ohm, shahiniam, allison, castle harlech or howard, gradient, and the maligned bose 901
16 responses Add your response
Daedalus speakers fit the bill. They have a sweet spot, but off axis they are great
due to the fact they have two tweeters , one of which is pointed to the side by
10 degrees. This is why off axiss sound is great. These speakers are extremely
dynamic and also can take huge amounts of power. They are also very
efficient . Lou designed these speaker to represent live music, especially
acoustic instruments . The one thing I noticed was with these speakers is a piano sounded like a piano no mater where I was in the room. E-mail me
if you want to talk to me about these speakers. The reason I got these
speakers was that years ago I purchased Lou's speakers for acoustic guitar
which many pro musicians felt these where the best. Someone ultimately
talked Lou into making a speaker for high end audio.
FWIW---> ONE (of the many) fine attributes of the Intuitive Design Summits is a wiiiiddde sweet spot, with at least some preservation of central imaging even when seated outside of both speakers (yes, really).
Great question..... I am just beginning to research speakers for my friends' Eichler house (their's is an odd living space-though wonderful) Good off-axis listening is a main criteria as there will be no formal listening seating set up.
Though their budget is less than $1750US for the speaker pair. Of those above, which would fit that price range? Also since a lot of the recommendations are brand onnly can it narrowed down to model? hat would be greatly appreciate.
Gsm18439 (OP) what is your budget?
Thanks for the tag along,
Bose 901 (yes really!) There may be other things you dislike about them, but, when placed in front of the proper kind of wall (rough brick) they do create a huge sound stage.
My speakers are Maggies, and I have three in the front, but one thing I like about them (and previous planars) is the fact that they disperse the sound throughout the room. I can walk from the back of the room right up to a speaker and there is hardly any apparent change in loudness. Measurments with a SPL meter do show that there is actually a reduction with distance, but much less than with my point-source box speakers.
The ear localizes sound by two mechanisms: Arrival time and intensity. Arrival time is a bit more dominant below roughly 1.5 kHz and intensity a bit more dominant above, but both are important.
If you are seated off to one side of the centerline, the output from the speaker on that side will of course have the "winning" arrival time. Usually it also wins intensity, so the center image is typically pulled over to the near side rather dramatically.
The ideal would be a set of speakers where as you move off to one side, the speaker on the other side actually gets louder. This way one speaker wins arrival time and the other wins intensity. We can do this by using speakers that are louder on-axis than off-axis (but still have smooth off-axis response) and toeing them in severely, so that the axes criss-cross in front of the listening position. This way as you move off-axis to one side, you're moving more on-axis of the farther (later-arrival-time) speaker so that it's actually getting louder. This is the set-up I usually use at audio shows (such as the one in Vegas I just got back from).
A fairly wide-pattern line source speaker will also give you decent soundstaging over a wide listening area because the SPL falls off more slowly with distance than from a point source, and therefore the typical loudness advantage of the closer speaker isn't as great as with a point source speaker.
A very wide-pattern point source speaker can also work well, but the center vocalist is more likely to shift towards the near speaker than with a wide-pattern line source or with the crossfiring arrangement described above. This is because the loudness discrepancy is usually greater than either of the first two cases.
Very wide pattern line source speakers can be set up actually facing each other and thus create a very wide sweet spot. Beveridge lensed electrostats were designed to be used this way, and the Maggie 3.6 and 20.1 with their extremely narrow line source ribbon tweeters can be used this way.
Note that as you take steps to improve the soundstaging over a wide listening area, you may be degrading the imaging a bit for the listener seated exactly in the middle of the sweet spot.