1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Your loudspeaker holy grail

Discussion in 'audio' started by James, May 26, 2021.

  1. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    When my hifi consciousness first arose, I read all about the Bose 901 and desperately wanted a pair. Then I heard them, and quickly changed my mind. Conversely, I wasn't too excited when I first heard the Yamaha NS-1000M. Now, it is my mainstay non-DIY loudspeaker. So fishies, what are some of the loudspeakers you lust after, but have not actually heard. What are some of your experiences after your expectation met with reality?

    I have a relatively short wanted-but-never-heard list:
    • Sonus-faber Extrema
    • Infinity IRS
    • Rogers LS3/5a
    • Linn Kaber
    • Acoustic Research AR9
    • Apogee Scintilla (plus a nice Krell KSA-100 to go with that, please)
    What's yours?
    Big Tabs likes this.
  2. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    My holy grail was a pair of good NS1000, then I found and restored a pair of 1000 XW, so that was done and they are fabulous.

    Then I craved a pair of Impulse horns and have scratched that itch now too with a pair of Ta’us... amazing things.

    My next want is a pair of Tannoy System 15’s although I’m getting annoyed at myself for becoming a hifi buyer again.. I have the full Yamaha system and loved it for its synergy and ‘end game’ I thought I had beaten the hifi itch, but stupidly bought the Impulse speakers when they became available.. since then I’ve bought another two amps and a CD player... argh!!! It doesn’t sound ‘better’ than the yammy system, just different!...

    Anyway in true audiophile stupidity, the next additions one day be Tannoy system 15s ;)
  3. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    Yamaha NS1000 for me

    Just on looks alone or a nice pair of JBL's
    booja30 and Rockhopper like this.
  4. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

  5. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Big Tannoys.
    Magnepan 30.7, 20.7, 3.7i.
    JBL Synthesis L100
    Raidho D1.1 / TD1.2
    Dynaudio Contour 20i / Special 40
    Quad ESL 2912
  6. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    Big JBLs. I just finished restoring 4312As including my first try at veneering. I had to sell them because we are moving across the pond with short notice. Barely got to try them out before they went in boxes to be shipped to the new owner!


    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  7. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    Bon voyage and all the best of luck over there!
    Please send me your excess kit ...
    RoA and booja30 like this.
  8. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    It’s all gone! All I’ve got left are B&O CX100s, an SMSL SA-50 amp and a Chromecast Audio!
    Rosewind likes this.
  9. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Speakers I would have liked to have heard but never did,

    Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage
    Sonus Faber Amati Homage
    Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage

    Currently I'd fancy a pair of Franco Serblin Accordo Essence, my recent experience with recent Sonus Fabers makes me think they're voiced differently since Franco Serblin departed from SF.
    maccar likes this.
  10. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    booja30 likes this.
  11. JoeJoe

    JoeJoe pfm Member

    Graham Audio Chartwell LS6 for me, they're keepers. As a manufacturer though they’re not a very helpful bunch, my 2 email enquiries have been roundly ignored. There’s a bit of the ‘cottage-industry’ setup about this company….also, the finish on the cabinets is not brilliant. However, if sound quality is your primary motivator these are stunning and I’m pretty sure that signature sound exists across their range…I've never owned a better set of speakers! (Ive owned loads…lol!)
  12. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    The biggest pair of active ATC’s I can get in my room, probably 100s.
  13. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

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

    Gale 401s. Never heard but would really like a pair in good, usable condition.
    Vauxhall and Fatmarley like this.
  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The only speaker I’ve really bought totally blind were the Klipsch La Scalas. I knew I needed to hear a pair, and in the UK they are so absurdly rare that pretty much meant buying a pair when they cropped up. I enjoyed my time with them, they are I guess equally amazing and flawed, as are many great speakers. Not for me long-term, but I’m very pleased I did it.

