Yes Schubert, I hear you regarding efficient speakers in how they handle dynamics. Not that inefficient speakers can't with enough power but planer/stats sure don't which is their major shortcoming IMHO. That diaphram can only move so much. Aside from tonal accuracy and the ability of a system to resolve spacial cues on the recording, things that make it sound more real, dynamic shadings and range are most important in presenting a convincing illusion closer to what we hear in live music IMHO. So far as a phase inversion switch, which is a nice feature, it doesn't seem to get as much attention as it should among audiophiles. It certainly can make a big difference, at least to me. Some are more sensitive to it than others it seems.
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Re phase inversion switches: A point that should be kept in mind is that when the setting of the switch is changed not only is the signal being inverted, but the configuration of the circuit that is being used within the component is also being changed. In some designs an active stage might even be inserted or removed as a function of the switch position, with significant sonic consequences.
Perhaps that kind of design dependency is one reason opinions tend to be divided about the efficacy and usefulness of phase inversion switches. In addition, of course, to the differences in approaches to mic'ing and mixing that occur among different recordings, genres, labels, etc.
You make a lot of good points Al.
Another reason I like the Castle Harlechs is that they are a 1/4 transmission line design which I have thought was best for Symphonic music since back in the day of the IMF and Fried.
. I gather PMC uses it to advantage today, but I have never heard one.
THE best speaker I have ever personally heard is the Acoustic Zen Crescendo ,which is a quarterwave, but few retired HS history teachers buy 16K speakers.
Thanks, Schubert. I neglected to mention, btw, that Brahms 1st is, simply put, my favorite symphony. I don't own and haven't heard the Klemperer; I'll have to add it to my near term purchase list.
Among those recordings I am familiar with, my favorite in terms of performance is the Toscanini/NBC Symphony recording from 1940. My favorite in terms of sonics + performance is the Horenstein/LSO, on Chesky CD19 (unfortunately out of print, but available at high prices).
You're even smarter than I thought you were Al.
Usually guys with your level of tech knowledge don't have your good taste as well-LOL .
I wouldn't say Brahms 1st is my absolute fave, that varies between Schubert and Bruckner's 9th, but it is in my top 10 for sure.The 1940 Toscannini is also high on my list as is the warm Kurt Sanderling/Dresden on RCA.
As for Horenstein , I just automatically buy anything I come across of his, but never heard his Brahms 1 .