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What are the best speakers in the world? - Page 3

post #31 of 126
even with cost no object i think this would be highly subjective. no, especially with cost no object!

if there was one that was clearly "the best" there would be no competitors. in fact there are competitors for this title.

music_man
post #32 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatmizer View Post
That behringer specs out good but
I would use a DBX Driverack IMHO is nicer
The cheap DBX's aren't better than a Behringer.
post #33 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
even with cost no object i think this would be highly subjective. no, especially with cost no object!

if there was one that was clearly "the best" there would be no competitors. in fact there are competitors for this title.

music_man
What about the ultimate $1M speakers that Kharma made for that rich guy with a spare cellar? I imagine setting up the speakers and the room acoustics must've been a royal pain in the ass. Can a speaker system so vast possibly reproduce well-recorded music with such delicate accuracy that it gives the illusion of a real performance?
post #34 of 126
The question is "the best for what?" Speaker design, even when money is no object is still a compromise, it is impossible to have the best of everything, period, end of story. There will always be trade-offs in the design.

To use an example, let's say you want a speaker to recreate the dynamics of a drum kit recorded from about 10' away. For those who haven't heard a drum kit from that distance, it is Loud with Huge dynamics, if you had an SPL meter it would almost certainly be swinging off the scale on both ends. If you want to play that back at a realistic level without compressing nor distorting the dynamics, horn speakers are your only choice, nothing else can put that kind of energy into the air without running into trouble.

There is of course no such thing as a free lunch, the price for those dynamics is a lot of stored energy and likely a fair bit of resonance from the horns along with a limited dispersal pattern. The cone of sound emanating from the horn is fairly narrow and the sweetspot is likely to be quite small.

Ok, maybe drums aren't your thing, perhaps you prefer acoustic folk music and you require the midrange of the speakers to be absolutely clear and free from distortions. In other words, no resonances, low energy storage, peaks & dips, or any other funny business in the midrange. That rules out horns and any kind of speaker with a box, leaving ribbons, electrostatics, and to a lesser extent, open baffle dipoles with dynamic drivers as the only choices. This is where the Quad ESL-57 remains the benchmark, that is as long as you keep the volume down. Downsides? Dynamics tend to be limited, they won't play real loud and the bass tends to be on the weak & lean side.

Box speakers as a group, or "monkey coffins" as the late Dr. Gizmo often called them, are plagued with many serious engineering issues. They store a bunch of energy, they resonate all over the place, cause all kinds of diffraction issues, and often have lots of phase, polar response, and time alingnment problems as well. The fact that the best of them can actually make decent music despite all the intrinsic flaws is nothing less than a miracle.

I own a pair of Living Voice OBX-R2s, given my priorities they make the best compromises & trade-offs. They won't play loud and they will run into dynamic compression if I wanted to play those drum tracks I mentioned earlier, but within their limits they're gorgeous.
post #35 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwood View Post
Once, at Audio Federation, I heard a fully calibrated Marten Coltrane supreme. At $250,000 a pair, it's perhaps the most expensive in the world. Really, the most expensive is what you're looking for here. I've still heard speakers I enjoyed more than the Marten, but none of them cost more than my home or were made of diamonds.
At least these guys seem to know some about Jazz; they could have called it the Kenny G. Supreme. Also, I've heard the Wilson Max s.2 a number of times and really enjoyed it.
post #36 of 126
yeah, well... I say nothing about speakers over $20k because of diminishing returns and style taking over from substance. below that cut-off, there are plenty of options, many of them mentioned in this thread: but I obviously have to second the Magnepan shout-out. and I hasten to add that although certainly room specifics, your system, and other things have an influence, I think the truly good speakers will be in the top 5% regardless of the room differences (and perhaps even regardless of other decisions such as tube vs ss, and so forth). in short, speakers, IMHO, are the most crucial aspect of the entire rig, just as headphones make the biggest diff (regardless of inside vs outside, cowon vs imod, and so forth). so: try magnepan and you won't regret it ;-)
post #37 of 126

Research and Development

Wouldn’t you agree that many of the $100,000+ speakers are designed primarily for the manufacturers’ own R&D interests, and that the trickle-down products resulting from these exercises are often more valuable to consumers? In many cases, consumers actually like the little brother speakers more.
post #38 of 126
No, I'd say that the $100k+ speakers (and even those under $100k) are $100k+ to command respect amongst the wealthy and those with no value consciousness. Materials and R&D alone cannot account for the price. Because of the subjective nature of sound reproduction, this market cannot be competitive. You get this even in the auto industry where you can easily compare more practical specs like fuel economy, 0-60/100/150, brake distance, skidpad, slalom, cargo room, headroom, etc.
post #39 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roam View Post
The fact that the best of them can actually make decent music despite all the intrinsic flaws is nothing less than a miracle.
Very interesting point. You present a strong argument against spending too much money on ultraexpensive flagship models, which certainly still have their flaws and performance limitations. Much more reasonably priced loudspeakers might still provide comparably imperfect, yet perfectly satisfying performance.
post #40 of 126
Best speakers in the world?

post #41 of 126
2 drivers per channel? That's just as many as the $108k Audio Note AN-E Sogon!
post #42 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
Best speakers in the world?

Our of curiosity, what did the BOSE reference series sound like? Do they still make it?
post #43 of 126
Ha Ha.

Seriously though, in my experience, the room playa an enormous role in the sound you hear through loudspeakers. I used to have an enormous room in an old house with non parallel stone walls, slate floors, heavy carpets and drapes and after much playing around with positioning my low to mid range B&W DM604s and ASW 4000 sounded acceptable to me.

In my current house I just don't have a great room, it's almost square, floor boards and not big enough. Still has stone walls and high ceilings though. No matter where I put the speakers or what I do the sound is just wrong. Friends with worse set ups in better rooms get better sound.

So to me, sort your room out first, especially if you want decent deep bass, those notes meed room to disperse.

If I could start again I would probably go for ribbons or horns or something.
post #44 of 126
There's never the best speaker in the world but only the speaker which is most suitable for your style (i guess)
post #45 of 126
There are so many different kinds of speakers. I like my Cains a lot. I've also really enjoyed Wilson Watt/Puppies. Those things sounded great even in a shop demo situation. I also liked some Avante Garde Duos I heard one time.

But there is so much variety it seems like this is an impossible question to answer.

I feel like the greatest speaker in the world would be entirely custom made. Like an entire room built as a speaker.

For example, at the bottom of the page HERE!
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