Most "Realistic/Accurate" 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
RA Labs. These were done by Roy Allison in the 90's. They excel at acoustic music, especially the female voice.
That, my friend, is an impossible question to answer. The reason is that each of us has our sonic priorities listed in a different order. Some of this ordering is conscious and other parts of it are subconscious.

Take a very simple example. You mention "super deep bass." The lowest note on a typical double bass is E1 which is about 41 Hz. Lots of speakers will give a credible rendering of that note. However, that is at or just below the lower end of things for many speakers (especially the smaller ones). You apparently have this one factor further toward the top of your list than it is on mine.

On the other hand, I am probably more sensitive about different issues. I've heard lots of speakers with high end energy that simply sounds harsh and gritty to me. Some one else may hear that and find it "revealing."

As such, different people are going to give you different answers depending on the characteristic being discussed.

A second part of that equation is the recording. Very few modern recordings don't involve some degree of multi-miking and subsequent mixing and processing. This may make the recording sound better in some respects, but it rarely adds to a sense of live accuracy.

Even if you have a perfect recording (which doesn't exist) look at what you're asking the speaker to do. A speaker may have a balanced response and be very good in many respects, but it will never have the same radiation pattern as the instruments it is reproducing. A piano doesn't radiate sound the same way as a guitar, or trumpet, or drum, etc. No speaker can change its dispersion from moment to moment based on the instrument (or group of instruments) being played.

In short, it is impossible at the current state of audio technology to capture every characteristic of live sound in a recording and then have it come back out of a box with every characteristic intact in your room. That leaves you to figure out which set of complex compromises gives you the best results for recreating a convincing illusion. What convinces you may leave me less than satisfied, and vice versa.
How about these fine speakers,

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrplan&1210642341

Note: I don't know the seller

Dave
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I have a friend who plays drums...they "are not" an instrument that you would want to hear at full dynamic range (not for very long anyway)....in an typical audiophile listening room.

He has a very nice drum set, and I love to hear him play them...but, not at his house.

Dave
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Second the ATC. Their 19s are fantastic.
You will need a quality powered sub with whatever you use to get what you want.