    I can’t think of a lot that I’ve not heard now that I would want to buy blind, though there is a fair bit I don’t think I’ve heard properly, and a good few I’d love to live with and really explore. The obvious ones:

    a) 15” Tannoy Reds. I’d really like to find a close to mint pair as they are really what should be in my Lockwood cabs rather than Golds. To be honest I won’t consider I’ve ‘done’ Tannoys until I’ve sorted this. It won’t be cheap, but if I didn’t overpay it would only be investment that could be recouped later.

    b) Quad ESLs (57s). I have heard them many, many times, even had a pair here briefly, but I do still want to buy a pair at some point and really get to know them for a few years. I have wanted a pair since I was about 14, so I do need to do it at some point. I’m just overly cautious as I’m so obsessive I’d want an absolutely mint boxed perfectly functioning pair and I realise it can be a bit of a cash black hole to get there, especially as I’d not really want the OTA treble mods etc, I’d want Walker stock performance.

    Stuff I’m still curious about:

    The huge blue-face JBLs, the ones with 2x15 bass units, the Hartsfield, Everest, things like that. Altec VOTT too. I could never house a speaker like that (I can only deal with Tannoys as they are a point source), and I’m not a huge fan of far-field listening anyway, but I’d love to learn what they are really about.

    I’d also love to spend some time with proper ‘60s Lowthers, i.e. in the larger Acousta cabs, not anything modern. Just to learn about them, nothing more. I have a feeling I really couldn’t live with them, but whenever I’ve heard them (with an appropriate valve amp) they have had a life and dynamic agility that really left an impression. Jazz drummers would love them as they really get the dynamic shading and timing of their instrument right. The problem is I’ve never heard them not be coloured and I’m curious whether I could tune that out.

    MEG RL901K active monitors. I suspect they would do what I like so much about Tannoys, but with the midband clarity and air of a modern monitor, and still retaining a natural ‘classical /grown-up’ balance that I like so much from Quads, BBC monitors etc. I had the much smaller RL-904s for a while and they were spectacular aside from I really didn’t like the (quite aggressive) port-loading which set my room off in a way the massively bigger Tannoys never do. My guess is the RL901 would behave very differently as it is a very different (and larger) speaker.

    PS To be honest everything now is just for fun/entertainment, I could actually be perfectly happy with a really nice system upstream and the LS3/5As or JR149s, and I’m sure that is where I’ll end up. I just don’t need anything more than that at all. I have certainly learned a lot, mainly that I like point-sources or very close to them. I’ve actually spent many decades pretty much ending up where I started off!
    DAVEDWACK, johnpencraig and nmtjb like this.
  15. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I’d have another go at Quad ESLs if they ever manage to make one that sounds decent without being in the middle of the room.
    Nytechy and Jono_13 like this.
  16. Wendonside

    Wendonside pfm Member

  17. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    Altec A7s - but I have heard them a few times.

    Blind(deaf?) lust is reserved for Urei 813As.
  18. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    I had a pair in a room 35 by 15 foot and they didn’t last long despite the acoustics. Would like to hear some linn Kans properly setup as peeps used to discuss them interminably the last time I was here. Love my Arcs so would be good to hear the really, really expensive ones further up the food chain.
  19. say it as it is

    say it as it is pfm Member

    as a kid I wanted Linn Kabers - my dad had them haha, soon realised they were not for me in later years

    SBLs - again as a kid heard my older brothers and wanted them, Got an old pair waiting on the crossovers coming back to try them. In short term i picked up Intros, if they are anything like SBLs then don't think the reality will measure up!

    Big Tannoys always caught my eye just never had the means or room to use them
    Vauxhall and Mr Underhill like this.
  20. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    That's a fun question.

    If I won the lottery, probably some Tannoy Westminster Royals.

    More feasibly:
    Tannoy GRF corner
    TDL Reference
    Spendor Classic 200

    I haven't heard any of them but I currently own Tannoy Ardens and before that I had IMF RSPM IV's, so I'm fairly confident I'd get on well with the Tannoys, IMF's and TDL's.

    The Spendor Classic 200 just looks 'right'.

    I'd love to try some big ATCs and JBLs too!

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice