who would even consider sound-stage when listening to good God hip hop?
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If you want good clean articulate bass try also big ATC's, PMC's, Westlake or large Tannoys. There is nothing quite like a good 15 inch woofer. Butt ugly but can also kick butt (rather than wimpy 8" woofers tuned to get the most out of them and inevitably having a big bass hump)
Take a look at 802D Anechoic Response to see what I mean
I know you're gonna' laugh, but I am quite, quite serious:
These are fantastic on hip-hop as well as electronica but they are fantastic all rounders as well and sound great on folk and classical. The price is right as well.
I too used to own the Revel Studios, and I am mostly into Rock, (but not rap or hip-hop though - Sorry, but "Yuck"!) ;-)
(FYI, I also listen to a fair amount of jazz and vocals, as well as a bit of classical.)
The Revel Studios are very good speakers, and while they sound very good in all aspects, they are not great in any one area, IMHO anyway.
I moved on to the EgglestonWorks Andra II speakers.
These are a true full step up from the Studios.
They have deeper bass, which is also very quick, (although I will give the Studios credit for also having quick bass response). One thing I really like is that the Andra II speakers are a sealed design, which means room placement is a bit easier, as I don't have to worry about the port affecting the sound. (Although I still have them pulled into the room a few feet.)
The mid-range seems more natural, especially on vocals, than the Studios were. (Although the Studios were very good in this aspect as well).
The treble response is much more refined than the Studios were. (In fact this was the first thing I noticed when I swapped out the Studios for the Andra II speakers. The Studio's tweeters have fairly well extended treble response, but they seem almost coarse in relation to the Andra II tweeter.) The Dynaudio Isotar tweeter truly is amazing, IMHO!
The soundstaging and imaging are also quite a bit better than the studios. (They disappear from the soundstage about as good as any speaker I know, which includes the Avalon Eidolon and Isis speakers, and the Rockport Antares, although the later two speakers are slightly more refined and have slightly deeper bass response. They are two of my favorite speakers actually.)
Now the caveat: They do seem to have a bit of a mid-bass hump, which means that you'd need to do a bit of room treatment. (I have done a bit of this, and I have tamed it so that it has virtually been eliminated. In fact, it just might be my room that was the problem, but I don't that entirely explains it, to be honest.) And being a rock kind of guy, I don't mind a bit of extra bass response, especially since it is not a boomy or muddy bass reponse.
All in all, I am very happy with the Andra II speakers, and I don't have much of a desire to upgrade. (Especially since it would take a very large amount of money to actually upgrade to the speakers I want, which are the aforementioned Avalon Isis or Rockport Antares.)
FYI: Used the Andra II speakers are running around $9K, which is a pretty good deal, IMHO, considering what you get.
My two cents worth anyway.
Good Luck in your search.
My vote goes to a pair of Klipsch Chorus II's. I own a pair that I don't use anymore but they can put out some serious SPL in the bass dept. You can probably find a used pair for under $500. I got mine from ebay years ago but I'm sure some show up on the Gon every once in awhile.
Each cabinet has 1 active 15" & 1 passive 15" along with two separate horns for Mid/Tweet
I second the motion recommending KHorns. They are easily found in the $2k - $3k range used. They are extremely easy to drive ( use a good low to medium watt tube amp) and they will blow you over with sound!
However, Khorns require a good room where you can place them solidily in the corners without any obstructions like windows or doors. You need a minimum of four feet on each wall for both sides of the speaker. A smallish room will not work well; need good space for this speaker to really work well. Also, use vinyl and they will even sound better.:)
With popular music, and especially hip-hop, you'll need a setup that excel at PRaT, vocal naturalness and not being hard-sounding with overly compressed productions. There are two setups, in my experience, which handles all of these three characteristics: Tannoy driven by Manley (as in mine own setup) or if you want an SS setup; a full Naim set. I guess there are a lot of great systems that can handle this kind of music. However, these are two possibilities that I have extensive experience with that can crank up the drive, flow and funk of rap.
I have to disagree with some of the post in this thread. They have recommended good speakers in general but not what you are looking for. The Klipsch horns really do not go very deep in the bass. Yes they are loud but not deep. The bass in light and dynamic but not what a rap fan would want.
People in this forum are very knowledgeable but you are in the minority with your music tastes here and really need a different kind of speaker. Highend speakers will not have the bass balance you are looking for. The Studios have very good bass. It is textured flat and deep, I think the part you do not like is the tonally flat bass.
