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linden518
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The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Moved into a bigger house, which means I have a basement I can use as study/listening room, away from kids. Nice. But the space is about 13 x 17, with low ceilings, smaller than I thought. So I am going to pair up Harbeth Super HL5s in the living room with Plinius 8150. Which means I'm going to start auditioning some speakers for my Leben CS600 for my basement system, which is ~ 30 wpc/8 ohms.

Obviously, b/c of small space, I'll have to go w/ monitors or very petite floorstanders. Because of the room, I can do without thunderous bass, but credible & musical bass performance would be nice. They'll have to be reasonably sensitive/efficient, at least I'd like them to be more so than the Harbeth HL5s. Since I already have the BBC type speakers - warm, musical, etc... I'd like to try another type of speakers... something a bit more transparent w/ better capacity for imaging/soundstaging. (Harbeths don't exactly 'disappear') I've already started brainstorming, but as always, I look forward to y'all's input.

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Hey SD,

You are probably already considering the appropriate DeVore models (they are only moderately sensitive but have very benign impedance characteristics) but if you can, get along and give a pair of Audio Note AN-Es (98 dB/W) and some Zu Druids (101 dB/W) a listen. Both have impressed me a lot when I have heard them, should mate well with the Leben and are distinctly un-BBC!

Keep us posted, I know you will

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Thanks, Struts. The Devores are definitely on the top of my list. I was always intrigued by Audio Note speakers, but their footprint seems rather large? If I go floorstanders, I don't want to go any larger than Devores. For this thread, I'd like to actually some recommendations for monitors, primarily, that are transparent & are excellent at just disappearing in the room...

jackfish
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

The Totem Sttafs would pair nicely with the Leben CS600. They are not the most efficient loudspeakers, but should do well with 30 wpc and a small room such as yours. They sound really good and have a small footprint.

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_14_2/totem-sttaf-speakers-5-2007.html

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Hmmm, yes, the Audio Note's are quite 'chunky' now I think back.

It's a tricky one. The best minimonitors I have heard have almost all been in the BBC mold and none of them are real soundtaging champs. I have heard Totem minimonitors sounding nice at shows, you could look at them, but I don't think they are very efficient and I don't recall them being soundstaging champs. Likewise Audio Physic's stunning sounding Tempo 'slim' floorstanders (not very efficient but image beautifully).

Zu also do a bookshelf model, the Druid Credenza. I haven't heard it myself but based on the lovely sounds I've heard from their floorstanders I would definitely put it on my list to check out.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

I would certainly give a listen to the www.renaudio.com 4o3.5 speakers John Marks talked about in his last col. This speaker hs intrigued me since his report and I look forward to his follow up in more detail.

He is right in that there is something magical about a near 2 cu foot box. I have had many a nice loudspeaker come through my door, and yet, it is my older AR 58's since refoamed that still sound as good as anything I have had here at nearly $10K retail. I am not saying there were not differences, but not enough to balance out the asking price. There was nothing more breathtaking to make up the monetary difference to me. The bass in these AR's fits all my musical stylistic needs.

These 4.3's may be just the ticket. The smaller versions that are on sale may bring back some special memories of my first trip into good audio with my Dynaco A-25's. Man, were they a steal, just like my old AR XA with a Shure Type 3.

Thanks to Mikey, vinyl is still really fun. I loved AD piece on the old Thorens. My older son is still spinning my old Thorens I gave him. Buy right...buy once!

Good hunting!

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II
linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Thanks for the great recommendations, guys! I'll explore those options. Jim: your thoughtful recommendations always delight me... a big thanks. Struts, you too. You read my mind w/ the ProAc D-Two, but I have a hunch that they might be too similar to the Harbeths; not having heard them, I can't say for sure, but I've heard Studios and Responses...

I do have some left-field ideas that I'm going to experiment with the Leben. It seems that a lot of Leben users stay with Brit speakers for some reason, but I think I can find a different way to accentuate the amp's strengths. Stay tuned! (But keep the recommendations coming & help me brainstorm...)

Welshsox
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Hi

What about some of the newer mainstream Brit monitors, the new Monitor Audio Musso's have received great reviews. There are great value units from Kef, Mission, Quad, Tannoy.
As another unit to try what about the Joseph Audio RM7's they sounded great last time i heard them

Alan

KBK
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Every time you see a smaller floorstanding MTM (midbass-tweeter-midbass) design with a rated impedance of 8 ohms, give it a listen. Look to the story I told in the loudspeaker area of the forum here, on the Monitor audio 952 speakers. (hint:it's in the 'Kef 104/2' thread) Read that, and you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's all about getting the speaker and amp pairing right, in the case of a tube amp.

I think you'll find the speaker you'll like best among those types, for the reasons and explanations I provide in that thread.

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

SD,

Stumbled over the John Blue JB4 MkII and thought of your GSS2. Check them out, I thought they looked kinda "up your street"...

Also came across this list that may be of interest. I realize the Leben is not a SET but with 30WPC I thought something on this list may give a good match.

Any progress on this project or are you still ruminating?

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Struts, you're the best. I did notice those John Blue speakers. But haven't had much time to think about them. That link you provided is very very helpful, thanks! Right now I'm auditioning these interesting speakers from Bluenote called Ducales. They're not terribly sensitive, but being bookshelfs with easy impedance, they work better with the Leben than the Harbeth Super HL5s. Surprising bass. TREMENDOUS clarity (uses Acuton inverted ceramic dome tweeters.) They sound really big, and do rock MUCH better than the Harbeths even though they're smaller in size, but I have to give the Super HL5s the edge with classical. They're totally different in characteristics. But these suckers are really dynamic & exciting, if Super HL5s are a bit easier to love. These speakers are definitely best with tubes; I tried them with my Plinius, and although fine, the tubes definitely gave them a bit more depth & dimensionality. The Leben sounds incredible with these on great recordings - even more so than with the Harbeths - but on poor recordings, the sound can be insufferably bad. They're extremely musical, but in a different way than the Harbeths. They don't make all music sound mellifluous, but there's this honesty to the music that comes out from them that makes you feel like the access to the musical message is totally direct & without bullshit. On bad recordings, the highs sound brash, though. They're not forgiving speakers. The Ducales are also pretty as hell, too, with those Art Deco inlays in the cabinets. Alas, they're pricy at $4K.

I have other ideas, too... the budget option is the FJ Minis with matching stands, which were just really really lovely. But I set out to look for a pair of speakers that had a different set of virtues than the Harbeths I have, so...

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Now that I have my basement study/listening room kind of set up, I don't think Devore Super 8s will be overwhelming. The Ducales sound pretty huge, even though they're monitors, and after hearing them in the room, I don't think some smallish floorstanders are out of question. Tempting tempting...

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Wow, those Ducales sure are purdy...

Anyway, I discussed this with my dealer today while I was in there picking up my new amp as he carries Leben, as well as a whole bunch of other good stuff. I trust his judgement on system matching as much as anyone else I know.

I described your situation and he immediately offered a couple of recommendations that you may want to investigate before making any final decisions (for completeness I have to also report that he turned his nose up a bit at the Ducales - in his opinion BlueNote's speakers are not up to the quality of their electronics).

  1. The new WLM La Scala monitor. Released at the recent high end show in Munich. Very tasty apparently and very efficient (91dB/W). Due to come out next month.
  2. The Tannoy Autograph Mini. Dig this:
    Quote:
    The Autograph mini is a hugely scaled-down but authentic version of a loudspeaker that was famous throughout the audio world fifty years ago. Reduced to a fraction of the size of the immense and revered original Tannoy Autograph this exquisite replica is the ultimate modern retro audio product. Its diminutive size and accurately detailed finish produce a modern day classic that will embellish the most contemporary surroundings.

    Remaining true to the cabinet build and finish quality of that yesteryear model, the Autograph Mini naturally incorporates a 4.00

Jan Vigne
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Bob has just added a mid sized stand mount (not shown on his front page) to his line up. I recently heard his products at a show here in Dallas and, IMO, they represent excellent value if this suits your taste; http://www.geocities.com/rbrines1/#What%20do%20I%20have%20to%20offer? His Lowther based floorstander is outstanding. His line is primarily built using mass loaded quarter wave pipes, MLTL's.

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Thanks for the recommendations again. Those WLMs sound great spec-wise, but do they even have a distributor in the US? Seems like they're Europe-only for now... I saw Tannoy Autograph Minis pop up on Audiogon a few weeks ago at a fantastic price and was very tempted. That's nuts, 4" dual concentric drivers... but in almost everything I read of them, people say not only the deep bass but mid bass is virtually missing. They may get the proportion of the music right but when I listen to bigger orchestral works, I'm sure I'll regret that kind of compromise. The Bluenotes, for example, go surprisingly low with impactful and musical bass performance... it's interesting what your dealer said re: Bluenote. I've heard from some people who actually prefer the speakers to their electronics here in the states...

