• 02-02-2004, 04:38 PM
    Stereophile's list of "Best top 25 speakers of past 40 years".
    This list is from Nov issue of Sterophile magazine titled:"40 years of Stereophile: The Hot 100 Products". Only speakers on this list were mentioned. Full article at the bottom.

    <img src="http://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/40thlogo.jpg">

    AR 3A loudspeaker:
    It may have been ugly, colored, and with rolled-off highs, but the sealed-box 3A defined the "Boston Sound" and helped establish the American speaker industry. I never liked it, but I can't ignore it. Pretty much the same drive-units were used in AR's multidirectional LST, which years later was to inspire Mark Levinson's Cello speakers.

    Dahlquist DQ-10 loudspeaker:
    The Brits hated the DQ-10 for its superficial resemblance to their beloved Quad electrostatic. But with the first Magnepan and the Infinity Servo-Statik, Jon Dahlquist's staggered-baffle speaker helped launch the High End in the early 1970s.

    Yamaha NS1000 loudspeaker
    Back in the days when paper cones were de rigueur (though a handful of British engineers were playing with plastic cones) and designers were starting down the path to trade off reduced coloration against the need for more and more driving volts from the amp, Yamaha introduced the NS1000. It was sensitive, it used a high-tech midrange dome using vapor-deposited beryllium on an aluminum substrate, and it (ahem) kicked major booty! The Yamaha's major use of technology made many contemporary European and American speaker-makers look more like box-stuffers. I haven't heard an NS1000 in 20 years, and often wonder how it would measure up in today's more refined market.

    The Advent Loudspeaker
    The late Henry Kloss had the Midas touch: whatever his fancy alighted on turned into sonic gold. In the case of the Advent Loudspeaker, he designed America's first true high-end dynamic sealed-box loudspeaker. And given that everyone was convinced that good speakers needed to use three drive-units, Henry made do with two. He designed the Advent armed with microphone, voltmeter, oscilloscope, and signal generator, but without—the entire generation of speaker engineers who graduated since the early 1980s will be astonished to learn—a computer. Henry made do with talent and ingenuity.

    Acoustic Energy AE1 loudspeaker
    Designer Phil Jones may have fed the LS3/5A concept steroids, but the AE1 makes the list because it spearheaded the resurgence of the metal-cone woofer, which acts as a pure piston in its passband. (But outside the passband...)

    Acoustat 2+2 electrostatic loudspeaker
    Between the demise of the KLH 9 and the introduction of the MartinLogan CLS, the Acoustats held high the flag of American electrostatics.

    MBL 101d omnidirectional loudspeaker
    Critics dubbed this innovative German design the "accordion from Mars," but Jürgen Reiss's bending-mode Radialstrahler drive-units were the first to successfully address the challenge of producing a laterally omnidirectional radiation pattern.

    PSB Alpha loudspeaker
    Canadian Paul Barton has designed bigger speakers and he has designed better speakers, but none of those has offered so much sound for so little money as the Alpha in all its guises—or, with more than 50,000 sold, has benefited so many people.

    Spica TC50 loudspeaker
    John Bau's ugly ducking of a time-aligned two-way miniature showed that great sound could be produced from a speaker without the designer having to throw unlimited sums of money at the problems.

    Shahinian Obelisk loudspeaker
    I first heard the quasi-omnidirectional Obelisk 25 years ago, and it sounded as different then from what else was around as it does now. Richard Shahinian has always gone his own way, guided by his overwhelming passion for classical orchestral music; his speakers fall into the category of "If you love their sound, they're the best speakers in the world for you." However, for Dick to survive and even to prosper through the years lends his efforts a credibility that cannot be acquired in any other way.

    Avantgarde Uno & Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage loudspeakers
    With American and British loudspeaker design philosophy running along rigidly defined rails by the 1990s, the appearance of these musically communicative German and Italian speakers, which danced to very different design drummers, blew a welcome breath of fresh air into the High End.

    KEF Reference 107 loudspeaker
    Yes, the elegant R107 was the first high-end speaker to successfully implement a "bandpass" or "coupled-cavity" woofer, but its real importance lay in the fact that it finally rammed home the lesson that speaker design primarily involved engineering rather than art. Yes, art is still an essential part of designing a musically satisfying speaker, but only when that art rides on a platform of solid engineering.

