Can't beat a Belgian Quad.
Ti tweeters gave me tinnitus.
Agree on the beer. My biggest disappointment was with the Hyperion Sound, the maker of my wonderful HPS-938 speakers. They had speaker of the year for 8 years in the row and speaker of the decade awards from Absolute Sound, not to mention they had orders for 6 months, after 2004 California show. After that they never advertised, had no dealership base and ended up in bankruptcy. Now I have speakers with exotic drivers and no support.
My first component system was Fisher, which back in the ’60s I thought was a really top brand.
I’ve been disappointed with Classe for not supporting legacy products when a tuner and an amp were unrepairable.
And I am still sore at Graham Engineering for never sending me an owner’s manual for the Phantom arm, tho I do like the arm.
I'm more a dark beer guy than a lager drinker, but Ma'a, a brewer based in my new home town of Hilo, brews an excellent enough lager to give my lager drinking a new lease on life. It's good enough to stand comparison to the lagers I drank in Bavaria...though perhaps not as good as the lagers I drank in the Czech Republic.
Ok, being of German descent Lager beer is where its at for myself.
Windhook Lager is just jolly fine too - and of course all brewed to "German Reinheitsgebot" i.e. no 🌽 Mais, rice 🍚 , or any other unspeakable stuff added to replace barley malts.
As for Audio... B&W is one brand I lost my 'emotional' connection to.
Gone from affordable floorstanders to way-out pricing and still no more tickling my sound bone.
The first Wilson Watt/Puppy I listened to during a 1996 audition in Germany.
I didn't 'connect' then - too hyped up a reproduction - a second higher version number of same construction, at my then home in Pretoria SA... terrible sounding bass performance, bad on my ears, and plain wrong to me.
Though I till beleave Wilson creates some amazing newer items, though completely unaffordable for my liking AND my purse.
So... disenchanting as well, overall. Maybe I was never enchanted in real-life, just by circumstances? But yeah, surely tickled by them fantastic reviews.
I bought my first new headphone, after 25 years with Beyerdynamic Dt 990 indestructible headphone that my wife break with the aspirator, 8 years ago, Hifiman He 400 replace them; but they break themselves in 2 parts suddenly after 4 years of using them with care for no reason excess defective design....Paid a 300 hundred bucks at this time for a defective hyper hyped product....It gives me a first lesson.... Some other comes after....For sure i will never buy Hifiman products in the future.... Nor any too hyped new one..... :)
My wife remember that accident because that motivate my obsessive journey in audio audiophile experience for the good 7 years ago....I mange to do that without much money but with success....
My speakers and audio system is so good ( vintage speakers Mission Cyrus and amplifier Sansui AU 7700)now that i dont use any of my 7 headphones even the Stax models.... Good Speakers rightfully embed trash them all on all counts....
A remark: Contrary to the Hifiman experience, the Mission experience and the Sansui experience were so good i bought another model for each one of these brand with complete satisfaction....
I used to have a lot of respect for lower end B&W speakers; bought my dad some in the 1990s and they sounded nice with NAD gear.
On my recent outings to audition bookshelves, all the B&W speakers were over-bright to the point of aggressive harshness. I understand this was a choice on their part, perhaps?f
Totally agree on B&W, which is what I was going to post about.
Owned DM1800’s for a long, long time and thoroughly enjoyed them. Back then, I would have ranked them high in the pantheon of great British speaker makers.
More recently, auditioning much newer models, I thought them either mediocre or unlistenable.
I wonder if the reverse direction is less common: anyone dislike a brand and then later come around to them?
@twoleftears And I held them in *really* high esteem, so they have really fallen.
I like your question about the reverse. And one has to be careful with these questions, since there can be a gap between the lower line of a brand and their upper levels of product. So, can be an apples to oranges comparison mistake.
I will add one comment, namely, that I really thought Adcom was very mediocre, but I realized that of my two units -- a tuner/preamp and the amp -- that once I paired a really good tube preamp with the adcom power amp (535L), it sounded pretty darn good. In other words, the amp is still only mid-fi, but it has much greater potential paired with a good preamp than I previously thought.
Yeah, I wrote a whole blog about the modern B&W treble response and Stereophile pushing it. Drives the fans bonkers.
Glad to know others have also been scratching their head in wondering.
