two way v. three way speakers

I recently heard some magico mini's at a friend's house. They sounded amazing. And they were 'only' a two way speakers, but they filled the room with amazing sound. So now I wonder, what does the additional driver add, especially when it is the same size as the second driver. For example, the SF Olympica III's have two drivers of the same size. I know that third driver adds a lot to the price, but what does it sonically? Thank you all in advance.
More drivers are used to accomplish three things (if/when needed):

1) cover the full range of sound that can be heard
2) enable speaker to go louder with less breakup/distortion
3) provide wider dispersion of sound so speakers sound good from a larger set of listening locations rather than a small sweet spot in front.

Having said that, getting drivers to mesh properly for good sound is not easy and seldom perfect.

Most would consider the ideal speaker (which does not exist) to use a single driver to cover all frequencies and have the ability to go louder and clearer than the others and disperse sound more or less evenly in all directions.

Of course, # drivers is just one ingredient for good sound. The overall design and build quality counts. That's how a speaker like Magico works its "Magic".
Remember too that what you heard that was "amazing" was not the magico speakers alone. You heard the synergy of the source, the CD/DAC or cartridge/tonearm/table, the preamp, the amp, the cables and the room. All are variables and each contribute. What you heard was a system in a specific room that might be different and less amazing in another room... or less amazing (or more amazing) based upon changing the electronics.

The point... the magico speakers you heard could sound wildly less amazing in a different setting (or better). Regarding the question of 2-way vs. 3-way... get the two speakers into your own setting in your own home in a common system and compare the two side-by-side. Any generic comparison between two speakers is not very meaningful and comparison between two types of speakers (2-way vs. 3-way) is even less meaningful.
It takes a lot of cone surface to move a lot of air needed for lower frequency sound. It also depends on the design of the speaker and crossover. Ported? Sealed? 2 way? 3 way? 4 way?

In general, a 3 way design will go lower in the bass region than a 2 way design. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Many love the simplicity and coherence of a simple two way design though.

There is a lot more to speaker design than simply choosing how many drivers to use. The crossover design is very important, choosing frequencies and slopes, as is the design of the cabinet itself. Of course room and amplifier interaction with the speakers are critical too. There are many variables that go into developing great sound.
My opinion is that if you like the way a speaker sounds you will most likely enjoy it in almost every setting, but the amplification makes a huge difference. I have been more impressed with a pair of Focal 807v speakers powered by a Pathos amplifier than my Focal 836v speakers that are the flagship of the series using my Integra receiver. Apples and oranges, but it did open my ears to how much of a part the amplifier has. I have heard the same speakers using identical amplifiers and the 836v was far superior all other things being equal.
Great responses. Thank you all.
All things being equal a three way is better than a two way, due the three way not sharing mid/bass range in a single driver. But this not the end of the story, driver selection, crossover design/integration and cabinet construction also are important in overall sound quality. And as mentioned by MceLjo, amp choice is also very important, why have great speakers if they are under driven by the amp?
@Maxboy00 - Because you can't afford both! Obviously, there has to be some balance, but I like knowing that my speakers are limited by the rest of my system than the other way around. Just my budget compromise preference.
Magico has 3-ways too. Look how much they cost. And there's your answer.
These days there are some brands who can really make good crossovers. In the past there were many 4 or 4 way speakers which did not sound that great. Caused by the weak crossovers.

When you compare the 2 and 3 way togheter. The mid freq are often more open, warmer and more focussed with the 3 way. In the past many 2 way loudspeakers had a much better sharpness in focus. These days that does not count anymore.

