Ironically, the analytical side is what I enjoy about the hobby. After that, it is the music itself that has to be great in order to suck me in. Critical listening is just that, it is more about you mindset than your equipment. For me, a good recording of Vladimir Horowitz will almost always suck me in.
"When I'm in the shower and listening to sonos through our bathroom in ceiling speakers, I don't dissect the music and find it much easier to connect with the music.
For those left brained folks, have you found speakers that turn your analytical mind off and allow you to connect with the music ass a whole?"
For the most part, that doesn't have much to do with your equipment as it does your expectations. When you are sitting in front of your high end audio system, you expect it to sound a certain way. That's why you bought it to begin with. When you are in a less than optimal setting like a car, shower or gym with headphones, you're content to just hear the music and not worry about the small details like you would if you were in front of your system. Its really not something that you can undo. If you go out and buy a pair of less detailed speakers, music will still sound good in the shower, but you'll then miss the quality when sitting in your listening chair.
One exception may be poor recordings. Quite often, poor recordings will sound much worse on a good system, than they will on less revealing systems. In that case, it may make sense to go with a more forgiving 2nd system.
Truly excellent point and one that I have a hard time admitting to myself. The problem is my expectations for the dollars spent. The price/performance ratio in audio is an asymptotic line but I believe my expectations are more of a straight line. Thank you for holding the mirror in front of my face.
Yes, and Sonus Faber. SF makes it easy to get lost in the music rather than the detail, and yet marvel at the resolution at the same time. A pretty astute balancing act.
What I like in correctly set up Maggies is that (esp. with a good sub or two), there's very little to distract you from the music--no overshoot and ringing, no cabinet resonances, less room interaction and resonant modes, less sidewall and floor bounce. You get the speed and detail while retaining the body of the music. The presentation scales up and down according to the ensemble size as well. I didn't realize how much cabinet noise I was listening through until I brought my Maggie 1.7s home last Fall.
Great post. I totally agree, I want speakers to allow me to relax and enjoy and not analyze It is really more then just the speakers it is upstream as well and synergy ..having said that the individual must use that as a goal if you go to a typical dealer or go by reviews you will find yourself listening to screaming high's and heavy bass.
To your question, I want a really high resolution speaker that assures me that I am not missing any music but at the same time does not through detail in your face. I remember listening to speakers and realizing that my body posture was so tense, shoulders tight and forward, sitting on the edge of the sofa .thinking I wish my friends were here so they could hear this amazing sound ..and then after an hour or less just being exhausted and turning off the system. Won't say what those speakers are.
Now even as a dealer I can sit for hours and enjoy listening. Relaxing and enjoy a nice glass of Oregon Pinot ..or two up late at night with no fatigue .
Meadowlark Audio Kestrels and Soliloquy 5.0 monitors do exactly that for me. I'm currently listening to a pair of Maggies, and yes they do make me put down the laptop, in fact, I have yet to turn the laptop on while listening to them. That being said, at some point I'll throw the Kestrels back in the system and when I do, I'll say aah yeah.
I am fortunate enough to own a wonderful pair of speakers and yet I catch myself noting how good a flute sounds or some other dissected component of the music rather than the music as a whole. When I'm in the shower and listening to sonos through our bathroom in ceiling speakers, I don't dissect the music and find it much easier to connect with the music.Ach, the classic problem of listening to speakers that have high distortion & for sure ones that are NON time-coherent.
Your speakers (even tho they cost $18,000 for 2-ways) have very high phase distortion & that is preventing you from enjoying your music despite the premium $ you spent.
I would highly recommend the Green Mountain Audio 2-way speakers such as the Rio & the Eos HD. They cost way less than your present speakers but will sound way better. All Green Mountain Audio speakers are time-coherent & give you a realistic music listening experience. They are fatigue-free, let your mind relax & enjoy the music for hours on end on ANY genre of music. They sound like a live band is playing in your room.
Do visit the Green Mountain Audio website at
Also, pick up the phone & talk to Roy Johnson who is the owner/designer of this outfit based in Colorado Springs. He's a real nice fellow to talk to & very knowledgeable on this subject.
If you are interested in learning more about time-coherence, why it is important to music playback & how it can give you a realistic, life-like music playback experience please read the "Sloped Baffle" thread in the speaker section & pay attention to the posts by Roy Johnson - some excellent articles & references. Here's the link:
I don't really sweat the participation of my analytic mind. I typically go to at least one live jazz show a month and often find myself thinking, e.g., wow, the timbre on Shorter's sax sounds great, or, jeez, the decay on Moran's notes just hangs there off that Steinway. Same thing happens at home when my system is sounding especially good. Just part of the pleasure, and it doesn't mean I'm not submitting to the musicality of the performance or sound. Minds can do many things at once.
