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I am down listening to my budget speakers as well as my friends'. They are uniformly bad sounding in spite of good reviews from popular Stereo magazines. I get impatient listening to Boston A25 and I threw away a B&W bookshelf. Listened to a famous PSB Alpha 5 and the 'famous' Andrew Jones B6 and got angry. Tried several Dalis with disappointment.Listened to higher priced Quad S4 and Q Acoustics with despair. Tried solace with respected reviewer's favorite KEF LS50 at four shops but the result was utter desperation.
Agreed all rooms and accessories were not ideal but I am convinced the manufacturers know their stuff is not good enough but the friends in the market would help.Finite element analysis indeed! Well, there are gems like the old Joseph Audio 7 and the small Harbeths and the old Cizeks but the general speaker population is a noisy unwashed bunch.
Your post has generated more interesting replies than I would have ever thought possible...
Have you finally decided on a direction in which to go ? Not a physical direction, but an audio-related one ?
Thanks for the kind enquiry. I am waiting for the second Jab and worried about the shivering and oxygen problems that some folks have. But I am optimistic that then onwards I can parade into speaker clusters and come out in triumphant vein. Meanwhile I am making plans to use my Dayton drivers in a Betsy like configuration. Avoiding the curves to achieve true golden rectangle. As a continuous process of education, a hundred feedbacks by knowledgeable inmates is solid treasure. I have dished out the Boston A25 from the store and put it in a Dr Joseph D'maggio (oh, that cannot be right but close enough) arrangement.That speaker sounds like it has a built in dynamic suppressor which helps with the WAF. But Mahler is still a No No
Yes, most speakers are not very good. This, btw., is also true for amps, preamps, DACs, turntables etc.
There is no guarantee that price will get you actually great sound but the lower you go in price the more compromises need to be made that cannot be corrected by clever design.
It's your room. Take it from someone who's experienced it a million times - it's your room. All the speakers you've heard would sound great with even a moderate system - in a sympathetic room.
I live in a condo that cannot support good sound an-y-where. It's astounding - the first decade I lived here could not find good sound with any of my long, long list of speakers - including ESL 57's - anywhere. Kept spending money, nothing worked. I thought I was going insane.
During that period I went on summer vacation many a time - and often got fantastic sound immediately with all the same gear - even the most modest. Often in very similar sized and treated rooms. Come back home - set up the exact same system the exact same way - and nothing. It's like the sound was smothered and only came directly from the speakers - yet the room has no slap echo, doesn't sound overly bright - it's bewildering. It just seems to smother the sound entirely.
I finally gave up - figured I buy a pair of larger Harbeths, put them on either side of a nice easy chair nearfield - and just use them as headphones. Did that with my Quad 57's but got tired of looking the mess. To get used to the idea - I put my Quad 11L2's three feet away on either side of my nice comfy reclining chair - put a sneaker under each to angle it up - just to see what I'd be dealing with. The sound wasn't nearly as bad as it should be. Quad 303 + Creek OBH-12. Kinda boomy though - ya think?
Blamed the passive pre - not enough excitement to cut through the boom - but had no active pre. So reluctantly in goes my Onkyo TX-SR373 receiver - wow, major improvement. Guess what - it has bass controls - yowza - still sounds great with tone controls in, super massive imaging, deep deep bass with the help of the floor. Damn this Onkyo images like hell - has a quite effortless bold delivery, it's not even breaking a sweat.
Hey here's a thought - why not use my favourite (for over a decade) dac the DSpeaker Antimode 2.0 to even out the bass? Major improvement again - still need the bass control on the Onkyo - I mean when you put your speakers on the floor with a sneaker as a speaker stand, the Dspeaker can only do so much, but still - major improvement (I set it to EQ to 500hz - default is 150).
That was years ago - still using it the same way today, at incredibly low volume to boot. ALL kinds of music - it never fails. Doesn't hurt that the particular position of my easy chair and floor-based speakers is at the "T" intersection of an L shaped living/dining room setup - so there's 23' behind the speakers and 21' side to side - even though they're right beside a wall to my left (left speaker almost touches the wall). The thought of using subwoofers here is ludicrous.
I laugh when I see people recommending expensive dacs - if you have no equalization in your system at all to "even the playing field" of whatever speaker you place against your room, the DSpeaker to me is a no brainer - I'll never need a better dac, the fact that it eq's the bass to the room is a mere bonus.
And my oh-so-budget Onkyo TX-SR373 lets me make my Quad 11L's fit the room like a glove - has a built in crossover that you can change from your listening position, and if you set the crossover to 150 the bass controls then just turn the subwoofers up and down. That's the kind of swiss army knife you need to figure out what the hell is going on. With my 11L's I have no subwoofer, but I tell the Onkyo there is a subwoofer and change the crossover point to cut deep bass where necessary - between 50, 80, sometimes even 100 hz - depending on the type of music (and time of night). I can turn my 11L2's into my Rogers DB-101's with a click on the remote (kinda).