I also prefer speakers who have 2 units for there low freq. It is faster than one big unit. When every speaker has his own freq. response the authority is bigger. There is a lot more control.
@McelJO, Yes balance and budget constraints are always a point of compromise in any system, but I was agreeing with you about the use of a quality amp to get better performance from a good pair of speakers.
Add a pair of quality subwoofers to the Magico minis (making sure that they're properly set up and optimized thru the x-over region "the hand-off") and you'll have the answer to your question.
@Maxboy00 - I wasn't intending to imply that we were not in agreement. Sometimes forums, like emails and texting, cause a failure to communicate. We need a more resolving forum, right?
Had 2way three way is better more fuller sound,better bass etc.
the one ways i just had built beat my old 2 way kestral 2's and my paradigms studio line 2 wys. consider a full range if you really want some drop dead musical presentation. audio nirvana was the brand i got, the 8 in full range classic 8's. i could add a sub but i live in a condo so unlikely and tbh i do not really need it at normal volumes. spend as much as you want on any high quality make or model. i hooked it up to a $300 7 watt tube amp. yes they are very efficient! imo, 2 ways and 3 ways are no0 better or worse than the other..depends on engineering, drivers, crossovers and on and on
I own the Mini 2. In the right room, the right system and properly set up, this two-way can astonish. I chose it over the 2 1/2 way V2 and the 3 way V3, primarily because of its coherence and neutrality. In my system, the Mini 2 provides a very big, dynamic and room filling sound, even when pushed to extremes. But this is not an ordinary two-way speaker. It was designed and built to an extreme standard.

I agree with some other posters that it is difficult to generalize between two and three way speakers. Perhaps a three-way will be slightly more efficient, a bit more extended and less restricted during very demanding and complex music, but I think it really depends on the individual design, size of room, type of music and amplifier that you plan to use.

Apparently, the Magico Q1 is an even better speaker. I suggest you listen to some 3-way speakers in other settings and perhaps go to a Magico dealer and compare the Q1 to the Q3 or the S1 to the S3 to at least compare similar designs and philosophies while also hearing a 2-way versus a 3-way.

Should be a fun process.
It depends about the quality of the brand and crossovers. Magico is exeptional good also in crossovers. That is why they can make an exeptional good 2 way speaker. There are only a few on this planet who can achieve this. These days I am only interested in speakers who can give a wide and deep stage. All 2 dimensional speakers ( most are) you can dump in the ocean from my point of view.

Many 2 way miss the fullness in the mid freq. On the other hand many 3 way have a lack of playing fully loose from the speaker.

At the end there are only a few brands who make exeptional good quality what makes audio really special!
Bo - can you please list those "few brands"?
It depends about the price range.

Since 2007 my focus is only on 3 dimensional sound. I wanted to create a higher level also in the lower and mid price ranges.

What makes good highend special for prices which more people can afford. When you compare many brands with eachother you understand the differences.

In the world of highend I like the image and approach of Magico. The can give a wide and deep stage, but within the stage voices and instruments are small as in real.

I prefer them over speakers with Thiel&Partner units cause of a more intimate sound. And I do not like the sound of a contrabass with Thiel&Partner units either.

I love Monitor Audio. Because this is the only brand I know who also there cheapest speakers have good crossovers.

When you use amps which can give a deep and wide stage you will understand how much better Monitor Audio can build a wide and deep stage compared to there competitors. still need an amp who can give you a wide and deep stage. Within this stage you need a touchable and intimate focus.

I only work with 3 brands of amps; Onkyo, Primare and Pass Labs. In there pricetag they can give me the best quality in endresult and 3 D stage.

With my way of roomcorrection I can get a stunning sound with Onkyo even with there cheap receivers like the 626. My way of roomcorrection and using Audyssey EQ and Volume make the overall sound a lot more musical than the normal sound Onkyo gives without it.

I can send my clients to any shop. When they demo B&W, Dynaudio, KEF, Focal, Dali etc I Always can create a much more 3D image. I send my clients to these shops so they understand how big the difference is between 2 and 3 dimensional sound.

They come back and often they laugh and say: but that is 2 dimensional. Because I teach people the difference between 2 and 3 dimensional sound in what it does to your emotion.

Beside the deep and wide stage I create, I also create a stunning touchabele and sharp intimate focus of all the instruments and voices togheter.

The brands I earlier mentioned ( which I sold most of them far over 8 years of time) I never can reach the same level as with Monitor Audio.

Why? Because I understand properties of each individual brand. Monitor Audio owns more qualities.

