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I have compared in the same room my KLH Nines and the Ohm Walsh Sound Cylinders. The same amp was used for each. Planar electrostats vs. omni dynamics. They certainly sound different! The Nines are like a large window looking into the musical performance. The Ohms have the ability to bring the performers right into the room (uncannily so!). Yet each system is eminently satisfactory in connecting me to the essence of the various recordings (both analog and digital)!
Yes it happened to me once. I was a super die hard Dynaudio lover (had C1 sig's). I thought they couldn't be beat as far as imaging - sound stage and detail. Then my local dealer took me to a clients home to hear a speaker he had on demo. That was the original Raidho D3. I never heard that kind of detail and 'air' between the instruments and vocals all without losing and pRat. It just sounded so real. We listened for a couple of hours. It was the only time after leaving I couldn't that sound out of my head. Literally that lasted for months. It was hard to justify the price. Eventually I gave in and bought the D1's. Later upgraded to the D2's and D2.1's for deeper lows and have settled on the D3.1's (in May) for a bit more lows but even a much clearer mid range.
Now I must admit I'm a bit nervous because Mike Borresen has announced his design which is supposed to be even better and to be shown at the RMAF this year. Yikes!! I'm not going to the RMAF but it's my local dealer who will be showing them. So I will be able to compare the D3.1's against the B-03's.
I suspect there are many here who have done just that. For me it's been simple curiosity. My own speaker collection consists of designs which are radically different from each other (i.e., a planar-magnetic, a two-way mini monitor with an AMT tweeter, and a pseudo-omni floorstander). I like each of them for their unique presentation. I'm currently using a single-driver design.
This past year I have tried to find a speaker that would give me a different sonic presentation from my Martin Logans. Over the last 20 years I have had several pairs of ML's . From the fist time I heard a pair that literally stopped my in my tracks, I have loved their sound. Compounding my quest was the fact that the nearest hi end shop was 3 states away. I won't bore you with all the details but I finally settled on a pair of Tekton Design Ulfberhts. They can match my Logans in speed but the presentation is more precise with a very wide and deep soundstage. I probably have around 30 hours on them and more than once they have startled me with a detail on songs I know very well.
I have auditioned many many top speakers. I have fallen in love with the new line of Vandersteen carbon's as they are at the most correct tonally that I've auditioned. I have owned Proac's, Maggies, Apogee's, Paradigm, Linn and a few other speakers.
I was a die hard tube amp guy, but since the MS, I need a SS amp. I am currently using the Ayre AX5/20 and QX5/20 dac/streamer. Both are different than what I have had in prior. Ayre is neither tube nor SS in sound. It's pretty correct tonally to my ears. Throws a stage that seems to be pretty accurate. I have had a few reference recordings on the system when a friend who's a producer brought over his reel to reel. He said that my system was outstanding in that is was so close to what he felt he laid down. That made me feel very good. I was upset when he wouldn't let me keep the deck, lmao.
I have The Memory Player server/streamer/DAC on order as an upgrade and will get the new Vandersteen mono blocks as soon as Richard starts to produce them in the next month or so I assume.
chasing your tail with flavors..unless you have a true ( but faded ) reference back to the origional event...this realization came in evaluating some planer ribbons vs. my trusty time and phase coherent box speakers.....( i shall keep it brand agnostic ) but I assure, both quite highly respected..indeed coveted by some....
realized in chasing my tail, needed to record the reference live event and as best I could track degredation thru the chain...
ever hear the term “ they sound like the microphone feeds “ ? I did just that....your results and conclusions may vary.....microphone choice, location, quality are immense determination into SQ....
but i still have 7-8 pair of speakers.....better grip on what they do, imperfect as I am as a scientific tool ( fool ) ha...
Yes. I'm 100% satisfied with my Sonist Concerto 4's, and one example was listening to the loss-less Radio Paradise and noticing how many songs had six to eight separate sound sources spread out across the "Soundscape" where each had its own position with air around it. A simple song like Santana's Black Magic Woman went from being a rather blah song to a percussive spectacular. Previous speakers were "two sources and congestion" in comparison.
