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  1. #1
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    Question Which pair of Speakers made you stop looking?

    Hello fellow audiophiles! Out of curiosity I'd like to know which set of speakers whether they were built by yourselves or store bought ended your quest for a speaker you were happy with. I still haven't found that speaker yet because I'm cheap. The most I've spent on a pair of speakers is $600 and I'm wondering how much you had to spend to feel content with the music making abilities of your speakers. Happy listening!

  2. #2
    RGA
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    I am comfortable with my speakers - thta however does not stop me from listening to other speakers - Nothing is perfect. That said if I never upgraded I could live with my AN K SPe for the rest of my days. To me that is what you try to find. That said I would like the AN E/Sec - but unless I can borrow $20,000.00US I'll stick with the AN K/SPe. http://www.triodeandco.com/Prod_Loudspeakers.html

  3. #3
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    It is unlikely you will ever truly stop. You may reach a point of being content and have upgraditis somewhat abated. The downside is as your speakers get better you upgrade your source equipment to improve the sound of the speakers. Then, after upgrading the source equipment you upgrade the speakers, etc. It is a dangerous circle.

    I've recently upgraded my speakers from nOrhs to Rockets. Do not be fooled though. The B-stock Rocket RS550s that I own now cost over 75% of what I paid for the five ceramic nOrh 4.0s. As it stands now, I am extremely happy with my Rockets though could have easily lived with the nOrhs.

  4. #4
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Talking You can't stop, you will not stop, it just doesn't work that way....

    You can't stop looking at other speakers the way you can't stop looking at other women. As I told my son's mum.

    "I'm gonna look till I die, touch till I get married!"

    You never, ever stop thirsting, questioning, wondering, trying and tasting. That's why we're not hangin from our tails in the jungle.

    Da Worfster

  5. #5
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    I'm extremely happy with all of my speakers (duh, that's why I bought 'em) and price had very little to do with it. I get as much enjoyment out of my $675 speaks as my $2,200 ones. Really. As others mentioned, most eloquently by da Worfster (dude, you slay me ), you never stop listening. That's just part of this hobby, right?
    We'll always be looking for the next holy grail but how many of us are devoted enough to buy them? I thought the $160,000 VR11's were amazing but I'd never buy them, even if I earned Shaq's salary.

    If you can't find the sound you're looking for at <$600, go find what you are looking for and make it a goal. Now start saving your pennies, work your ass off, and eventually you can buy it and get a free pass out of upgrade hell.

    Bottom line: It's not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you have.

    Cliche? Yes. Truth? Absolutely.

  6. #6
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    I'm quite content, for two channel music, with a pair of Maggie 1.6's (with a Rotel RB-991 driving them) and a Velodyne VA-1012 subwoofer. No, change that "content" to "very satisfied".

    for HT, I am more than satisfied with a "measly" Athena Audition setup. AS-F1 mains, the matching center and a pair of AS-B2 surrounds. ...and the shared Velodyne subwoofer from the music system. .. and a Denon 2802 driving them.

  7. #7
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Nobody EVER stops looking

    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    Hello fellow audiophiles! Out of curiosity I'd like to know which set of speakers whether they were built by yourselves or store bought ended your quest for a speaker you were happy with. I still haven't found that speaker yet because I'm cheap. The most I've spent on a pair of speakers is $600 and I'm wondering how much you had to spend to feel content with the music making abilities of your speakers. Happy listening!
    Audio;

    We went to audition some Magnepan 1.6qrs, and I made the mistake of also listening to the 3.6r's. That's when I knew what I needed to make me happy. I've even gone and put an addition on my house so I have the room size nessasary to make these puppys sing. About ~4k for speakers, 65k for 16' X 32' addition. Scary isn't it?

    HT;

    I bought my HT main speakers, Cambridge Soundworks T500s after auditioning them up in Boston while visiting relitives. I was commenting on how tight and powerful the bass from the subwoofer was when the salesman said there wasn't one hooked up! Designed with built in 300wpc amps, I've never heard a speaker south of $5k be able to produce as much bass as the T500 can. They run about 2k, but I got mine on sale.