It took 10 years to conquer my room - I felt at one point exactly as you do now, and if not for the final desperate move of putting my 11L2's on the floor nearfield, would probably be still working away at it today many years later. Nearfield alone has so many advantages.
I see a lot of people offering up new speakers in this thread - offering yet another pair of speakers to an audiophile is like telling an alcoholic to have another drink - it won't work. Try non-audiophile setups, however embarrassing - until you see hope in your room, at which point you'll probably find even the most modest gear is all you need. I've had my Dspeaker / Onkyo / llL2's in place for many years now, no plans on changing - haven't spent a dime in all that time (sold a lot of stuff though)
I'm not doing it now but have in the past and everyone should try it. It can be very satisfying.
Appreciate. Will follow the recommendations.
I dont think what you have heard is not a representative sample of what is best. Perhaps what the publications will tell you is best, but honestly they are the last place you should go for a map of components to audition.
As the pair in the website photo shows them ? That's usually not how open baffle speakers sound their best.
A more correctly representative photo would show them with several feet of empty space to the rear (and maybe the sides too) of the speakers. Any potential buyer should be aware of this requirement before plunking down their
Or maybe there is something special going on with these particular dipole speakers that I'm not aware of ?
Amazing speakers made in the US which cheers me up. Sounds good even on youtube. Thanks.
I have a pair of their smallest model Duette Prelude. First set of speakers I've ever had with no obvious weakness. Smooth, airy, and the bass is solid and extended. I have them with the Voxativ driver option. The owner Ze've is a great guy to boot.
Thanks to all dear fellow inmates who came up with helpful tips and encouragement. There is light at the end of tunnel with appointment for vaccination for next week. A woodwn wrap is getting ready for the Tivoli which hopefully would improve the sound yet further. Last but not the least i am looking forward to auditioning Reynaud, Fyne, Audio Note et al. Meanwhile here is a toast with specially ground Arabica cum Robesta coffee.
Not trying to pass judgement here. But try to remember that wise old saying.
Feeling good after the vaccination. No reactions yet but the swelling of the feet is gone down drastically. Dont know what will happen after the second shot. Perhaps the fatty liver will get cured.Trying to optimistically trump the problems.
Assuming your room and equipment are not the problem perhaps audition music first speakers instead of technology peddling speakers.
Bring home a set of Audio Note AX Two or if you can afford it Audio Note K/Lx speakers.
I have been running both with tubes and class D amps and they both sound terrific.
The AX Two is tough to find at the moment as the plant that makes them has had major damage and need repair before they can come back. The AX Two has been selling for 20 years and no one has heard of them.
They were designed by LS-3/5a guru Andy Whittle. They retail for $1k.
This reviewer pulled the speakers apart so you can see every part of the speaker and he describes the design and why they sound better than anything he has used with more sophisticated parts.
The problem with the high-tech speakers is they sound hi-tech and the ear keeps focussing on the sound of the technology. I always hear Ribbons. They sound cool but I can't relax because I am always focussing on the tweeter. Metal drivers don't integrate all that well.
Sometimes simple is better. The AX Two is hand made in Denmark - basic true drivers as the reviewer notes and it's designed properly. 7 watts per channel is needed and you're done. If your room is bigger than 12 x18 then you'll need to go up the food chain - or if you are a deep bass head.
But the AX Two is considerably better than the speakers you listed. They're ugly - plain cabinets boring ole paper woofer and silk dome tweeter.
And yes I am an AN guy but remember these were not designed by AN - they were designed by Rogers head engineer Andy Whittle.
I have owned the AX Two for the last 9 years and you will have to pry them from my cold dead hands because they are stupid good in this price range.
One of the most in-depth speaker reviews you will likely read.
What's concerning to me is that the reviewer felt he needed to pull the crossover's out of the speaker, slightly tweak them and hard solder the speaker cable. That's fine as a mod but I don't think it speaks to the intact version of the speaker, which he had serious doubts about. As well from what I could gather they are priced well over 1k now. I don't see that given the build. I know AN does things their own way, but part of that includes quality parts. Might be nice to see something in real wood veneer with somewhat better parts. Just my two cents.
I think he was clear that he didn't like them at first - like them a lot when he gave them a second try and then liked them way more when he upgraded them. He felt they could be bettered with external crossover.
Essentially that is what Audio Note does with the AN K, J, and E - the latter currently has 17 versions which are somewhat what the reviewer did - take a speaker and then used better parts - making an external crossover version - better quality drivers and magnets etc.
