Recommended speakers for classical music

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Tyson

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #20 on: 17 Jun 2009, 04:17 am »
Yep, it's all about tone and dynamics (along with spacious imaging) with classical.  Take it from a classical music nut ;)

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #21 on: 17 Jun 2009, 06:52 am »
What I was assuming from the original post was that his stereo sounds good with between one and say around twenty people playing but sounds not so good with between one and a hundred people playing/singing.
  As much as it could be his speakers it could also be his cd player, if he were to audition a better cd player I think it couold be possible that the improved resolving ability will let the orchestra and choirs sing through his speakers as well as a small jazz band.
  It is only a suggestion mind you, I don't have any experience with his equipment. :D

woodsyi

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #22 on: 17 Jun 2009, 01:17 pm »
I have not heard those Maggies but I would think any panel speakers are going to need some good old woofer help in the first octave.

I haven't heard the ones in the picture either, but whether or not someone will want to supplement the bottom end will depend on room placement and personal taste.

But for classical music, symphony and large orchestra, even without supplementary bass Magnepans have no equal.  The smallest Magnepan has the equivalent 72 one-inch dome tweeters and 9 eight-inch woofers! Conventional speakers simply cannot convey the same realism of the bigger maggies when it comes to large scale music.

I have over 300 classical discs that I rarely listen to.  If I had maggies, that would probably change.  In fact there was only one time I was impressed listening to a recording of classical music.  That was through a 6' tall pair of maggies many years ago.

Sound Labs are pretty big panels too.  They do great job with Baroque but they need the subs for big symphonies.  But then it's probably just me being obsessed with bass.  I like the visceral bass to be there if the recording has it.  Tight bass is like the foundation upon which a house is built.  You can't get clear highs if the bass isn't there to balance it.  Just to give you an idea, I have added 4 subwoofers totaling 6 big drivers (2 18", 2 15" and 2 12") to augment my pair of RM 40 (sames as Tyson) which already has 4 10" woofers.  So, IMO, panels need subwoofers.  :wink:

Scottdazzle

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #23 on: 17 Jun 2009, 01:56 pm »
I seriously considered Magnepans before buying VMPS.  The Magnepans bass does not have the impact and power of good dynamic woofers, IMHO. The Magnepans played the notes, but without the punch of live music. VMPS speakers have ribbon tweeters and planar mids that provide the advantages of Magnepans, but add the missing dimension.  The size of the planar area is a bit misleading because the Maggies don't move as much air as dynamic drivers of the same size.

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #24 on: 17 Jun 2009, 02:08 pm »
Sound Labs are pretty big panels too.  They do great job with Baroque but they need the subs for big symphonies.  But then it's probably just me being obsessed with bass.  I like the visceral bass to be there if the recording has it.  Tight bass is like the foundation upon which a house is built.  You can't get clear highs if the bass isn't there to balance it.  Just to give you an idea, I have added 4 subwoofers totaling 6 big drivers (2 18", 2 15" and 2 12") to augment my pair of RM 40 (sames as Tyson) which already has 4 10" woofers.  So, IMO, panels need subwoofers.  :wink:

No matter how big the panels, I find electrostats don't sound like big speakers.  I suspect that is because of the very directional wave propagation unique to electrostats.

JLM

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #25 on: 17 Jun 2009, 02:24 pm »
How big is your room?  How loud do you listen?  What kind of classical music do you have compliant about?  Is this just an itch to get new toys? 

As you know Paul, I have the original pair of FTA-2000s.  They are driven in a nearfield setup by similar chip amps to yours in a 8ft x 13ft x 22ft room.  I'm still a proud papa and in fact am scheduled to have the drivers "EnABLE'd" by Bud Purvine himself.  Bud has stated that these AlNiCo drivers are perhaps the most accurate in the world.  But I acknowledge the itch to get sexier speakers versus staring at those plain 8 inch drivers.

For readers not familiar with the FTA-2000s google Bob Brines.  Bob's taste runs towards the Baroque so they're great for all kinds of smaller ensembles, they reach below 30 Hz (even the raw driver is factory rated flat to 30 Hz), and the rated peak output in my room/setup is 109 dB. 

To go from the ideal point source to a planar or vertical array would be a big change (and IMO a big step backwards) in terms of detail and the type of imaging you'd hear.  Your speakers are transmission lines, so the bass is tight/low/musical with roll off matching room gain and doesn't have any boxy artifacts in the midrange.  But the smaller VMPS speakers with one (or maybe two) ribbon midrange drivers, with their extended frequency range, provide much of coherency of single driver designs.  So one of my favorite multi-driver designs is the VMPS 626.  With all the options and stands they cost about the same as the FTA-2000s, but would need a good sub, active crossover, and multiple amps to match up. 

I've noticed that orchestral or symphonic music lacks individual/separated sound sources through the FTA-2000s.  This could be a factor of the recording/mixing methods used or just a comparision to the smaller ensembles.  I know that when I attend such live presentation (not often enough) that I can't hear individual performers either, no matter how close I sit or how hard I've tried (with the visual cues to help).

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #26 on: 17 Jun 2009, 02:27 pm »
I seriously considered Magnepans before buying VMPS.  The Magnepans bass does not have the impact and power of good dynamic woofers, IMHO. The Magnepans played the notes, but without the punch of live music.

As for punch, with Maggies, the choice of amplification is critical.  They work best with powerful SS amps that are at home with a low impedance load.  The bass is different, but all die hard OB fanatics say that OB bass is more realistic.  It really comes down to taste, which is a very personal thing.

As for air movement, conventional speakers don't move as much air as a Maggies do in the sense of area.  No matter what the Xmax, a conventional driver will sound small in comparison to a panel (electrostats being the exception).

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #27 on: 17 Jun 2009, 02:37 pm »
To go from the ideal point source to a planar or vertical array would be a big change (and IMO a big step backwards) in terms of detail and the type of imaging you'd hear. 

Not at all.  I've owned a number of single driver speaker systems over the years and the point source premise is over blown hype bordering on myth.  Source and amplification have a lot more to do with imaging and detail than speaker design.  My current 3 way system is far more detailed than any dynamic single driver system I've owned or heard.

Hogg

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #28 on: 19 Jun 2009, 02:19 am »



Don't over look the big Tannoys.  They're awesome with clasical music; great tone, dynamics and sound stage.

                                                                       Jim

Art_Chicago

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #29 on: 19 Jun 2009, 04:09 pm »
well, last time I heard Tannoy was some 15 years ago-- large Sterlings or something like that. I thought that the upper midrange was coloured all right, like they had a hump in SPL. hope the current speakers do not sound like the old ones.

mozartrules

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Another vote for the Orions
« Reply #30 on: 28 Jun 2009, 01:56 am »
I listen 90% to classical. Mostly Bach-Mozart so I have less large orchestral music though I do like Wagner.

I bought new speakers last year and the final choice was between the Orions and my eventual choice Quad 2805. The Quad sounds better a low volume but is much weaker in the bass and playing loud (two things I cannot use in a one bedroom apartment) and the Orion is a superior general purpose speaker. The relatively small size and flexibility color even gives it decent WAF, they are even small and light enough to move if practical considerations means that you cannot have them at the optimal position all the time.

I invited myself to hear the Orions at a fellow NYC resident who was using the ATI with a CJ tube preamp. They sounded great (the only demo I have had that was better was Jeff Joseph playing Satchmo St James Infirmery when the Pearls first came out) and are my recommendation to people looking for speakers in the 5-10k range.

Art_Chicago

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #31 on: 28 Jun 2009, 04:22 pm »
I listen 90% to classical. Mostly Bach-Mozart so I have less large orchestral music though I do like Wagner.

I bought new speakers last year and the final choice was between the Orions and my eventual choice Quad 2805. The Quad sounds better a low volume but is much weaker in the bass and playing loud (two things I cannot use in a one bedroom apartment) and the Orion is a superior general purpose speaker. The relatively small size and flexibility color even gives it decent WAF, they are even small and light enough to move if practical considerations means that you cannot have them at the optimal position all the time.

I invited myself to hear the Orions at a fellow NYC resident who was using the ATI with a CJ tube preamp. They sounded great (the only demo I have had that was better was Jeff Joseph playing Satchmo St James Infirmery when the Pearls first came out) and are my recommendation to people looking for speakers in the 5-10k range.

