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Book shelf coaxial speaker options?

71.181.66.71

Posted on April 17, 2022 at 09:39:48
tketcham
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Hello,

I'm going to upgrade to a pair of KEF LS50 Meta coaxial speakers after trying KEF's Q-150 speakers but wanted to see if there were similar small coaxial speakers you might know of.

After searching the Web for bookshelf coaxial speakers there doesn't seem to be much out there. At least nothing that fits the criteria of ~12 inch max height, which has to do with where I'll be using the speakers. The few that show up with the right dimensions are not of the same quality as the LS50 Meta. I'm ready to order them up but thought I'd ask first.

Thanks,
Tom

 

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RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 09:53:27
jewel
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HSU Research has one. Cabasse may also.

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 11:21:19
tketcham
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Hi, jewel,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I looked at the HSU CCB-8 speakers but they're too tall at 15 in. height and wouldn't fit sideways either.

The Cabasse iO3 looks like an interesting little speaker but unfortunately only goes to ~150Hz. I don't need (or want) deep bass but I'd like to get down to 80Hz to 100Hz. Their Riga 2 goes to ~95Hz but they're priced way higher than I want to spend.

Thanks again,
Tom

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 13:46:30
Cut-Throat
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Any reason why you're limiting yourself to 'Powered' speakers? --- I think you would have a lot more options if you went the passive speaker and separate Amplifier route.



 

powered book shelfs?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 14:21:11
Story
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if you need powered go to Guitar Center to the recording section and see if anything fits the bill if you can't run an amp like Cut Throat said.

They usually have things set up for auditioning and take it from there, just bring a tape measure



 

Technics had one (fairly recently) the SB-C700, posted on April 17, 2022 at 15:05:04
mhardy6647
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Technics has dabbled in fairly 'serious' coaxial designs for decades.
This one is fairly recent, but apparently it's NLA (at least new, from Technics). Looks to fit - so to speak - your size requirements.


all the best,
mrh

 

If you can brave the idea of a kit speaker, I can spec one out for you., posted on April 17, 2022 at 15:06:13
John Marks
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?

john

 

Maybe these Tannoys?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 15:19:03
alaskahiatt
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nt

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 17, 2022 at 17:16:18
BCR
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Vandersteen!

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 18, 2022 at 04:15:52
tketcham
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The LS50 Meta is not a powered speaker. Unless you order the powered version.

 

RE: Technics had one (fairly recently) the SB-C700, posted on April 18, 2022 at 04:22:26
tketcham
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Hi, mrh,

They do fit the profile, but after reading some of the reviews of this speaker I'll probably stay with the LS50 Meta's.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Tom

 

RE: If you can brave the idea of a kit speaker, I can spec one out for you., posted on April 18, 2022 at 04:24:16
tketcham
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Hi, John,

Interesting offer. And thank you. But I'll probably go with a mainstream product at this point.

Tom

 

RE: Maybe these Tannoys?, posted on April 18, 2022 at 04:28:43
tketcham
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Hi, alaskahiatt,

Those might be a great solution but unfortunately they're too wide (or tall if oriented that way) for the spot I'll use them. If I had the room for them I'd definitely give these speakers a try.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Tom

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 04:38:34
tketcham
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Hi, BCR,

The VLR Wood speakers are just the right size and I bet they sound great. But, I checked out the dealers that carry them and there's nothing even close to where I live and from what I can tell they aren't sold online. I may give Vandersteen a call and see if they'd consider shipping them.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Tom

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 05:01:04
BCR
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Hi Tom,
Acoustic Sounds sell Vandersteen!
BCR

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 05:19:20
tketcham
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Excellent! They didn't come up when I searched for dealers on the Vandersteen website.

 

Cabasse Pearl, posted on April 18, 2022 at 05:34:29
Doublej
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It will cost you some $$$. Fyne Audio might have something for you as well.

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 05:50:44
BCR
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I forgot to mention that this guy is a large Vandersteen dealer. It might be worth a phone call!

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 05:57:12
tketcham
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They're the closest dealer and I sent them an email. Might give them a call.
Thanks!

 

RE: Cabasse Pearl, posted on April 18, 2022 at 06:04:47
tketcham
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Thanks for the suggestion, Doublej. See my reply to jewel regarding Cabasse speakers.