And now the fun thing comes. Even if another person in this business buys all the parts I use, they cannot reach the same level. Because the way I use it, is the key to the succes.

With cables I do the same. At the end all the parts which I create in any set is Always based on creating more emotion in every individual set.

I give you a few advantages of the PL-200 over the Magico S1.

Monitor Audio uses lighter and faster low freq units and also mid units compared to the S1. You can hear it in the low freq. You hear more layers in the lowest freq.

They both can give a stunning wide and deep stage. But... the ribbontweeter makes the stage in front of the speaker even bigger. The tweeter of the Magico cannot make his stage so big in front of the speaker. Also a ribbontweeter can give a more touchable image of instruments and voices.

When you understand all the properties your speaker owns you could be able to get them all out of the speaker.

Monitor Audio gives me more freedom and options to get a higher endresult. When I visit other shops who sell Monitor Audio. I have to laugh, often they use 2 dimensional amps. When I ask them if they know the properties of Monitor Audio and the amps they sell. They say: we don't know.

Then you never will understand what the f... you are doing!
Thank you Bo.
Hi Bo,
We know many (if not almost all) will not find the dream sound system in their life time. With a good luck, people find you and find the music they enjoy for their life. You are doing a very good thing for many people and the society.
There are too many businessmen rather than audio professionals in the audio industry. Those businessmen won't and can't deliver the beautiful music that makes you tear and moves your heart.

The hi-end audio is about musicality, 3D sound, clear sound images, huge sound stage, disappearing speakers, smoothness, transparency, natural and open sound, dynamic, fun to listen, no fatigue, sound with a soul, etc. Unless a sound system sounds like above, it is not an hi-end regardless of the cost.

I only make 2 way speaker because 2 way speaker sounds better. If the condition is ideal and same in the perfect situation (only in theory), 3 way speaker sounds better. In real world, 3 way speaker needs many compromises. And it will take forever to make perfect. Ex.) Finding a right Lotto number in 3 digit numbers is 10 times harder than in a 2 digit numbers. It took half of my life for only one 2 way speaker. I want a masterpiece in a 2 way speaker. Not 2 mediocre.

The woofers in 3 way speaker always makes whole speaker sound warmer and fuller. Some music like a clean and clear female voice are better without the low frequency. It's boring to hear always warm and full sound. They will move your feet and hands. Moving your heart will take something more than classic Rock (CR). "People who only like CR need to know they only like CR because their speaker can only do CR."

I like a satellite speaker system because low frequency is easy and cheap to get. A cheap powered sub-woofer is better than any 10 of 10inch woofers in huge floor standers for 20-40hz. When I need kicks, I'll turn on powered sub. When I don't want warm sound, the sub can be off with a remote. I now have sound choices for different music with the powered-sub. Also, those big woofers in floor stander take all the juice from amps, and none for the tweeter and mid-woofers. As a result, the sound is even warmer without clarity.

Everyone knows, the hi-end 2 channel music will not mix with a powered sub. Why? The mid and high frequencies in conventional speakers washed off with powerful sound from the powered subs. It's not subs' problem! It is speaker's problem. New speaker technology has solved this problem and available.

Properly designed 2 way speaker is better in the real world. I have not heard any 3 (or more) way speaker better than the best 2 ways. **I've heard many $150k sound systems for last 15 years.

In the last few weeks I have spoken to some people who told me that they spend a lot of money on audio and never have been happy in ther life ( some for over 20 years of time)

When I ask them what they own; I understand why it is not that impressive. Often they have stuff what is not the right combination. Or they own stuff what misses essential parts for the absolute sound.

Even if we are talking about 2 or 3 way speakers, it is still difficult to create a 3D stage.

People often forget a very important part even if they have a wide and deep stage.


Because this part has a very very big influence on your emotion as well. It gives you a higher intensity listening to your beloved music. It pulls you deeper into the music.

At shows I really F.....hate those sets were instruments and voices are too big. The intensity is of a much lower level. The distance between you and the music is bigger.

I can beat many 150K systems with ease for a lot less money. Because the overwhole sound needs to have all the parts for the absolute sound.

