Speaker Shopping - one man's experience with High End models

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by jblnut, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Other than the JBLs what is your main rig? Did you find the quality of the server music up to the standards of records, if you use such a thing?

    Did the Q7s require a room that large? Large rooms seem to be one of the reasons for such large TOTL speakers today. Overture a dealer near me in Tax Free DE, also sets up the main room with Spectral gear. The speaker cables have boxes in them bigger than many amplifiers no wonder they cost as much as a house.

    Yes, there are here to help us spend stock IPO money, inheritance money and a forever savings account because some of the rooms don't have anything in them that can be purchased for the spending money left from a regular paycheck supplying a normal family. Fortunately, there are more rooms in these stores with gear that can be purchased with a reasonable budget. Not ak cheap but reasonable for today, times have changed the price of a candy bar isn't a nickel, anymore
     

     

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  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    Thanks for the great thread and detailed experience. So many more people that have pigeon holed themselves into a single belief should follow your lead. we used to have a great HE place around here called Soundex, which had 22 separate rooms. The whole first floor was 2 CH systems and the second floor were all HT setups. I used to take a stack of my own disks on saturday mornings and go into Room #1, which was whatever the latest and greatest was that month. I was underwhelmed with the big Wilson Grand Slams and the Focal Grand Utopias when compared to smaller less expensive speakers. ProAc-BAT-Oracle setups were always killer. My favorite step was the full Dynaudio Arbitur Electronics and the Consequence Speakers.

    There are just so many good newer speakers out there, some affordable and some not so much, but still just as good or better than some of the older stuff some people are glued to.

    Everyone needs to listen to some HE setups just to know what they sound like as opposed to only knowing what they cost.
     
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  3. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    I completely agree with this as the state of the art is a good 30 years beyond the vintage gear in all aspects of the hobby. For better or worse the gear has moved forward.

    The technology for materials of construction, methods of construction and design puts those old slide rule days designed gear in a class by themselves, vintage. It is not the same as new sound.

    I would like to know a bit about the cost of these new speakers and amps, though. Some are just so high it is hard to understand. Maybe there needs to be a number of hundreds of thousands of people looking to buy these great products so the price could come down but that will not happen. Those days are gone.
     
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  4. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    True ... what I find interesting now days is how good some of the modestly priced gear sounds. I'll refrain from naming any names, but there are some guys out there making really great equipment for seriously reasonable prices. Next time your at an audio show spend a day seeking out low dollar/high SQ product and you might just come away amazed.
     
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  5. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    Very good point. You do not have to mortgage your house to get good sound, you just have to go out and listen to some gear and see what you like at what ever pricepoint. There are giant killers in mid-fi, and I will name names....Odyssey Audio is one of them. My Hafler-Stratos-Dynaudio 82 setup is very good at a list price point of $4k.
     
  6. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm sure that sounds great! Here's one I would like to try: HSU coaxials with the small HSU sub, Schiit pre-amp and MB DAC, driven by a modified Halfer DH220 amp (musical concepts mods). Under $3K and I bet it would be very listenable and very enjoyable.
     
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  7. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    My system is chock full of components which punch WAY above their price point. The anchor/foundation component is the Yamaha GT 2000. If ever there was a sleeper of a vintage turntable, this thing defines the term.
     
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  8. Hawkeye83

    Hawkeye83 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Would love to do just what the OP did some day and go to a few real high end stores. Only been to one so far, the best speakers they had were Wilson Sasha's or Sophia's. Certainly impressive, but I think not for me. I am quite happy with some TOTL vintage speakers (KEF 107 and Quad 57) but would love to hear some higher end new gear. My experience there is lacking. For new stuff, I've really only heard those Wilsons, Legacy Focus SE, and KEF LS50's...all quite good, no doubt! Not sure if I'll ever be willing or able to afford the higher end new stuff, but it would be a real treat to hear it and find out! For now, back to the lowly KEF Reference and Quad ESL speakers! ;)
     
  9. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    Those HSU coaxials caught my eye when I was on the HSU website shopping for a subwoofer for a friend's 5.1 music listening and movie watching rig I was helping him piece together (wound up with a Denon AVR-x4300, Golden Ear Triton 7's, GE center and satellites and HSU VTF1-Mk3). I'm not crazy about the yellow cones, but did find it interesting to see a direct competitor to the LS50. Have you heard them?

    And I also noticed the little horn loaded bookshelf design they offer. So not only have they imposed on Kef's market of the coax bookshelf design, they've also elbowed their way into Klipsch's market for a modern, affordable horn loaded bookshelf speaker. The reviews are pretty strong...can't help but think a few of their VTF-1 Mk3's and those horn loaded bookshelf speakers would make one hell of a speaker set up for a small to medium (maybe even large) room. Full range modern performance with a fully tuneable LF for just a tick over $1k.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  10. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, I heard them at RMAF a few months ago. They sounded great. Its been a while since I've auditioned the LS50 (a speaker that I like quite a lot), so its tough to say how they compare directly. I do know that as word about them got around the show, Dr. HSU's room stayed very very full for the duration of RMAF. AT the price I was VERY surprised to hear what came out of them. Very coherent and detailed yet smooth and musical sounding. I've read the Dr. HSU consulted with veteran speaker designer D.B. Keele to get the cone flare just right for it to act as a proper horn for the coaxial tweeter. It is said that this helps this design avoid some of the frequency anomalies often associated with coaxial designs. All I can say is that if one was looking in the sub $2500 range, one would be remiss if they did not give these (with a HSU sub) a serious audition. For a real budget system, I can't imagine finding a better sounding set of mains for the $799 price tag in the new speaker market. They do go down to an honest 50 Hz, so even without a sub they would be a good starting point for a very musical and engaging system with excellent imaging and staging.
     
