poor sellers compared to boxed designs...Magnepan is basically the only planar that has managed to stay alive in a big way and they're a damn small speaker maker compared to others in their price range.

    BTW, I'm not attacking planars and Stats...I've heard many and some depending on the price would get top marks from me...but my requirement is that they play all music well for the given genre. The Aerius i at 3k Cdn had some supurb attributes but fell down the list outside of soft music.

    And American Cars are atrocious so I would probably take a Hyundai over a Lincoln...especially if we're going by Lemon Aid's break down guide where Lincoln is one of the great expensive albatrosses around the owner's neck.
  • 02-14-2004, 12:10 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    That is, the B&W, Energy, and Paradigms.

    As RGA guesses, the Magneplanar sound is distinctive. I would say an exceptional soundstage and transparency, with a "musicians in the room" sound that the other's don't have. That said, if you're a rock fan they might not have the "sock" that you crave if used by themselves.

    I use my MMGs with subwoofer, (PSP Subsonic 6), crossed over at 80Hz. That way I give up a little bass precision but gain more dynamic range and loudness with orchestral crecendos -- and rock as often as I listen to it.

    Feanors got the Maggies done right.

    Back in the days before subs were common, people had to live with the fact that modest sided planars don't have extended bass response. But today nearly everyone with a HT setup has a subwoofer. Now with the proper bass management you can have the best of both worlds, as even a modest sub can fill the bottom 50hz or so.

    I do disagree with people who would say that maggies have a distinctive sound. My view is that maggies have an incredible LACK of distinctive sound. What you give them is what you hear, and on good recordings it can seem like there's musicians in the room with you, NOT speakers!
  • 02-14-2004, 12:37 PM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The point of many boxed speakers is not to sound like a panel...that would imply that panels are accurate which of course aren't. The typical verbiage of openness and air is used due to visual cues because their is openness and air around the speaker. And the reverse argument is the sound is hollow, shallow and without support. Boxed instruments have a box...piano, cello, guitar violin sound rich and warm the way they're supposed to through good boxed speakers.

    I'm also puzzled by your last statement...Planars sell? They're poor sellers compared to boxed designs...Magnepan is basically the only planar that has managed to stay alive in a big way and they're a damn small speaker maker compared to others in their price range.

    BTW, I'm not attacking planars and Stats...I've heard many and some depending on the price would get top marks from me...but my requirement is that they play all music well for the given genre. The Aerius i at 3k Cdn had some supurb attributes but fell down the list outside of soft music.

    And American Cars are atrocious so I would probably take a Hyundai over a Lincoln...especially if we're going by Lemon Aid's break down guide where Lincoln is one of the great expensive albatrosses around the owner's neck.


    Talk about a "colored" response.

    You've obviously made up your mind about speakers, and cars for that matter.

    I've heard many speakers in my time, even the huge and incredible Wilson series. I've yet to hear one produce the quality of the "boxed" sound of a grand piano, cello, or acoustic guitar like a planar. I've even had professional musicians come over and swear that someone was PLAYING guitar in the room when it was a recording.

    The problem with boxed speakers is just that, they are hollow boxes. The good manufactures try as hard as they can to damp them so they don't ring, and carefully shape their front surfaces, and interiors so there's no unwanted diffraction. There are some good ones, and some have drivers that are to die for, but they are all hampered by the "box"

    "Air" is not just something that is around the speakers. "Air" is a verb in this context, and some speakers have it and others don't.

    Yes, there aren't many planars out there for sale. Selling something that is difficult to make, and demanding a premium for it can be bad for business. But then there's not many Rolls Royce's either. Did you know that RR was nearly out of business? It seems that their dedication to producing uncompromised quality nearly doomed them. It's a good thing that BMW came to their rescue or it would have been another auto company gone bust.
  • 02-14-2004, 01:18 PM
    Feanor
    Aye, preference, not novelty.
    [QUOTE=RGA]Yes but the MMG also lacks bass, dynamics top end extension, volume level, ease of driveability, ease of positioning all for a bit more delicacy in the mnidband. To me that would be a lot to trade for a novelty. Others won't feel that way so that's fine it's a preference.... /QUOTE]

    Planar users don't love them for the sake of novelty, but because they prefer them, and they prefer them because, in general, they do things others don't do.

    Maybe your silver-lined Audio Notes do some of the same things -- for four times price! I'll give up what Audio Notes do better for that price differential.

    OK, the choice between Cdn$2600 MG 1.6 and the low-end Audio Notes might be more difficult for me. But I have no problem choosing the MMGs over our poster's listed speakers.
  • 02-14-2004, 03:21 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Talk about a "colored" response.

    The problem with boxed speakers is just that, they are hollow boxes. The good manufactures try as hard as they can to damp them so they don't ring, and carefully shape their front surfaces, and interiors so there's no unwanted diffraction. There are some good ones, and some have drivers that are to die for, but they are all hampered by the "box"

    Firstly many seem to want to defend their preference as fact. I own X speaker therefore it is best and they'll do precisely what you do whic is to provide anectdotal evidence that my musician friends think my speaker sounds like a guitar piano etc...then turn around and probably slam the speaker that was used in the recording process to get the piano to sound like a piano in the foirst place...and that speaker ladies and gentleman has a very good chanvce of being something many of us would not choose at the price point the B&W M801 or N801. A lot of speakers boxed or not can sound terrific - even those using metal tweeters which is not my favorite.

    Your comment about what many boxed speakers attempt to do is valid and has been my complaint for a long time...box resonances. Very expensive very heavy very well damped boxes can get rid of it...anything less and the result is a boxier sound. The reason many reviewers at Stereophile, Hi FI choice, Enjoythemusic.com, and dealers in business 30 years actually OWN Audio Note speakers in their homes not just giving good reviews, I suspect is because of the fact that they do exactly the opposite of typical boxed designs where they DON'T try to damp the box or use any damping materials including the dreaded ferro-fluid on the tweeters. The Box itself is involved in the sound and resonances are not kept in the box but released right away. Further the AN's don't have a piston or long throw type driver because the speaker is wider than it is deep.

    I can't speak to Magnepan but the AN E speaker starts at ~$2700.00US(List) and goes up to a 30k plus version. The Martin Logan Oddysey and N801 with all the great looks and neato technology don't sound as good...some speakers may have more bass depth, some will play louder, some will have technical superiority in certain areas...but as a cohesive unit from top to bottom they're the best speakers I've heard musically. I want to hear the $800.00US Zero Twos simply because they're compared with Quad...I can't think of any other boxed speaker that has been so often compared to electrostatic speakers...the difference is the Audio Note's I've heard actually have balls when it comes to playing a pop/dance or rock albums.

    Sound aside there are other limiting factors when assembling a system. Space(size of room and positioning), money for amplification, some people want SETs or other low powered pure class A amps and therefore need sensitive easy to drive speakers, system cost...it costs way more to get high powered amps to sound as good as low powered high quality amps.

    I like elctro stats and I would probably like the BIGGER planars. If ML had fixed a few issues up they would be right near the top of my list. This is not unlike why I preferred the Sennheiser HD600 over the Stax Lambda pro...the HD600 provides 90% of the detail in the midband but is a 4fold improvement in the bass and dynamics department...I'll sacrifice 10% in one area for a 400% improvement at the extremes and in dynamics especially if it costs less - a lot less - to get it.
  • 02-15-2004, 05:18 AM
    psonic
    tinhere, I have read about Swan before and that 550 is jaw drop sweet looking, I am going to look into auditioning that with the link you provided. The online reviews for Swan are excellent, although I agree with RGA and others in saying this is meaningless. My thinking is If a person bought a speaker why would he not be happy with it? Unless mechanical failure, it would be unlikely to see bad reviews. But just for kicks, if theres a local pair, I would love to hear them...or even Axiom M60's for the matter

    phillyguy, that is the store where I auditioned them side by side! small world out here on the www! I plan on taking my amp in there this week to hear them both at length. I stopped by Tweeter this weekend and I don't care for the Mirage line, not sure of the model, was around $800, but I didn't get 45 seconds in and couldn't tolorate the box resonances. Even my fiance started shaking her head! Not sure what type of music you played on them, but next time try something with some bass, you'll likely see what I mean. I rank this speaker down close to the Paradigm Monitor, the worst I've listened to in this bunch, though the Mirage has a better top end. I have been to Overtures also, that's where I heard the MMG's big brother. I am impressed, but they won't work in my current setup because they'd have to be about a foot off the wall and right on the side walls also (there's a cutout where my widescreen is, about 2' deep, only place I have for the speakers in my condo), so I am scratching them off my list. Be nice to buy in Delaware and pay no sales tax though! How much did they offer the C5 for? I thought $650 at WWS was under retail...

    some others I heard this weekend-

    Vienna Acoustics Bach ($1500) http://overture-audio.com/product_li...tics/bach.html -on clearance at $1000 (probably had for even less) as Tweeter is closing them out. They were a joy to listen to, with detailed warm sound and holographic imaging and big stage; sounding much like the pricier audiofile Sonus Faber Concerto (which I am very fond of) with a bit more low extension.These are sand fillable. The kicker here is they were this good on a top Yamaha receiver, which is a real credit to their flexibility, IMO. I could have had them move the Vienna to another room where there were amps, but time was running low so I am going in with my integrated amp for a second listen, which I believe will bring them up to another level. If they blow me away like I think they might, and I can cut them down a bit on price this, and the condition of the floor model is very good, then this thing may be happily over.

    Boston VR2 ($729) - Not bad, in fact good, just wasn't moved as much as with the Kef or C5. And don't like the cabinet as much either.

    Martin Logan ($1800) not sure of model - beautiful looking speaker, but I was telling the salesman the same thing RGA mentioned (Friday, before I read his post) about bloated bass from the woofer that isn't well-integrated with the sweet, open highs and mids I heard. Just stands out like a sore thumb, IMO. What a shame. I had him stop the audition 2 songs in...

    Mirage Floorstander not sure of model ($800?) - see first paragraph

    RGA, there is only 1 Audio Note dealer within a 1hr drive so hopefully he has some for audition, heck if only for reference purposes!
  • 02-15-2004, 07:13 AM
    markw
    How's the view on that high horse of yours. Here's my view from behind it.
    Let’s get down to some of your contradictary statements, shall we? Let’s start with your responses to one of my posts.

    “The point of many boxed speakers is not to sound like a panel...that would imply that panels are accurate which of course aren't. The typical verbiage of openness and air is used due to visual cues because their is openness and air around the speaker. And the reverse argument is the sound is hollow, shallow and without support. Boxed instruments have a box...piano, cello, guitar violin sound rich and warm the way they're supposed to through good boxed speakers.”

    The instruments should sound boxy themselves. Are you saying that they need boxes to be reproduced correctly? By that logic, horns should be reproduced by horns, Organs by transmission lines speakers, et all. What would you recommend for an accordian? Funny, most of my "hearing impared" musician friends (mostly choral and orchestral) are very well impressed with the 1’6’s. But, what do they know...

    ”I'm also puzzled by your last statement...Planars sell? They're poor sellers compared to boxed designs...Magnepan is basically the only planar that has managed to stay alive in a big way and they're a damn small speaker maker compared to others in their price range.”

    Magnapan seems to be doing all right, at least as far as they are concerned. I don’t see then leaping to overextend their production capabilities to meet an increased demand. They obviously seem to be doing all right, at least by their expectations. Are you saying that Sony is a better manufactutrer because they make more and sell more?

    The word is “quality” with enough profit to maintain it. Not mere quantity. That’s what Radio Shack is for. Or you still pissed of that your “Audio Note- biggest manufacturer” post at AA got laughed out of the running? Was his observation that they put quality over quantity lost on you? …or are they the only manufacturer that abide by that philosophy?

    ”BTW, I'm not attacking planars and Stats...I've heard many and some depending on the price would get top marks from me...but my requirement is that they play all music well for the given genre. The Aerius i at 3k Cdn had some supurb attributes but fell down the list outside of soft music”’

    Yeah, right. You’re not attacking planars and stats. …just telling anyone that they shouldnlt even waste their time trying them. Must be nice to not have to live within budgetary constraints.