Tom

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 06:14:37
BCR
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The owner John Rutan is the largest Vandersteen dealer on the East Coast. I've done business with him many moons ago. If there is anyone to discuss Vandersteen he is the one! Good luck!

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 08:04:56
Rod M
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It appears that those speakers may only be available for special order. Calling Vandersteen would be your best bet.

In any case, I had a Vandersteen HT system with their center channel and surround speakers which both are coaxial and they sound really good, smooth and accurate. I'd expect that their book shelf speakers are improved versions as mine were from a 20 year old versions.

Looking at the specs, the KEFs claim 47hz vs 64hz for the VLR Wood, but I noticed that the VLR is +/- 3db where the KEF is -6db.

-Rod

 

RE: Looks VERY promising, but..., posted on April 18, 2022 at 10:18:51
tketcham
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Hi, Rod,

I noticed that the VLR Wood speakers were a special order item from Acoustic Sounds and that Music Direct no longer carries them.

I'm not needing low bass with these speakers so if either one can realistically get down to 80Hz-100Hz at 80dB output I'd be happy.

Thanks for the insight on Vandersteen's small speakers.

Tom

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 18, 2022 at 12:16:03
b.l.zeebub
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ME Geithain may be?

 

Or for less money:, posted on April 18, 2022 at 12:22:12
b.l.zeebub
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Tannoy Gold 5

 

RE: Or for less money:, posted on April 18, 2022 at 17:35:39
tketcham
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Hi, b.l.zeebub,

Those Gold 5 active speakers seem like a good deal and the ME-Geithain RL 906 speakers you suggested look interesting but are a bit out of my price range. In either case I'd prefer to go with passive speakers.

Thanks for the suggestions. I wasn't aware of so many other coaxial speaker options. It's helping me to better understand where the KEF LS-50 Meta speakers fit in the market.

Thanks again,
Tom

 

Trenner and Friedl Sun (link), posted on April 18, 2022 at 18:15:01
viridian
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Link below:

 

RE: Trenner and Friedl Sun (link), posted on April 19, 2022 at 05:11:09
tketcham
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Hi, viridian,

Those are cool little speakers and reading the review probably sound really good. But they're more than I was wanting to spend and they may be tough to drive without upgrading my power amp as well.

Another example of nice little coaxial speakers. Thank you for this suggestion.

Tom

 

Thank you for all the suggestions!, posted on April 19, 2022 at 08:21:01
tketcham
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Thank you everyone, this has helped me to decide.

I should have included a price range but figured there wouldn't be many small coaxial speakers out there with a relatively high price tag. The Trenner & Friedl Sun and Cabasse Riga 2 are both well regarded but cost more than I wanted to spend.

I've pretty much decided to get the KEF LS-50 Meta speakers but am still considering the Vandersteen VLR Wood speakers. My one reservation about the LS-50 Meta's is that they're power hungry and I may end up having to get another power amp to keep them happy whereas the VLR Wood's appear to pair nicely with moderately powered amps.

Thanks again!
Tom

 

Give me a few hours and I will spec out a similar loudspeaker for a LOT LESS MONEY, posted on April 19, 2022 at 08:44:09
John Marks
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jm

 

But how could anyone duplicate that complex enclosure, posted on April 19, 2022 at 09:51:40
Edp
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A near square box with veneer with $170 driver.

I don't think anybody could master that for any thing less than......

Sarcasm mode now off.

If you do spec one,suggest with the SEAS E0051 C16 mag. Madisound even sells a pre made xover with foil coils and quality caps n resistors. Guessing it is a SEAS kit design as SEAS has done for decades

Side question, have you ever tried the SB ACOUSTIC coax offerings? I have not but would be interested in others experience.

 

John, what kit speaker would you recommend that is comparable or better?, posted on April 19, 2022 at 12:11:06
Carl G
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Thanks

 

Sorry, didn't realize I was on the DIY board, LOL. nt, posted on April 19, 2022 at 16:16:47
viridian
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Nt

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 20, 2022 at 01:43:35
KanedaK
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Fyne Audio of course!

 

RE: Or for less money:, posted on April 20, 2022 at 05:32:43
b.l.zeebub
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The ME Geithain is also available in a passive version called ME 25.

