Speaker quest (listening reviews included) - Page 8 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #71 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
Senior Shackster
Greg
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 172
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

thats a good idea
No problem.

Top 5 so far:

Totem-Hawk, Usher Be-718, Dynaudio Focus 220, Paradigm Studio 100
(all tied for the top spot, and all well over my original budget )
followed by Monitor audio RS-8
Funkmonkey is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #72 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 12:02 PM
Senior Shackster
 
conchyjoe7's Avatar
Konky
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canton, GA USA
Posts: 228
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I think Greg, AKA Funkmonkey deserves a good round of applause and congratulations from us all for doing such an exemplary job of reviewing speakers and allowing all of us to "go along for the ride" if you will. The reason for his success and concise observations I believe to be twofold: His passion for music, and his determination to get what he wants (as well as knowing what he wants). He is also getting an education that in speakers more so than any other component; performance and pricing do go very much hand in hand. While it is true that you may find a "bargain" speaker that meets all of your requirements, I believe this to be largely contingent upon your requirements (and/or needs). Greg is now well aware that to get what "he" wants in a speaker entails more than he had budgeted...but he has also learned that the reward for his efforts will be well worth the efforts he has put forth, and will in the end provide him with many many years of pleasure.

I for one congratulate him and look forward to his successful completion (although I'll miss the reviews) of his quest.

Congrats Greg...keep it up...I do believe you are almost there!
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.
conchyjoe7 is offline  
post #73 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
Senior Shackster
Greg
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 172
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Thanks Konky, you are absolutely right about my education of sound. I have been in touch with Jim Salk (about his SongTowers) and he took the time to help me understand why it is so hard for me to find what I want out of a speaker under $2000. Even for $3000 the elements are there but never seem to all be found in the same speaker. I think that at $5000 for a pair I may start to find what I want, but more likely I would have to hit the $10,000 mark to truly get the sound I am looking for. That is okay, I knew that I would not be completely satisfied for the money I can spend. You have been a great help to me in this search, and I truly appreciate it. Thanks to you and a couple of other folks that I have PM'd back and forth I am trying to audition some $5000+ speakers in hopes that i can find them in the used market.

Funny thing has happened recently, through all the auditions I have been realizing just how awful my current speakers sound... I honestly have a hard time listening to them now, so I may wind up getting something for while with the plan to upgrade later, rather than continuing my somewhat naive search in this price range. It has become obvious that I have expensive taste
Funkmonkey is offline  
 
post #74 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 03:50 PM
Senior Shackster
 
PT800's Avatar
John
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ecuador
Posts: 168
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
Thanks Konky, you are absolutely right about my education of sound. I have been in touch with Jim Salk (about his SongTowers) and he took the time to help me understand why it is so hard for me to find what I want out of a speaker under $2000. Even for $3000 the elements are there but never seem to all be found in the same speaker. I think that at $5000 for a pair I may start to find what I want, but more likely I would have to hit the $10,000 mark to truly get the sound I am looking for. That is okay, I knew that I would not be completely satisfied for the money I can spend. You have been a great help to me in this search, and I truly appreciate it. Thanks to you and a couple of other folks that I have PM'd back and forth I am trying to audition some $5000+ speakers in hopes that i can find them in the used market.

Funny thing has happened recently, through all the auditions I have been realizing just how awful my current speakers sound... I honestly have a hard time listening to them now, so I may wind up getting something for while with the plan to upgrade later, rather than continuing my somewhat naive search in this price range. It has become obvious that I have expensive taste
It called upgradeitis. But its never a constant up hill walk. Some expensive speakers aren't worth 1/2 their price, while others may well be under priced for what they're capable of.

At the $5K/pr you're in the JBL PS range(list). Two PT800/two PS1400 subs stacked together to make a pair of full range towers.
Of coarse we all have some kind of budget limit and at times we'll totally throw out that limit, and go for broke.
I know what speakers I'd get, if I totally threw out the budget.
But cheers to your walk through speaker land.

Last edited by PT800; 02-28-08 at 07:03 PM. Reason: add
PT800 is offline  
post #75 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 07:51 PM
JCD
Elite Shackster
 
JCD's Avatar
Jacen
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 1,582
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

First of all, I completely with conchyjoe.. your efforts and detailed reviews are much appreciated. I'm actually a little jealous as I enjoy this auditioning process.

Next, I just thought of something that may be a worthwhile audition -- Mackie 824's (or something from Genelec).

Are they pretty? Nope.

Are the marketed for home use? Nope.

Are they great sounding speakers anyway? Yep.

The mackies are actively bi-amped speakers with built in eq. Practically ruler flat FR until 40hz (I think). If you can find the older version, they can be found for less than $800/pr. The newer version can be had for ~$1000/pr. Just need a preamp or receiver with pre-outs. I've heard them before, and they were pretty amazing for the price.

What could be even better, you could audition them in your home. I think you can buy them at most music stores and return them if you don't like them. Assuming the music store has a good return policy.

Anyway, that's my latest "why don't you try.."

JCD
JCD is offline  
post #76 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
Senior Shackster
Greg
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 172
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

This is a list of everything I have listened to so far, in the order I listened to them and a quick synopsis of my thoughts:

B&W 683 - “average” sound; lacked detail; not too bad. but I want more for the price

Paradigm Studio 60 - nice mid range; nice detail; a bit light on bass

B&W CM-7 - nice “air”; good with Jazz; decent soundstage

Monitor Audio RS-6 - crisp highs; nice mids; lacking bass

Monitor Audio RS-8 - All the detail, and midrange of the RS-6 with a nice full bottom end; very good speaker for the money

Vienna Acoustic Bach - laid back sound; highs sounded congested to me

Martin Logan Purity - crisp, clear upper range and a very full, well balanced sound; If you like electrostatic speakers, these are a hybrid with an internal amp, so you could theoreticaly plug your iPod directly into them and enjoy

Vandersteen 1C - very clean sound; lean in the mids; laid back presentation; a real bargain for under $1g if you don’t mind the looks

Vandersteen 2Ce Sig II - Piano sounds were excellent; full even sound; laid back presentation; kind of the “ugly ducklings” out of this group

Totem Acoustic Hawk - Very nice looking and sounding; Big sound, small footprint; Tight; detailed; full; deep; nice imaging. Excellent sounding speaker.