    Now, let’s look at your responses to Geoffcin, shall we?

    ”Firstly many seem to want to defend their preference as fact. I own X speaker therefore it is best and they'll do precisely what you do whic is to provide anectdotal evidence that my musician friends think my speaker sounds like a guitar piano etc...then turn around and probably slam the speaker that was used in the recording process to get the piano to sound like a piano in the foirst place...and that speaker ladies and gentleman has a very good chanvce of being something many of us would not choose at the price point the B&W M801 or N801. A lot of speakers boxed or not can sound terrific - even those using metal tweeters which is not my favorite.”

    Well ,I guess it’s all right when you defend your choices by pointing to all the reviewers that own them. After all, they know more about what music sounds like than musicians, right?

    ”Your comment about what many boxed speakers attempt to do is valid and has been my complaint for a long time...box resonances. Very expensive very heavy very well damped boxes can get rid of it...anything less and the result is a boxier sound. The reason many reviewers at Stereophile, Hi FI choice, Enjoythemusic.com, and dealers in business 30 years actually OWN Audio Note speakers in their homes not just giving good reviews, I suspect is because of the fact that they do exactly the opposite of typical boxed designs where they DON'T try to damp the box or use any damping materials including the dreaded ferro-fluid on the tweeters. The Box itself is involved in the sound and resonances are not kept in the box but released right away. Further the AN's don't have a piston or long throw type driver because the speaker is wider than it is deep."

    Yet, in your post to me, you're defending their boxiness as integral to reproducing wooden insturments correctly. Which is it? I gues that only Audio Note gets it correct, right? No, you're not defending your personal choices here, are you? I'm sure they are under $1000/pair, right? If not, then it's a moot point, but what do you care.

    ”I can't speak to Magnepan but the AN E speaker starts at ~$2700.00US(List) and goes up to a 30k plus version. The Martin Logan Oddysey and N801 with all the great looks and neato technology don't sound as good...some speakers may have more bass depth, some will play louder, some will have technical superiority in certain areas...but as a cohesive unit from top to bottom they're the best speakers I've heard musically. I want to hear the $800.00US Zero Twos simply because they're compared with Quad...I can't think of any other boxed speaker that has been so often compared to electrostatic speakers...the difference is the Audio Note's I've heard actually have balls when it comes to playing a pop/dance or rock albums.”

    Well, even though you say you “can’t speak to Magnapan”, you certainly seem to have no problem dismissing it from everyone elses consideration, eh?

    ”Sound aside there are other limiting factors when assembling a system. Space(size of room and positioning), money for amplification, some people want SETs or other low powered pure class A amps and therefore need sensitive easy to drive speakers, system cost...it costs way more to get high powered amps to sound as good as low powered high quality amps.”

    Again, you make it seem that your personal choices are immune from these considerations. If so, then perhaps you might be on to something. But methiks not. Sounds like another case of someone trying to justify their own purchases.

    ”I like elctro stats and I would probably like the BIGGER planars. If ML had fixed a few issues up they would be right near the top of my list. This is not unlike why I preferred the Sennheiser HD600 over the Stax Lambda pro...the HD600 provides 90% of the detail in the midband but is a 4fold improvement in the bass and dynamics department...I'll sacrifice 10% in one area for a 400% improvement at the extremes and in dynamics especially if it costs less - a lot less - to get it”

    From your earlier responses to Geoffcin, It’s pretty obvious you’ve never heard planars in their proper environment. But here you go dismissing then and comparing speakers to headphones again.

    Give it up RGA, you’re the biggest offender of your own complaints about owners going all out to defend their purchases.



    __________________
  • 02-15-2004, 07:27 AM
    phillyguy
    psonic -

    It is a small world! There was something about the Mirage that moved it behind the Energy and Kef but I couldn't figure out what it was. I think you have it. I actually preferred the smaller floorstander Mirage to the larger, likely because of less resonance? I wasb't crazy about the high end seemed to dispersed for my liking. I loved the VA's, but they were out of my price range. At Overtures, this is the deal I had: C-5's with center (can't remember which one) with 10.2 sub and take 2.2 rears for $1600. Didn't get a price at WWS. Check the Axiom board, I think there are 3 people that will let you come by to here the Axioms. I have been considering the Axiom M60's as well. Not crazy about going to a stranger's house to hear them though. What amp are you using? I have a Denon AVR 1082 (3802 clone). I would hate to unhook it and bring it anywhere. WWS has a speaker return for 100% store credit for up to 1 year to upgrade speakers, in case you don't know.
  • 02-15-2004, 09:45 AM
    Geoffcin
    Let's get a few things straight
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Firstly many seem to want to defend their preference as fact. I own X speaker therefore it is best and they'll do precisely what you do whic is to provide anectdotal evidence that my musician friends think my speaker sounds like a guitar piano etc...then turn around and probably slam the speaker that was used in the recording process to get the piano to sound like a piano in the foirst place...and that speaker ladies and gentleman has a very good chanvce of being something many of us would not choose at the price point the B&W M801 or N801. A lot of speakers boxed or not can sound terrific - even those using metal tweeters which is not my favorite.

    Let's get a few things straight before you quote me;

    I don't feel the need to defend anything about my preferences, or have ever claimed that my posts are "facts" Yes, I give anecdotal, and personal testimony. When it's all said and done speaker preferences come down to personal preference.

    No, and that's an ABSOLUTE no, do I ever slam any speakers. I invite you to look at my body of comments on this forum. You will not see ONE post where I slam ANY speaker, or speaker manufacturer. Besides my maggies I own several different sets of speakers from any number of manufactures.

    I never dissed your Audio Note speakers, although I do question the pricing. 20k for a two way speaker even if it used 10lbs of silver wiring seems to me to be excessive. I think you have a serious belivability problem when you rail against overpriced cables, and then speak to the wonders of Audio Note, when it seems that AN is one of the worst offenders of the high price cable markup. Now, I happen to LIKE silver, I even use silver interconnects, (Homegrown Audio) but AN has gone to the absolute extremes with it's pricing. I

    I happen to LIKE many speakers besides planars. Thiel, Ohm Walshes, and ProAc, come to mind right away, and I've heard fantastic speakers (Athough pricey) from B&W, Dynaudio, and Sonus Faber.