    Nobody EVER stops looking. A few weeks ago we went and checked out a pair of Magnepan 20r's that a local guy was selling. Maggie owners are notorious tweakers too. I've already modified the crossover jumpers with silver wire, and am looking into changing out the caps to better quality ones.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  8. #8
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    Talking I agree

    People are always looking for something newer and better. But I think that a decent speaker will make a good dissapearing act and make you forget that you're listening to speakers. As much as I love my maggie MMG's and the higher end maggies i've listened to they still sound artificial. Magnepan's biggest marketing strategy is saying that box speakers sound well....rather boxy. Well maggies sound "panel-ly" then. And it's easy to understand exactly why. The way they radiate frequencies across the audible spectrum is so radically different. Last week I listened to some "box" speakers that disappeared pretty damned well. They weren't as "smooth" as the maggies but after listening to a lot of live music lately I've come to the conclusion that the maggies shave off the top end a bit making them sound smoother than they really are. I actually listened to pair of speakers last week that sounded really well rounded. They were made by System Audio and were made in a d'appolito style. Anyways thanks for your feedback it's appreciated.




    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Audio;

    We went to audition some Magnepan 1.6qrs, and I made the mistake of also listening to the 3.6r's. That's when I knew what I needed to make me happy. I've even gone and put an addition on my house so I have the room size nessasary to make these puppys sing. About ~4k for speakers, 65k for 16' X 32' addition. Scary isn't it?

    HT;

    I bought my HT main speakers, Cambridge Soundworks T500s after auditioning them up in Boston while visiting relitives. I was commenting on how tight and powerful the bass from the subwoofer was when the salesman said there wasn't one hooked up! Designed with built in 300wpc amps, I've never heard a speaker south of $5k be able to produce as much bass as the T500 can. They run about 2k, but I got mine on sale.

    Nobody EVER stops looking. A few weeks ago we went and checked out a pair of Magnepan 20r's that a local guy was selling. Maggie owners are notorious tweakers too. I've already modified the crossover jumpers with silver wire, and am looking into changing out the caps to better quality ones.

  9. #9
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    It's all a matter of taste

    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    People are always looking for something newer and better. But I think that a decent speaker will make a good dissapearing act and make you forget that you're listening to speakers. As much as I love my maggie MMG's and the higher end maggies i've listened to they still sound artificial. Magnepan's biggest marketing strategy is saying that box speakers sound well....rather boxy. Well maggies sound "panel-ly" then. And it's easy to understand exactly why. The way they radiate frequencies across the audible spectrum is so radically different. Last week I listened to some "box" speakers that disappeared pretty damned well. They weren't as "smooth" as the maggies but after listening to a lot of live music lately I've come to the conclusion that the maggies shave off the top end a bit making them sound smoother than they really are. I actually listened to pair of speakers last week that sounded really well rounded. They were made by System Audio and were made in a d'appolito style. Anyways thanks for your feedback it's appreciated.
    I also listen to a lot of live music. We just went to the high school concert last night, and are off to see Linda Rhondstat and her band tomorrow, Fleetwood Mac next week. In case there's any chuckles about me mentioning the high school concert, let me tell you, these kids are great. Hicksville NY has been consistantly among the best public schools in the nation for music. The walls are lined with pic of alumni that have gone on to major careers in music. I guess the most famous alumni would be Billy Joel, a man who still take a very keen interest in music education here in Hicksville.

    I'm going to be forced to agree with you that even Maggies can't convey the true nature of a live performance. That being said, point source drivers, no matter how well made and sweet sounding are even LESS able to do so. The intense direct imaging that can be found in good quality box speakers is an artifact of the speaker itself, and does not convey the true nature of live music. Last night we were front row center, and the imaging from a full orchestra was STILL more diffuse than what you get from even modest quality box speakers. Doe's this mean I don't like box speakers? No way! I like my music many ways, and the maggies just don't work well in the SUV, (lord knows I've tried!) Seriously though, I"m sure there not everybody's cup-o-tea, and that's OK with me.

