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Thread: Quest for speaker upgrade

  1. #1
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    Quest for speaker upgrade

    Hello to all. I'm not very active on WBF, but wanted to make this the main place of reference and updates in my quest for new speakers. Something tells me that I'll get valuable input here.
    Currently I have the Evolution Acoustics MicroOnes, which I like very much. The have great tonal balance, well integrated highs and mids and very decent LFs for their size. They are very, very fast and clean, very detailed and have excellent micro dynamics. And then there's the price which made these an absolute no-brainer at the time. Nonetheless, I've lived with them long enough to know about their shortcomings: they tend to get shouty rather fast, though luckily I rarely listen to music loudly, macro dynamics are limited, tone, texture and body are not their towering strengths and then there is the main issue: I miss low frequency extension, that last octave, especially when I listen to full orchestral works (crazy about Mahler, Brahms, Rachmanninoff, etc.) and pop.
    I know that the EA MicroTwo would be the natural upgrade, but I've officially given up waiting for it.
    I have already listened to many different systems and have a good idea of what I'm looking for. I just need to find it within my budget, which shouldn't go over $8-$10k. I have no problem buying used.
    A little about my musical and sonic preferences: I prefer a more neutral system with excellent sound stage. I normally tend to a faster sound, detailed sound and also prefer excellent HF decay and "air" which makes me think that AMT or Ribbon tweeters will probably be the way to go. I also believe in a trickle-down effect from HFs way above the listening range and have actually some empiric evidence that harmonics not only work from the fundamental up, but also from the HFs down, but that's a whole different thread. I also use my system to evaluate mixes and masters for albums and DVDs, so it has to show me the warts. I still seek a coherent musical experience and do know that, at the moment, my system has the tendency to be slightly monochrome. I studied classical composition and write vocal and instrumental arrangements and orchestrations, too, so I know how instruments should sound. I would welcome more body, texture and colour with excellent HF decay and room depiction.
    In other words: I'm looking for a love-child between Rockport lows and mids and Raidho highs.
    My current amp will probably be able to take care of almost any load, so I'm not worried about speakers that are difficult to drive. However, they should be able to play equally well at low listening levels. Another important factor is that I normally move every 5-6 years, so I need the speakers to be versatile regarding placement and space.
    I am extremely aware that this might be a tall order for a speaker within my budget, but who knows, right?
    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Best
    Andre
    Last edited by reverendo; 03-19-2017 at 05:35 PM.
    Source: SBT w/ EDO and Welborne Labs PSU, Oppo '103-D', Resolution Audio 'Cantata'
    Amplification: Gryphon 'Diablo'
    Speakers: Evolution Acoustics 'MMMicroOne'
    Cables: Power: Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (2x), ASI 'Liveline' (w/ Oyaide 004/079); Digital: LH 'Lightspeed' USB, Lifatec Silflex toslink; IC: DC 'Hair Angel' XLR; Speaker: Douglas Connection 'Alpha'
    Acessories: Sistrum SP-1, Furutech GTX-D (g), Hifi-Tuning Supreme Fuse (Cantata), MIT Z Duplex Super, Equitech Balanced Power

  2. #2
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    Get a pair of used Revel Salon 2 speakers. You an pick them up for around $8-10k. I am using these for mastering now. I came from EA MM3 speakers as well as sorted Wilsons and Focals. It's one of the most accurate speakers on the market today!
    Bruce A. Brown
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    Get a pair of used Revel Salon 2 speakers. You an pick them up for around $8-10k. I am using these for mastering now. I came from EA MM3 speakers as well as sorted Wilsons and Focals. It's one of the most accurate speakers on the market today!
    Thanks for the swift response, Bruce. Good to know that you know the EA sound, although I'm not familiar with the MM3s. I just noted that I need to add one bit of information on my first post: since I move every 5-6 years I need speakers that are versatile regarding placement and space. Would these fit the description?
    Source: SBT w/ EDO and Welborne Labs PSU, Oppo '103-D', Resolution Audio 'Cantata'
    Amplification: Gryphon 'Diablo'
    Speakers: Evolution Acoustics 'MMMicroOne'
    Cables: Power: Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (2x), ASI 'Liveline' (w/ Oyaide 004/079); Digital: LH 'Lightspeed' USB, Lifatec Silflex toslink; IC: DC 'Hair Angel' XLR; Speaker: Douglas Connection 'Alpha'
    Acessories: Sistrum SP-1, Furutech GTX-D (g), Hifi-Tuning Supreme Fuse (Cantata), MIT Z Duplex Super, Equitech Balanced Power

