Electronics and cables, including power cords. You may discover that your speakers are much better than they seem. I am not familiar with them, by the way, but that is irrelevant. To the point. You might still want to replace them, but that’s most likely not where I would start. Would you list your entire chain including every cone under anything?
I’ve been keeping my $1.5k speakers for 18 years but have upgraded everything else, including every cone under everything.
what changed....as before you said :
" I currently own a pair of Golden Ear Technology model 7's speaker. They are 3 years old and retail for $1395.. They can sound very good in my set-up and are accurate, but also are a bit edgy on top, and also don't convey the feeling or emotion of real music. Without getting into the definition of "real music",or the ambiguous terms euphonic vs real, or warm versus analytical, just say I would like to acquire a better sounding speaker. "
Yes you do have to spend much more. Basically mid to entry level tower speakers can be pretty good and you are soon reach diminishing returns. I could never be happy with GET 7 but since it works for you for 3 years I don't think you will find much improvement. It boils down to what is acceptable for your ears - some of us really appreciate accuracy, dynamics and ultra low distortion and $4000 may only buy you an incremental improvement that only a fanatic may value.
Sunny, if you are sensitive to the edgy highs, I would add another to your short list. Ascend Acoustics Tower could definitely be an upgrade. They image superbly and with the Raal ribbon tweeter give pinpoint imaging but are not sharp or edgy, according to all of the owner reviews I've read. I'm looking at a new speaker myself, and these are my leading contenders so far.
The downside to any other speaker besides Golden Ear is that almost none have powered subwoofers. None will give you the bass response you are getting now. You would also need to buy a sub or turn yours up somewhat if you already have one.
It would be helpful to know what amp you have, room dimensions and cables too.
The only way you're going to know is by auditioning, in person, one of the Golden Ear models against a very different speaker. One of your preferred makes, or something broadly similar.
Different strokes for different folks. I heard the GE 2's against B&W CM10's a while ago, and there was no comparison for me. B&W much greater truth-to-timbre on acoustic instruments. GE's sounded like (good) HT speakers to me. More recently, in another shop, I heard the B&W's against other brands, and preferred Harbeth, Sonus Faber, and Paradigm (Persona) over the B&W's. YMMV.
4K will get you better assuming your electronics are up to it. Moving up the food chain in speakers doesn't do much unless you can feed them properly. This is not to say you need to spend mega bucks, just that a home theater receiver is not gonna get you there. Obviously I don't know what you have because you haven't mentioned it.
Yes, you can get better - including in the GET line: the Triton 3+ for $2500 or the Triton 2+ for $3500. Assuming your front end and amplification are up to it, either of these GET speakers will give you everything you like about your present ones but much more, + better bass, transparency etc plus great soundstaging. And they're easy to drive. I still wonder about you room set up since you found your 7s edgy at one point, something they definitely were not when I heard them. The $3k-5k range is crowded with good speakers.
Twoleftears: "Different strokes for different folks. I heard the GE 2's against B&W CM10's a while ago, and there was no comparison for me. B&W much greater truth-to-timbre on acoustic instruments. GE's sounded like (good) HT speakers to me. More recently, in another shop, I heard the B&W's against other brands, and preferred Harbeth, Sonus Faber, and Paradigm (Persona) over the B&W's. YMMV."
Different strokes indeed. We auditioned all the speaker brands on your list and seriously considered the CM10s, but chose the GoldenEar Triton 2+ as the most musically satisfying over all and biggest bang for our particular buck - especially for the large scale classical music we primarily listen to. The spousal unit is a classical musician, I'm a former choral singer and organist. I think the Tritons would be killer in a HT application but we are totally uninterested in that. We fell in love with them because Reiner and the CSO sounded fab through them. We actually auditioned the GET speakers last because we had a home theater prejudice against the Tritons - an article by a dealer who loves classical persuaded us to give them a try. BTW, I have not heard the original 2s, only the "+" version.
Different strokes and all that.
Thank you to all have responded so far.