Unfortunately I have no idea where to get them in North America but they are typically half the price of the active version.

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 20, 2022 at 06:28:09
tketcham
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Hi, KanedaK,

Unless I'm missing something I did look at Fyne Audio's line up but didn't see a small coaxial speaker. I want a coaxial design because of how I'm using the speakers. I tried a small, two-way offset driver speaker and the sound ends up disconnected with noticeable comb filtering effects.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.

Tom

 

RE: DIY marketing? /nm/, posted on April 20, 2022 at 06:29:13
tketcham
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tk

 

RE: Give me a few hours and I will spec out a similar loudspeaker for a LOT LESS MONEY, posted on April 20, 2022 at 06:35:25
tketcham
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Hi again, John,

While you can probably build a nice little coaxial speaker there's no way for me to audition that DIY speaker and most likely you would be unable to produce output and power demand specifications and offer at least a one-year warranty. I do appreciate the offer and if we lived in the same town and I was able to see or hear some of your other projects I might consider it, but at this time I will decline.

Respectfully,
Tom

 

RE: But how could anyone duplicate that complex enclosure, posted on April 20, 2022 at 06:42:13
tketcham
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Hi, Edp,

Criticize audio companies if you must, but there are far more inherent benefits of manufacturing and sales than those companies are given credit for. I think most large corporations are ruining the world but smaller companies are usually not guilty of the same greedy tactics.

Tom

 

No prob, but let me clarify, posted on April 20, 2022 at 07:53:53
John Marks
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I was not proposing to build a loudspeaker for you--that would not be cost-effective.

I am going forward and writing an article that will appear on Positive Feedback Online that will # # # specify # # # the components people should buy, and I am making it all as easy-peasy as possible.

I can tell you that the driver I will recommend is one I have used before, and the it is 87 dB sensitive, and it has no problem with 95dBA at one meter. The vendor I will recommend gives a one-year warranty on the driver. It played plenty loud with a Parasound Zamp3 driving it, and IIRC that is a 40watt amp, and I mean an honest 40 watts--Class A/B linear with a rather heavy power supply for its price class.

So, I need to get some ducks in a row; but when the PFO article goes up next week I will make an announcement here.

ciao,

john

 

Yeah, I was going to suggest the same, but the smallest is 12.7" tall, posted on April 20, 2022 at 08:03:58
Dave_K
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I've heard a lot positive comments about the Tannoy Autograph Mini, designed by the same guys, so I intend to audition Fyne as soon as I get off my lazy butt.

 

Thanks!, posted on April 20, 2022 at 08:56:41
RedM
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Will look for the update. May be fun to do as a project.

 

RE: No prob, but let me clarify, posted on April 20, 2022 at 09:06:08
tketcham
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Thank you for the clarification. It hasn't been clear that's what you're talking about. DIY is not a practicable solution for me so that is why I'm looking at small coaxial speakers retail.

So far the one speaker that fits my requirements and is a reasonable load for an amp is the Vandersteen LVR Wood speakers with 86 dB @ 1 meter, 2.83 volt input into 8 Ohms nominal, 5 Ohms minimum. That minimum load is better than most small speakers I'm looking at but my hunch is that the 86 dB efficiency rating isn't for the 5 Ohm load.

 

RE: Or for less money:, posted on April 20, 2022 at 09:08:03
tketcham
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Thanks, but I'd be hesitant to buy a foreign made speaker without N. American support.

 

Term is value , posted on April 20, 2022 at 10:38:42
Edp
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There are some speakers that are a great value at $10,000 and there are some of little value at $300.

In this case it's a speaker company that had to have high price for its entry level Mark's as to maintain their significantly higher prices models.

But in this case, this entry level product looks like it was made by the guys in the mail room and marketing set the price without looking at it.

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 20, 2022 at 11:31:18
songforyou
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Another plug for the VLRs. There are two coax models, one around $1800 and the other a little over $3000. I've had the cheaper one for about 5 years. Great speaker. Designed to be used close to the wall (1-6"). I've used them in a large room (with and without a sub) and also on a desktop. Fantastic, full bodied sound down to a claimed 64Hz. Call Vandersteen directly for availability. My friend has ordered a pair through a dealer here in Canada, and was told Vandersteen was waiting for a part. That was a month ago, so could be resolved now.

