Gallo Reference 3s - without a doubt. Their unique, and revolutionary, design eliminates all the normal edge diffraction issues that plague most speakers. Couple this with the 330 deg. dispersion pattern of the CDT II tweeter, AND the crossover-less, time and phase-aligned design, and you have the makings of a speaker that really does disappear. And all of this for only $3K, astonishing!
The best part? The "sweet-spot" is enormous. I have the speakers separated about 8 feet apart. I sit about 10 feet away, and about 3 feet in front of my back wall. I can sit to the left of the left speaker and still get a very solid and convincing sound stage. The instruments do not shift positions as you move about, they remain situated on the "stage" just as they were before you moved. Gee, just like real instruments...
I find it most enjoyable to sit back late at night with all the lights out and a favorite adult beverage accompanying my "serious" listening sessions. In fact, last night Carlos Santana and the boys stopped by to play the Lotus album in its entirety - in Quad, no less, RIGHT HERE IN MY HOUSE!!
I have to admit, they *were* a bit loud. But hey, they didn't trash the place before they left - cool band!
You have started a popularity contest for sure but the truth is my Tyler Linbrook Signature System which are large floor standers and invisible with sound. The only thing you see hear are musical notes in suspended air all across my room. Super 3d imaging, wide deep stage, and dynamics that you feel when cranked up. Real satisfying musical listening time.
To achieve this kind of sound you need to put in the time for proper placement. The iron chef method is what i use and hands down it works.
Merlin speakers do one of the best disappearing acts in audio.
The best part...you already own them.
If yours don't disappear, then they aren't set up correctly.
You might want to check out this thread that Tvad started awhile back, as it is similar to your own question:Speakers with imaging "Free of the box" Thread
As far as the best dynamic speakers I know of that disappear, first would be the Rockport Antares (one of the very best speakers ever made, IMHO - A friend owns these). The Eggleston Works Andra II also does a pretty good job of disappearing themselves, (and I own these).
I will also opine that planer type speakers, such as Quads, Apogees, etc., "generally" disappear slightly better than dynamic speakers, but only if you're in the sweet spot, which said sweet spot "generally" tends to be much smaller than dynamic speakers, IMHO. (This is one reason why I prefer dynamic speakers over planer speakers - I like to be social and listen with friends!).
My two cents worth.
"What affordable (Under 15K) speakers fit this description"
A lot, or none, depending on your competence in proper set up and choice of electronics and sources.
All it requires is a bit of knowledge, some money, and a lot of patience and flexibility (spacially and mentally).
Buying speakers which can 'disappear' is easy, but getting them to 'disappear' and produce holographic images is the real trick. See the thread re Holographic Imaging posted by Dazzdax.
Tvad is absolutely right - set them up on your front lawn for a couple of days - they are sure to disappear.
It might rain, so just leave them inside, with the doors unlocked !
Second the Gallos. Their disappearing act is downright spooky. I had a group of people in my listening room yesterday and one woman asked, "Where is the sound coming from?" despite the fact that they were in clear view right in front of her.
The Morrison Audio speakers disappear sonically. And with good reason: their design and implementation. Typical front-firing box speakers will struggle (and usually fail) to achieve the goal, but the Morrisons -- both the Model 7 and the Model 17 -- succeed with fantastic results.
If you deem under $15k as affordable, then you'll find the Morrisons to be the bargains of a lifetime. You could buy a few pair of Model 7s well under that price-point, and spend the rest on going to concerts and buying recordings.
Don Morrison gives a very clear explanation on how to create the illusion we audio lovers hope to achieve, which can be found here: http://www.morrisonaudio.com/morrison_donsview.htm
Information on the Model 7 is found in the "What's New" section. I own a pair and couldn't be happier.
I thought I'd put my two cents in...haven't heard that many speakers, but Audio Physics are great in terms of disappearing. If it wasn't for a bit of lack of bass and dynamics, I'd buy them without hesitation...
every single one of them 'do' and 'don't'....and hopefully always in a really good way. buy music..
Gemme Audio Tantos are the invisble pumps that power my musical fountain.
. And the OMD-15
, for that matter.
There's no sense of "2 speakers," just a soundstage that scales with the size of the ensemble on the recording.
I would try Dynaudio Confidence C1's. They really dissapear.
In the Abso!ute Sound review of the Mirage OMD-28 (link to pdf review here
), reviewer Chris Martens said, in part,
Moreover, the Mirages distinguish themselves through their ability to vanish into the soundstage. Many speakers claim to offer "disappearing act" imaging, but I think the OMD-28s take this to a much higher level--one bettered, in my experience, only by speakers such as the reference-class Mbl 101E (an omnidirectional speaker against which all others can be judged).
I have their little brother, the OMD-15 as the anchor of my LP-driven 2-channel system, so my recommendation for this type of speaker is not just based on reviews. The Mirage Omniguide approach to soundstage energizes a room more like real instruments and voices than any other speaker I've heard.
Just a side note, if you want the speakers to disappear, pay more attention to the room acoustics as this would help. Also, turn off the lights when listening and the disappearing effect would be larger. At least the speakers would disappear from sight with the lights switched off.
Speakers that disappear..."Magico"!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
If you buy any $15k speaker and leave it in Harlem, it will disappear!
I do love my merlins, they do an excellent job of disappearing.
I just think the mbl's are awesome, but in terms of value the merlins trounce them entirely, one of the best buys especially used!
Wasn't that a Magnepan review?
Vandersteens (all are under $15k I think)
Magnepan's (MMG's, 1.6qr's, 3.6R, 20.1's)
Castle Acoustics models with the top firing driver.
The reveiw is for the $200,000 mbl extreme speakers, they only weigh a ton or there abouts! So per pound it's not that bad!
But they need $300,000 worth of amplification, a mere drop in the bucket if you work on Wall St. and get resuscitated by the tax payers.
Castle Acoustics models with the top firing driver.
Yes indeed they do a good disappearing act. They were good. I heard they also went out of business - so disappeared that way too.
My Advents disappeared while I was at work. This was many years ago but when I came home they were gone, along with the Marantz receiver.
But for a more serious answer, I would begin with room treatments and placement, as suggested by others. I do not believe any speaker can "disappear" without some considerations to set up. And yes I've heard Merlins, Maggies, Mirage, etc.
Ha!...that reminds me Pryso: Late '70s I had four Advents that disappeared like that too . Had a Decoder reel to reel 4 track deck and a Harmon Kardon amp that disappeared with the Advents.
Hey, it could be worse... You could come home and find that your woman disappeared. You might even find your best friend disappeared along with her. Or is that a good thing?
Or is that a good thing?
It is good thing. With nobody to fight over the remote control, you can order a pizza and watch the hockey game in peace with the added bonus of no need for an effort to make meaningful conversation at the dinner table!
Shadorne, yep, yep!! Let her spend that other sucker's money now... I have more equipment to buy!!! :D
Cabasse Baltics, as they are both time alined and point sourced, images appear as if they were floating in space.
I think my soundlab m2's do a fine job of matching the given description for speakers that disappear.
audio physic virgo II's do a great disappearing act