Cessaro horn systems. The bigger ones (affascinate, Beta) ..... oh the love when run by a SET of just 8 watts.
Sadly, I don't own these (just yet) as they are definitely $$$
Sadly, I don't own these (just yet) as they are definitely $$$
Maybe mbl 111e.
Or maybe a custom Goto horn system I heard a few years back at Capital Audiofest.
But my current OHM F5s are up there as well.
Must state though that for any speaker to be truly dynamic, one must have the right amp and gear behind it. Speakers are capable of certain dynamics but it is the source material and amplification that is needed also to actually realize it.
In general, speakers with good dynamics tend to have very good build quality and use larger drivers for the lowest frequencies, depending on how low they actually go. THese are the two things in general that facilitate good dynamics.
ALso, more efficient speakers will tend to sound more dynamic with lower power amps.
I also find that crossover designs that crossover higher at say 3-7Khz, the higher the better, tend to limit what is asked of the smaller high frequency drivers and this also allows for better dynamics with less stress, breakup, distortion, etc. Two way speakers I know of that do this include certain models of Triangle speakers like the Titus, Ref 3A speakers, and OHM Walsh speakers (all models). I'm sure there are others as well.
3 way speakers with separate midrange often fit this model well and may have an advantage with dynamics accordingly in general, however, more complex and expensive crossovers may be needed to keep things in order.
A unique feature of the OHM WALSH CLS design is that the Walsh driver transmission line approach allows the same fairly high crossover frequency of ~ 7khz or so between wide range Walsh driver and soft dome tweeter in all models from smallest to largest. This helps explain IMHO how every OHM Walsh speaker I have heard, including 1st gen models from the 80's, can all mostly have essentially the same tonality as others of the same generation but still seemingly go as loud as ever needed with the right amp and in the right sized room without ever showing any signs of strain or breakup. There are not many affordable speakers out there that can make that claim!
"Most dynamic home audio speakers I've heard were the Classic Audio Reproductions Hartsfields. "
With the field coil drivers I assume?
I heard one of the larger CAR speakers at Capital Audiofest this past July. Very impressive + gorgeous to look at! WOuld have liked to hear those in a larger room as well.
Has anyone heard Casta Acoustics? Would the model "A" specs fall into the realm of great dynamics compared to my Paradigm Signature S2's(V3)? I know the paradigms aren't horns but I am changing my home theatre set-up and I am running an integrated multi-channel hybrid tube and have researched the Casta's but haven't heard them. I would like a smaller speaker with great looks for the room. The Casta A's seem to fit what I'm looking for. Any have any other ideas? I have a dedicated SVS PB13 ultra calibrated with an As-EQ1 and might purchase another. My room is 14x20x8 ft ceiling. Thick carpet floor . Thx
A field coil driver uses an electromagnet (coil of wire carrying a current that creates a magnetic field) in place of the permanent magnet of a regular driver. This type of driver requires a power supply to energize the coil creating the magnetic field.
The field coil drivers I've heard were quite lively sounding (very dynamic). Old examples would include the Western Electric 555 driver, and modern examples include the woofer in the top line JM labs speakers and all of the drivers in the big Classic Audio speakers, and certain Feastrix full range drivers.
There are so many things that have to be right to get the most out of a field coil driver, particularly the power supply. I was really surprised how different these speakers sound with different power supplies.
I've always wanted to know what a "field coil driver" is, anyway. Can anybody enlighten me?Instead of being generated by a permanent magnet, the magnetic field within which the voice coil moves (the voice coil being what conducts the audio signal) is generated by a DC current flowing in a different coil, referred to as the "field coil."
Field coil speakers were used in many radios of the late 1920's and the 1930's, before permanent magnet technology came of age. Those included high end radios manufactured by companies such as E. H. Scott (no relation to the hifi manufacturer H. H. Scott, who came later) and McMurdo Silver, which can be considered to be precursors of modern hifi systems.
I believe that the main theoretical advantage of a field coil driver is that there is less variation of the strength of its magnetic field as a result of vibration and perhaps other effects related to the audio signal.
Going off tangent a bit, but field coils do open up a lot of possibilities that fixed magnets can't match. You could have active flux modulation compensation for example.
Power supplies have to be incredibly well regulated so that back EMF generated by the amp and voice coil don't cause the magnetic flux to wander.
"Has anyone heard Casta Acoustics? Would the model "A" specs fall into the realm of great dynamics compared to my Paradigm Signature S2's(V3)?"
The 93 dB efficiency of the Casta Model A bodes well for good dynamics, though I'm a bit nervous about what seems to be an 18 watt power handling rating. But maybe they follow a different convention than we do over here.
