Poll

What kind of speakers do you have and want in the future

I have dynamic speakers
61 (46.9%)
I have electrostatic speakers
11 (8.5%)
I have magnetic planar speakers
10 (7.7%)
I have horn speakers
17 (13.1%)
I want electrostats
8 (6.2%)
I want magnetic planars
6 (4.6%)
I want horns
5 (3.8%)
I want electrostats but they scare me
1 (0.8%)
I own Martin Logans
1 (0.8%)
I want Ribbon Hybrid
1 (0.8%)
I own Ribbon Hybrid
3 (2.3%)
I have made my own speakers
4 (3.1%)
I would like to make my own speakers
2 (1.5%)

Total Members Voted: 130

Types of speakers we own or want

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roscoeiii

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #40 on: 11 Feb 2012, 08:22 pm »
For me, electrostats inability to really move air and energize a room rule them out. Great for some music but not all in my opinion.

I am loving my 2-way waveguides (crossed over at 800Hz). They go down to 40Hz, and are then handed off to a REL Storm III. Wow. The waveguides are the SP Tech Minis (SP Tech is now Aether Audio, and they have a solid following on AC, along with an Aether Circle).

Roger, I'd be interested in your opinions on waveguide designs.

/mp

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 145
Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #41 on: 18 Mar 2012, 04:43 am »
"Just a guess, but Roger's woofer idea sounds similar to the set up used by Bag End."

Interesting, while reading the Bag End website some time ago I thought of Roy Allison's use of EQ'd bass to e*tend frequency response.

I've been hooked on electrostatics since way back in high school when I heard Quad ESLs at a dealer. His set up back included a Janis subwoofer & Sequerra tweeters but I thought the ESLs lost their magic when the add-ons were switched on.

"Other than their full range CLS I do not consider the Martin Logans to be real electrostats. I prefer to call them a cone speaker with an electrostatic tweeter. They continue to brag about raising the crossover point up around 800 HZ last I heard."

I still use the Martin Logan Quests I bought 20+ years ago with my Well Tempered Turntable and Pro Tools rig. Never had a problem with them. I drive them with a Classe CA200. I also have a pair of original EAR 509s for bi-amping in cold weather (100 class A watts = lot of heat). My recollection is the Quests crossover at 120 hz. but the ML website says 150 hz. Lagging bass isn't an issue for me. Maybe I'm acclimated after all this time. They are not as revealing as my Sta* Lamda Pro headphones--but what is. I find the Sta* a bit fatiguing.  My favorite headphones are Infinity. I've 2 pair but they don't work. Spare parts are, hmm, scarce.

I'd like to hear VMPS RM2 and RM3 speakers if I had to replace my Quests but it isn't on the front burner at the moment.

best
/mp
mark




BruceSB

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #42 on: 6 May 2012, 05:33 am »
Hi
I post across at the planar circle but I happened to come across this post on electrostatic speakers.
I love full range electrostatics (I have Acoustat Spectra 22s driven by a Quad 606) and aspire to a set of five (full range) electrostats for a surround system.
I am interested in why you chose to move in the hybrid direction rather than full range, other than the obvious, that full range speakers are (much) harder to make!?
I wonder whether if you are considering making full range electrostats at all?
I also wonder why you do not have a presence over at the planar forum (I am sure that the folk would be interested in what you are doing and receive some knowledgeable input from yourself?
Thanks
I look forward to your replies.
Bruce

Freo-1

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #43 on: 6 May 2012, 01:19 pm »
I had owned Acoustat Spectra 33’s for many years.  There are many qualities with ESL’s that are alluring, but there are others that are frustrating.  For example, getting the bass integrated correctly with ESL or planar speakers is difficult at best.  Dynamic contrasts with planar speakers seem more limited compared to dynamic or horn speakers.  It comes down to what aspects are the most important to a given listener, as it is fair to say each speaker type (dynamic, horn, or planar) have different strengths and challenges.
 
Right now, high efficiency speakers are of interest to me (something that works well with a low power amp, like a SET).  I’ve heard modified Klipschorn with SETs that sounded great, with natural dynamic contrasts that most speakers simply cannot achieve. 

medium jim

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #44 on: 6 May 2012, 02:27 pm »
After owning too many speakers in my lifetime, I found the one's for me, a pair of 20+ year old Magnepan 2.5's that have true ribbons and with a pair of fast subs (B&W), just are sublime.  My quest for the right speaker(s) is over. 