    Apogee Scintilla loudspeaker
    It wasn't the first all-ribbon loudspeaker from Apogee, it wasn't the biggest, and it probably wasn't even the best-sounding (that was probably the Duetta). It was also a pig to drive, with perhaps just the big Krells up to the task of sinking power into what was, at some frequencies, little more than a short circuit. But the Scintilla was the Apogee speaker that convinced me that the magnetically driven ribbon, with its effortless coupling to the room and its lack of sonic character or coloration, was more than just a historic backwater of speaker design.

    KLH 9 electrostatic loudspeaker
    An American classic at least two decades ahead of its time. I heard the 9 only once, but I still shiver at the memory.

    Meridian D600 digital active loudspeaker
    More recent Meridian loudspeakers exceed the D600's performance in every way, but this modest floorstander was the first to show what could be achieved by integrating power amplification and digital technology in a speaker design.

    Celestion SL-600 loudspeaker
    The first popular compact supermonitor, introduced in 1983. The English company's Graham Bank and Gordon Hadaway decided that, as the main source of coloration in a box speaker is the box, they would effectively do away with it by making it from the Aerolam material used in airplane construction. The copper-dome tweeter used in the SL-600 and its wooden-box SL-6 sibling also pioneered the resurgence of interest in moving-coil drivers with pistonic metal diaphragms. "Had anyone even 1) tried to make a compact monitor sound this uncolored, or 2) charge as much?" asks Wes Phillips. Nope. But what a sound!

    Spendor BC1 loudspeaker
    Designed by the late Spencer Hughes after he left the BBC, the BC1 was perhaps the finest all-'round loudspeaker to come out of the UK until the B&W 801 Series 2. Too bad its somewhat loose low frequencies were not the optimal match for typical mid-1970s LP playback, and that the CD came too late to save it from relative obscurity.

    Thiel CS3.6 loudspeaker
    While almost every Stereophile writer nominated one of Jim Thiel's designs, it was the CS3.6, from the early '90s, that was mentioned most often, rather than one of the Kentucky company's flagships. This is because the '3.6 was the finest all-'round package in terms of time alignment, neutral balance, power handling, bass extension, and industrial design—all for about $3000/pair, which, in hindsight, looks like an unbelievable bargain. While Jim Thiel has since designed speakers that exceed the CS3.6 in one, two, or more areas of performance, the '3.6 represented the first full flowering of his talent.

    BBC LS3/5A & Wilson Audio WATT loudspeakers
    These two tiny speakers—which, apart from being intended to serve as location recording monitors, are as far apart in their design starting points as is possible to imagine—redefined the art of the miniature loudspeaker: the LS3/5A in the mid-1970s, the WATT a decade later. The LS3/5A perhaps represented the finest flowering of a team of audio engineers assembled by the state-run broadcasting company, and which included Dudley Harwood and the late Spencer Hughes.

    MartinLogan CLS electrostatic loudspeaker
    The elegant and transparent (both visually and sonically) CLS brought electrostats into the mainstream consciousness—you can find MartinLogans on both the small and silver screens.

    B&W Nautilus, Infinity IRS, Wilson Audio WAMM loudspeakers
    One uses cone/dome drivers in a conventional cabinet (if something resembling a snail could be called "conventional"), the other two use dynamic, planar-magnetic, or electrostatic upper-range drivers in a panel array and conventional woofers in a separate tower. All three were made in minuscule numbers, and all three are the finest-sounding true full-range loudspeakers I have heard.

    B&W 801 Matrix Series 2 loudspeaker
    Widely used in classical recording studios and high-end systems alike, the revised version of the big B&W took the concept of a high-quality minimonitor integrated with a bass bin to a far wider audience than its $5000/pair price would suggest was possible. "Possibly the best-selling high-end loudspeaker ever sold in the US," notes Wes Phillips, and "certainly the most influential dynamic loudspeaker design of its generation." The current Nautilus incarnation of the 801 builds on a solid base of quality.