What you don't want is, a significant mis-match in the thermal compression characteristics of the woofer and tweeter. When you have that, the tonal balance can change with the volume level. So if the woofer on the Casta Model A goes into thermal compression long before the horn-loaded tweeter, at high SPLs the speaker will tend to sound bright. I'm not saying this is the case, as I don't think there's enough information on their website to reliably judge.
Another possible issue is their use of a diffraction horn on the compression driver. Diffraction horns can have a tendency to sound a bit harsh at high SPLs, in my opinion, but usually not at low and medium SPLs, assuming good system design.
Yes the far east has been sucking up all the neodymium magnets for a while now so they are getting pricey but they toend to do better than the triditional magnets in speakers and allow for a more compact design which is becoming more and more important to alot of people.
On the topic of dynamics.
The Vandersteen Model Seven has the most dynamic contrast of any speaker, I have listened to. I would not say this for the whole line depending on how you are defining dynamic. Klisph and some of the others brands above I find over dynamic and just not accurate, but we are talking about different price points all together.
Assuming that the the Model sevens are dynamic prove that true dynamics has nothing to do with sensitivity or efficiency, assuming one has enough power. Yes if you have a non efficient speaker it may need more power or might sound thin but I am not sure how that relates to dynamics. It is the whole system, amps, cables, speakers, sorce all that play nice together that create that dynamic sound.
I haven't found any speaker that has exhibited exceptional dynamics under all conditions. Great horn drivers are truly exceptional at lower volume levels and can make music sound lively and engaging at surprisingly low levels, but, they tend to "shout" a bit when pushed to higher volumes. A lot of the the dynamic speakers people have been listing above are good at higher volumes, but sound lifeless when played at softer volumes. The same goes, to me, with the MBL speakers--great at higher volumes, but not the best at lower volume.
Some horn and field coil speakers, like the Classic Audio T-1, sound very good across a surprisingly wide range of volume.
I rarely listen at high volume levels so I have gone with fairly high efficiency speakers that exhibit great dynamics at lower volume. My midrange is a Western Electric 713b driver, the woofer and tweeter are modern high efficiency models. The 713b is a fantastic driver, but, it does exhibit a bit of "shouty" quality when played at high volume (not dramatically so, but noticeable). Everything in audio involves so kind of tradeooff, so personal priorities are important.
Seems like there is a little bit of clarity needed when discussing this topic. I have seen only in one place the specs of sensitivity and efficiency. If you can unerstand one speaker, a raw driver had an efficieny of 6%, and a sensetivity of 97db (?). Some horns are as much as 25% efficient, which is way more than just the driver. Not a lot of this stuff is actually published from what I see.
I driver whith a sensitivty nearing 100db in a horn should be able to deliver the most impressive dynamics an most any loudness level. Unless the program material has been compressed, that is.
Just based on principle, hi-eff drivers like horns and line arrays should do it. Room size matters. Danley designs should be something to think of?
However, just dynamics is not the answer to music fidelity as one should know. A good part of the equation, however, there are too many variable out of the field of view of this topic.
All the technical info and how it relates to a speaker sounding dynamic is great, but I find it very interesting that you equate "dynamic" with "the sound of a pretty soprano piercing my [your] heart". That is a perspective that I can relate to. The sound of a pretty soprano is not the musical example usually used to discuss dynamics; if one is used at all. When a speaker sounds alive it doesn't matter wether it is particularly extended (in either direction), nor is necessarily able to play very loud. The problem that I have found is that many of the most alive sounding speakers that I have heard (usually horns), are not very "pretty" sounding tonally. Since assembling a satisfying system is always about compromise somewhere in the chain, and mixing tonal flavors (wether we want to admit it or not), I have found the solution to be a reasonably dynamic speaker (not necessarily the "most" dynamic) with good tonality well matched to tube amplification which to my ears tends to have more of that elusive "alive" sound than most ss.
Having said that, the "most dynamic" speaker I have ever heard was the Jadis Eurythmie; but I hated how they sounded tonally. Give me electrostats with well matched tubes any day.
The most dynamic speaker I have heard was a one-of-a-kind put together by DejaVu Audio in McLean Va. It used a Western Electric 22A midrange horn with WE 555 driver, supplemented by a Jensen 302A HF horn and a 15" Jensen woofer in a sealed cabinet. As I said, this was the most dynamic sound I have heard....BUT I ultimately preferred the dynamics of my own system. Here's why.
The DejaVu speaker had explosive dynamics in the midrange but the cone woofer, as good as it was, wasn't able to match the same dynamics. This caused what I now call "incoherent dynamics" because different tonal regions had different dynamic qualities.
In contrast, my 2-way speakers (Jensen 15" woofer and an Altec/WE 32 horn with Altec 802 driver) do not have the same explosive quality in the mids but the dynamics are pretty much the same across the entire tonal spectrum. To my ears, the dynamics on my speakers are more satisfying because they are coherent. I think I would find the dynamics of the 22A horn distracting over the long term.