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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. spartaco

    spartaco pfm Member

    This you have in concert halls like Musikverein (Vienna), Tonhalle Zurich, Basel, in many opera houses but not necessarily in the Barbicans or especially in the KKL (Luzern). The sound is quite different with other characteristics.

    I don't think that you need really big speakers to reproduce the "rumble-echo". The quality of the low frequencies must be very high otherwise this "noise" will not be recognized as part of the music but as disturbing noise which will hide the sound of many instruments. In concert halls even if there is this "rumble-echo" you can still hear most of the instruments well. With lots of hifi the effect was, let me say it in nice words, not acceptable. I believe the room acoustics have also a big importance but of course if garbage comes out of the system you cannot correct that with room acoustics. I believe that is one of the reasons most people are positively impressed about the sound at my place. But again it is not a question of buying something and connecting it together in 10 minutes, neither in one year. And again it is also a question of personal taste which for me meant to go to lots of rehearsals and analyze the sound there and compare it with what I had. Being critical about the sound at your own place is also a major factor that contributes to achieve your goals. And to be critical also means to accept critics from other people.
  2. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    That all makes very good sense, Spartaco.
  3. Maureen Jones

    Maureen Jones pfm Member

    Reference Series KEF are great
    Bairnstorm likes this.
  4. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    martin logan summit x
    quad 2905
  5. louballoo

    louballoo Banned

    Anyone have an opinion on some of the Audio Physics line?

    There is a dealer nearby.

  6. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    APs are good but appear to depreciate very heavily. They work best with a particular speaker placement but are still fine in more conventional placements. They like a bit of juice to give their best, and they are very even-handed. I have owned Virgo mkIII and Avanti mkIII, and they have been amongst the best speakers I have tried. One drawback is that due to their typical cabinet design, they don't have as much sheer bass weight as some larger speakers (e.g my ATCs) but what they do have is a tremendously agile, dynamic and detailed sound which mates best with valves.
  7. Markus S

    Markus S 41 - 29

    I like the Tempo 25 and Virgo 25.
  8. Anh

    Anh Naim ghetto blaster

    Better to go and see a live performance if the atmosphere is all that you are looking for, it's all utterly pointless swapping boxes and overpriced speakers when you take account of recording limitations and acoustics of the listening location.
    narabdela likes this.
  9. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    In a blind test if you had to choose a loudspeaker that could reproduce the most realistic intonation of the human voice chances are you would choose a 30 years old BBC design. The rest is just frequency extension and dynamics.
  10. tomek

    tomek pfm Member

    This is the reason, why i am using Spendor. IMHO Spendor "classics" have the best voice reproduction.
  11. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Although the likes of LS 3/5a (that I used to own) and Quad ESL57 (that I still do) reproduce the human voice superbly, they do tend to have a "BBC" character to them which is very familiar, but its not entirely accurate. It certainly doesn't sound like the real person in the room with me. I have a friend who appeared on TV a few times, and playing the tapes via my Quads didn't really sound like he does in my room, as they added a richness to his voice that simply isn't there. My Martin Logan Summits are more neutral, and from an adjacent room, you'd find it difficult to identify which was him talking and which was him on TV. Oddly enough the recordings are straight from the desk, but are far from good quality in a hifi sense, but the vocals are superb.
  12. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!


    My ESL57 made me run into the lounge to see who was talking in there, turned out to be the radio, I should have never sold them, hope you are looking after them Jem.

  13. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    I agree, you shouldn't have! (but glad you did!) Even though I now use Summits in the main system, the Quads are in fine fettle, Just replaced the sockets and added some OTA stands over the years, but they have been 100% reliable, still sound superb and look really good either side of the TV in the barn.

    The Summits cost ten times more and are only 20% better.

    What are you using now?
  14. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    Hi, Jem

    Still got the Arcs, they sound very good with my Starfish and Hackernaps.

  15. spartaco

    spartaco pfm Member

    If that's the price to pay for a 20% better sound and there is no alternative then I'll go for it (having the money).
  16. Colin L

    Colin L LOU Attitude Adjuster

    To gone the symphony experience requires a big expensive speaker. Best I've heard are big MBLs which have the advantage of being omni's and radiate sound in the same way real instruments do. With the right amps they do scale and power like nothing else.

    Second best I've heard are big active PMC's

    Neither are cheap
    camverton likes this.
  17. darkmatter

    darkmatter pfm Member

    An interesting but old thread which was liked to elsewhere on the web.
    In my view from a loudspeaker designer's perspective; so where to start with an answer? A balanced combination of the following properties gets you closer to the ideal, high sensitivity, an easy amplifier load, wide bandwidth and a wide dynamic range. The resulting device will inevitably be large. So to compromise produce a design which is scalable to suit the room it is to be used in.
  18. Romulus

    Romulus pfm Member

    To OP if you want to flush out the particular live performance rather the characterestics of the speaker then active ATC is a good place to start...
    AndyU likes this.
  19. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    I doubt it. He's banned.
    Wilson and hifinutt like this.
  20. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    Put the question a slightly different way ... what speakers could convincingly reproduce the sound of a grand piano in your living room? Certainly not ESL57s (which I’ve had, and enjoyed), or any of the BBC LS3/5A types. The larger active ATCs get closer than most.

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