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Building a second system and want a rich, natural piano sound with
weight at bottom and the air and decay in the mid/upper as well.
Don't know what they cost these days, but whatever it is, if it's the piano that you want, the M30's are among the very best. Give 'em some good solid state or hybrid power and get out of the way!
They could also reproduce all of the twin piano music you could find I'm sure! I can hear it now: Ferrante and Teicher as if they were in the room!
Sorry, couldn't help giving my cheap one shot.
On a serious note, the piano is a difficult instrument to reproduce becuase it is a bright sounding instrument. A good speaker has to sound bright when the recording is bright and none at all when the recording dosen't call for it. I have not found any cone speaker that can do the above mentioned task very well. It is either one or the other. I did come across a ribbon speaker by VMPS that could do that quite well. In fact it was frighteningly accurate. It was the RM40 which cost about $5,000. The lower cost and smaller RM30 would be a good option to consider if the RM40 is out of your price range. It has sonic properties close to the RM40. The going price new is $3880. You could pick a good used one on Audiogon that would be within your price range.
Agree with the Dynaudio Focus 220.
...but the most natural reproduction of piano I heard is on a pair of Cain Abbys driven by a Fi SET amp. The Abbys manage to get the size and richness of the piano just right. The Abbys are far from neutral and flat, although their in room response is not much worse than my previous pair of Spendor S3/5. Not sure whether it has to do with the natural resonances of the speaker itself, but the Abbys make it to present the mechanics of the string and the decay with the most natural tone I heard. After getting the Abby I actually started getting deeper and deeper into solo piano, from popular figures such as Keith Jarrett and Vladimir Ashkenazy all the way to Irene Schweitzer.
On the other end, one of my friends who is deeply into classical and plays piano himself, uses a pair of Altecs. His setup is highly optimized for classical music and I have not heard one where you can differentiate between different piano manufacturers as easily. You can immediately tell the difference between a Yamaha, Boesendorfer, or a Steinway.
In both cases, I was surprised since I did not expect either a single driver or a horn to reproduce piano for obvious physics reasons...
Die gefährlichste Weltanschauung ist die Weltanschauung derjenigen, die die Welt nicht angeschaut haben.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
... the Spendor S5e's would be a good bet for a second system - assuming that the second system is likely to have less space available. (Link to Spendor website included below).
The S5e's response at 40Hz is 6dB down, but those low registers that are reproduced are taut and fast.
Check out $tereophile's website for a review if you need to know a bit more.
Piano is a very diffucult intrument to get right, especially for an inexpensive floorstander.
In general, you want something that's ruler-flat accurate i.e. flat power response (which is diffucult to achieve). Most inexpensive floorstanders exhibit a suckout ~3 kHz where the woofer and tweeter are crossed over. This suckout wrecks the sound of the piano (in my opinion) resulting in a muffled sound and a loss of the instruments natural presence and brilliance. Speakers that are sucked out this way don't sound right with piano.
Moreover, cabinet/box resonances also spoil piano music, so ideally the speaker cabinet needs to be braced well, which is not always the case with inexpensive floorstanders.
Many floorstanders also exhibit a suckout in the upper bass ~100 Hz - 300 Hz caused by the floor-bounce cancellation (a power response null caused by the position of the woofer in the cabinet relative to the floor). The floor bounce suckout weakens the "power" range of bass frequencies making pianos sound small and anemic, lacking in the body, heft and bloom of the real instrument. Only careful speaker design can minimize the floor-bounce suckout and this kind of design is not often found in inexpensive floorstanders.
The best speakers with piano that I have heard were various (stand-mounted) JBL Control/Mixing monitors. By that token, you might also want to investigate other pro-products like the Harbeth Monitor 30 and Monitor 40 as well as the Harbeth Super HL5.
Interestingly enough, I ended up with the Monitor Audio GS10s bookshelf speakers. I was prepared to spend more. I took a few recordings to the dealer a few times to try and much higher priced speakers did not really give good results bang for buck. One example is the Monitor Audio GR20s which are double the price but no go versus the GS10s for the piano. I was obviously limited to their store stock in what I could try.
Unfortunately I cannot audition most of the recommendations made here for speakers in a certain price range. I have a good rapport with my dealer and a usual get a good price and rather not venture elsewhere.
Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert never sounded so good. With the GS10s, I have been very happy for the priced paid. You may be looking for a much higher standard as I'm unsure what you are accustomed to. Just thought I'd share my experience.
1. They are full range and will give a very satisfying low end (no sub required)
2. The mids and highs are musical and balanced plus you can tweek them with the level controls to dial them into your room
3. One of the best audio values extant
A new pair will run just outside of your range ($3600) but used can be had near $2000. Be sure you have enough power to drive them - they are 87 dB sensitive. I would suggest a minimum of 50 tube watts or 100 solid state watts (which can vary depending on how big your room is).
though they might be out of your price range - if Bosendorfer speakers can`t reproduce solo piano then no one can. Secondhand Bosendorfer VC1 speakers might be cheap enough for you.
I haven`t heard their speakers but all the reviews say they reproduce piano like nothing else.
...nothing beats the real thing. Boesendorfer 9'6" 290 concert grand. I love my audio system, but the piano is sublime.
Isnt there a Piano that can be programmed to play selections? I remember reading John Atkinson using one to record Beethovan.Is this Bosendorf that piano I am referring to? How does it work? Is there an amplification?It must be very expensive!I am unable to comprehend the ways of achieving the quality, say can we make it play like Horowitz for instance or some other great piano player?Am I being totally ignorant about this and boring you all? Sorry.
There is a system installed on the piano. It is the playback only system which doesn't have a negative effect on the action. It's the top of the line system made by the PianoDisc Company.
Yes, pianos, including Steinway and Boesendorfer, can be fitted with
MIDI devices with physical playback, meaning the device records exactly the notes played, in the correct timing that they were played,
for the correct duration held, and how loud(velocity sensitive), and when the pedal went down and up. Then the piano can play this back
like a very sophisticated "player-piano". Now, does it capture
the nuances and magic of the original performance?--That would be debatable.
A piano can go down to 27.5 Hz. If you want to be able to reproduce the bottom octave, you will need something that goes low.
Tonian Acoustics TL-D1
You can spend more, but these are fabulous. Incredible dynamic contrast and low level detail. Difficult to audition though unless you are close to LA. He sells a $17K speaker with Phy drivers which is the best that I have ever heard, and the TL-D1 can hold its own...with the same sonic signature.
joseph audio rm22xl, rm25 sig 2
devore gibbon 8
proac studio 140
dynaudio focus 220
fried monitor 7
Carolina Audio model JTM/2, $3000.
..."The JTMs were chosen as the Reference Monitors at the 5th Annual International Piano Completion at Hilton Head Island, SC Oct 31 to Nov 2 2003....
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