The best speaker you ever heard?

In my opinion, the speaker is by far the most important part of the audio system. After all, it is the only part you hear. OK, the other stuff really matters a lot, but without a great speaker... No go.

I am a bit 'speaker-obsessed' I guess, and now I am wondering: What are the best speakers you have ever heard, and what made them the best?
Kharma Exquisite Reference 1B is the very best I've heard so far.
To date the AV Duo's. What made them great ? SET amplification.....
Avalon Osiris, no question; to bad they were not mine!!!!
Genesis 200's, unbelievable. Close your eyes and you are at a concert!
Sonus Faber Extremas
Alon Wolfs' "Magico" speaker. Cabinet structure built with CNC milled aluminum (minimum 1/2" thick), and the best drivers known.
MBL 101D,spectacular!any instruments or human voice that came out of the speakers sound real.
Vandersteen 5s -there are many strengths - no weaknesses.
Avalon Eidelon. Sounds great with any type of music.Good luck.
I would vote for the Kharma Exquisite Reference too. I think it was the 1A, with external crossovers. I could sit and listen to it for days if they didn't kick me out.
The Dynaudio Evidence. With the proper electronics, cables, etc., these will bring you closer to the live experience than anything else I've heard to date.
There is a shop in Phoenix AZ, called Speakers Ect. These guy build there own speakers, and are now building speakers without capacitors, and wow these things are just awesome, better then anything I have heard including some of the ones listed above, looks this guys up and see if you can demo there speakers.
Sonus Faber Amatis
Unquestionablly,the Jadis Eurithmie / driven by their 300b amp.Would that I only had 80 grand,oh,-then another 80 grand for the rest of the system that was contributing
Dynaudio Evidence has to be the best speaker that I've ever heard. It made me feel like I was on stage with the musicians, hearing their every note, their every breath and the fingering of each instrument. I kid you not! If I was a multi-millionaire, I'd own these magnificent speakers.
So far, Sonus Faber Extremas are the most memorable.
Hello everyone, My vote would go with the Eidolon. The presence of images these speakers recreate are just beguiling. Truly the best I've heard! I wish everyone could experience their magic. Sincerely, Tom
Clark Systems Reference Monitors.
B&W 801s with the right amp.Any of the bigger,SEQUELS size and up MARTIN LOGANS.B&W 802 Matrix III.
Dunlavy SC-IV, version II; Hallucination Quality...
I own Dunlavy SC-V's and they are great. The best sounding speakers I ever heard were the large Pipedreams
I listened to the Eidelon (incredible bass) and the SF Amati (beautiful workmanship and tonal balance), but ultimately purchased the Venture "La Perfection" which had the best overall musical balance and performance to my ear. Just one man's opinion.
The Talon Khorus. With proper break in these transducers make music like no other speaker I have heard to date.
Mmerlin VSM-M. Transparent(Esotar tweeter) and adjustable depending on whether you have tubed or ss amps. Gorgeous finish with high WAF and more importantly (from where I come from), you do not need a large room to fit these babies in.
Albert...where are you? The Soundlab U-1 Electrostats are it for me. The old Beveridge 2's are also great and may go back into production.
I was in HONG KONG. heard a pair of {uno 2.0s) driven by a pair of cary 805s thought it was great till the guy hooked up those small (laugh) 5 watt Audio Notes. unreall
I'd have said the Sound Lab M-1's, but then a few weeks ago I heard the U-1's. I'm a dealer so take it with a grain of salt, but there is no other product line in audio that I would rather represent.
I still love my Soundlab Ultimate 1. This pair is from the very first ever production run, and must be six years old now. They are still the only piece of audio gear that I never consider changing. What evolution that has occurred in the construction of this speaker is available from the factory for a very reasonable price. Not often mentioned, the design of the Soundlab makes it nearly impossible to damage them, even with ultra high powered amps. I have heard my speakers deliver realistic sound pressure levels with a 21 watt per channel SET, and yet 650 watts per channel will not damage them. The ultimate strength of the U-1 is its ability to present music without any sense of distortion or smearing. Every instrument, even when playing "full out" behind a human voice, will paint a solid image in every detail, with absolutely no phase shift, regardless of volume. The U-1 is the only true FULL range speaker that does not employ a multiple driver and multiple crossover design. It is physically impossible to get a multiple driver system to divide frequencies, then precisely start and stop every element at the same exact millisecond. Multiple drivers represent vast differences not only in their physical size and weight, but also their resistance to the air pressure in the cabinet and the listening room. The single element in a Soundlab is perfectly time and phase aligned, the element is equally exposed (no cabinet) to the listening room on both sides, has a single driver mass equal to 3 mm of compressed air, and equal resistance and speed in every frequency. The easy way to prove this is to listen, the human ear is extremely sensitive to these types of distortion. Once you hear the purity, speed and space of the original music presented in your own room, it is hard to go back.
the avalon sentinels. they do everything my eidolons do an order of magnitude better. they present exquisite mid's, extended but non-fatiguing highs and bass that you can feel, as well as hear. most importantly, these dynamic speakers, like the eidolons, do what no electrostat yet made has ever done ( with all due respect to roger west and albertporter): they disappear and present a correctly-sized and spaced image of every instrument and voice recorded on the source medium. unfortunately, they are exceedingly dear and require a sound room with a huge volume. fortunately, my room is too small to let em' shine. yeah, like i could affordem', anyway! good hunting. -kelly