    I grew up with the advancement of modern hi-fi speakers. Alternately in my home growing up we had AR model 3's, KLH model sixes (still got these), and large Advents. My first speakers that I bought myself were EPI's (still got these too!) with the incredible inverted dome tweeter. A design that Focal-JM labs seems to have rediscovered. (really pricey)!

    I like audio so much that I have it in every room that I can, speakers are constantly getting moved around, and I've got friends that I often trade components with. I am in no way "dogma bound" or have any feelings that in some way my system is "better" than all the rest. Far from it. To me the best system is the one your enjoying RIGHT NOW!
  • 02-15-2004, 10:30 AM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by psonic
    tinhere, I have read about Swan before and that 550 is jaw drop sweet looking, I am going to look into auditioning that with the link you provided. The online reviews for Swan are excellent, although I agree with RGA and others in saying this is meaningless. My thinking is If a person bought a speaker why would he not be happy with it? Unless mechanical failure, it would be unlikely to see bad reviews. But just for kicks, if theres a local pair, I would love to hear them...or even Axiom M60's for the matter

    psonic,

    The 550's are Rocket's by Onix and can be bought at AV123.com. Swan's are made by a different company and sold through the audioinsider.com. AV123 used to distribute Diva's, but developed, manufacture, and distribute the Rocket line now. Many owners of the Diva's tried and kept the Rocket's when they were introduced. I used to have Diva's and now have Rocket's. IMHO the Rocket's sound better and are finished better. When AV123 developed the Rocket's it was done to offer a better value compared to the Diva's they were already familiar with. If they couldn't offer a better product in terms of build quality and sound AV123 would not be enjoying the success they are having. Swan's offer very good value especially when compared to b&m store's offerings at their price points, and IMO Rocket's have increased the difference in value.

    Reviews are only good to the extrent that your tastes coincide with the person who wrote the review. The better reviews compare and contrast and help give you an idea about the sonic signature of a speaker. The business model of the successful online companies offer an excellent opportunity for the consumer to spend their money on a better speaker, and not on middleman profits. These companies are growing because they are delivering on their promises of product and customer service. The testimonials from satisified customers bear this out. Problems do arise and are discussed in the open on forums. If these problems weren't addressed to the satisfaction of the consumer these companies couldn't survive. They live or die by word of mouth on the forums. SVS, HSU, Axiom, Swans, ACI, OutlawAudio, Odyssey, Ascend, etc, would not remain in business unless they offered more than you could get locally. These companies aren't growing because they made a sale, but because they make a customer who can recommend them. The numbers of people buying almost exclusively from these online direct companies is growing among the audio community for good reason. The trick is researching which one will best satisfy your listening tastes. Keep in mind they aren't just selling to first time buyers, but people who have been into audio for years as well. Dismissing this option out of hand will limit what you can get for your money in today's new marketplace. The price of shipping will more than be compensated for in better value. The enthusiasm you read about these companies from end users isn't just a bunch of people rationalizing a mistake, but from people who feel they have gotten ahead on the value/performance curve.

    Look for that audition or have an in home audition. It might, and often does change how you invest in your system. Most of the people were VERY skeptical when they decided to try this new business model. It would have been very easy for them give these products a bad review if that is how they felt. Company loyalty must be earned on every order with every customer.

    Happy hunting.
  • 02-15-2004, 02:55 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    The word is “quality” with enough profit to maintain it. Not mere quantity. That’s what Radio Shack is for. Or you still pissed of that your “Audio Note- biggest manufacturer” post at AA got laughed out of the running? Was his observation that they put quality over quantity lost on you? …or are they the only manufacturer that abide by that philosophy?

    Well firstly this is a downright lie. My post was not in the running for anything now was it. My post was about a review I read about the Audio note CD2 where the reviewer stated, not me, that Audio Note was the second largest British Manufacturer after B&W. My post was to get that cleared up and went along the lines of "can that really be the case because I had never really heard of Audio Note. Further I asked about what the reviewer could have meant by 2nd largest. It is clear they are not second largest in sales, so presumably the reviewer was meaning this in terms of product offerings in terms of choice. Audio Note's previous web-site claimed to be the largest distributer of high end in Britain...but that only means they sell in more countries than anyone else which doesn't mean biggest in sales. That was the point of my post...biggest can mean a lot...

    And no i'm not saying Magnepan is bad because they're not huge - I heard planars in the mid 1990s that looked very similar to the Magnepan's but because I didn't write the name down back then i can't be sure it was Magnepan or if it was someone else's speakers. That is why my comments on Planars are not specific. I listen and evaluate with the best gear available in high end shops that know how to set-up gear - If I comment on a product that I heard at Futureshop or other dreadful place then I state that to be fair.

    I am certainly NOT saying for people to not try Magnepan...My attitude is to try as many different types of designs as is possible. For what it's worth I would take the risk on the MMG than buying the 602S3 or Paradigm or other dynamically inept slim line design metal tweetered ring a ding a ding dong tweeter. However I have also read reviews of the MMG that does note the limitations and if one is a rock music lover then I am pretty sure that speaker is going to be completely outclassed by said 602S3 which is a startling good boxed speaker as an all-rounder. The 1.6 and up apparently are a total other ball-game.

    As for speaker types sounding better with certain music well interestingly enough my Wharfedale's use horn speakers and do in fact present horn instruments very differently than other speakers - I won't say better but the Trumpet and Sax are more pronounced.

    There is nothing at all wrong with using headphones as an example because headphones don't suffer from room acoustics. You cannot accurately gauge soundstage and imiging but you can detail resolving abiltiy treble bass and mids. Though I should have noted that the HD 600 is different in that it is an open air design.