    Magnepan Magneplanar Timpani loudspeaker
    Back in the late 1980s, more Stereophile readers owned Magneplanar panels than any other loudspeaker. Jim Winey's twin ideas of using an array of ceramic refrigerator magnets and bonding a flat wire coil to a Mylar diaphragm allowed him to create a magnetic equivalent to an electrostatic speaker but without some of the latter's problems, and with additional benefits such as ease of drive and much higher power handling. The current Magnepan designs may use a ribbon tweeter and be refined in all areas of performance, but are no different in concept from what Paul Bolin calls "a landmark in the dictionary sense of the word."

    Vandersteen 2 loudspeaker
    In production for a quarter century and incrementally improved throughout that period, the modest-looking 2 offers astonishingly clean, extended, and detailed sound without ever losing sight of the music. That it does all this for just $1500/pair is a tribute to Richard Vandersteen's talent but also foresight.

    Quad ESL-63 loudspeaker
    An inspired planar design from a true audio genius, England's Peter Walker, and still in production (as the ESL-988) more than two decades after its introduction, the Quad has survived when bigger, more complex full-range electrostatics have long since disappeared. "A no-brainer classic," writes Paul Bolin. "People will be listening to the ESL-63 40 years from now and loving every minute." Amen.

  • 02-02-2004, 05:24 PM
    This is not a best list this is a subjective list of influential products. Heck the guy even says that he didn't like the AR 3 but put on the list because he can't ignore it.

    He also basically calls the Crown DC300A "Crown sounded like early solid-state. But it was powerful, bombproof, and drove the early days of the progressive rock revolution and what was to become high-end audio."

    In other words easily outclassed today but began the road to quality. Mostly interesting because it forms a history of some of the things that began down roads for good or ill like speakers using metal woofers.

    There are bizarre things like the PSB Alpha which is there because of bang for buck in its day but the new speakers from many other speakers in that price range easily beat the Alpha...thogh the Alpha B is still a very good speaker for low money. But even the reviewer says there is better.

    This is not a list of best of products...innovative perhaps.
  • 02-02-2004, 07:06 PM
    There are some classic speakers on that list. My father owned some Advents and the famous KLH Model 6's, but unfortunately the drivers are blown. I have an itch to build a clone of a set of a classic pair of speakers. I have the plans to build Pro Ac Response 2.5, the LS3/5A, and numerous EPI and Genesis clones. They are a bit intimidating, which is why I haven't done so yet.
  • 02-03-2004, 04:23 PM

    I belive you are right when you said most of these speakers were innovative. Most of speakers mentioned are from 60s and 70s and probably were best in their time frame. But some of them might still hold up pretty good today against contemporary speakers. Looking at their price, they better be :D


    I also have heard alot about classic KLH speakers. Too bad today they are not the company they used to be as now they cater more toward lower end market. The other speaker I hears about also is Yamaha NS1000 loudspeaker. They seem to be monster in their glory days :)
  • 02-03-2004, 04:49 PM
    Interesting list because some of the choices like the Infinity IRS and Dahlquist speakers were also on The Absolute Sound's list of most influential products since they began publication. A lot of the products on the list indeed were ahead of their time but never caught on, while others were precursors for things ahead and very influential. It's also very interesting to see all of those various panel speakers on the list from now defunct manufacturers like Apogee and Acoustat. The list also points to some of the varied approaches that have been taken over the years, which is always interesting.
  • 02-03-2004, 04:57 PM
    I'm not even sure they were best in their day...there is a difference between good and innovative. The latter simply means they started something different. The first Sony and Phillips cd players are on the list because CD was new technology...the players were truly terrible. But it began cd and since then has been totally re-done and fixed. The AR 3 is there because of the design concept and most considered it the best AR speaker made...which apparently wasn't saying much since a lot of folks think it was and is dungheep in a heavy box. I have never yet liked the sound of a speaker with rear firing drivers which are tonally innacurate with phase problems and such. Others support that sound and think it's the best. Sound however is directional and should be directional. One reason I prefer two way designs that sound like all music is of one piece... It would be nice if one speaker could produce it all from a ONE-WAY.
  • 02-03-2004, 05:28 PM

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The AR 3 is there because of the design concept and most considered it the best AR speaker made...which apparently wasn't saying much since a lot of folks think it was and is dungheep in a heavy box. I have never yet liked the sound of a speaker with rear firing drivers which are tonally innacurate with phase problems and such. Others support that sound and think it's the best. Sound however is directional and should be directional. One reason I prefer two way designs that sound like all music is of one piece... It would be nice if one speaker could produce it all from a ONE-WAY.

