Recommended speakers for classical music

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JackD201

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #60 on: 14 Jul 2009, 08:04 pm »
Isn't it ironic Paul and JLM?  Classical music in the hall really is anything but image specific yet the night and day difference Paul mentioned had the 804s doing better precisely in that area. 804s aren't exactly dynamos even when strapped with a kilowatt of juice anyway. So there lies the rub. The FTs are probably closer to the real thing in presentation than the 804s. What I mean is, dynamics aside, the FTs would sound closer to the live venue while the 804s would sound closer to the engineer's workstation. That is B&Ws heritage anyway particularly the Matrix 800 series since their claim to fame was their predominant use as studio monitors for classical music.

So could it be that Paul simply prefers the engineer's perspective over the audience's perspective. Maybe so and  if that is the case there's nothing wrong with that at all.

As for dynamic range I'd have to rank speaker types in this descending order PROVIDED each is properly powered up. Stats, True Ribbons and Magnetostats, Dynamic and Horn arrays.  Obviously OBs and Single drivers are lumped together under Dynamics since well, that's what they are variants of even when fitted with back or back folded horns.

In my experience with the maggies I've owned (I started with SMGcs and ended my love affair with 1.6QRs), they definitely throw huge soundstages due to the panel surface areas and the fact that they were dipoles. This handles the ambience part but sorry to say dynamically even when driven with monster amps even the largest examples like the big soundlabs and the MG20 can't touch a competently designed and built dynamic loudspeaker with at least a pair of 9" woofers per side when it comes to impact. Larger wave launch from a larger surface area doesn't take into account excursion. Stats and ribbons are tensioned. As power increases the points of tension send ripples back through the membranes. Kind of like mechanical feedback. This is in fact the cause of those nasty impedance dips. The amps have to work extra hard to damp the drivers. Beyond a certain point they don't get louder. They just compress. Again all of this is fine if one is happy living within a narrow dynamic envelope. Classical music however does not. I'm not knocking Maggies. I've owned and loved them but when I got into large scale classical music they just had to go.

My minimum requirement then would be good off axis response for that feeling of space and motion. Because good off axis response means I can set them farther apart without having a hole in the middle and without having to toe in aggressively. With that as a precondition I could easily enjoy a loudspeaker with an FR as narrow as 16k to 60Hz. Right now I'm measuring from 45k to 16Hz with a mild boost at 25Hz and a self induced 2dB dip at 2k with a total of 1.3kW and still I consider myself far from being in a good seat in a good hall.

My only consolation is that I can get my classical fix when I need it and that it doesn't matter if my favorite conductors and soloists are now playing in heaven instead of here on earth. Besides right now I'm pretty happy with the fix I'm getting. That's all that matters anyway right?

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #61 on: 14 Jul 2009, 08:51 pm »
I find I can listen through speakers pretty well. What sensitivity are your speakers Jack?

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #62 on: 15 Jul 2009, 02:42 am »
Jack I tend to agree with your reasonable arguments that a truly accurate speaker should play most if not all kinds of music well.  Second, I grow to realize that I may have to live with more than one system to satisfy my tastes, which vary depending on different moods and occasions.

JackD201

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #63 on: 15 Jul 2009, 03:29 am »
94dB at 2.83V Browntrout so that would be 91dB at 1w/m.

Paul, I know what you mean. In my case it's not that my main system isn't satisfying but other system configurations have charms that I just can't resist. My wife is just glad that my fickleness is confined to audio and not women!  :lol:

I'm very much into systems that can blow paint off walls but I'm also a self confessed SET addict and have a mini system based on monitors (89dB) and a chinese made 300B integrated and one based on medium high sensitivity ribbon cone hybrids (95dB flat 4ohms) with DIY Audio Note 2a3 Paralleled monoblocks. If I had audio funds left and the space those monitors with my 1956 WE 300Bs would have been replaced by a Feastrex based BHL by now and I'd probably have a 45 SET amp too. Fast, Smooth and Dynamic are all great but there are just days as you say that your mood makes you go for creamy and decadent :lol:

Such is the world of compromises then. Changing flavors for me keeps listening fresh. A reason I rotate between phono cartridges as well. As you might have noticed, I gave up on the Grail Quest a long time ago and just decided to enjoy systems based on what they do best and not focus on what they can't do. For as long as a system does no harm chances are I'll enjoy it.

Cheers!

