British Speakers vs All the Rest


I finally made the leap towards a pair of Gemme Tanto V2s.I wanted a speaker that had all the simular attributes
that my presiding Castle Avon speakers have.But with a bigger sound stage,more presence,better detail,and more oomph!!
I went for a test listen yesterday at a dudes place who had them for sale.He warned me that "these spkrs will play alot better
in listening invironments such yours"(23'by25').As I sat down to listen to the Gemmes,I couldnt help the notice how small this room
really was!Maybe 10 feet by 10 feet!He had them hooked up to all Classe gear,and as the first few notes that came to life from the whole
set up,theresuddenly existed immediate drawbacks that came to me and my buddies attention.One being that there was way too much roll off coming out of the Gemmes.But of course these speakers are known to go down to 18hz,but with that kind of room it didnt surprise me.Second was the highs.The upper end part of his speakers seemed kinda bright and a bit forward if I were to compare them to my Castles.Hopefully on account of the size of his room and nothing to dampen whatsoever was the cause of.Well,I will know the verdict in a cpl of week from now when I will have in my own set up.The seller did console me in saying "the Gemmes will take much better form in a larger but treated room too.

One thing I wanted to add to this whole experience is I was to propose for the seller to have a listen to my speakers(Castle Avon),
with my Velodyne sub if need be.He phoned me back fifteen minutes later regarding this,and his answer was "Im not really in to "british
sound as far as speakers"."I prefer something lively or dynamic" which ever the case may be.I happen to love the sound of my speakers escpecially that they are very neutral sounding speakers.So this immediatly brougt my attention to the sound of the Gemmes highs when I was auditioning them.Plus from the reviews Ive been getting on the Gemme Tanto V2s there is absolutely no mention of them being a bit bright or even forward! Yes,there does exist the distinct possibility that they are more dynamic than the Castles.But thats just merely a characteristic trait from one speaker to another one can enconter i believe.But doesnt nessecarilly spell forwardness or lack of neutrality.All,in all i just love the sound of a laid back speaker.One that has a pin pinpoint accuarcy.Is this an inherent trait that mostly "british" made speakers possess?If so,have their counterparts caught up?
"Is this an inherent trait that mostly "british" made speakers possess?If so,have their counterparts caught up?"

Reading through your post, I can tell you that there are so many different variables at play, I don't know where to begin to sort it all out. You need to consider the room, acoustics, speakers, electronics, setup, and the list can go on... You're trying to deal with too many things here, all at once.
A 10x10 room is a room from hell for audio. Easy to overdrive and tough to set up, even if you are willing to listen in the near field to speakers designed for that purpose. Bass boom, wall reflections, soundfield width and depth, all at issue. So you have learned nothing from listening to the Gemmes in that room.

Now whether or not they will work for you remains to be determined - you have a lot of work ahead of you for these (or for that matter any high end speaker) Gemmes and that will include accommodating room acoustic issues with bass traps, wall treatments, speaker placement, and locating listening position. Combined with finding the appropriate amp to drive them, considering your use of your present sources and pre-amp, you have in all likely hood a lengthy trip to audio heaven. Try to enjoy it. Too bad you couldn't listen to them in your room first.

FWIW, Re British vs other speakers, I have always enjoyed Spendors, Rogers, and Quad speakers, but now I use USA made speakers which, IMHO, do well all the things that the Brits try to do without giving up anything to the 'high end goals' such as resolution, that are important to me. The Brits do not have a corner on 'musical' speakers.
Historically, I'd argue that British speakers did have a "house sound" relative to typical US speakers. At least they did back in the '70s when Kef, B&W, Celestion et. al first appeared on the US scene. JBL and a few other large US firms had popular products with deep bass and hot treble that were attention getters on first listen. They'd "pop" at audition, but wren't necessarily particularly neutral tonally.

The Brit speakers were mostly monitors, had less bass extension (and often a corresponding treble roll-off) than a typical US design, and were prized for mid range performance (possibly because there was less deep bass). British (and European) rooms are generally smaller than US rooms, so this probably made sense at the time.

Then two things began to happen:

Several US manufacturers - Advent among them - began to de-emphasize one or both frequency extremes. That neutral Brit sound was no longer mainly a Brit phenomenon as the JBL sound didn't dominate the US market in the way it once did. Conversely....

As fat profit margins started to accrue to larger, more full range designs, the Brits started building bigger, more full-range products. The gap was narrowed from both sides. Today, I hear much less national difference between the products from the US and GB than I did back in the day.

Just MHO.
In the years gone by Brits did have their own detailed and rolled off sound, but if you really think about it everyone is using drivers from Dyn, scanspeak, audax, seas, tangband, HiVi, Morel, etc, etc, etc... in the end, its all really about how the designer looks at things. These days with great drivers and speaker design software any designer could easily give you the type of sound that you want if you could accurately describe what you seek.