Green Mountain Audio
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I would be cautious about labeling a speaker with qualities like "a bump in the mid-bass that really overwhelmed the rest of the systems qualities" on a casual audition. A lot of this is highly room and placement dependent. I've spent a lot of time listening to the Gallos and couldn't disagree more with your assessment.
I don't think it is fair to any manufacturer or to the rest of us to give a review, especially negative, based on a brief listening session in rooms and with equipment you aren't familiar with.
To be fair, i would be aware of the associated equipment before really making up mind about a certain speaker. Like Herman said, speakers are very room and placement dependent. My opinions of speakers have changed before due to hearing them on differnt types of equipment and room configuration. But is is your ears and your money so get whatever will make you happy.
Hmmm, I beg to differ slightly vs Herman above. Despite the somewhat negative commentary.
The commentary can be seen as a desrciption of the listener's experience and the writer doesn't seem to claim anything more than that.
Indeed, midbass is a critical point for placing spkrs correctly; however, Seadweller also mentions "balance" and midrange (vocals/ "nasality").
All in all, interesting IMO.
I agree 100% that room placment and associated equipment have a huge impact, however I have two comments:
1. You would hope that a dealer would do his best to make sure systems are reasonably well matched, and that speakers are placed to maximize their performance. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general, you would think this to be the case. All of the speakers were placed where the typical user would have them placed in a typical room, so if a speaker needs to be hung from the ceiling, from gold twine, to sound good, well.....
2. I also agree that an abbreviated session doesn't flesh out everything, but I'm of the opinion that all speakers have a distinct, overall sonic signature. This is related directly to the design and desired voicing by the designer, regardless of placement or associated equipment. This sonic signature can be massaged, but not changed (a Zebra doesn't change its stripes). For example, the VSR 4jr's are so close in balance to my original VR4's that it's obvious their presentation is a deliberate design consideration.
Hey Dweller - It's REALLY hard to find a truly excellent pair of speakers. So far, for me, the only under $20k speaker that's really done it for me in auditions is the Wilson Sophia.
Until I can afford them (or whatever else I end up deciding on) I'm pretty comfortable with my Dynaudio monitors. Pretty neutral across the board, but ultimately I've got to be able to do big scale classical with full dynamics to be content. No monitor can handle this.
Anyway - Have you tried any Dynaudio floorstanders? The 3.4 maybe or the 5.4.
Goatwuss, you are indeed correct, it truly is hard finding an excellent pair of speakers, particularly if you're not in the mood to spend $20K.
I've now listened to around 10 conventional designs, ranging in price from $2K to around $8K, and none presented the music as if it were alive and breathing. It's time that I move on to some horn systems to see if they can reproduce that live performance I'm seeking.
Given that we agree all speakers are flawed, and you value "alive and breathing," if you haven't done so check out some Lowther designs. A lot of the problems in earlier designs (the famous Lowther shout) have been addressed in the new designs. The new Alerion really is a special speaker. They need a sub but most speakers do IMHO. A pair is available from Lowther America on the Terry Cain Benefit site for $2,000 with shipping. A nice bargain.
Seadweller, in your last thread on this topic, it was established--or so I thought--that box speakers in general didn't convey the energy you want. Therefore, it's not surprising that another round of listening to box speakers was not likely to prompt you to go home with one.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I think your best options are:
Klipschorn or La Scala (with slight mods) + REL or ACI subwoofer
Green Mountain Audio Continuum 3.0
Zu Audio Definition (with a move to a tube amp from your current SS)
Of the box speaker designs, I happen to like Silverline & Totem in particular. Still, for someone who likes the transparent crack and energy of live music, I'm convinced that no standard box speaker will satisfy you.
Just my two cents.
Seadweller ; just so you don't doubt what you heard , I auditioned the VS4jr , Gallo 3.1 and the Ushers (6381 and a standmount) through at least 2 different systems each . I , and my wife , came to the same conclusions on these speakers as you did . We heard the Nola's on a different system and were not impressed either .
On a side note , if you heard these all at the same dealer , I think that I know where . Or it is a large coincident !
Good luck .