What are you 'TRULY' Looking for in Loudspeaker...

and system? Have you really studied the options and do you really understand what they can possibly give you in return? I am being very, very honest. I am not at all looking for pedantic, argumentive jabber. Looking past slight compromises you are willing to give up in this journey, what do you really want in a loudspeaker??? Complicated if you are a novice. I would like to hear from some experienced audiophiles. Thank you, Dale.
The perfect speaker doesn't excist.....
I would suggest you to listen to various good speakers, also very expensive systems (at shows, friends homes, dealers), just to find out what YOU think to be the most important features.
If you have formulated those features, it should be possible to find a speaker in your own pricerange.

In other words: it's a journey into yourself, to find your own preferances and priorities in sonic characteristics.
Simply that I forget about their existence and be drawn into the music.
1. Big tight bass and low end dynamic slam that pressurizes the room. 2. A completely transparent, uncongested, you are there mid range with spooky presence. 3. A smooth and extended, crystal clear high end that never offends. 4. With 102db efficiency.

2 out of 4 is easy. 3 out of 4 is expensive. and 4 out of 4 is very expensive and very rare.
94db would not do it for you?
I'd start by searching for speakers capable of playing the types of music you listen to at volume levels you'd like in the size room the system will be in. This should reduce the field some, point you towards the type and size amp(s) you'll need and bring up budget questions from the get go!!
original Quads that are full range, can play to 120 db, have perfect dispersion and can play on 5 watts...

Pubul57... My 94db Tannoys almost do everything on my list. But, I'm thinking about selling them and trying to get a little closer to nirvana. And, like your Merlins, they are on a short list of reasonably priced speakers (say less than $10k) that get allot right.
You solve the efficiency problem with OTL's. For my tastes, they just don't have enough what I call "weight of tone". Other people may call it "color," which is cool... I'm not offended. It's what I like and what sounds more live to me. Anyway, to get what I'm looking for, I need to go higher efficiency to play nice with my PP 45/2a3 amps.
Yes, I realize that I'm never going to get a Wilson Max like bass slam with low watt amps whereas you probably can with OTL’s. But, my priority is that I HAVE to get the tone right and then I go from there.
So, I know I can get 3 out 4 absolutely right on my list but the “trade off” is that I am never going to have giant bass slam. Which sucks because live music is all about big dynamic bass. But that’s the way it goes and life isn’t always fair. I’ve always been a little bit jealous of OTL lovers because you get to have it all.
So, if I can get good mid bass (which the Tannoys have in spades- btw) and tinker around with some powered subs, I think I can get pretty happy.
Now, if I was a big orchestra fan, my priorities would be completely different and I imagine big Solid State amps and corresponding speakers would be great.
As you may devise, I don't believe in ” THE” absolute sound just “MY” absolute sound.
TRULY? Are you for real? You mean TRULY?

Tall, thin, protuberant tweeter, big woofers, tight bass, fishnet grill, spiked feet, leather baffle, three ports, exotic cherry hard wood finish, active and dynamic with high sensitivity, and never need maintenance.

Oh, one more thing, and this is really a given for a speaker, it should never have a headache...
Shadorne>> your description is just about the same as mine...for my ideal woman! Just add push-up bra, hair color and swish of the hips when she walks and you've got her nailed perfectly!
When I read your question I didn't take it that you are looking for advice, just curious as to others thoughts. So here are my thoughts.
To the extent my budget and time allowed I have "studied" this in the most thorough way possible. Found Audiogon almost ten years ago and began buying speakers for "study" in with my ears. What I have found is that I want a speaker that I can listen to for hours without thinking about the speakers, system or any other audio related gotchas.
Although I can't imagine not looking for something better, I do believe I have found what gives me all I want. I can listen for hours (if I ever have the time) and while doing this I keep turning it up just a smidge more without it irritating me. This isn't possible with most of the speakers I've owned. In fact, I recently purchased a pair of monitors valued at more than 3 times my current monitors and I kept turning them down to save my ears. They had way too much of the "audiophile" flavor.
How many speakers have I owned? I swear I could not answer that question with certainty.
For the reproduced sound as close to unamplified vocal and acoustic guitar including bass guitar as possible. And I pay attention to size and price.
Great imaging,great,stage,fast bass,natural sounding speaker that disappear just like my MAGICO MINI 2 the best.

Natural tone
100% coherence from highs to lows -> solid timing-> musicality
Weight AND speed -> lifelike timbre, presence, immediacy
Pinpoint imaging -> instrument separation

Planars lack in imaging, single driver speakers lack in body/weight and tone on both extremes, 2 way dynamic speakers either in the bass weight and / or midrange transients. Most speakers have problems with coherence in mass and speed, especially ín the bass region.