Indeed, a lot of speakers could probably do with an Audio Note treatment selling upgraded versions. Some things are pretty good and you think maybe if they upgraded the cap or the voice coil what would it be like?
A DIYer has the advantage that he never counts his own time. Audio Note has to pay an hourly wage.
With the AX Two - it's a pretty limited market and they probably figure that the time involved and the expense involved, would double or triple the price of the speaker. And then You're into the AN K territory.
Some years ago they made a Signature version of the AX Two with real wood (birch??) and the dealer and I both preferred the basic version better. The Sig was eventually dropped. On the K, J, and E the Birch made for superior sound over the particle board versions but then they were all based on the Snell - the AX One is a Rogers clone and the AX Two was designed by Roger's head of speaker design Andy Whittle.
Back in 2002 or so the AX Two was around $700 and it beat the $3,000 B&W N805 in terms of sound when I directly compared them back to back. I describe it as the "Cup of Christ" speaker from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. The thing that just doesn't look anything fancy - it is simple and to the point. The flashy cups are all flash and kill you. Metaphorically killing your ears. :)
Yes, it could be improved but it has been selling for 20 years so they're doing something right. When I brought home the KEF LS-50 that was 50% more expensive I was sort of expecting it to utterly trounce the AX Two - I had the LS-50 for 4 years - nice speakers. The decision to sell one of the two for an upgrade wasn't a difficult one.
Why is AN so secretive about the prices for their products? Drives me nuts that I have no idea how much any of their speakers or components are. I'm sorry, I like to know before I bother a dealer whether I can afford, or want to pay the $$$ for something. I remember a few years ago there was some sort of AN price list floating around, but that was long ago.
I discussed this with the Hong Kong dealer and he noted that the dealer will tell you the price. Audio Note doesn't sell through music direct or online so it seems like their prices are secretive but they're not. All their dealers have the price list.
And they are like all the other non-internet brands. If you want to know the price of a Shindo amp - it's not online - you have to make an inquiry with a dealer.
Plus AN is largely a made-to-order maker - and at high dollar items, exchange rates become a thing. Here in Hong Kong - the way you pay becomes a thing - they'll give you a cash price but if you pay by credit card they want 2-3% extra to cover the cost. On a $100 item they don't care but 2% on a $50,000 item - that is real money.
Fair enough, but even for most "non internet" brands I can get an idea of the price, for AN, just completely clueless. So they have 15 different options of a speaker and I have no idea if I should even consider one. I like to go to a dealer and have some idea.
Thanks for your info.
Well, that is a downside to Audio Note.
With some brands, you have to ask a dealer. They're not sold through online stores or sold at big-box chains with weekly fliers advertising a price.
Besides Audio Note when they list a price they tend to put a "high" sticker price up to mitigate the exchange and tariffs and shipping increases. So you will always pay less than you probably expected to pay or what the sticker price quotes.
If a CD player is sold at Music Direct for $2999. You pay $2999 but the AN CD player may list $3699 but you actually pay $2800. And it's the better-sounding CD player than the thing at Music Direct. Sometimes it's worth the pain in the ass. Plus, I think they want people to actually listen to stuff before they buy it.
They make so much stuff - they have something at almost all price levels above a certain minimum. So they have speakers for $700, $1000, $1500, $2000, $2500, $3000, $3500, $4000, $4500, $5000 - onwards up to $350,000.
Something like 35 speakers and they're not a speaker company - it's a tertiary business.
I also think it is not a bad business idea. You go in and you listen to an OTO and it is say $3500 - but then you hear the Sig version at $5000. Maybe you decide that $1500 is a lot but it is doable given the improvement so you elect to spend the extra.
If you went to a store selling say a Roksan Kandy integrated for $3500 - there is not sig version to entice you to part with an extra $1500.
That is what happened to me - back in 2003 I auditioned the AN J/LX which was like $2200 and I loved it - the dealer then brought in the AN J/Spe which was $2500 and I could not go back to the other one - it was considerably better and for a doable $300 more. And that was a few hundred less than the inferior B&W 805 which was the speaker I intended to buy.
Not making excuses for them or anything - Just stating my perceived opinion on what they're doing. I am sure they lose a lot of sales with this policy but obviously, on balance, it seems to work for them. Getting people to hear the difference in parts quality - going from one model than to the next one or two versions up.
Someone noted to me that Audio Note sells you the gear you can dream on. Almost no other company does that.
So the dealer here sells AN and Roksan. A person comes in and plops down the money for the Roksan. You as a dealer sold 1 customer 1 item and you may never see them again. There is no vastly better-sounding Roksan amp after that. One and done - you made your profit and that's it.
With Audio Note - you buy a basic OTO and if you loved it and your CD player dies - hey why not see if that synergy thing is real - makes sense that the caps and wiring in the CD player match the ones in your amp and the structure is the same in the speakers and IC and Speaker wire and that the caps are voiced similarly in the CD player as the amp. So the customer comes back to buy a CD player. Comes back for the cables.