I can create a much higher articulation of voices compared
to many much more expensive pre amps.

Money doesn't say anything at all. Money can't garantee you a stunning sound.

But creating a sound based on the parts for the absolute sound can.

I don't care about money. I am only interested in giving other people the best sound possible for the money they spend. As a perfectionist you Always want the best. For my clients I have the same focus. There is no difference.

I can be hard as hell. At shows when I am at steam and you have a bad f... sound. You are all mine!! Why? Because I want these people out of this business. They are the ones who give many people an average or even poor sound for there money.

Many people call me an idealist. But I am on a mission, and no one can stop me. And if you think you can do it better; just prove it by sound.
"Everyone knows, the hi-end 2 channel music will not mix with a powered sub"

these are the same words I used for a long time. I hated subwoofers for stereo use till 2007. I was only interested in big systems like speakers as the B&W 800 S. ( which I owned)

Subwoofers were to slow and I Always could hear there limitations. I f... hate every single limitation in sound.

But.....time changes. And technique as well. I had in my mind how I wanted a subwoofer to be.

I needs to be quick as a rocket. Full integration with the speakers. I call it stealth low freq.

With my Monitor Audio PLW-15 ( low freq units is so much lighter than for example Velodyne subwoofers. ( which are irritating f..slow as hell) This means a superior response compared to ALL THOSE SLOW SUBWOOFERS.

Over 3 years of experimenting with Audyssey Pro gave me a superior and new level for integration with subwoofers.

Even highend people were amazed by the sound. Even one said: this is voodoo. The energy is also coming from were it is recorded.

This is s new level of integration. And sets music to a much higher level.

For the first time in my life I have the integration with speakers and subwoofer where I could only dream of in the past.

Now I would never want to go back to any speaker without this subwoofer integration.

When you hear my sound you understand in a few seconds why. Because it is that convincing and stunning.
My focus is Always on properties. For speakers it is the same thing. These days I could not sell 2 dimensioanl speakers to my clients anymore.

I would stop directly my consulting in sound and vision and look for something else.

I am only interested in speakers who can give a wide and deep stage. And within this stage instruments and voices need to be realistic and intimate.

All speakers who can't give me this level I really don't f... care. In my life I never met a person who prefers 2 dimensional ( standard) sound over 3 dimensional sound.

The way I work is based on comparing. But it is an extreme effective way of eliminating other brands. And yess they are Always 2 Dimensional.
Bo, I have found that the 2D versus 3D experience can be very dependent on how the speakers and listener are placed within, and interact with, the room. I have heard very good 2D systems be completely transformed into 3D when someone comes in and adjusts the speakers' location and/or the listening seat by as little as a few inches.

I do not think it is always dependent upon the speaker design. In other words, I'm not so sure that specific speakers can be described as 2D or 3D. It is more the set up and the rest of the system that creates that believable experience. So I don't fully understand what you mean by "2 dimensional speakers".
There are big differences in image wide and depth. But also in the level of sharpness in individual focus of instruments and voices.

I use the word 2 dimensional when there is no depth or maximum 1 metre.

When you compare speakers, after time you know the differences between them. And yes you know the level in depth and wide of the speaker. But also how sharp the individual focus of instruments and voices is.

Amps have a very important influence on the speakers and stage. But I have used amps which can make a wide and deep stage connected to speakers which I see as 2 dimensional. The stage was so much smaller and less deep than with other speakers which I call 3 dimensional.

You own speakers and amps which can make a wide and deep stage as well. You should know what it is.

With cables you still can increase the stage depth and wide. As you can increase the level in blacks. And drive and timing. And decay and resolution. Also the sharpness of individual focus of instruments and voices.

With the more expensive silver Audioquest interconnects and loudspeakercable and the best Purist Audio powercables I can get your set to a much higher level than with Transpanrent cables.

I can describe very precise why.....

First of all the level in blacks is superior to what you can achieve with Transparent. The person who does Transparent in my country visit me a few times. He agreed that Transparent is not able to get the same stunning level in blacks I have at home.

