The questions you will surely get are:
What kind of music do you like?
What is your other gear?
What is your budget?
What kind of music do you like?
What is your other gear?
What is your budget?
Yes, vague. If you are tired of listening, are you sure it's your speakers that are the reason? If you intend to move from home theatre to 2-channel, you'll have a chance to upgrade your source. In my experience, listening to an ordinary source through great amps and speakers gets old fast.
Sorry this isn't the speaker recommendation you asked for. I don't know how many OM5s you've got or how many you want, so it's hard to suggest.
I had to laugh when I saw your subject line. My first reaction was, "Don't we all?!" On second thought, however, I would like to recommend Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature Monitors as great "do it all" speakers at their price point. You can get them from Tyler Acoustics new for $2800 or his trade ins for about $2200. Used ones on Audiogon start at around $1600. For minitor type speakers these guys have outstanding bass which legitimately reaches into the 30 Hz range with authority, and they are pretty efficient, too.
my post is definately showing my ocs(only child syndrome) it is the reason I used to shop at stores like tweeter I could afford to by the best- now that my horizons have broadend I no longer have that luxury I talked to a gentleman who has a set MCintosh xrt 22 that fit my budget -seems like alot of speaker -I am truly -lost thanx for all your help now excuse me so I can go pout like the petulant child I am
Beemerrider is right about the Tyler Linbrooks, I believe, though the cost goes up if you opt for outboard x-overs and dedicated stands. The speakers are worth every penny. Not an easy question to answer, though, because of the numerous variables ... room acoustics, type of music, and the linked equipment, not to mention cables.
Just to give you more excuses to pout: in my very humble ( hah ! ) opinion you shouldn't even be considering speakers at all. You should be listening to sources.
To paraphrase a great writer ( humble, yah ), a man who is tired of his music system is tired of life. If you want to hear more life, you need more detail and resolution at the source. You do not want to hear an ordinary source through a super amp and speakers which bring out every little bit of ordinariness.
Good stuff which is not there at the source cannot be magically restored downstream. I say go listen to some digital sources which cost what you are considering spending on speakers.
Then go listen to the speakers you really want. But take your present source with you for the listening session ! See what you feel about the difference.
Happy hunting !
tobias I dont like you !! I hate it when i get schooled -you are completely corect i have auditioned some great speakers but they all had great amps and pre amps I will start at the source thank you for all your posts I am going to to go over some other threads- life was so much easier when I thought bose was the end all be all(just out of curiosity how long will it take to get stereo nirvana)
Jesseo1, you never get there. If you did you would be deaf, dead, or in love with ( obsessing over ) something else. The journey is the destination, to coin a cliché. And the gear makers know how to get you no matter what you have.
But it need not take too long to come to the point where you think, every time you listen, "How come I get to have sound this good?" and you are sorry when you turn the rig off :D
Just remember--source first, then downstream. Biggest step you can manage each time. Cables come last.
School's out! Go play! :)
I think the order of the upgrades depends upon what will get you personally the biggest incremental improvement. Unfortunately speakers, source and amp are all critical at the end of the proverbial audiophile day. I have heard about excellent sounding demos of great speakers with IPODs as the source and great turntables with low grade electronics and speakers. Starting at the speaker and working back to source and then amp does not seem like too bad a way to go if you know that you've got to eventually make all three stops. It's all fun.
As far as the hardware part of it goes I believe speakers leave the biggest "thumbprint," followed by amplification (the phono cartridge could be in second place if you're an LP kind of guy). Source material is, to me, a huge culprit when it comes to variability in the sound that reaches the listener. But the king of good or nasty influences has to be the room you are listening in. In the case of my recommendation (Tyler Linbrook Monitors) I would advise against them if you must put your speakers right against any wall.
Congratulations! I remember when I finally realized that I just wanted stereo and gave up on all the crap you need for home theater. I mean how much detail do you need to extract from a Holleywood soundtrack? Most of the sound effects are done in the studio anyway. Now it's all about the music.
Anyway, I am very happy with the VS VR4jr. But Totem is a brand you can't go wrong with either. And well there's too many in that price range that are good.
Maineiac, about that iPod demo ( the Wilson Audio one, I presume you mean ). Can you tell me, was Mr. Wilson using MP3 or Redbook-PCM coded source files, do you know? It would obviously make a large difference to the significance of that demo.
Beemerrider ( nice bike ) I agree you have to find speakers you like ( and how to buy them ). That's part of the game. This hobby is a job of learning, as Jesseo1 sees quite clearly. There is indeed a great variation between speakers and it takes time to learn what they are and which variety you prefer. You might as well do that learning with the least-coloured, highest-resolution source you can find, in my view. It's just more fun that way.
Source material varies too, that's true. Again I feel you might as well learn what's good using a player that can get as much data off the disc as possible.