Jim

mboxler

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #45 on: 6 May 2012, 02:31 pm »

Right now, high efficiency speakers are of interest to me (something that works well with a low power amp, like a SET).  I’ve heard modified Klipschorn with SETs that sounded great, with natural dynamic contrasts that most speakers simply cannot achieve.

Original owner of a pair of '85 Klipschorns.  Replaced top-end with V-Trac's from Volti Audio, BMS 4592ND-MID's, and Selenium D220Ti's,  AK2 Crossover replaced with Universal kit from ALK Engineering.  Would love to audition a SET amp someday!

Mike
 

airhead

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #46 on: 10 May 2012, 02:44 am »
Blessed with a pair of rebuilt Stax F83's, I am in a quandary.  I need a new cartridge, but when I go to a dealer to listen to cartridges through the speakers they have (usually fancy Wilson Audio gear costing scores of thousands) I can't hear past the audible crossover points, the veiled and fuzzy sounding trumpets, and the overblown somewhere else soundstage.  With my speakers, everything sounds so much more immediate and present, full of intimate dynamic subtlety.  I am trading this for
slam and loudness, gladly. 

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #47 on: 10 May 2012, 03:58 am »
Blessed with a pair of rebuilt Stax F83's, I am in a quandary.  I need a new cartridge, but when I go to a dealer to listen to cartridges through the speakers they have (usually fancy Wilson Audio gear costing scores of thousands) I can't hear past the audible crossover points, the veiled and fuzzy sounding trumpets, and the overblown somewhere else soundstage.  With my speakers, everything sounds so much more immediate and present, full of intimate dynamic subtlety.  I am trading this for
slam and loudness, gladly.
Arthur,

Thanks for sending me the cartridge review. Perhaps you could post it here. I was very impressed that the Van den Hull had significantly lower IM distortion than all the others. That is important!!!!!

At the last show that I can recall attending I heard the big Wilsons and I have to say they were very good. Of course for that money they should be. However they are not ESLs and they do have lots of crossovers.

I would suggest you go to a dealer who has some very good headphones. Of course Stax phones would be ideal. I would take along a record you know is well recorded and sounds good on you system and, more importantly I would take along several records that you think should sound good (by review or recommendation) that don't sound good on your current cartridge. If you find a cartridge that plays these well that's the one to buy. Don't get concerned about imaging because I don't think cartridges have a lot to do with that. Be concerned about tonality, clarity, ability to hear detail. That's what I would do.

airhead

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #48 on: 10 May 2012, 05:37 am »
Thanks Roger.  This is very good advice.  I had in fact thought of bringing my Stax headphones to the dealer myself. but it's a bit of trouble to get them in and out of my system.  I hadn't thought to bring records that don't sound good with my current setup.  An interesting idea, but I don't in fact know of any.  I had intended to bring my LP version of l'Enfant et les Sortileges (I gave you the CD as a present, you may recall) which has gorgeous sopranos, choruses, and, yes, soundstaging.  Many reviewers claim that cartridges to in fact affect soundstaging, or at least the sense of space and presence that I find so important.  Would someone like to suggest some records?  I won't bother with something I can't relate to musically.  Earlier on I did bring  a record that my van den Hul can't track, (very intense soprano), but their best couldn't either.  It may simply have been cut wrong.

I'm almost decided on a van den Hul Frog, based on my reading of the literature and my past experience.  They get too expensive for me after that.

The Wilson's have their advantages, it's true.  But they are not for me.

Ralph

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 41
  • College Chemistry Professor, Psychologist
Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #49 on: 12 May 2012, 04:02 am »
Actually, my Martin Logan Sequels have their crossovers at 125 Hz, so the woofer definitely takes care of the bass; plus, I have never had any problems with the electrostatic panels since I purchased the speakers in 1988. Anyway, they have sounded at their best since being driven by the RM-9.

tricka

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #50 on: 5 Jun 2012, 10:09 am »
ESL 57 + TBI subs are a nice combo low passed around 100Hz and high passed around 130Hz.

Single driver horns are fun as well.

mlee

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  • Posts: 5
Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #51 on: 22 Jun 2012, 03:46 pm »
I have had the RM-9 mkii since I bought it from Audio Connection in New Jersey in the late 80's or early 90's, having traded in the RM-10 for it.