Addyson 815 who also owns the GET model 7 articulated my major complaint about the speaker......they don't convey the feeling and emotion of real music....." For me that nails the point. However, I am not going to chase around looking at British speakers, like Harbeth, Spendor, ProAC. etc which many members have recommended for their ability to convey "the emotion and feeling of music" First, they are usually more expensive than $4000, and as good as they are, they could possibly be deficient in other areas like dynamics. I listen to mostly classic rock and rock jazz fusion, and some classical.
For those who ask: my equipment: is a Conrad Johnson PV-14SE pre-amp; a BAT VK-200 amp (100RMS) Ayre CX-7e mp CD player;
Cables: Grover Huffman EX series speaker cable. Harmonic Technology "Truth Link" IC to CD player and pre-amp.
Acoustic Zen Tsumai Plus power cable to Ayre CD; two Pangea AC-9 MKII power cables for the pre-amp and power amp; and a custom Signal Audio IC: (balanced to unbalanced) between BAT amp and CJ pre-amp.
Sunny, yep, I’ll agree that with the excellent electronics that you have, you really are missing out with your present speakers. There are many good speakers to choose from with a $4000 budget that will put a pair of $1400 speakers to shame.
Kosst has mentioned Focal, and they would be worth an audition, along with some others if visiting brick and mortar stores is possible, bringing along your favorite music.
I would again suggest Ascend Acoustics. I’ve owned their Sierra 1 and Sierra-2 with the Raal Tweeter. They are amazing and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Raal is a leader in ribbon tweeters and makes them by hand. They have superior vertical dispersion and are so accurate, the imaging is off the charts.(I have no affiliation with Ascend, but have become a big fan) My Sierra 2 handled the Parasound Halo A21 just fine.
The Ascend Tower takes this to another level with a superior midrange driver and an upgraded Raal tweeter in comparison to the Sierra 2. I haven’t heard the Tower yet, but any owner/reviewer who’s compared them to the Sierra 2 has been wowed. Plus, being internet direct, they are priced at around $2800, depending on finish options.
The only way to audition is to try them out in home on a 30 day trial. You would have to eat the shipping charges if you return them, but I guarantee they will trounce the GET 7. I would suggest starting by phoning Ascend Acoustics and explaining your situation. Their website has the contact information.
Thanks again to those who responded so far. Special thanks to "213runnin" for recommending the Ascend Towers. I considered them before when I was hunting for speakers before to replace GET 7's, but just passed over them ( probably because I wanted to avoid pay retail) but I will give them another look.
Also thanks to those members who recommended the Focal Aria 936 which I also mentioned in my thread. There was a pair on sale I believe on AG recently. However, they are big. heavy speakers; I am just curious if anyone knows if the Aria 926 would sound almost the same, even though having less bass, and be also lighter and easier to move around.
A few members mentioned the B&W CM9 S and CM10 S. However, several reviews complain about them sounding bright, less so with the more expensive model CM10
Has anyone auditioned the Revel F206 which retails for $3500?? It reviews well;. I checked with two local dealers who only display the larger and more expensive F-208
Thanks to all, S.J.
I was in your boat a few years ago, then I did a complete "reset" on what my goals were. My target was a minimalistic system that excels in transparency and accuracy. My first step was low powered tube SET with full-range drivers. It was very impressive. Since then I have moved to a more powerful push-pull tube at 20WPC and hybrid radials (Decware HR-1), but my goals are still very similar.
I auditioned a few speakers that I really did enjoy and would recommend highly.
Vandersteen 1Ci $1350
Spatial M4 $1995
The Vandersteen’s I bet you can find on Craigslist for $500 without issue. That would be a steal and the reduced complexity of the crossover would be a welcomed approach (at least to my ears) compared to the golden ears.
Keeping the signal path as minimal as possible is my target.
Moral of my post: don't feel the need to buy a big brand (I know Vandersteen is big) to get good sound. Check out Decware, Spatial Audio, Vandersteen.
Sunny, in your smaller listening room, some speakers would not be suitable. I had a pair of towers from the Paradigm Signature line, in a room that was about 11' x 17. I had to move the system to a larger room altogether, it would quickly get congested as the room was overpowered.
One drawback of the Sierra Towers I've read is that they do not excel in large rooms, but are best in medium sized ones instead. I'm not sure if this helps you, perhaps it would be best to order 2 pairs of speakers, and send back the loser, it's what many do these days. Just make sure that both sellers have some kind of trial policy.
k-a. Thanks again for the recommendation. Did you audition the Revel F-206. at any point in your search?
It reviewed well, but the Focal might have the edge in performance. However, I can buy a used pair of the Revels for about $1000 less than a pair of used Focal 936 I think the pair of Revels I saw looked snappy in a glossy cherry wood veneer
Another two questions: How do the Tekton "Impact" speakers rank compared to some of the other speakers above?? Some members recommended the Double Impacts, but they are too big and heavy. The Impact is one step down.
Decware offers a omidirectional speaker model ERRX. It retails for $2500. Has any one auditioned them on the 30 day home trial options?
HiFI ron mentioned he owned the HR-1's which are $4895 and have received excellent reviews including HiFiron's brief testimonial of their performance.
If you are interested in the Tektons you could always look into the Electron for a smaller model that appearantly is voiced exactly like the DIs with the same driver array just smaller drivers.
Between Focal and Revel I would go Focal for my tastes. Never heard a Focal I didn't like. The Revels while technically excellent are a little dry IMO.
BTW the music room has a pair of Focal Electra 1027be speakers for under 3k. Sounds like a pretty descent deal. I was impressed with the 1028be which is a little newer but others in some forums were saying they thought the 1027be was better but I've never heard it. Little older but imagine would outperform one of the newer model from the Aria line. I could be wrong.
To Mofojo, Thank you for the recommendation about the Tekton "Electron" I checked it out before on their website, but will go back to take another look. BTW, I did see the pair of Focal 1028Be's on the Music Room site. I may have dismissed them because they were an older model. Will check a few reviews if still available
To ka-am: Be assured, I am not in good enough health to conduct as you say a "structured mission" looking for new speakers. Unfortunately, those days are over, so I must rely on reviews and member's testimonials and recommendations I will reciprocate to anyone conducting a similar speaker quest.
I tend to agree with you about direct order companies that also may offer home trials, however, at least you have the opportunity of hearing a speaker with your own equipment. You offer a strong endorsement for the Focal Aria line. There was a dealer in Florida that has (or had) a pair of 936's store demoes on sale. When I inquired if they would overwhelm my room, he curtly replied "yes" and offered instead the Focal Aria 926. In addition, the 936's would cost close to $300 to ship to sunny SoCal, so I passed on the sale.
I need to decide if I want to proceed with one of the three direct sales companies. Tekton, Decware, or Spatial Audio. As you know, handing over distribution to dealers means putting the integrity of the product into their hands, and taking less profit. However, I don't believe that the argument made by direct mail manufacturers that cutting out the "middle man" saves the buyer money. I think that is bit of hogwash.
Thanks to all, SJ
Forgot to subscribe to the thread - sorry.
Decware ERRx - I haven't listened in person, but the report in comparison to the HR-1s are they are more laid back. Some people love it, Steve describes them as sitting in the 30th row back at a concern hall with perfect acoustics.
The HR-1's have a blended approach with more slam, more presence, but still astonishingly impressive transparency.
I gravitated to this hybrid radial approach for a few reasons:
- My 11x12.5x10 room has acoustical challenges and this radial gives me a large enough sweet spot without a lot of first reflection point issues.
- Minimal crossover that doesn't suck power from low watt SET amps.
The HR-1 speakers are drop dead gorgeous. Bob is a master craftsman and really cares a great deal about making an amazing product.
The HR-1s are not your traditional hi-fi speaker, they are more forgiving than say a single full-range driver, but not nearly as forgiving as something like the Vandersteen 1c.
FWIW: I had a pair of the Vandersteen 1Ci, Spatial Audio OBs, and the HR-1s in the room. All sounded great. The HR-1s fit the bill with what I was looking for in my setup.
