Speaker Hunt

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#1
I know this is a very difficult question to answer but I was hoping to get folks’ suggestions of possible speakers to audition and make sure I didn’t miss anything accidentally.

My current system is Sonus Faber Aida’s 1 driven by Kondo Kaguras and M1000 MK II with Avid Acutus, Clearaudio Master Innovation, Audio Research Ref 2 phono and CH Precision C1 dac.

room is 16ft x 40 ft and about 12 feet high although I only sit about half way in.

my current shortlist is ;

1. Stenheim Reference Ultime
2. Magico M projects / M6
3. Marten Mingus Orchestra
4. Rockport Lyra
5. Tannoy Kingdom Royals
6. jBL DD 67000
7. Gamut Zodiac
8. Wilson Benesch Eminence | Cardinal | Resolution
9. Wilson?

So far all I have heard are the Stenheim and Magico Projects. unfortunately neither pair were broken in but even so the Stenheim were extremely clear and resolving. The Magicos were much warmer sounding but less resolving. A friend of mine told me the M6 is a big improvement over th projects. I have previously owned the Marten Coltrane 2s for a few years and they were very nice. I haven’t heard the latest martens though. Rock ports and the JBL and Tannoys have always sounded great at shows but I have yet to audition them properly. Wilson gets recommended to me a lot and their Sasha’s have always sounded very nice but I fear about WaF with. Pair of transformer looking XLFs or Alexx’s In the room thought this would just require more work ;)

The amps might be a limiting factor with some speakers @50watts so please feel to ignore this bit. I am not above replacing them later with some powerful SS mono blocks.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 
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asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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almaaudio.com
#2
Help us help you here... What exactly are you looking for in the new speaker, that you don't have with your Aidas?
I've recently heard the Aida 2 in Munich, and they were sounding very good, with Audio Research electronics. Any reason not to consider this one as well?


cheers,
Alex
 
Likes: KeithR

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
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Greater Boston
#3
So far all I have heard are the Stenheim and Magico Projects. unfortunately neither pair were broken in but even so the Stenheim were extremely clear and resolving. The Magicos were much warmer sounding but less resolving. A friend of mine told me the M6 is a big improvement over th projects.
The Magico M Project are highly resolving. If this was not obvious in the demo, it must have been lack of break in, set-up, or both.
 

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#4
Help us help you here... What exactly are you looking for in the new speaker, that you don't have with your Aidas?
I've recently heard the Aida 2 in Munich, and they were sounding very good, with Audio Research electronics. Any reason not to consider this one as well?


cheers,
Alex
Thanks for the quick reply. The only reason. I would not consider the new Aida II is because I would prefer a change. whilst I have not heard the new one, I’m sure it will be cut from the same cloth and a change would be nice. Again no problem with Aida’s sound which while it is not the most resolving speaker, it is also wonderfully musical which means you can listen for long periods without fatigue. That might be one of my biggest concerns going with the more recent crop of speakers which seem to put resolution, speed and accuracy above all other parameters. Giant Tannoys (Westminster’s) would actually be a welcome but space might be tough.
 

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#5
The Magico M Project are highly resolving. If this was not obvious in the demo, it must have been lack of break in, set-up, or both.
Both most likely but the Stenheim were also brand spanking new and there was quite a big difference. The added warmer of the Magicos was actually a plus although I have never herd anyone describe Magicos as warm. It’s all relative.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#6
Stenheim are excellent speakers. You should also add the Zellaton to that list though might not work with your amps. If you go to audio arts, NYC, you will hear a good Zellaton set up and he also sucks Stenheim though the smaller alumine 5 model. Opposite him rhapsody has the Kondo gear and he can show you a few tricks.
 

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#7
Stenheim are excellent speakers. You should also add the Zellaton to that list though might not work with your amps. If you go to audio arts, NYC, you will hear a good Zellaton set up and he also sucks Stenheim though the smaller alumine 5 model. Opposite him rhapsody has the Kondo gear and he can show you a few tricks.
Thanks. I had left Zellaton off the list...
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
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#8
Stenheim are excellent speakers. You should also add the Zellaton to that list though might not work with your amps. If you go to audio arts, NYC, you will hear a good Zellaton set up and he also sucks Stenheim though the smaller alumine 5 model. Opposite him rhapsody has the Kondo gear and he can show you a few tricks.
+1 Might also have a listen to Diesis while at Rhapsody. No shortage of good options on your original list. Could also check out the Oswald Mill range at OMA.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#9
+1 Might also have a listen to Diesis while at Rhapsody. No shortage of good options on your original list. Could also check out the Oswald Mill range at OMA.
Yes, at Brooklyn
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#10
The Avalon are excellent. But fussy to set up.

