Speakers: all-time favorite

What is your all-time favorite loudspeaker system, and why?
Vandersteen 3A Signature-- "Sounds teriffic with a wide range of music". This is paraphrasing TJNs review in Stereophile of the standard 3A, but the statement is hard to improve upon and I agree with it totally. The signature version adds some detail.
purely THE best speaker under $10,000 is the biro L/1. hans down beats EVERYTHING!!!!! don't take my word for it, try it!! at about $1500/pair it eats everything alive for openenss and clarity up and down the spectrum. i currently do not have a pair. i have had two pair in the past. i challange any and all dealers to try a pair. if you don't agree, i WILL buy the pair from you!! and i have no relation to the manufacturer! just an avid believer! feel free to email me. i will put my money where my mouth is, get ready to be amazed.
The Legacy Whispers blow them all away-WIlson-ML - Apogee- Eggleston - Dunlavy - I know I have owned them all. Matin Logan Quests series is also great for the money.
My favorite speaker is the Dunlavy SC-5. After listening to hundreds of speakers and losing hundreds of dollars I think this is the best money can buy.
I like the ProAc Response Series. I have the Response Fives. The Sonus Faber Amati Homage would be a candidate and some have never wavered on the original Quad ESL's.
I will never forget being totally and completely blown away by a little speaker system called the Beveridge 2SW's. I had never experienced anything like that before from a music system. That was about 25 years ago and I have no doubt that this experience is a primary influence on why I am hooked on the this neurotic hobby. If I could find a used pair I buy them in a heartbeat for sentimental resaons - and fight with my wife later.
I'd have to say the ESP(Esoteric Speaker Products) "Grand Concerts". Not only the most amazing soundstage,but they can also do what very , very few high end speakers can... these babies could rock! Don't know if this company is still around, but check them out if you get a chance. One little note to make is that I haven't had a chance to hear the MAXX or X-1, or any Revel........
I don't have a favorite speaker system (yet), but I do have a favorite speaker driver. It's the Dynaudio Esotar dome midrange. I think it's a better midrange than the Esotar tweeter is at being a tweeter! I SAY IT REPRODUCES A SIGNAL WITHIN ITS OPERATING RANGE BETTER THAN EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING!!! You name it: ESL's (including the Quads), Manger, MBL, Genesis ribbons, other ribbons/planar magnetics, even ATC's 3 inch dome, and definitely any cone midrange or midwoofer.
I don't have a pair YET but my favorite speaker is the Merlin VSM with BAM. I heard them on a tube system and I was blown away by them.
Are you a DIY speakerbuilder? I am looking at a 3-way using Dynaudio drivers. Please get in touch.
I have to think that the Vandersteen 2 series has been both among the most successful and competent performers in its price class for people who are serious about music. I recently heard the 2Ce and 3 Signature series and it just reconfirms that notion. The 3 signatures as Garfish notes above are an absolutely stunning example of the maximization of this design. I really liked this speaker alot during a recent audition and it will be on a short list the next time I upgrade. I don't think you can find a better balanced speaker anywhere near this price, at least I haven't heard it yet. Does anyone know of one?
The Paragon Acoustics Radiants are a terrific value for $2850, although I haven't compared them directly with the Vandersteen 3 Signature. I doubt they would beat the Paragons. These are even a better value than the Paragon Regents. I augment mine with the Sunfire subwoofer in a 4200 cubic foot concrete room, treated with acoustic traps. It's certainly better sound than I've heard from ANYBODY else's system, either dealer or individual, and I've heard some great ones...
as one who owned a pair of merlin vse with bam and now own a pair of aliante model one pinifarina speakers they are the best speaker for deliniating the human voice. don't believe me..ask lars fredell of ultimate audio magazine. see his review in the fall mag. they are detailed..transparent..and accurate down to 45hz. mate them with great tube gear and it doesn't get any better.
But those cost more than my Paragons, and I doubt they're much better, if any.
McIntosh XR-16's For all around great sound and clarity they were one of the best. Great for smaller listening rooms, with a price that was right.
I hope I'm not the only one around here old enough to remember the Braun L-810 loudspeaker. (yep, the electric razor guys from Germany) I purchased mine new in 1972 ($365 each) and they're still performing flawlessly. Ridiculously overengineered, the 1 inch dome tweeter's voice coil weighs only half a gram, but is controlled by a six pound magnet. (not a six pound "magnet structure" as is encountered in some of today's tout sheets on drivers), but a six pound magnet. This tweeter also once survived a direct snowball hit (long story) with no ill effects. A similar, but more modest driver complement was exported to ADS here in the states and assembled into a nice, but less impressive product. (The Brauns ended up being too heavy to ship across the atlantic preassembled given energy costs of the period). Anyway, a two inch dome midrange, and two +/- 8" subs rounded out the device, all mounted on a slate fascia, with a patented internal damping system that makes the things eerily still to the touch even while they're wailing more or less flat out. 4 ohm impedance. The salesman (I remember this distinctly) guaranteed that the speaker would produce 20 to 20K hertz with a 1 watt input (I can't hear those tones, so maybe it was BS, but it was a more trusting age then and a hell of a selling point if you believed it). Not really meaningful to compare them to electrosatics or ribbons, but I've yet to hear a box speaker that could beat them regardless of price or age for quality of sound. (No Dynaudio dealer here, so I've not heard an ESOTAR dome, so must qualify that statement somewhat) They'll go pretty loud, but like me they're not as young as they used to be, and I don't push them too hard nowadays... If anybody else out there owns or has owned a pair, would be very interested in exchanging stories. Also, If anybody has a pair for sale, please contact me. I'd really like to find 3 more for a 5.1 rig. (Note: historical information is from personal memories over 20 years old now and not guaranteed).
