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post #91 of 110 Old 03-08-08, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Round 11

Earlier this past week I went down to visit a good friend of mine in San Diego, and along the way I had to make two stops. The first one was at the Stone Brewery, makers of some of the finest beer in the country. I bought a t-shirt and a couple of big bottles of their “Old Guardian” barley wine to enjoy later on with my friend. The second stop was at the Acoustic Zen headquarters. I had been hearing good things about their Adagio speakers, and had a couple of people recommend them to me. I tried contacting my nearest dealer several times by phone and never got an answer or a call back, so I contacted Acoustic Zen directly. I wound up speaking and meeting with Robert Lee himself, and he turned out to be a great guy. Very helpful, and very proud of his speakers, and rightfully so:

Acoustic Zen Adagio: (msrp≈$4300)


Robert played through a few demo tracks before he let me pop in my music. Not a problem for me as I was busy looking around at all the empty shells that would become Adagio’s and Adagio Jr.’s once they were wired up and had their drivers installed. All of the finishes were beautiful. My two favorites were the “walnut burl”, and “golden burl.” The pictures on their web site give you a pretty good idea of the finish. They are a fairly large speaker, compared to the ones I have been listening to, about the same width as the Aerial 7B but standing a bit taller. I should also add that I listened to these speakers in a sectioned off space of the warehouse, so there was a ceiling about 20 ft up and only a fabric covered divider for the left wall, and wide open in back. Not an ideal listening room, but enough to get the gist of their sound, and range. On with the really important stuff...

Playing Grant Green, I first noticed their imaging was very nice. The acoustic bass sounded full and tight, not accentuated or pushed forward but accurate. These speakers typify what I keep getting out of the Transmission Line cabinets, especially with acoustic bass. Full, resonant, hollow bodied sound, just like the real deal. I felt that the tone of the guitar was excellent, maybe a bit forward on the higher notes. These speakers sport a unique (to me at least) circular ribbon tweeter, and they excel at reproducing cymbals. Crisp, clear, and real sounding. Snare drum also sounds very good on the Adagio’s. Piano resonates nicely and has a percussive quality to it. As with a few other speakers, these reveal the tape hiss from the original analog recording, it is not annoying or anything, just present. Saxophones are reedy and smooth, you can feel the low notes of the sax. Lots of detail with these speakers. When the vibes come in they sound realistic and have a nice tone.

The highs are crisp, tight and clear with Fela Kuti. Once again these speakers prove outstanding with cymbal work. The bass has some impact here, I would imagine that it would be more in a better room. Brass is handled nicely, doesn’t come across harsh except when three horns are blaring at the same time at loud volume (I know from experience that this would most likely be a harsh sound in real life, too). Double kick drum beats are separate and distinct. I noticed, for the first time, the sound of one of those gourd and wooden bead shaker-things (not sure what they are actually called). Trumpet sounded natural during the solo, nice tone.

Erykah Badu’s deep bass was nearly all there, the Adagios seemed to only miss the absolute lowest note. Rim shots were definitely wood on metal real but I thought they were a little too forward. Her vocal was nice, smooth, separate, and distinct. Bass remained tight to the bottom of it’s range, no flab here. Again I noticed the amount of detail these speakers reveal.

With the Beatles “Come Together” drums stand out with distinct clarity, and cymbal work is top notch. Surprisingly I feel like the bass is subdued on this song. It is still tight but it just doesn’t blanket like it should. I think this is a direct result of the lousy room acoustics and ultra high ceiling. Fingers have audible slides on guitar and bass strings. Vocals sound great, and guitars sound excellent. Overall there is a good balance to the sound of this song. “The End” sounds good on the Adagios, nice imaging, and great drums. However, the vocal sounds a little edgy and guitars sound a little loud. Could be my ears are beginning to feel some fatigue? listening levels were a bit louder than usual for me, so this may very well be the case.

