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DontheDragon's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 11 2022 - 2:42pm

Hi folks,

Looking for some advice. I have the following as my main system:

Audiolab 8000p x 2 power amps
Audiolab 8000c pre-amp
Audiolab M-DAC
Audiolab DC Blocker
Audiolab 6000 CDT CD Transport
EPOS ES11 Bookshelves on their open stands
Room is 20 feet x 8 feet and is fully furnished with carpets and soft furnishing

I have tried Monitor Audio RS6, B&W and KEF speakers with my set-up and I think the best is the EPOS. However, as the system is quite 'natural', some would say clinical, I'm wondering if there are warmer speakers I could use?

I am quite into the details of music but I am looking for a happy medium. I listen to all sorts of music from Metal to Classical.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this? I've read Focal, Wharfedale, Dali etc. may be good but opinions differ widely (as I would expect!).


manunkind's picture
Last seen: 2 days 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 27 2019 - 7:27am
Maybe not the advise you want

Maybe not the advise you want, but you need to visit as many shops with hifi setups as you can and try to find the sound that you like. Took me a few attempts- I aent through Wharfedale to Sonus Faber to Focal, and eventually found that Harbeth were the ones for me. I also listen to just about all good music- and some speakers were better for jazz, others shone with electronic music- but I read reviewes and see that many disagree. Only your own ears will tell you.

Tektixon's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 9 2022 - 2:02am
Nobody has Perfection or If It Ain't Broke Dont Touch It.

same as Manunkind and also check the values of frequency on speakers you are trying to match or balance. the biggest mystery in getting audio clarity is finding optimum values. This is why you cant create a perfect ambiance but everyone has an ear for trying to get the best their ear reads. Go too far and you end up with lumpy results of node compensation and that cant be corrected using anything.

Some people will argue also that having a more balanced respose curve can be compensated with woofers and peizo's. Thats for a very big room where fill can compensate these instrumental speakers mainly in ampetheatre and very big open events which can disipate.

Ive always followed the tried and true of audiophile design dating back a few decades, you learn why design changes improve a product and its method of testing explains the basis of design improvements to speakers and the flaws therein. Nothing is perfect but we seek something which feels very close. Speakers are extremely important and hardware driving your audio is justifiably as important. If you are using inferior technology you speakers cant fix this but there are hardware solutions for studio designers. If you compensate one or the other or both, the result is all over the place.

My number 1 important process for build addon is this - borrow/rent and test the device/speaker beforehand with what I already have. You can arrange with a decent audio shop to test the model for a period before deciding its what you want. You will pay a rental fee and a deposit for security.

Alternately you can take a risk on solid advice from someone with audio engineering experience and follow their plan more specifically. The result will provide a consistency of quality you cannot measure yourself.

But in order to get the best result you really only need x2 sets of x2 speakers with the right balance. It is highly preferable to buy a large fill bass resonance speaker set with warmth preferably mid to higher range. This narrows the field of speakers considerably gong down this path. And then seperately a set of clarity monitor speakers for highest highs and lowest lows. in buyingmonitor speakers you pay for what you get. One very specific thing with monitors, never buy powered drivers. Always look at the data sheet and the test response curves. Super important - dont conmpensate - in fact if you can find something which is over engineered you have the ability to rebalance the output with hardware. The biggest mistake is buyinbg something which is at its limit and cuts off audio. With studio monitors the sound is not compesating anything. Its tight and incredibly raw. but you can buy studio bhardware which reduces this considerably and balances with fill speakers.

My monitors are AE3 floor standing speakers. They hold a very specific response curve to a balance of my fill speakers. You can also look at KEF and a few other really tight engineered design product in monitor sets. These are not cheap rubish either. There's nothing mainsatream in this edge of studio type monuitors for a system you are really engineering to get quality across the spectrum without causing problems or cancellation.
AE is made in UK and they have some exceptional speaks with some less exceptional as well, so do your homework.

Today you are spoiled with being able to buy and build a studio in your livingspace if you want but sound for studio is different cinema and different again to listening pleasure. But in this there are no, no's as well. Do not compesate bass with a sub woofer. You can use a set of woofers bass range limiting for cinema only. Every other process is irrelevant. Do not buy speakers which are not suited to room size. Do not buy speakers with poor response curves or cutoff. Do not buy speakers which cannot be balanced, meaning any speaker which is electronically driven is off the list. And lastly do not buy new technology unless it has been fully tested and expands the value you seek in a vewry specific way positively.

You can easily overthink the problem. The solution is always plan and test to prove its worth.

A note on buying baffled ribbon speakers - These have electronic drivers not coils. they are still very new to the market and of the people I know who have them you will spend a great deal on hardware to fix balance. These have both fill and clarity built into biopolar and diopolar arrangement. Their current flaw in technology 11/2022 is bass range. You will have a problem with finding a solution as there isnt one presently. This is why you can get a good deal on ribbon speakers with high clarity and warmth but they have rubbish bass range and cant hold an extended long waveform dynamics, the result being resonance vibration with drone and node cutoff.

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