Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by talkingh, Jun 12, 2018.
I've heard speakers 3 times that were revelations.
I chased away my sister-in-law with KISS and Heino!
I'm gonna assume you don't have grandkids.
I heard probably around 1998-1999 Wilson Acoustic Grand Slams at 100K/pair (back then, at least) and it was an utter revelation. True, I'd never be able to afford them, but it was nice to know just how much info was buried into the music. In this case, due to the year, the listening was done with CDs as a source. It sounded gloriously rich and engaging.
Of course, in traditional audiophile fashion, Kind of Blue was the CD used for this listening session and it never felt so effortlessly divine and "live". Just spooky.
I thought the speakers looked cheap and strange but the sound they emitted couldn't be denied.
Another set was Mirage M1 bipolar speakers and some ProAC speakers, through a different system. Back then, they might as well have been 100K/pair, even though they were 10x (or more) cheaper which was just as unobtainable to me. It sounded fantastic. My "The Sky Is Cryin'" CD from Stevie Ray Vaughan was used and it was ridiculously fantastic. Stevie's amp was buzzing, I could hear the drummer say something, hear the actual timber of the cymbals, the small details from the snare that made everything sound alive and naturally organic.
Now that I am older and have more capital to dedicate to this hobby than I previously ever thought possible, I am grateful that I had those experiences, if only to show me the possibilities. I can basically try to replicate these experiences as closely as I can in my own home through my gear purchases. I'm not there yet, but it's the endgame for me.
This might be a useful thread to point to when someone asks, " What exactly do mean by 'audiophiles who listen to gear, not music'?"
I've heard umpteen hyper-high-end systems and speakers at hi-fi dealers, university labs, and Rocky Mountain Audio Fest shows. Some great, some bad, some ugly. Most recently I've been wowed by the $19K Voxativ Zeth-B speakers from Berlin matched with Pass Lab and First Watt amplification — fantastic!
But every time I happily return to my "modest" home hi-fi, which cost me the equivalent of half a pair of the Voxativs. It's the mastering and the excellence of the recordings I've collected that matter most of all, and the accuracy, balance, tonality, and musicality that my gear conveys still seems sweet and absolutely wonderful to me. The out-of-body experiences and overwhelming seductiveness you can encounter with great high-end stuff is very cool, but it doesn't diminish the fact that we're living in a amazing time for hi-fi performance that doesn't cost the price of a car or a house. At leas that's the way it seems to me.
Hey i started the thread but i agree, i have £500 set of speakers that i love that have great bass and and clarity....twenty years ago this kinda sound would have been a 3/4k speaker....my obsession is with music my whole life, that's why those 800's blew me away they immersed me in a world of music like no other speakers before
I get heartsick just reading about high end gear and looking at the pictures. If I actually took the opportunity to listen to it I probably couldn't sleep at night.
In my experience the B&W's blew you away not because they're better than what you currently have but that they just sound different and you liked the sound signature they produce. If you listened to the B&W's exclusively for 12mo and then went back to your old speakers, they'd now be a revelation to you and proceed to blow you away.
Not sure on that, i've spent a lot of time in big recording studios and constantly around big festival sound systems...it wasn't the power or newness it was the clarity and immersive nature..i listened to a lot of other speakers in the store too. nothing else was anywhere close..,they were using a Rega 6 and a exact cart which is below what i have..so it wasn't the those elements that were blowing me away
Fantastic speakers! A pair of B&W N802's will probably be my next upgrade but I realise that I also will need some extra Watts in that case...
I'm happy with what I have, and am smart enough not to go listening to speakers I can't afford.
Also, I don't understand why speakers are designed to need so much power. Seems like a "fail"
I would still love to hear the ultimate speaker. It would have the house shaking, but clear bottom end of a great sub, the lush, sweet mids of the Spendor SP200, the incredible stage of the best Maggies, and the pristine crystalline highs that I love in the best from System Audio. Oh yeah, it needs to be self powered with a full DAC and amplification like my LS50W, and fit on the small space I am allocated in my den.
I figure I'll still be waiting for awhile, but so far the LS50Wwith the SVS PC13 sub is the best compromise I've found.
yeah but you could say the same for a ferrari....speed limit is 70mph in the uk....difference those speakers are the price of an average car...not a ferrari and the would get used a lot more than the 93% of the time a car is off the road
The big B&Ws do best with as much power as you can throw at them. 450wpc seems to do OK by mine
The first pair of speakers that really did this for me was Spendor SP100s
Twenty years ago, those Spendors retailed for about $3300. Today's £500 speakers (even the good value models) still don't come anywhere close IME. My point is simply that world class sound was available even 20 years ago, and for much less than it costs today.