Also one thing is not clear, what music do you listen to, and what kind of pressings do you play on your TT?
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
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Melbourne, Australia
#11
That is an impressive list of speakers! Out of your list, my top two pics would be the M6 & Lyra. Another speaker I would suggest adding to your audition list is the Borresen 05. Their impedence is also a bit kinder than the Lyra (5 ohms nominal).
 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
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Munich
#13
Göbel Divin Noblesse would be my bet. Among the top 3 speakers I have heard.
Efficient (95dB) enough for your amps.
And the fit and finish is a clear step ip form Magico or Wilson/Benesch.
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
824
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Melbourne, Australia
#14
They have limited US distribution, but you might also want to consider something from TIDAL.
That wouldn't necessarily disuade me. If you're spending $120k on a pair of speakers, what's a few hundred bucks to jump a flight to rule in/out an option under serious consideration? Tidal are good, but over-priced imho like Raidho.
 
Likes: christoph

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
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#15
All great suggestions although I’m not sure i will be able to follow them all up. I guess I should have mentioned my music tastes which are mainly classical especially opera, film scores, pop and a little hard rock and zero heavy metal. I do not need to thrash the amps and speakers to within an inch of their lives. To me the voice is the most important and it must be organic and voluptuous (assuming the recording is, of course) with emotion. Bringing the last word in resolution and detail and sacrificing feeling is probably not for me. I guess that’s why the Tannoys and JBLs are in there even though price wise they are quite a ways apart form the rest.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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#16
+1 Might also have a listen to Diesis while at Rhapsody. No shortage of good options on your original list. Could also check out the Oswald Mill range at OMA.
Exactly what I was thinking - the OMA speakers are beautiful objects and apparently sound very good according to Ked (well a specific model). Should work well with the Kondo.
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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#17
All great suggestions although I’m not sure i will be able to follow them all up. I guess I should have mentioned my music tastes which are mainly classical especially opera, film scores, pop and a little hard rock and zero heavy metal. I do not need to thrash the amps and speakers to within an inch of their lives. To me the voice is the most important and it must be organic and voluptuous (assuming the recording is, of course) with emotion. Bringing the last word in resolution and detail and sacrificing feeling is probably not for me. I guess that’s why the Tannoys and JBLs are in there even though price wise they are quite a ways apart form the rest.
I think you might enjoy opera with good horns like the OMA. You could also try AG Trios too.
 
Likes: Bodhi

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#18
All great suggestions although I’m not sure i will be able to follow them all up. I guess I should have mentioned my music tastes which are mainly classical especially opera, film scores, pop and a little hard rock and zero heavy metal. I do not need to thrash the amps and speakers to within an inch of their lives. To me the voice is the most important and it must be organic and voluptuous (assuming the recording is, of course) with emotion. Bringing the last word in resolution and detail and sacrificing feeling is probably not for me. I guess that’s why the Tannoys and JBLs are in there even though price wise they are quite a ways apart form the rest.
In tannoys the vintage, cheaper ones are much better than the new kingdom Royale. And yes vocals are great. As are with stats and ribbons and Zellaton. The FM acoustic with Zellaton had vocals as good as a pure ribbon apogee
 
#19
Count me as another suggesting you visit Bob @Rhapsody in Manhattan, and listen to Diesis “Roma” speakers. Like many who have heard them you might come away gobsmacked.
 

bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
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#20
Out of everything on that original list, I'm most interested the Stenheim Reference and least interested in the {Magicos, JBLs, Tannoys}. I haven't heard the Stenheim Reference Ultime yet, but the reports on the Alumine models from close friends whose preferences I know are very positive. They received a couple personal best in show nods, along with the Thrax speaker room at THE Show last week. On paper, the Stenheim Reference is very impressive. Sealed cabinet with the active version being 96dB (!) with a FR of 15 Hz - 100 kHz ! Woo. Must hear!

With Marten, I worry about the driver integration using the 1st order crossovers in the Mingus Orchestra. I don't know why, but it just doesn't seem to work as well as their 2nd order crossovers by all accounts (including mine). That said, I own Marten and am a fan of certain models.

Lastly, why not consider the new YG models? I also agree that Zellaton ought to be on the list. And since it sounds like you have the space, why not one of the open baffle designs that were so well received at Munich. I can't recall the name now. But if I had your space, I'd definitely looking at some OBs.

Horns, I'm not usually a fan, except for in PA applications. EDIT: Looks like Diesis is what I was thinking of above, and has been mentioned. But horns. ;-)
 
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