You need to describe your system as well as lay out,carpet, couches ,windows and size of your room .If one has highly reflective acoustics, bright speakers and a bright sounding cd player the combination will be most undesireable .How does your system sound to others? How loud do you play your system ? A smoother sounding amp, cd player and a tube pre amp will often tame bright highs as will the proper cables and sound treatment.
You have what is commonly known as Theil's syndrome. Take two vandersteens and call me in the morning (if you get up by then).
thiel - new browser sw isn't working so well.
Regarding tweeters, I feel like I'm hearing a dome attached to a coil, when I hear metal dome tweeters, even the best ones (and especially the Focal ones). However, with the best soft domes, if you can ever hear a characteristic, it just seems to be from the coil itself. In other words, the sound seems to come from a light weight coil and its ring shaped former, and the soft dome out in front literally has NO character at all. Other types have this type of characterless sound, like ribbons, but ribbons don't dynamically come to life like the best soft domes. I suggest you try a speaker that uses the Scanspeak Revelator tweeter, and you'll hear what I'm talking about. They're used in models from Nova Audio, PBN Montana, and the top of the line Sonus Faber Amati Homage...besides many others. Dynaudio also makes very good soft domes. One of my own speaker systems is an excellent model from Shayne Tenace at Paragon Acoustics, called the Radiant. The 3/4 inch Dynaudio tweeter in this speaker (and also in the larger hourglass-shaped Regent) is perhaps the best dome of that size in the world, with the Scanspeak model this size being a close second (used in most of the ProAc line).
Yep Jel, once upon a time I went down the same road you're on. My rig sounded impressive and amazing but it was way analytical. I could hear all the details, but musical coherence was lacking. Everytime a new instrument re-entered the mix I'd go crazy evaluating its sound trying to decide if it sounded 'right' or not. It's probably a common high end phenomenon. In my case I chalked it up to the character of the speakers and the front end source. Once I found my way out, what a revelation! Expressiveness is at the top of my desireable trait list now. But I'd never have gotten to this point without getting lost on the analytical side for many years. So there's still hope for you, haha. Being able to relax and enjoy is where it's at for me.
Hi Carl, Which Dynaudio tweeter are you referring to in your post above? Is it the D-21/2? I though the Esotec and Esotar was better?
You might try a pair of Biro L/1's. I own a pair and they aren't as superdetailed as some stuff I've heard. They do use metal domes but I wouldn't let that stop you from giving them a try. Personally, I don't think that they are the god of all speakers, but I haven't really heard anything that much better, especially for the money. I've had my pair now for over a year which is an achievement for me. I'm running them with all Van alstine electronics in a dedicated listening room with full acoustical treatment. The nice thing with these is if you want more detail, buy better equipment and the speakers will reproduce it without ever being harsh or grainy. And the bass is ultra-tight; but of course most decent speakers would be with 160 watts of hybrid tube-mosfet circuitry running it and four 16" by 3' bass traps. Don't buy a speaker by the drivers. Yes, there are generalizations that can be made, but the quality of the engineering can make drivers perform in ways one wouldn't normally expect. I believe www.avahifi.com has a 30 day return.
You need to list your equipment and room acoustics. Your overly sensitive ears may also be a sign of hearing damage, which might be a slim possiblity. Hopefully, that's not the case.
This is JEL. For those who have asked for my components: VTL ST150 TUBE AMP, VTL 2.5 PRE-AMP, BEL CANTO DAC 1, PIONEER 525 DVD PLAYER USED AS TRASPORT, JUST PURCHASED HALES TRANSCENDENCE 5 SPEAKERS, CABLES HARMONIC TECH AND ANALYSIS PLUS. THE HALES ARE GREAT BUT MY EARS GO CRAZY. SOMETIMES FEELS LIKE A VACCUM AND WEIRD FEELING. HARD TO EXPLAIN. NOT 100% BROKEN IN YET, MAYBE HALF WAY. I HAVE A PAIR OF OLD SPICA ANGELUS. NOT AS DETAILED (NEED A GOOD SUB TOO) BUT MY EARS DON'T FUSS. IS THERE A HAPPY MIDDLE??
This is JEL again. Forgot to mention room. 16'Wx25'L9'H. with carpet and plenty of curtains on the 25' length sides. This should cut down on the brightness.
Ekmaia, yes, I'm referring to the D21/2 tweeters. I feel that they're better than the Esotec, except maybe in the very bottom of their range. The Esotar has been a little too aggressively metallic sounding, in my experience. It is extremely dynamic, though. However, I'm about to try another model that might actually be better than the Esotar tweeter dynamics wise, and will hopefully be close to the Revelator smoothness wise, and it's cheaper to boot...............EZMERALDA, I agree that execution is the most improtant thing in speaker design, to a point. However, if you want the absolute best performance, you do indeed need to shop "by the drivers", because they're what's transducing the electrical into mechanical energy, and are the last determining factor in how much performance can be achieved by the speaker system as a whole. This cannot be denied, ask any designer in the industry. Otherwise, the best speakers would use cheap and ineffectual frivers, which NONE of them do.