    Acoustic Research was the result of the pioneering work done by Edgar Vilcher. Acoustic Research was responsible for more innovations in loudspeaker design than almost any other manufacturer I can think of. AR pioneered the Acoustic Suspension principle and even today, the earliest AR 12 inch woofers will give some of the finest subwoofers a run for their money. The AR3 was the first truely full range compact loudspeaker being only 2 cubic feet. It made high quality stereophonic sound in the home a real possibility and was a benchmark against which all other speakers of its day were compared. One of its major crimes was being inefficient in an era when amplifier electrical power was very expensive. It was the first speaker to use dome tweeters. It also used a dome midrange which was unique. Whether you "like it" or not, it was used successfully in many live versus recorded demonstrations including two I heard personally. This attested to its high degree of accuracy. The AR3 design itself was evolved from the earlier AR1 which used a Western Electric tweeter. The design continued to be refined over a stretch of some 40 years from the mid 1950s to the early 1980 through such production units as AR3A, AR 10 Pi, ARLST, AR 303A and (Teledyne)AR9 which IMO is the ultimate expression of that concept. There are probably few manufacturers of loudspeakers which ever equaled the quality control exercised in the manufacture of AR speakers through most of their history.

    IMO, almost every one of the most highly prized loudspeakers (AR, KLH, and Advent not included) of every era used indirect firing sound in some way. This recognized that fact that the limitations of direct firing loudspeakers in real rooms could not be overcome with only direct firing drivers and is especially apparant in the treble range. These products may include bipolar radiators or a long column of tweeters which puts the listener off axis of most of them, or indirect firing tweeters. Think of all the electrostatics, Vandersteen, Snell, JBL Paragon, Magneplanar and so many others which exploited the reflective surfaces of rooms to improve sound reproduction. (I'm not going to type the B word.)

    Designers of two way speakers face an insurmountable problem and that is how to get only two loudspeaker drivers which are inherently resonant devices to sound like one non resonant device over 10 octaves. Most can't. They are inevitably a compromise. BTW, by compromising the lowest 2 or 3 ocatves and then using a subwoofer, you no longer have a 2 way system. You have designed your own 3 way system so anyone who thinks they have only a two way but uses a subwoofer is only kidding themselves.
  • 02-03-2004, 06:42 PM
    The argument for it is all nice and swell but since pretty much everyone abandoned rear firing tweeters...because they bothered to listen to their speakers no doubt, any advantage the set-up had has obviously been surpassed by realistic presentations(even AR left the technology). Stats are dynamically poor and have no bass dynamics. ML keeps trying and failing to integrate subwoofers in to their panels and it just doesn't work...it would make more sense to use a sub. I believe ML has finally given up on the integrated woofer - or will soon to copy Quad. In fact most classical only lovers seem to love Quad so I'm a little surprised you would go with any boxed speaker design. Stats are faster.

    You are correct that the Standmounts greatest liability, and it's one all standmounts I have ever heard has, is deep bass. Bass adds a structure to the rest of the audible band that when it's missing can seem light weight. Big expensive floorstanders have to be top notch because while it adds that weight it often adds annoying resonances or sounds simply terrible in smaller apartment sized rooms.

    Which is why Woochifer touts subwoofers. The best place for the midrange and treble is not necessarily the best place for bass. So you pull your speaker 3 feet from a wall and the bass is fine but now you lose out, possibly, on the higher frequencies. Two subwoofers placed very well handles the issue of stereo imaging and most quality subwofers will create more depth than any floorstander for sane money. It is also tue that a subwoofer creates a 3-way system. However the end user has much much more control of the sound. Trouble is I have never heard a truly good system with subwoofers because 98% of the world does not know how to set it up properly and the Behringer site for the novice is awfully bloody hard to understand. With a lot of work on the buyer's behalf it can be done but it's work. I always hear the handoff between sub and speaker though - presumably if that was solved then for about 4k you should be able to get a totally full range system of supreme sound quality. Perhaps you have knowledge of the ultimate subwoofer out there.