    I will disagree that they roll off the highs to sound smooth. The "Qr" models are flat to 22khz, and the "R" models are capable of performance to 40khz, not that a person could ever hear that high.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  10. #10
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    Wink Good point but....

    My argument is all about the disappearing act. Good box speakers don't give you the impression that 2 boxes are making sound. Even the expensive Maggies still disperse sound the same way the cheaper ones do. I can't believe I'm arguing in favor of box speakers because I own maggies and love them. The only problem is that they do in fact color the sound too much. The maggies are notorious for an upper bass boost which makes them sound "fuller". And even when I hear maggie people talk about "no box resonances" I have to laugh out loud. The MMG panels vibrate like crazy at bass frequencies. Also that "right there" sound you get colors the sound. A pleasing one I might add but enough to wear on you over time. Also the sound changes drastically when you move off axis from the tweeter. Good box speakers don't have that effect because of the shape of the tweeter. If you love your maggies God bless you man but I'm tellin' ya that for me they just don't cut it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    I also listen to a lot of live music. We just went to the high school concert last night, and are off to see Linda Rhondstat and her band tomorrow, Fleetwood Mac next week. In case there's any chuckles about me mentioning the high school concert, let me tell you, these kids are great. Hicksville NY has been consistantly among the best public schools in the nation for music. The walls are lined with pic of alumni that have gone on to major careers in music. I guess the most famous alumni would be Billy Joel, a man who still take a very keen interest in music education here in Hicksville.

    I'm going to be forced to agree with you that even Maggies can't convey the true nature of a live performance. That being said, point source drivers, no matter how well made and sweet sounding are even LESS able to do so. The intense direct imaging that can be found in good quality box speakers is an artifact of the speaker itself, and does not convey the true nature of live music. Last night we were front row center, and the imaging from a full orchestra was STILL more diffuse than what you get from even modest quality box speakers. Doe's this mean I don't like box speakers? No way! I like my music many ways, and the maggies just don't work well in the SUV, (lord knows I've tried!) Seriously though, I"m sure there not everybody's cup-o-tea, and that's OK with me.

    I will disagree that they roll off the highs to sound smooth. The "Qr" models are flat to 22khz, and the "R" models are capable of performance to 40khz, not that a person could ever hear that high.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    The way around box resonances is to use a good box.

    There is no inherent disadvantage to use a box - that is another myth that goes around with no justification. I'm not a measurement guru but boxed speakers measure better than any plabnnar or electrostat within the confines of what is deemed to be more or less accurate.

    And who said box resonances were a bad thing to start with - some box resonances of instruments SHOULD be there. A cello, a violin, a guitar, a Piano are all boxed instruments. It ain't just the string that makes the sound otherwise a violin and a guitar would sound the same and they don't.

    People's complain of planars is on the decay aspect or lack of full bodied sound of instrument tonality. The bigger panels though IMO don't have this problem which is why tehy're great loudspeakers - but when you listen to smaller ones like panels about the size of the Aerius you don't get the full bodied sound and you don't get dynamic realism.

    All have their drawbacks and advantages - the one you like the best is the best one to you. That simple.

  12. #12
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    Wink

    I'll agree that certain instruments' bodies resonate. But every instruments resonance and decay is different. I don't believe that a speakers cabinet should vibrate along with the music. That just sounds like poor engineering to me.



    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    The way around box resonances is to use a good box.

    There is no inherent disadvantage to use a box - that is another myth that goes around with no justification. I'm not a measurement guru but boxed speakers measure better than any plabnnar or electrostat within the confines of what is deemed to be more or less accurate.

    And who said box resonances were a bad thing to start with - some box resonances of instruments SHOULD be there. A cello, a violin, a guitar, a Piano are all boxed instruments. It ain't just the string that makes the sound otherwise a violin and a guitar would sound the same and they don't.