Next I tried Fu Manchu and they sounded good and MEAN! Very nice aggression on the guitars, vocals were slightly back in the mix as they are meant to be. It is easy to separate the bass and guitar sounds. The Adagio’s did very well with heavy rock.

The last song I brought for this audition was “The Girl From Ipanema.” I got the chills from this song on the SongTowers, so I wanted to see if the Adagios could duplicate that mark of midrange magic. The male vocal at the beginning of the song was excellent, as was Astrud’s. Guitar and cymbals were tight and detailed. The saxophone of Stan Getz was nice here, but ultimately failed to give me the chills. In all fairness Astruds vocal did make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, but it didn’t quite have the sweetness of the Salks.

After I ran through my tracks, Robert played a couple more that really showed off the strengths of the Adagios. One of them was a drum track that was simply awesome; very fast, tight, and realistic response on drums. I think reproduction of drums and percussion are the single most impressive achievement of this speaker. Another track he played was an electronic piece that illustrated the range of the speakers very nicely. And finally a very clean recording of acoustic bass that sounded very real indeed, probably what this speaker does second best would be acoustic bass.

These were certainly some fantastic sounding speakers, and I don’t think that anyone would accuse them of being too warm. I don’t think they would be considered cold and overly analytical either. They are a revealing speaker, and capable of playing very loud. I found the circular ribbons (made by Acoustic Zen) to be smoother than the linear ones that I have heard. The “under hung” mid woofers were fun to watch when they really get moving, reproducing drum sounds and acoustic bass among the best that I have heard. Electric bass, however, seemed to be missing some of the fullness that would most likely improve in a better room. Over all, I would say that these are a technically excellent speaker, that for some reason I did not quite connect with. Could be for lots of reasons: 2 hr drive before listening, so many other speakers rolling around in my head, not a very good listening room, high expectations... If you are in the market for speakers in this price range I would highly recommend that you audition the Adagios, you may just want to take some home with you. I know that I would like a second listen...
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post #92 of 110 Old 03-08-08, 05:53 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

It just maybe that the speakers you're going to great lengths to find don't exist in your current price range. They certainly didn't exist in your original price range.

It might turn out that you won't hear what you're looking for until you get to $10K/ea or more.
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post #93 of 110 Old 03-09-08, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

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PT800 wrote: View Post
It just maybe that the speakers you're going to great lengths to find don't exist in your current price range. They certainly didn't exist in your original price range.

It might turn out that you won't hear what you're looking for until you get to $10K/ea or more.
That is a scary thought, though most likely true....
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post #94 of 110 Old 03-09-08, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Speaker quest (listening reviews included)

Additional information about the T+A Criterion TS-300:

I have been searching the web for any information about these excellent sounding speakers and have not been able to find much, most of what I found has been in German or Russian. Based on the size and weight of these speakers, something didn't quite jive with their price tag to me. I was tipped off, by another forum member, about potential for them being overpriced in the states because of the weak dollar and strong euro and i am certain that this has increased their price. Another concern that I had, besides currency conversion, is the limited distribution and availability state side. This thought popped into my head as soon as the dealer said that he was one of only 4 dealers in the country. Because almost nobody else has them, their price can skyrocket unchecked (basic law of supply and demand), especially since they are such a fantastic sounding speaker. The third factor that is affecting their price is shipping costs, everything is made in Germany and shipped on an individual basis as far (as I can tell) so this is also a significant contribution to their cost. So, after a considerable amount of digging and translating languages I found a site that also had pricing information for some of the Dynaudio speakers, including the Focus 220's which cary a msrp of $3000 USD. Based on that number, and compared with what the same place was charging for the TS 300's they should actually cost $3200 USD !!!!!!! At that price these speakers would be a bargain. So knowing what I know now I am half tempted to see if I can get them for that price. If I were more confrontational, I would insist on it, but me being me I will probably just leave it alone and post this so everyone else is aware of things to watch out for.
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post #95 of 110 Old 03-29-08, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Speaker quest (Final Round?)