Before you buy new pricy speakers you should buy a used sub or two off of Audiogon. Try a high crossover point of 60-80hz and turn them up until your heart is content. I would not run the subs over top the mains with such a high setting with out high passing the speakers or it will sound a little discontinuous in the bass.
Pro audio speakers may work for you too.
I can see that I have quite a bit of homework to do. I was also thinking of looking into a Dac to improve what I am putting into my studios. That is a whole other world I am trying to learn about. I want to thank everyone for sharing their expertise. I would like to know how some become so knowledgable on high end audio.
I would like to know how some become so knowledgable on high end audio.
1. Trial and Error. (We've bought, (and sold!), a fair amount of equipment, (and so have our circle of friends), so that between all of us, we've learned what works, and what doesn't, by listening to an "inordinate" amount of equipment over the years!)
Definitions of inordinate (adj)
in·or·di·nate [ in áwrd'nət ]
1.excessive: beyond reasonable limits in amount or degree
2.unrestrained: showing a lack of restraint or control
Synonyms: excessive, undue, unwarranted, immoderate, extravagant, unreasonable, disproportionate, unconscionable, exorbitant
At least that's my answer, and I'm sticking to it!
The price is fantastic. Are there many dealers where they can be auditioned?
They do not make them anymore but they are available on the used market. Heck, I'd sell you mine but I don't feel like dealing with the shipping of the beasts.
I don't think much RAP has that low a bass in it to begin with. Typically the artist exploits the frequency that most sub boxes have their bandpass port tuned to which would be from 100-80hz on down.
Unless your listening to DJ Magic Mike or Shorty The Pimp I think any Klipsch previously mentioned would fit the bill just fine
ATC is the preferred studio monitors in over 1,000 recording studios. They are very neutral and play all music well. They are largely unknown here, but mate very well with Benchmark DACs. They are active speakers, so you can eliminate most of your cables and rig. You can simply configure the 16s with a Benchmark DAC and be done with it. They will run circles around the rest of speakers above. BTW, I am a noted live music production guru and have worked with many hip hop artists, including Eminem and Kanye. We use these in our post production facility.
I don't agree with all the advices about getting a lot of bass and ditto subwofers. Rap, rock and pop are often over-compressed produced music that need a system that can portrait this bad production as a gestalt of music and not as a piece of compressed sound. And the most important quality in this genre, in my opinion, is the ability to present the piece of music, wether rap or rock, with pace, rythme and timing (PRaT). Modern music is firstmost rhythmical. As long as your music system get this right, rap is funky! A big system with a lot of bass can also be slow and uninteresting. The positive side of having a system that gets PRaT right is that also jazz and classical music is involving.
Musicophile: good thing about a sub is you can turn it down and make "a lot of bass" go away. i've never liked subs much myself. they always sounded/felt like too much. it seems subs have changed alot since i formed my opinions on them many years ago. todays subs can be ultra fast/tight and still have good slam. a good modern sub(s) can be blended into a system very nicely now-a-days. "good subs" aren't cheap but they really can help if yor're looking for a little more down low. the set-up software is key as is taking the time to set it up. a sub will do anything you want it to...and don't want it to. your choice.
Personal tastes aside, any good quality design that uses larger or multiple and also good quality drivers (not undersized or cheaply constructed) and capable of digging into the lowest octave below 40 hz when needed WITH AUTHORITY will provide the best results. Also, not too big for the room, which can negatively effect soundstage, imaging, and detail.
IMHO, part of the experience for this kind of music is to be able to feel it as well as hear it without mucking up the rest. Not an easy task! Again, you also have to match teh right amp with speakers for best results. The amp should be able to drive the speakers to their max properly at volumes you will be wanting to listen at, not just meet some minimal power requirement, for the BEST results.
Don't forget also that even with the perfect gear, you have to also be prepared to deal with room acoustics as a factor up front as needed. It's a very fine line getting many rigs to perform optimally (not just "good") for this kind of music, and integration into the room is key, especially when it comes to getting just the right bass levels needed to be able to "feel it" without mucking up or overpowering the rest.
I was thinking of trying my revel studios in the basement just to see what the difference in effect, bass, soundstage would be. My room now is my den, very open , and lots of windows, no kind of treatments. I wonder the difference, though the basement has a low ceiling, I hear that's not good. But I guess cement floors, and one cement wall, rest are sheet rock (one wall is temporarily down due to leak-fixed) would be less reflective?