@ ozzy62, Well said!. And what the poster said, about the JBL M2s is spot on. My jbl 4435 monitors do not "DISTORT" the sound. In fact they have the cleanest bass of any speakers that i have heard.! They reproduce cymbals like live music. IMHO :-)
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A lot of options with horns/high efficiency speaker approach, many of them quite viable and with different strengths and weaknesses. All-horn or horn hybrid? Subs augmented? Passive or active configuration? Some DIY or not? From a certain perspective, for horns to be horns their best let ’em be big, but more on that later.
Though not small the La Scala’s are actually a fairly compact design for a horn speaker, all-horn at that, and yet they are very fine speakers. Give them a pair of horn subwoofers (likely DIY, sorry), and you’ve got yourself a very capable and versatile package with rather unique traits in the hifi-arena. Alternative all-horn mains could be Volti Audio Vittora’s or Simon Mears Audio Uccello’s.
Or how about speakers from the pro sector (seriously)? A pair of Danley Sound Labs SH50 Synergy horns; as a point source they image like crazy, with dynamics, refinement and coherency to boot. Very good in tight to moderately sized spaces being a point source. Add a pair of DSL TH50 tapped horn subs and you have pure, sonic dynamite in velvet gloves. Oh, yes - I dare you; this will put must high-end offerings costing a gazillion to shame, and yet the total cost here is likely no higher than $20K.
Further from the pro sector; pro cinema speakers, actively configured. Find them used, they’re big and mostly comprises 2 x 15" bass cabs with one or two horns on top. Don’t go and think they’re crude, loud-only speakers (though they’re not beauty queens, to some). Actively driven they’re a sonic delight, and just like the DSL option they’re the speaker equivalent of Daisy Cutters wrapped in satin (it’s not about loudness per se, but rather effortlessness of reproduction; headroom is your friend). Indeed, active config. gives them an edge, and with a pair of horn variant subs as well it’s a rather complete package (it’s what I use myself, actively driven). Why horn subs? Because they’re more refined, enveloping and smooth sounding compared to direct radiating subs. Oh, did I mention this may be the most cost effective solution of 'em all? And yet they easily hold their own.
The latter options hones in on horn/hybrid/high efficiency speakers at their best: being BIG. Older RCA or WE all-horn options, also cinema speakers, are supposedly majestic and the real deal - inquire about them to poster @johnk. However, they take up some serious space and physically simply may not fit into your interiors.
Avantgarde’s to my mind are simply too expensive, sorry to be blunt about this. Above options are cheaper and better, IMHO.
The Charney Audio Companion with Voxativ AC2.6 or AER DB 1, 2 or 3 drivers will fit your room and budget. Not sure where you live but if you can get to Somerset NJ for a demo it will be well worth your time.
@ossie62 Thank you for your comment. Rather than a neophyte, I am a former shop owner who listened to horns and every other type of speaker available, including electrostatics of every manufacturer, planers, boxes, and even some hybrid designs of all of these reproduction formats in my shop for LONG periods of time with many different pieces of electronic gear. Now, that was a while ago, but physics do not change much over the years, especially those involved in playback of recorded music.
THEN, when we set up instruments in the shop and played them to hear the differences between live music and recordings, we learned even more.
Finally, one of my many bands that I played in recorded in a studio, and THAT was a learning experience if I ever had one in this field.
Recording engineers and the equipment they use have a lot to do with the sound you get on playback. Obviously, the room you listen in has a significant influence on the quality of your listening as well.
What we found was that even though horns were loud, they clearly distorted human voices and SOME instruments when listened to with well-recorded music--we liked the Lincoln Mayorga direct-to-disc vinyl in those days, which have some issues, but were better than 99% of what was out there.
If you put the two side-by-side and listen to a variety of music genres with pretty good equipment, you will probably discover what we did. Planers are not perfect, but they DO reproduce what you feed them as accurately as a reproduction device can. A live violin or female voice will be helpful as well in hearing the differences if you can arrange that like we did.
Having typed that, some people LIKE the horn sound, and more power to them. We sold you what YOU liked and put the money in the bank; it is called business,
But after years of listening and playing and going to live concerts of every genre in many venues, we found that the most accurate and pleasing reproduction for long-term listening was had through planers, with all their "faults" that you point out and I disagree with, but that is what makes audio so much fun!
JBL 4367s sound amazing. I mostly listen to rock, hard rock and heavy metal but I love the speakers so much I will put on Jazz, country or some classical just to hear how amazing it sounds coming through these speakers. they are very detailed, dynamic, realistic and have amazing tight bass. I have the Goldenear Tritons in my room and they sound great in their own right but not in the same league as the JBL’s, which are so much bigger and badder sounding. On some songs played very loudly with SS gear, the horns can get a little sharp sounding and I’ve had good luck with a Bob Carver 275 tube amp which tames it a bit.
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