Sounds Scary, I'd be on the run too!
More than exotica speakers, these threads only make me desire a better listening room (where I can’t hear my neighbor playing Fortnite twenty hours a week).
What good is a Ferrari if you can only drive around a WalMart parking lot?
never own, or afford, they were amazing!
kudos to those who can spend so much on a pair of speakers.
How far are you from Salina?
Thanks for bringing that up! I used to travel to Salina several times a year and somehow I never knew about the treasure trove there. And it wasn't like I wouldn't have been interested, I literally had no idea! The only explanation would be that my trips there ended just as the world of the internet came into my life (basically the turn of the century.)
Unfortunately they only have one system set up there at any time. Last I was there it was Spendor A4s. If you make an appointment to audition others, I'm sure they'll try to accommodate. Anyhow, they'll also give you a tour of the pressing plant which makes the drive a little more worthwhile.
Ferrari 250 GTO
I do not have this problem with small children for one simple reason: I have a 103" TV. Most kids have never seen a TV that large, so if you put on their favourite cartoon they can't take their eyes off it and immediately become as immobile as a statue.
With regard to mind-blowing speakers, the speakers I have now are the best I have ever heard (and have been acclaimed in some sections of the hifi press as the best speakers available at any price point). But I'd say my upgrade journey has been more about incremental gains than sudden revelations. Am I interested in hearing speakers at the potential next level up (which would mean £250,000 and upwards)? Not in the slightest. I have no intention of spending that sort of money on speakers, and I don't want a dedicated listening room with treatments everywhere, which is why I have active speakers with the world's most advanced DSP.
It's interesting what happens over the years from beginning of the audiophile journey and what happens 10 or 20 years later. When I began in this hobby I salivated over owning a B&W speaker system 805 with subs or 801s and Bryston or YBA (remember them) amps. In fact I was going to buy said system on the weekend - and an accountant and friend at a company I worked for for 7 years told me to hold off for a week. Something wasn't quite right and the following Thursday they laid me off along with a bunch of other office workers. He knew but was not allowed to say.
Then years later while going to University in another city I went to a big B&W dealer (Soundhounds in Victoria BC) and I had arranged for them to set up a three way speaker test between the 805, Paradigm Studio 40, Reference 3a MM De Capo and I asked them to put in their favorite. A dumpy looking rectangle - by far the ugliest looking speaker of the lot. It took about 4 minutes into a piano recording (Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata) to realize the dumpy speaker vastly outclassed the other 3 and that piano is exceedingly difficult for smaller speakers to really reproduce properly or at least believably enough to suspend disbelief. The dealer and salespeople's and store owner's favorite was obvious and that was basically the end of my love affair with Reference 3a and B&W. Paradigm was a distant last place - a shame because I am Canadian and Paradigm is Canadian and I'd rather have bought the home grown company. Ditto Bryston but that was destroyed by an 8 watt SET amplifier which had deeper better bass response and actual tone and body and 3 dimensional sound.
So I traded my B&W speakers in for dumpy looking AN K/SPe. I've gone back several times to cover my B&W bases auditioning new 805s, 802D, 801s and even the Model Nautilus and Vivid Audio Giya loudspeakers (B&W's on steroids). Back then i didn't much like horns now my big room speaker would likely be Acapella's High Cellini. That model is very expensive at $55,000US but people spend $55k on cars which I find bizarre.
The Plasma Tweeter in the Acapella is phenomenal and the integration is superb which is very very difficult on big speakers. This is sort of my dream speaker - I have my medium room dream speaker - but big room speaker - horns and Acapella when set up well and not stuck in a too small room is something else. But as others noted - you also need the rest of the chain and the room - all of which costs more than the speakers!
I like Herman - the man likes all kinds of music and was blasting some Guns and Roses just for me.
The speakers are $55,000US and the least expensive component in the system - the CD Transport and DAC and Amp all (each) cost more. So umm the lottery won't do - it needs to be a power ball. Or if Herman has a single daughter???
op, there's plenty of speakers that will shock you at much cheaper price then the 800 d3!
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