Round 12
(second listens and a couple new ones)

I will be using some new music, a lot of it, and a couple of tracks that I have been using already that have proven extremely beneficial to my evaluations. I may not listen to all of them on each speaker (24 tracks total) but they cover a pretty wide musical spectrum and recording quality varies almost as much. For the most part the music I picked is on the upbeat side. Makes the process more positive for me and I think that this music is most likely to reveal flaws in a speakers overall performance.

I am going to stick with the order I listened during auditions, starting off with a couple of seconds...

Paradigm Studio 100

I still like the bass of this speaker, it reaches pretty deep and has nice impact. With the percussive slap style bass you can hear the strings rattling on the neck of the upright with ease. My second listen had a few bright moments where some tracks were rendered thin, or jangley. A couple of songs that usually have a huge expansive atmospheric quality to them sounded a bit narrow on the 100’s, but other recordings had very nice imaging. My original assessment of this speaker still stands with me... more suited to home theater and movies than to music.

Dynaudio Focus 220

Right off I felt more relaxed with this speaker than the studio 100. All the edginess was gone, more of a relaxing listen. Trumpet peaks were more smooth, mid bass was not as punchy, much more of a smooth even sound. Maybe too smooth, though. I missed the sharp highs, but liked the even mids of the Focus 220’s. I still found the low bass to be a little indistinct, not really bad or anything, just a little too slow when pushed to it’s lower limits with music like Beenie Man (dancehall Reggae). They did much better with jazz, rock, and blues. This is still a good all-arounder, but a little expensive for it’s performance if you ask me.

Those two speakers pretty much bookend the sound I am looking for, but neither one is right for me. I asked the salesman if he had anything that was in the same price range and had a sound kind of in between those two. He smiled and directed me to...

Focal Chorus 836-V: (≈$3000)


Trumpets sounded nice here, a little more edge than the Focus 220’s, and not as much as the Studio 100’s. Strings rattled properly against the neck of the acoustic bass when slapped around. Overall sound was clear, and well defined, with a nice balance. A couple of songs in I wonder how high these go, because to me, they sound like they are rolled off at the top with cymbal rides, coming across not quite real. Vocals sounded good, electric bass had a full blanketing sound, not overly punchy but had some impact. Fu Manchu sounded really good on these speakers, guitars were thick and mean. The male vocals of Bill Withers sounded natural. Erykah Badu sounded good on the Focal’s, so did the J.B.’s. Bass tightness was better than the Focus 220’s, depth seemed about the same. They did a very nice job picking up the overtones of electric bass. The tone of Wes Montgomery’s guitar was good but not great. One of the new tracks I brought along was “like a rolling stone” by Jimi Hendrix from the “Jimi plays Monterey” CD. Not a the best recording, but it sounded really bad on these speakers. A couple of songs that I included just to see if i would get the chills, came close on one but not the others. For some reason the Focal 836-V seemed to handle male vocals better than female. They really did peg the “in between” sound (Focus 220 & Studio 100) that I asked for and I liked the overall sound here. Aesthetically, I didn’t care for the “chevron” shaped grills, or the French glitzy feel I got from these speakers. I like the looks of Focals higher-end Electra line much, much better...

Of the three, I actually liked the overall sound of the Focals the best (for music), and the understated look of the Dynaudio's. But, I don’t think any of these three will find a place in my home. If I had a dedicated HT setup, I would seriously be considering the Studio 100’s.

_____________

That was Monday. On Tuesday, as you may already know I had an appointment for some more seconds.....