My OHM 100 series 3 and F5 series 3 are pure joy to just listen to and enjoy the music for extended periods. You can easily focus on whatever analytical detail of the music you choose to as well, but they do not draw attention to themselves as transducers, which is key. ALso OHM Ls are a pleasure to listen to as well, though more conventional in design.
Less so with my Dynaudio COntour 1.3 mkII and Triangle Titus XL monitors, though these also can do quite well at not drawing attention to themselves, at least when set up accordingly, but in general these will tend to draw more attention to themselves as transducers under certain circumstances.
It seems to me that it is systems --- not speakers alone (or even speakers primarily) --- that can draw you in or turn you off. Many of the speakers listed will be wonderfully musical (non-analytical) with the right electronics and source material. But the same speakers with harsh analytical electronics will sound harsh and analytical. This is why a great deal of digital music is so non-engaging --- it does not draw you in even if your speakers are capable of drawing you in (were they fed better signal). So, a harsh sounding CD player will make any speaker sound bad. To me, the recording itself and the CD player/DAC actually are more critical than the speakers as regards drawing you in (at least in general).
I recently had an opportunity to audition some Mosaic interconnects and speaker cables in my system. I suspect they were the same interconnects as yours. The speaker cables were the entry level ones, but I wish I could have heard the top-of-the-line ones. I posted my thoughts about how the interconnects played in my system on my main system page. I didn't leave the speaker cables in my system long enough to form much of an opinion so I didn't post about them.
I also had an opportunity a couple of weekends ago to listen to a system with those same Mosaic interconnects and speaker cables, Essence Jasper mono blocks, and Intuitive Design Denali speakers. It sounded really nice. That system was doing some things that my system doesn't, but I think my system extracts more delicacy from certain recordings. Anyway, from the combination of my recent experience of fiddling around with those interconnects and hearing what I guess are older, bigger cousins of your speakers, if I were trying to take your system in a less analytical direction I'd first consider the interconnects and speaker cables rather than the speakers themselves. I've never heard your speakers but if they are indeed cousins of the ones I heard, meaning a Dale Pitcher speaker, I wouldn't be too quick to change them out of the system.
JBL L-7 moddified!, incredible life like,tone to die for, imageing is shocking, the speakers are 5 degrees toed in toward the middle of the room, when looking at them, they look straight with no toe in at all, till this day, I have never seen or heard a speaker do this type of toe in for best performance, took me three months of set up heart ache to come to these conclusions, paid off in spades!, 30hz to 27khz 4-way bi-amp speakers,The first to ever have inside fireing woofers, A JBL invention that many of the best has copied, A legendary classic.
I've listened to lots of music(being a media dealer), but couldn't figure out which one I'd be able to listen during the shower."
Or do what I do. Wrap your favorite speakers in cheap plastic garbage bags and listen near-field. Brings a whole new meaning to "a liquid sound."
But Robsker said :
It seems to me that it is systems --- not speakers alone (or even speakers primarily) --- that can draw you in or turn you off."
I would extend his thought to include the room environment. The same speakers in a living room will sound differently when in say, a bathroom.
(6moons' review of the Diva Monitor; essential the same speaker, just standmounted):
As our own Jeff Day reminds us, there's a music lover's perspective which deviates from the studio monitor credo of 'warts'n'all'. Music lovers first and foremost insist on an emotional connection with the music. Secondly, they insist -- very sensibly if you ask me -- that all of their music and not just a very narrow selection thereof be enjoyable. The Diva Monitor conforms perfectly to this omnivorous demand. It's a tone monster. That makes it a fabulous addition to the retro/vintage sector of loudspeaker design where large paper cones with pleated cloth surrounds remain en vogue. Those counter the over-articulated 'starving super model' ideal that's pursued to excess elsewhere. It returns us to the earthy curves of a Sophia Loren, the power and brio of Classic Rock and the soulful tone of a Mesa Boogie.
(HiFi Pig review)
Heres the thing. They are not monitors. They are not meant to be monitors. I actually found sitting down and listening critically to record after record really difficult. What was happening was Id sit down with good intentions and a pad and a pen in hand, but after a short while I was just letting the music get on with it, enjoying it for what it was and I was rapidly losing concentration getting lost in the music. I wasnt trying to pick out instruments in the mix and point out where they were panned to on the desk. I was being entertained by the tunes in a way that Id not been in a long time and isnt that what our hifis are supposed to do?
I can't speak for the OP but I assume he means not doing a speaker critique and just being able to focus on the music. For me ATC/Focal/KEF Reference/Spendor and even my Focus Audio FS8(to some degree)are box speakers(heard several models multiple times) that can achieve this. Quad/Sound Lab and the vintage Infinity IRS models are planar models that "chain" me to the music.