Speaker recommendation

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marrduk24

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Speaker recommendation
« on: 2 Jul 2018, 11:03 am »
Jim & other experts

I was hoping you could help me select a speaker from Jim’s lineup.

One of my favorite speakers of all times is Dynaudio C1(platinum). Here are the things I liked about C1:
1. There is a wholeness of their sound, with no particular emphasis of treble, or mids, while at the same time there a solid bass underpinning that. 
2. There is a deep soundstage, with a very revealing sonic signature, neutral, and yet forgiving.

However for our main living room, which is 18’ x 20’, I need something larger. Consumption is 50% movies and 50% music. While for movies we do have a Sub (18” Funk Audio), for music it would be preferred to not use a sub. Music includes R&B, classic rock and a lot of guitar (Gipsy Kings eg).

jsalk

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jul 2018, 01:37 pm »
What is your budget?

If you like the Dynaudio sound, the Song3 BeAT's feature a midrange built by the same family that founded Dynaudio.  It would match your list quite well.

- Jim

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #2 on: 25 Aug 2018, 10:43 am »
Jim

Just getting to it now.

Budget: can go upto 8k

Here is a bit more info on sound I like :

1. A tad bit warm while still having a lot of punch (nothing muddled about it)
2. Vocals (Diana Krall, John Mayer etc) have a level of cleanliness to it
3. Guitar (gipsy kings, Jesse cook) sound airy without being lean
4. Speakers fill a relatively large room (3000 cuft - 16’x20’,10’) even at modest volume and sitting on my sofa (10 ft away from speakers), I feel engulfed by the sound. Key is even at moderate volume.
5. It may be related to my first point above; forgiving of average source (eg high quality Spotify streaming, which isn’t that high quality after all )

Also wondering what’s the difference between Song 3 BEAT and Encore (other than Encore going deep)

What would you recommend? I will be using them 50:50 for music and movies and will have a 18” funk audio sub.


JLM

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #3 on: 25 Aug 2018, 11:32 am »
Wow, seems like you want your cake and eat it too. 

You really can't get very far picking speakers based on the opinions of others.

Wholeness I transcribe as coherency, the seamless integration of all the drivers.  In general the fewer the drivers the better.

Deep soundstage is largely a factor of how much open space you have between/behind the speakers, but by this I infer that you mean 'not forward/in your face' presentation. 

Neutral, yet slightly warm?  Pick your medicine.

Very revealing yet forgiving?  Again pick your poison.

'Lots of punch (nothing muddled about it)' to me means good/clean dynamic response.

'Cleaniness' can mean accurate, detailed, and/or correctly rendered tone.

'Sound airy without being lean'  to me says extended treble response without thin midrange.

Being engulfed by the sound from 10 feet away should be easily attainable.  A balanced performance at lower sound pressure levels (spl) in my experience translates to higher than average efficiency, say starting around 92 dB/w/m and having a (gasp) loudness control. 

For A/V and music use you want highly dynamic speakers that can handle high spls.  For better quality bass performance throughout the room recommend multiple subs (up to 4).


I'm a fan of active speakers, so here goes...

Active mid-field studio monitors should fit your bill quite well (dynamic, coherent, good imaging, balanced tone).  Quality monitors (in/below your price range) would be well into the neutral/revealing end of the spectrum (you'll have to decide if you want to hear the actual recording or not).  These are the very speakers used to make the recordings you listen to, so what could be better?  My choice for you is the JBL 708, well within your budget (spend leftover on more/smaller subs).  They can be 'in your face' and the soundstage width a bit constrained, but adjusting toe-in solves that.  The 708 is just a black box to look at but very well respected and comes from a company that has been in the whole business (designing and building drivers/crossovers/amps, testing facilities, for home and professional use for 70 years).  See my recent review for more information.

DEP14

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #4 on: 25 Aug 2018, 11:38 am »
Warmer with some punch?

Exotica 3

Otherwise, The Song 3 encores are very, very impressive.  Not as warm as the Exotica IMO, not quite as much punch.  But then again, the Exotica 3 has the powered woofer section.

