Speaker Question...first post on the gon

Hello. I'm wanting to put together a dedicated 2 channel system that is capable of simulating a "live" performance with blues, jazz and rock. With that being said, I value dynamics secondary to soundstage/imaging. I haven't had the opportunity to audition any speakers worth mentioning. Unfortunately, with work and other activities and a lack of dealers in my area, auditioning speakers is not even a viable option so I am hoping to make informed decisions in the used market, and with any luck find what I'm looking for the first go around. Currently the speakers in my hd (a/v?) uh, the room with my tv lol, have been pulling double duty with music. I have a Definitive setup with BP7001SC for L/R and BP3000 center and some smaller Definitive towers for rear. After much work with placement and a pair of Parasound HCA1500's bridged mono to the fronts with a small tube buffer between the amps and an H/K reciever I'm using as a pre/pro, I've managed to achieve pretty decent and dynamic soundstaging with 2 channel, for the types of music I listen to, or a decent improvement at least. I have a Parasound 5250 amp that can handle all 5 channels for movies, so for now I'm wanting to start with the 2 HCA1500's I have which are 630w at 8ohm bridged mono and use these for amplification. What speakers in the used market for $5000 or less, (preferably less :) will give me the bottom octaves at least on par with what I'm used to from my powered towers, tight/snappy midbass and a remaining audio spectrum that is musically dynamic but not fatiguing and with the ability to achieve focal imaging that essentially eliminates the sense of speakers as the source? I'm currently lookin on the gon at a pair of Vandersteen 5's (not 5a...not sure how different) and a pair of Vandersteen Quatros, mostly because I'm fairly confident that they will not disappoint in the lower octaves. Any opinions on these as well as any other speaker recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Showing 2 responses by soundynamic

Wow, awesome replies that definitely give me alot to think about.

Chad, I've been "trolling" around here long enough to know that you love the Vandersteens so I appreciate your candor and honesty with regard to them.

Oj, I totally agree with your comments regarding sealed subs and soft dome tweeters based on my car audio experience.

Shak, I've lusted after Wilsons ever since reading early reviews of the WP5's, but at the time their cost made them seem like speakers only a very rich person could afford and I'm definitely not that person. Now it seems their prices are only average; that is to say that now everyone wants $30,000+ for their best speaker offerings. Don't get me started on that. I appreciate fine craftsmenship and R&D expense as much as anyone, but please. Of course I have never heard 75-200k speakers but they better include a reach around with velvet gloves.

Rock, the Zu Defs have definitely been on my short list. I researched them and have been considering them for a couple of months now.

Rleff, not really a Klipsch fan, so when I tell you all what I wound up doing today, that statement may seem strange.

Deafjim err I mean blind (sorry, couldn't resist)I'm with you on the tubes and plan on trying some with the speakers I bought today. I definitely won't run those amps bridged after what you and Bdgregory had to say. Thanks.

So, in keeping with my impulsive nature, I pulled the trigger today on (drum roll) Tyler Acoustics PD-80's. They popped up on the Gon here and although I had never heard of them they looked like an interesting speaker and after some very brief research (couldn't find much on them, which is a little un-nerving) I called Tyler and after talking about them and getting a feel for Tylers business model and sensing him as a genuine, down to earth audio enthusiast with a particular set of skills, I bought them. That and he said if I didn't like them he would give me my money back so I jumped, after all the water isn't very deep and I have a pretty good feeling that they're gonna do it for me.

The driver compliment per speaker is 2 15" Emminence subs driven by an onboard 500w digital amp. They are ported which seriously concerned me but although I couldn't find much info about them on the Gon or anywhere else for that matter, nothing I did find was negative and one owner review here on the Gon stated that he was concerned that they may be boomy sounding but that they weren't at all boomy but rather were tight and defined with "slam!". The midbass/lower midrange are twin 10" Eminence drivers so I am expecting a very good midbass presentation which would account for the "slam!". From there, a horn takes over, as does my apprehension. I don't really know much about the horn except Ty says it crosses over higher that most horns because he doesn't really like a horn for midrange but I think he said it crosses over at 1800hz, so it will certainly be involved with some of the midrange. Ty claims this horn is smooth sounding and not bright or fatiguing so I'm hopeful but I really don't have any idea what type of image or transparency a properly executed horn is capable of, again I'm hopeful. I do know that I can't really expect any speaker to be perfect in every aspect but if it could reproduce the nuances and impact of a live drum kit better than expected I would REALLY have to dislike the imaging and or vocal presentation to not live with it, at least for awhile. So what is the imaging capability of a properly executed horn

By the way, they are 101db sensitive yet are rated to handle up to 600w so I'm sure lack of loudness won't be a factor. Ty says that they also sound very smooth and balanced at low volume levels. If I like them I'm definitely going to put tube power to them.

So, what do you guys think?
Thanks guys, I will definitely let you know my impressions after I get an ear on them. I'm meeting Ty on Sunday to pick them up. He said he was buying dinner too! Rleff my room is 12x17. I have no concept of how much speaker is to much for a given room size but the sub amps have crossover, level and phase controls as well as a bass boost that can be switched on or off, so I imagine with some setup effort and room treatment if necessary I should be able to get them sounding the way I like on the low end. My only concern is whether the horn will sound smooth and balanced enough for me and be able to seperate the recorded sound elements and place them coherently into a 3 dimensional space. If the sound is just plain in your face, thats not going to work for me. Has anyone heard a horn that can do a respectable job of this? I sure would like to hear that it is at least possible.