Speaker quest (listening reviews included) - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #31 of 110 Old 01-21-08, 12:35 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote: "I am going to seek out the Vandesteens this week, along with some Dali's and hopefully a listen to some Totems..."

Good...do that and let us all know what you think...also take a look at my new thread on TAS short list!
Cheers,
Konky.

I get up...I get the paper...I read the obituaries...if I don't see my name; I go ahead and have breakfast! George Burns.
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post #32 of 110 Old 01-22-08, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Round 4:

Vandersteen 1C, and 2Ce sigII.

Both speakers had exceptional clarity, with their crisp, clear high end. Very clean sound. Piano sounds were brilliant on both models. They really seemed to excel on Jazz. The 1C had a laid back presentation on horns, and I felt (esp. with hard rock music) that they were a bit lean in the midrange. The 2Ce sigII's however provided a full even sound, with maybe an hint of upper mid push. I really liked the sound of both sets of speakers. The 2Ce's were substantially bigger than their 1C brothers but both had a similar form factor, and I am afraid for me that is not a strong point. Compared to many other speakers they are not very pretty. Not a problem if you have a dedicated home theater space want the speakers to disappear in the darkness. I have to consider the wife acceptance factor, and the fact that we have a cat that would most likely see the Vandersteens as a new scratching post for her, let alone the cat hair getting stuck to the fabric covers. It is something that I had not even considered before yesterday, but it is a very real consideration I must make. So even though I think the Vandersteen 2Ce SigII's sounded great (definitely a step up from the 1C) they are out.

Totem Hawk

Very impressive sound, very sexy cabinet. They do exceed my price range slightly but may be worth it. They deliver a much bigger sound than their size would imply. The highs were very crisp, very clear, a bit more clear than the Vandesteens. At first I found the Totems to be ever so slightly bass shy, but was later forced to change that opinion and chalk it up to the source material and their faithful reproduction of the intended mix. I played some Erykah Badu (great music for speaker auditions by the way: very deep bass, great full range female vocals, and tight production) and the Totems came alive. The Hawks went startlingly deep, and Erykah's voice was warm, breathy and inviting, awesome. I also played some Fu Manchu, and the Hawks LOVE rock. So far the Hawk's performed the best out of all the the speakers I have listened to with Rock music. Despite being a 2 way speaker they had a full midrange. The highs, mids and lows were all present and accounted for. Not just that but they were all crisp and tight, nothing sloppy out of these Totems.

Overall impression of the Totem Hawk was that they are a very musical speaker, across the board they really want to be listened to. I am no expert, and I do not have golden ears, but I really liked the sound of the Totems, placing them firmly as the front runners in my quest. The shop owner and salesman were both Vandersteen owners and I know that the salesman I was working with was as surprised as I was by the performance of the Totems.

I really wanted to hear the Dali Ikons on this trip, which they had. But I ran out of time, I had to get on the road to beat traffic and had I stayed it would have been a rushed listen. I may have to take a second trip to compare Dali with Totem.

Last edited by Funkmonkey; 01-26-08 at 03:30 PM. Reason: typo
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post #33 of 110 Old 01-30-08, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Salk Sound
SongTower QWT
http://www.salksound.com/SongTower.shtml

has anybody heard these? I have been browsing their web site, and really like their approach. They also seem to produce some really nice looking speakers. Being an ID company I have no opportunity to audition them myself. Have you heard them Mazer, or just helping with options?
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post #34 of 110 Old 01-30-08, 06:54 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I had the same experience as you listening first to the Monitor Audio Silver S6's and then S8's. That's why I chose the S8's over the S6's; there wasn't as much difference up to the S10's in my opinion. I would say, however, that the Strata Mini's are better than the Monitor Audio Silver series speakers.