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  11. jblnut

    jblnut Don't Overthink It Subscriber

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    My electronics are McIntosh (C220, MR77, MC275) and my sources are Sony XA5400ES and two nice vinyl rigs (VPI Classic/AT ART9/Pass Xono and Yamaha GT2000/Spectral MCR Signature/EAR 834P). I found the quality of the dCS transport/DAC to be better than any source I have. I was scared to hear their turntable. I chose digital so I would have a decent frame of reference between both places.

    The Q7's loved that big room that's for sure. I suppose most of their speakers would sound amazing in that space. I'm sure they sell a lot things after people listen in there :).

    jblnut
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

     

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  12. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    I would rather have a pair of 4435's, but that said I can't fault your 250's that much. I just prefer to build a system from the bottom up rather than the top in frequency down. Plus the fewer the crossover points the better. But that all said I prefer 3 way speakers that cross about 250 hz and above 3,000. JBL made some outstanding 8" drivers that make great midrange speakers. You choice of woofers is endless but HF drivers have always been an issue until the DD series came along. How about a M2. Personally I prefer line arrays and am not a big fan of horns. Seen any XR 290's or XRT 18 or 30's lately.
     
  13. jblnut

    jblnut Don't Overthink It Subscriber

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    Without stepping on any toes, I will only say that I heard some large McIntosh line arrays once in NYC a few years ago and I did not care for the sound. That my local dealer doesn't have any to listen to also speaks volumes. I don't want to speak for him, but in prior conversations on the topic he doesn't feel they are comparable to what's out there now (and what I have listened to above). I don't quite know where your "top down" or "bottom up" comments are coming from but I can assure you of one thing without reservation - the 250Ti does the lows and highs extremely well. It's in the mid range where the drivers show their age compared to the newer models. I do have custom 4-way crossovers in my 250's that take them to another level compared with the stock factory units, but they are what they are.

    I addressed the M2 query earlier, along with all the other new/large horn-based JBL's. I'd love to hear them in a well setup room, but that's not likely given where JBL is at these days.

    4435 are too large for my space and frankly I think that horn is also out of date a bit. I was out to hear state of the art, and I did. If I move up from the 250, it will be to something much newer. I'm really not interested in going down the 4435, 4344, etc road for many reasons but I understand why people love them.
     
  14. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    I dropped a Hafler 9180 into my main rig over the weekend and can't get over how good a $600 amp from 1992 can sound with a good Pre and Speakers.
     
  15. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    Will you stop praising your effing TT Theofile? Every time I have enough money to buy one, you post another hosanna and the price shoots up. We all know you like it, you even started a fan club — enough already.

    What's the real story? You have hundreds of them stashed away and you're driving the price up so you can cash in? Or you're so narcissistic you want to be the only one who has one so you're making impossible for me to have one?

    I think it's the first scenario, so just send me one of your endless hoard and I'll get off your case.
     
  16. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Well I stand guilty of all charges. Perpetrator of a Global Conspiracy to corner the market and thereby manipulate supply and the subsequent prices. All of the current Yamaha GT 2000 owners worldwide(even in Japan) have been programmed by me to obey my every command.

    Via turntables and the vinyl revival(cannily devised and initiated by my minions) I plan to infiltrate my devilish agenda. First the GT 2000. Tomorrow the World.
     
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  17. vinyl1

    vinyl1 Super Member

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    Getting back to the topic, the very high-priced speakers do tend to fall dramatically in price on the used market. The wealthy guys who buy them go on to something else, and there are just not enough customers looking to buy 5-year-old speakers in the $50-200K range to support a high resale price.

    I see right now a pair of AG Anat III speakers on the 'Gon for $22.5K from a highly respected dealer. These would set you back about $75K in 2010, when they first came out. This is typical of what happens to the price on speakers like these. While you had to be really wealthy to buy them new, now they are within the reach of affluent guys who are prepared to spend a substantial percentage of their income on their hobby.
     
  18. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    Or folks that didn't jump on new and have 20K walking around money. Of course, this group must not be part of the here's my rig!! group wanting to impress, just the AKer of expensive audio...willing to get old, used gear cheap and claiming it is the best.
     
  19. jblnut

    jblnut Don't Overthink It Subscriber

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    Which brings me to the bay - there's a pair of Salon Ultima 2's on there right now for half what I was quoted in the store. In a few years it'll be 1/4 or less. Today's high-end, tomorrow's AK fodder :)

    jblnut
     
  20. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    NAH - very few people on AK would do that. If it does not say Pioneer, Yamaha, Sansui, Advent, KLH, etc. most will ignore those.
     
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