Of course that doesn't mean you should never upgrade anything but your source. When you start out, though, you know you're going to be spending some time with gear that is not yet your dream setup. In my experience, it's more fun saving money when the source is what you love than when the speakers are your best girl ( or boy if that's your taste ).
Jessio, I agree with the last couple of members. Speakers and amplification maybe the most important links in a audiophile system nowadays.I have been a self-defined audiophile for years and have gone through three decades of "progress"! From "Pink Triangle" turntables to Nakamichi Dragon cassette decks. Since the advent of Digital music the source is not nearly as imporant as it was 20 years ago.
Most good cd players use the same components from mass manufacturers. Burr-Brown converters, Sony laser pick-ups etc. That leaves esoteric issues like chassis stability, ergonomics and circuit design.
I would whole heartedly recommend Sonus Faber Grand Pianos.
For the money, you cannot get a better speaker. Take your amplifier to your local Sonus dealer and audition them against a standardized source. You will be thankful you did.
The quality of music from the same music system can vary depending on ambient noise, ear wax status, and a full stomach.Not to mention the distortion changes in atmospheric temperature and pressure can produce. People argue about changes in sound quality from merely changing interconnects. So I am sure changing the source, i.e. a CD player can make a difference.
All I am saying is, it may be time to challenge conventional wisdom...and instead of first picking the best source money can buy , one may be better off spending that money on quality speakers and amplification equipment (with a standardised CD source). And then for the final link compare different CD players (source) and pick the best value for money. Or stick with the source you have.
Tobias, yes, it was the Wilson IPOD demo I was referring to, but I am not aware of the details. Either way it reinforces the point that Mr. Wilson was making. I do agree with your point that starting with a great source is more likely to get you to a better overall set-up at the end. In some cases it makes sense to get the best you can get at each step and that may mean not starting with the source.
it may be time to challenge conventional wisdom
Eusmani, with respect, I thought my point of view was the minority one. In other words, I believe the conventional wisdom says spend all your dough on speakers. That's what you hear in the box and mid-fi stores.
Of course if these guys even have gear on demo it's set up so that it all sounds the same anyway.
I don't know why this is the conventional "wisdom", maybe it's because when you buy speakers you get two of them, hee hee. I remember my best buddy back in 1961 telling me that speakers were responsible for 35% of the distortion in a system, cartridges the same, amps ten per cent, yada yada. So you should spend the most on cartridges and speakers. Of course today we have advanced to levels of more perfect sound and don't need cartridges any more. That leaves speakers, and the market sure seems to support a lot of them.
Tomryan, I wasn't being serious--maybe you aren't either, or maybe you are. How can numeric values be set on such a subjective issue, and anyway isn't it clear that distortion (which is how that "breakdown" was presented to me, way back when--your post doesn't even explain that much) is not the measure of a system?
I just wanted to point out that the conventional wisdom is spend it all, or most, on speakers, and that there is a more productive alternative. But any point of view can be defended (and tested in practice), that's why we say YMMV.
I would agree that "source first" is another in the class of analyses of the problem to which the above percentile list belongs. But I believe it works better than the percentile list because it makes more sense.
More sense for the hobbyist or music lover who is starting to build a system, for the reasons I mentioned above.
More sense later on too, because for me, resolution is what makes it. The best systems seem to get out of the way of the music and reveal all of what is on the disc. If that's what you want, then let the downstream gear represent any necessary compromise, and the upstream gear provide it with the most possible data to process.
I was just kinda, um, saying that, uh, you know...hmmm.
I heard a guy on T.V. a couple weeks ago say, "Well, you've got about 50% of the people thinking one way and 50% the other. Then everybody else is somewhere in the middle." Thought it applied here. All I know is my system is now working at a full 125%! Alot like those athletes who give 110%!!
Seriously, though, I recently had to sub a pair of $250.00 speakers for the Harbeths which were being repaired. The subs actually sounded damn good and I think a lot of that had to do with the Air Tight and Plinius amps I use. The system almost sounded like a million bucks! (Don't cha hate it when people exagerate? Like I've said ten million times...)
after careful consideration I have decided to let the michigan michigan st. game choose my path-if michigan wins new speakers it is, if st. wins I se a new (new to me)amp+pre amp in the not to distant future- for most this would be a bad way to do this but I am starting from 0-as for the speaker advice paradigm sounded to much like the mirages I am trying to replace-no tingling in my loins listening to B&W-tylers definately put a little spring in my step-the sonus fabers were like a bleach blond w/fake breasts initially quite excited then I felt like just not enough substance(IMHO)vonscweikert are next on my list not many dealers around-wish me luck fighting the oppresion (I realize this is supposed to be fun but it is starting to feel alot like work-the rest of the world should should have my problems)