There is a lot more. The silver in my set increases the decay and makes the stage in the right and left corner of the spakers wider and deeper. Audioquest and Purist are both better in timing compared to Transparent.

The sharpness of individual focus of instruments and voices is also better. Even the hights of a recording becomes more Obvious. The silver makes voices and instruments more what I call round. This is an important part of the 3D level.

Is there an advantage of the Transparent compared to the mix of Audioqest and Purist Audio?

Yesss there is. Transparent is more involving in the mid freq. This is caused by the use of copper.

But overall the extra parts you can achieve with the Audioquest/Purist Audio combi are very effective and convincing. You can't deny them.

Because these parts are essential for the absolute sound or what I call TOTAL SOUND.
Thank you for your advice Bo. You don't have to believe me, but everything you have described in your systems from the blacks, to the 3D to every great adjective I have read you use in your many posts, I have that in my system. But also a few things I don't see you talk much about, namely a very natural, realistic, musical sound. Tone, Dynamics and Presence. And something less concrete: connection.

I have not heard that in any system that uses digital and room correction. Ever. But I am sure your systems can do it. I have heard Purist cables in a friends system, but I did not like it, nor did he and he sold them. Your Purist cables must have been much different and better. I know you realize that the Class A Pass amps are capable of this. I'm here to tell you that Magico and SME and Transparent are capable of it too. I hear it more in analog than in digital, but that is just me.

Congratulations on your business and the help you offer your clients. I know that music and audio are your life. I have no doubt that they are happy with your work.
Petrayer - you are a very polite person.
Bo1972, so many bold claims but very little or no substance at all in your posts. Peter is 100% correct regarding room and placement and anyone with minimal experience knows this.

Your description of silver wire and their intrinsic coloration doesn't make them superior, just colored. What are you comparing them to anyway? Some unknown Transparent cable in another system?

Absolute sound, Total sound, black levels, 3d electronics, Audyssey, etc., this is amateur hour and have nothing to do with natural reproduction of recorded music. You're certainly entitled to your opinions and preferences but you're setting yourself up stating this nonsense with such arrogance. Not everyone is going to be as gracious as Peter in pointing out the lack of substance in your posts.
Bo is more full of himself than audiooracle.
I have written many things about sound realism. What you describe as natural, I use the word sound realism. I love Pass labs for this part. It let you hear the exact sound of an instrument.

Presence is what I describe as to point out. But silver makes voices more round. There is more space around voices and instruments. This sets the presence ( Germans call it Dahrstellung) to a much higher level.

3 weeks ago I visited a client with MIT interconnects ( copper) I compared different silver Audioquest interconnects with his interconnects. The differences are huge. We are not taking about subtile differences.

This week he phoned me and he will buy the Audioquest cables.

Presence goes to a much higher level caused by the extra air around them by using silver. All different parts of the recording are standing fully loose from eachother. They become more round as I describe. The extra decay compared to only copper is also very easy to hear

One of my best friends had a concertroom were he gave classical concerts. Here I learned how small and direct voices and instruments are. I call it intimate sound. But also the sound of a violin and Steinway wing.

In natural sound I am just as demanding as in intimate sound. Compare a Steinway wing recoding with copper against silver. You will hear the difference in timing, decay and also presence. There is a lot more information be heard with the silver interconnects.

I will ask the person who does Transparent, to take some cables with him when he visits my home.

Silver colored? This is bullshit. Copper can easiliy colour as well. Who is an amature overhere? You are talking nonsense. It is not based on facts.

I owned the XP-20 for over 2 years of time. Weakest point is sharpness in individual focus. I had discussions about this issue with Desmond of Pass Labs. As we had discussions about using wrong properties of some brands in cables.

I am very curious about the .8 series. Presence and a much smaller individual focus should be one of the biggest improvements.

I Always use cables to make individual focus more realistic and giving it the right proportion.

Sound is about what you hear. I can let all people hear much more information of voices than most other do. They become more apparent. And ther is more information in articulation of voices.

I hate any coloration or missing a realistic individual focus of instruments and voices.

