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What are the world's best speakers to bring the philharmonic into your living room?

Discussion in 'audio' started by louballoo, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. louballoo

    louballoo Banned

    Once again I'm tapping into the PFM brain trust for some opinions.....

    For what its worth I believe that speakers are optimized for certain types of music and the hardest of all music to reproduce in the home is large scale classical. I also believe that once you have resolved the speaker dilemma all the rest of the gear is relatively easy.

    So my question is. What are the world's best speakers to bring Beethoven, Mahler and Bruckner into your living room? Not just the dynamics but also the warmth and breadth that symphonic music takes in real life.

    Cheers, from Sunny Alberta

  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'd say Quads took some beating on classical.
  3. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    Meridian DSP8000's
  4. Tenson

    Tenson Trade: AudioSmile

    I'd want a line array. I would build it myself, but if that is not an option I'd probably plump for McIntosh.

  5. dave

    dave Plywood King

  6. Jonboi

    Jonboi Because Music Matters

    Linkwitz Orions, B&O Beolab 5's, B&W 800D's, Steinway-Lyngdorf and MBL Radialstrahler would all come to mind. Bear in mind I've only heard a couple of those, but on specs and reputation....the others certainly compete.

  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Provided absolute volume isn't a key parameter, I'd fancy a pair of Magneplanars. They seem to get the energy into a room in a way rather different to a conventional pistonic driver. A bit like the Quads, at a guess, but with better bass and more impact.
    beammeup and narabdela like this.
  8. Basil

    Basil Harbethian

    Hmmm, depends on which 'classical' you mean.

    Ok for chamber and baroque but Wagner... I have the 2012 Solti Ring and I seriously doubt 57's or 63's could do it justice... the dynamic range is astounding!*

    I'd go with either big Harbeths (SHL5 or M40.1) or ATC if you want the entire street to share your music!

    *I'll be taking a couple of the CD's to Robs (I promise!) when I return his 306, which I've had for almost a year now... sorry dude!
    maccar likes this.
  9. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    Cabasse La Sphère
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Interesting, I'd not have assumed SHL5s comfortably went any louder than Quads, I've never viewed any Harbs as a speaker to listen loudly through at all - they are voiced for the BBC 'ealth 'n' safety' 75-80db (which is fine by me, I'd not want more). The Solti Ring was a classic vintage Decca SET, so would probably have been recorded using 15" Tannoys (Silvers or Reds I'd assume).
  11. louballoo

    louballoo Banned

    How about Martin Logans? Anyone heard them lately?

  12. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    [beastieboys]I'm gonna say it again: Shahinian[/beastieboys]
  13. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

  14. Cav

    Cav pfm Member

    I don't believe any speakers are designed for any specific music - how could they be any more than amps can be so designed?
  15. markb65

    markb65 pfm Member

    I'd say something like these Altec Valencia's would do the trick, and a good number of classic recordings were probably monitered and mixed on something very much like them.

  16. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Still my dream setup, and this is for one channel only. Now imagine how Berlin's contrabasses would sound like.

  17. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Well for a symphony orchestra I would prefer the aforementioned Martin Logans rather than Kan's. And ampwise, for a Motorhead concert I'd personally favour a truckload of Turbosound equipment over a 10W valve amp. Again, each to their own.
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Not heard any recent ones, but they tend to sound like two speakers to me - the panel actually crosses over quite high up so I always feel I'm heading the bass slumped on the floor and everything else about a foot and a half higher. They do some things very well though (big, spacious, 3d etc). They take a big amp to drive them too.

    (I used to share a flat with a guy who had Arius i or whatever they were called).
  19. TwoSeventy

    TwoSeventy pfm Member

    I would say some of the bigger PMC three ways. Obviously dependent on room size and budget. I have the PB1is which are fairly low down the range and they render large scale orchestral music extremely well. My dad has the quad esl57 electrostatics which are good but the bass and treble are rolled off and there is a slight low mid boost. The midrange is great and they sound great with orchestral. The PMCs are similar in some ways with regards to the midrange but the whole frequency spectrum is more accurate. Much more scale. I recently went to a classical symphonic concert and was expecting the sound to sweep me away compared to my hifi. I was actually shocked that when I got home and put the hifi on that it sounded extremely similar. In fact I preferred it. I dare say if we could have sat a little closer to the orchestra I would have enjoyed more impact but I was surprised what can be achieved in the home.
  20. Cav

    Cav pfm Member


    All I am saying is that no speaker manufacturer, so far as I know, designs speakers to reproduce a certain type of music better than any other.

    What you prefer is a question that only you can answer.

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