Usher Be-718 “Tiny Dancer”

First off I really like the way that brass sounds with the Be tweeter, crisp and clear but not edgy or piercing. Cymbal work also comes across nicely. I notice that acoustic bass seems to miss the lowest notes, today, I did not notice this before. If they are present, they are several dB’s lower than they should be. This wouldn’t be any problem whatsoever, if these were used in conjunction with a sub. Listening to “Come Together” I really miss the fullness of the larger floor standers, but feel that they do a good job overall. I got the same feeling of missing the fullness with Fu Manchu. “Ain’t No Sunshine,” by Bill Withers sounded excellent on the Ushers, vocals were full and rich and a big open space was created for the sound-stage. What ever these things lack in depth they make up for in speed, they did a good job separating the bass and kick drum beats, even when they were close together. Somehow the mids started to sound a little on the lean side as I listened to more music on the “Tiny Dancers.” Imaging was good with most music though not great. After hearing the higher-end speakers these are not as impressive as the first listen, though I still think they are quite good for their size. In case anybody wonders, I like them more than the Ascend Sierra’s but I think that the Sierra’s would be a better value.


Era D-14

I wanted to give these a fair shake, because the last time I had listened was right after the Dali Icon’s and I had the impression that their highs were lacking. This time I thought they actually sounded pretty nice. And speaking of pretty, they are very easy on the eyes, high WAF with the Era’s. Very evenly balanced presentation here, everything sounded good across the board. Forgiving, laid-back speaker. Imaging was pretty mediocre, sound was easy to locate as coming out of the speakers. Nothing made me say wow, and nothing sounded really bad. This could be a good, or bad thing depending on your perspective, I want something a bit more dynamic than the Era D-14.

Totem Hawk

This is a hard one to write for a lot of reasons. One, because I still really like this speaker. Two, because I have heard better ones. Three because it does so much really well, and I have found a weakness. The Totem Hawk really delivers a big musical sound out of a small very handsome looking cabinet. I have heard that many people feel that Totem has a bright sound to their speakers and until I listened to them a third time I didn’t have any idea what they were talking about. The Hawks are fairly inefficient speakers, and the low end suffers most if they are not driven with adequate power. The first time I heard them was with 200 watts behind them, the second and third were with 75 watts (if I remember correctly). I still would not consider the Hawk to be a “bright” speaker, though after my last listen I would say that they are indeed voiced with an accent on the high end. The Thiels come to mind as “bright”, The Hawks are detailed and accurate with almost everything I threw at them. Imaging is some of the best at this price. Cymbals, snare drums and pianos sound very real on the Hawks. Vocals also sound very good. Both Erykah Badu and Fu Manchu sound excellent. Guitar tone is right on, and so is the sound of the brass instruments. Bass is fast and tight, though not as full bodied as the more expensive speakers I have heard. One of the new tracks I listened to was “Even After All” by Finley Quaye, it is really a beautiful song and I included it as a song that might give me the chills but it proved to have an additional value. The bass is pretty deep and very full; the Hawks were doing fine, in this department, with every song before this one. I noticed a little bit of distortion while there was a sustained bass note, and then a kick drum beat in the song. Walking up close you could almost see the driver wanting to suck back in but immediately kicking back out to cover the kick drum, producing a distorted “ugthmp” rather than a clean “thump.” It was subtle and only on this song. Overall I still think this is a great speaker, and if I have to compromise on price this may be a good one to settle on. My main concern with the Hawk is that I know I would want to upgrade in a couple of years or sooner. They offered to lend me the pair for an in home audition and i may have to take them up on that. Between the SongTowers and the Hawks, it is a very tough call for me. They both have their strengths and they both have weaknesses.



Dali Helicon 300: (msrp≈$3000)