Usher V-602 - clean clear highs; full punchy bass; a little bright; another bargain at $1g

Dali Icon 6 - crystalline highs; fairly deep bass; well balanced sound; If you like the ribbon tweeter sound these are a well rounded speaker and deserve a listen.

Era D-10 - laid back sound; a little thin in the mids; no deep bass

Era D-14 - laid back; smooth sound; full mids; somewhat extended bass; highs sounded restrained to my ears (had just listened to the Dali’s)

Usher Be-718 - Great imaging; clarity; very impressive bass for their size, thick and punchy; very full, natural sound. Excellent speaker.

Dynaudio Audience 72-SE - Sounded veiled to me in the mids; bass was not very deep; highs were pretty good; smooth (I thought, a little too smooth)

Dynaudio Audience 82 - Distinct improvement over 72; less veiled; some bass impact and fairly deep; mids are level; Good speaker for less dense music.

Dynaudio Focus 220 - very pretty speaker (much nicer looking than Audience line); Smooth; even; balanced; laid back presentation; neutral sounding speaker; nice imaging; low end goes fairly deep but looses definition at the bottom. Very solid performer; great all around-er; easy to listen to, easy to like.

Quad 22L - open presentation; highs and mids are clear and focused; deep bass get a little sloppy but it tries.

Thiel CS 1.6 - bright crisp highs; decent midrange; recessed bass

PSB Synchrony 2B - capable of fairly deep bass; Highs and mids in balance; neutral sounding speaker; big sound, small box; drums were very good on this speaker.

Paradigm Studio 100 - Dynamic; very clear; a bit on the bright side; reaches deep; punchy; strong mid-bass

Audia Sound Labs 8.6 - decent bass; crisp highs; decent mids; imaging still needs work.

NHT Classic four - very deep reaching bass; lack of definition at the very bottom of its considerable range; full midrange; highs were detailed but sounded slightly plastic to me. I am sure that this mass market speaker makes many people happy.


Of the speakers I have listened to these are the ones that I am most interested in and why:

1) Totem Hawk & Usher Be-718 -they actually have a similar sound signature, the Hawks seem to favor the true mids, while the Ushers focus a little more on the upper mids. I like the sound of both of these speakers very much. They both provide incredible sound from a relatively small package, and image very well.

3) Dynaudio Focus 220 & Paradigm Studio 100 -another tie, and both very close to being tied with the two in the number one spot. These guys are very different in their presentation and pretty much "bookend" the Hawks and Ushers. The Paradigms are very dynamic, and the Dynaudios are smooth and mellow, with the other two some where in the middle. Both are excellent speakers for very different reasons.

5) Monitor Audio RS-8 -excellent value, excellent sound. Very good all around speaker for not a lot of money.
Funkmonkey is offline  
post #77 of 110 Old 02-28-08, 11:13 PM
Elite Shackster
 
Sonnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: L.A. (Lower Alabama)
Posts: 22,577
My System
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

That is an impressive list of speakers to have auditioned. I would be
Sonnie is offline  
post #78 of 110 Old 02-29-08, 01:33 PM
Senior Shackster
jakewash
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 100
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I've only listened to about 5 of those before I made my pick of Axiom M80's. After that many sessions I would have most of them blurred together and wouldn't trust any notes I might have made.

Are you any closer on your decision?
jakewash is offline  
post #79 of 110 Old 02-29-08, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Senior Shackster
Greg
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 172
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
jakewash wrote: View Post
I've only listened to about 5 of those before I made my pick of Axiom M80's. After that many sessions I would have most of them blurred together and wouldn't trust any notes I might have made.

Are you any closer on your decision?
What do you think of your M-80's? Those are one's that I was interested in very early on, but little-to-no chance of hearing beforehand. Yeah some do blend together in my memory but that is why I have been posting my impressions of everything as I listen... helps me organize my thoughts and makes it easy to go back and refresh my memory. Plus the ones I really like remain clear, and those I maybe liked at first get a little lost as they don't hold up as I hear more.
Funkmonkey is offline  
post #80 of 110 Old 03-01-08, 04:31 AM
Senior Shackster
jakewash
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 100
Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I would sum them up as what you wrote about the Paradigm Studio 100's, best part is they cost way less. I like the forward sound the Paradigm's and Axiom have. Some call it bright, I call it forward, in that the mids and highs seem to be more pronounced, but when you look on a graph of the response curves they are both very flat speakers. To me they play the music the way it was recorded good or bad.

If you check out their forum you will find an audition list where forum members let you come to their house and have listen. That's what I did, spent a few hours over at his place comparing many different models. It was a blast even if I didn't end up with the M80s.
jakewash is offline  
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
included , listening , quest , reviews , speaker

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now




PLEASE COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED FIELDS BELOW... THANKS!

REQUIRED FIELDS ON THIS PAGE
YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL OF THESE

Username
Password
Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2




User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
PLEASE READ BELOW PRIOR TO ENTERING AN EMAIL ADDRESS!

ATTENTION!

YOU MUST ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT!

Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.

AN INVALID EMAIL ADDRESS WILL CAUSE YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE DELETED!

See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.


Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome