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"Alternative" speaker technologies - Page 2

post #16 of 38
Oops, I forgot one, Eminent Technology also makes a very good sounding planar speaker that is reasonably priced. They also make desktop speakers that many computer based source users may want to try, although a proper amp would be in order.
post #17 of 38
Jon L, I'm surprised you didn't mention the upcoming RSL II just for the heck of it...

post #18 of 38
Thread Starter 
Well, I've auditioned some of the speakers on my list (the ones I could find at local stores) and a few others. I've heard something from Joseph Audio (can't remember the model), Dali Helicon 400, Magnepan 3.6, Paradigm S8, Thiel 7.2, Thiel 2.4, Sonus Faber Cremona, B&W 803D, and B&W 802D, Usher Dancer, and a few others. I've decided to exclude electrostats, ribbons (I liked the Maggies but something about their tone bothered me a little), and horns from my consideration for now.

Of all those, the 802D was my favorite. I wasn't a huge fan of the Thiel, didn't like the Cremona, and the others were all great, but not mind-blowing, which is what I demand at this price range. And then I got to hear that Meridian DSP5500 again. I've gotta say, the DSP5500 completely and utterly blows every one of those speakers out of the water. I'm sure it's all subjective, and I know that some people are violently opposed to active systems, but I can't imagine that somebody would, after listening to the 15 or so speakers that I listened to over the last few days, pick any of them over the Meridian.

So Meridian is now my front-runner by quite a margin. But here is a complication: my dealer has a trade-in Avalon Eidolon that he said I can have for $10,000. Given that this is a $25,000 speaker, this is an amazing deal. Even more so b/c his company will come and install it for me, and he will give me a warranty on the speaker.

So now I'm stuck...

Meridian DSP5500 -- love it (incredible imaging, very clean sound, great dynamics, admittedly slightly bass-shy.) I also won't need any additional amplifications.

Linkwitz Orion -- going to somebody's house to try them out tomorrow. I'll give you report once I hear them.

JM Lab Diva Be or 1037 Be -- haven't yet been able to find a deal for these bad boys in my area. Just not willing to take them off my list quite yet.

Avalon Eidolon -- I am going to go listen to these next week. I had all but given up on Avalon, but is this deal too good to pass up?

That's pretty much it. I may wait for the Thiel 3.7 to come out, but I just wasn't impressed with their house sound, so probably not. The other company I'm considering is Audio Physic, but haven't been able to find a place to audition them anywhere near me.
post #19 of 38
How about a pair of Legacy Focus HD's? Admittedly they are more conventional than many on your list, but they sound very good and I think are only about 6500/pair new. I have the now discontinued Legacy Sig III..(1 step down from the focus) and have been kicking myself for the last 10 yrs for not buying them (the Focus) when I had the wife's approval.

Bazile
post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazile View Post
How about a pair of Legacy Focus HD's? Admittedly they are more conventional than many on your list, but they sound very good and I think are only about 6500/pair new. I have the now discontinued Legacy Sig III..(1 step down from the focus) and have been kicking myself for the last 10 yrs for not buying them (the Focus) when I had the wife's approval.

Bazile
The Legacy Whispers were on the long list, but there is no Legacy Dealer in Colorado and I'm fairly set on purchasing a speaker locally from a dealer with a warranty. I know it's probably paranoia, but I just can't bring myself to buying an item costing more than my first 4 cars combined without any warranty (or having to pack them up and ship them out even if I buy them with a warranty from an out-of-state dealer), so they went off the list. Also, I'm especially unwilling to buy them without an audition because the reviews are fairly mixed.

The Helix, however, is in my top 15-20 dream speakers (excluding, of course, anything in the $100,000 and above range, which is just a bit insane).
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
Listened to two more speakers today: Focal Diva Utopia and the Orion.

The Diva is excellent. Very smooth, a little forward, but good imaging, good sound-staging, etc. I liked it a bit better than the B&W 803D and about the same as the 802D. Definitely a top-notch speaker.

Then I heard the Orion, and it was an eye-opening experience. $2000 in materials had perhaps the best sound I've heard so far. Open, clean, dynamic. It had all the advantages of an electrostatic system but none of the disadvantaged. I would say near perfect system but for two qualms: the soundstage didn't seem as wide as some others, but that may have been due to the setup of the room. The highs weren't quite as sparkly, but sounded very real. Not sure if I'm just used to boosted highs or what.

So now the JM Lab is out, and after starting with a list of approximately 50, I'm down to three:

Meridian DSP5500
Linkwitz Labs Orion
Avalon Eidolon

I have yet to hear the Eidolon, but given that the two active speakers have been my favorites so far, I am guessing it won't beat them out. Thoughts? Advice? Obviously I need to decided on the sound myself and nobody can help me there, but I'd certainly welcome other considerations that I may be missing.
post #22 of 38
Since you mainly listen to classical and some jazz, you might also want to listen to some Kharma speakers. They are expensive but they are known to provide a great soundstage and great imaging (like an electrostatic) and the smaller models are excellent in a smaller room. It's hard to find a dealer but Audio Federation in Boulder carries them.
post #23 of 38
Thread Starter 
Out of my price range. I think there is only one that is even close, but Audio Federation didn't have a used one.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspliff View Post
Do you have any thoughts on:

