I'm at the point where I don't really need, nor want to, change things. Why mess with a good thing? That said, as most of us know, keeping the ugrade monkey on our backs at bay, can be difficult, if not impossible.
So, to keep things interesting, having different sources, such as digital and analog, keeps things interesting. Having an assortment of mc/mm cartridges to rotate in and out, adds to the variety.
Having different amp choices on hand helps too, tube vs ss helps keep it interesting.
And, of course, the obvious one of lots of music of different genres is good too.
As far as the ultimate speaker to end upgrade-itis, this is an impossible thing to reccommend, as this is so subjective, and the variety of choice is mind boggling.
For me, I'm at the point where I can't afford to make upgrades, as everything I have is as good as I could afford at the time, upgrading would be too expensive to expect major leaps in sound quality. I consider myself lucky, I have retired from the rat-race, and the upward- spiraling, out-of-control upgrade race.
Time to relax and enjoy the music.
Nothing is perfect. So neither are speakers.
Practically, the sound coming from a speaker might be said to be "perfect" when the listener thoroughly enjoys what they hear without reservations. After, all the speakers job is to deliver pure musical enjoyment. Knock on wood, that is what I find these days listening to to my OHM 5s. Pure musical enjoyment! Nothing to detract from the pure musical enjoyment. So I gotta say I feel that they do their job perfectly. I have 4 other pair of speakers set up to run concurrently in my home. I enjoy them all, but I can easily find some reservations in some cases listening to the others.
It doesn't matter really matter if in fact speakers are or are not perfect (they are not), if even there was a way to determine such things reliably and without debate.
Is there a perfect speaker?
In a word, no.
No speaker is perfect. I was reminded of that recently when I went on an all out blitz to find the best speaker available. All did some outstanding things, but none did everything in a perfect state of synergy. That's why I'm still listening to my Dunlavy speakers which are the closest things I've found to a balanced presentation of sound, albeit in a small 'sweet seat' area.
Yes, there IS a perfect speaker. But you should never connect it to anything, lest you ruin it.
Monogamous nirvana is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp, army intelligence and happily married.
No, there are no perfect speakers, nor is any other audio gear perfect. Stop listening for equipment flaws, and start listening to the music.
I was wondering the same thing about speakers myself. It just came to light with myself that certain speakers do certain things well, and other things not sk well. I wonder what the best way to switch your sound is then if you don't have analog? Get a nice tube amp to switch out with a ss? I don't particularly like thd idea of having a spare room full of speakers to switch out and set-up, besides, I think spare speakers leads to "spare amps and spare pre amps" more than a spare tube amp leads to spare speakers.
No, just as there is no 'perfect' music. But don't lose hope, perfect listening will not require a speaker in the there after. All things will be perfect, thank goodness.
One step further. Even if there were a perfect speaker and it was connected to a perfect chain of perfect components, it would still be compromised by your room.
"Even if there were a perfect speaker and it was connected to a perfect chain of perfect components, it would still be compromised by your room."
Not to mention our ears.
Young ones hear well but are less well trained and older ones the opposite.
Yes, there is, and I have heard them all. :)
Of course there is no perfect speaker, but as your current speakers are all in the 3K range, there is a lot more to be had by listening to speakers in the 5-10K range. The Harbeth SHL5/Monitor 30s, Joseph Audio Pulsar, Rockport Monitors, to name but a few. Yes, I know - price doesn't always correlate to quality, but sometimes it does.
All speakers are compromises. If a perfect speaker were to exist, we wouldn't have this category to post on. All debate would be on which amp and cable would best allow the speaker to sound its best, which would make for much heated debate indeed.
Being a paramour of systems is like with people, you'll never be satisfied, your eyes (ears) will always wander, and you'll lose sight (hearing) of what really fulfills you.
If you're going to keep a home wrecker in another room (city), don't let their paths cross. Never play both at the same time if you value your ears,
All the best,
The perfect speakers are the ones that make you want to play "just one more song" before turning off your system for the night. Happy Listening.
Is there a perfect food? A perfect Scotch? A perfect car? A perfect home? As in these things, a speaker is a highly personal matter of taste and preference. It's a part of the human condition that our tastes and preferences vary.
Yes. The Magico Q7. Now you know. Slight issue with it: it costs almost a quarter of a million dollars.
There seems to be so many parameters that can influence the sound of a speaker, that one wonders why anyone uses speakers. I have a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios which I like very much. They seem to have one or two sonic flaws. Nevertheless, I am currently fooling with a new pair of speakers that are monitors, the Music Hall "Marimbas" which retail for $350... Why?? I have been intrigued for many years as how a well designed budget, or less expensive speaker can compete with some of the top guns on the market, or at least speakers I have owned.
