Most "Accurate/Realistic" Sounding Speakers?


I am a major audio enthusiast and I was listening to some live, non amplified acoustic jazz and I could not help but wonder what speaker sounds that "live"? To me, the most "accurate/realistic" speakers would accurately reproduce acoustic music as if it were playing right in front of you, and also human voices as if they were talking directly to you. I guess that is my gauge by which speakers and audio systems should be judged. I know there are a ton of "accurate" reproductions, but I have never heard anything even close to the realism, super deep bass by the acoustic bass, and slam of the snare and cymbals. Have you heard any speaker truly close to this? As an over analytical audio nerd, instead of truly enjoying this great music, I could not help but think about the system that would come even close to that realism, deep bass, and gritty fast sound. I guess the closest I have heard has been Wilson Audios, but even those were not truly accurate reproductions. I have also heard that Quad planars and ATC powered speakers do a pretty amazing job.

Please opine!
regafan_1972
I am not actually sure what Most Accurate and Realistic speaker is but I fell in love with the Kharma speaker line many years ago.I am not saying its perfect but I must say that they are incredibly involving and Natural sounding to me..There are many other speakers out that many prefer but I find the Kharmas do it all for me..
See if you can find an MBL or Avantgarde dealer in your neighborhood. If they are attached to anything decent, they will open your eyes, and drop your jaw.
within its range, stacked quad 57s are as realistic as it gets.
See thread above titled: "Pros and Cons of built-in amps?"
it begs the question, what is realistic. i bet if you put 10 different reviewers in a blind test with 10 great systems you would get multiple responses. also, i love live jazz too and so much depends on the room. tubes or ss, xrcd24 or vinyl, it is interesting to read how audio crowd interpret your post anyway.
Sound labs, Apogee, NOLA,
I was not impressed with Quads the others I have listed are serious contenders for the best ever loud speakers that I have heard in 35 years, ATC are studio monitors and will reveal any system limitations, but in the right system using active ATCs they are great
As an Upright Bass player I think what your looking for is not a function of any particular speaker system, not that they don't play a substantial roll. 

Its the generational distance from the original recording be it digital or magnetic tape along with the initial recording method. I've heard some very modest studio playback equipment sound quite good monitoring the original recording.

That same recording after the mixing, all the conversions, reclocking and/or the mass production, the life can get sucked out of it. Fortunately and far more importantly the music itself is still there.   

Until they make a Bernie Grundman machine personal speaker taste should win out. In my case I got off the merry-go-round some years ago when my used Avalon Acoustics Eidolons became affordable supplemented by a pair of Velodyne DD Plus subwoofers. Since then the only other brand that sounds right to my limited listening experience is Vandersteen. I'm told they both have good time and phase characteristics which suits my taste. 

Have fun. 
For me it is Thiel.  Happy Listening!
Charney Audio!

Full range single driver tractrix designed rear loaded horns. Charney's design will change all misconceptions about single driver designs. I have the Maestro and constantly amazed at what I'm experiencing.

Charney is in Somerset NJ and well worth the the time to audition.  
I am a major audio enthusiast and I was listening to some live, non amplified acoustic jazz and I could not help but wonder what speaker sounds that "live"?
...

Going by the context you’re outlining here I’d say the most live-like or "real sound" approximation would be achieved through big, high quality and high sensitivity (100dB+) horn speakers (preferably all-horn) in conjunction with lower wattage (some 15-20 watts at most) SET amps. I suspect the combination of this, and many things "being equal," would produce the most effortless, dynamic, tonally accurate, properly scaled and fluid presentation - closely emulating a live, natural sound.
It's a complicated question as folks here clearly already know.
Depends on what you are trying to reproduce as well - voices?  A big band?  A whole symphony?  A rock band?

I've always been fascinated by the whole real vs reproduced question so
for many years I even went to the lengths of recording sounds I'm familiar with (I work in film sound) which I would play back through systems.  For instance I recorded my acoustic guitar, my son playing sax, my family's voices, other acoustic sounds, etc.  Then when I had a speaker in my house I could directly compare the playback of the sound to the real thing.  It was always illuminating.  Usually those speakers whose "voice" sounded "right" to me in the store or wherever I first heard them, were the ones that passed this test best.

Of all the speakers I tested I'd say the most astonishingly life like (within their frequency range) has been the MBL speakers.  I'd had some startling experiences with the 101Ds and Es before - when set up well not only did they manage to produce the most individualized and authentic range of instrumental timbre I've heard, but also the most realistic presence (in terms of bringing objects to life dimensionally and dynamically).

These impressions continued when I managed to buy a pair of the smaller MBL 121 omni-directional monitors.  Playing my recordings through those things can be disarmingly realistic.  And when I do the "from the other room" test, for instance play the recording of me practicing my guitar, or my son practicing sax, it simply sounds like someone in there playing an instrument.  I would not know it wasn't my son in there playing saxophone if you didn't tell me, and in fact I've fooled a few people doing this.

Just a couple weeks ago I played some cuts from Requium For A Pink Moon - Nick Drake music done in an Elizabethan style.  This has some of the most natural voice recording you'll find:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/requiem-for-a-pink-moon-an-elizabethan-tribute-to-nick-drake-mw0002357...

Played through the MBLs, they recreate the sense of 3 dimensional space, a 3 dimensional performer, with just the right richness, timbre and organic quality, that, when I close my eyes, makes it almost effortless to think I'm at the live performance.  

My Thiel 3.7s do spectacularly well with this recording as well, though edged out by the MBLs.

But of course when we start talking of larger demands, we need much more fire-power.  I'd think a proper horn set up (lots of them and big) could come closest to reproducing a full orchestra or big band blasting away. 

Though, I highly doubt that same system would reproduce voices.  They may produce vocals with presence and clarity, but that's not the same as "how voices sound in real life, when someone real is in front of you." And thus far the omnis and certain cone speakers do it best I've heard.
(Electrostatics, like the quad ESL 63s I owned, and the 57s which I love even more, do the startling clarity thing, and get close, but lack that last bit of roundness, thereness and body to vocals to cross that barrier to 'real.').

That's my take, anyway.

And of course there is the age old audiophile question of whether we want realism in terms of "they are here" or "I am there."  That is, either the sense of musicians having been transported into our room, or our having been transported to the acoustic event, even artificial ones. 

I've had speakers that lean either way, and in fact I'm comparing two speakers right now where one brings musicians into the room and in that sense sounds "more real," the other turns my room into whatever sonic event is depicted.




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Like already stated, the best sounding speaker can't be realized until you have some of the best of sources to work with. Having no garbage at the beginning makes it easier to whittle down your speaker choices at the end. 

Having said that, the best I've heard, relative to what I could afford, was a full range driver augmented with a ribbon tweeter and of high efficiency. Right now, my monitors with ceramic drivers are a close second, and they fill out the lower regions better. It's always going to be  a toss up of sorts.

All the best,
Nonoise
Wind rustling and blowing tumbleweed through dusty streets in a long abandoned town... lol ! It seems like too many threads are like this lately
I don't know of any speakers that can sound like live music. 

In my mind the best I can hope for is a great speaker that will speak to me. One that plays music to me.

For 10 years  Sounds Real Audio had a room at the RMAF, I would always go from room to room searching for that "much sought after sound". Getting back to my room I never felt cheated. For me my set up and speakers provided complete satisfaction.





https://www.stereophile.com/content/dunlavy-audio-labs-signature-sc-vi-loudspeaker-specifications

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Wouldn't the most life-like reproduction start with the most life-like recording? Who attempts to record live music like a pair of human ears hear it?
kosset_amojan

That is it isn't it. Nobody I know of.