I only use powercables from Purist Audio. I prefer interconnects and loudspeakercable from Audioquest. But the combination of them both give me a stunning endresult.

It is a pitty you can't hear my system. But believe me with my pro measurement and my pre amp I am a big step further than what you can achieve with the XP-20. I had many discussions about this with Pass labs by email.

The advantages are in the articulation of voices. But also in timing and drive. A much better separation of instruments and voices. What I said before; even 2nd and 3th voices are more easy to be heard. With the xp-20 they are there somewhere. With my pre amp and pro measurement they come alive. This is a much higher level of presence.

I even can let people hear the edge of a voice. I did not achieve this with the XP-20.

Audio is Always about getting closer to the real thing.
Bo, I don't mind you denigrating the Pass XP-20. I've directly compared it to the XP30 in my system for two weeks. The 30 is better and once that becomes a priority for me in my system, I will probably upgrade.

What I'm curious about is that you seem to be committed to the Pass X350.8 without having auditioned it in your system. Do you always buy equipment before trying it out in your system? How can you be sure how it will perform?
I owned the 30.5, 60.5 and 100.5. The Xp-20 is still a nice pre amp. I was happy with it for 2 years, so don't get me wrong.

I had a few discussions with Desmond from Pass Labs about roomcorrection. To be honest when Tact ( later Lyngdorf) came out with there perfect room system ( we sold it) I didn't like it. I was not a big fan of roomcorrection at all.

The same about subwoofers for stereo use. I did not believe it could integrate as I wanted it to be.

That is why hearing is believing. Testing can give other thoughts about subwoofers and also about roomcorrection.

Don't forget that the first times I used Audyssey I did not like the limitations. As you know I hate every single limitation in sound. But on the other hand I heard things I really liked.

What happens next is that I have idea's in my head and then the testing starts.

By doing things totally differently I got a much better endresult with less limitations. After many tests you get a superior level compared what normally is possible.

That is why I believe there is room for a highend pre amp with roomcorrection. I told this to Desmond as well. It can bring you further than what is possible with just a pre amp.

I created the stealth integration with a subwoofer by using Audyssey Pro my way. In the past I never thought this would be possible.

For some time I prefered the Pass Labs XA.5 series. I owned 3 of these serie. I bought the X250.5 just to see what it does and what differences are compared to the XA.5 series.

I prefer the extra drive, more crispy high and extra speed. With my Pro measurment I can adjust the sound a lot more easy than with a XP-20. It gives me more freedom to adapt.

So why a 350.8? Because now I only need 1 powercable. And I prefer the speed, extra drive and crispy high freq over the more musical and involving sound. Because I can create the mid freq. just as I want it. At the end how I use it I can get a higher endresult with the X-series.

I would be happy with the XA series as well. I could easilly live with them. I love the properties Pass Labs gives. This is what I want and need in my sound.

In the last years I send emails to Pass Labs about what I think are the limitations of there amps and pre amps.

Not cause of my emails, but they are aware of the limitations them selves I guess. I think when I read the emails from Pass Labs and from the new owners of the .8 series it is improved a lot.

In every part,it also gives a much more intimate and realistic individual focus.

The .5 series give a wide and deep stage, but within this stage the sharpness and realistic proportion of voices and instruments were not the best. At many shows people used MIT and Shunyata cables with the Pass Labs gear.

Then you were listening to voices and instruments which were much too big in proportion. I had discussions about this issue with Desmond from Pass labs.

What are my needs in sound?

More control, more authorithy, more speed, more resolution, a wider stage, a deeper stage, even better natural sound, even better blacks, sharper individual focus. And even more flavors in the mid freq.

Then you compare what the possibilites and prices are. Then you think that the 350.8 will be a good options to improve what I want and need.
For a long time I associated 2-way speakers mostly with smaller, stand-mounted incarnations with all that generally entails; lack of bandwidth/force downwards and overall sense of physique, mids that were somewhat affected at higher SPL's and the limitations of the latter this also implied (i.e.: lack of effortlessness more than max. SPL per se), lack of (a more natural) sonic size, etc.