Then if he liked it - well now - there are 8 integrated amps 6 above the OTO and various versions of each. Or maybe he decides to go separates - wow - 9 preamps with like 5 versions of each one. Power amps? 10 Stereo power amp models and 14 monoblocks - usually 3 versions of each. (Regular, Silver, Silver Signature)
Prices? Bwahahaha - I think often they don't know until someone orders it. Then they say okay someone ordered the Onkoru II - this uses this transformer and this silver - how much is the silver costing us today - X what about Brexit - X - how much is shipping that all went up X - Calculate calculate - here is the price.
I saw an Audio Note radio tuner in a second-hand shop. What? Is it real? I asked Peter why it is not on the website. He replied, "If we put it on the website someone might order it." I get his sense of humor.
When I bought my speakers - they were not on the website - it was a requested design by the Hong Kong dealer - Audio Note elected to make it - it became a popular seller (even though expensive a lot less expensive than others) and eventually, they put it on their website. There could be a dozen products not listed.
In the end - it ain't going to be for everyone. That's why there are thousands of companies out there.
Nice rundown. I guess it does work for them. I think the quality of the dealer is going to be important, one that doesn't dismiss you if you can't afford the SE MKIII Silver Signature...And one that displays examples of products in a range of prices.
I had the same experience when I bought my turntable. It's an SME. I listened to the new model 10 that they had. Then I listened to the 20. Worlds better, and the price difference (at the time) was pretty negligible so it was a no brainer-- if you can say that about a $10k piece of equipment.
I'll certainly go see my AN dealers here when I can. Really intrigued by the speakers and would love to listen to the "more affordable" models.
The other thing to note is that because they make a ridiculous number of things there is no way a dealer can stock them. The AN E as noted has 17 versions - it comes in 20 finishes - matte or high gloss and AN has not added the full RAL colour sectrum as options.
The Hong Kong dealer Elephant Holdings has a few secondary outlets now - those shops sell the AX Two and the Zero level stuff. Another one carries the insanely priced stuff like the Gak-On power amps at over 1/4 million.
They elected to buy one of the light woods, one medium wood, and maybe one dark wood - and they usually have 3 levels (out of the 17). They have one AN J speaker and one AN K. And this is the top-selling AN dealer in the world. I am guessing that Singapore is up there as well.
On the Steve Hoffman forum, there are a few dealers who post there from the USA who have pretty good stock.
I think most dealers will carry the more affordable range. The M1 Phono I have been using for the last 5 months as I have been waiting for them to build me my M6. (which just arrived a couple days ago).
You can follow the mega-thread on the Steve Hoffman forum. It began in 2015 and is still going so it's quite insane. Plenty of folks make the same case you make about the prices.
As for the speakers the vid sort of illustrates the issue with prices - they stock materials not equipment.
It's a rather long multi-part factory tour.
Thanks for those links, I'll check them out when I can.
Always amazed at their offerings. That, to me sounds like a logistical nightmare. But, as I said it must work for them.
So, RGA, fount of AN knowledge here, If I were to ask you to spec me an AN system for say, $15 - 20,000, what would you suggest I go and ask Nick the AN dealer down the street (not literally down the street, but Nick is real and 2.5 miles away) to demo for me.
My criteria are:
Integrated amp preferred
remote control volume (I only see the "Cobra" integrated offering that. Don't like the style at all.
smaller speakers (E's are just too big for my space)
Digital source (I have mostly cd's, but a quite a few SACD's and am asking in the HiRez forum if they're "rippable"
I'm trying to simplify the boxes, IC's and power cords. Space will be small and relatively near field. I know you're familiar with that in HK.
I'm hoping to have some ready money soon and maybe try and trade the SME TT in if I can get a good value on it.
Remote control will be an issue but Audio Note did make remote control preamps in the past. If you really need it - Audio Note can probably custom make them. The Cobra is a bit ugly but it is integrated with a remote and a built-in non-oversampling DAC for I believe $4,200.
Nick would be the man as he is also a fully knowledgable repair facility.
AN doesn't do SACD
My room is 18 by 13 - the AN K is superb. But then so is the E.
For under $20k and In a smaller room -
Meishu Tonmeister - is the best 300B I have heard and will eat half your budget - the basic one is great. The two above may be better but there is always something better. The basic version is great. (I was not a big fan of the older Meishu is sounded too delicate for me). But you may like it - it was their number one selling integrated and the price may be reasonable second hand.
Lexus cables throughout which is the internal cable of the LX speakers.
Then any combination of CD player or DAC/Transport with the money left.