    Planars are comparable to stats which is where I have heard a greater number. My comments about Audio note were to illustrate that there are boxed speakers that don't sounded boxy except where the BOX sound is Necessary. When I listened to the Jesse Cook Guitar on my speakers I can hear the guitar box resonance, on the Paradigm Monitor the guitar box is gone and all you hear is the pluck of the string...call it decay...same on piano which is vital.

    Now if the Stats and Planars do that then I would be happy...the smaller ML's don't the bigger pricey one's do IMO.
  • 02-15-2004, 03:11 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Let's get a few things straight before you quote me;

    I don't feel the need to defend anything about my preferences, or have ever claimed that my posts are "facts" Yes, I give anecdotal, and personal testimony. When it's all said and done speaker preferences come down to personal preference.

    No, and that's an ABSOLUTE no, do I ever slam any speakers. I invite you to look at my body of comments on this forum. You will not see ONE post where I slam ANY speaker, or speaker manufacturer. Besides my maggies I own several different sets of speakers from any number of manufactures.

    I never dissed your Audio Note speakers, although I do question the pricing. 20k for a two way speaker even if it used 10lbs of silver wiring seems to me to be excessive. I think you have a serious belivability problem when you rail against overpriced cables, and then speak to the wonders of Audio Note, when it seems that AN is one of the worst offenders of the high price cable markup. Now, I happen to LIKE silver, I even use silver interconnects, (Homegrown Audio) but AN has gone to the absolute extremes with it's pricing. I

    I happen to LIKE many speakers besides planars. Thiel, Ohm Walshes, and ProAc, come to mind right away, and I've heard fantastic speakers (Athough pricey) from B&W, Dynaudio, and Sonus Faber.

    I grew up with the advancement of modern hi-fi speakers. Alternately in my home growing up we had AR model 3's, KLH model sixes (still got these), and large Advents. My first speakers that I bought myself were EPI's (still got these too!) with the incredible inverted dome tweeter. A design that Focal-JM labs seems to have rediscovered. (really pricey)!

    I like audio so much that I have it in every room that I can, speakers are constantly getting moved around, and I've got friends that I often trade components with. I am in no way "dogma bound" or have any feelings that in some way my system is "better" than all the rest. Far from it. To me the best system is the one your enjoying RIGHT NOW!

    Then I do apoligise if I misrepresented what you're saying about other brands.

    The upgrade in the Audio Note lines are not just silver wiring and there is diminishing retutrns. If the entry level is $2500 and the top of the line basically adds a zero naturally one wonders what could possibly attribute to that cost. And of course there is nothing that would attribute to that cost...but that does not just apply to Audio Note it also applies to the 60kcdn B&W and the 70K Dynaudio Evidence masters - hell they may not even use silver. Frankly for those prices i would like Diamond connectors and the speaker to make me a life-time supply of Starbucks coffee.
  • 02-15-2004, 04:56 PM
    markw
    Oh, come off it RGA.
    No matter what speakers are under discussion, no matter what the price range imnplied, it always boils down to you and your precious Audio Notes. If that's not prostelitizing, I don't know what is.

    What's their price, anyway?
  • 02-15-2004, 05:52 PM
    RGA
    MarkW

    Everyone on here giving advice will mention the speakers they own when recommending or other models from the same manufacturer. So I find it odd that I should be singled out.

    I saw a generalization being made that appeared to me to suggest that no boxed speaker could possibly make one get the sense the the "musicians" were in the room. WHich in reality means that no boxed speaker can mage or soundstage because that is all there is to getting the "musicians" in the room. TO back my comment up I simply made a not that some of the people who have reviewed Audio Note speakers compared or went from a Panel - Quad arguably the best there is in many people's minds to a boxed speaker. SInce I have read the reviews of the Audio Note I used them as an example...I'm sure there are many other boxed speakers that people would refer to.

    Just as not everyone is going to like a planar not everyone is going to like Audio Note - though judging by the reviews I would expect that of all the panel owners if they had to actually go with a boxed speaker Audio Note would likely sound more like their panel than typical boxes.

    As to pricing Audio Notes start at $800.00 for the floorstanding AZ (Absolute Zero) Two, $1950.00 for the AN K Spe- with the upgrade to the AN K SE to $5950, $2700 for the AN E/D to the AN E/SEC at $19,500.00 and a newer one going over $30,000.00. The AN J is somewhere in between) The Companies' speakers are the cheapest componants they make.
    http://www.stereotimes.com/speak071701.shtm

    http://www.triodeandco.com/
  • 02-15-2004, 07:14 PM
    markw
    RGA

    Nobody, myself included, has a problem with others recommending equipment they own. That's preferable to recommending based on two minute auditions in noisy showrooms.

    What galls me, and perhaps others have picked up on this as well, is denigrating other equipment based on reviewers comments. Likewise, owing to the fact that ones choice in speakers is as personal as ones taste in women, by dissing others choices in a manner as to make it seem not justa different oponion, but making it seem as ones choice (or opinion) is simply wrong, again using your own opinion as the ultimate yardstick.

    Audio Note may, or may not (depending on ones taste) be fine speakers but when you choose to try to prostelitize by downgrading others personal opinions (or taste), you cross the line between being helpful and trying to "bully" others into your way of thinking.

    It's time you accept the the fact that speakers are chosen by peoples tastes. For example, while you loathe metal dome drivers, obviously they have many fans out there. For you to tell the world that they are wrong because their tastes differ from you is the ultimate in hubris. You have little good to say about anything except that which you own.

    Now, if you wish to communicate with Jim Winey as to how bad his speakers are, go ahead. I'm sure he could do with a good laugh. Likewise, you might try the planar asylum as well. I'm sure you will go over big there.

    Perhaps if Audio Note offered something for US$550/pair with a money back guarantee, you might be on to something. Until then, you're trying to compare apples to oranges.
  • 02-15-2004, 09:14 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    RGA

    Nobody, myself included, has a problem with others recommending equipment they own. That's preferable to recommending based on two minute auditions in noisy showrooms.

    What galls me, and perhaps others have picked up on this as well, is denigrating other equipment based on reviewers comments. Likewise, owing to the fact that ones choice in speakers is as personal as ones taste in women, by dissing others choices in a manner as to make it seem not justa different oponion, but making it seem as ones choice (or opinion) is simply wrong, again using your own opinion as the ultimate yardstick.

