What are considered the best Speaker drivers ? What Speakers are successfully using them ?


Hello everyone,

The title says it all really but the budget would be no more than 30,000 dollars please,

I would say i am maybe considered old school Audiophile with only slight knowledge of modern day HiFi. I have over the years moved to panel Speakers and currently own Martin Logan CLX ART with Decent i Sub.

My system is very open sounding and creates a believable musical presentation but sometimes i am left wondering if i could get more Dynamics and body from a modern day box type Speaker without given up the strengths of my panels.

My room is only 12 ft W by 35 ft L by 8 ft H and treated with GIK Acoustics panels on front wall and first reflections points.

With so many Speaker companies the choices seems over whelming your help is very much appreciated thank you.


select-hifi
Take a look at Cube Audio.
MAGICO they make all the drivers(not tweeter) they are made with advanced materials.
I owned SL3 Logans years ago....they were wonderful at sound staging and "floating" a voice but I don't recall them as being very dynamic; a reason I moved on. I use ported dynamic speakers now since I enjoy bass and dynamic shifts in the music.
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)

Best,

E
IMHO, more important thing is how that “best” driver is handled. It is easy to ruin a $500 wagyu steak if you don’t know how to cook it. 
I won't attempt to recommend a speakers for the OP, but I find that there are too many generic designs that I am sure will sound decent, but at the end, it could get boring.  Luckily, for under $30K, there are a lot of options, that I am sure the OP will find something you personally like.  
Hello select-hifi,

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.

Duke
Tannoy Prestige Series uses a Dual Concentric Driver. Work of Art, IMHO. 
Hello Select-Hifi
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 !!!!!


The idea of deciding what's best in a driver without considering enclosure and crossover seems silly, but, the question was about drivers, not finished speakers, so I will say Audio Technology (just from good things I've heard), and the handmade drivers made by Zellaton, but not sold separately.
Morel and Dynaudio make some of the best drivers made anywhere in the world.

But there are lots of very good drivers. Focal, Seas, Peerless, Audax, many others. But, drivers are “raw ingredients” only. It takes a lot of work to transform them into great world class speakers.

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. 
My speakers use accutons, but I've also been reading a lot about TAD drivers. Classic audio uses a lot of TAD in their amazing speakers.
The RAAL ribbon tweeter. Jim Salk uses it in his best models, and makes his subs with the Rythmik Servo-Feedback woofers.