If you plan to rip most of your music - a DAC. I listen now mostly to vinyl due to the TT3 being IMO a Gamechanger for vinyl. So the DAC 0.1X has been more than fine for me the last few years. Plus it's the only one with USB input (Peter's humor once again) where his least expensive DAC caters to computers. The good DACs cater to CD. I like the chutzpah!
All of this should be under $20k and I would expect much less if buying multiples. But as always just audition - being that close you should get home auditions of the stuff as well. And they may have good deals so you may get a better version of something.
I ended up with the AN K because the dealer noted to me that another customer was saving for the AN J/SEC - so he needed to sell his K to get the money for the J. Dealers know their customers so it's possible to get something better for less. At the time I was trying to sell my KEF LS-50 which no one wanted here. Hong Kongers don't generally like anything made in China. So the dealer convinced the fellow to take less cash for the AN K along with the KEF.
Thenks so much.
That integrated looks great, except for the red lettering and that font, ugh. Didn't they used to be blue? I'm sorry to say I'm a bit of an aesthetist, so looks are important. Lack of remote may not be a killer though (see below re Marantz SACD player). I saw some of their discontinued products had them, wonder why they moved away from that feature.
I actually have a 300B integrated from Wavelength Audio (no remote) that needs repair (Nick refused, said it wasn't worth his time and my money). I need to send it back to Wavelength I guess.
Other amps I'm considering are the Wavelength Duetto (using the Marantz), the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL, either power or integrated, and for SS, the Sugden A21. I think that covers all the bases.
Speaker looks phenomenal. The applewood finish is beautiful (again with the font on the finish descriptions, it's unreadable!). But it looks like it would be what I'm after as far as "close to the room boundaries" condition.
I don't have golden ears, so as far as digital I'm looking at the new Marantz SACD 30N. It's sort of a Swiss army knife, includes a preamp in some fashion. I know I could use it with a power amp, not sure about an integrated.
Thanks again, and I'll give Nick a call when things are amenable here.
If buying new then you can have whatever case you like. You can get the Meishu in black with black or gold knobs. The speakers have stick on badges so you can put them wherever you like. I left mine off. One of the advantages of made to order is that you can get the look you want. Peter has an artist who does special prints on the amps as well. One guy bought it with a front Scottish plaid plate. Another person bought a hot pink Jinro.
I think I know what you mean.
Some say the same thing about AMT tweeters - too bright and/or shimmery sounding, attracting too much attention to themselves. But you should try to audition the latest Wharfedale Evo4 series speakers if you can. I think you might actually like them. They do use AMT tweeters but (for once) they have been voiced on the mellow, warmish side of neutral. Wharfedale speakers in general seem to be voiced on the warmish side of neutral, IME.
Ribbons can sound great in the right room and the right system, I think.
They look really nice to me. I like "boring old..."
Question. Do they come with grills? Looks like there are holes for them, but I know AN's usually don't. That's one reason I haven't considered them in the past (well, along with the $$$). My girls are teens now, so poking fingers less of a concern. I'm looking for close to the wall speakers and I know AN's fit that bill pretty well.
Is to put a table cloth/towel over the speakers and hold it in place with several hockey pucks when not in use. :)
'put a table cloth/towel over the speakers and hold it in place with several hockey pucks'
that's what my friend used to do on the bird cage to shut up his noisy ass macaw
cheaper AX-One I just haven't heard the AX One in many years.
Photos is AX Two.
I am convinced that the AN is a very good speaker because you have enjoyed them for many years. Of course it is not a 'budget' speaker and I never buy preowned, so I have to wait to see if the rumors 0f a check in the mail will come true.
Excellent review that you forwarded. I like aloof guys commenting on sound of speakers.
By never buying pre-owned, I can understand one could be depressed. So many affordable gems on the second hand market. A speakers that works when you audition it at the seller's place will continue working, there's no hidden flaws. Buying new is losing money the moment you open the packaging.
You are right, I am missing a lot of good buys. But somehow have an aversion to going for something that another has handled.
"Of course it is not a 'budget' speaker"
Yes, but who really needs TWO kidneys? :)
Only one speaker needed. Mono is good.
Or did you mean one kidney could be donated to raise funds to buy non budget speakers? Sorry too old to donate!!
my little Tivoli radio sounds so very good outclassing several highly touted bookshelves. Henry Kloss (bless his soul) knew something that other designers did not. The little 3 inch driver outperforms my regular speakers. I play the sources thru Aux. I place it vertically. Even the FM is quite good.
I am thinking of getting a very good 3 inch full range (not the right term but good enough) and building a well designed cabinet. Perhaps it will be musical like the radio and better than bigger ones.
Keep dreaming, smoking, or whatever makes you less angry. I have some Bose cube garbage you may like.
Allow me to play devil's advocate and indulge this 3" driver thing.