A couple of people have suggested that I listen to something in the Dali Helicon line and the shop I was at had a pair of of 300’s that had been knocked over by a customer and then repaired. The 400, which I am more interested in, was not in stock, and the dealer told me that these were an older model that has since been updated. Neither of us were sure what the revision included. The Helicon 300’s that I listened to were a similar size to the Usher Be-718’s, and PSB Synchrony’s that had I listened to before. Kind of largish for a “bookshelf” speaker, I guess this size is more commonly referred to as “stand mount.” The cabinets and finish on these Dali’s was top notch; very, very nice looking.
I started with “the Girl From Ipanema” and thought that the male vocal had nice resonance, and instrumentation was crisp, clear and natural sounding. Once again the ribbon tweeters provided ultra clear and crisp cymbal reproduction, but this time without any harshness. So far only the ribbons have provided a truly accurate sound on cymbals. Wes Montgomery’s guitar tone was spot-on. Excellent separation of sound and nice balance. Bongo drums on “Sunny” sounded like hands slapping the skins. This music was very easy to listen to on the Dali’s. Finley Quaye’s “even after all” sounded good here, the guitar tone was exceptional (again), and the bass seemed to reach fairly deep (at least as deep as the Ushers) though was lacking a little fullness (like the Ushers). This lack of fullness seems to be the major difference between the stand-mount and floor standers, they reach almost as deep but lack the body of the floor standers. Miles Davis’ trumpet sounded real, on “All of You,” so did the sax but that did get a little piercing on some of the runs. Slap-style, upright bass string percussive effects sounded good with Medeski, Martin and Wood. The actual bass notes sounded recessed though. With John Lee Hooker everything sounded good, standouts being guitar tone and cymbals, but overall nice balance to the sound. When I played “Come Together” I again missed the fullness of bass and the low end of it, though upper to mid-bass section sounded very good, providing the blanketing feeling that I look for. Guitars sounded really good again, and vocals seemed to be slightly back in the mix like they should be with this song. Fu Manchu sounded good but the high guitar notes were a little piercing. On “ain’t no sunshine”, Bill Withers, when the strings come in they sound excellent, and his vocal sounds quite good here too. Erykah Badu sounds good, except the missing ultra-low notes. Everything else sounded pretty good on these speakers, the Pretenders had a nice little sparkle to their sound, and they did a good job with atmospherics when fed electronic music.
I liked this speaker, though I still want deeper bass from my fronts. I don’t know if I am just getting used to the ribbon tweeter sound or if the Helicons do a better job implementing it, but they sounded really nice to me. I have come to the realization that if you want truly accurate cymbal reproduction, ribbons are the only way to go, they get the sizzle that everything else seems to fall just short of, soft domes being the worst at this singular aspect of sound. This does come at a price though, as every single ribbon I have heard has had at least one harsh or piercing moment with either brass, or with high electric guitar notes. These Dali’s are no exception, though they really are fantastic speakers. Now I really want to hear the 400... or even the 800!


Salk Veracity HT3(starting at $4499)

not the actual ones I heard today but I love this veneer

As a result of my correspondence with Jim Salk regarding his SongTowers, and our resultant conversation, he suggested that I give a listen to a pair of HT3’s, and helped me set up an audition. He said flat out that he didn’t want me to buy a pair, because they were well out of my price range, and then added that the HT3 was the speaker that he had developed for himself. He also thought that the HT3 was exactly what I was looking for, and that listening to it would provide a good baseline for my ongoing search... Well Jim, you were right, the HT3’s are pretty much exactly what I am looking for.

So, today I went over to another Salk customer’s house armed with a CD containing a revised edition of the last one I used. I cut back a few songs that I felt were sonically redundant to some of the other material, and brought back “rim shot” because I just had to hear how well the HT3’s would handle it’s depth. I thought it was kind of funny when after I had run through all the tracks, Gary (the owner), asked me “What was track 9 ?! The bass in that one went really low.” Gary had his HT3’s set up with a new Yamaha HT receiver (don’t know the model) that put out 140 watts/channel. Though he had a sub hooked up we did not use it, he said it only got used for movies and that it was too slow to keep up with the HT3’s...