The Hales T 5s when broken in should sound great in your system.Are you sure that the speaker cables have the polarity switched from the amp to each speaker,as is how Hales describes to do ? Are you also breaking them in as prescribed by Hales at their web site ? Call Hales Design and describe your problem,they are very accommodating.Good luck.
I have one word for you: analog. My turntable was out of the loop for a while, but I just put it back in, and it's amazing how quickly you can forget about what great sound analog rigs make, doesn't have to be fancy (mine: NAD 533 + AT cartridge and counterpoint tube amp/pre). Hello, bass, hello, presence, goodbye digits. Actually the most remarkable difference was in the bass. Just feels like the bass isn't coming from the speakers, but from the depths and the heavens. That's my 2 cents. Definitely wait until the Hales and the cables are broken in.
Tacs, I too am a fan of vinyl. I still think good soft domes are better than the best hard domes, though.
Thanks for your input, Carl, not to mention that Dynaudio drivers are about go the way of the dinosaur (not in performance, but just extinction). Talking about other tweeters than from this famous pair (Dynaudio and Scan-Speak 9x00 series), may I also recommend all soft dome tweeter enthusiasts to check out the Hiquphon OW II tweeter, which looks spectacular (even near some medium-size ribbons in performance) on paper - haven't been fortunate to hear it, though. Please keep us posted on the other 'experimental' you mentioned too.
You seem to have what would be a beautiful room. No dimensions that are multiples of each other and a GOOD size so you can experiment with near and far field listening. My advice : First, start at the source. I've found that even modest speakers can sound GREAT when driven by first class source components and amps (not to mention the cables). An old auditioning tool I use is a good set of headphones that has the tonal balance and detail resolution that suits me. Then I can audition my source components without the room getting in the way. Very effective and VERY revealing of the source. Second, or maybe in conjunction with first, see if you can get a real time analyizer (with 1/3 octave resolution)and do some measurements around the listening seat. Who knows, you may have a small spike or roughness in the two octaves from 1-4 KHZ or in the 10-12 KHZ (FOCALs problem area) region both of which the ear is extremely sensitive to and can enhance detail. Most cone speakers have their tweeters below ear level but are designed to be smooth on the tweeter axis. This can lead to severe lobing vertically. Try tilting the speakers back. Also, a dip in response in the lower midrange and/or upper bass can also have a similar effect of enhancing detail even though the upper octaves are smooth. I find that I prefer a slight counter clockwise tilt to the tonal balance with the upper octaves down about 3-4 DB relative to the upper bass. A flat response at the listening seat (assumming a dome driver)can sound just too cool an analytical no matter what the source. If you find that you are still just to sensitive to metal domes and can't afford the price tag associated with the better soft domes, you may want to try a WELL designed ribbon or ribbon hybrid from Nueform or, if you can find'em an Apogee Slant 8, Caliper Signature, Duetta Signature, Stage/Mini-Grand, Studio Grand or Diva. All of the Apogees, except the Divas & Studio Grands, can be had for under $2000. They all have a "robust" tonal balance, tons of unforced detail, and are exceptionally quick when properly fed (lots of class A biased, solid state current). Your room would be well suited for them. Good luck! P.S. How loud do you listen? That peak in the response above 25KHZ for metal dome drivers CAN be detected with some people who have very good hearing and listen loud enough to bring that response burp up above the noise for their hearing.
Ekmaia, never heard of the tweeter you mention, who makes it, and in what country?
I believe it to be of Danish make (great speaker drivers and butter cookies, too) If memory serves me correctly, you can purchase the OWII tweeters from Zalytron. [http://www.zalytron.com/hiquphon.htm] for $79 each. I centered my choice of soft dome tweeter for my DIY speaker construction down to this one or the SS-9500, when ribbons clubbed me on my head and had silenced my dome tweeter need since...
For all you soft dome addicts, listen to an Avalon speaker and tell me they're hard on the ears. Front ends make the difference in most any speaker, soft or metal dome. Garbage in, garbage out.
Yeah, I guess I better just learn more of what's out there, then. I know who manufactures the Avalon drivers, do you?
Eton in Germany. Try'em, Carl. You'll like 'em.
They only make the woofer, and there are better than Eton.
make sure the problem isnt one of driving the speakers with an underpowered amplifier. The waveforms being distorted create objectionable harmonics.