Era 4, Dali Zensor 1, Magnepan MMG
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I was actually blown away wight the sound of my active Audioengine A5+ speakers when they were hooked directly to my SACD player. The results are not nearly as great using the Apple Airport Express as the DAC, but that's what how they work best where they need to function."
What were the differences between the two? I may need to pick up an inexpensive dac, so I may try it.
ZD542 - I am not great with audiophile descriptions, but the results of the A5+ with my SACD player made me believe that I could be happy with the combo if something happened to my Focal 836v speakers. Using the Airport Express the sound is more like an old tape player lacking detail, clarity, and dynamics in comparison. It just sounds ok rather than surprisingly great.
GoldenEar Aon 2, new w/warranty for $799.98.
As an owner of Magneplanar 1.7s, I also would put in for MMGs at $599/pair.
Every main speaker (as opposed to center channel or surround) in Magnepan's lineup was an Absolute Sound Editor's Choice at its price point this year--MMG, .7, 1.7, 3.7i, and 20.7.
Thanks to all who responded so far. I should have probably asked for speakers marketed within the last 10-15 years Nah!! because I always thought the Rectilinear 3, and the original large Advents sounded natural were easy to listen to....but that is ancient history
The results so far have been interesting. with Magnepan MMG getting 5 hits, and the 30 year old Spica TC-50 getting 3. Epos ELS-3 were about 2. However, this thread is not intended as a survey.
Occasionally, you see a pair of Spica TC-50 for sale on AG, and just recently a pair Angeluses with their flying nun design.
Is Spica still in business, or has someone bought their inventory of drivers??
B&W 656 S2
Dispite the fact that they are sold by Best Buy - don't let that fool you.
Also don't audition them in the store. Take them home listen to them for the 30 days BB gives you, if you don't like them return them. I bought a pair over Christmas last year and I am glad I did because I am still enjoying them. They replaced a pair of Dynaudio Audiance 42s. These (to me) have a fuller soundstage and a more laid back sound than the Dyns. It has been a nice change - love these speakers.
Acoustic Zen Adagio
Monitor Audio RS-6
Silverline Prelude II
Green Mountain "Europa"
Epos 12 or 12i .
As much as I like the AZ Adagios, the Silverline Prelude II was possibly the best overall sound, but they take 700 hours to break in, and need cooper cable to sound best, like previous Analysis Plus Oval 12
To JL-35, What did you like about the Dali Zensor I speaker?? It appears more like a Home Theater back channel speaker
Also. I answered your question about what speakers I found enjoyable to listen to by citing Monitor Audio RS-6 which I spent hours auditionin, then changed my mind and bought the Silverline Prelude II because it was a bit smoother on top, but the RS-6 was more balanced top to bottom. Any former RS-6 owners recall the sound quality of the RS-6??
ZD542 - I am not great with audiophile descriptions, but the results of the A5+ with my SACD player made me believe that I could be happy with the combo if something happened to my Focal 836v speakers. Using the Airport Express the sound is more like an old tape player lacking detail, clarity, and dynamics in comparison. It just sounds ok rather than surprisingly great."
Sorry. I somehow managed to read your first post wrong. I thought you liked the Apple better. I don't know what I was thinking because you were pretty clear. Also, your description in the above quote is pretty good.
I find the Zensor 1 to have a surprisingly full, realistic sound for it's size and price, Bass while not deep sounds full as opposed to thin or spiked. I also have found them to be relatively insensitive to placement. They sound clear and precise with both price appropriate electronics, but also benefit from the better stuff. I have used them as both desktop, and bedroom speakers.
Wait for the Elac Debut series speaker from Andrew Jones to come out in September. Probably the best price/performance speaker you'll ever hear. I heard it last weekend at the Newport show and it was amazing. Incredibly detailed while being very musical and satisfying. The bass response was off the charts and this was just the smaller bookshelf. The tower version will go for around $500 I believe.
Pioneer SP-fs52. Paid $220 brand new. These are the Andrew Jones designed little floorstanders. Look pretty average, sound unbelievable for the money. Using them in my kitchen system with some good quality components. Nice punchy bass. I plan to upgrade the tweeter down the track as the treble is the weak point. Sound better than some much more expensive speakers.
"I've had 4prs of Maggies, to me 30" is minimum in most rooms." As a general rule, I agree. I have found that placing some of these on the wall behind the Maggies, allows a closer proximity: (http://www.ebay.com/itm/CityBlox-Acoustic-Foam-24-sq-ft-Next-Acoustics-Studio-Soundproofing-/281719194106?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4197c5c1fa) or (http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-12-x-12-inch-Acoustic-Pyramid-Studio-soundproof-Foam-Tile-shipping-discount-/351420139506?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51d245c7f2) I have mine placed only in the area that the panels will most directly radiate(based on their toe-in).