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Most Transparent Speakers under $1500?


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62 replies to this topic

#1 of 63 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 07 2002 - 08:39 PM

i usually perfer soft-domed, but at this point am willing to investigate anything.
any brands anyone can steer me to?
i've heard Theils put out an impressive soundstage w/ great imaging, but haven't had a chance to hear them yet.

do such speakers exist in this price range?
have you ever heard speakers where , none of the instruments you could pick out seemed to actually be coming from the speak itself. maybe a few inches or feet to the left or right, but not exactly 'from' the speaker.
or is this not usually the way most music is supposed to sound?
is most pop/rock/jazz/etc mixed so that certain instrument are supposed to image right at the source of the speaker.

forgive me if these are silly questions all my listening has been done mostly in the car.i've never owned any quality components for use in home (or the car for that matter), so i don't really know what to listen/look for.

#2 of 63 Jason_Me

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Posted August 07 2002 - 08:53 PM

I think the B&W N805s ($2000/pair) put out a huge soundstage, with impressive imaging.
Jason Mertz

#3 of 63 Frank Zimkas

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Posted August 08 2002 - 12:00 AM

Check out the Polk Audio Lsi speakers. I just upgraded to them and am quite impressed. Still waiting on the mains (Lsi15's) to arrive, but have been using the Lsi7's upfront cuz I'm impatient! Truly amazing sound!!!

#4 of 63 Marc_E

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Posted August 08 2002 - 03:32 AM

I would reccomend the N805s or if you want full range floorstanding CDM9NT's/CDM7NT's (not sure the price). B&W are known for their transparency (some people refer to it as brightness but IMO their bright ness is mediocre amplification/electronics/cables).

Marc

#5 of 63 Randy G

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Posted August 08 2002 - 07:56 AM

I'm not sure about speakers, but most folks would probably agree that the most transparent sub BY FAR is the Velodyne HGS-10CA. :^)

#6 of 63 itai

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Posted August 08 2002 - 09:53 AM

i found paradigm studio's to be "transparent, detailed, smooth, with good bass, and overall a very good investment.
the 100's go for 1900$, the 60's for 1200$ (about).
the b&w cdm9nt and cdm7nt are at least as good, and more expensive.
other good models:
psb stratus gold-i
polk lsi
energy veritas
btw, all have exelent soundstage, and you will hear stuff coming from "nowhere" near the speaker, thats the stereo effect!...Posted Image

#7 of 63 Guest_Anthony_Gomez_*

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Posted August 08 2002 - 10:36 AM

I'll put my DIY EGO's against any $1500 commercial speaker =)

click below if you don't know what they are.

#8 of 63 DavidVTHokie

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Posted August 08 2002 - 10:53 AM

Harman/Kardon has the most transparent I've seen:

http://www.amazon.co....587240-8760116 Posted Image
-DavidVTHokie '96

#9 of 63 Martice

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Posted August 08 2002 - 10:58 AM

Quote:
have you ever heard speakers where, none of the instruments you could pick out seemed to actually be coming from the speak itself. maybe a few inches or feet to the left or right, but not exactly 'from' the speaker.

The effect you're trying to get will most likely come from speaker placement, room and of course the mix itself.

First off, if the engineer pans a sound hard left or right but does not adjust the mix to give depth of field to the sound, then it will sound like it's coming from the speaker and have no sense of air about it.

Secondly, if your speakers are not properly placed, the effect of hearing sounds outside of the speaker will be hard to realize due to a unstable or unnatural sound stage all together. Also, if your room gives off a lot of reflections then you may not recognize the "outside the speaker" effect on a properly mixed CD that has such information.

Last but not least. If you are running floor standing speakers with full range capability, in a small room, then you overall clarity may suffer and give the impression that your speakers are less clear then another pair. If your speakers are not placed properly, you may experience a bloated bass sound that may give off the impression that your speaker is not as "clear" as you'd like them to be because of the bass 'MUCKING' up the upper midrange and high frequency information. The same can be said about subwoofers and the mis placement of them as well.