    People's complain of planars is on the decay aspect or lack of full bodied sound of instrument tonality. The bigger panels though IMO don't have this problem which is why tehy're great loudspeakers - but when you listen to smaller ones like panels about the size of the Aerius you don't get the full bodied sound and you don't get dynamic realism.

    All have their drawbacks and advantages - the one you like the best is the best one to you. That simple.

  13. #13
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    I find it interesting that on a thread asking for which speakers make you quit looking, most say that you never stop, but 3 different fellas say they are pretty set with maggies. Must be something to those things! I might have to give them a listen.
    Last edited by goatspeed; 05-27-2004 at 11:18 AM.

  14. #14
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Wink Hey Topspeed

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    As others mentioned, most eloquently by da Worfster (dude, you slay me ), you never stop listening. That's just part of this hobby, right?

    If you can't find the sound you're looking for at <$600, go find what you are looking for and make it a goal. Now start saving your pennies, work your ass off, and eventually you can buy it and get a free pass out of upgrade hell.

    Bottom line: It's not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you have.

    Cliche? Yes. Truth? Absolutely.
    Thanks for the love man. I'm just trying to be that "unrepentant uncle" that everyone needs.

    Da Worfster

  15. #15
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    People are always looking for something newer and better. But I think that a decent speaker will make a good dissapearing act and make you forget that you're listening to speakers. As much as I love my maggie MMG's and the higher end maggies i've listened to they still sound artificial. Magnepan's biggest marketing strategy is saying that box speakers sound well....rather boxy. Well maggies sound "panel-ly" then. And it's easy to understand exactly why. The way they radiate frequencies across the audible spectrum is so radically different. Last week I listened to some "box" speakers that disappeared pretty damned well. They weren't as "smooth" as the maggies but after listening to a lot of live music lately I've come to the conclusion that the maggies shave off the top end a bit making them sound smoother than they really are. I actually listened to pair of speakers last week that sounded really well rounded. They were made by System Audio and were made in a d'appolito style. Anyways thanks for your feedback it's appreciated.

    Hi there

    just curious...you wouldn't happen to be from the Chicago area would ya? I've actually got some System_Audio 2070's (some little bookshelves too...but I don't remember the numbers). Nice sounding speakers which also do well with moderately powered tube amps. They also sound nice with some lowered powered stuff...but you can't expect them to play to much or too loud. But they have a nice sound to them.

    Back on topic...what speakers made me stop looking?

    I would say that no speaker has made me stop looking. Not all together. But the TiTans have made me focus my search a bit more I knew I had to make some compromises...because I couldn't fit the TiTans in my room...or my budget. So, I came up with the best compromise that was attainable at the time.


    I think the trick may be finding the speaker that may focus your own search. Hey, we're all different...and we all my not be after the same things. Find out what moves you...and move toward it.
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    enjoy the music!

  16. #16
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    I don't yet own my dream system, so I haven't stopped looking.

    For me, what is sometimes more interesting is hearing what made people START looking. Back when I was in college, a friend of mine, knowing that I loved opera, suggested that I needed a truly good sound system, so she dragged me to a high-end audio store. She had them start by playing some of my recordings on a system featuring the KEF R107's...and I was hooked! I loved that store. I went in all the time with a bunch of my recordings, and they always let me spend hours listening to everything they had. They just asked that I come in on their slower days. Ever since then, I have searched for something better or something close enough that I could afford. Some of my favorites over the years were Apogee Divas, several Martin-Logans, the Alon IV, and Vandersteens.

    Through the years, I always come back to KEF. Their speakers just seem to work with the music I love best, from the Q series all the way to their Reference line.

    Regards,
    Erick

  17. #17
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    STOP & START

    Just when you think you're done looking -- BAM!!! -- something new comes along. Well, maybe not even new, just something you've never seen before.