Hydro

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #5 on: 25 Aug 2018, 02:50 pm »
I have a pair of Ht-2TL's that seem to do everything you are asking for. I also have SS-10's but will still listen to the Ht-2's, especially on inferior recordings because they are more forgiving. I know JLM doesn't like MTM style systems but I haven't heard the problems that he mentions with the Ht-2's.

JDoyle

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #6 on: 26 Aug 2018, 04:17 pm »
...Otherwise, The Song 3 encores are very, very impressive.  Not as warm as the Exotica IMO, not quite as much punch.  But then again, the Exotica 3 has the powered woofer section.

I’m very happy with my Encores... to my ears a perfect blend of price vs. performance.  :D

If you can swing it to get to Jim’s place for an audition, that would be best.  :thumb:

~JD

Roninaudio

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #7 on: 26 Aug 2018, 05:46 pm »
In all honesty, I'm not sure how you can make this decision based solely on "reviews".  I had the C1s. You can listen to a lot of speakers including Jim's that may fall short in your experience/opinion. The C1 sets a pretty high bar but not unbeatable as it's your opinion what sounds better.  I since have gone to a floor stander and did well (my opinion of course) and although I have had Salk on my radar, I can't drop any significant $ (much less 8K) on something I have never heard.   I have always liked Dyn and Focal but not sure how you would try and match a C1 sound with a Salk w/o hearing it. Salk makes some great products but having the C1s in the mix as a comparative will bias your decision so which ever model you choose has to be great and somewhat have the "house sound" or qualities you value based on previous experience. Like JDoyle mentioned , see if you can get to the factory or, as when I was looking, there was a gent in Denver who would let me have an audition.  Maybe someone local to you with a Salk?

dB Cooper

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #8 on: 26 Aug 2018, 10:22 pm »
This is one of the 'side effects' of all the audio stores having gone out of business- you could go listen, maybe purchase, return if they didn't sound good in your room... Those were the days. With the Interweb, it's easier to find out what's out there, but harder to find out how it sounds, and this goes double for transducers which have the largest influence on SQ of anything in the system.

Understand completely not wanting to spend $8K on something unheard, even something with as well-deserved a high reputation as the Salk speaks; the different models have different 'signatures'... How to know which is the best fit to you? The only options are: 1) Roll the dice based on intuition or someone whose opinion you trust; 2) Find someone who'll share an audition; 3) Go to a show where Salk is showing. The obvious problem with the last two is, they'll still sound different in your room, but you can get at least some idea as to their presentation.

Within the Salk line, deep soundstage is the easiest pick from your want list: I'd look at one of the smaller Soundscape SS models if they meet your budget (I know they don't fit my C&C budget LOL so I haven't gone pricing).

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #9 on: 27 Aug 2018, 12:54 am »
Jim

Just getting to it now.

Budget: can go upto 8k

Here is a bit more info on sound I like :

1. A tad bit warm while still having a lot of punch (nothing muddled about it)
2. Vocals (Diana Krall, John Mayer etc) have a level of cleanliness to it
3. Guitar (gipsy kings, Jesse cook) sound airy without being lean
4. Speakers fill a relatively large room (3000 cuft - 16’x20’,10’) even at modest volume and sitting on my sofa (10 ft away from speakers), I feel engulfed by the sound. Key is even at moderate volume.
5. It may be related to my first point above; forgiving of average source (eg high quality Spotify streaming, which isn’t that high quality after all )

Also wondering what’s the difference between Song 3 BEAT and Encore (other than Encore going deep)

What would you recommend? I will be using them 50:50 for music and movies and will have a 18” funk audio sub.


PM sent.