I'm sure you'll hear from many about their speakers but if you don't recognize the above information, then you may not be getting the best out of your speakers that you may be planning to throw away.

Good Luck
Turn Key Guy!

#10 of 63 Manuel Delaflor

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Posted August 08 2002 - 11:18 AM

It depends on what you understand by "transparent". Can you be a bit more explicit?
Here was my gear info... Now is on my profile, in case you want to know

#11 of 63 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 08 2002 - 11:47 AM

Martice,
i do have serious questions about the acoustics of my room.
its acarpeted, wood paneled basement, with one of the wall covered by a pj screen and floor to ceiling black belvet curtains. the speakers are of course in front of this.
there are other areas of concern which i won't go into.
i did the 'clap test' and didn't percieve any echoing at all.

i'm very limited as far as placement options. they need to be a certain distance apart for the screen (at least 86") and can't really pull them out much farther than 8'10" from the wall behind for movies.

the speakers i'm auditioning now, i've payed with quite a bit as far as placement, even turing them to face the long area and pulling them out to be more in the center of the room. i still wasn't getting a sense of 'encompassing sound.
the stereo effect fills in the center, and there are some recordings where i can clearly hear a bell or triangle, for instance, go off several feet past the speaker perimeter, but this is rare.
it could very well be my choice of music and the recordings.
i only have about 20 cds at the moment, and some stuff, newer stuff especially seems to be mixed much more 'dimesionally'.

thanks for the info about floorstanders. i was considering stepping up the line to try these out, assuming they would be more articulate, precise, and just create a more enveloping soundfield, by virtue of their expense, but i guess that isn't the case.

i did play Electric Ladyland last night, and at one point, there was the sensation of sound circling around me, including going behind me- in just 2 channel stereo.

i will try to give Paradigms and B&W a second chance (i only heard the 604's).
i've heard LSi's and actually preferred the sound of the Rti bookselfs.

actually nothing i've heard in a showroom, or dedicated speaker store has given me that 'enveloping' dimensional sound apart from some Viennas that were out of my price range, and probably way to big for my room.

thanks again for the replies

#12 of 63 Martice

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Posted August 08 2002 - 02:40 PM

Hi Paul. I hope you are patient. The best way to fix your sound is going to be a process of elimination. An enveloping sound is going to be achieved by all of the above mentioned. Meaning the speaker placement, room acoustics and as we said earlier the source materials mix.

Quote:
i did the 'clap test' and didn't perceive any echoing at all.

Quote:
its acarpeted, wood paneled basement, with one of the wall covered by a pj screen and floor to ceiling black belvet curtains. the speakers are of course in front of this.

Is this basement a room that you could experiment with acoustic treatment? Now don't go running for the hills when I mention this. I have a wonderful link that will show just how creative you could be with sound absorbing materials. Take a look at THISand tell me what you think.

Not bad for obvious reflective problems but may not be enough if you're not satisfied with your sound performance. As far as your speakers not being clear enough it really sounds like a placement problem to me.

What type of music do you listen to primarily? Are you experiencing any bloated bass? Until then, here's a link on speaker placement that may help you. Then best way to help your system is to help yourself to some good information.

Speaker placement link
Turn Key Guy!

#13 of 63 Randy G

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Posted August 08 2002 - 03:16 PM

Manuel,

Like I said, "transparent" is what the Velodyne HGS-10CA is.....Clear Acrylic.

#14 of 63 stephen_z

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Posted August 08 2002 - 06:18 PM

Paul,
I'm just a plain ol' city boy who hasn't demo'ed every speaker mentioned in this forum, but have listened to a few... and I am still a devout believer, that regardless of the great electronics behind a setup, if the speakers move you emotionally for the music you listen to, you'll know. You may come across them, listening to speakers >$5000/pr or be surprised at what <$1000/pr can give you... once you hear them, you'll know. I've heard great things about Thiels and I'd be curious to how they would compare to my current setup (Triangle Titus 202's bookshelves), but I'm happy and that's all that matters.