It's a single driver.
You can't get less crossover than a single driver with no crossover. You're connecting the amplifier output state directly to the speaker terminals. People spend $25,000 on a pair of Neo-magnet 8" fullrange drivers. They then connect the amplifier output stage directly to the speaker terminals. Bliss ensues.
But every "fullrange" speakers has, in effect, two "crossovers" (or filters) associated with it - not electrical per se, but mechanical. The first is the low end rolloff and the the second is the high-end rolloff.
A full range speaker is actually a band-pass device. It can't do 20Hz well any more than it can do 20kHz well. And by well, well, I mean well.
So does a 3" speaker in a clock radio trump a 3-way with an exhaustively designer crossover and cabinet? If you're a single-driver officionado, you might actually say yes.
And that is all I have to say about that...
that would fall apart rather quickly in a blind listening test. A 3" driver cannot do bass, cannot do midbass, can do midrange and lower range treble but cannot do upper range treble, especially those stuck in a clock radio. Its purely sight bias and has nothing to do with actual quality of sound.
I was saying that a full-range speaker is governed by the laws of physics, making it a glorified midrange driver with a high and low pass filter built into it, inherently. (Mechanically).
Freaky whizzer cone breakup to get "up to 20khz" notwithstanding...
I understand that mechanical limitations makes it sound like a glorified midrange driver but the quality of midrange also sucks. If one prefers that sound, Im saying that the only reason why that sound is because of sight bias and not because it actually sounds better.
Turns out I was just being sarcastic that day.
But I did not suggest that a clock radio speaker would "do midrange well" - I merely poked fun at single-driver aficionados who would make note that it's a single driver connected to an amplifiers terminals.
Thanks for that comforting post. I made a pair of 7x 11 cabinets for 5 inch Dayton Audio full range drivers bought on sale for $40. I am somewhat proud of the sound. This started me thinking on going for high quality drivers, perhaps costing up to $200. I gave up that plan when I saw the Zaph SR71 drivers for around $400 which is loved by audiophiles.Then the idea occured to get one driver of very high quality for $400. My friends cannot accept the idea of going back to mono. So the dilemma. Decisions! Also this lock down and such. Afraid of vaccination too.
of both Moderna and Pfizer. We are all feeling great , and I am the only one who had a slight fever and nausea for one day only. That is a normal reaction of the immune system, which is a little more sensitive in me who has had hives in the past. I wouldn't be nervous about it.
Once a large majority of us get the shot, the sooner this virus will be subdued and we and the economy get back to normal.
And like I said, I love my stock Tivoli. I even have the original KLH, but it needs restoration before I can compare.
Ah, how I loved the KLH radio playing WNEW of NYC. I still can hear the Byrds singing Turn turn. Tivoli has the family traits.
"Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds used to give me goose bumps in my folk rock days. Eveyone on this site is so different in their "goose bump" recordings.
The sound of the Tivoli is outstanding as you say. Also my Yamaha computer speakers have excellent tone and imaging, as the speaker cones are made from paper from maple trees if I recall. All the other computer speakers I tried sounded tinny and artificial, and they all had metal or plastic cones. The Yamahas are bass limited of course, but the small room makes up for that. I have since purchased a small Yamaha, powered, woofer to add some bass.
Even and coherent tonal balance is very important ! But sometimes, our "audiophile inclinations" lead us to set up our speakers for best soundstaging/imaging at the expense of good, old-fashioned tonal balance.
Back in the early days of stereo recording, Speaker Designer Winslow Burhoe at first resisted stereophonic reproduction. As I understand it, this was on the basis that the tonal balance of speaker systems was being negatively affected by the new craze for stereophonic soundstaging. As people started moving their speakers away from room boundaries in order to enhance soundstaging/imaging, proper tonal balance often took a dive.
It took a little while before speaker designers who were used to creating speakers for mono reproduction to figure out how to make make speakers that sounded tonally correct and spatially correct at the same time.
To cap this off, let us remember that proper speaker positioning is one of the primary keys to a satisfying listening experience in stereo. And I do wonder if you should probably be spending more time in consideration of speaker setup and room tuning.
It is possible to have a stereo system that sounds tonally correct and soundstages well at the same time, but that goal might take some real effort on your part before it is realized.
I am not too keen on soundstaging. I simply do not like the holograhic imaging some reviewers rave about. I remember one PSB speaker which frightened me with the ghostly sound. A nice big Mono would do me fine like the Sam Goody guys at Paramus NJ once played, a big huge Tannoy Westminster that they played in mono. Lovely sound. CSN&Y never sounded better, not even live at MSG, NYC.
and I get that. But what I don't understand is how you can possibly think that a clock radio speaker has better tone when the speaker in the radio cannot come close to covering all the frequencies that even a 2 way design can.
To me mono sound looses so much of the information that gives music its life like presence. Its like listening to sound through a heavy drape.
This is something we'll never agree on but in the end I respect its what you like.
Easy to chew and swallow, sure. But not the most nutritious stuff either.
Yeah, not the tastiest either but affordable. Not asking for caviar, only bacon.
You can make the Tivoli even better if you want to.
First, visit your favorite fishing pole building supply store. Buy three of these, or something like them:
These are the new "feet" for your radio. Better than standing the radio on its side, I found.
Then, visit your favorite craft supply store. Buy one of these, or something like it. Color doesn't matter, at least as far as I can tell:
Stuff the pompom into the port on the underside of the radio. This will slightly dampen the bass response so that it isn't so bloated. Adjust to taste.
(Of course, eBay has zillions of both of these for sale.)
That's it! This improved an already great sound to something better. At least for me. YMMV and all that jazz, of course. But, for the price I don't feel like you'll hate me forever if you don't like it.
Thanks for the suggestions. I place the Tivoli vertically with the speaker above the dial. I have stuck four feet underneath. The Port fires to the left. Port firing downward was indistinct. I wish there were a bigger Tivoli which played louder.
someone here may have a schematic. It will probably show a built in EQ section. That plus special design on the speakers = nice sound. Don't expect the speakers alone to have it.
your search has always been lateral - never achieving a higher level.
Quart ziplock baggies with enough sand for 3/8" thickness. Did wonders for B&W DM303 on cheap metal stands.
Don't get depressed, Bill. There are more important things to get depressed about..well, maybe. Do consider going after the Joseph Audio RM7si's I linked - they are probably within your budget. Isn't SIS (Severe Indecision Syndrome) fun? I think once you find and buy some speakers you can enjoy (you've said several times over the YEARS that you really like the RM7's so why not?)you won't have to read and defend posts where some inmates suspect you're just nuts ;). There are no perfect speakers and they are all compromises in one way or another, even those way beyond your budget. Have fun and good luck!
Bad environment, bad ancillary equipment, etc.
Having said that, I find I like speakers with a certain type of sound: airy, transparent, great midrange.
And some well reviewed speakers make compromises in those qualities in favor of other qualities, such as deeper bass, ability to play loudly without loss of coherence, etc.
Think about the qualities of the speakers you have liked in the past. Look at reiews of those and other speakers with similiar qualities. If they are good reviews would you say the reviewers are biased?
If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!
I recently heard some tiny Fyne Audio bookshelves driven by a 500$ streamer and a 800$ Rega amp (I guess the speakers were less than 1000$ as well)
obvious level and bass extension limitations aside, I found them very impressive.
Nothing is perfect and we all have different tastes meaning the factors in reproduction we value most and what must be there for us and what we listen for first. Perhaps the most important factor in our hobby is to know ourselves.It's hard to answer you unless we know what these values are for you.
at the link.
NO association with the seller.
All the constant fuss from you regarding "budget" speakers and the
amount of time and energy you spend on it makes me think you need
to up your budget or lower your expectations so that you might actually
get to the point where you might enjoy the hobby enough to stop your
The store owners must love you.
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure
Senility may be on the horizon for some.
Oh jeez... what did I just say ?
on the link... Easily the best hundred bucks and change you'll ever spend on an audio product... EVER!
(no association with seller)
A little sanding with fine grit sandpaper, re-stain and some Marine varnish and voila! Another exceptional well-reviewed bookshelf...
Always wanted to check out Reynaud but never got around to locating a convenient dealer. I must do it soon after I get over my doubts about vaccination.
Good thing I have too many speakers ....
showed up manana I'd buy them just to know they are in my basement!!!!
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
It is a bit odd to expect premium performance from any audio device with enough corners cut to be affordable for a non-critical listening application rather than deliver the entire bounty, often requiring the additional cost that was cut from the budget to begin with. If a listener can't or is not willing to pay for what is required, simply appreciating what is attempted by a designer/manufacturer at a lower price point and living with it, is just like buying any budget-minded product offering within any other marketplace. Upgrade the caps and coils, along with the wiring and binding posts if one wants improved performance, but don't expect transformative results.
I think you have hit on a good point. Poor Bill is expecting caviar at hot dog prices.
Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill
For example, I just read an interesting Youtube review of the Wharfedale Evo 4.2 speakers. Reviewers name was "Zero Fidelity". This reviewer stated that it took him about two hours worth of frustrating fiddling with speaker position before these speakers began to sound good to his ears. Initially though, these speakers had sounded so extremely bad to his ears that he had been ready to pack them up and send them back. He had never experienced this type and degree of frustration with a pair of standmount speakers before, but in the end, all of his patience and hard work finally payed off (no pun intended ?). And some of his this reviewers colleagues had experienced the exact same thing with these particular speakers.