Quiet Earth

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #64 on: 15 Jul 2009, 02:53 pm »

. . . . enjoy systems based on what they do best and not focus on what they can't do.


And there lies the intent of the original post. It seems like a fair enough question to me now.

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #65 on: 15 Jul 2009, 02:57 pm »
So you have 1300 Watts going through 91db speakers.  :lol: I have 13 watts going through 93db speakers. So 13 times two equals 26 then that times two gives 52. So I have the equivalent of 52 Watts going through 91db speakers against your 1300 Watts..... some twenty five times the effective power.. :surrender:

JackD201

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #66 on: 15 Jul 2009, 04:22 pm »
Well not exactly Browntrout. I have a bit over 300wpc going in for the 2 ribbons (1 front firing and 1 rear firing), 1 tweeter, i midrange and 2 9" midbass woofers but behind my speakers are built-in 15" woofers with 1kW plate amps. If I were to use full boost (which I don't) sensitivity rises to 96dB for every watt that comes out of the main amplifiers. Sensitivity can be deceiving really because while my little SETs can definitely do 91dB at 1 meter with my main speakers, it's not a good sounding 91dB since there is no control in the bass region unlike some horn designs I've heard that are punchy and tight with the same power and sensitivity.

Crossovers really do eat up a lot of juice I guess and my speakers have 10s of fist sized caps and air core inductors one could get a good workout with. The horn systems I've heard normally have nothing but blocking caps. The trade off I was willing to make in exchange for REAL sensitivity is seamless driver transition and phase response. I'm very sensitive to phase shifts and by some stroke of bad luck my tinnitus sums at the frequency range where most tweeters and woofers crossover narrowing my choice of speakers greatly. Hence despite my love for SETs horns are out. Add to that that I love large scale works and stats and single drivers were out as well. I had to hunt high and low for speakers that have very low crossover distortion and can play both delicately and brashly when needed. Jeez. It's been a long trek but worth it all in all. I don't want to say it's all been worth it in the END, but I am hoping the bug doesn't bite me anymore at least for the big rig.

I still think however that I will continue to build and tinker with systems more adept to less demanding music just because it's fun and affordable play. My next project costs less than a pair of some interconnects. A pair of Duevel Planets, a Virtue 2 and an airport express. My first Omnis, I'm excited!  :thumb:

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #67 on: 16 Jul 2009, 05:54 pm »
Sounds like a nice tailor made set of speakers. I've been thinking that making your own speakers is the way to go for some time. Sorry to hear you suffer from tinnitus that must be very frustrating.

  How is Paul doing? Have you made any progress as to identifying what you want to do with your stereo?

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #68 on: 16 Jul 2009, 07:19 pm »
Still undecided although I've been keeping my eyes on OB speakers (Orions, Emerald Physics 2.3).  For now I just enjoy my FTA-2000s.

JLM

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #69 on: 5 Aug 2009, 08:11 pm »
Going from a SD MLTL design to multiple driver OB is pretty extreme.  Compared to SD, multiple driver OB create a non-coherent and diffused wall of dynamic sound.  Seems like you're really itching for a change. 

BTW I got the Behringer DEQ2496 back from Scott Endler after mods and am starting to play with it.  His work (to clean up the DAC) sounds great.  It digs out more detail and with it better imaging, deeper bass, treble is extended; all without ruining some of my favorite music that is on just average recordings.  My next move will be getting the F200A drivers "Purvinized".  Eventually I'd like to replace my transport (Oppo), but that's about all I see needing to be done.

Duke

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #70 on: 6 Aug 2009, 12:11 am »
Quiet Earth asked,  "...why does classical music require a special type of speaker?"  This has since been answered to his satisfaction, but in the name of redundancy and in the spirit of leaving no dead horse unbeaten, here's my $.02:

Loudspeaker limitations that are tolerable or even unnoticeable on other types of music are more likely to be intolerable on classical.  So it's not so much that special speakers are required for classical; rather, it's that less-special speakers are acceptable on most other types of music.

S Clark

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #71 on: 6 Aug 2009, 12:30 am »
Still undecided although I've been keeping my eyes on OB speakers (Orions, Emerald Physics 2.3).  For now I just enjoy my FTA-2000s.