To the chagrin of the dealer, I used the Acoustat 3Ms with the Medallion transformers (he preferred the Vandersteens).  Over the many years in different venues, with the Audible Illusions Modulus 3, I heard the Acoustats present a wonderfully seductive and intimate sonic presentation, unmatched by point-source speakers.  There was an almost hypnotic quality to the midrange tonal structure, particularly with female vocals, with superb transparency and an ease of presentation due to the Acoustats’ ability to move relatively large amounts of air without strain, compared to dynamic speakers.  I drove them full-range, as I felt that I did not need more bass and bass was very hard to control.

Being forced to give up the Acoustats, as they were too bulky to take with me in moving, I bought the Merlins and then the John Otvos Canadian Waveform MC/MC.1 three-way dynamic speakers.  The Waveforms are as different from the Acoustats in sonic presentation as vinyl is from CDs, or tubes from solid state.  I cannot provide a clear comparison between the two pairs of speakers, since each of them is so poor in approximating the natural sound.  The Acoustats and the Waveforms merely provide their own individual interpretations of the natural sound.

Having said that, I find that the Acoustats present an overly large sonic image; female heads are too big and not normally-sized within the context of instrumental accompaniment completing the soundstage.  The sonic presentation of the Waveforms provide a more realistic soundstage with better focus, and if done right, more pinpoint accuracy with the higher treble percussion instruments.  They also are better at more focused bass definition, detail, dynamics and tonal accuracy (but only if you control the room environment) and that elusive “surprise” or revelatory factor.  The Acoustats overall are more “plug-and-play.”

These differences are attributable to the dipoles’ projection of sound rearward, so that the overall sound reaching the listener’s ears have been bouncing off the walls, ceiling and floor, whereas the dynamic speakers pointing at you produce less of this effect.  Whereas it is difficult to control the Acoustats’ bouncing sound waves, it is similarly difficult with the Waveforms to control the contribution and the distraction of the room environment, and in requiring precise and accurate set-up, to produce the sonic presentation that dynamic speakers are known for.

OK, with all of this being said, your mileage may vary, and “you pays your money, and youse spin the wheel.”

rbwalt

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #52 on: 23 Jun 2012, 01:50 pm »
which Merlins did you buy and how would you compare them to other speakers.


R.

frank111

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #53 on: 23 Jun 2012, 05:05 pm »
 At the tender age of 51(HA!) i've heard/auditioned alot of audio equipment. My speakers had always been made up of multiple drivers & I considered myself quite content with their performance. Then approx a year ago I discovered quality single driver enclosures & what they bring to the table. I purchased HoytBedford type 1's and will never part with them. Quite efficient for music & cinema alike. Darn nice freq response & soundstage too. Now if money were no object: the Tannoy Westminster(dual concentric driver) & those cabinets wow! Apparently the sound isnt too shabby either( have heard them on youtube with quality headphones & you can hear the quality although its not a substitute for the real thing). As one reviewer  of the T. Westminster once said "Where do you go from here?"

a.wayne

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Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #54 on: 23 Jun 2012, 05:48 pm »
Ribbon hybrid, no poll category .....

steve f

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Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #55 on: 24 Jun 2012, 01:38 pm »
I am one of those guys who is never satisfied with loudspeakers. As I approach my 60th birthday!!! and admit to 42+ years of audiophilia, I've heard a lot of different speakers over the years. There have been single driver horns, monsters like Wilson WHAMM's, Hartley Dual Quad Decca, full range electrostatics, hybrid electrostatics, Heil drivers, ribbons, planar magnetics, Hill plasma (old guys will remember those) and all kinds of variant designs. Most really aren't that good as they don't take the room into account.

I am convinced that trying to develop the box "monkey coffin" speaker further is a waste of time. I also believe that electrostatics must be hybrid to work well, although they are more difficult to build. Dipoles and some horns show the most promise because they are more room benign. Oh, I forgot to mention omnidirectional designs; I'm not sure about those, as they should work well, but often don't.

It's been a fun ride over the years, and I wish us all many more years of enjoying the music.

Steve   8)


Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #56 on: 4 Jul 2012, 04:54 pm »
Ribbon hybrid, no poll category .....

Thanks, I will add that, and thanks to all of you that have voted. Please ask your questions and state any objections you might have about electrostats. I love them and wish more people would give the good ones a chance.

Roger A. Modjeski

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #57 on: 4 Jul 2012, 05:09 pm »
I am one of those guys who is never satisfied with loudspeakers. As I approach my 60th birthday!!! and admit to 42+ years of audiophilia, I've heard a lot of different speakers over the years. There have been single driver horns, monsters like Wilson WHAMM's, Hartley Dual Quad Decca, full range electrostatics, hybrid electrostatics, Heil drivers, ribbons, planar magnetics, Hill plasma (old guys will remember those) and all kinds of variant designs. Most really aren't that good as they don't take the room into account.