My latest speakers though, to my ears, have bridged the typical qualities of 2-way speakers with the ones found in larger multi-way dittos in combining coherency and focus with an effortless, forceful representation - indeed adding to the qualities of these two "camps" as they are usually found here. Very generally the smaller representatives of 2-way designs cross between 2.5-3.5kHz, indeed in a similar fashion in this region compared to 3-way designs, only to have the latter add another cross-over in the 200-400Hz region. One could argue, I suppose, where the sensitive frequency spectrums are most pronounced when crossing over from one drive unit to the other, but both 2- and 3-way designs typically seem to have problematic encounters in these frequency areas, at least compared to a 2-way design that crosses around 1kHz - give or take. Dome tweeters don't go this low, unless assisted by a waveguide - a configuration that could also house a compression driver instead, and this is a combination in particular I find very successful.

Anyway, a 2-way design crossed in this fashion at or below 1.5kHz down to about 700-800Hz seems to bring out a very nice compromise with two drivers used, and moreover the waveguide adds a much needed sense of physicality (air displacement area) that makes it (potentially) couple more fluidly with the bass/mid unit. Energy coherence, anyone? Lately I've never been able to bring my ears around the limitations of direct radiating dome tweeters; they simply sound malnourished, thin and strained compared to a well-implemented waveguide design, particularly where a compression driver is used.

As "hifi" goes a midrange above or even at 8" is usually a no-go, and this seems to be an effect of these type of lower sensitivity drivers being low-fs bass units as well; they simply run out of energy steam even in the lower mids. Where more sensitive drivers are used a 12" more or less pure midrange with lighter cone movement is not uncommon, on the contrary: one that brings with it some very interesting implementations with beforementioned waveguides. The more obvious compromise here is lower bass, and this calls for the aid of preferably a pair of subs to assist below 80-100Hz, though designs could easily go without sub assistance if one isn't craving for sub-bass terrain. Indeed, that so many speaker designs slavishly go for lower bass extension to compromise the lower to central mids presentation is beyond me.

To my ears and via above mentioned design preference I'm very obviously for 2-way designs. Once getting used to this it's hard to feel convinced by the sound of multi-way designs, not only in this area; they simply sound "out of phase/focus" and don't gel favorably. And when you got the typical traits of the larger 3-way designs in addition, in more than full measure, there's really no turning back.
I am addicted to stunning sound. No more, no less. Audio is all about the best sound possible. It is not about me.

My main goal is good sound for every single music lover. I want to raise the quality level. When other people would work with the same drive it would be good for audio in general.

I am just doing my job the best I can. The drive for me is happy people. I work for my clients to give them the best quality possible.
So Bo, I missed your response to my question about whether or not you have heard the X350.8 in your system before buying it or whether or not you buy other equipment without first auditioning it.

I have directly compared the XA160.5 to the XA160.8 in the same system. You might be surprised at my findings, and those of the owner of that system.
Yes I did read something about it. I will test it first. I still think there is a big change I will keep it.

I had contact with Desmond about the differences between the .5 and .8 series.

It is also an investment for selling it. I will use it for demo as well.
Dear Peter,

I have a suggestion for your friend Ian. I read his thoughts about the .8 series. He is using MIT and Shunyata powercables. I know them well, they are not that special.

I owned the best MIT powercables in the past. Purist Audio is way superior in powercables compared to MIT. Shunyata has the same kind of properties MIT owns.

The Purist powercables are a lot more intimate. Better controled in the low freq. and even go deeper. Mid freq. are a lot more open compared to MIT.

Maybe he has a chance to listen to Purist Audio powercables like the Limited edition. But ask for the one with Oyaide M1/F1 connectors.
The problems he describes about the bass could be caused by his powercables. I tested a few recent MIT powercables. They were too bass heavy. I also did not like the individual focus of instruments and voices. They are too big.
A good two way is usually easier to maintain and more WAF acceptable. That said a properly setup three way can add excitement, pleasure and even ecstasy to the relationship.

