HELP Horns, Stats or Conventional Speakers

OK I am in the market for a new set of speakers and I have narrowed it down the these three types.
Stats, Horns. Conventional and Bose.

Music tastes are very eclectic from The Pistols to Joan Armartrading to Classical to 80s new wave stuff.
I also use my speakers for H/T but this is the least of my concerns.

So with a bank roll of about 5k (Used) do I go for stats horns (I Love the look of the Avantgarde) or Conventional speakers.

To help you make that decision for me I have the following information.
The room is a converted two car garage 17' X 13' X 9" high
I listen to digital > Denon 3910 and vinyl > Romance via a CJ PV15 and Antique Sound Labs Hurricanes Mono

I just sold my Ref3s as I found them less than exiting.
I have listened to System Audio SA 1750s and find the small fast drivers to be a better sounding speaker (to me) than speakers with larger drivers.
I like the speed of multiple small drivers as opposed th the 10" woofers. and they are cheap (Less than 2K)

I am at a total loss as the stuff I am looking at will be bought unheard so I need your opinions to try to help me decide.

And that constructive help will be much appreciated.

After 30+ years in the hobby I have found the Dunlavy Speakers to be the most satisfying. The company is no longer in business but if in the rare event a driver needs to be replaced they are readily available. The SC-4s or SC-5s can be found at your price point and represent an amazing bargain.
You need to listen to these various kinds of speakers....... I know you said you can't, but I would sincerely make the effort as they all sound VERY different.

I have gone through all kinds of speakers cones, 'stats, and now horns (I have a pair of Maggie 1.6's in my HT system too). I have liked them all, but for different reasons.

One of the main things you have to think about when you buy a pair of speakers is how well they will match with the rest of your system (and room)......... ASL Hurricanes and Avantgarde's; no way. The point is; if you don't match your speakers to the rest of your system your not going to get the best from your new purchase.

Try to listen to some stuff so you can narrow your "type" of speaker. Then look on Agone to see what other people are using with them.

Hope this helps


Thanks yes it does.
I am leaning toward Innersound MKIII.5 Stats I have called China (Hurricanes) and was told the Hurricanes have a zero feedback design the Innersounds will not be a problem.

I have tried out a couple of types the ML stats but they did not move me, a pair of JM Labs Utopias sounded sluggish and a surprising System Audio SA1750 I like these due to there speed they employ multiple smaller drivers as opposed to larger drivers I was also taken with the Piegas although I have only heard there top of the line at 20k.
I like the faster style in sound and the smaller drivers... they just seem to be more alive.
(Always difficult to express a sense of sound)

I am also looking at the Talons I know they are out of business but there speakers get great write ups.

Are Stats a choice for a pair of 200w Hurricanes in a room 17X 12 X 9' My music tasts ae eclectic from Punk to Clasical and rock and 80s and so on and so on guess I am looking for the same as everyone else it is just so overwhelming somtimes.

What do stats bring to the table that the others dont and what is the main drawback beside there difficult loads
I agree that you need to listen to several types of speakers before making a decision like this. I think that a weekend trip somewhere that offered the ability to do this would be money well spent.

Just my 2 cents.

Another option (to further cloud you decision) might be a pair of Maggie's. I think your room may be too small for 3.6's, but 1.6' and a sub (go for a REL) might be a good fit for you. IMHO the Maggie 1.6 is a great speaker at a reasonable price. Your ASL's should work well with them too.


BTW they do well for HT applications, and their center and surround options are pretty good as well.
Well, horns are huge, your room is not, and how would you implement a matching center channel for your HT???

The electrostats you mentioned, the InnerSound are very directive in their sound and are only good for a center-seated listener, whether the Hurricanes can drive them well or not may be a moot point.

In the here and now, the VMPS RM30 speakers might be a good way to go -- especially with the new wave guide for even imaging across the horizontal sound plane. And you can use another RM30 or maybe an R626 for a matching center channel.

If you value speed, focus, low distortion, wide dynamic range and musicality then the VMPS may fill the bill nicely.
One of the most common descriptors for the entire line of Triangle speakers is FAST. They are often said to have electrostaic type speed. I have only owned the low end Triangle Titus. They were very fast sounding, but a little bright and somewhat lean. However,they were the low end and only a small bookshelf speaker.

A larger Triangle floorstander might be just the ticket. They are very affordable used, so you could buy them, try them and re-sell them if you didn't love them. You would likely only lose the cost of shipping if you bought a pair at a good price.



The planar speakers may be a disappointment with rock.

Planar speakers are a disappointment with rock usually. A planar hybrid like a Vmps speaker will excel in the area. I became a dealer for Vmps and have them in my listening room. Check out their forum at and do a google on reviews and see why.

When it comes to a type or even a brand of speaker you'll find different designers have their own idea on how to design a speaker. The sound will vary considerably for the same price from one brand to another. Only you can decide which speaker sounds best to you. With all the variation in sounds from speakers I highly recommend listening to everything you can.

Many of us stick with one type. Many people like horns and small tube amps. Others like cones and people like me like my hybrid planar speakers. These three types of speakers will sound so different from one another that you're the only one that can make the decision.
You could also look at Eminent Technology. I'm currently listening to a pair of LFT-8As. These planar hybrids fill my small dedicated room very well with fast, detailed sound. Quite a bit less than your budget but they are nice for the money. Worth a look.
Thanks for all the feedback I have been thinking......gonna buy the Stats, not gonna buy the stats, gonna buy the stats, not gonna buy the stats.