I am convinced that trying to develop the box "monkey coffin" speaker further is a waste of time. I also believe that electrostatics must be hybrid to work well, although they are more difficult to build. Dipoles and some horns show the most promise because they are more room benign. Oh, I forgot to mention omnidirectional designs; I'm not sure about those, as they should work well, but often don't.

It's been a fun ride over the years, and I wish us all many more years of enjoying the music.

Steve   8)

Steve,

Thanks for your thoughts and your continued participation here. I agree the further development of the box speaker is rather futile though the amount of money, time and effort on this rather inferior technology is astounding. It is my opinion that anyone can make a cone speaker, all the parts are available at a wide variety of quality and price. Companies like Magico Wilson and others are going the route of extreme cabinet construction but it's still a box with a cone driver.

As to the electrostats, ribbons, magnetic planars, etc. these are of course rare because anyone making these has to start from basic materials making his own drivers and in some cases transformers, dedicated amps etc. I am in the process of making a universal direct drive amp for all ESL speakers and perhaps that will inspire others to experiment with ESL panel configurations, which are many. Anyone experimenting with making ESL speakers quickly finds out that the drive requirements can be a big stumbling block. This direct drive amp relieves them of that difficulty and provides polarizing voltage also. The making of panels is well documented and rather easy to do in one's workshop. Certainly more doable than making a cone driver from scratch.

airhead

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #58 on: 6 Jul 2012, 06:04 am »
At the risk of repeating myself I can answer a bit about the pro's and con's of ELS speakers.  I bought a pair of Stax F83's in approximately 1983, and have owned them since then.  I basically hate auditioning equipment and I don't like to buy stuff unless there is a clear need to do so.  Right away I encountered the difficulties: these speakers are very very difficult to drive.  Most of the amplifiers I tried either blew protective circuitry, sounded congested and strained, or both.  I ended up with  NYAL OTL (Futterman OTL3a).  But over the years the sound degenerated, with cracks and sparks occurring more and more often, and I eventually gave up most listening.  Eventually I decided I couldn't live without access to serious music in my home (it was a live concert with Patricia Barber, the first time I ever heard of her, that did it.)  I had to either look for new speakers or get these repaired somehow.  Seeing  the expense of the stuff now, I was pretty  unhappy.  The cheapest Wilson speakers, for example, are over 15,000, and I don't like them that much.  Research on the internet (Thanks Google) led me to Electrostatic Solutions, which ended up diagnosing the reason the speakers failed in the first place (an under spec'd resistor had blown, leaving the panels vulnerable) and offering a complete rebuild at a reasonable price.  Since the bass wasn't sounding right (due perhaps to the inadequacy of the amps) I added a pair of Roger's wonderful subwoofers, which opened up the dynamics and midrange as well as adding fast and tuneful bass, at least down to 35 Hz or so, which is really enough for my purposes.  Since I was missing my old vinyl collection, some gems of which aren't available on CD, I bought a record cleaning machine and recently a van den Hul Frog.  I have  to say that now the music I get is simply glorious.  A couple of weeks ago my dealer had a demo of Wilson speakers, driven by VTL amplifiers, with reps from both companies there to tweak the setup.  Although the sound had lots of frequency and dynamic extension, in terms of actual musical delivery, subtle dynamic shading, delicacy of detail, purity of treble, palpable and spatial presence, there is simply no comparison.  One of the owners of the store came to my house to listen and was simply blown away.  Listen here to the Queen of the Night, and you will understand why only ELS's will do for me.

ken

Re: Types of speakers we own or want
« Reply #59 on: 6 Jul 2012, 01:15 pm »
I've only heard a couple of ESL/ Planar speakers: Peter Gunn' Magnestand 1.6 and SMGA's and Maggie 3.6'  at Audio Connection.  I probably would have bought a pair of Mangnestands on the spot if I had the $  that's how much I liked them   Couldn't even consider the 3.6 due to the price, great speakers though. 

There's one thing about most electrostats and planars that no one seemed to touch on:  Many of these are so big ( and let's face it fairly ugly as well) that nothing short of a dedicated listening room will suffice as most have a low WAF and don't exacty blend into the decor very well.  If you have a dedicated room and they float your boat great, but if your like many if not most where your rig is in a family type room they're basically a non starter due to their size and asthetics.  As always YMMV