You must take into account that a good three way is not easy to set up and you have to make sure your wife is on board before even trying. In the end it could lead to jealousy or even a separation of the two way relationship. Go slow, listen carefully, because there is a lot at stake.
The freedom you own for speaker choice all depends about how much your wife loves you.

It is al about love! :)
Sorry wasn't talking about speakers. Couldn't resist the connotation.
wow, this guy is so far beyond human knowledge he cannot get subtle jokes any longer. whew, i am tired just reading all this brilliance. i have a full range driver so i am happy alone just listening. no need to ask permission from anyone.
He is walking, talking, audio databank of thousands of components that he has personally tested and whose results reside only in his head. The models that consistently rank at the very top in Bo's world are coincidently those that he sells.

He cannot tell you what equipment he uses for his tests. He cannot provide written results. He can tell you that he has done this for 16 years and therefore, must be right. So buy the products he tells you to. That coincidently are the ones he sells.

He is a true Audio God. Funny though, the last I bought something from someone that said "Bo Knows". I ended up with an overpriced pair of Nikes.

I'm sure he won't get this joke either.
It is a lot more simple: The best sound Always wins. I create my sound ( a 3 dimensional physical stage) and people can audition it.

At other shops they can listen to sound for the same kind of money. So they can compare. What do they choose?
Exactly the most convincing sound.

People read and listen very bad. When you would have read better you would have undersand that it is not about me.

The quality of the stuff I sell is what counts. I only use it more precise. Better quality sells a lot easier.

What I said earlier; we have a totally different kind of humor. More on the sarcastic side. It has nothing to do about understanding.

When you use Pioneer ( 2 dimensional standard audio) as an amp you have a lot of knowlegde in audio!!
Room and equipment matching has a lot to do with the sound also. For example Vandy 5s I own sound different that the Meadowlarks I own and the Alons I own in the same room with the same equipment. Swap the equipment and each speaker performs much better. So you now have to pick the one you prefer. I have not heard many 2 ways that float my boat over the long term. IMO without the foundation of bass reproduction, something is missing.

Happy Listening
3 ways typically have greater frequency range, dynamic range, and can more easily keep the cross-over out of the area most sensitive to human hearing. Comparably priced 2 ways often have less box resonance, bass to room issues and sometimes better imaging. Unless dealing with a smaller room, I've yet hear circumstance where I wouldn't prefer a 3 way. YMMV!
to bo. i have never read such a collection of fantastical narcissistic hyperbole on this site. i am positive you believe what you are writing but at my level of understanding it just sounds like baloney. it must be me though as others here seem to eagerly await your next post. i will just turn on my full range drivers and cheap t chip amp or my cheap 7 watt set amp and listen to my low fi set up with a can of warm beer and fried mudfish. oh, and i use only 16 gage lampcord for cables. i sadly do not create my sound i let the musicians do it for me. all i have to go buy is the grand piano and concert harp in the room to do my a/b listening. i guess i do nt know how to hear music, cuz i think this $1000 set up sounds very close. but what do we know
Audio it not about money. Money does not give you a good or better sound. The most important part in audio is that it Always will be a matter of taste. When people prefer a coloured low freq. You cannot say you are not allowed to find it that good.

Audio is about quality. These days you can get a very good sound for not that much money.

There need to be more open information about the good products and the bad. Because those bad products make people react so differently on threads in general.
i typo'd go buy piano and harp. i meant i have a harp and piano in the listening room and a professional musician to listen to them anytime i desire. i know what they sound like. this is a for profit hobby and the idea is to make people constantly seek and spend more and more. i was down that rathole. why do you have to throw in the jab re set amps? it is like pot, the big drug cos. despise pot cuz it will cut into their profits they think. same with audio gear industry and old school full range drivers and small tube amp. with new advances the sound rivals extremely costly gear and fits in small spaces with few cables. all this crap thrown out there about all these tiny details is just pointless as it just leads to more tinkering, but this is why it is a pasttime and not an end purchase. i now use my money to buy great music well recorded.
a 2-way has a simpler crossover. That can more than compensate for the benefits of a 3-way, especially in a smaller room, where you don't need to move much air.