Due to TMJ pain I've had to stop listening to cans, and I really miss the incisive mids and bass of the HE-6. In general dipoles (Nola & Maggies) are the closest I can seem to get to the experience - but has one found speakers that rival the textured mids of the top planar headphones? Thanks!
- productHiFiMAN HE-6 Planar Headphonetagged by System, 9/27/12
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speakers with better mids than HE-6?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
My Revel Studio II's sound better than any headphone I have ever heard, from top to bottom. I have an HE-6 showing up next week and if there is ANY part of the spectrum that sounds AS GOOD as my speakers, I will be thrilled.
Use the same amp and you'll be surprised. Won't make ya give up speakers but it is less of a sacrifice than ya think when your listening time don't justify firing up "the" rig.
The 6s don't have the resolution of stats. You want perfect mids, stay with stats. But the 6 gives little away and gains more weight across the spectrum with good gear. Nice complimentary capabilities actually. But going down that hole will demand a price.
Let me preface this by saying that I have not heard the HE-6.
One of the issues in comparing speakers systems to headphones us that you are getting a great deal of reflected room sound with almost any speaker system. There are pluses to that that reflected sound but it is time delayed and out-of-phase. Near field listening (six feet/two meters or less) reduces the impact of this phenomena. In my experience smaller monitor speakers end to be best suited to near field listening. Generally speaking I don't think line source or horn systems tend to work well near field. Some planar speakers do very well in the near field, the old Stax ESL F81 or the original Quad ESL are examples, but not all. The problem with small monitors, especially really small monitors, is that they lack both bass impact and extension. Subwoofers can partially address this but if the main speakers don't gave fairly solid performance down to at least 50Hz - 60Hz is is quite difficult to achieve seamless blending. Also, if you're missing mid bass, as opposed to low bass, impact a subwoofer is not a good solution.
As to which speakers have great mid range and mid bass performance I think planars are tough to beat: Soundlabs, Quads (I only know the originals and the 63s but the Chinese built newer Quads receive very mixed reviews for quality control), Stax, Beverige and Acoustats (the full range models not the hybrids) are all capable of great sound with the right amps. I also like the planar magnetic Magnepan and Apogee speakers. If you're buying used be aware that most electrostats and some planar magnetic speakers are likely to need the panels rebuilt every fifteen years or so. Electrostats tend not to be good choices for smoking or high dust households and almost all planars don't fare well in high UV situations such as directly in front of south or west facing windows.
Speaker manufacturers that use conventional drivers and tend to have great mid range performance IMO include Green Mountain Audio, Avalon Acoustics, Harbeth and some ProAcs. The often maligned Wilson speakers can be very good too.
Other speaker manufacturers that have a strong following but that I have not heard or not heard enough in known conditions include Vivid, YG Acoustics, VMPS, Marten, Kharma, DeVore Fidelity, Joseph Audio and some Revel and Verity Audio models.
Edited by plantsman - 10/1/12 at 3:37am
I've always been fond of Von Schweikert mids (and highs) on the models I heard. (I'm a former owner.) By the way, for some reason I always thought VS had percussion to die for.
I had Apogee Stages too years ago, and they had great midrange tonality and uncanny life-like vocals.
Edited by rgs9200m - 10/1/12 at 4:53pm
rgs9200m, after I posted I thought of a number of other speakers I probably should have included but I'd be amending that list forever if I was trying to make it absolutely comprehensive. The only Von Schweikerts I've heard are older models from when he was still operating in New York. I thought they sounded promising but I've only heard them in strange rooms/systems so I don't really have an informed opinion. Von Schweikert's relatively checkered history in business and customer service sort of scared me off the line and since he has effectively given up on brick and mortar dealers they are difficult to audition.
Most of your headphone gear (I'm more or less a novice) and your LeHaves are unfamiliar to me but the rest of your in-room stereo system is very nice. I'm still finding my way here at Head-Fi. My experience from other forums is that it takes a while to sort out who is worth paying attention to. Feel free to PM me if you have advice.
Edited by plantsman - 10/2/12 at 4:16am
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