Recommended speakers for classical music

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Paul_Bui

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Recommended speakers for classical music
« on: 14 Jun 2009, 04:36 pm »
I've found out recently that my speakers (and probably my overall setup) is good for listening to jazz music:  warm, tuneful bass, big image of performers when recordings allowed.  But beyond that, listening to classical music is not of the same quality and enjoyment.  I think the current speakers FTA2000s contribute to that character.

Any ideas for a more suitable speaker to classical music?  Thanks in advance.

Tyson

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jun 2009, 04:41 pm »
You really need big speakers, with a lot of drivers, to do justice to classical music, IMO.  The big VMPS speakers are spectacular with classical.  Other's to consider are line arrays (such as from Selah Audio). 

Where in most music you need something capable of reproducing four or five people, in classical you have to reproduce dozens of people playing a variety of instruments.  Scale, tone, subtle dynamic gradations, all are very important, and no small speaker will every get you all the way there. 

PSP

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music = Orions
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jun 2009, 05:06 pm »
Linkwitz Orions... about as close to the real performance as your source will allow.  IME, this is true across a wide range of musical styles, but whether it's piano, string quartets, voice, huge orchestra and chorus, the Orions do classical extremely well.

If you want pipe organ at realistic levels, you might eventually add Thor subwoofers, but many (like me) are happy with the bass capability of the standard Orions.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/index.html

Good luck with your quest,
Peter

Scottdazzle

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #3 on: 14 Jun 2009, 06:28 pm »
VMPS speakers do justice to all kinds of music.  :)

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music = Orions
« Reply #4 on: 14 Jun 2009, 06:49 pm »
Linkwitz Orions... about as close to the real performance as your source will allow.  IME, this is true across a wide range of musical styles, but whether it's piano, string quartets, voice, huge orchestra and chorus, the Orions do classical extremely well.

If you want pipe organ at realistic levels, you might eventually add Thor subwoofers, but many (like me) are happy with the bass capability of the standard Orions.

http://www.linkwitzlab.com/index.html

Good luck with your quest,
Peter

Thank you Peter for letting me know about the Orion and the Linkwitz Lab speakers.  Wood Artistry is about 109 miles North of my home town, so perhaps I will be in contact with them for an audition.  However, I might be interested in something other than the ATI amplification to drive the speakers.  OTOH, I kinda like reading their crossover section where there's discussion about Duelund xover.  Recently, I've had the opportunity to experiment with Duelund crossover components (resistors alone) and really am impressed at the sonic improvements they have brought to my current speakers.

My curiosity, what electronics are you using with those speakers in order to get such a satisfying performance?

Thanks.

Paul_Bui

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #5 on: 14 Jun 2009, 06:53 pm »
You really need big speakers, with a lot of drivers, to do justice to classical music, IMO.  The big VMPS speakers are spectacular with classical.  Other's to consider are line arrays (such as from Selah Audio). 

Where in most music you need something capable of reproducing four or five people, in classical you have to reproduce dozens of people playing a variety of instruments.  Scale, tone, subtle dynamic gradations, all are very important, and no small speaker will every get you all the way there.

Thanks Tyson and Scott for sharing your opinions.  Where can I start looking at those speakers for auditioning and/or purchasing?  What amplification would be a better choice to drive them with decent result?

Thanks.

P.S.  I'm using a SinglePower MPX3 as tube preamp driving the AudioSector Patek SE.  While the amp is adequate for the Fostex F200A drivers, I am sure a more powerful amp would better serve those multi-driver speakers that you recommended.

P.S. #2  I was looking at the VMPS web site and found some pointers to places I can start the search for VMPS speakers.

Scottdazzle

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jun 2009, 08:07 pm »
Paul,

There are lots of VMPS owners in CA who would probably let you listen to theirs. John Casler is a good person to contact for more info.

Scott

PSP

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jun 2009, 11:22 pm »
Hi Paul,
I agree with you about the ATI amps... although when I first auditioned the Orions the guy had the ATIs and the speaker sounded impressive.

However, I've done a lot of amp and preamp tweaking, and I've grown increasingly satisfied as I've worked on my equipment.

My amps are all Aspen (Hugh Dean, on this forum).   For the tweeters I'm using two channels of Aspen Life Force 25 (LF55 with lower voltage rails, "Platinum" mods,  and a few additional mods recommended by Hugh), LF55s on the mids (Mundorf Silver/Oil input caps), and four channels of AKSA 100N+ on the woofers.  My preamp is an Aspen GK-1 (Platinum mods plus a few).  My DAC is an Audiosector NOS-SPDIF.

There are a number of Aspen + Orion threads on the Aspen forum; lots of good discussion there.