The opposite is true for me. I have owned Emerald Physics KCIIs with WireWorld internal wire upgrade for maybe 2 years, listening through the same basic system for at least 6 months, consisting of Emerald Physics 100.2SE amps and a Parasound P5, or Oppo 105 direct out, or Hattor XLR passive pre
About 3 months ago I replaced them with an Audio Alchemy amp & dac pre.and use a decades old Pioneer PD 65 (inverted platter) with Musical Concepts stage 3 mod, which includes an outboard power supply (I still use the 105 for SACD/DVD -A discs. THAT was a revelation on how good the KC IIs are
Planars ruined me for box speakers, no matter how good or expensive. The 3-panel Magneplanar Tympani, just about all ESL’s, magnetic-planars, and ribbons. Cones are okay for bass (the best almost as good as the bass panels of the Tympani), but that’s about it. I no not like point source speakers, period.
When I reviewed the Pathos Classic One (I actually worked with all three versions of it), Gianni Borinato when asked about which tube he thought would make the Classic One sound the most beautiful said, "Tubes are like women, they are all beautiful." What a lovely comment! The longer I am in this hobby and have experience with different genres of speakers the more I feel that way about them.
I do this quite a lot! I'm a sucker for soundstaging, so trying out different models to find better and bigger sound is often a pastime - though it seems to sometimes be at the cost of detail for some reason... Dynaudio seems to be the best for big, "detached from the speakers" type sound, with a generous sweetspot so far.
Definitely yes. The more you fine tune the speaker/room interface the more you can approach the original sound.
For me the acid test that any adjustment is moving in the right direction is whether it increases the diversity of scale and tonality in the reproduction. As you get things more optimized there should be greater variation in instrumental scale (i.e small instruments sound small and localized in space, and large instruments or massed strings say take up the appropriate space). This is true in two (L-R, F-B) and even three dimensions. In addition it should be easier to differentiate the tone of instruments, try separating strings in a string section, or isolating back up singers for example.
Sometimes this can strike you as a negative as the sound of something leaping out at you, spotlighted in a way, can be appealing but it's not natural (I'm of course talking about acoustic recordings here, studio artifice can create lots of effects but the well setup speaker should excel at teasing them apart).
@draaglah said, "I'm a sucker for soundstaging, so trying out different models to find better and bigger sound is often a pastime - though it seems to sometimes be at the cost of detail for some reason."
My experience has been that late-onset reflections are generally beneficial to both timbre and soundstage (assuming they have a similar spectral balance to the first-arrival sound). Early reflection are likely to degrade clarity, and though they can still enhance timbre and soundstage. So if you are getting loss of detail, it might be caused by unwanted early reflections.
As an example of this phenomenon, consider the experience of Maggie owners: They find a significant improvement in pretty much all areas when they are able to pull their speakers far enough out in front of the wall, preferably 5 feet or more, corresponding to a path-length-induced delay on the backwave reflection of at least 10 milliseconds. This is enough of a delay that the spectrally-correct backwave energy does not degrade clarity, but it still enhances timbre, soundstage depth, and a sense of being enveloped in the acoustic space of the recording.
Studies of what makes the difference between a good seat and a bad seat in a concert hall support this line of thinking. In a good seat, there is a clear time-domain separation between the first-arrival sound and the onset of reflections. In a poor seat, there is no significant demarcation between the first-arrival sound and the onset of reflections because the reflections start arriving too early. This degrades clarity.
It's not always possible to effectively minimize early reflections in a home audio setup, especially if the speakers have very wide radiation patterns. Wide radiation patterns are generally pleasing overall (they do wind up becoming beneficial late reflections after a couple of bounces), but they are to a certain extent a two-edged sword. If minimizing early reflections happens to be feasible in your situation, might be worth a try.