the minima is one of the finest small loudspeakers ever built. it also sounds better as it ages...
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Hello Jaybo - I was hoping you in particular might respond to this.
I have been waiting on a list at a shop for a long time for original Minimas, but none have come-up so far. In the meantime, Cremona Auditors sometimes do.
Have you (or anyone out there) heard the Auditors? Are they a serious step down from the Minimas?
Also, I could buy a new or used pair of Minima "vintage" here without much problem. Are they as good as the original?
I haven't heard the auditors, but I have listened to the Cremona floorstanders a few times with various equipment and like them a lot, and I imagine the auditors would have similar character, if I'm not mistaken.
Or I could spring for the beautiful Guarnieri Homages, but for me their stands would be visual overkill in my office, and their price would demand my serious flower-giving sweetness to my other half for a long time, in spite of their WAF power.
I have the Auditor Ms - have had them for about 4 months now. I use in conunction with a REL B2 sub base system, but in my opinion the Auditor Ms dig prlenty deep in the right setup. My electronics are McIntosh pre and amp, rega P7 TT, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP. The Auditor Ms replaced some Dynaudio 52SE - a fine speaker intheir price range. I am very please with my current setup and do not forsee any upgrades coming.
It seems many people agree that the Minima (original or vintage) and Auditor (original or M) are both exceptional speakers, but what I'm hoping for are some opinions on the sonic similarities/differences between these.
The prices are in a similar ballpark. Are they at all in the same audio class, or is this an apples/oranges comparison for some reason?
It might be ages before I have a chance to hear original minimas, and I'm wondering whether they are better in a small office and worth the wait compared to Minima vintage or Auditors.
I own Minimas and Cremonas (floorstanders). The former have been doing yeoman's work in my home office since forever. The latter are in my living room system. IIRC, the Auditors shared more of the "modern" character found in the full range Cremonas, which means much more presence region energy (relative to the mid/upper bass) than found in the older SFs (including the Minima).
Bottom line: very different sounding. My inclination would be to recommend Auditors if you're planning on adding a sub and Minimas if you are not.
Caveat: Above based on imperfect recollection of Auditors auditioned at time of Cremona purchase several (4?) years back.
Marty - thanks for this unexpected opinion. I would have thought the Auditors would have more bass than the Minimas. Why would the Auditors need a sub more than the Minimas?
My Quad 12L's are currently on my computer desktop, and that would be the easiest place to put the Minimas or Auditors (possibly Guarnieri's, unless that would be a total waste of those) I plan to replace them with. There are some other placement options, though, and I would consider a sub, though I know little about them.
It's not that the Minimas have more bass than the Auditors, they almost certainly have less. They do, however, have a mid-bass hump and less presence region energy than I recall hearing from the Auditors. The net effect is that the Minimas sound classically "warm", while the Auditors sound more neutral.
IMHO, a monitor that is neural over its (somewhat) limited range (all but deep bass) benefits when that range is extended by a subwoofer. Maybe just a personal preference.
Hello Marty - That sounds reasonable, though I haven't tried a subwoofer yet. My main floor speakers are at full volume still down to about 37 Hz before sharply dropping off, and that seems *almost* sufficient for me, maybe because I haven't experienced that last lower octave at home yet.
The idea of warm small speakers (Minimas) is appealing. I got a friend a pair of Rogers LS3/5a and have since felt I should have had a pair of those in my office. Those are very pleasant speakers. I've read that the Minimas are even nicer: more clarity but with that sort of involving, comfortable musical quality.
As for the Auditors, are they more like monitors? My mains are monitors. I love the clarity, but would like to counter with something really comfy.
Oh, maybe I didn't mention I'm looking for Sonus Fabers as small speakers that will often, though not always, be used with full-sized floor-speakers.
I want to like them independently, though, so that shouldn't be a big issue.
Just like opinions on the differences between these sets; Auditors vs Minimas at this point.
Do the Minimas compare at all with the Guarnieri Homages, or are those on an entirely different planet?
I took a bullet train across a large chunk of Japan today to listen to a minty pair of Guanari Homages. MAN! What everyone says about they're kindness to the ears is really true!
I tried them with a Goldmund Mimesis 27ME Pre through twin Mimesis 8.2 power amps, and also with a Krell KSL-2 pre through the Goldmund 8.2's, in comparison to a Luxman L-550, my current amp, which is leagues lower than those in price and specs.
Both of the fancy amps were more detailed than my old Luxman. The Krell hit some shrill notes on violin concertos, female opera singers, and trumpets. Mind you, "shrill" through the Guaneris was a relative term. Much sweeter a "shrill" than with most speakers. I didn't like the sound so much with that Krell.
I was happily surprised that the highs through my old Luxman amp sounded nicer to my old ears than that super-pricey Goldmund stuff. The Goldmund stuff drove the bass better, thus making the music seem fuller, but the Luxman has trusty old tone controls, and turning the bass knob up came close to sounding just as good, as far as I could tell with ten men blabbing in Japanese around me, four men packing speakers with loud packing tape, trucks passing by the open doorway, and others trying speakers throughout the listeningroomless shop.
Classical strings, guitars, and human voices were second to no speaker I've ever heard (and that's LOTS). Somehow pianos didn't sound quite real to me, though, something I've found on all SF speakers I've listened to. They sound a bit too sweet, soft, and distant, lacking power and "wood" to me.
Some old Aretha Franklin, Beatles, Doors, and Cream albums sounded better to me than people say these speakers do rock, but Gang of Four and Stanley Clarke bass-slapping didn't quite cut it. There was definitely a lack of "slam" through these with the equipment I tried, but I listen to that sort a lot less than other genres.
There is a magical way they have of drawing you in, though. Humans are SO human through these. Acoustic instruments sound SO good. Lots of people who were there for other reasons or were supposed to be working sort of slouched over with comfy grins when I played Cassandra Williams or Eva Cassidy.
Overall, I'm very tempted to risk divorce (PRICE!!!) and buy these. Wish I could hear the much cheaper Minimas first, but those are just as rare here in Japan, apparently, and if I don't knab what's available its a year wait for the next pair....