Any audiophiles around here? What are your favorite hi-fi speakers

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Descent, May 31, 2018.

  1. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    86
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Been looking at Bowers and Wilkins CM9 lately. Very transparent from what I've heard.

    JBL LS80 looked and sounded really impressive on any material that I pumped from it but has been discontinued before I could save enough to get them :(
     
    bostjan likes this.
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    People post audio files here all the time.


    ...... :lol:


    But seriously, would be curious what people use as decent speakers outside of the monitors they mix with.
     
  3. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    86
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    yeah, I think this forum is pretty much studio monitors and iPhone earbuds :)

    I have Rectilinear III Highboys, similar to this:
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338014327&icep_item=222874825397

    I am still surprised how good they sound but I think some of my crossover electronics are going out on as I need to blast them loud first for one of them to open up.

    Very pleasant sound, natural, tight bass, full mids. Maybe the highs are a little lacking in detail compared to today's speakers, but beside that still amazing, especially for EPs. Blasted the new LP (remastered) "Master of Puppets" I just got - wow!

    For the most part they still beat most of my friend's in terms of sound, and some have high end $1-$2k stereo speakers.
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    Can't forget the m50x. Hah.
     
    Descent likes this.
  5. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

    Messages:
    6,757
    Likes Received:
    1,907
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    Martin Logan ESLs. electrostats 4 lyfe

    Paired it up with a Funk Audio sub that could literally destroy my house if I played it at full volume. Sounds pretty good.
     
    Descent and diagrammatiks like this.
  6. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    86
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    haha...just noticed should have said "audiophiles" instead of audiofiles :)
    Any moderators interested in fixing that?
     
  7. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    350
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    WI
    Does anyone have really good stereo speakers that they use within a surround system? I don't watch enough surround movies to care to get amazing center/rear speakers, but as I listen to plenty of music, I'd like to upgrade just those. I've heard that studio monitors sound funky within a surround system. And not the good kind of funk!
     
  8. Gerin

    Gerin SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    My current 2 channel speakers are a simple pair of Totem Element Fire's powered by a Rogue Audio Tube amp and Pre Amp. I never pay full retail anymore for audio gear. Hit up Audiogon and just find some good deals. Most audiophiles turnover gear as fast as the guitar scene does. I also have two decent pairs of headphones for when I do not want to wake people up...Grado GS1000e & Audeze LCD 2.

    I also own some older B&W gear for instance full surround setup of 1st Gen 700 series. I would not touch the current B&W gear unless it was the 800 series and even then I think I could find better for cheaper.

    I also agree that electrostatic is the way to go but I have found placement is critical in most cases and most people do not have 2'-3' to spare behind their speakers.

    If your looking for a relatively cheap surround speaker setup that will sound good and have one of the best buys in the market for a subwoofer take a look at Hsu Research.
     
  9. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    350
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    WI
    I already have a surround system, I just have R/L speakers in the front that could most definitely stand a huge upgrade for music purposes. Everything ELSE in the system I'm fine with.
     
  10. Gerin

    Gerin SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    I would suggest to try and match your speaker brands. Mismatched speakers tend to have speaker voicings that can end up fighting against each other. Mismatched brands tend to not do as well with surround, there are always exceptions though.
     
  11. Silence2-38554

    Silence2-38554 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    286
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    ELAC debut series. So good & super affordable!
     
  12. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

    Messages:
    6,757
    Likes Received:
    1,907
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    my ESLs are usually recommended for stereo systems but they make timber matched center & surround channels now. The fronts are the most important speakers in the system so that's where most the money went... my rear "surrounds" are my old front stereo pair downgraded to LR & RR duty. They are a different brand and totally different kind of construction and I don't find the difference in fronts/rears distracting or even that noticeable.

    You can use studio monitors in a surround setup, but usually they are built for nearfield purposes. You are supposed to be sitting close to them, the sweet spot is narrow, and they probably don't have adequate output to sound great in a large surround space.. but it can be done. ADAM Audio uses their studio drivers in home theater applications, for example

    https://www.adam-audio.com/en/classic-mk3-series/classic-compact-mk3/

    Buying hi-fi used is a good deal. The service life of a well treated speaker is basically forever, so you don't give up anything buying used. Even amps and the like tend to last an extremely long time so you might as well save the money. I use canuckaudiomart most of the time and I believe there is a US version of that site as well.

    You can put acoustic treatment behind an electrostat to cut down on that 2-3' of space between them and the back wall thing. That's what I ended up doing with mine because I couldn't go much more than 20" off the back wall. I found the difference it made very small, mostly there is more "depth" to the soundstage than before. The tonal balance didn't change, and only a few tiny differences were apparent in measurements.

