Quest for speaker upgrade

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
0
0
Dallas, TX
#1
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. :D
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
 
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Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,554
1
38
Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#2
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!
 

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
0
0
Dallas, TX
#3
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?
 

853guy

Active Member
Aug 14, 2013
1,161
0
36
#4
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. :D
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
 
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reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
0
0
Dallas, TX
#5
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.
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,554
1
38
Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#6
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.
 

853guy

Active Member
Aug 14, 2013
1,161
0
36
#7
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
 

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
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Dallas, TX
#8
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.
 

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
0
0
Dallas, TX
#9
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?
 

bonzo75

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#10
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
 

853guy

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Aug 14, 2013
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#11
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?
I never got to hear a pair of Mk1's. I had no problems with the low end of the Mk2, but it was a small room and wasn't played that loud. I'm guessing they're out of your price range, but they did things I value a lot in a way that was unexpected, especially coherency, driver integration, see-through-ness and rhythmic punch while managing to sound a lot like actual music. Kinda like ballsy Quad's with more extension and dynamics. Really impressive, and changed my opinion on aluminium-based topologies.

853guy
 

bonzo75

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#12
I never got to hear a pair of Mk1's. I had no problems with the low end of the Mk2, but it was a small room and wasn't played that loud. I'm guessing they're out of your price range, but they did things I value a lot in a way that was unexpected, especially coherency, driver integration, see-through-ness and rhythmic punch while managing to sound a lot like actual music. Kinda like ballsy Quad's with more extension and dynamics. Really impressive, and changed my opinion on aluminium-based topologies.

853guy
Your Quads comment is exactly what I observed with Haileys
 

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
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Dallas, TX
#13
The LF is still low depending on the room size and can need a sub. What's your room size
at the moment it's my living room which is 18x19x20 (WxDxH), but placement is far from ideal, because of the setting. This will probably change and space might be much smaller in the near future. That's why it needs to be something that is versatile and, preferably, wife-friendly, although she's been very, very forgiving. :)
 

853guy

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Aug 14, 2013
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#14
Your Quads comment is exactly what I observed with Haileys
Hey Bonzo,

Were I not like you in my hope of finding the perfect horn, I could very easily settle down with the Carmel 2's, or perhaps the Hailey if space and current weren't limitations. The latter is the thing that throws up my greatest reservation, though I can easily imagine the Hailey's are everything the Carmel 2's are, but more.

853guy
 

bonzo75

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#15
Hey Bonzo,

Were I not like you in my hope of finding the perfect horn, I could very easily settle down with the Carmel 2's, or perhaps the Hailey if space and current weren't limitations. The latter is the thing that throws up my greatest reservation, though I can easily imagine the Hailey's are everything the Carmel 2's are, but more.

853guy
Same here. I have the apogee and the horn to get
 

reverendo

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
102
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Dallas, TX
#16
I never got to hear a pair of Mk1's. I had no problems with the low end of the Mk2, but it was a small room and wasn't played that loud. I'm guessing they're out of your price range, but they did things I value a lot in a way that was unexpected, especially coherency, driver integration, see-through-ness and rhythmic punch while managing to sound a lot like actual music. Kinda like ballsy Quad's with more extension and dynamics. Really impressive, and changed my opinion on aluminium-based topologies.

853guy
They definitely are outside of my budget. :) Their size is great. The fact that they're sealed might help with positioning.
 
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853guy

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Aug 14, 2013
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#17
Same here. I have the apogee and the horn to get
See, that's my thinking too. Horns in one system, ESL57's in another and YG's in a third. I'd also like to be a princess or a pony - I'm not sure which.

853guy
 

853guy

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Aug 14, 2013
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#18
They definitely are outside of my budget. :) They their size is great. The fact that they're sealed might help with positioning.
Actually, the fact that they're sealed is one of their stronger suits I think. They look kinda cute too, if that sort of thing matters to you. In terms of value, I definitely think they're worth the asking price, but we all have financial limits that need to be respected, if only for the sake of our marriages.

853guy
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#19
at the moment it's my living room which is 18x19x20 (WxDxH), but placement is far from ideal, because of the setting. This will probably change and space might be much smaller in the near future. That's why it needs to be something that is versatile and, preferably, wife-friendly, although she's been very, very forgiving. :)
Heco Dreiklang from Germany, dirt cheap and fantastic for room shapes and sizes, I only auditioned the smaller brother on orchestral. You will need a lower wattage amp with them though. You won't have to worry about shifting after that
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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San Diego, CA
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#20
Hi reverendo!

Long time no talk :) Still in Dallas then?
You might want to know that Kevin (Evolution's designer) has finalized the drivers for the MicroTwos, and they should officially debut at this year's LA show in June. So the wait might (finally) be over soon! I know I personally can't wait to listen to them :)
If you still want something else, my recommendation, at that price range, would be either a used YG Carmel 1, or one of the new Dynaudio Contours.
The Carmel 1 has *incredible* bass. They need power, though. We've shown the Carmel 1s with Audia Flight and MSB back in Brazil, in one of the High-End Shows a few years back (at the Maksound Plaza). It was one of the bigger rooms, and the speakers handled it beautifully. But, as I said, they need the power, otherwise they too become shouty.
The new Dynaudios are much improved from the older stuff, which wasn't bad, but was getting a little long in the tooth, specially compared to the new cutting edge designs like YG, Rockport, etc. It was a pleasant surprise hearing what they did with the new Contours, so much that we actually picked up the line on their strength!
Another one you might want to keep an eye out for is the new top of the line ELAC series by Andrew Jones, Adante, that they announced at CES. It should be available soon, and the floorstander tops at $5k.

cheers,
alex