I'm currently on an assignment about 300 miles from home, so I won't get to listen (or tweak) much until mid-August, but I think the first thing on the agenda is to (1) put a nice Mundorf Silver/Oil on the GK-1 input and then (2) remove the output caps from the Audiosector DAC (these are Black Gate NFs, but maybe no cap at all would sound better).

I didn't intend to hijack this thread and turn it into a tweaking disucssion.  I just wanted to make the point that I've done a lot of work on my system, have a lot of work left to do, and I'm very, very happy with the Orions.

All the best,
Peter

CR

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jun 2009, 11:53 pm »
Hi Paul,
  I do listen to classical and vocal.
Over the years I have used Triad and would probably suggest to audition the Silver or Gold Monitors. You could get away with 2 and a sub for starters. You can take a look at the specks  at: www.triadspeakers.com
They have recently come out with a new line of subs.

Carl

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #9 on: 15 Jun 2009, 12:53 am »
You really need big speakers


Yes, there's nothing like big speakers when it comes to classical. 



Try something by Magnepan.  They move a tremendous amount of air, and properly set up they present a huge life like soundstage which is second to none for classical. 

GDeering

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #10 on: 15 Jun 2009, 03:46 am »

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. 
 
For Amps, I'd look at Mosfets.  Audio by Van Alstine on the circles, often compared to my favorite MOSFET amps by Nagra and Moscode. 

I've heard Reference 3A speakers and would love to hear the top of the line.  VMPS does have a great system for multi amping, but I have not heard them (yet) - there are a lot of good speakers that might fit the bill - but please stay away from the typical audiophile laser-accurate detail speakers.  Warmth and musicality will mean a loss of detail, but it's worth the trade off.  That said, bi-amping my old Audio Physic Tempos gave me greater detail and better extension than my Abbys provided.  You can't replace the "more than real" aspect to the SET/single driver sound, but I decided that rhythmic drive and dynamics were more important.

All of this done right should work for all music, Dizzy's big band has much more snap and fire now.


Gregg



Art_Chicago

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #11 on: 15 Jun 2009, 04:12 pm »
The new 3-way/3-driver Salk HT4's are praised for their abilty to reproduce large orchestras. I have not heard them yet, but my songtowers are good for medium size groups providing great localization and micro and macro dynamics. The AVA electronics improved all of this dramatically! 

Daverz

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #12 on: 15 Jun 2009, 11:34 pm »
What is your price range for the speakers?  What is it you're missing with your current speakers?  Deep bass?  Slam?  Treble detail?  Midrange richness?  Soundstage size?

I'd make sure that you hear Vandersteen speakers.  They avoid the etched treble that turns me off of so many "audiophile" speakers.

tonyptony

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #13 on: 16 Jun 2009, 04:37 pm »
If you have the bucks, Shahinian Diapasons.

woodsyi

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #14 on: 16 Jun 2009, 05:52 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 got a pair of big Sound Lab 'Stats that I augment with 4 subwoofers (Duke's Swarm) to play Symphonies in my mother's house. 


Tyson

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Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #15 on: 16 Jun 2009, 06:04 pm »
The RM40's sound much better if you actively bi-amp them and use a tube amp on the mids/highs and a high powered SS amp on the woofers.  Probably a similar setup can work just as well for any big set of speakers.  What this does is let the amps have more direct control over the drivers, and allows a more musical amp to be used on the mid/highs without losing the ability to swing large and small dynamics with ease. 

Cacophonix

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #16 on: 16 Jun 2009, 06:23 pm »
Arrays!! Get the LS9/LS6 which are full range arrays, or get the selah arrays and couple them with a pair of subwoofers.

Browntrout

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #17 on: 16 Jun 2009, 08:13 pm »
Hello Paul,
  If your stereo sounds good with one type of music (Jazz) but not with another (classical) I would be tempted to look at your source first. The difference between classical and Jazz is in most cases the actual number of instruments playing at one time. I don't know what equipment you have but assume that it is very revealing, a good quality two way speaker can sound nice enough with all types of music without getting in the way too much.  :D

Wind Chaser

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #18 on: 17 Jun 2009, 12:35 am »
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.
« Last Edit: 17 Jun 2009, 01:47 am by Wind Chaser »

Daverz

Re: Recommended speakers for classical music
« Reply #19 on: 17 Jun 2009, 01:33 am »
The difference between classical and Jazz is in most cases the actual number of instruments playing at one time.

Not really.  The sound multiple instruments make doesn't scale up in a linear fashion.  The sound of massed strings is really very different from a single violin or a string quartet.  A Mahler symphony played in a large hall makes quite different demands on an audio system than a small Jazz combo playing in a studio.  And the way recordings are made for the different genres can be quite different.