    It's fine for a compnay to get credit for invention, it is also true that much of the time someone else will come along and improve upon the great idea. And if AR invented Acoustic suspension then I tip my hat to AR.
  • 02-04-2004, 05:27 AM
    Whenever I go to a live concert, I am constantly amazed at how much bass there is compared to what most home sound reproduction systems put out. I don' t know if the people who design equipment are deaf or they just test it in an anechoic chamber, sign it off and ship it out. Any sound system which cannot reproduce deep bass is not high fidelity in my book. The tone of an orchestra, the power of the low register instruments themselves including pipe organs, pianos, cellos is lost without bass. So is the rhythm. One test I listen for whenever I hear a new speaker if I have the opportunity is for plucked double basses and cellos accompanying other instruments. If you can't feel them, you aren't getting anything like what a real orchestra sounds like and this is a very common compositional technique so it isn't something that you rarely hear. I think this is one criteria acousticians use for judging concert halls as well. Bass reinforcement is critical to any good hall.

    One problem with using a separate subwoofer is that unless it is physically close to the speaker it is used with, there will be major cancellations and reinforcements in the frequency range where the their frequency response transition occurs. This translates into major peaks and dips in frequency response in that region which is very annoying to listen to. Booming resonances on some notes and nothing audible on others. Therefore the designer who builds the subwoofer into the rest of his speaker system can optimally integrate it. If I were contemplating a subwoofer, I would buy two and use them as stands for the main speakers.

    I don't know much about the current market for subwoofers. Possibly the first subwoofer was the monster used in the Infinity Servo Static I. If there is a clone of it or at least something in the same vein, I'd guess it is a Velodyne servo conrolled 15" woofer. That's where I would start.

    Among other inventions, AR invented the dome tweeter and ferrofluid cooling. This allowed the design of small drivers that could handle a lot of power and hence produce high volume without distortion and yet have a very wide dispersion up to a high frequency when compared with all of the available alternatives such as horns or conventional cones. Yet when compared to the dispersion of woofers and midranges, even the best tweeters are relatively directional especially in the highest octave where directional cues are so important for stereo reproduction (what some people call imaging or sound staging I suppose.) Anyone doubting this should look at polar responses of speakers as a function of frequency. They all tell the same story to one degree or another which is one of nearly omnidirectional dispersion at low and mid frequencies and increasingly limited dispersion as the frequency goes up. The solution to the problem of early reflections of low and mid frequencies but not high frequencies has been to pull the speakers away from the back wall, use sound absorbing material on the back wall, or add more indirect firing tweeters. This last method allows the speaker to be placed close to the wall where bass reinforcement is much greater. Don't tell pctower that an indirect firing tweeter is no good. He might just wind up throwing out his prized Vandersteen Vs. Likewise owners of Snell AIIIi and Revel Salon. (I've added 3 to each of my AR9s and KLH 6s. Still haven't figured out how to fix the (original)Bose 901s yet. That's a tough nut to crack.) I don't belive Acoustic Research ever used an indirect firing tweeter in any of its models.
  • 02-04-2004, 03:14 PM
    You sound like you are personally modifying the AR9. You can add these drivers to most any speaker if you want to.

    You also are not truly being realistic. To condemn speakers for not having enough bass is fine when money is no object but the reality is that good bass(not just a lot of it) costs a tremendous amount of money - for CURRENT loudspeakers. The trade-off is so obvious when you hear any big line of speakers the little Standmount is far faster sounding with the trade-off being that no a double bass and organ is not going to have justice done...though some will at least allude to the fact that it's there.

    Trouble is A LOT of speakers that can do those Organ and double basses are slugs in the midrange and some have annoying metal tweeters that zing up and completely ruin violins. Directionality means a smaller sweetspot which is not the worst thing in the world...proper system set-up can fix that up.

