I've never heard the Nola Contenders. I've owned F52s and F208s. F208s disappear better, have a bigger soundstage, little cleaner and are more dynamic. F52s have tighter bass and are a warmer sounding speaker.
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Contrary to conventional wisdom, most speakers don't disappear. There's always going to be some tell that gives them away. If you close your eyes long enough, can you point at where you think the speakers are and upon opening your eyes, find out you're off a bit?
If so, then I'd turn to treating your room since it's big enough already to accomplish the disappearing trick.
I believe it's due to room interaction as I've only witnessed (no pun intended) the effect in properly set up rooms. Also, you need not spend a small fortune to tame the sound. If you're close enough to someone who you trust, say, an audio salon owner, have him come over and get his/her take on speaker placement.
I say this as I've been over at an owner's home and it seemed to not be the best place to audition (odd shaped room, lots of windows) and yet it was the best 3D presentation I've heard, bar none. When I asked him about it, he said it was by trying different locations until he found the best place.
All the best,
Thank you Nonoise, Ricred1 and Zd542. I do not for certain know that the speakers are at fault. I have contacted several dealers when asking the same question as posted here, and all stated that the Silverlines sound more "boxy" than these others.
I will say, that these speakers respond to every minimal change I have made in my system, and therefore could be used as refs when auditioning amps, preamps, cables etc.
Dweller, Thank you. I had not even heard of these speakers. However, I have listened to, and purchased for my sister, Def Tech speakers. I think if I was to look at the Bryston, I might move towards the Model T as the Middle T was specifically designed to match Bryston electronics, according to their brochures.
The Triton 1's have outstanding staging and imaging - very holographic sound! I'd describe them as "disappearing" in a panorama of sound. Very "Maggie" like.
But... their highs are less prominent than their bass and mids - which tend to overwhelm their highs. They do sound very good... if... you aren't looking for very prominent highs - they have a smoother, more refined, sound - which was not "my cup of tea." And... you'll need room treatments, or a good DSP to eliminate the "room boom" you can get with their bass and lower mids.
I've heard several Silverline models in many different venues and all pulled off very good disappearing acts -- something that's very important to me by the way -- so I'm a little surprised at your experience. Is this with all music or just certain recordings? I also completely disagree that Silverlines sound "boxy" (have you found that to be the case at all?), which sounds more like a retailer trying to get you to buy new speakers -- go figure. I'm assuming you've experimented with placement and gotten them sufficiently away from side and back walls and that they're hooked up correctly. If it's not placement I'd start to suspect a problem either with the speakers or upstream equipment. You might also try calling Alan Yun of Silverline as I've found him to be one of the nicest guys in the business so he may well have some helpful suggestions.
If at all possible I'd try to borrow another pair of good speakers and see if you have the same problem before going to the trouble/expense of buying different speakers. Hope this helps and best of luck.
THank you all for your posts. Clearly there is a bit of disagreement about Silverlines sounding "Boxy." I did hear that from a dealer. I have since moved the speakers further apart so that front baffles are 37" from back wall. THis improved bass definition and they disappear when in the sweet spot. Actually Jay Kaufman "Audio Revelation" says to replace the Sonatinas at today's prices, one would be more in the $10K range.