Realistically I am the only one who will listen to these so that tiny 18" sweet spot is OK but then if I do go for them I have to find a center for my HT and as I have A'Divas for the surround and Micros for the back it would seem that I have a hodgepodge of different speakers all doing there own thing but the chance of them all coming together in a magical wall of sound is kinda like the USA winning the world cup. NOT BLOODY LIKELY! although 1-1 against Italy with 9 men was a good effort.
Sorry I digress
If I look at this from what I need and not that will work because it is so specialized it must sound good the Stats are history and the horns as Plato said how do I match a center.
I am leaning toward the Talons although they are out of business they have a very positive write up.
I also thought of Piegas 8s the drives are small I have heard the 10s and they had a sound I liked but they are way outta my price range does anyone have any thoughts on the 8s.
Are the Talons fast I know they have bass but are they too much speaker for a 17X13X9' room

Once again my heartfelt thanks for the feedback and advise
Go front horn, I owned stats for years , If you cant fit front horns maybe a back horn or hi-eff ribbon loudspeaker or maybe a Open Baffle. Dr Edgar makes some cool horns or look about audiogon, oris systems might fit your room.
But what about the H/T it has to be a consideration
First off Bose is not a speaker. Not sure what you'd call it, I've heard some bad words not to repeat, used to describe Bose.
No stats, ribbons, horns for me. Strictly old fashion cones.
does anyone have any thoughts on the Piega 8s.

And the Bose thing was a joke
I can relate to your quandry as I too have been looking for speakers. Since my price point is a bit higher, I added equalized, powered woofers (Vandy Quatro, Zu Definition), and omnis (Deuvel, MBL) to my menu. Still working it out.

In your case, the room dimensions suggest that electrostats (or other panels) and horns may work better than "straight" dynamic speakers. 'Stats and horns both limit horizontal dispersion which may make placement easier in a 13' X 17' room. Of course, very large 'stats are likely to physically overwhelm your space.

I expect, however, the 9" ceiling may prove to be your biggest issue. ;-)

Be careful what you wish for....

Most good high-efficiency setups(re: horns) can be ruthlessly revealing of other components and poorly recorded material - as most punk & rock is/was. They can be so revealing that much material will seem almost unlistenable until you learn to fully accept bad recordings.

The move from 90db, mid-efficency/mid-wattage, 3-way system to 97dB/6 watt system has left a large swath of my punk and rock recordings unused. They just plain sound horrible - too much compression, far too tinny, poor dynamics, etc. very wart is held under a microscope. I can only think it gets worse as efficiency goes up into the 100dB range.

The jump to horns isn't as simple as simply getting the speakers. Source components, amps/preamps, will also be held to the microscope. Previously unheard hum in components and your AC line will stand out like a sore thumb. So, you might also have to get a new amp and/or preamp plus some line filtration, too.

High-eff is awesome, but it comes at a premium. Not always in cost, but in attention to minute details many times not necessary with less efficient systems. The payoff is worth it to many of us, but do not underestimate the journey.
Many theaters use horns, HT is easy for a good loudspeaker to reproduce music is hard to do well.
I have decided on the Merlin’s VSM MM they have great reviews and seem a good safer bet than the disappointment (which would be boarding on suicide) if were to end up going with a stat or horn only to find the room was wrong.
The Talon Korus was just too much speaker and although it has rave reviews, there seems a consensus in the audio circle that it was overpriced.
The Innersounds were a real consideration but that 9’ ceiling!!! They would have been a real eyesore.

The Horns great for two channel but H/T I would need a center then I have to match it to the Horns, then if the room is too echoy (If that is a word) I would be devastated……….. and the wife “I told you so”, “Why didn’t you just buy the Bose from Circuit City” and “How much”? and “Are you insane” and “They look ridiculous”

Bobby at Merlin is so confident that I will like them he has offered to unload them if I don’t like them. Cant go wrong.

I will post how it all turns out.
Horns, Stats or Conventional Speakers?
There is at least one more option: omni-directional speakers like the MBL 101E.
Personally, I would never want another conventional or planar speaker. I'll either stick with my MBLs or go to horns.
Go for the Avantgarde Unos. I own a pair of Duos and they're the best upgrade I've made in thirty years of hi-fi. Just be prepared to be patient with set-up. Oh and they will be ruthless in exposing any shortcomings elsewhere in your system.

When I read statements like, "ruthlessly revealing," and "very fast sounding," the first thoughts that go through my head are: distortion and elevated mid-treble. I've owned speakers renowned for their speed and revealing detail, and I can't argue that they sounded fast and revealing—most of the time—until you get that piece of music or recording that truly reveals that speed and that detail is really artificial—a product of too much mid-treble or too much distortion. And measurements confirmed what I heard. After listening to many ESL, ribbon, and planar designs, I've come to the conclusion that exotic drivers are rarely worth the cost in dollars or the cost in trade-offs. There are exceptions. I love the sound of ESLs and Maggies, but there's no getting around the large panel trade-offs.
I dont see any exotic drivers in maggies,planars, electrostats, even ribbons are not exotic except maybe a MBL. If you think a electrostatic or ribbon is exotic well maybe for you;) Electrostatics been around since the 1930s.