Box Speakers 1.Audio Physic Virgo-at any volume from almost any position 2 or more feet away. 2.Alon II Mk II 3.Totem
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Box speakers: Proac Response 3.8s powered by Cary monoblocks; electrostatics: Apogee Divas powered by Linn monos; panels: almost any Maggies, including Mg20s powered by Brystons, Mg3.6s powered by Bryston and Mg 1.6QRs powerd by ???. Maggies flat out DISAPPEAR and the 1.6s are LESS THAN $1500!!! Despite what you read in reviews, they are not that hard to place, although they need to be out into the room, and the reward for careful placement is sonic nirvana at a reasonable price. Check out audioreview.com
I agree with the comments about Soundlab and Maggies, and probably should include the Quads. All of these are capable of turning into pure music, where the source appears to change with every recording...into a true to life musical experience. Of these, the Soundlab is the best, and unfortunately, absolutely the most expensive.
I have had both Soundlabs A-1s and the Vandersteen 5. I far prefer the Vandy. It is both transparent and dynamic, and handles the entire frequency range well. Soundstaging is unmatched and the midrange is crystal clear. It is due for a major update early next year. At approximately $10,000, the 5s simply can't be beat and the longer I listen to it, the better I like it, unlike the A-1s whose limitations began to wear after time. One note of caution. The Vandy 5s must be biwired. Good Luck
The limitations of the Soundlab A-1's is the limitation of the other components in the system, or a room problem. In the event that better results are achieved by a cone speaker like the Vandersteen 5, I am certain of this. One of the members of my audio group listens here with me every week, and he has a pair of Vandersteen 5's and nearly the identical equipment as me everywhere else in his system. The point of this? Not only do I think I have superior performance, he thinks so too. Do not consider this as an attack on you or Vandersteen products, I owned Vandersteen 4A's as my last speaker before Soundlab, I had (relative to most systems) a superior system with the Vandersteen, and my listening partner (with Vandy 5's) has an even better system than I did with my 4A's. But as already stated, we both prefer the U-1 Soundlab as the reference with all things being equal. By the way, we are both all high end tube everywhere, analog as our reference, and use properly applied room treatment, it works for both systems, as the room dimensions are also similar. Best wishes.
I had speakers in the range of EPOS ES11, Sonus Faber Electa Amator, Totem Model 1, Dynaudio Contour 1.1, Audience 40... In all honesty, if properly set-up i a room, all speakers will disappear. Its a matter of how they are set-up!!! And I 'm not talking expensive front end equipment here, guys, the key is setting up. When these are done properly, any speaker will disappear!
Hi, you are never sure how nice something sounds until you put it to a test. Last Monday I had another audio store manager and assistant manager come by to hear Kharmas at my store. They have heard must everything else including Avalon, but never kharmas. when they left (it was getting late so it was time to close)and all they could say was that it was the best sound they had ever heard. All I did was DJ the sound and I just sat quietly watching their faces and ask simple questions like: how do they sound, what are your thoughts about the soundstage, etc. I sat there as a student and listen to there comments. I tried not to get in the way or share my opinions to make sure they had an open book to judge these speakers. When they left all I can say is that I had a big smile on my face and I truly now know that these speakers will blow away what Colorado had to offer and beyond prior to this auditon. It was a nice day in the neighborhood
Two wildly different speakers certainly meet the "best disappearing" category for me: the new Martin-Logan Prodigy, and Richard Sequerra's MET-7 mini-monitor. I've never owned the M-L Prodigy, but I did have a set of MET-7's for a number of years. MET-7 threw a phenomenal soundstage, imaged like crazy, and usually "weren't there".
As a SoundLab owner I'm right there with Albert and company. They are unique in that you have only one fullrange driver. Pure phase coherency. If you want to experience something rather unique set up the A-1/U-1's and sit very close; in the near field, such that you are significantly closer to the speakers than they are from each other. The effect is startling, its like sitting right on the soundstage. You also minimize the room effects by being in the nearfield, although you still need to do a fair amount of rear wave damping. It looks pretty odd, sitting so close to 8 ft speakers. Just turn out thelight and get lost in the performance. Only a single driver speaker can do this (just like headphones) and the Soundlabs are one of the few single driver, full range speakers around.
These speakers EASILY imaged better and did the disappearing act better than the other speakers I listened to: Revel Studios, Merlin VSM SEs, Audio Physic Libras, JM lab Mezzo Utopias. The FST midrange unit on the 801/802 is incredible at throwing images and disappearing. Unless you have heard these, all other claims as to best at disappearing are hollow.