Good luck!

 

Very Interested In Your Design, posted on April 20, 2022 at 12:38:01
tubav
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I would also be very interested in what you come up with. Would it also work with 15wpc tube amplification? Thanks.

 

RE: Or for less money:, posted on April 20, 2022 at 15:39:05
b.l.zeebub
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Understandable.

ME Geithain even make their own drivers which is usually a good thing but without local support it probably isn't.

 

I did say "Easy Peasy," and I am calling in favors and working on that. nt, posted on April 20, 2022 at 16:14:49
John Marks
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jm

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 20, 2022 at 20:58:06
KanedaK
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Duh... weird. All I see on their websites are coaxial designs!

 

That's What I Saw As Well, posted on April 20, 2022 at 21:14:54
Sibelius
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I think they're all a bit over his height spec., but lots of coaxials. Makes sense since they are ex Tannoy people.

Those Vandersteen's look nice though. I always thought his speakers were a solid choice in any form.

 

RE: Their small speakers..., posted on April 21, 2022 at 03:25:51
tketcham
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This is what I was looking at...

 

RE: Book shelf coaxial speaker options?, posted on April 21, 2022 at 03:30:43
tketcham
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Hi, songforyou,

Thanks for the recommendation. It's good to hear from people that have actually used and enjoyed a product. I'm leaning towards the VLR's (standard version) so am going to call Vandersteen today.

Regards,
Tom

 

RE: Term is value , posted on April 21, 2022 at 03:53:40
tketcham
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I do understand where you're coming from and the Trenner & Friedl Sun speakers are rather unassuming. But it's condescending to say that they look "like it was made by the guys in the mail room". Most people couldn't begin to manufacture a speaker like the Sun and its aesthetics are on par with many well-regarded small box speakers on the market. The price, though on the high side, is reflective of the sustainable, small scale operations located in Austria. Some people place a lot of value on that aspect of manufacturing.



 

T&F are low volume and they sell through distributors and dealers, posted on April 21, 2022 at 13:27:57
Dave_K
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I think that's the main reason why they're expensive. If they were based here in the US and sold direct, these would be under $2k, possibly under $1500. It appears to be a good design. Despite the squarish box, the internal resonances are well controlled and only show up at a low level in the port output - better than a lot of other small rectangular speakers. And the port design is kind of novel. But admittedly, these are easy speakers to clone for an inexpensive DIY project.

To me, a better example of poor value is the MayFly MF-201 that Stereophile recently reviewed. It's also based on a Seas Prestige coax, but in a wastefully dumb enclosure design. Only $4900 sold direct.

 

As is true for most manufacturers , posted on April 21, 2022 at 16:16:53
Edp
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Fully understand and mostly sympathetic to the dilemma of manufacturers and dealers.

Another poster and I were just suggesting similar design that would have cost savings, but this is hardly the only time I've suggested this approach here at AudioAsylum. Like this one, that approach was not the path the Original Poster was interested in taking.

 

RE: Their small speakers..., posted on April 21, 2022 at 22:14:57
KanedaK
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Ah yeah that's the entry level line. All the other models are coaxial based.

 

RE: Their small speakers..., posted on April 21, 2022 at 22:16:24
KanedaK
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FWIW, I've heard the Fyne Audio model 500 (or something?) bookshelf at a dealer's and I was impressed. beautiful tone and marvelous imaging.

 

Interesting you mention Parasound Zamp3, posted on April 22, 2022 at 02:14:34
chuck55
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Any reason why you choose this amp?

giant killer IMHO

 

What does "IIRC" mean?, posted on April 22, 2022 at 02:50:55
chuck55
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nt

 

RE: As is true for most manufacturers , posted on April 22, 2022 at 04:02:27
tketcham
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You guys crack me up. You'll eagerly criticize a small manufacturer for the price and quality of their product(s) and yet YOU cannot build a simple speaker for someone because it isn't cost effective. Got it.

I clearly see now where you're coming from.

 

RE: Their small speakers..., posted on April 22, 2022 at 04:06:01
tketcham
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I can imagine their larger speakers sound great. I've read good things about them and I like their aesthetics.

