The Most Realistic Speaker Technology?


OK, maybe this is the question that I should have asked originally...

I need some help, because I am now more confused than ever. I am in the market for new speakers, and have about $10,000 to spend, more or less. I am looking for the most "realistic", "true-to-life", "you-are-there", quality speaker there is, at that price. But the sheer number of speaker companies, speaker technologies, and speakers out there is mystifying, stupefying, and bewildering, so my search has been extremely confusing. I am not a constant upgrade kind of guy, and I don't have a lot of money, and so the speakers that I buy are the ones that I have to keep for a long time, and so it is even more imperative that I make the right and wise decision.

I realize that everyone has their own different opinion of things, and that different people like different types of sound from their speakers, and that that may be their favorite whether or not the sound coming from their speakers sounds even remotely realistic at all. And, while I respect the right for everyone to like their own particular pair of speakers that puts out a particular type of sound that suits them that they like and that sounds good to them as their favorite, regardless of whether it sounds realistic or not, my tastes are slightly different. My particular idea of good speakers are speakers that produce sound that sounds "real", or speakers that sound like a live performer is playing right there in front of you. Please forgive my particular taste, I know that a pair of speakers can sound perfectly good to someone whether or not they sound very realistic at all, but that is just what I personally in my own opinion consider good speakers, speakers which produce music which sounds as lifelike and as close to reality as possible.

And so, the first step that I am trying to do in order to nail down my speaker search is to isolate the type of speaker technology that sounds the most realistic. Since I know that most of you have heard literally dozens and dozens more different types of speakers in your lifetime than I have, all from many different types of assorted speaker technologies, can any of you tell me what, in general, is the speaker technology or type of speaker that sounds the most realistic and true to real life, like having a live performer playing right in front of you, that sounds the most similar to that? I know that part of this depends upon the system setup and synergy, room treatments, etc., etc., and I know that people do not always prefer the most realistic sound, but oftentimes just prefer the sound that sounds good to them, but surely, there must be some speaker technologies that sound more realistic, and more true-to-life than others. Please keep in mind that I am only asking for the speaker technology that sounds the most realistic, and not for a speaker company or a speaker itself, as I think that that would be impossible for anyone to say.

Knowing that most of you have heard many other speakers than me, and from all different types of speaker technologies, I thought that maybe some of you guys could tell me, maybe some of you could then give me a good place to start, or at least some of the more stronger options that there are available out there in terms of true-to-life music and sounding the most realistic.

If you could please help me out with a little advice other than, "well it all depends on you, you just have to listen with your own ears, and try to find what sounds right, and decide for yourself", that would be great. Because, unfortunately, that does not help me out much because I do not have "golden ears" as they say, and I do not even know what to listen for. Can you guys please help me out, and at least give me some places to start in terms of which speaker technology I should be looking at more than others, to get the most realistic sound? I would really appreciate it.

Thanks to all of you for your responses, I really appreciate all of your help, and am grateful to you for any help, tips, and advice, that any of you guys can give me. All advice is appreciated.
leroyc33
Depends on how realistic your ears are. ;)
The new Gallo Reference line array (5LS) is getting pretty good press, probably worth a listen:

http://www.roundsound.com/reference-5-ls-speakers.html

-RW-
What kind of music do you listen to? How big is your room? Amplification?

We all want "real" sounding music-like a musician is in the room. However, we all have different ideas on what that means.
You do need to first of all decide.

1. Do you want to have to be glued to the sweet spot for the speakers to sound good? This is my number one concern. I don't want to always have to be glued to the sweet spot, so that there eliminates a bunch of possibilities

2. What placement options do you have and how big is your room? If for example you cannot pull the speakers very far into the room that will also eliminate many speakers from the running. If you have a small room that will also.

3. What kind of music do you mostly listen to? You are not going to find a speaker that does it all for 10K, all speakers are tradeoffs so if classical is your main concern for example then there are speakers that will be more suited to that kind of a sound than one that is great with rock or jazz.

4. What is the rest of your system? This is really important. If you like small low powered tube amps then about 75% of the speakers out there are now out of the running.

WE NEED MORE INFORMATION!
there is no "most realistic speaker", only most realistic systems. and imho there are two basic types of "realism"-
1. up front and in your face (exciting sounding) and
2. laid back "sense of ease" effortless sounding.
one may be fatiguing after awhile while the other may be so relaxing you might doze off half-way into the cd/record.
my preference after hearing a pretty fair number of stereo's is #2, although a great #2 should wake you up pretty quickly when the composition gathers force and fury. #1 will have you dissecting the music for things that are supposed to be there but they're not audible enough, or things that ARE there that you are convinced are artifacts, although 95% of what you hear is unquestionably "so close" to an actual performance you are continually amazed and impressed.
NOW, if you were to take a decent tape recorder to an orchestra or band rehearsal hall, set up two (just two) very good microphones on boom stands, and make a 15ips or 30ips recording, take it home, and play it on an average or high end stereo, doesn't really matter which, you would hear a very raw sound, even unpleasantly so. but with a little patience, after awhile you might get used to the "flawed" sound and start enjoying the lack of studio (professional) treatments. you would hear the musicians in the room with fresh ears- in other words your ears would become the microphones instead of the complex series of electronics you would find visiting sony or telarc.
i've heard these raw tapes, and with all of their limitations it is a remarkable experience to hear what you just played, no audio cosmetics deftly applied. so that is a third reality that one should keep in the back of their mind just so you never forget how drums, and brass, bassoons and piccolos keep you wide awake and attentive, excited about the piece they're playing- and not the way it's being played back.