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #10 on: 4 Sep 2018, 08:39 pm »
So I got to audition 4 of the speakers on my list
1. Dynaudio contour 60
2. KEF reference 5
3. Paradigm 3F
4. PMC Twenty5.26

i tried all of them with same source gear : Rega CD player and two different integrated amps - Mcintosh and Audio Research VSi75

Overall Paradigm and KEF were my least favourite

1. 3F : it did not feel very clean. Plus my hearing is really sensitive to high notes and I feel I can’t tolerate any level of brightness.
2. KEF: there was nothing obvious missing but somehow it didn’t feel like I got the three elements I was looking for: heft in the bass at low volume, clean & sweet mids and airy top notes

Of PMC Twenty5.26 and Contour 60 there wasn’t a clear winner. I preferred bass and high notes of Contour but midrange of PMC.

One speaker that wasn’t on my list but I loved was PMC MB2. Exactly the sound I wanted - punch in low notes at low volume, really clean mid-range and very smooth highs. However it is never going to pass WAF.

I am trying Foca Sopra next.

I am wondering if based on some of this blabber Jim may be able to suggest something from Salk range.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #11 on: 4 Sep 2018, 10:17 pm »
I would give a listen to Harbeth as well.  Awesome sounding speakers.  They tend to live in the mid range.

Mudslide

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #12 on: 4 Sep 2018, 10:31 pm »
The Salk SS8s seem to fit your requirements exceedingly well.  I'm really surprised they haven't been mentioned.  Hopefully owners will opine on the matter.

http://salksound.com/model.php?model=SoundScape+8

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #13 on: 4 Sep 2018, 10:45 pm »
Yeah SS8 and Song Encore are two speakers I have been reading about.

DEP14

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #14 on: 5 Sep 2018, 02:28 am »
Give me the SS8 mids and highs with the Contour 60 low end... hot damn!

That said, you really might like the Song 3 encore with the AudioTech Midrange... or a powered version if Jim was happening to cook one up.

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #15 on: 5 Sep 2018, 04:22 am »
I believe standard Song 3 Encore Comes with Eton. Has Jim done one with AT previously?

martyo

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #16 on: 5 Sep 2018, 10:37 am »

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #17 on: 5 Sep 2018, 11:31 am »
I am familiar with Song 3 BEAT. I wasn’t sure if Jim has done Encore with  AT. I only ask with DEP14 recommended one.

marrduk24

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Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #18 on: 6 Sep 2018, 09:03 pm »
@jsalk

Jim, if  you are reading this, a couple of questions

1. Have you done Song Encore with Audio Technology midrange before. If so, how does it compare to Eton mid.

2. Have you looked at the new Scandpeak 11” revelator woofer. Wonder how that compares to Satori 9.5”. Whole the drivers are certainly $300 a pop more expensive, seems in roughly the same size cabinet as Encore this driver will go down to F3 of mid 20s too.

jsalk

Re: Speaker recommendation
« Reply #19 on: 7 Sep 2018, 03:31 pm »
@jsalk

Jim, if  you are reading this, a couple of questions

1. Have you done Song Encore with Audio Technology midrange before. If so, how does it compare to Eton mid.

2. Have you looked at the new Scandpeak 11” revelator woofer. Wonder how that compares to Satori 9.5”. Whole the drivers are certainly $300 a pop more expensive, seems in roughly the same size cabinet as Encore this driver will go down to F3 of mid 20s too.

1) We have not done an Encore with the AT midrange.  But it is certainly do-able. The Eton midrange is a bit more detailed than the Audio Technology mid, but slightly less detailed than the Accuton mid used in some of our models. The AT mid is very smooth and a bit more forgiving for poorly recorded/mastered music.  So it comes down to a choice between a more detailed mid where you hear more minute details in the music, and a very smooth midrange with not quite as much detail.

Keep in mind that DEP14 listens loud to a lot of classic rock and prefers a less detailed midrange.  Many of these tracks are poorly recorded/mastered and can be a bit "hot", thus a less detailed mid can be beneficial.

2) We have not evaluated that driver.  The Satori woofers are so good, we really haven't had much incentive to look elsewhere.  In a 3-way design, you want a driver that is well-behaved high enough to cross with the midrange.  So we are very careful in selecting the woofers we use.  We could take a look at it but, like I say, we don't have much incentive to do so unless a customer specifically asks us to look at it.


- Jim