So, I suspect that there are many speakers out there that don't begin to sound their best until the owner has fiddled exhaustively with things like speaker position for a good long while. Magnepan owners (for example) will confirm this truth, I'm sure, as dipole panels speakers can require a lot of fiddling around with before they begin to sound their best.
And the KEF LS50 is another good example: Because of it's coaxial design that disperses sound all around in "point source" style, they might certainly prefer to have a lot of space around them on all sides. Therefore, I'd position them against the long wall rather than the short wall of the *smallish rectangular rooms* that they are designed to fill with sound.
But how many consumers actually bother to try many different speaker positions before they complain? I suspect that, sometimes, consumers opinions radically differ from pro reviewer opinions simply because consumers are too often careless or impatient during speaker setup, while the better pro reviewers are motivated to almost never be too careless or impatient.
You might want to have a look and listen to these (they may be in your price range):
or grab these on ebay and you're done:
The new Triangle. I dont know, the sound was a little too bright. Joni sounded rather high pitched, more than usual. Some taming could be done thru tone adjustment but not quite good enough. Will try again after the Covid(!!!)
Fyne should be as good as Tannoys which I find respectable. Should be better as those who quit Tannoy must be knowing something more.
actually nothing's good enough, you're pretty much screwed
seriously, you need the best headphones you can afford and a sub-woofer both powered by the best amplification you can afford placed right up by your taint [just the sub] and you'll be in paradise ... wear sweat pants
or learn an instrument and play stuff with other people
the headphone / sub-woofer deal should work though
Ah, the ever pragmatist! Thanks. I have a dislike though for headphones. I consider using them as a selfish act. Listening exclusively all by oneself. I dont feel too good about that. Wonder about the Sub idea though that close with a PSA count of 27 and a fear of biopsy.
'PSA count of 27 and a fear of biopsy'
LOL! ... wish I didn't have coffee in my mouth when I read that
ah well, it will clean up and I missed the keyboard
They're good enough.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein
I'd rate them pretty high even though I ultimately returned them. My room is just too big for them, but if I had my system set up in one of the smaller rooms they'd have been perfect.
The problem is not that there is evil in the world, the problem is that there is good. Because otherwise, who would care?
Maybe it's not the speakers? Just a thought.
First the source and the amp and the acoustics of the room. A hundred thousand speaker sounded all different when moved an inch in the reviewers room.
Secondly the lockdown and vaccination phobia, the Kent variation and breathing difficulty et al. Instead of lack of taste, lack of hearing perhaps.
My dad asked me to select a stereo for a gift for my sister in the 80s. She ended up with a Rotel receiver and a pair of Sound Windows. They were great for wall mounted speakers.
I just received a pair of Cizek 1 last Saturday. I plan on firing them up Saturday. I add these to my collection of Avid 103, DCM Time Windows, and Vandersteen 1...what a collection!
All in the garage shop out of wife's sight :0)
I am surprised you dont yet have a Rogers LS3/5A. I lost mine in a huge flooding.
I never warmed up to their sound, but I always heard them in a bad set up.
I know what you mean. I own two pairs of speakers that are both no longer manufactured. They are the B&W PM1 and the Thiel CS3.7. The Thiel's are perhaps the best sounding speakers I've ever heard and they still sound spectacular after owning them for 9-years. I'm hoping they last the rest of my life because I don't think there is anything comparable today, at least not at an affordable price. The little B&W PM1's sound very nice for a small speaker. I keep them because they're fun to listen to in a nearfield configuration. There might be comparable small two-way speakers available, but I already own the PM1's. The Thiel's are my reference, though.
My bro in law has that B&W. I kind of like it. He presented me with the more expensive 686 on my birthday. Terrible speaker. I secretly threw it away and whenever the wife asks about the great gift from her dear kid brother, I escape saying it is being modified by a great audiophile in NYC.I may have to find a similar cabinet at Goodwill soon. She wont open the grill I hope.
> My bro in law has that B&W. I kind of like it.
Yeah, the B&W PM1 is an outstanding little speaker; it's too bad they quit making it.
My friend and I compared it to the 803 and 804 floor-standing models in the dealer's showroom and we both liked the little stand-mounted PM1 better. Go figure!
I figure it is the warmth, the body that attracts me to the sound. I like the presence, like Joni standing in front and singing and the music coming from her, not some holographic ghost. There is a big vacuum between my Tivoli and the Joseph 7. There must be a way of bringing HK sound back to fill that gap. I have hopes of Golden Ear doing it if state of the economy permits.
I have never heard Cizeks but for whatever reasons Tom Scholz of Boston fame used them to record & master at least one of his albums when he separated himself from the record company for that task. So they gotta be good if working properly.
He's a genius if you ask me
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