They probably won't be my last, but I'm currently very happy with my Thiel 1.6's.
25 responses Add your response
Last speakers? This is Audiogon where some change their speakers nearly as often as their socks.
Actually, I've had my Meadowlark Audio Kestrel Hot Rods for four years. Almost an eternity here. There have been other speakers in my system and a pair of Proac Response 1.5s are playing now. The components in my modest system give me plenty of musical enjoyment. I can't see how to improve without spending buckets of money which seems a waste considering my satisfaction level.
I found my last speaker that I have not even bought yet...Vandersteen 5A. I like its sound, its image and depth, the powered woofers and bass EQ feature that would adjust to mazimize performance in all but the most help-less rooms, it is a true statement speaker that sells for what some makers sales tax would be.
Well it depends how long I'll live, but I have had my Thiel 2 2s for 13 years now. I've been through 3 preamps, 3 amps, 3 cd players and 2 turntables in that time, but I still got the same Thiels. I have never had the least thought of changing them. While I am certain there are probably better speakers out there, I honestly do not care to find out. Perfectly content in that one area.
I admit I will never stop looking or changing even though I own a pretty nice system. I do tend to own more than 1 pair of speakers that sound different enough so I can switch back and forth when I get bored with one. problem is my amp choice is determined by my primary speaker, so my "backup" speaker might not sound as good as it can.
Pairing my Krix Apex 2 spks. w/the Rega Brio 2. Arcam 7SE CDP. Exc. sounding little system. Final sonic tweeks to the system were to go bare wire terminations from amp to spk. (Previously had amp-end banana connections on my Kimber 8VS.) Also, replacing the stock RCA plugs on my entry-level Project TT w/some Neutrik plugs. I could not believe the huge improvement this made! I'll always keep looking but I'm very satisfied so far....Bill
Back in 2003, Rosemary and I decided to set out on a quest for our definitive speakers. In 2005 we had found them in the guise of the Tidal Contrivas. I continue to assert these are the last ones. Only ... meanwhile there is a new standard version of the Contriva (2 ceramic bass drivers) ... and then there is the Contriva Diacera version (diamond tweeter) ... so the Contriva could just be sort of the last speaker ;^).
As to your question for synergy. I bought my amp/preamp combo with a clear understanding they had to serve the Contrivas as best as they could, so that may mean definitive gear as well (sort of, Id like to get a Tidal Impact for the Tidal Intra, sometime).
With all these final bits, luckily I can still play with the second system.
About 25 years ago I purchased my first "expensive" speakers, the ADS L810's that I enjoyed for almost 20 years. After then going through a few B&W's and some Alon's, I decided to try another Mike Kelly design and I have been very happy with my Aerial 9's. They may not be perfect from an audiophile sense, but they are musical, have controlled, dynamic and moderately deep bass, image well, and generally let you hear what's going on upstream. Unless I receive an unexpected winfall, decide to downsize to monitors, or decide to go the high efficency low powered amp route, I will probably keep these. As a bonus, the company support from Aerial is excellent.
Linkwitz Orion Plus........
....... and Altec 604-8G in OB with flea power amps! Can I mention 2?
Extremes, I know but the genre of music you listen to dictates what speakers you can own for a very very long time.
The Orions are unique because it delivers just about everything in spades when set up properly. Sold my planars and electrostats for this because I now have the midrange I want from the stats and planars but with a great bass slam as a bonus. I searched long enough and finally stumbled on a speakers I like. No audiophile approved speaker cables, IC's, and amps in this set up and I can truly say for the first time in my brief audio life, they do not matter with the Orions.
As for the Altec....well, Altec is forever!
As for the last speakers, I do not know if this two are my "last". But they kept me away from participating on threads like "Whats the best Speakers for $$$$$ ?", "Speakers with slam and transparency", "Have you heard about the new xxxxxx speakers?",
"What do you consider as your last speakers?"....Uh-oh....!
I used to get new speakers every 4 years or so. Even when I got new ones I would often check out the latest thing. After going Orion I have lost the itch. They are the first speakers to do everything I want, as long as realistic sound is the goal. I did have to add a TACT RCS 2.0 room control pre-amp to tame the bass boom in my room so that may have something to do with it.
I think that I am finally at a stopping point with my B&W Signature 800's. They do everything that I want them to do. After a certain point, there are no earthshattering changes. I had N801's before that, many Klipsch horn speakers before that and started with JBL's in the 1980's.
The Klipschorns were a lot of fun because they are very hands on if you prefer, meaning that I built crossovers, then used a digital active crossover with tri-amps, etc. I still have a bunch of parts to put together a three way horn system and may complete it some day.
In any event, additional changes really are not worth it at this time and the horn project will just be a fun project.