After living with a pair of Magneplanar Tympani's for a year, I was seduced by the new Fulton Model J, which offered deeper bass and the transparency of RTR ESL tweeter (6 of them per speaker). It took me only a coupla months to realize that what a big planar offers is more important to me than what speakers such as the J do (the midrange was reproduced by the 2-way Fulton Model 80, a real good box speaker for it's time). Back to planars!
Then there was the time I replaced my Van Alstine-modified Dynaco PAS tube pre-amp with the hot new New York Audio Labs tube/mosfet hybrid Super It phono stage, which turned out to be not-so-hot. Back to pure tubes!
Live and learn. One mistake I DIDN'T make was dumping all my LP's in the late-80's and replace them with CD's. Thank God!
I had forgotten: having had my mind blown when I heard the Decca Blue cartridge on Bill Johnson's tonearm (a prototype that never went into production) in '73, I never-the-less went with the flow and replaced it with a Supex moving coil and the Levinson head amp in '74. Again, learned to trust my own taste, and went back to the Decca.
I have been in audio over 40 years, owned a Audio store and been sucked into pushing the name brands for years .
I just sold a well known Krell Vanguard, and bought a Yamaha 2100 integrated amp, many told me it’s not Audiophile brand .
I will tell you what it’s loaded with all quality parts from Japan 80% Nichicon gold tune ,capacitors and 4 Big -22,000 power caps,
fully balanced,with a floating ground system,and a dual mono design. and nice retro looking meters . It has very good resolution
using Dual Sanken 20 amp Mosfets per channel. One down side it was a bitch to breakin over 200 hours to settle in the new 2200 is a bit better still at $4k ,I thought it was better then my friends $6k McIntosh ,or Bryson ,that being said I like the more upfront defined presentation ,some like it more laid back .that being said it has a kt88 type sonic warmer signature with better control. That’s why it is good to read reviews,and owner opinions but let your experience
guide You not others.
I think about the B&W move akin to the salt-fat-sugar approach to food. Get their attention and hook them with primal urges. (Only at home to they get fatigued and wonder what's wrong.)
And I really don't mind any company coloring the sound of their products, but like you say, it sells better than it lasts, and don't you dare try to sell me this is a neutral sounding speaker.
Czech beer is fabulous. Pilsner Urquell has a better flavor over there. Krusovice and Bernard are great as well. Agree with B&W gear. Back in the day I thought it was incredible stuff. Today, there is such a harshness to their highs, that I would go elsewhere. I really like my new Dyn Contour 60i. Smoothe as silk.
I had ridiculously high expectations for the Levinson 333 amplifier and Wilson Watt3-Puppy2 after years of lusting and listening at dealers... flat lifeless disappointment. I suffered through 9 months of system changes before selling both.
On the positive side, I was very skeptical about the PS audio Directstream DAC and it's one of two DACs I have used for years.
I went from all Meridian (top of range 8000 speakers, 861 processor, 800 dvd) to Bryston/B&W. The Meridian set up was (and is) unacceptably cumbersome and prone to things going wrong.
I had a one to one relationship with the directors before they sold out to a lifestyle Dunhill crew (the previous owners even came to my home to install the set up) but after sale of the business Meridian showed no interest in customer support.
I have had the B&W d2 and now have 800d3 . If you are agreeing with someone who said the measurements are similar, then that has no meaning of any significance.
The d3 is a totally different speaker to the d2 (much better with the "top" issue now sorted) and sounds far better. I have compared them to £150k Wilsons, and independently, I and my friendly dealer, both agree we prefer the d3s. They punch way way beyond their price range.
If you can't tell the difference between a d2 and d3, which your quoted article states then that is a shame, for you, as the difference is significant.
Personally I'm over Integra, Onkyo and Denon. All 3 mid to high end receivers I've owned from these brands have failed in one way or another, and all 3 in a short time frame, but right after warranties expired. I'm having good luck with the Lexicon MC-10 and my Bryston 8B-ST's are rock solid. My old Klipsch Epic CF-4's have sounded great for 20 years but the Klipsch Reference Premier 280's and some other copper gear (I forget the models) to me were inferior so I sold them pretty quick. Now that I understand only their Heritage and Cinema/Pro gear is still made in Hope, AR and the rest is made overseas, makes sense why the new copper gear has been so underwhelming to me...obviously this is just my personal opinion but has been my experience.
