I'm never going to hear a megaspeaker in a good room am I?


Was thinking about something. There’s a thread about good $40K speakers which made me think that honestly despite hearing a lot of them at shows, I’ve never heard one in a decent environment. Now, perhaps we can argue:

If it doesn’t sound good anywhere, including a hotel room, is it really that good a speaker?


But let’s not go that route. But I am thinking to myself, in well treated rooms the best speakers I’ve heard were merely mid-range Wilsons and Magicos. I say "merely" because they were under $40k, not because of performance. The two best speakers I’ve heard, in medicore rooms were the SF Stradivari and Snell A/III, and top of the line Vandersteen.

All the $40K + speakers I’ve heard have been at shows, and either very badly treated rooms, or in halls so big the first reflection point was like a mountain echo. Am I ever going to get to listen to $40K+ speakers in great rooms anywhere again??

As a result, I’ve developed a severe bias against the performance of mega speakers, because I only ever hear them in terrible rooms and have not heard one I’d spend money for, and honestly that's unfair to them.

erik_squires
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Buy a pair of $5K Abyss headphones and ignore the room, except for the decor!
Erik, when I get my $50,000 speakers I'll invite you over so you can have a listen.:)
roberjerman, headphones provide a good datapoint for spectral balance but that is about it. If the system is so bad that you need to resort to headphones you have a lot of work to do and wasting money on headphones is not going to get you there. 
Hello Erik,

     I don’t understand why you would want to waste your time listening to $40K plus speakers in a good room if you have no intention of purchasing them.
     But I actually did attend a private audition, presented by Mr. Diller at a local high end shop, of the $30K Magnepan 30.7 speaker system which consisted of a pair of 7’ midrange/treble panels combined with a pair of some sort of rather large subs. This system sounded spectacular in the shop’s well treated room but I still had no intention of spending that much dough.
     It sounded so incredibly good, however, that it caused me to try and replicate a mini version of it in my room and system. I already had a very high quality Audio Kinesis Debra 4-sub distributed bass array (DBA) bass system that was flat down to 20 Hz in my room. I then replaced my aging Magnepan 2.7Qr main speakers with a used pair of much newer 3.7i speakers, with the true-ribbon treble section and in like new condition, for about $4K.  Voila, a  mini Magnepan $30K 30.7 system for a total price of $6,800.
     The result? The overall sound quality of my custom mini 30.7 system in my well treated room is much closer to the actual 30.7 system’s sq than I ever expected. I would describe both systems as having the typical qualities of upper level Magnepan panels, a fast, smooth, open, natural, highly detailed, palpable and dimensional presentation, along with the added qualities of a very deep and powerful bass foundation combined with powerful full range dynamics, which are not typical Magnepan qualities.
     I completely understand your desire to experience the overall sq level of a pair of mega-speakers in a high quality room. I would love to experience that, too. If you can’t afford or don’t plan on purchasing them, however, it kind of reminds me of imagining making love to an extremely attractive woman; it’s great while the experience lasts but inevitably just disappointing, and a bit sad, when it’s over and you realize once again that it’s pure fantasy.
     Don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend both experiences. It’s just that I prefer to be more practical, constructive and realistic with both the women and audio systems I choose to spend time with.
     Your world’s what you make it, go ahead and take it.

Tim
Erik, I think @mijostyn has expressed the solution for your listening challenge. Send out an open request to Audiogon readers who own a system that fits the $40k speaker criterion and politely ask to audition their systems. In return, you promise to ingratiate yourself to your host(s), tell witty stories, proffer them with wine, scotch, bourbon, homemade hummus with Moroccan dried olives, an LP they have always wanted (fill in the blank), and generally resolve be a most excellent guest.  Once Covid is in the rear view mirror, let said system owners know where you will be travelling and arrange the visit. If you cannot find any takers, I have some $4k Dalis in a big unfinished basement in NC: bring me some good bourbon, and you can hear them! Cheers!