Hey, mozartrules! I like your nick. I also listen to Bach and occasionally Mozart. I would strongly recommend to audution Salk speakers that have a clarity similar to Quads but also have a great punch. There are a few guys from NYC; they can be found on the Salk forum (AC).
What performers for Bach and Mozart do you prefer?
Art

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #32 on: 28 Jun 2009, 04:56 pm »

I've had similar experiences with single driver speakers, I loved mine (Cain & Cain Abbys, probably under-driven with a 2A3 amp) but I went back to bi-amped boxes.   I do believe that single drivers just can't handle larger forces.  Horns are a different and more complicated beast, so you could have it all  - with a significant increase in size and expense. 


Hi Gregg,

So you know what I am talking about.  I too had the Abbys in my room for several weeks before they went to my nephew the eventual buyer - the last Terry sent them to me first.

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #33 on: 28 Jun 2009, 05:42 pm »
What I was assuming from the original post was that his stereo sounds good with between one and say around twenty people playing but sounds not so good with between one and a hundred people playing/singing.
  As much as it could be his speakers it could also be his cd player, if he were to audition a better cd player I think it couold be possible that the improved resolving ability will let the orchestra and choirs sing through his speakers as well as a small jazz band.
  It is only a suggestion mind you, I don't have any experience with his equipment. :D

Hi Browntrout,

Sorry I didn't mention the sources.  I'm using (not today, it's over 100 degrees in South Bay Area this weekend) RWA SB2 as transport, Altmann's DAC (both running off battery power), SinglePower MPX3 tube pre (fully ugraded), and AudioSector Patek SE amp.

Although I don't think the "issue" is with my sources, and I do think it's the speakers, since I haven't tried and verified it, I will be considering a test to isolate the "problem".

And what's the "issue" again?  Recently, and especially after I upgraded the BSC filters inside the FTA-2000s, my interest in and even love for jazz music has grown day by day.  Nat King Cole, Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Eileen Farrell, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Amstrong, Jane Monheit, you name it, that all sing and sound lovely reproduced by the setup.  The trace of glare in the upper treble has gone, midrange and mid-bass sound warm and pleasantly like ever, bass is cleaner and stouter.  Overall, a very musically warm and decently detailed that most fits jazz music.  I am a convert now.

OK, "What's the problem?", you'd say.  The thing is, a music lover friend let me hear his B&W 804S driven by Shanling STP-80 integrated tube amp and a decent Rotel CD player, and the difference was like night and day.  OK, I exaggerated a bit, but you get the point.  For instance, play track #2 of The Fairfield Four's I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray "These Bones", the 804S threw a somewhat brighter but higher image of the main bass vocal soloist in front of the right speaker (left from the listener's view) while the vocal background group stayed behind the left side.  The FTA-2000s, on the other hand, displayed a warmer and bigger, more extended downward image of the same bass solo voice.  One major difference was a consistently higher image somewhat more specific, deeper into the wall behind speakers (B&W) versus a warmer, bigger, but lower image, a bit less specific image (FTA-2000s).  Second, instrument details were clearer on the B&W, but frankly I don't have a complaint in this regard when listening to jazz music on the FTA-2000s.  Both setups were not forward, only different, and both he and I enjoyed both.  My only "beef" with the FTA-2000s is that if they could play classicals as well as jazz, but the more I live with them the more I realized that there are better speakers.  My friend, while noticing the less detailed instruments of my setup when comparing with his, really envy me on the superb vocal warmth and overall jazz performance of mine.

Another observation:  He just moved in a new place, so his AC treatment is none.  OTOH, my room and my house AC has been treated with Alan Maher's filters, Hubbell & FIM and Oayde SWO-GX+ outlets.  I am sure his setup will get better if and after he takes care of the likes.

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #34 on: 28 Jun 2009, 05:55 pm »
How big is your room?  How loud do you listen?  What kind of classical music do you have compliant about?  Is this just an itch to get new toys? 