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by reverendo View Post
    Hello to all. I'm not very active on WBF, but wanted to make this the main place of reference and updates in my quest for new speakers. Something tells me that I'll get valuable input here.
    Currently I have the Evolution Acoustics MicroOnes, which I like very much. The have great tonal balance, well integrated highs and mids and very decent LFs for their size. They are very, very fast and clean, very detailed and have excellent micro dynamics. And then there's the price which made these an absolute no-brainer at the time. Nonetheless, I've lived with them long enough to know about their shortcomings: they tend to get shouty rather fast, though luckily I rarely listen to music loudly, macro dynamics are limited, tone, texture and body are not their towering strengths and then there is the main issue: I miss low frequency extension, that last octave, especially when I listen to full orchestral works (crazy about Mahler, Brahms, Rachmanninoff, etc.) and pop.
    I know that the EA MicroTwo would be the natural upgrade, but I've officially given up waiting for it.
    I have already listened to many different systems and have a good idea of what I'm looking for. I just need to find it within my budget, which shouldn't go over $8-$10k. I have no problem buying used.
    A little about my musical and sonic preferences: I prefer a more neutral system with excellent sound stage. I normally tend to a faster sound, detailed sound and also prefer excellent HF decay which makes me think that AMT or Ribbon tweeters will probably be the way to go. I also believe in a trickle-down effect from HFs way above the listening range and have actually some empiric evidence that harmonics not only work from the fundamental up, but also from the HFs down, but that's a whole different thread. I also use my system to evaluate mixes and masters for albums and DVDs, so it has to show me the warts. I still seek a coherent musical experience and do know that, at the moment, my system has the tendency to be slightly monochrome. I studied classical composition and write vocal and instrumental arrangements and orchestrations, too, so I know how instruments should sound. I would welcome more body, texture and colour with excellent HF decay and room depiction.
    My current amp will probably be able to take care of almost any load, so I'm not worried about speakers that are difficult to drive. However, they should be able to play equally well at low listening levels.
    In other words: I'm looking for a love-child between Rockport lows and mids and Raidho highs.
    I am extremely aware that this might be a tall order for a speaker within my budget, but who knows, right?
    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Best
    Andre
    Hi reverendo,

    Whenever I read someone wants to hear it all and needs the sound to translate, my default response is always ATC's. I believe the ATC SCM50 SL (passive) would be within your price range, and though they're ported still offer impressive low end clarity without mud. Also, ATC's change very little in frequency response and detail irrespective of SPL, staying proportionately coherent even at quieter volumes and vice-versa.

    The AMT thing makes me wonder if Raidho's younger cousin the Scansonic line might be an option (something like the MB-5), as I understand they're a lot less than the Raidho's and may disappear more easily than the ATC's typically do. However, I've not heard them, so that's a wild guess at best. Should you have not heard a pair of ATC's I'd at the very least suggest you do so.

    Best,

    853guy
    Last edited by 853guy; 03-16-2017 at 10:01 AM.
    Frank, Nick. L Wienerlinie. Taken from the "Subways" series (2012)
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    "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." Hoffer, Eric. Reflections on the Human Condition. (Aphorism 32). 1973

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 853guy View Post
    Hi reverendo,

    Whenever I read someone wants to hear it all and needs the sound to translate, my default response is always ATC's. I believe the ATC SCM50 SL (passive) would be within your price range, and though they're ported still offer impressive low end clarity without mud. The AMT thing makes me wonder if Raidho's younger cousin the Scansonic line might be an option (something like the MB-5), as I understand they're a lot less than the Raidho's and may disappear more easily than the ATC's typically do. However, I've not heard them, so that's a wild guess at best. Should you have not heard a pair of ATC's I'd at the very least suggest you do so.

    Best,

    853guy
    Hi 853guy,
    I actually love ATC and know some of them well. ATCs were my reference regarding clear and resolved mids until I heard Rockports. My gripe with ATCs are the highs, which for my preference, to not have that HF extension and decay that I'm looking for. Apart from that the SCM50T would definitely be on my shortlist.
    I've also auditioned the Scansonic MB-3.5 in the past. They were great speakers for the price, but they didn't make me want to change my speakers. Their HF is great, but, in my opinion, significantly less refined than Raidho. They are elegant, though, and, at that time, the MB-5 and MB-6 didn't exist, so maybe that would be something to look at. Thanks for the input.
    Source: SBT w/ EDO and Welborne Labs PSU, Oppo '103-D', Resolution Audio 'Cantata'
    Amplification: Gryphon 'Diablo'
    Speakers: Evolution Acoustics 'MMMicroOne'
    Cables: Power: Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (2x), ASI 'Liveline' (w/ Oyaide 004/079); Digital: LH 'Lightspeed' USB, Lifatec Silflex toslink; IC: DC 'Hair Angel' XLR; Speaker: Douglas Connection 'Alpha'
    Acessories: Sistrum SP-1, Furutech GTX-D (g), Hifi-Tuning Supreme Fuse (Cantata), MIT Z Duplex Super, Equitech Balanced Power