I tried the same experiment 6 months ago with a pair of Wharfdale 10.1....a highly touted bookshelf. So far, I think the Music Halls are better sounding with a much wider frequency range. Neither were equal to the Adagios, though they came close in certain aspect of the sound like tonal neutrality
Occasionally, I get the urge to buy and try a vintage speaker of the 70's like a pair Dynaco A-25, or large Advents,or even a Rectilinear 12. However, in each case, the speakers have been either reconed and/or use newer tweeters. In addition, cabinets and grills are scratched, stained and whatnot. Sound crazy!! I know.!!! Several yeas ago, I bought a pair of the vinyl "Large Advents", and despite the horrible tweeter used in the original model, I still believe they had the most neutral sounding mid-range of many speakers costing 20-30 times their retail price.
I doubt this will provide a satisfactory answer to your tread, but may give you some insight into how each brand of speaker has its own sonic character and signature. The very good ones are worthy of an audition.
The only thing I'd add to what's been said is that as you move up the price scale, you're more likely to find speakers that do many things well, as opposed to just some. But even at that level, there are compromises, in part because technology is still limited and in part because the criteria for a good speaker aren't entirely unitary. For example, speakers interact differently with the room, and in some cases, there's no right and wrong to it; an omni, say, like the MBL's, might produce a wonderful sense of space with an orchestra, but too much ambiance for a folk singer.
Perhaps in as much as there is a perfect listener, then again, perhaps not.
Mate - regardless of what you spend there is no perfect speaker.
Even if you spend a lot more than you are spending you will find the speaker art slowly but surely keeps progressing.
I thought my speakers were the bees knees and better than any other speaker I had heard. Then I visited the factory of the guy that made them and heard a speaker that blew it away. And he has some even wilder speakers in the pipeline and I have ordered those. I doubt even that will be the end - he, and other manufacturers, will make even better ones.
The problem is once you hear something better other stuff sounds rather ordinary which is a real bugger.
What to do about it? Keep listening to speakers and upgrade as finances permit - that's pretty much all you can really do.
As is obvious to even a casual observer, only God is perfect.Bach comes close though.
panel speakers (magnaplanar 3.7's for ex.) are the closest thing to perfect i have heard- when listening to female vocals they are truly magical.
they have limitations of course, so to provide the best possible dynamic
full-range system, you could get a $200K speaker. but that's not perfect either,
just amazing (and unaffordable).
A perfect speaker is the one with zero harmonic distortion, ruler flat frequency response from 0Hz to 100KHz (some may argue it needs to go even higher), zero phase shift, 360 degree uniform dispersion, unlimited dynamic range, 100% linearity and 100% efficiency.
At the current state of technology, no speaker even come remotely close to any of these properties and I doubt I will see one in my lifetime.
Sidssp~ Even then there are some who would still prefer Bose.
In order to find the Perfect speaker , one must have the Perfect listening room , and 100% pure AC inlet power. Good luck.
What everyone else said. Speakers more than some other parts of the chain, all have mutually exclusive choices. I love my Daedalus DA-RMas and the test, as others have said, is that I don't want to stop listening and wonder sometimes, what better, would sound like. Are they perfect, no, by going for high sensitivity, you have to lose some base extension. That's fine by me, it means I can use low powered SET and other Class A amps that I like.
Some of the top brands of "High end", mega expensive speakers, unlistenable, for any length of time. I'm not criticising, but am thinking of Wilson and Focal speakers here. They just are'nt for me.
If there is a message, when you've found what your looking for, stop looking and enjoy.
I would not say the Magico Q-7 is perfect. I heard it at CES and it wasn't even close to the best sound at the show.
"Perfect" is a concept not a reality so no, there is no perfect speaker.
@ Tom6897, very true. Those who prefer Bose don't know how lucky they are for they have saved a lot of money.
Obviously the ones your listening to when you're enjoying the music.
There is no perfect speaker and most certainly the Magico is not - I know a few speakers like Rockport that eat it alive. The thing you have to understand about speakers like the Magico is the model they use with a large amount spent on marketing adds a lot to the price they sell at and generates a lot of hype it doesn't always live up to.
As much as I appreciate all the great comments that have been posted on this thread I do not want to be the thread starter that does not contribute so here's my opinion. The thing about this hobby that totally captivates me is when a certain type of music is played On certain speakers and there is a fundamental rightness about it. The problem for me is that on some speakers jazz is so beautiful that tears come to my eyes but when I'm in the mood for some hip-hop those same speakers make me want to die. This is why I currently have three systems. I guess it's not really a problem but I was philosophically yearning for an answer to the question of "is there a universally perfect speaker?"
Salvador Dali said, "do not fear perfection because you will never attain it anyway." I guess I'll have to keep that in mind as I switch between speakers as I switch between songs.
I know what you're talking about. I've always tried to choose speakers that do justice to the range that I listen to, mostly classical, rock, and home theater. And I've found that some speakers are better than others at meeting my particular criteria.
But there's one respect in which I don't think that any speaker can be a good compromise -- namely, the difference between playing good recordings and crappy ones. A very revealing, accurate speaker will accurately reproduce all the artifacts on a crappy recording -- close and multi miking, commpression, distortion, presence and HF boost, splices, artificial reverb, etc. So in that sense, I don't think you can make a speaker that suits everything.