    Audio Note may, or may not (depending on ones taste) be fine speakers but when you choose to try to prostelitize by downgrading others personal opinions (or taste), you cross the line between being helpful and trying to "bully" others into your way of thinking.

    It's time you accept the the fact that speakers are chosen by peoples tastes. For example, while you loathe metal dome drivers, obviously they have many fans out there. For you to tell the world that they are wrong because their tastes differ from you is the ultimate in hubris. You have little good to say about anything except that which you own.

    Now, if you wish to communicate with Jim Winey as to how bad his speakers are, go ahead. I'm sure he could do with a good laugh. Likewise, you might try the planar asylum as well. I'm sure you will go over big there.

    Perhaps if Audio Note offered something for US$550/pair with a money back guarantee, you might be on to something. Until then, you're trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Look all of this is fair enough...but I'm also sick and tired of people who come onto forums and say that X $500.00 speaker is great blah blah blah and WILL NOT acknowledge weaknesses related to the sound. If the MMG were perfect there would be no 1.6 and then again a 3.6.

    It's as though forumers like the American Audio Magazines are unwilling to state the weaknesses of a given product. The reviews I've read of the MMG I'm simply stating - it is not a personal attack on Magnepan or Magnepan owners. The fact of the matter is that the MMG has weaknesses like any other speaker...and as i recall I have stated the weaknesses of the 602 and other boxed speakers.

    If Magnepan pays for the shipping both ways and duties, taxes etc when shipping to Canada that's quite good. Basically, the smart thing to do would be to listen to the 1.6 and if you like the 1.6 but you can only afford the MMG at least you'll have a prety good idea at the planar sound...presumably the MMG is a scaled down version. By all means audition them if you can.

    Audio Note is not free from weaknesses either - generally though I don't have to talk to those weaknesses because it's not like people come onto these forums asking about them - after all they don't advertise. Bass extension is not the deepest and when you pay 20k for a speaker you should expect that...it's arguably full range speaker but not sub territory which can be attained in cheaper 20k speaker systems. The soundstage in the speakers requires work to get right, positioning in corners increases bass but tales some imaging so if you want one you have to sacrifice a bit of the other - this too can be a disadvantage. But then Audio Note is not perfect, neither is Ferarri, Rolls Royce, Cary, or any other ridiculously expensive toy.
  • 02-15-2004, 11:06 PM
    manek
    I agree with RGA.

    Maggies are not faultless. As a matter of fact they are not very good with reproducing the correct timbre of different instrments. Thats my observation. The overall sound is impressive though to a point.

    All others do have their weaknesses too. Its what kind of weaknesses the person buying them is willing to live with.

    So, the key thing to do is audition all speakers withing your budget. cone drivers, ribbon, planar, electrostat, plasma and all and go with what pleases you irrespective of the technology.
  • 02-16-2004, 05:13 AM
    markw
    No speaker is perfect. You simply choose which speakers weaknesses andstrengtbs you wish to live with. IMNSHO, Maggies came closer to my version of musical corredctness than other speakers in their price range.

    When other musical professionals agreed with me and followed my example and went for them as well, my opinions were somewhat confirmed. They do take a little more commitment in order to place then correctly as well, but many eel the end result is well worth it though.

    And, FWIW, I do believe my initial post he listen to the spewakwers in question.

    BTW, do you have any input on his initial question? We know you don't like maggies.. What do you like? Any fool can throw stones but it takes some intelligence to build something up.
  • 02-16-2004, 07:44 AM
    markw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Look all of this is fair enough...but I'm also sick and tired of people who come onto forums and say that X $500.00 speaker is great blah blah blah and WILL NOT acknowledge weaknesses related to the sound. If the MMG were perfect there would be no 1.6 and then again a 3.6..

    I don't ever recall anyone saying any speaker is perfect. Do you? IMNSHO, their strengths outweigh their weakness.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    It's as though forumers like the American Audio Magazines are unwilling to state the weaknesses of a given product. The reviews I've read of the MMG I'm simply stating - it is not a personal attack on Magnepan or Magnepan owners. The fact of the matter is that the MMG has weaknesses like any other speaker...and as i recall I have stated the weaknesses of the 602 and other boxed speakers..

    What Maggie reviews did you read that only posted positives? The reviews I've read do acknowledge weaknesses but, as I states above, their strengths are not to be ignored, as you seem to want to imply.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    If Magnepan pays for the shipping both ways and duties, taxes etc when shipping to Canada that's quite good. Basically, the smart thing to do would be to listen to the 1.6 and if you like the 1.6 but you can only afford the MMG at least you'll have a prety good idea at the planar sound...presumably the MMG is a scaled down version. By all means audition them if you can..

    Does Audio Note offer a free trial with a money back guarantee? Why not? At least Magnapan is willing to meet the public part way with the free shipping to the customer. Since it's been an ongoing thing for morethan a few years, I'd say it's a good bet that more people keep 'em (or upgrade) than send them back.

    Doesn't your Audio Note want to take that gamble? Again, why not? I'm sure if they are that great a bang for the buck they would noit lose money on the deal.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Audio Note is not free from weaknesses either - generally though I don't have to talk to those weaknesses because it's not like people come onto these forums asking about them - after all they don't advertise. Bass extension is not the deepest and when you pay 20k for a speaker you should expect that...it's arguably full range speaker but not sub territory which can be attained in cheaper 20k speaker systems. The soundstage in the speakers requires work to get right, positioning in corners increases bass but tales some imaging so if you want one you have to sacrifice a bit of the other - this too can be a disadvantage. But then Audio Note is not perfect, neither is Ferarri, Rolls Royce, Cary, or any other ridiculously expensive toy.

    I'd expect a LOT for a 20 grand speaker. Making excuses for it's weakness is NOT the way to convince me that it's a good deal. Funny you mention soundstage. That's one of the strong points of maggies... all of 'em from the lowly MMG's to the 20.1.

    Again, please keep in mind we're talking < $1000 here but then again, as you've proven many times in the past, you're fond of comparing apples to oranges.
  • 02-16-2004, 05:47 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    IDoes Audio Note offer a free trial with a money back guarantee? Why not? At least Magnapan is willing to meet the public part way with the free shipping to the customer. Since it's been an ongoing thing for morethan a few years, I'd say it's a good bet that more people keep 'em (or upgrade) than send them back.

    It all depends on how you look at this. One could look at that as a gimmick which is similar to nOhr and Axiom's offers. Most people with no frame of reference will get the speaker at home and with nothing to compare to the speaker will sound pretty good - against nothing - so Joe Shmo will keep the speaker because of the hassle involved with returning them. Plus it's a great way to prevent non buyers from reviewing them - since owners like me are not going to buy the speaker - it prevents casual audiophile/reivewers from ever hearing their speaker - so it can be viewed as a way to stack their deck on several fronts. Furthermore, every high end dealer here will allow you to take the demo for a free trial to see if you like them. The Maggie dealer in Vancouver would likely let me take home the 1.6/3.6 etc for a free home trial. The 3.6 despite the measurements will be on my audition list when I move to that level.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Doesn't your Audio Note want to take that gamble? Again, why not? I'm sure if they are that great a bang for the buck they would noit lose money on the deal.

    Audio Note prefers that people auditioning their system listen with their all Audio Note system so that you can hear what it is supposed to sound like...that has a two-fold rationale. 1) The system is designed as a unit not single entities - the idea being that when you go audition if you don't like what you heard at least they can burn in flames knowing it was an Audio note product that let them down and not somebody elses piece of crap. 2) The other being that it is quite helpful to the consumer and Audio Note that if you were utterly blown away by the system you know the componants you need to buy to get the system...not try and remember that it was X brand speaker D brand cd player, Z brand turntable and S brand amp. Naturally that helps Audio Note sell more units or packaged systems. Audio Note does not need a gimmick to sell speakers or any other product - they don't make to sell looks, they don't advertise, ... they actually let you hear them against other brands...and high end stores that have the bucks to carry Audio Note proabably will. I think it's telling that one of the biggest dealers in North America removed the N801/N802 - gorgeous looking will sell on reputation and reviews and advertising alone and replaced them with Butt ugly plain Jane Audio note no name non advertised speakers. They dumped ML incidentally because they were embarrassed.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    I'd expect a LOT for a 20 grand speaker. Making excuses for it's weakness is NOT the way to convince me that it's a good deal. Funny you mention soundstage. That's one of the strong points of maggies... all of 'em from the lowly MMG's to the 20.1.

    Soundstage is a weakness in positioning not the speaker (And in fact the difference in the sound from one recording to another seems to show more nuance in recordings than most speakers that shove everything to the center so people can be "blown away" by the precise imiging and soundstage...when in fact it is the speaker pressing the stuff to the center when the recording ACTUALLY has the singer left or well right of center)

    I've heard a number of very expensive speakers in this price band from Panels, Ribbons and many more "up to date" designs that also lack certain things that the AN E/SEC does so well which is maintaining a cohesive sound from top to bottom better than the statement speakers from ML and B&W such as the Model Nautilus or JM Labs Utopia's. None of these are perfect speakers and neither is the AN E Sec. The difference is the AN E Sec IMO only lacks the very bottom impact bass(Sub 20hz)...which you can add via a sub. You can't add dynamics, you can't add treble smoothness if it isn't there at the start. In fact the AN E/D which is a mere ~2500US has the same "Rated" frequency response and both will hit 12hz in a corner placement likely at -10db but that is still impressive for a 2 way 2 drive unit and better the $11k B&W Nautilus 801 or most all multi-driver slim line floorstanders. In fact the very fact that people would take the speaker over the big Khorn or Quads and is owned by reviewers at Hi Fi Choice and Stereophile and enjoythemusic.com who ALSO give good reviews to Magnepan may not mean it's the best speaker for all people but at the least should tell you it's a higly liveable long term speaker. And that is all you can ask for at the end of the day. And obviously Magnepan falls into this camp.

    One thing I LIKE about Magnepan is the fact that anybody who can keep selling the same design for 30+years(even though it's been improved now and again) means they have something...One reason I like the Sugden amps, Audio Note, Quads, among other speakers is because the designs are 30+ years old but new better materials - if you get it right the first time you only need to tweak...not re-invent every few years.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Again, please keep in mind we're talking < $1000 here but then again, as you've proven many times in the past, you're fond of comparing apples to oranges.

    I'm not comparing anything...the B&W 602S3 is around $500.00US. You can't compare a boxed speaker and a panel anyway in most cases - even not counting price. The Audio Note AZ Two is ~$800.00 and is not totally out of this price band and has been compared to Quad...Stats and planars are similar and so apparently is the AZ Two and so this would seem a fair comparison...having not heard the AZ Two and having no way to hear the MMG(why would I I have speakers) then I can only go off the review.

    Bringuing up professionals well most recording studios use Senn HD580/600s or B&W Matrix/Nautilus speakers - I'm aware of no studio using any planar designs.

    Now i'm not saying this is required to be a good speaker - I'm the one who argues it does not mean much...but in this case i'm illustrating that a LOT of professional musicians and Recording Engineers in the know didn't choose ML, Quad or Magnepan for their studios
  • 02-17-2004, 04:10 PM
    Jimmy C
    Yes, but...
    ...RGA, why bring Quad into the "everything is good because it has been around a long time" thing? Didn't you (somewhat) recently say your last Quad demo (whenever that was) was VERY bad for X type of music? IIRC, you want a speaker to sound good with all music... (which I do NOT subscribe to, but in a perfect world... that's a different argument :*)

    Next week, my friend and I have a tentative listening appointment with a bunch of good speakers, including the ANs... right here on Long Island! For him, not me - BUT if they're REALLY good...

    Hopefully this is not a double post... I think I screwed up on my first submission...
  • 02-17-2004, 04:43 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by psonic
    I have been auditioning floorstanders under $1000. I am in the Philadelphia area and open to driving around a bit and auditioning others you may recommend, only new floorstanders though. This is what I have listened to at length so far in no particular order just to get your candid impressions and see how they compare with mine...


    boston acoustics VR2 http://www.bostonacoustics.com/hs_pr...7&CategoryID=2

    energy C-5 http://www.energyloudspeakers.com/co...kers1_c-5.html

    b&w 603 http://www.bwspeakers.com/index.cfm/...l%20DM603%20S3

    kef Q5 http://www.kef.com/products/qseries/qseries5.html

    paradigm monitor 9 http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...nitorSpecs.htm

    magnepan MMG http://www.magnepan.com/

    Back to the original topic ...

    You should also add Klipsch's RF-25 and RF-35, and the Definitive Technology BP series towers to the list as well. Different sound from the others on your list and not on my preferred short list, but you might like them. Also, look at PSB's Image series.

    I would add, as mentioned by others, that you should definitely also audition the standmounted versions of those speakers that you listed. The majority of the sub-$1,000 floorstanders that I've heard have audible box resonance, and diminished imaging and tonal balance compared to the standmounted models. The only deficiency that I found with the standmounts is the bass extension, but the standmounts are generally more balanced in the lows and you can remedy any bass deficiencies with a subwoofer.

    Another advantage of going with standmounts is that you got a whole slew of new options open to you like Paradigm's Studio series or Dynaudio's Audience line. And I can tell you from my recent listening with the new Studio 20 v.3, you definitely don't want to leave that off your list of models to consider.
  • 02-17-2004, 07:49 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jimmy C
    ...RGA, why bring Quad into the "everything is good because it has been around a long time" thing? Didn't you (somewhat) recently say your last Quad demo (whenever that was) was VERY bad for X type of music? IIRC, you want a speaker to sound good with all music... (which I do NOT subscribe to, but in a perfect world... that's a different argument :*)

    Next week, my friend and I have a tentative listening appointment with a bunch of good speakers, including the ANs... right here on Long Island! For him, not me - BUT if they're REALLY good...

    Hopefully this is not a double post... I think I screwed up on my first submission...

    Dear Jimmy C.

    Yes The Quad 63 I was not a fan of and I'm still not largely because it cannot perform adequately dynamically for rock...but this is just my opinion...lots of people are quite happy and I did note that this is a used model...which I should have said right at the beginning...so it is also plausable the speaker was not in top form.

    Of course this is hardly my complaint as a stand alone complaint of planars and stats. As you get BIGGER panels the sound gets bigger - moe air as it were is moved and dynamics are vastly increased.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I love panels I just like the BIG panels. In other words the increased detail in the mid band of say a 3k ML Aerius i is lot on me if the speaker is so dynamically and bass weak. Both issues are fixed up a LOT as you get to bigger panels.

    That of course is no different than with a boxed speaker...as you move from the N805 to the N801 or the AN K to the AN E you are getting more bass, impact etc.

    I heard the AN E a long time ago(~2 years) when I posted on this forum a review of the 9NT and Studio 100 V2 and Reference 3a MM De Capo. The AN E was the most expensive and left me totally cold - did not like what I heard.

    Fast forward 2 years, proper positioning better room(the one's the others were in) and totally different reaction when about 8 months ago I posted my reviews of the 40V2, Decapo, Wharfedale 8.2, CDM 1NT(and informal N805), and AN K...the latter made me want to listen to the AN E - in this case the SEC version.

    My regard here is the organic presentation of the speakers...I'm not going to say YOU will love them or want them or anything else. Speaker buying is a personal preference. My goal is for people to make the most informed decision possible. Frankly listening to 11 slim line designs all using a metal tweeter and 3-4 or 5 stacked 6 inch drivers all sound pretty much the same. Yes some will be a bit tighter in the bass a bit smoother in the treble etc but they sound largely the same.

    SO go out and listen to Magnepan, Vandersteen, the big fat Tannoys, Audio Note, ML, and the Avante Gaurdes or other notble horns, Legacy(and other backless boxless speakers, crossoverless De Capo's, and even weird stuff like Cabasse or omni-polars from Mirage.

    I get on Mirage and Thiel as speakers I simply don't like - they get the reviews and more importantly people RAVE about Thiel as much as I rave about Audio Note - and frankly It would not surprise me if the guy that has Thiels and loves them would feel as negatively toward Audio Note as I feel about the pair of Thiel's I heard. Neither is right or wrong their designer designs out of a passion for the music and the two see it differently....as a buyer all that matter is you attempt to give them due listening and decide for yourself.

    I have very picky things I look for that others could care less about and other aspects of the sound that I'm not AS concerned about that others simply MUST have.

    People who follow the certain TYPE of sound I like will value my advice and many others won't. I tend to forget this and sort of assume everyone is on my page of listening. Perhaps it's the movie critic in me - I would go toe to toe with Roger Ebert any day on a lot of movies. These film Critics look at a film and have VERY strong opinions that the Y movie is the BEST and everyone else is a nimrod for not seeing it the same way they did.

    Hell I know people who hate Pulp Fiction, Monster's Ball, The War Zone, American, Beauty, Goodfellas, Schindler's List, In the Bedroom --- and I try and defend these as some of the best films ever made - all are in my top 100. Then They would get upset with me and try and defend their view that the LOTR trilogy or The Godfather or Citizen Kane or Casablanca should be on my list - and they're not.(Though I'd recommend them).

    We can all pull out the countless critics who LOVED all of these films but in the end if I had to watch a movie tonight to entertain and PLEASE ME...I would pull out Pulp Fiction over any LOTR movie or Citizen Kane.

    It's about what you like. Since all speakers - ALL OF THEM!! make trade-offs of some kid the individual has to determine what they can and can't live with. The Hi-Fi CHoice review of the AN E D mentions some weaknesses and so does the stereotimes review. Yes they got high marks and many reviewers have bought them...that however does not mean I can't find speakers for the same and even less money that in certain areas won't better Audio Note speakers...I personally feel they're beaten in more pyrotechnic areas rather than the entire musical whole - which is why I went with them - and I still had a budget to deal with like anyone else - If I had 5k I would not have bought the AN K Spe.