Good day, I am searching for main speakers which will replace my Kef IQ5's. I want them to be a step up in soundstage and transparency, but only have a $1200 budget (family man you understand). I have a Klipsch 12" sub so the deepest bass is not an issue. My question is, in the opinions of those posting here, which tweeters will serve my purpose best, folded or dome? I see a lot of speakers in the price range I'm searching, both 2.5 and 3-way but have not been able to audition any as of yet. I'm watching used sets of Golden Ear Triton 7's, Wharfedale PI-40's, Quad Classic 23L among others. My listening is a mixture of music and theater, most genre's. I have a Marantz AV7005 pre/pro, a Rotel RKB 650 bi-amping the mains and (Kef) center, with a Rotel-RMB 1565 driving the surrounds (B&W and Klipsch). Thanks in advance for your input, so many questions, so little space.
Thank you the insight and added knowledge. I do mean the AMT as in the GoldenEar. I would prefer a floor stander as opposed to a bookshelf, but the sound rules. I am a Kef fan, and have considered extending my Kef inventory, so,,,,,, perhaps.
Guess my point is this: For any type of driver technology (Neodynium, Paper, Beryllium, AMT, dome, etc.) there are a wide range of quality and options. Buying a speaker because it has a dome Be tweeter, for instance, is not the way to go.
Thanks, Eric. I would absolutely agree that the sound is king, but I am looking to gauge tendencies and opinions since central Louisiana has a dearth of high end stores and auditions are complicated if not too expensive and time consuming to get to. I don't have much to go on but reviews, and I value the opinions of all the AG buyers and sellers. I got lucky when I bought the Kef's unheard, so I'm hoping for another bit of lagniappe.
Thanks again Eric. My living room is about 25x16, with the speakers about 8-9' apart and 12-13' from my ear on the shorter axis. Three solid walls, with tapestries hung front and rear on the cathedral walls and I have some foam in the corners, The fourth wall opens into the breakfast area. I have played with speaker placement until I feel I have accomplished the best imaging and sound stage I can, but it still lacks a little presence and realism. I understand I am at the 'entry' level with the separates, but I feel there is something to gain with the speaker upgrade. I would move the Kef's to the surround position for the theater processing, but I prefer to listen in stereo mode much, if not most of the time. What I would really love is for the mains to 'disappear' and the sound to originate behind the speaker plane with a much larger sound stage. I would say I tend to lean more toward the realism than the musicality. I know it's a pretty tall order for a $5k system.
If you like the KEF sound and you have $1200 to spend, consider the LS-50's. (Standmount monitors) They are available new for $1200 now (used to be $1500), and you could probably find a used pair for under $1000. They image like crazy, still rated class A by Stereophile, and you've got a sub to supplement the somewhat-lacking low bass. They are fairly low sensitivity (85-ish) so you do need serious amplifier power. You could order a new pair and try them out for a few weeks and send them back if you find them too small for your room.
If you don’t need "you are there" sound pressure levels in that size room you will not find a better speaker in terms of balanced off axis response and stable imaging at the $1200 level than KEF L50s. The sub will free them up to do what they do best and you’ll be hard pressed to improve the outcome in terms of increased output for anything near the price.
I do like the Kef sound, and as the new Rotel burns in the IQ5's are sounding better and better. I enjoy it loud now and then, but usually at a moderate volume, IMO. Eric, the living room has the usual accouterments, the speakers sit about 2' off the back wall and in front of the entertainment center by about 4". There is a blanket chest in front of the sofa between me and the speakers, but low enough that I don't feel it's messing up any imaging. (I can see the bottom of the speakers and 8' of carpeted floor in front of them.) The speakers are a good 9 or 10' from the sidewalls.
When I started building my system I auditioned 5 pairs of speakers and picked the Triton 7's...they were outstanding and easily sounded better than anything else I listened to in the price range. They were great for jazz and chamber music but once I started listening to rock and classical there wasn't enough bass and I didn't want to get a sub so I traded them in for a pair of Triton 1's. BTW....my dealer in Champaign IL offers 100% trade in credit if you purchase a pair of speakers that are at least 2 x your initial purchase within 12 months. His price for a new pair of T7's is $1400. Hope this helps.
Depends on what you listen to and the Speakers . I listen to 90% classical and 10% jazz and have a small Totem Signature 1 which does fine in a room 23' x15 ' . No sub .
gmwinder , If my memory serves me did they not have a passive woofer? Any speaker with them has a rough , uncontrolled base line which is death in big band or classical ensembles . What most thing of deep base in rock is usually a big LOUD hump around 120hz .
I thought that I disliked AMTs for a long time because I’d auditioned Goldenesr Triton Ones and Martin Logan Motion 40s and 60XTs and found them uncomfortably bright.
After hearing the Triton Reference, Gayle Sanders Eikon, Legacy Aeris and Valor, and the Emotiva speaker line at AXPONA my mind has completely changed, all use AMTs and all sounded great, and sounded great on a wide variety of music.
Then again, there were also some amazing sounding speakers with traditional domes, true ribbons, and compression drivers.
I think the lesson I learned is to not get too hung up on the technology of a particular driver, and appreciate (or not) the speaker as a whole.
My 2 cents: I have heard many speakers that use domes of various materials. Some were good, some were bad, some were ugly. But I have yet to hear an AMT folded ribbon tweeter that I did not like. I have heard them in Golden Ears, custom speakers, Martin Logans, various Legacy models and others. Not one of them was overly bright, etched, or lacking in treble air and detail. YMMV, of course.
I upgraded from Triton 2s to Triton 1s- the first time I ever changed speakers within the same brand. Loving the tweeter's delivery. My good friend, a non-audiophile, went with Triton 7s driven with Emotiva and his rig is very satisfying too. I also own the little Emotiva powered speakers, again with AMT. They are different from domes (and I've had many- B&W, Snell, Def Tech) just as ribbons are different, but I found that AMTs are not as brash as domes, they feel to me that they get the harmonics right.
BTW, the Heil AMT's are back in production. :) If anyone wants to make their own speakers with them. I've read nothing but good things about them.
Again, I love _some_ AMT's. In my home they are what I love most. I've heard awful AMT's and I've read reviews of some not being well matched to other drivers. (Troel's on Munich High End show either 2016 or 2017).
They are NOT all alike. The motors matter. Compression, distortion and frequency response in an individual line of drivers, not to mention how they are integrated into the rest of the speaker matter a great deal.
The one thing that can be generally applied is they tend to be physically larger, and therefore offer narrower dispersion. As you may have read me say, this could be good, or it could be bad. Depends on your room and listening habits. For me they are ideal.
So, buy what you like, but I would never make broad general statements about any tweeter technology being superior to another. Same for dome's, rings and beryllium or diamond.
Hey y'all, went with the Martin Logan Motion 20's and have no regrets. They fill the room nicely, warm mids, highs are very accurate, lows are right down there. Nice true phantom center channel with a nice wide sound stage that also has some depth. Reasonable accomplishments for a $6k system. Seems to be just what I was looking for at a good price. Thanks all.
I have an original pair of ESS Heil drivers that I plan on building with. When I finally get one of those "round tuits" I'll report. I'm actually pulling a Fountek ribbon this week and replacing with a silk dome on a different speaker.