    Your assessment of SUbs is the same as my assessment...the best ones are the ones that are built specifically for the standmount like the Gershman Acoustics Sub 1 for the X1 and I suppose the Wilson Puppy for the Watt(never heard the combo).

    If you're a big organ music fan then I can certainly see where you're coming from...you're going to need a considerable speaker - and if you're looking at the current speakers on the market - and let's be fair and compare STOCK speakers then what currently as a stock speaker would you buy.

    The AR9 as a stoick speaker apparently had phase problems and was considered pretty average...you fixed them up.

    But this does not help current buyers looking for speakers. Most view the Quads as best for classical music as stock speakers - The 63 to me is overpriced dynamically and bass void but they seem to be greatly loved and have lasted forever so maybe they're built for the small British apartments and strictly chamber and light ensemble stuff.
  • 11-04-2006, 12:41 PM
    Surely you forget the best speaker ever made on the top 10 list
    Griffin Electronics type 85
    Tri Amplified with electronic crossovers.
    Actively damped bass driver.
    And all from 1975-1983.
  • 11-04-2006, 02:20 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Huzzah for the BBC LS3/5A.
  • 11-04-2006, 03:29 PM
    JoeE SP9

    Originally Posted by RGA
    It would be nice if one speaker could produce it all from a ONE-WAY.

    That's very easy to do. Just buy some fullrange ESL's.:ihih:
  • 11-05-2006, 02:38 AM
    Is there a reason that a thread that ended in 2004 is being dug up? Joe I can afford almost any panel going past or present -- I disagree with your conclusion -- generally speking the ESL needs to be gigantic -- and few rooms can support them adequately. Which is one reason I have avoided them. Most of the smaller ones like Martin Logan realize the problem and have put conventional woofers in to try and compensate for the big problems that stats have in the bass and dynamics region. But in my listening ML has created more problems than they have solved and I would still prefer to listen to the Quads. The 989 is the smallest best panel I have heard. And a number of boxed speakers I have heard still do dynamics, bass drive and pressure better. Quads do the holographic imaging and some of the unrelated to music but "audiophile" stuff much better than most. The 989 is the only one I have heard that I think I could live with long term -- but it isn't my first choice.
  • 11-05-2006, 09:26 AM
    ya, i hate it when noobies dig up old threads just to make a stupid comment... pisses me off, but i have to admit, it was fun reading this...
  • 11-05-2006, 05:56 PM
    JoeE SP9
    With more than 700 posts I don't think I'm a newbie. My comment was made in jest. I am well aware of RGA's approach to gear. I don't own boxes and never will. Currently I'm trying to decide between some new Apogee's and a Cayman. However, I've got a lead on some Acoustat 6's and may buy them and the car!:ihih:
  • 11-05-2006, 07:51 PM
    Hey Joe, you've been contemplating that Apogee for a while now. I cant believe some of the price I see on Agon too. $5000 for Apogee Grand? They'll just take up my space though...

    I think the Dude was talking about this newbie named Barney.

    BTW, are you gonna buy that CTI shirt?

    Best wishes.
  • 11-06-2006, 07:02 AM
    JoeE SP9

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Hey Joe, you've been contemplating that Apogee for a while now. I cant believe some of the price I see on Agon too. $5000 for Apogee Grand? They'll just take up my space though...

    I think the Dude was talking about this newbie named Barney.

    BTW, are you gonna buy that CTI shirt?

    Best wishes.

    Every time I pass a Porsche dealer my head gets twisted around! After all, I am also a gear head. Where did you see Apogee Grand's for $5k? They don't take up much floor space though do tend to dominate a room. My thinking is that if I have Apogee's for fronts the need/desire for them in the rear will take over. Besides buying two pair of speakers I would have to change all my power amps! When I look at things from that perspective the Cayman looks more and more inviting. It's a definite yes on the shirt. I'll dig out some plastic today and go for it. I usually don't buy anything from ebay but a t-shirt is no real expense.:ihih:
  • 11-11-2006, 06:44 AM
    Not one entry from James B. Lansing is a joke. The 42xx/43xx/L100 series monitors
    blow away almost everything on that list, and did'nt mention any of the horn stuff
    or the later, and seriously Rock'n 4410/12's with Ti tweeter's. No late 70's Pioneer
    HPM stuff with giant voice coil, carbon cones, ribbon tweeters, except for the
    NS1000, all the other stuff is "east coast" sound stuff. "West coast" sounding
    speakers, or, lets face it, JBL's, or loud monitors, never get there due respect. Until,
    you buy them, and use them.
  • 11-11-2006, 07:39 AM