Only the 2 way transmissionline speakers (good coherent bass speed but without weight) or 3 way speakers with small woofersize around 5" (-> speed, accurate timing, midrange driver got to have the same size) worked for me so far.
Not to get crazy here, I assume that you mean listening criteria not physical.
#1 Tonal Balance
#2 Soundstage (do they disappear)
#3 Imaging (can I point to everything on stage)
Then I assume mated with the right electronics that have synergy with these speakers that the combination sounds like music.
There are a few more factors but these 3, I am somewhat fanatic about.
"What are you 'TRULY' Looking for in Loudspeaker...
and system?"

Gotta sound "right" and be able to afford it.

"Have you really studied the options and do you really understand what they can possibly give you in return?"

Yes and generally yes.
I can't help thinking this is a very oddly put question. Dale, if you asked simply what we are looking for in a speaker, do you think we would all lie about it? Why in the world would it ever occur to us do that? Or why would it occur to you to think that we would?

To give you a very, very honest answer, I look for a believable representation of the natural timbres of unamplified instruments as well as a reasonable facsimile of those instruments playing in a concert-hall space. I swear to God, I am. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Very sincerely,
"To give you a very, very honest answer, I look for a believable representation of the natural timbres of unamplified instruments as well as a reasonable facsimile of those instruments playing in a concert-hall space. I swear to God, I am. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

This sounds quite reasonable to me also. I would only add that I always want to be connected to the performance, most important.
Honestly, I just don't know.
Simply , a speaker you enjoy listening too . Specs and technobabble mean nothing if you don't like what your speaker or system are doing , and we all seem to prefer something a bit different .
A speaker I can listen to for hours and not get bored.

Not very complicated for me.
"A speaker I can listen to for hours and not get bored."

That's a very good answer!

Works for me also.
I agree with Bill. Further, I look for the same attributes in a women, with no listening fatigue, of course. Tho, for the true test I would need two for the stereo effectuality.
A speaker that evokes the same visceral feelings in me that live music does. Also, high efficiency (94db+) and a stable impedance above 6 ohms. Being analytical in my component determinations has not served me well.
Isochronism, you really must try 5.1
09-13-11: Pubul57
Isochronism, you really must try 5.1
09-13-11: Audiofeil
A speaker I can listen to for hours and not get bored.

Not very complicated for me.
very complicated indeed to accomplish! How many manuf really know how to do this????????
>>09-13-11: Bombaywalla
How many manuf really know how to do this????????<<

Not sure it really matters.

Based on other respondents, my criterion is not shared by many others.

A speaker I can listen to for hours and not get bored.

Not very complicated for me.

The exact sentiment is buried in my answer near the top of this thread.
A speaker that on one hand allows me to hear everything in the pits and grooves, but at the same time never gets in the way of a good recording. A highly resolving speaker with an old fashion BBC dip I suppose.

Bill doesn't want to get bored, I don't want to get fatigued.
Tmsorosk, Audiofeil, Timrhu and all the others who share the same view, I'm with you!

If it just sounds good, you can listen pleasurably, it sounds right and you don't have to give it a second thought, thats all it takes.

Thanks for stating the obivous.


Accuracy of timber like Sophia III's.
Dynamics like Magico V2.
Goosebumps like SF Cremona's.
Priced like Maggies.
That should just about do it.
A large 3D image, with full extension from top to bottom. Maggies don't quite do it but they are damn close to what I want. I'm thinking of moving up the line.
Something that I look forward to listening to everyday, must have massive frequency range, powerful dynamics, low distortion, low Thermo compression, accurate as possible to signal, very low fatigue level.
My goal is simple;being able to convay the recording session as acurately as possibe;hold my attention and keep me involved in the listening experience(tapping feet,conducting the invisible philharmonic;or playing air guitar)basically being drawn into the music.
Audiofeil, much to your contrary thoughts, looks like you have several echoing your sentiments. All you had to do was state it!
Yes sir, this is a very interesting process. I have settled in a space, for now, or looking for the 'correct' balance of dynamic and HI FI. I truly love my Vienna Acoustics Strauss with upgraded crossovers by David Schulte.

I am experiencing Zu Audio Essences for the last week. I really do love the sound. I am finding a wonderful thing in that the Zu sound is truly rooted to the performer...that is to say the essence of what they are...the vocal. For me it is just quite nice. The plucks of stings on a acoustic guitar are truly nice. Of course, I can't define this for you, but I do understand what Zu is attempting to do in aligning their sound at this level. I do totally appreiciate why this is such a beloved brand.

Truly, screw the 'Sterophile' sound, and embrace what is truly great. As we all know, they are not words to suffice this endeavor. This is just my take at this point. I truly do appreciate all of you who have the same frame of mind.


Looking forward to my new Zu Def 4s. Sounds like I made a good choice for my first speakers in 30 years. Thanks Bill.
There are class A sound speakers and class B sound speakers. (in my term!)

Class A speakers sound vivid, fuller, solid, and musical like a live performance, and it's still easy on your ears. Class A speakers with less capable components still sound like class A, and you are musically and sonically satisfied. You understand what is missing in the sound, and the sound will give you a feedback for the better sound.