I started with Mile Davis and noted that the tone of his trumpet was very nice, acoustic bass sounded good and the saxophone was right on. Cymbals sounded crisp and clean... sounds familiar right? Well a few minutes into this selection I realized how engaging these speakers were. They have a really nice, balanced sound. Piano has the percussive quality that some speakers don’t get right, brushed snare drum sounds great and is distinct, and clear. Nothing is coming forward, everything is staying in it’s place! Wes Montgomery proved to be a very pleasurable listen on the HT3’s. Since nothing came forward on the last track, I didn’t expect anything to come forward on this one either, but something did... The subtleties. The tone on the guitar was excellent, classic Wes. Kick drum had a nice little punch to it in this song, and cymbals again were sounding really nice. The bongos had the distinct sound of thick hands slapping a skin stretched over a drum, very realistic sound. Next up was Stan Getz, “Girl From Ipanema.” The male vocal at the beginning is smooth and natural sounding, and I notice that the bass is nice and full. When Astrud starts to sing the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I get a little chill flash, her vocal is velvety smooth and inviting (I wrote “soooo, nice”) All the subtleties and nuances of this song are right there, and the imaging is starting to impress me. Then the saxophone comes in and... nice job Jim! The reason this song came to be on my speaker test disk is because the SongTowers gave me a little chill when that sax came in, the HT3’s gave me the whole body version! One or two other speakers have made the hair stand up on the back of my neck but this was full blown chills. As I sat there basking in the warmth of the rest of this song I managed to note how nice the resonance and sustain was on the piano. Medeski, Martin and Wood were next with some more upbeat contemporary Jazz. The percussive slap bass sounded very good here, as did the Hammond organ. The most significant thing I noticed during this track was the depth that was here, and I hadn’t noticed on any of the other speakers I played this song on last time out. Also deserving of mention was the sound of the light clicks of the drumsticks as they hit the edge of the snare, not a full on rim shot, but a more subtle rhythmic accent to the beat.

The fifth song was “Come Together,” and it came together very well indeed. (sorry ‘bout the pun, I couldn’t resist). I hadn’t heard this song sound this clean before. The sound was full and deliberate. Bass sounded truly great on the HT3’s. Vocal was dead center, drums heavily dampened, cymbals smooth yet crisp. Man, I wanted to crank this up loud to get the full impact of the music, but I didn’t want to impose too much. (Volume level was about where I would normally listen if I were just sitting there reading and listening to music, no where near the volume I would hit if I were left alone to really rock the house. Not a problem at all because these speakers have plenty to offer even at low volume levels. You could still have a conversation at the levels I was listening. I think about a notch or two louder than Gary usually listens, though. Unless his wife was not home because he did tell me that he liked older Metalilca...) Fu Manchu was next up and WOW- I got the chills from the FU !!!! Never thought that would happen... The guitars are Mean and crunchy, and the soaring high notes don’t ever get harsh or glaring, the bass is thick and fuzzed-out-full. Everything is distinct. Fu Manchu has not sounded better than right here. I added PJ Harvey “A Place Called Home,” onto my audition CD because of it’s nice full sound, and was glad that I did. This track is a very sonically dense song that tends to blend together on the speakers in my truck, but not here, she sounded very clear and natural. Everything was easy to distinguish, you could sit there and dissect all the layers and instruments. PJ sounded really good on the Salks, which showed exceptional clarity and balance. The HT3’s ROCK!

Into the R&B section of my CD with “Ain't no Sunshine” and Bill Withers vocal is sounding very, very good. His vocal has a little bit of echo on it which has the effect of making the room feel much bigger than it is, opening up a huge soundstage. The strings come in sounding very nice as well, and kick drums also sound good. At this point I thought to myself, “these are going to be very hard to beat.” Erykah Badu’s “Rimshot” came on and I got the chills again!!! (They should give you a blanket if you buy these speakers, because you will need it) The HT3’s dig deep, very deep. You can hear every note but the absolute bottom, and that one you can feel. The lowest of the other speakers I’ve heard missed the bottom one or two notes on this song, these guys missed the bottom 1/2 note. The lowest of the low in this song is unnaturally low and you can tell it’s there, even if you cannot exactly hear it. (It’s got to be down around 20 Hz, but that is totally just a guess) Rim shots sounded great, but truth be told I wasn’t paying much attention to them I was too busy wiping the drool of my chin from the bass response to this song. “Apple tree” started up and I regained a little composure (Yes, I am exaggerating a bit but the depth and control of the bass is impressive) to note that her vocal was full and lush in every sense of those words. Again I noted that the bass was outstanding; clear and tight. I included “the Grunt” by the J.B.’s to listen how they handle a lot of brass at once, and they performed admirably. This recording is not great, as with much of James Brown’s work, but I can hear details like a faint echo on the horns (either from the room, or an effect added to the recording) that I had not noticed before. Brass sounds really good here. There is a (usually) shrill note at the very beginning of this song, and again in the middle, that was not shrill on the HT3’s, it was in tune, and not shrill.