    Electrostats "beam" the sound towards the listening position so they are actually less picky about the space they are in vs. box speakers which bounce sound every which way and need a lot more treatment as a result. For instance with my setup in the basement I didn't have to treat the first reflection point because there isn't one between me and the speakers.

    Hsu Research are great subs but only for US buyers because their international distribution is terrible. Ditto for Rythmik, they are great deals for American located people - not so much otherwise. Building your own subs is a good way to go if you want a ton of clean bass for you money. data-bass.com is a very fun place to read.
     
    wankerness likes this.
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I've been curious about adding speakers to the surround setup I've got... I have an input switch that lets you go from the the usual surround speakers to a secondary set of stereo outs, but I don't have any speakers to hook up to them. I have no idea what to look for in listening speakers. :lol:
     
  14. drmosh

    drmosh Sir Paul of the Mosh Contributor

    Messages:
    4,643
    Likes Received:
    508
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
  15. DownToEarthAudio

    DownToEarthAudio SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    I don't know if I consider myself an audiophile, but I have focal alpha 65 speakers which are amazing for production and casual listening
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    Had a weird moment earlier this weekend where I ended up sitting down in my living room and just reading with some music in the background coming from my surround system, which isn't the way I normally listen to music, and for some strange reason became very aware of the bass in everything. Maybe because I was sitting in the corner of the room (I don't normally sit there), something about the low end was just really clear. It makes me wonder how much better a listening experience it could be if it wasn't just the cheap theater-in-a-box speakers that came with the system. Now I've been poking around used ads for good speakers.
     
    HeavyMetal4Ever likes this.
  17. Enter Paradox

    Enter Paradox SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Malaysia
    I'm using a mix of Creative T20 (great for guitar driven music) and KEF X300 (full of details and all that soundscapes, not so for guitars)
     
  18. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

    Messages:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    944
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    I used to have some really cool vintage Wharfedale speakers amongst others but my B&W speakers trumped them all. Last set I owned had the Kevlar cones...can't remember the exact model but I'm sure
    they were from the 600 series, seriously good speakers, had them bi wired. Used to be big into my hi fi stuff, have went through piles of seperates including stuff from Arcam, Roksan, Cambridge Audio, Linn, Moth, Rotel etc etc......something I'm hoping to get back into soon.
     
  19. HeavyMetal4Ever

    HeavyMetal4Ever SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    76
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    I've been using a set of Aaron speakers for quite a few years now. They were a small Aussie company...unfortunately, the guy who made them retired in 2016 and closed the company down. Real shame as they were fantastic bang for your buck.
     
  20. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    What kind of budget are we looking at? True "Hi-Fi" stuff gets stupidly expensive.

    I have a brother who got into Hi-Fi gear and bought a pair of ATC loudspeakers. I forget which model he got...I think it was either the SCM 19As or the SCM 40s. Looking up current prices, the former is $21,000 a pair, the latter is $15,600. And those aren't ATCs most expensive speakers (they go all the way up to $60,000 per pair), nor is ATC the most expensive "hi-fi" brand.

    I just have a pair of Klipsch loudspeakers at home, and they work for me. I forget what they cost...$1500 or $1800 maybe. The ATCs definitely sound better, but I don't know that I want to invest that kind of money in a sound system. I mean, the loudspeakers aren't even the end of it: when you go that Hi-Fi, you can't just run them with a shitty amp if you want to hear a difference, ditto with playing MP3 files through them. So that's another couple grand on a hi-fi audio player and amp, plus various other equipment you might want and the cables to hook it all up. All together, a $30,000 audio system isn't that expensive in the Hi-Fi world. I mean, when I went with my brother to pick it all up, the audiophile store asked if he wanted the $2000 Nordost speaker cables they sold. $2000 for a nine-foot cable! I think he opted for the $500 pair. Yet looking around, I can see Nordost sells speaker cables costing as much as $65,000.

    I'm not saying it's a scam--this isn't Best Buy and HDMI cables, exactly--but I think at a certain point the most miniscule audio improvements are packaged with whatever space-age technologies to fleece the rich. And I don't really know enough about the Hi-Fi market to determine where the cutoff is for diminishing returns. But yeah, we demoed a lot of crazy gear in that store for like 3 hours, and all the popular Hi-Fi brands had amazing speakers. ATC, Harbeth, KEF, Marten, PSB, to name a few.

    If you're serious about it, do what we did and go to a proper audiophile store with an isolated sound room and have them hook up all the various audio components you're interested in. They asked us to bring records or CDs to play so we could listen to our own music, and they served us drinks and everything. If you're spending the money, might as well make sure you're making the right choice and enjoy the luxury treatment in the process!
     

Share This Page