I don't know what the best speaker is. However, I sure like the way my Ohm Walsh 300's sound. The only possession I own that I value more is my paratrooper Israeli Galil.
ML with the RIGHT amp/preamp and cables. Also versity parsifals.
Infinity Beta's with Audio Research. I heard them once in a store in Skokie, IL and the performers were there in the room with you. I have heard many other systems but non that were that believable. I heard these speakers at the CES show and they didn't sound close to what they sounded like in that store.
In chronological order ( I could not compare side by side): Sonus Faber Extremas, the original Revels on stands and most recently Egglestonworks Andras.
Wisdom Audio Adrenaline 75 Dipoles.
I have a pair of speakers designed and built by Eric Alexander, the inventor of DiAural series x-o. These speakers can do magic with any music. Go to to read what Stereophile and TAS has to say about this new improvement to speakers. Parallel x-o's suck.
I don't think that there is any one speaker that does everything "right". Keeping that in mind, i REALLY like Ohm F's when properly set up. Sure, they're inefficient, tough to drive, won't play REAL loud and are really tough to set up, but there is something about a single omnidirectional driver that covers pretty much the entire audible frequency range that is just astounding. I've heard many tall $$$$$ speakers and liked them for specific reasons, but i'll never sell either pair of my F's. Unfortunately, i've never heard the MBL Radialstrahler or the German Physik's model with the Walsh "bending wave" transducer , but i'd like to. I'm sure that they share many of the attributes that i so dearly love about my "hot rodded" F's. Sean
The best speakers I ever heard was a double pair of Magneplanar Tympani's -- driven by 4 tube monoblock amps. Absolutely raised the hair on the back of my neck they were so realistic.
The Hill Plasmatronic is the hottest speaker ever made.
My own Dunlavy V's. It has all the qualities that makes music Music. Although I have not heard some of the speakers mentioned above, but I have heard quite few comparables and I still the V's come out as best IMHO.
Got to go with Sonus Faber Amati Homage...
Hey Plasmatronic. I clearly remember the time Dr. Alan Hill came to Barclay Recordng back in 1979 to set them up. Absolutely the most bizzare product in audio history. But the sound...ah that was memorable, it will stay with me 4-ever. Too bad lighting a cigarette near them could make them explode. And those storage tanks........
To Frap. While it was a long time ago,I recall the gas as helium (not flammable). Those speakers were only time my wife (who shares a passion for fine sound)made an interior decorating comment and asked if the tanks came in colors.
Pls1. I stand corrected, but those tanks sure were ominous looking in your living room. I remember Mike Wright also used to put gas bags inside of the Watson Labs loudspeakers, about the same era.
wilson audio wamm7 if you really want to hear the very best.all the others you mentioned above is like to compare the austin martin againts bmw.
I agree with Adsal.
In the mid 1980's I had a chance to hear the original WAMM's at a demo given by David Wilson.
While I have not heard any subsequent versions of them, I have yet to hear anything better.
Unfortunately, these are not exactly commercially available speakers.
The performance gap between them and something like an Avalon, Dunleavy, Sound Lab (all of which I have heard) is huge.
When Wilson put on a record of a string quartet, I thought I was listening to a "rigged demo" in that there were a bunch of musicians hiding behing those towers actually playing. No other hifi system has ever come close to fooling me like that.
The original $40K B&W Nautilus w/ 8 ML33H Monos. I haven't heard any speakers more expensive than these, however, to date I put this setup above the Wilson Max's, and Avalon Eidions, both of which I thoroughly enjoy. Simply amazing! (Of course we're talking $100K+ worth of amplification. I'm sure one could do as well with better speakers and fewer amps for the same amount of money.) Never-the-less a sight and sound to remember.
Martin Logan Statements (powered by Cello) long time ago. Recently, A-Physics Medea (driven by S-Line Kraft monos). Aural memory failing me, I can't chose b/tween the 2, sorry.
Quite a few speakers suggested above I'd like to hear though...
Since this thread refuses to die, I guess I'll finally chime in.
The finest loudspeaker that I've yet had the opportunity to spend time with had its north american debut in my own exhibit in Las Vegas this past January, courtesy of Toffco, the US distributor for Neat Acoustics.The Neat Ultimatum(US$16K) was an extraordinary experience, with the coherency, articulation and imaging of a mini monitor and a chameleonlike quality that was equally at home with solo vocalists and small combos as it was with large scale orchestral and jackhammer rock.They displayed a sweet openess and spaciousness unlike any other conventionally enclosed speaker in my experience.They are superbly fast, nimble and dynamic.The Neats could float a serene, stable and convincing ly holographic image in the midst of a cacaphony of pyrotechnical fireworks and headbanging volumes.
I found it intriguing to hear comments after the show which ranged from "lush","laid-back" and "silky" to "relentlessly driven" and "kick-ass" all dependant on the character of the recordings used during the audition.I've never heard such a "complete", expressive and alluring do-everything big system.
I own ESL-63 and I love them but the new 989 are much more neutral and has killer bass compared to the 63.
The Avalon Eidolon is the only dynamic speaker I heared that has the magic and at the same time gives you the strenght of dynamic speakers (I have not yet heared Amati, Lumen-white and Kharma, but I plane to!!)

Easy. The Wisdom Audio Adrenaline Rush and M-75 systems. They have the speed and transparency of the best electrostatics (without beaming and the "hey I'm a hifi speaker" effect), very low and fast tight bass (to 12 Hz in my room), wonderful dynamics, best imaging I've heard from any speaker. They just disappear and play the music.