YMMW with Radials, I think its a scary jump if you have never listened to them but I will never go back.
To hfiron. Thank you for the additional info. The HR-1's are $4895, the much smaller and less gorgeous HRRx is $2495......$2400 price difference may account for their starling performance.
Regrettably, I have abandoned auditioning any of the DECWARE SPEAKERS ON HOME TRIAL. The reason is simple, potential buyers must pay round trip shipping from and back to Peoria, Illinois, and if you return the speaker of your choice there is a 10 % restocking fee. I diplomatically lodged a complaint about this policy with Steve, and decided to look elsewhere.
Selah Audio has a generous home trial policy where the buyer only pay return shipping back to North Carolina if your return the speaker you choose to audition. The Selah speaker " Dicennio" is a revamped version of the former the Prestigio. and is $3495 It is an MTM design using the RAAL tweeter. Not sure if it is worth the bucks when their are other speakers in that price range, though used, that could be a better and a better value. I will have to see
Thanks again to those who have responded S.J..
To 213 runnin: Thank you for the support. However, I may be suffering from "analysis paralysis" as you suggested. The issue for me is whether how much more performance is available beyond what I hear from the Golden Ear Technology model 7. There is a lot of speakers out there, and one in particular that has help my interest only in reviews: Revel F206's. I never heard them which (I know) is not the way to buy speakers, However, I bought a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios which I still might own if I did not downsize the system because of room dimensions restrictions after moving to L.A.. from Honolulu and also I did not want to lug around a 80 lbs speaker around the living room.
To PS: I have reconsidered the Maggies, but it would have to be the Maggie 1.7i, anything else is too big, not necessarily too expensive. I think there is a 2.7i Maggies are great but a pain in the ass to set up and their speaker connectors suck. This leads to..... :
SoundsReal Audio's point of avoiding sales tax. I am as patriotic as the next guy, but 8.5% sales tax prevails in Los Angeles country with only a slight deviation. For example, a new pair of Revel F206 is $3500. With a 10% discount which I could get, the tax on $3250 is $276.25 which brings me back to retail. But the main issue is less about size and price, but much better and more revealing sound because the speaker is superior across the board.. As everyone knows on this site, buying used has its risks and you must know the seller. Also, it is somewhat of an unwritten law that unless you are a victim of a bad seller or defective product, there is no returns.
Thank again to all who responded, S.J..
i have heard most of the GE line including your 7s and 80% of the speakers on your wish list.
as others have mentioned, the GEs are decent HT speakers but not quite optimized for simulating a live musical sound stage. they have "synthetic" sounding bass because of the smaller woofers and passive radiators which are very tough to make sound good. also your sound stage is narrow because the ribbon tweeters have a very small horizontal dispersion pattern and sweet spot. shift your head and the sound changes radically.
you want a mucisal sound skip everything listed and go straight to Harbeth. The C7ES3 will sound as close to natural live music as you can get within your budget and dealers will usually give a good percentage off from list.
A college friend of
mine who's a very, very serious audiophile, now living in Taiwan swears by
Go for the Tekton Enzo XL's. It is Tekton's best selling model at only $1900.00 a pair. Grills are an additional $75.00. The XL's are the junior Pendragon's, their flagship speaker for a long time. They have the same drivers and crossover as the Pendragon's and Herb Reichert review in Sterophile mentioned they came within 90% of the Wilson Alexia's which cost $50K plus. Thats damn impressive. Their slighty larger than the Electron's and weigh 72 lbs.
Eric does provide great color options. The standard color's are available from $50.00 to $100.00. The next level up is BEHR high gloss finishes at $500.00 a pair. The top level paints are BMW high gloss auto paint at any color or the Ferrari high gloss Grigio auto paint at any color for $800.00. Eric applies 11 coats of paint to the cabinets. Once you see the Grigio high gloss colors you will forget about BMW. The Grigio high gloss metallic colors have greater depth to the paint with a richer tone and a richer gloss sheen. A pair of standard grilles are $75.00 a pair or $150.00 a pair for different colors. Eric buys his cloth from Acoustex. Go to their website to select your color.