    I'm happy with my Silverline Audio speakers. It will be awhile before I replace them with something else. I couldn't afford Silverline's higher end, and higher priced speakers, but was content to get in on the ground floor with Sonatinas in a nice glossy rosewood. Looking at them now, I gotta say I still love 'em! I was done buying...but done looking???

    I'm not only an audio enthusiast, I'm an audio aesthetic. A speaker must look AND sound impressively. I won't even consider the greatest sounding speaker in the world if it looks like something out of a 1950's B movie. That's not me. By the same token, I won't pick up a pair of speakers just based on appearance. Like the perfect woman, beauty and substance converge, leading me to pure ecstacy.

    Ok, ok, the analogy can only go so far, but you get my point.

    So have I stopped looking? Naw!!! No sooner had I bought the Silverline's I came across a pair of Vienna Acoustic Mahlers, followed by a pair of Wilson Benesch speakers in an ornate, stunning gloss Burl finish. Holy $#^%!!! I was in love all over again.

    Both are way out of my league. So is Halle Berry. Doesn't stop me from wanting.

  18. #18
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    I've been building speakers for over 35 years. I decided to use what musicians use. Most bassplayers use cerwin vega 18's. 12 inch guitar speakers are best for mids. Tweeters are debateable. The only store bought speakers I ever liked were some old advents, but they can't take much power. If you're trying to get out cheap, try the audiobin.com and diyproaudio.com sites

  19. #19
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    Also like the Magneplanar speakers but the models I liked were out of my price range. Bought my BP7000SCs for $3900 (total speakers came to about 7k) and have been extremely happy with them. I was also happy with my procinema 100 package though. I think in the end I will probably own a system for each room because I don't think I will be able to part with anything. Since I bought them I have still looked at other speakers. Same way with cars (although those I do trade in... garage not big enough to hold more than 2 ).
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    Hello fellow audiophiles! Out of curiosity I'd like to know which set of speakers whether they were built by yourselves or store bought ended your quest for a speaker you were happy with. I still haven't found that speaker yet because I'm cheap. The most I've spent on a pair of speakers is $600 and I'm wondering how much you had to spend to feel content with the music making abilities of your speakers. Happy listening!
    Well my quest is still going on...i had various speakers..like Mission, Driade,b&w,and more..until i had because of the money needs had to sell my beloved Driade 103 mkII [topmodel 40 sets build of these jewels very rare] I was broke and din't feel like to buy anymore stuff for my hobby...then i could buy from a friend of my the Infinity reference 11i speakers for a cheap price. These speakers weren't all that but yet this was the first infinity i ever heard..i was so impressed that within a year i bought the Infinity kappa 9 modified to the max.this is still the speaker that i'm in love with..now i'm busy for the IRS BETA...yes the 4towers...after that...quest completed
    Pre-amp: Mcintosh C26
    Poweramp: Mcintosh MC2105
    Source: Sony Xa50es modified
    Dual 503-1 turntable
    Speakers: Magnepan MG1 modified supertweeters.

    Furthermore

    Audiolab 480 poweramp, Infinity Qe, Sonus Faber Concertino, Dynaco ST80 (RARE) Tubeamplifier.

  21. #21
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Acoustats

    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    Hello fellow audiophiles! Out of curiosity I'd like to know which set of speakers whether they were built by yourselves or store bought ended your quest for a speaker you were happy with.
    For the past twenty seven years, I've been using Acoustat electrostats. My current pair turns twenty next month.

    That's not to say I don't look or listen to others. I realize that my long discontinued speakers will eventually die some day and I will need to find some that will last me for the next twenty years. My current short list consists of MG 20.1s and the new Soundlabs.

    rw

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    None permanently

    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    Hello fellow audiophiles! Out of curiosity I'd like to know which set of speakers whether they were built by yourselves or store bought ended your quest for a speaker you were happy with. I still haven't found that speaker yet because I'm cheap. The most I've spent on a pair of speakers is $600 and I'm wondering how much you had to spend to feel content with the music making abilities of your speakers. Happy listening!
    I've basically owned three main speakers: the Kef 104 (later upgraded the crossover to the newer 104aB); the Quad ESL-63; the PSB Stratus Mini.