Anyway, thank you thank you!!! I wish I can check out the WLMs here...

Kal Rubinson
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:
That's nuts, 4" dual concentric drivers... but in almost everything I read of them, people say not only the deep bass but mid bass is virtually missing.

Well, to get it to work, they had to shrink the wavelengths reproduced by it.

Kal

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:
Bob has just added a mid sized stand mount (not shown on his front page) to his line up. I recently heard his products at a show here in Dallas and, IMO, they represent excellent value if this suits your taste; http://www.geocities.com/rbrines1/#What%20do%20I%20have%20to%20offer? His Lowther based floorstander is outstanding. His line is primarily built using mass loaded quarter wave pipes, MLTL's.


Thanks for the recommendation, Jan. Now only if I can find a way to listen to those in NYC...

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:

Quote:
That's nuts, 4" dual concentric drivers... but in almost everything I read of them, people say not only the deep bass but mid bass is virtually missing.

Well, to get it to work, they had to shrink the wavelengths reproduced by it.


That may be too much of a shrinkage for me.

Jan Vigne
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

Contact Bob and see what you can work out. He's a pretty easy guy to get along with. He might have somone in your area who would provide an in house audition. If you like the Harbeth sound and want something "different" without going to something extremely "different", I would say these are worth considering. I don't think you can beat his prices for the quality of workmanship and sound quality - if you like full range drivers. With the possible exception of some open baffles with an obsolete 18" woofer and a rebuilt Altec full range driver from the 1960's (now there's something "different") Bob's products were easily the best at the Dallas show. He was driving them in a hotel room with about 9 watts of tube power.

linden518
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:
If you like the Harbeth sound and want something "different" without going to something extremely "different"...


You got me figured out, Jan. I'll definitely contact Bob for some additional info. Thanks for the tip, again.

KBK
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:
Contact Bob and see what you can work out. He's a pretty easy guy to get along with. He might have somone in your area who would provide an in house audition. If you like the Harbeth sound and want something "different" without going to something extremely "different", I would say these are worth considering. I don't think you can beat his prices for the quality of workmanship and sound quality - if you like full range drivers. With the possible exception of some open baffles with an obsolete 18" woofer and a rebuilt Altec full range driver from the 1960's (now there's something "different") Bob's products were easily the best at the Dallas show. He was driving them in a hotel room with about 9 watts of tube power.

Anyone remember JPW speakers? Good pricing as the manufacturing was done by folks who were at "Her Majesty's Disposal?"

struts
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II


Quote:
Thanks for the recommendations again. Those WLMs sound great spec-wise, but do they even have a distributor in the US? Seems like they're Europe-only for now...


Hey SD, don't know where you ended up in your GSSII but I had a quick listen to the WLM La Scalas while down at Audio Concept yesterday and boy do they sing. If I were starting from scratch these would be right on my shortlist without question. Red Wine Audio appear to have picked them up in North America.

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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

I hate to come off as the doubting thomas here,,,, and I dont want to spoil any fun..

but werent you, just a little bit ago, looking at computer speakers? Just wondering out of curiousity more than anything..doesnt it make more sense to sort of ease into this hobby, spend a lot of time listening(I mean a LOT.. not just a year), sort of figure out what your main system strengths/weaknesses are before making all sorts of uninformed purchases just because you can? Ive seen you post about buying this and that.. and it seems to me like a whole lot of gearslutting. Now I dont give a damn about your money, but science wise.. buying left and right without spending a significant period of time with any of the whored gear just seems counter intuitive to me..
ive been there(with mics and ADCs and mixers, and of course hifi stuff)... but you will NEVER find the right gear until you spend a great deal of time with what you have. that goes for any gear.

and im saying this because ive been there.. as a young audio geek with more money than knowledge, with more enthusiasm than experience.. it wasted a lot of my money and did nothing as far as advancing my listening situation..

greenelec
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Re: The Great Speakers Search, Part II

For monitor speakers I would advise looking into Lipinski speakers. They seem to be based on the Dunlavy monitors that I have (sm-1s, the best speakers I have ever owned.)

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