You might read what one of our fellow AC members had to say when comparing his Orions to Danny Richie's newest OB the V-1.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=70370.0

Quiet Earth

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #72 on: 6 Aug 2009, 03:15 am »
Quiet Earth asked,  "...why does classical music require a special type of speaker?"  This has since been answered to his satisfaction,

Well,,,,, sort of, I guess. No, not really.  :wink:

Loudspeaker limitations that are tolerable or even unnoticeable on other types of music are more likely to be intolerable on classical.  So it's not so much that special speakers are required for classical; rather, it's that less-special speakers are acceptable on most other types of music.

This may very well be a large piece of the puzzle....... I like it.

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #73 on: 30 Oct 2009, 07:24 pm »
At this point and considering my space (2nd floor, not large enough), I've narrowed my choice to the Plutos.  Just so you know.

BTW, I looked at GR web site but didn't see the V1 mentioned anywhere.  Am I missing something?

etcarroll

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #74 on: 23 Jan 2010, 08:07 pm »
Loudspeaker limitations that are tolerable or even unnoticeable on other types of music are more likely to be intolerable on classical.  So it's not so much that special speakers are required for classical; rather, it's that less-special speakers are acceptable on most other types of music.

Well said!

As a classical noob I'm awaiting a pair of Onix Ref 3s that are having their xovers upgraded with the Danny Richie inspired xovers Sean Parque now provides under the guise 'Skying Ninja'. These will be meant for 2 channel listening, and I have a dozen EMI Classics recordings to throw at them.

Tyson

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #75 on: 23 Jan 2010, 09:34 pm »
Classical music is so hard to do right right, because violins are more demanding than female vocals.  You think female vocals get irritating on the wrong speakers?  Try listening to Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin for more than an hour.  Ditto for flute and any other wind instrument.  If the speakers are not smooth, then it becomes irritating to listen to.  And, since classical music (unlike pop and rock) is recorded in real space, so imaging is also critical.  And, because of it's complexity, you might have one group of instruments playing softly at the same time a different group of instruments is playing loudly, but it is important to hear both.  That means imaging, macrodynamics, and microdynamics all have to be first rate to really "get" the music.  That is VERY hard to do.  I've heard only a few systems capable of doing it well - the fully active VMPS RM40's, the Hansen "Kings", the old Dunlavy SC-IV and the SC-V, the Bryston/PMC BB5-XBD, my DIY active Ella speakers, very few others.  Pop and Jazz are much, much easier to do well, but classical is a real b!tch because of all the things that have to be good or great in the speakers' presentation.

Bear

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #76 on: 23 Jan 2010, 10:26 pm »
At this point and considering my space (2nd floor, not large enough), I've narrowed my choice to the Plutos.  Just so you know.

BTW, I looked at GR web site but didn't see the V1 mentioned anywhere.  Am I missing something?

Here is a link to thread about GR Research Super V open baffle w/servo subs.
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=73597.0

etcarroll

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #77 on: 24 Jan 2010, 07:34 pm »
That's my fear. Even after getting the speakers, I'm afraid it will lead to a chain reaction of upgrading everything else in the signal path. Ah well........

Classical music is so hard to do right right, because violins are more demanding than female vocals.  You think female vocals get irritating on the wrong speakers?  Try listening to Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin for more than an hour.  Ditto for flute and any other wind instrument.  If the speakers are not smooth, then it becomes irritating to listen to.  And, since classical music (unlike pop and rock) is recorded in real space, so imaging is also critical.  And, because of it's complexity, you might have one group of instruments playing softly at the same time a different group of instruments is playing loudly, but it is important to hear both.  That means imaging, macrodynamics, and microdynamics all have to be first rate to really "get" the music.  That is VERY hard to do.  I've heard only a few systems capable of doing it well - the fully active VMPS RM40's, the Hansen "Kings", the old Dunlavy SC-IV and the SC-V, the Bryston/PMC BB5-XBD, my DIY active Ella speakers, very few others.  Pop and Jazz are much, much easier to do well, but classical is a real b!tch because of all the things that have to be good or great in the speakers' presentation.

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #78 on: 24 Jan 2010, 08:26 pm »
Forget about speakers.  Get headphones instead.  Much cheaper to do. :wink:

jndstewart

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #79 on: 24 Jan 2010, 10:18 pm »
I think I just found my "ultimate" speaker, as we are about ready to retire and the audiophile budget will be severely limited. You don't see a lot of reviews on these, although soundstage has a fairly good review. They are simply amazing for filling a large room with sound, dynamic range, and presence. Check out the Verity Parsifal Encores. They are made in Quebec, and the company is very customer friendly. They do like power, and any tubes in the system seem to enhance the presentation.