@tatyana69 Agree with you about the difference between B&W d2 and d3. I’ve had both.
My first time out I thought my Marantz 8001 amp was the bee’s knees. But then my McIntosh 6700 integrated made short work of the Marantz. Now, my Pass Labs has taken things to the next level and put the 6700 to rest. Given the pattern, there always seems to be great joy followed by a discovery of what’s next, which is what I didn’t know I was missing with my previous setup. It’s been said on here that more money doesn’t mean better. But it’s kind of gone that way.
If there’s ever an audio convention again, I suppose I’ll discover that my B&W 803 d3s are lacking in some dimension I haven’t yet experienced and I will jilt the speakers I currently love. I still have my Marantz and listen to it very occasionally to remember how much more I have now. But the Marantz had its time and I loved it. So did my old McIntosh. While I might cringe now at what I used to love, each was a blast if only for a while.
I had a deep love affair with Naim, as many British hifi-enthusiasts do.
Naim have a very cleverly marketed upgrade path where power supplies and separate components can be upgraded to the next up the chain. It is an addictive process. However I lost that love for Naim and realised the hype that was the ’upgrade path’ when I discovered that a 2 box Class A Vitus set-up cost much less than a top-of-the-range 6 box Naim System and sounded significantly better.
I disagree with the dismissal of B&W in some of these posts. The lower end of their range may be bright sounding, but the 800 series, when integrated into powerful quality amplification, sound absolutely sublime with absolutely no 'edginess'. The top of that range, the 800 D3, is one of the best-priced high-end speakers in the market, competing with Wilsons and their ilk at far higher prices.
I would have to say YBA . wasn't too happy with the selling of the company to a chinese firm and switching all the lower end equipment to china ( i believe Shanling bought the business). , but given the way of business these days it was probably required in order to keep the brand viable. Now the only really French hand built YBA gear is their top of the line Signature line, which unfortunelty is way out of my price range.
I met John Bowers when B&W hosted me in Worthing for a visit in the 70's. A wonderful man and engineer who really changed the face of hifi--and not just in England. Since his death things have spun wildly. Do a little research and you will find out that B&W has really changed since being sold, divided and whatever to wring maximum profits from a still-respectable brand.+1 on the B&W tweeters. I was ready to buy a pair until I heard them and then when I heard the Dynaudio lineup, I was converted. My brother-in-law sold B&W's and went to Maggies.EVOLUTION!
I thought that metal tweeters was the way to go. I bought Mirage M-3Si quite a number of years ago. At first, the big open sound was great. But after some time it began to bother me; way too bright. Raising children and paying for higher education prohibited me to replace them. But now that is behind me and I have been building an entirely new audio system. I auditioned BE tweeters in a few brands last year and, though better than the titanium metal tweeters in my Mirage speakers, they still sounded like a metal tweeter. I had my eyes & ears on Dynaudio for some years. I bought their car audio speakers for two of my car audio systems over the past 10 years. So, I recently bought the Dynaudio Contour 60i set of speakers. They are "smooth as silk" as stated above by jrbirdman333. I only have about 12 hours of run-in time on them and already they sound amazing. I can imagine the midrange and bass will only get better over the next 60 or 70 hours of run-in time. But the real story hear is the tweeters. Metal tweeters were once what I thought was great. But actually a soft silk dome tweeter much more satisfies my musical tastes. And also, far more satisfying to my ears. From titanium to soft dome, from bright to smooth; made everything wonderful for me.
Marantz. Two failed disc players, one after another. The DV9500 and the SA8260. Very disappointing. I’ll never buy a disc player from them again. And Audio Research. I bought an integrated (used, right here on Audiogon) that had a bad power supply. AR would not support the repair of the product. Never again.
I used to be a big B&W fan, had one stand mount after another, just before ordering a pair of their best stand mounts, attended an event at my then local audio dealer, where Totem was sponsoring the open bar, so I ventured into their room and was blown away by the Fire monitors. I returned to the dealer for some quality time with both speakers, the Totems won "hands down".
I also used to be an NAD fan, had several of their amps, receivers, CD players and their Masters series components, but had more repairs on them than I could stand...now I know I'm going to get killed for this, but I switched to McIntosh.