Sonus Faber Cremona
JM Lab Focal 1027 Be or 1037 Be
Von Schweikert VR-4 SR Mk. II
Thiel 7.2 or 3.7
Revel Ultimate Studio
Usher Dancer
Vandersteen Quatro
Linkwitz Orion

Something else that I can get in the $7,500 - $8,000 range?
[/QUOTE]
On that list, I've only heard the Cremona and 1027Be. The Cremona sounds better than the 1027Be. The 1027Be are good, but I don't get what the hype was all about. I read some reviews and adverts and decided to go and have a listen. They just didn't have the magic. The sound was lacking something which I couldn't quite pinpoint. On the contrary, the Cremona was very good. Very organic sounding and very detailed. It did what it was supposed to do, but I think it is a bit overpriced tbh. The sound is better than the 1027Be, but it costs almost twice as much in Hong Kong. If you listen to classical music, then give the Aerial Model 7B and ProAc D80 a serious consideration. They're both better than the Cremona and 1027Be IMO.

I'm curious about the 1037Be. They're priced just under the Divas. Anyone heard them? I might schedule an audition with the dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard View Post
The Diva is excellent. Very smooth, a little forward, but good imaging, good sound-staging, etc. I liked it a bit better than the B&W 803D and about the same as the 802D. Definitely a top-notch speaker.
Cool. Glad you liked them. I had a good five hour listening session yesterday and they are incredible. My HE60 had more details, but the Diva's bass is simply incredible! It's so deep, resonant and transparent! Organ music sounds close to what it'd be like to listen in real life and this is only out of two puny 8"s! There was this one particular low organ note that sounded incredibly nice. I can't really put it into words I wonder what the Nova or Alto sounds like. The Grand certainly sounds nice, but I didn't get much time with them.

I also tried listening with my headphones and speakers at the same time. The detail comes from the headphones and the bass/soundstage from the speakers. It's pretty impressive. I wish the Divas had even more resolution...

What sort of amplification were you using? Source? I also think the Divas are better than the 803D. It isn't an outright win on the technical front. I just like the sound signature more. Less bassy (though just as deep) but just as involving.

I haven't heard the 802D (and I really should've!). I'm sure they're brilliant and they're also a penny or two cheaper than the Divas!

I thought this thread was about the more esoteric methods of sound production?

Anyone heard the Avantgarde Uno? I had a short listen out of some Sony ES gear. Great speakers. No idea how much they cost though and definitely +ve WAF stuff (not that I have a wife)
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard View Post
Then I heard the Orion, and it was an eye-opening experience. $2000 in materials had perhaps the best sound I've heard so far. Open, clean, dynamic. It had all the advantages of an electrostatic system but none of the disadvantaged. I would say near perfect system but for two qualms: the soundstage didn't seem as wide as some others, but that may have been due to the setup of the room. The highs weren't quite as sparkly, but sounded very real. Not sure if I'm just used to boosted highs or what.
The new revision of the Orion, the Orion++, is probably just up your alley. The extra ambience tweeter increases the soundstage and adds a little bit of sparkle to the highs. Something to consider anyway. I think all of your remaining choices are solid speakers.
post #26 of 38
It should be kept in mind that unless qsound or other artificial phase artifacts are being introduced, the position of naturally recorded instruments should never go outside of the boundaries of the speakers. If you demand accuracy at the price you are paying, you may like to consider if the soundstage on that particular recording should be outside of the width of the speakers.

This article explains briefly why this is so: http://www.regonaudio.com/What%20Can...%20Stereo.html
post #27 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post

I thought this thread was about the more esoteric methods of sound production?
It started out that way, but at this point it's really more about the best speaker for classical music that I can get under $10,000.

Have you (or anyone else here) ever heard the Avalons? I'm a little disappointed with big box speakers at this point, but I'm reading a lot of rave reviews on these.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard View Post
It started out that way, but at this point it's really more about the best speaker for classical music that I can get under $10,000.

Have you (or anyone else here) ever heard the Avalons? I'm a little disappointed with big box speakers at this point, but I'm reading a lot of rave reviews on these.
Yes, a good friend has the Arcus, which new are around 8K. He drives them with a large solid state BAT amp and Wadia 850 as source and preamp. Our systems are very different (I use Audio Research and Magnepan), so when I come over and listen, for the first 10 or 15 minutes, they sound a little dark and don't have the large sound-stage that mine do, however, after a time, you really begin to hear the detail. Just amazing. They may not be in production any more, but I have heard other audiophiles comment about these as being some of the best speakers they have heard. If you see a pair on Audiogon, they are probably going for less than 4K. They are really worth a listen. You just need lots of power, and a good source. Not only will they show the strengths of a system, but its weaknesses as well.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by seacard View Post
It started out that way, but at this point it's really more about the best speaker for classical music that I can get under $10,000.
it's a conventional box speaker, but if you can you may want to give the DeVore Fidelity Silverback a listen.

in my somewhat limited experience with speakers out of my price range, these blew me away.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
it's a conventional box speaker, but if you can you may want to give the DeVore Fidelity Silverback a listen.

in my somewhat limited experience with speakers out of my price range, these blew me away.
On the outside, they look surprisingly similar in design to the Diva Utopia Be with similar driver configuration, stature and single binding posts. They are significantly more expensive though. 6moons love them (though I've noticed that 6moons love every single DeVore speaker) and so did Stereophile.
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