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Where did you see Apogee Grand's for $5k? .:ihih:

    Oops. I have totally forgot about this post. I made a mistake, what I mean to say was Diva. Grand for $5k? Not a chance. I would even buy it for $70k in a heart beat.

  • 11-11-2006, 09:53 AM
    Perhaps I'm missing something here. A decent audiophile quality sub costs about $1,000 and up, you really should use two, it sounds better.

    Now to keep it relative, good audiophile speakers start at about $5,000. Yes I know there are many quite decent speakers for less, but to get that hard to define elegance you need to spend near that amount or more not counting good electronics and cables to run the things.

    So as to what I'm missing why can't those same 5K and up speakers deliver kick ass bass? Adding a grand per speaker to the expensive models almost gets lost in the pricing, worse a sub added to an exisiting cabinet should have some savings from reduced duplication of box, feet, connectors etc.

    My friend and I designed our own 3 way. Using a Scanspeak 10" woofer with an Fs of 19.5 Hz (better than many sub woofers) we get honest bass to 20 Hz. The driver is under $200 retail, I'm sure it's less for OEMs. Like all speakers that deliver decent bass cabinet sizes go up, you can't get there from here with small boxes. Those tiny subs with slope or servo correction and massive amps just don't seem to end up sounding very musical.

    My point is that good bass can be done especially at the 5K and up price points. One big problem (pun intended) is the size of the damn things.
  • 11-11-2006, 10:17 AM
    The biggest problem I hear and read all the time is that, if speakers can't play Classical music superbly, it's not considered audiophile speakers. I'm not obsessed with that word "Audiophile" at all, but kinda shytty how designers focus alot on Classical and Acoustic music.
  • 11-11-2006, 11:50 AM
    First when I read the subject line to this post, said to myself this is a good post to read and clicked on it. But when I saw who posted it, quickly realized it was me 2-1/2 years ago......LOL http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...s/rotflmao.gif

    Still a good [old and new] read though :)
  • 11-11-2006, 12:20 PM

    Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    The biggest problem I hear and read all the time is that, if speakers can't play Classical music superbly, it's not considered audiophile speakers. I'm not obsessed with that word "Audiophile" at all, but kinda shytty how designers focus alot on Classical and Acoustic music.

    Classical music seems to be the hardest to reproduce accurately. What I mean by accurate is that it has a much wider dynamic range than most other music, it uses practically every instrument ever invented and it often plays all of them at once which makes any HiFi system work very hard and thereby shows up weaknesses in that system

    It's not the musical content but the technical difficulty of playing classical music well that I think makes it a choice for many reveiwers.
  • 11-12-2006, 05:52 AM
    Actually classical music is limited. A synthesizer covers more frequency response at limitless permutations of dynamics. So technically the best thing to illustrate technical perfomance would be a sysnthesizer and NOT classical music.

    Having said that the real reason classical is used is because we have a known reference of what instruments sound like such as piano or vilin whereas we have far less with an electric guitar player running through an amplified set-up.

    Having said that all music coming from a stereo is in the end AMPLIFIED. So the classical music guros argue bogus condemnation of rock and pop and folk classical and often even Jazz.

    The bottom line is that no electrostat no matter how expensive sounds like a Horn loudspeaker (at even more money). What is better? The K-Horn has been selling for more than 40 years and no it's not perfect but yes it is very good -- the question is the three things that it does better by a MILE than any panel can offer up more important to you than three things that a good panel can do that the K-horn can't.

    Looking around and see which companies went belly up and how many HE/Tube set-ups there are and how many panel makers are around and it is clear that both have a great deal of supporters. Which is why Quad and Klipsch are still selling.