As you know Paul, I have the original pair of FTA-2000s.  They are driven in a nearfield setup by similar chip amps to yours in a 8ft x 13ft x 22ft room.  I'm still a proud papa and in fact am scheduled to have the drivers "EnABLE'd" by Bud Purvine himself.  Bud has stated that these AlNiCo drivers are perhaps the most accurate in the world.  But I acknowledge the itch to get sexier speakers versus staring at those plain 8 inch drivers.

For readers not familiar with the FTA-2000s google Bob Brines.  Bob's taste runs towards the Baroque so they're great for all kinds of smaller ensembles, they reach below 30 Hz (even the raw driver is factory rated flat to 30 Hz), and the rated peak output in my room/setup is 109 dB. 

To go from the ideal point source to a planar or vertical array would be a big change (and IMO a big step backwards) in terms of detail and the type of imaging you'd hear.  Your speakers are transmission lines, so the bass is tight/low/musical with roll off matching room gain and doesn't have any boxy artifacts in the midrange.  But the smaller VMPS speakers with one (or maybe two) ribbon midrange drivers, with their extended frequency range, provide much of coherency of single driver designs.  So one of my favorite multi-driver designs is the VMPS 626.  With all the options and stands they cost about the same as the FTA-2000s, but would need a good sub, active crossover, and multiple amps to match up. 

I've noticed that orchestral or symphonic music lacks individual/separated sound sources through the FTA-2000s.  This could be a factor of the recording/mixing methods used or just a comparision to the smaller ensembles.  I know that when I attend such live presentation (not often enough) that I can't hear individual performers either, no matter how close I sit or how hard I've tried (with the visual cues to help).

Hi Jeff,

Good to hear from you again.  Rather than an itch to get new toys, I've come to this new level of realization of where my taste is.  And actually, I'm getting to know more and love more of my FTA-2000s, learning their strength and weaknesses, something that I didn't see as clearly as before.  The BB FTA-2000s are sounding better than ever, showing me what thay do best (IMHO).

Who knows, I may be wrong.  There might be something wrong with my sources or even the way I treated my AC.  But one thing for sure:  I'll keep learning and keep my mind open.  And yes, I admit it's really itchy to hear music lovers rave about open baffle designs.  Orion, Emerald Physics, etc.

Happy listening!

« Last Edit: 2 Jul 2009, 07:21 pm by Paul_Bui »

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #35 on: 28 Jun 2009, 05:56 pm »



Don't over look the big Tannoys.  They're awesome with clasical music; great tone, dynamics and sound stage.

                                                                       Jim

They look good and sexy to my eyes, Jim.

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #36 on: 28 Jun 2009, 07:09 pm »
Hello Paul_Bui, I just had a quick search for your gear on the net and see that you are using little chip amps, I would like to suggest you ask to borrow your friends integrated valve amp for a weekend and try it in your setup. I'm thinking that it is your chip amps that are the cause of the problem, in that they will, I reckon, struggle with large music like full orchestra. I think these are the weak point in your system not your speakers, at a guess. Cheers, Ben.

Hogg

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #37 on: 2 Jul 2009, 12:57 am »
well, last time I heard Tannoy was some 15 years ago-- large Sterlings or something like that. I thought that the upper midrange was coloured all right, like they had a hump in SPL. hope the current speakers do not sound like the old ones.

Art-Chicago,

     Get thee to a Tannoy dealer in Chicago and have a listen.  The Sterlings were very colored until the HE series, which were launched 10 years ago.

                                                                    Jim

konut

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #38 on: 2 Jul 2009, 01:44 am »
FWIW, may I suggest a different tack? I possess a pair of Omega Aperiodic 8, single driver Visaton B200, used with a contour network to lineralise response. I always felt the network did something strange to the sound that just didn't set right with me. Just recently I got a set of Aether Audio Black Boxes. These have transformed the A8s.  The sound is more precise and even. After I had read that you were using BSC filters, it occurred to me that maybe you could benefit from the BBs as I did. You can read more about them here
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=67559.0
and here
 http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=67787.0

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #39 on: 2 Jul 2009, 07:25 pm »
Jeff,

I received your PM and attempted to PM back but somehow always got an error message from Explorer every time I tried.  Thanks for your message, please keep me informed with your digital EQ and Enable upgrade.  After I upgraded mine to Mundorf caps & Duelund resistors, I like them a lot more.

Happy July 4th!

Paul