#15 of 63 Peter Johnson

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Posted August 08 2002 - 06:44 PM

nOrh Synthetic Marble 7.0's

World-class drivers, most inert cabinet you can get and a top notch crossover.

I have marble 7.0's with the Scanspeak 9500 tweeter, the current 7.0's use the 9700 at $180 each, which is even more transparent...at the expense of a smaller sweetspot due to the higher crossover point.

The 7.0's are significantly more transparent than the 805's, and are in a different league (in my opinion of course) than the paradigm stuff...as is to be expected from the corresponding pricing.

#16 of 63 Martice

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Posted August 08 2002 - 11:41 PM

Also Paul.

Here are some links to reviews of the GR Research speaker line. A lot of the owners of these speakers are former owners of very well known speakers including B&W, Dynaudio, Paradigm and PSB. I personally wrote a review on my GR Research AV1+'s on this forum right HERE.

Also, here are a few links to reviews of GR Research on http://www.audioasyl....oryID=Speakers. All you have to do is scroll down to GR Research and read up on the AV1, AV1+ and the Paradox 1 speakers.

Do a search on this site in the 'Speaker and Subwoofer' or the DIY section under GR Research and enjoy the reviews.


Good Luck.
Turn Key Guy!

#17 of 63 Randy G

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Posted August 09 2002 - 02:29 AM

Martice,

It's unfortunate that nobody has written a review of the lowly AV1 on the Asylum yet.
Perhaps soon....

#18 of 63 Alex F.

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Posted August 09 2002 - 07:56 AM

If you seek a really huge soundstage (i.e., a "wall of sound") consider the bipolar speakers from Mirage (miragespeakers.com) and Definitive Technology (definitivetech.com). Or the dipolar panel speakers from Magnepan (magnepan.com).

The above usually require more placement work than traditional speakers to achieve optimum reproduction, but it is certainly worth the effort.

Happy listening!

#19 of 63 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 09 2002 - 10:12 AM

Martice,
i saw those reviews a few days ago.
DIY kits have me very intrigued, but i wonder how well i could navigate a project like that.
it would be an interesting adventure and i love doing projects.
i just built a center stand for the speakers i'm auditioning, and will work on the stands for the left and rights sometime later tonight.

i also got back from another speaker store, this time focusing on B&W in and over my price range.
when i got home and fired up this system, i started to view it in a new light.
also, taking the center down off the large rubbermaid tub and putting it about 8" lower seemed to open up and tighten up the imaging in the center.
it seemed pretty consistently diffuse before, where now certain passages can seem quite crisp and more precise.

it's possible that there are more open soundstages with crystal clear imaging for $700, but i didn't see it in any of the B&W's, or paradigms.

i still have a few other brands on my check list, just to be thourough, but i'm now looking forward to clocking some more time on these.

maybe they are still breaking in after all?

i'll also be reading up on these DIYs.
My interest here is definitely piqued.

#20 of 63 Lee Scoggins

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Posted August 09 2002 - 10:28 AM

Paul,

I don't think you can beat the Magneplaner 1.6QRs at $1700 (maybe you can get the dealer down a bit) for transparency and imaging.

I have a pair and they just disappear. These are widely (TAS, Stereophile, Soundstage, etc.) lauded as on of the all-time buys now in high end audio.

I am very sensitive to soundstage as a recording engineer (part-time) and these throw a killer 'stage. Posted Image
Viewing: Sony KDSXBR150, Sony Bluray S570, ATT Uverse
Listening: Sony SCD777ES, Benchmark DAC1Pre, VPI/Modwright SWP9SE/Lyra Argo, Audio Research Ref3/VT100, Maggie 1.7s

 






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