    The Kef 104 is even on axis, but not off axis, but with careful placement can sound very good in a small listening window.

    The Quad ESL-63 is very even on axis measured anechoically and can sound very good in a largish room, with careful placement. It needs a certain amount of space behind and, I think, in front, but being a dipole, the radiation to the sides cancels out, so in some respects its easier to place. It's another listening window speaker and has the advantage that nothing ever sounds like it's coming from the panels. Although our house is not very suitable for them, I would not have looked for other speakers had the power supply on of the electrostatic panels blown--very expensive to repair.

    The PSB Stratus Mini is has a wide and even frequency response in the horizontal plane although it is more directional vertically, as are virtually all speakers. They sound about the same from either end of the sofa as in the middle and they sound great from the next room, too. The designer, Paul Barton, makes use of the reseach done at the National Research Council in Ottawa and rents their facilities to test his speakers, as well. So, I would expect them to be room friendly. Of the three, the Stratus Minis are the most versatile. There are quite a number of speakers which measure as well nowadays, which gives the consumer a lot of good choices, and the Stratus Mini is less expensive than many. Its balance is a little laid back, which I consider to be a good thing with most recordings, so it is more forgiving than many speakers.

    When set up properly in an acoustic suitable for them, they all can sound great on almost any type of music. All can easily play more than adequately loud for my tastes. They all have good bass response to below 40 Hz, which covers most music. As with most speakers, a subwoofer can be helpful for the deep bass. As well, one can put the subwoofer where the bass response seems best and put the main speakers where the imaging and balance above the deep bass is best, with due regard to aesthetics.

    Once I got the Stratus Minis home where I had many more recordings to try with them, I found quite a number of recordings sounded better than they had with the Quads. This surprised me. although I suppose it should not have, as they meaure the best of all three in most of the critical areas. Piano recordings in particular sound better here. This house does not really have the space for the Quads and while I was able to get good results with most recordings, I was never able to get piano recordings to sound their really good here with the Quads, so that is a welcome improvement.

    Now, there are lots of good speakers I have not heard, so maybe there are some I would like even better.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    I'll agree that certain instruments' bodies resonate. But every instruments resonance and decay is different. I don't believe that a speakers cabinet should vibrate along with the music. That just sounds like poor engineering to me.

    Well it seems wrong to me too - BTW I have been in error - the speaker is not Undamped - the speaker uses damping in certain parts of the box - they control exactly which frequency goes where use resonances and shift it where they want them by ear and with computer aiding. Instead of damping everything(which dampens out a significant part of the music content as well as resonances) they choose not to do this.

    I can gaurantee you that when you listen to these directly against all of the other Boxed standmounts I have heard over the last 15 years you will get the impression that A you are hearing far more of what is going on on the disc compared to something like the B&W 705(which no offence to this fine company is a complete and utter joke of a speaker compared to AN's). But none of he technical bugga boo means Jack Squat - directly compare them to others in the same room and I am confident it woill be strikingly evident that the competition pales in comparision - every other speaker sold from this list for a start http://www.soundhounds.com/

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    I have had a pair of Mirage M-290's for about 11 years as my mains (recently added a sub) and am still very happy with them.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular Uptown Audio's Avatar
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    10
    I'll have to agree that you will never have a "perfect" speaker. The question is actually not a very good one as it is too broad to be aswered by a group and arrive at any kind of a concensus. It would be best to limit it to your acceptable price level ($600 in your case). The best speakers that I have heard around $600 must be the JM Lab Chorus 707s, which have been favorably compared to most everything less than $1000, making them quite a great value as well.
    I change speakers quite a bit and so don't have one that has had a lifespan of more than a few years regardless of their quality. The last were Tannoy D700's and the newest will be JM Lab Electra Be speakers, either the 927Be or 928Be.
    -Bill

    www.uptownaudio.com
    Salem VA
    (540) 387-5050

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