I thinkd the Jolida Jd100 is good on what you are looking for.
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Agree with Warrenh & Esoxhntr, with emphasis on the speaker design, which is more important than the room interface to the extent that a lot of speakers will not give you the height factor except at loud volumes no matter how well you set them up, and some speakers won't give it up at all. Best case scenerio speakers that give you height at low volume. If its in the recording your electronics will pass the signal thru to your speakers. IMHO.
I forgot to mention. I don't believe there is such a thing as vertical imaging. Where do you expect these instruments to come from? I've been to a whole lotta jazz clubs, living in the Big Apple area. Never heard a piano coming out of the ceiling. Never heard brushes on a snare coming from way down there. Why would ya? Vertical imaging? I don't think so....
Warren, When talking about vertical imaging its much more about the sense of space. But, FWIW I've heard "point source" speakers like your Caravalles for example, with solo voices where the voice seemed to originate from a location on a plane with the tweeter/midrange about 3 to 4 feet above the floor. Don't know of many vocalists that short.
The same recording on some planers and line stages will create an illusion that the voice is coming from a higher, and more natural, plane. Same goes for classical orchestral music - when you sit in the front most rows were you can hear some clearly direct sounds from the instruments most of the real stage will be at and above eye level. Not so with point source speakers, the image is typically vertically compressed unless you really crank up the volume.
We are not talking about just the direct sound of the instruments, but the totality of the environment that its playing in, including hall induced reflections etc. With good speakers properly set up and with good source materiel you should have a soundstage that fills the area behind and above your speakers as it would in real life. Thats why some folks like panel and line source speakers. No free lunch here. Its a rare speaker that does it all.
Well gents...I have taken some heat for this post...and maybe rightfully so(spelling errors included!)...at any rate...I was thinking of vertical dispersion in terms of atmospherics,harmonics,acoustics,etc...similiar to NEwbee's reply...my speakers do possess this ability...but I believe it is more recording and source dependent...hence the post...also...it may not be the most "accurate" or "natural" presentation for imaging purists...but I enjoy being a large sonic presentation...
Phasecorrect, I will agree with you that CDP's can make a difference and had you asked for recommendations without the expression that "few add height" I think you might have gotten a few more responses on point, as opposed to the discourse on speakers & rooms. At least now you've defined what you were referring to perhaps you will. Personally, in that price range I'd look at something with tubes as having the potential to deliver what you're looking for.
I never experienced a realistic soundstage until I added tubes into the system. A tubed CD player and tubed preamp does the trick. A tubed amp adds a touch more if you want to go "full tube". My experience is that any of the modified tube CD players will present a more 3D soundstage versus their solid state counterparts.
realistic soundstage? realistic imaging? I never quite understand that. the only way a soundstage can be judged as "realistic" is to have a recording of a live (acoustic) performance, and know exactly where all the muscians were playing on the stage. Seems to me, other than that, soundstage/imaging are as "realistic" as the sound engineer's mixing board....
I don't really care, Warren, if my visualization is accurate. If it sounds
real. If I what I hear sparks my imagination and creates the illusion of a
live performance, then I'm happy. During the days of drama on radio,
did "radiophiles" strive to recapture the environment of the
broadcast studio, or did folks prefer instead to use their imaginations to
visualize the settings and characters in the story? It was the latter. Why
do audiophiles get so wrapped up in the accuracy of recreating the
recording "moment"? It's nonsense unless we're discussing a
live performance recorded with two mics and no processing. And what
does this have to do with tubes versus solid state? I'll rephrase my
comments...tubes in my electronics, including my CD player, allow a
certain magic in the reproduction of the music that sparks my
imagination and allows me to "see" (in my dark room with
my eyes closed) a performance and the performers in a way that solid
state electronics do not.