18 responses Add your response
Magico does not assemble a single driver in-house. They buy them from top tier vendors, but yes, the cone materials are proprietary.
As for off the shelf, one of the most popular off the shelf mids and mid-woofers is the Scanspeak Revelator series, which I’ve seen in everything from Wilson to YG, Gamut, and (plug for my buddy) Fritz.
I would really prefer it if no one else used Scanspeak Revelators anymore, I don’t want any of you people enjoying music this good. ;-)
A driver alone does not determine what reaches your ears though, and ESLs have a unique dispersion pattern which gives you a lot more detail at your chair than any other speaker. The dispersion and room acoustics matter a great deal. I would not encourage you to buy based on drivers alone, at all, unless you were making a kit.... which you should at some point in your life. :O)
I’m kinda into the idea of "best speaker for your room" rather than "best driver(s)" per se. And regarding driver choice, imo how well they all work together is imo more important than the individual excellence of any one of them.
I used to have an in-home showroom that was 13 feet by 33 feet, similar to your space, wherein I demo’d SoundLab fullrange electrostats. They were on the short wall, typically with from five to seven feet behind them, and within inches of the side walls. Apparently it worked pretty well because, using this room, I became the biggest-selling dealer SoundLab ever had, at least up until that time.
And that big full-range electrostatic diaphragm is arguably a pretty darn good driver in its own right, if we’re just comparing drivers. But I mention it because, given enough distance out from the front wall, it works well in rooms like yours.
Now if significantly "more dynamics" is high on your list of priorities, you might consider a high efficiency design, imo ideally a low-coloration horn-based system, with a radiation pattern narrow enough to avoid significant early sidewall reflections. Just so happens this is the sort of speaker I design because it works well in less than ideal rooms (and "works well with the room" is a high priority for me), but mine is not the only game in town.
It seems you like the performance of the panels and your overall happy with the sound then perhaps look at enhancing the low frequencies.
GR research has kits for servo driven subwoofers. he may also build it for you.
I have a tower of three twelve inch drivers for each channel. These are open baffle subs. They load the room very differently and will complement the panels as the panels too are open baffle speakers.
Each driver has two coils, one for driving the cone and the other to monitor and ensure that the movement of the cone is in line with the current low frequency. each tower has its own amplifier, and it can be tuned to be flat from 20hz to 200hz . Please read the description on the website (it is better) or speak to Danny Richie
There is lot more to a successful speaker that works well in a variety of rooms than just driver selection and development-
Vandersteen 5A Carbon,Model Seven and New Kento Carbon with proprietary Patented Balsa/Carbon pistonic cones and cast baskets assembled by ScanSpeak Are state of the art. Yes they are Expensive but very stiff and well damped (small 3 dB peak at breakup) it doesn’t get any better than that! Add in time and phase correct, low diffraction cabinets, controlled dispersion grills (!Treo ), cabinet within a cabinet design, or carbon fiber constrained “ stealth “, powered bass with 11 bands of analog EQ, power factor corrected feed forward sub amp... since 1977 and the list goes on...
But hey, I own and listen to horns, ESL and more...
Have fun and enjoy the music !!!!!
For DIY speaker builders, look into the GR Research drivers. Danny Richie is making his own version of the well-known NEO3 magnetic-planar tweeter, and some real nice dynamic midrange drivers and woofers. But drivers are of very limited value without a good crossover (unless you are a fan of wideband drivers), the design of which Danny is a modern master. For more info on all the above, watch on You Tube the GR Research Tech Talk Tuesday videos.
By the way, the Eminent Technology LFT magnetic-planar drivers are really good ones, unchanged since their introduction almost forty years ago! The dual m-p drivers in the ET LFT-8b cover 180Hz to 10kHz, with no x/o. Read that sentence again ;-). 10k and above is handled by an excellent ribbon tweeter, also designed and made by Bruce Thigpen.
I second Tannoy (Founded in 1926) All built in house in Coatbridge Scotland factory. Only their lower tier speakers are built in China. The legacy, premier, and higher are all built in Scotland. I own the Legacy Eatons, a massive stand Mount speaker, it has a 10 inch concentric driver with two front facing ports for ease of placement and a treble level/output panel on the bottom with removable threaded gold plated screws to fine tune the higher frequencies. It is built to impeccable quality standards in genuine gorgeous walnut veneer and is biwireable and groundable. The sound produced is pure heaven....at $5500 USD it outta be...
Accuton makes incredible drivers that are used extensively by Marten most notably and a few others.
Eton is brilliant. I use them in my higher end products and I believe Avalon uses some of their drivers along with a few others.
SEAS Excel line is phenomenal used by Joseph Audio, Tyler, Salk and by me in my lower end products along with a bunch of others
Scanspeak Revelator line is amazing and is used by quite a few manufacturers. My understanding is that Wilson uses mostly Scanspeak drivers though I believe they are modified.
For compression drivers, I like 18-Sound but they are used on pro applications mostly.
Mundorf makes killer AMTs.
What is the very best? That is a matter of taste. My favorites are probably ETON which is why they are what I use in my flagship products. I think their Arcosia driver is about as good as it gets and they look incredible. But my opinion is worth what you paid for it.
My suggestion would be to find a company that focuses more on crossover design and components than simply drivers. Without the proper electro acoustics, any driver is doomed to fall short of its potential. I believe you can take good drivers with superb crossovers and get better sound than superb drivers with good crossovers.