 

RE: What does "IIRC" mean?, posted on April 22, 2022 at 08:05:23
Hornlover
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If I Remember Correctly

 

Building speakers is my hobby, not vocation, posted on April 22, 2022 at 09:54:59
Edp
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I build them for fun, education, brain exercise, investigation of different crossover topologies, inspire others to consider same, gifts for friends or just starting out young adults and recently burn time during pandemic lockdown.

I'm not certain why you thought I was offering to build or not build you something.

I solely, as I've done for decades here at AA, is to suggest the kit or build it yourself plans to address a need. The manufacturer of the driver of the speaker you identified has kits for coax drivers. And a parts house called Madisound has drivers, premade high quality component xovers. Quality enclosures can be purchased pre built or in flat packs

In that suggestion of kit is the offering of savings and high value.

You seem offended that the savings/value argument was made and now seem to be on mission to degrade folks simply trying to help you with a fairly unique (coax and super small) and not many available manufactured marks.

 

RE: Building speakers is my hobby, not vocation, posted on April 22, 2022 at 17:23:52
tketcham
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October 1, 2005
It was your attitude. I hold no ill will for you personally; I'm sure you're a nice person and quite skilled at DIY electronics. Ordinarily I would have just thanked you for the suggestion and left it at that but you ended up criticizing a small company and insulting their employees because you can build speakers for less money. So what? You're not in business. You don't build speakers to sell, trying to make a living and providing jobs. Your goodwill gesture of educating people about DIY speakers isn't altruistic if it's done with an attitude of sarcastic ridicule. That's what I was trying to convey to you.

So with that in mind, thank you for the suggestion to build a DIY speaker, but I'm wanting to purchase the speakers retail.

Regards,
Tom

 

Thanks nt, posted on April 22, 2022 at 21:46:48
chuck55
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Posts: 560
Joined: February 10, 2003
nt

 

I was designing for a design client; the product had a target price, posted on April 23, 2022 at 15:24:27
John Marks
Manufacturer

Posts: 6550
Location: Peoples' Democratic Republic of R.I.
Joined: April 23, 2000
I was designing for a design client; the product had a target price.

If one is designing a loudspeaker that costs less than 1% of the loudspeaker that Robert Harley said was the overall best he ever heard in his own house (that being Wilson Benesch's $235,000/pr. Eminence)--so we are talking about US$2000/pr. MSRP--I think that developing and voicing that real-world loudspeaker on $50,000 worth of electronics or more might have some advantages, but it will also have some drawbacks.

Parasound's Zamp3 is an all-analog A/B linear design with a power supply that is big for its power rating and price tier.

Sure, spend more get more. I also have a Hypex-digital-plate amp that I built that uses an OEM-only board. Paradoxically enough, in a direct comparison, the Hypex-based amp had more "analog goodness" than the Parasound. (Fear not, I might go into the loudspeaker business, but I am not going into the amp business.)

But if that Hypex amp were a commercial product, it would have to cost more like $1000, rather than the Parasound's $450.

Heads-Up: I am told by real industry insiders that the new Purifi digital plate amp boards are even sweeter than the Hypex one I have.

FWIW & YMMV.

john

jm

 

Save yer $$, posted on April 25, 2022 at 19:01:27
bare
Audiophile

Posts: 1727
Joined: April 14, 2009
Tannoys smaller than 12" diameter and arguably without Alnico magnet motors are a waste of hope and $$.
But Hey listen for yourself :-)

 

From your comments, I assume you have heard the System 800. nt, posted on April 26, 2022 at 22:39:45
alaskahiatt
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Contributor
  Since:
November 1, 2005
nt

 

Vandersteen VLR Wood speakers it is, posted on April 28, 2022 at 13:30:54
tketcham
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Posts: 6382
Location: East of the 100th meridian USofA
Joined: March 21, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
October 1, 2005
I ordered a pair of Vandersteen VLR Wood speakers and they should be here in a week or two. They'll be easier to drive than the KEF LS50 Meta speakers and from what I've heard from a dealer and reading online, the VLR Wood's have a smoother sounding mid-range and there's less upper frequency energy than with the metal tweeters of the Meta's. They'll be a better match with my Dynaudio's.

Thanks for all the suggestions and especially for the Vandersteen dealer recommendation.

Regards,
Tom

 

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