Relaxation without effort! You don’t need to try to hear musical information from Class A sound speakers. The music will come to you. Your brain can be relaxed or focused in your control. You will fall asleep quickly when you want to and wake up freshly while music is playing. Listening music is like the meditation!

With Class A speaker, there is no upgrade bug because you are satisfied with the sound. You are in control if you want to upgrade gears.

Class B speakers sound like class B whatever the condition without a feedback. You don’t get satisfaction. You can only sleep after your brain is exhausted from Class B sound speakers because the speaker will make your brain tensed and focused. You will wake up groggy because your brain is still processing unfriendly sounds while you are knocked down.

Please get a Class A sound speaker!
For me, in this "Golden Age" of speakers, I find myself wanting BETTER MUSIC!
We need to find the Tesla/Einstein/Carlyle/Jordan of (modern) music.
Someone who is head-and-shoulders above their peers.

Good progress was made by Paul Simon (Graceland) and Peter Gabriel (So, US).
I listened to these records for years before the amazement waned.

These days I almost gag when I listen to yesteryear's mainstays (could Rock depend any MORE on mindless repetition?).

Where is the Light to bring us into the future?

A great speaker should have absolutely Zero distortion (especially no GRAIN!), lifelike dynamics (biggest hurdle today IMO) and be somewhat affordable.

P.S. I REALLY like my Thiel 2.4SE but I still want Sophia IIIs.
I am a very experienced audiophile of many years, so I will share what I am TRULY looking for in a speaker...

I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which is 8"x10"x2", weighs about six pounds, and has a sound like a 600 pound 6' floor stander. I'm TRULY looking for a speaker I can deflate so I can take it to the beach, then when I get there I can use the air pump to jack it up and play obnoxious tunes all day.

I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which will clean my clothes like a laundromat while playing flawlessly. I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which is an ATM printing free money.

I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which doesn't need wires but plays better than by Bluetooth. I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which my wife will say, "Wow, this is the best speaker you have ever owned, and it sounds fantastic! If this company makes other components go ahead and get the rest of the system."
I'm TRULY looking for a speaker which my wife will say, "Wow, this is the best speaker you have ever owned, and it sounds fantastic!
I needed my wife's recognition and respect! Many years ago, I bought hi-end tube amp and speakers after many days of discussion with my wife. I promise to her that the sound would be great and we wouldn't need any more spending in audio for many years. It was a big money for us.

When I heard the new sound system for first time, I was disappointed. I was hoping the sound would get better in few days. My wife didn't show any interest for few days. I guess now she already knew the new system sounds worse than old one. My wife was a conductor for school chorus when was a student. She has good ears. I tried every ways to improve the quality of sound. I bought expensive cables without telling my wife. She can't notice different cables behind components. After much more investments, the sound got better to my ears in about one month later. Then my wife told me "the sound is OK now!" I thank her that she didn't tell me it was a stupid buy.

I get the recognition from my wife now. My wife keeps telling me how beautiful song is while listening to music together. To me, they are compliments from my wife.
I thank her that she didn't tell me it was a stupid buy.
I just thought like that. I didn't really say that to my wife.
There's no way I can 'study' speakers so I glean what I can from reviews and try to 'hear' different speakers when given the opportunity (trips to audio salons and at shows). When I settled on my final speaker, I knew it when I heard it.

You will too.

All the best,
Music sounds as real as possible and as little like a recording as the recording will allow.
The speaker should be able to reproduce all frequencies top to bottom and IMO have a flat response. It should convey what it being sent to it and that is all I look for in a speaker. My components should be sending the flow of music as I prefer the sound to be and the speaker should be able to recreate what those components send to it. I see many posts about warm sounding speakers, detailed speakers, resolution, soundstage, definition, separation, placement, etc., but that comes mostly from my preamp. I don't want my speaker to be a tuning point for my system that changes the sound being sent to it.
For me listening to music has always been a very visceral experience. I don't get too caught up in specs or logic or scientific explanation for what I perceive I am hearing. That being said I want speakers to evoke emotion. For me that emotion comes from fantastic reproduction of vocals. The timbre and "texture" of the human voice needs to be there. I will also admit the way a speaker looks is important to me as well. Part of the pleasure I get from my stereo is enjoying the way it looks and the way my listening room is decorated. There I said it. I guess I am a shallow audiophile.
The speaker who disappears fully. So it is just you and the music. Like the singer and instruments play in front of you. The speaker which also can let you hear a lot of depth and wide. Every instrument and voice is standing full loose from eachother.
Put on a good Blue Note.

Then an RCA Living Stereo symphonic, a good Reiner performance.

Then a Classic Records release of Brubeck Time Out.

Next a good female vocal....Ella Fitzgerald would be good.

A good male vocal.

The speaker that makes them all sound the closest to live music is what I am looking for.

All the other audiophile descriptions are crap. The most convincing on the above variety is the best.

If you don't know what they all sound like live get out there more.