I'd also suggest the Salk Sound and Von Schweikert speakers. But they will be harder to audition and you'll probably have to find a local customer.
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post #35 of 110 Old 01-30-08, 08:16 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I just purchased a pair of the DS-456R (the quad 5" on the website homepage) from C & C Home Audio (www.cccustomhomeaudio.com). I emailed them and ended up getting a call from the owner who informed me they were 3 weeks out from actually launching there products for sale. After asking him why, he stated it was based on the website and the photographers not getting things done to his specs which made me follow up with "do you have any products to sell?". He asked which product I was interested in and I told him but then he followed with what color would I like? What color is the trim in my home and the color of the walls? I answered and he said give me two days. Two days later he calls me and says they are ready if I am still interested and I told him yes but wanted to know how to pay. He sent them to me for free including the shipping! He put a letter in the box that read how he appreciated my interest and buisness and for me to enjoy my speakers for 30 days and once the time was up to send a check or the product back. Well I sent him a check 3 days after getting these beautiful works of art in my living room and I couldn't be happier. They sound amazing and they look like nothing I have ever seen before. Now the price.........lets just say I paid under $2000 for the pair and I dare another company with this kind of craftsmanship to compare there apples to these.
So if your shopping around I would give these guys a look.
post #36 of 110 Old 01-30-08, 09:21 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

If you are going on recommendations rather than an audition on some of these other loudspeakers, then I definitely can recommend the Human 88-41 for $2,200/pair. Tried and true technology, stunning sound for the price, and hand built quality and beauty.
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post #37 of 110 Old 01-30-08, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Josuah wrote: View Post
I had the same experience as you listening first to the Monitor Audio Silver S6's and then S8's. That's why I chose the S8's over the S6's; there wasn't as much difference up to the S10's in my opinion. I would say, however, that the Strata Mini's are better than the Monitor Audio Silver series speakers.

I'd also suggest the Salk Sound and Von Schweikert speakers. But they will be harder to audition and you'll probably have to find a local customer.
Yeah, I kind of had a laugh when I switched to the RS-8's. I didn't even bother to go back to the RS6 for a second listen. Have you buy chance heard any of the Gold line? I want to eventually give them a listen too, but not sure where they price at.

I've been digging deeper into research on the Salks and they sound like they might be quite good. I really wonder how they would compare with the Totem Hawks. They both use a similar size mid-bass driver to similar effect from the looks of it. Von Schweikert I hadn't heard of until I looked into the Salks. Seems like they show up in the same threads, but I haven't searched for a website from them yet. And Strata mini's are a new one to me too.

So, how do you like your Monitor RS8's? Have you had them a while? much break-in time?

Last edited by Funkmonkey; 01-30-08 at 09:57 PM.
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post #38 of 110 Old 01-31-08, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Von Schweikert speakers sound like they might be great, but they are a bit over my budget. I checked their price list and it looks like they discontinued everything under $5000. Maybe they are coming out with newer models or something. The idea of a rear firing tweeter is an interesting one for sure, I can imagine it increases the soundstage quite a bit.

here's a link to their site for those who are interested:
http://www.vonschweikert.com/
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post #39 of 110 Old 01-31-08, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
DS-21 wrote: View Post
IMO, the best speaker VSR did is the old VR-4.5 with the Audax carbon fiber mid and twin Eton woofers. If you can find those used in your price-range, I'd definitely look to audition them.
Used is the only way I might be able to afford those guys, for sure... I read a good review of the VR2 here: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-1-2004.html
wonder why they stopped making them...

Quote:
Eric Schultz wrote: View Post
I just purchased a pair of the DS-456R (the quad 5" on the website homepage) from C & C Home Audio... ...So if your shopping around I would give these guys a look.
Thanks for the tip, Eric. That company actually posted in a thread I had going somewhere else. While I think that they are interesting and may be a really good sounding speaker, I am not interested in wall mount right now. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying them, though. Cheers
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post #40 of 110 Old 02-01-08, 09:34 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
Have you buy chance heard any of the Gold line? I want to eventually give them a listen too, but not sure where they price at.
They're more expensive, and a worthwhile improvement in my opinion. However they were simply out of my budget at the time, and not sure they were worth the price increase back then. The price differential these days is smaller, I think.

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
So, how do you like your Monitor RS8's? Have you had them a while? much break-in time?
I've since gotten rid of them and am using Onix Reference 3 speakers for my primary mains. Much much better but also more expensive. They'd be at the top of your budget used; as it happens someone in SoCal has a pair for sale only until Sunday.

I'm not a believer of break-in time myself.
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