Mwp7373. I sold those speakers at a high end store about the time you describe. I remember also that they would play incredibly loud for their size. We used an Audio Research tube preamp and BGW amps (a commercial transistor amp), with the Transcriptor turntable and Ortofon cartridge. Really a pretty amazing set up for 27 years ago. In response to the subject of this posting, my favorite speaker is the Soundlab Ultimate One. In response to others who post comments about the Vandersteen, I agree completely! The 2C is one of the best speakers ever made considering price. One of my audio group owns the Vandersteen 5, and I used Vandersteen 4A's just before switching to Soundlab. I have owned Soundlab now for 11 years, a new record for me as to sticking with one product with complete satisfaction.
Legacy Focus.A bottem end you can you can actually feel and a midrange that I feel has no equal.Wife really enjoys them too(thats a plus).Would love to hear a pair of Whispers.
For me it is only Apogee. For the last 11 years I enjoy my Apogee Centaur Major as a front speakers. They are great for my wide range of music starting from classical piano or violin to Pink Floyd and Steve Ray Voughn. Placido Domingo or Ella Fitzgerald, etc,. For my integrated Home Theater system I use Apogee Minor for full range suround and monitor for center chanel. The sound is excellent. I am familiar with many great speakers, but for modestly price system I think it is the best choice for me.
With a bias towards musicality rather than theatrics: Small room monitor: Sonus Faber Electa Amators. All around best bang for the buck: Magnepan 3.6 Best speaker short of Wisdom Audio Adrenalines: Magnepan MG20R
Apogee, Alon, Dunlavey, Martin Logan and more. Now own the Avalon Arcus. If budget allowed, the Eidolon would be my choice. If you can, check out the Avalons. As my wife continues to say, "These speakers make music!" Every time I sit down for a lengthy listening session, I'm impressed with their balance, imaging, depth, spaciousness, extreme musicality and faithfulness to the instruments heard through them, and they're easy to drive. They do it all and more. Do yourself a favor, check out the Avalons.
Martin Logan ReQuest, very musical, crystal clear vocals and more than enough punch to serve for a 5.1 system
how would you compare vandersteen to B&W? in particular, something like the Vandersteen 2ce signatures vs. B&W DM604 series 2.
Everyone has their choices and opinions. Bang for the buck speaker has to be Paradigm Studio 100's. Legacy Focus, Whisper too much bass. I mean come on why in the world do you need all those bass drivers. Their cabinets are beautiful. My favorite has to be Tyler Acoustics reference series. I have heard his monitors and Taylos. Awesome detailed speakers. A customer of his has the Legacy Focus and he bought the Taylos. No comparison!!!
For me the beste speaker I ever lissed to was a pair of Goldmund Super Dialoge I'm not sure but the price range is about $10.000.= dollars and I'm still looking for a pair to buy. These speakers very impressive just tray them out you wil not be sorry!!!!!
KLH Model Nine Electrostatics and the SoundLab A-3 Electrostatics. smooth and natural sounding.
Quad ESL 57 will always be at the top of the list, given system matching requirements. The Harbeth HLP-3ES is an amazing small speaker, and it's shielded for Theatre applications.
Hey Mazort - do those Proacs rock - how do they handle blues and rock. I know they are outstanding on smaller material. I'm considering the 2.5's or 3.8's but haven't done any extensive listening yet.
Martin Logan Statements and Prodigys when hooked up to a full Boulder or Spectal Reference System.
Afer 30+ years exploring the high-end....I would list three that influenced myself...and, at least, a couple generations of "audiophiles". 1.The original Advent loudspeaker...without peer when it comes to having spawned both manufacturers and consumers to a seek more from recorded music. 2. The Dahlquist DQ-10..without this speaker there my not have been Theil, Wilson and many, many others...and it gave Saul Marantz another last fling with home audio. 3. The Magnepan MG-20, quite simply a $30.000.00 set of speakers,..for $10.000.00
Hey Pops - If you're in the New York City area come on over to my place to listen to my 3.5's - BYOCD's and hear for yourself. They're very unlike 2.5's - far more detail and no overripe bass, but they rock! My work number is 212 469-6391.
The best I have heard is the Verity Audio Parsifal. It is the resident speaker system at Chesky Records, dCS (Elgar) in the UK, Keith Jarret's home studio,Sam Tellig (yes the man himself) and many more. Just received the ever-rare 5 star rating in Germany. It is truley the best kept secret in the high-end industry, but at 12-14K a pair they are not cheap but will trouce more expensive speakers. They are work of arts also, quite small yet can achieve a low 25hz. It's smaller brother, the Fidelio, recently featured in november 99 (I beleive)Stereophile,gives you 80% of the Parsifal's performance for a lot less loot. Check them out at verityaudio.com "out of this world" mine are keepers for life. Get your hands on a used (but rare) pair if you can afford them. Your hart and soul (and even your girlfriend or wife) will thank you...
Stevegolf1 - thanks for the invite! If I can ever swing it I'll give you a call. You better be prepared to sell em though! I'm sure they sound great.