Finley Quaye “even after all” gave the Hawks a moment of distortion in the bass, and you can hear the challenging part, but not the flop. This song is just one of those beautiful melodies that makes you feel a little sad and good all at the same time, and all that emotion comes through on the Salks. Full, rich, smooth, clear.... sublime. A couple hits on the triangle ring through clean and clear. When the guitar came in I got the chills AGAIN (this is ridiculous, I want them) the tone is absolutely amazing. I ended with a little electronic music and an expansive atmosphere opened up in front and all around me. DJ Krush’s manufactured universe runs deep. Detailed highs, full, deep bass, pure sweet mids... these speakers leave very little room to want more.
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post #96 of 110 Old 03-29-08, 10:36 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
Yes, "really tight, deep bass" seems to be where most speakers fall short, and what I want, along with the lush full mids, and the clear accurate highs. I am starting to think that I may have no choice but to go sub/sat.
First let me say that I've enjoyed reading about your experiences. Second, from the quote above, I'd suggest you listen to RBH 1266-SE (~$3000) or 1044-SE (~$2100). Sounds like either would (maybe) fit the bill, with the 1266 being slightly forward of neutral and the 1044 being slightly laid back,...'course I think they are both pretty neutral but that is the best way I could describe their differences. They are also a bit out of your $1500 - $2000 price range, but thats the nature of the game

The biggest bass impression I get from the 1266 is,... bass does not disappear at low volumes.

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post #97 of 110 Old 06-17-08, 02:42 PM
 
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Re: Speaker quest (listening reviews included)

hey please can u tell if dali Ikon with Dali 6, Dali 2, Dali Vocal 2, Dali sub.... makes a perfect Package or shall i buy something else in the same budget
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post #98 of 110 Old 06-18-08, 02:25 AM
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Re: Speaker quest (listening reviews included)

Just a great review/summary.

For purely selfish reasons, I hope you never find "the one".

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post #99 of 110 Old 06-23-08, 04:21 PM
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Smile Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
So far:
Axioms are on my not-so-short list,
along with Paradigm Studio series,
B&W 683's & CM7's,
Def-Tech mythos,
Totem,
Onix rpcket RS850,
Revel F-12,
Monitor Audio Silver RS-6/8,
and the SVS MTS-01...
I Havent heard much speakers, but you should really stay away from B&W speakers under the 800 series..
I've heard the 683/684 in many occasion's and was always suprised of their mediocrity.

I've heard many of the new Klipsch models, which are the best speakers for HT i believe but i think they really lack mid range for stereo, and thier imaging is really bloated, and listening to them feels like the imaging disappears into the horizons, instead of being focused in-front of your head like the Dali Suite 2.8.

Anyway i would reccomend you to try to listen to Dali Suite 2.8, should be about 1000$ pair, i havent heard any speaker under 3,000 which comes close to it.
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post #100 of 110 Old 06-23-08, 04:28 PM
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Frosti7
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Re: Speaker quest (listening reviews included)

I also noticed that you listened to Dali Ikon 6,
they are ok speakers, but really dont compare to the Suite (which priced the same)
I would rather compare the Suite's with Helicon 400 then the Ikon
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