Speaker shootout update; aggressive treble eliminating some (fairly?)


I've been trying out speakers in a complicated shoot out, both bookshelves and towers — all in my home with my gear. I'm looking for speakers obtainable up to about $4k but could go up (or down) a bit if the right thing came along.

Basic facts: All speakers were run in at least 100 hours. Room is 27 x 14 x 6.5 ceilings. Powering with all QS tubes, 60w, NOS, tube R2R dac, and decent cables. No terrible reflection points; room not overly live or dampened. REL R 328 sub available but I did most listening without it.

Recent auditions, type:

Klipsch RP 600-M (budget singleton of the group)
Fritz Rev Carbon 7 mk II (bookshelf, 2 way, soft dome)
Focal 936 (tower, 3 way, inverted metal)
Martin Logan Motion 60s XTi (tower, 3 way, AMT)

Coming soon:

Salk SS 6M (bookshelf, 2 way, beryllium)
Dynaudio Evoke 30's (tower, 3 way, soft dome)

Let me speak just to the problems, rather than what was good about the speakers. So far, I've found the Klipsch, Focal, and especially the Martin Logans were all too bright — forward, aggressive, "turn it down" treble.

The ML's were the most impossible to tame and hardest to listen to on more tracks. (I did a lot of hanging of towels and other dampeners and other soft things to try to see if I could bring them to heel. I varied the recordings used. Changed cables/wires. No luck.)

The Focals were occasionally too bright; their bigger problem was a bit too much energy in my small listening space. They were better when I plugged their ports with socks.

I'm looking forward to how the next two speakers sound. The Dynaudio towers, I notice, are 10 inches shorter and half the weight of the other towers; not sure what that might mean, but it could just be right size for my space. I'm looking forward to seeing if the Salks bring more detail to the treble without also being too rolled off or harsh.

Hearing is very personal for physiological and taste reasons. However, if anyone has any thoughts about why I might be experiencing some of the phenomena I am (harsh treble, especially) based on my room or gear, etc., that might help me understand factors I'm not fully appreciating. Thanks.


8700e65e 845e 4b1b 91cc df27687f9454hilde45
My last Harbeth post as they go back to their home tomorrow.The KT150s sounded wonderful in the QuickSilvers with the Harbeths - my favorite!Big soundstage,sharp transeints,gobs of micro detail,natural sounding instruments and vocals.The highs were the best ever.Toed in they exhibited some upper mid glare.Firing straight forward and my listening position moved forward a foot,no glare whatsoever.
The Harbeths were very responsive to tube changes.

My ceiling is not quite 8ft.Old farmhouse with a wooden ceiling covered with faux tin tiles(fiber board).I have one GIK panel on the ceiling,the front wall and corners have GIK bass traps and panels.So I'm hoping this helps a little.Looking forward to reading about the Salks and the best of luck to you!
@decooney 
In a small room, I'd say the Spacials have a more recessed and slightly broader stage and a more neutral sound, as apposed to the Harbeths being a bit more forward and on the warm side. The sound of the Spacials (at least the older, M 3 Turbo S, model) remind me a bit of the smaller 1.7 Maggies (that I am using now) with a bit more base energy but with the same deep, broad stage. Like the Maggies, they have a full rich sound without being overly warm or bright. 
All I know about the SALKs is the many good reviews and user claims of them being very room and Wife friendly, with the ability to produce a deep, wide stage and a clean, full but uncolored sound, with a minimal of room treatments and set up head aches.
 
I love my Maggies (ribbons and ESLs in general) but have a larger well dampened room and the patients it takes to set them up....Jim 
@larry5729
If you can afford to spend $6,000, I would buy a pair of SALK Song3 Encore towers. I heard these at the RMAF in Denver and they sounded better than a pair of $60,000 speakers down the hall. Call Jim Salk and tell him Larry Edwards from Denver sent you.
Hi Larry, Thanks for the suggestion. I’m currently in possession of Salks which took 7 months to build, and am of the mind that towers are too large for my space. Plus, there's no way I'd wait another 7 months.

I’ve often seen you recommend Salk with the suggestion that whoever you’re posting to say that "Larry Edwards from Denver sent you." I’m wonder if you have a special reason to have people mention you? Is there a chance you might become a local Salk dealer here in Denver? Because that would be big and very cool news!


@jhills
...remind me a bit of the smaller 1.7 Maggies (that I am using now) with a bit more base energy but with the same deep, broad stage.

Good to know. The Maggie 1.7.., the other one I recall a few members here on Agon with QS mono tube amps were running like @hilde45 has. Never heard them in a smaller room. Once tried 3.6 Maggies on demo in a wide/short space. They were way too big for that room, did not work well that way.. 1.7 would be fun to try with the QS Mono 60s or 120s. Do you run your 1.7s with SS or tube amp(s)?
@terry9 I'll get back to you about the room dimensions, but it has weird pockets and spaces. (I posted the diagram a few back.)

@jhills Yes, I'm giving them a good chance (the Salks) and the Harbeths sound great but hard to get a pair to audition.