I go for accuracy with good recordings of acoustical music as my main criteria, and then accept that some recordings are going to be revealed for the messes that they are. But I think everyone makes his own compromises on this. You're fortunate that you have the room and cash to choose the best speaker for each job!
We all hear things differently.. so YES, they are a perfect speaker for all of US out there somewhere BUT first we have to find that perfect ROOM that will be perfect with our perfect speakers or our perfect speakers will not sound.. "PERFECT"
My tongue was firmly in my cheek when I said the Magico was perfect. Sorry if anyone thought I was serious. The problem with threads like this where posters are seeking the 'best' or the 'perfect' component (as many posters have intelligently observed) is that there is no such animal. It all depends upon the listener's subjective taste and there is as much variety in that as there are audio components to judge. Rather than ask what the 'best' or 'perfect' speaker may be, the better question is "what speakers do you like and why?" From the myriad of answers that you will get you should be able to discern if there is a speaker that matches your taste. As a practical example, I have a Prima Luna Prologue One integrated amp. A while back I asked in a thread on another site what speakers people have found that match well with this amp. A large number of posters suggested the Reference 3A mm de Capo speakers. I purchase a pair and have to say that for this amp in my listening room for the music I listen to the de Capos are as perfect as it gets. My two cents.
When one listens to a speaker, one is listening to the complete system, including the room. Every one is different in what their taste of recorded music reproduction is, and should be. Although I like horns, many folks I have designed systems for, do not. It is ok. I dislike those who put down a design of a speaker if it is not to their liking. Horns, to me, represent the closest to live, unamplified music, that I have heard, and that is my reference, and, preference. I like imaging and spatial representation as much as anyone, but if music sounds compressed, as many speakers do, imo, nothing else matters. It is just what you want out of a system. And my horns completely dissapear when I listen...just the music, as the engineer intended.........MrD
The question is a philosophical one, so I have a philosophocal answer: The perfect speaker is the one God listens to when God isn't listening to trees falling in the forest when no one is around. (h/t Bishop Berkeley)
Revel Salon 2. Unbelievable.
Go to the back room in Goodwin's in Waltham, MA and you will hear the most perfect of today. They have lots of speakers and amplification in all ranges. From there you can decide if a second mortgage is the route you want to go or make some sacrifices. They can set up hundreds of different combinations.
Never has been a perfect speaker and never will be.
What's perfect to one person is garbage to another. I find most speakers aren't even close. Listen to a $50k speaker and it will have flaws. I will probably hate it, because most at those kind of prices are more of a tool to disect the music. A lot of fun that ISN'T.
I have a two perfect speakers. In fact because my whole system is just so perfect and I really do not know why for sure I was thinking of starting the thread 'Why does my system sound so perfect?' or because I haven't been to work for three yrs and 4 mo. and 1 day I thought I might get some help and ask 'Is perfect always good, why can't I stop listening to my system and quit missing so much work?' or 'Why do I need food and exercise when I can just sit hear and listen to my system?'. No they don't make my messy bed or wash my dishes or windows they just sound purrfect. So 'ya ya ya, she luvs you ya ya ya' perfect exists.
What are qualities of the perfect speaker? The qualities of my perfect speakers. 1)SPL of the tweeter and woofer must be balanced. No headache! 2)Super high and low details. I want to hear everything. 3)Musicality. I don't want just a fancy sound. 4)Open, deep, and wide defined sound stage. I want the pyramid shape sound stage, about 10 feet high, 14 feet wide. No more! 5)Clear, transparent, and clean sound. No muddy or foggy(colored) sound. 6)Vivid, thick, big, solid, and high resolution sound and images. The thin sound is a cheap sound. 7)I want the powerful bass (no boom) as well as mid and high freq. The mid and hi freq of many speakers are washed off and faded with a powered sub. With a right speaker the powered sub is welcome addition. I have multiple powered subs for my hi-end 2 ch. setup. Super low freq detail is thrilling! No bass, no fun! 8)More than 94 db sensitivity for low power SET amps. 9)Small foot print for easy placement. 10)Less than $4000 per pair. That's about it for me. Did I miss anything?
What's your priority?
You forgot fits in your pocket. :-)
Relax and NJoy
I doubt there is a perfect speaker (which would have to be perfectly located within your room, perfectly set up, and have perfect interaction with the rest of your gear). For me, speaker preference has been dictated by more a matter of least irritant sound attributes rather than most perfect sound.
There will never be such thing as " Perfect Speakers "
Because human ears are too perfect for human made speakers.
The only perfect speaker would be a human;I think there are several speakers that get very close but there is always something.
I had a pair of dunlavy scIII;s that I thought I would never part with but I did for a pair of soundlab m2's that are still playing until ....
I agree with John( Jmcgrogan2) post as well.
There is a speaker I would like to hear that Ralph from Atmasphere mentions now and then that uses a field coil driver with results better than a electrostatic speaker;so as you can see by everyones posts so far its a quest unless we take John's advice.