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by reverendo View Post
    Thanks for the swift response, Bruce. Good to know that you know the EA sound, although I'm not familiar with the MM3s. I just noted that I need to add one bit of information on my first post: since I move every 5-6 years I need speakers that are versatile regarding placement and space. Would these fit the description?
    They have about the same footprint as the EA speakers and are very easy to set up and dial in. They have an excellent off-axis response, so it has a very wide sweet spot with adjustable tweeter control.
    Bruce A. Brown
    Puget Sound Studios
    Stereomojo reviewer
    Seattle, WA


    Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by reverendo View Post
    Hi 853guy,
    I actually love ATC and know some of them well. ATCs were my reference regarding clear and resolved mids until I heard Rockports. My gripe with ATCs are the highs, which for my preference, to not have that HF extension and decay that I'm looking for. Apart from that the SCM50T would definitely be on my shortlist.
    I've also auditioned the Scansonic MB-3.5 in the past. They were great speakers for the price, but they didn't make me want to change my speakers. Their HF is great, but, in my opinion, significantly less refined than Raidho. They are elegant, though, and, at that time, the MB-5 and MB-6 didn't exist, so maybe that would be something to look at. Thanks for the input.
    Hi reverendo,

    Ah, cool, understood. Yes, I agree, there are definitely more extended top ends available than you'll typically get from an ATC, although I do know of a couple of studios that have swapped the tweeter out, though I'm not sure how successful the results have been. Interesting about your Scansonic experiences. I recently heard the MB-3.5 and share your general observations. Stand by to be completely underwhelmed by my next comment but although they were great for the price they were completely outclassed by the YG Acoustics Carmel 2. No surprise given the price differential.

    Good luck on your search - keep us posted as to how you get on.

    Best,

    853guy
    Frank, Nick. L Wienerlinie. Taken from the "Subways" series (2012)
    --
    "In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." Hoffer, Eric. Reflections on the Human Condition. (Aphorism 32). 1973

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
    They have about the same footprint as the EA speakers and are very easy to set up and dial in. They have an excellent off-axis response, so it has a very wide sweet spot with adjustable tweeter control.
    great. thanks. definitely on the list to try to audition. appreciate the swift response.
    Source: SBT w/ EDO and Welborne Labs PSU, Oppo '103-D', Resolution Audio 'Cantata'
    Amplification: Gryphon 'Diablo'
    Speakers: Evolution Acoustics 'MMMicroOne'
    Cables: Power: Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (2x), ASI 'Liveline' (w/ Oyaide 004/079); Digital: LH 'Lightspeed' USB, Lifatec Silflex toslink; IC: DC 'Hair Angel' XLR; Speaker: Douglas Connection 'Alpha'
    Acessories: Sistrum SP-1, Furutech GTX-D (g), Hifi-Tuning Supreme Fuse (Cantata), MIT Z Duplex Super, Equitech Balanced Power

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 853guy View Post
    Hi reverendo,

    Ah, cool, understood. Yes, I agree, there are definitely more extended top ends available than you'll typically get from an ATC, although I do know of a couple of studios that have swapped the tweeter out, though I'm not sure how successful the results have been. Interesting about your Scansonic experiences. I recently heard the MB-3.5 and share your general observations. Stand by to be completely underwhelmed by my next comment but although they were great for the price they were completely outclassed by the YG Acoustics Carmel 2. No surprise given the price differential.

    Good luck on your search - keep us posted as to how you get on.

    Best,

    853guy
    that's some stiff competition right there. I've heard nice things about the Carmel, but I do know that LF was somewhat underwhelming in the original version. was this bettered in mk2?
    Source: SBT w/ EDO and Welborne Labs PSU, Oppo '103-D', Resolution Audio 'Cantata'
    Amplification: Gryphon 'Diablo'
    Speakers: Evolution Acoustics 'MMMicroOne'
    Cables: Power: Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (2x), ASI 'Liveline' (w/ Oyaide 004/079); Digital: LH 'Lightspeed' USB, Lifatec Silflex toslink; IC: DC 'Hair Angel' XLR; Speaker: Douglas Connection 'Alpha'
    Acessories: Sistrum SP-1, Furutech GTX-D (g), Hifi-Tuning Supreme Fuse (Cantata), MIT Z Duplex Super, Equitech Balanced Power

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by reverendo View Post
    that's some stiff competition right there. I've heard nice things about the Carmel, but I do know that LF was somewhat underwhelming in the original version. was this bettered in mk2?
    The LF is still low depending on the room size and can need a sub. What's your room size
    Audition recordings: Zero Distortion Link; Reference Components: Zero Distortion Link; Own: Lampi GG One-day-to-get: Apogee Scintilla, or a horn (with Tenor 75 OTL ), Preamp to be fit in to suit the gain and drive the power amp. Analog: TBD

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