KeithR's "Dream Speaker" Search

bonzo75

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There's a wide price range for both Altecs and Tannoys depending on the model but if you mean $10k or less there are several.

david
Let's see...

JBLs like the 43xx models...
Tannoys yes cost vary with drivers
Vitavox Corner? Haven't heard that
The TAD horn that you have
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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Let's see...

JBLs like the 43xx models...
Tannoys yes cost vary with drivers
Vitavox Corner? Haven't heard that
The TAD horn that you have
The TAD horn that you have[/QUOTE]
There are more JBLs than the 43xx, add vintage pro monitors from Telefunken, Grundig and Mitsubishi along with some of their domestic horn speakers, Goodman's, EV, Klipsch, early Altecs, Siemens full range speakers also fall into this price group.

Tannoy prices change with both driver and cabinets. Vitavox is beyond this price range.

david
 
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spiritofmusic

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Keith, can you describe further yr time w the Animas?
 

KeithR

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The Tune Audio Anime (show conditions):

I had been interested in horns going back all the way to my original post as I've always valued dynamics highly. Historically though, I've heard horn colorations (cupped hands) pretty easily on Voltis, Chopins, and some others. I also get concerned about integration, coming from 6.5 years of owning FRD-based loudspeakers previously (Zu). Finally, I was curious how horn bass in a relatively small horn would work - that said, the Anime is a full 3-way horn unlike the JBLs, Ocean Ways, etc.

The Animas were setup on the long wall at THE Show and used a Nagra digital setup into Wavac preamp and EC300B amp. There was no streaming or vinyl rig, so I was stuck listening to audiophile demo music and not my own. I was seated in the middle for over a half hour in prime time seating position, albeit right against the back wall. The first thing I noticed is that they project a huge amount of space - I feel like this is why the classical guys feel horns can convey an orchestra better. And I get it. Dynamics not surprisingly were exceptional and "alive." The next thing I noticed was the hanging female vocal (almost dripping) in front of me - which to be fair is usually what I have heard on SET amps in the past.

But as we continued to play other cuts, the cupped hands veil was clearly obvious - didn't matter the instrument or voice, but there it was. Also, images were unnaturally large - to be fair, this might be due to the speakers being 15' apart. He played some well known jazz (forgive me, forget the exact cut right now) and some of the horn shout also came into play. I do believe setup wasn't ideal, but was expecting better - and those who know me offline understand that expectation bias was actually in favor of the Tunes coming into this demo. The last track we played had drums and string bass and this is where the second big negative came - the absence of real bass. Like total absence. These speakers must roll off hard below 100hz as it was clearly obvious they struggle down low and had no bass impact (even in a hotel room). I asked about the bass and the only thing you can play with are footers underneath the bass horn - which appeared to be an inch or two off the ground. Whether this is a difference between horn bass and cone bass, I do not know.

So I returned with an electronica CD on Saturday to give it another go on my own music - St. Germain to be exact- to test sound stage and bass. I actually enjoyed the sound stage and didn't find the imaging objectionable. But there just wasn't any thunder down under - and this cut doesn't have 20-30hz bass at all, so its not even that challenging. For reference, I had played the CD the same day in the VSA room and the bass was excellent, tuneful, and full of energy! So a clear comparison was made. I asked the show attendant if any changes had been made and he replied there wasn't. I didn't notice as much shout in my seating positing the second time around, so maybe my positioning was better - it was clearly smoother. For final kicks, I transferred from my wheelchair to the seat (2-3" lower) for the final track to see if my height was a disadvantage - nope. Still heard the same issues.

So where does this leave me with horns? Well the Anime and by corollary the Cessaro Wagner don't make any sense - the bass just isn't there. I feel the Avantgarde Duo XD is probably the only horn that might work for my tastes.

ps. I wasn't a fan of the Altecs as much as others due to sensing a coherence issue between the horn and the cones. It was pretty easy to hear what sounds were coming from which driver. On the Tunes, to their credit, i didn't get an incoherent sense although a larger room would be necessary to fully adjudicate that issue.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Keith, I'm less sensitive to horn colorations/cupped hands than you and others. But I struggle w what can be lean bass or lower mids/upper bass. For me, this manifests itself as what seems to be the total absence of bass on the music I love best, while remaining fuller on more purist music. And for this reason, Animas wouldn't be my personal choice. Seems like the same for you.
 

KeithR

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Keith, I'm less sensitive to horn colorations/cupped hands than you and others. But I struggle w what can be lean bass or lower mids/upper bass. For me, this manifests itself as what seems to be the total absence of bass on the music I love best, while remaining fuller on more purist music. And for this reason, Animas wouldn't be my personal choice. Seems like the same for you.
Marc, fwiw I don't hear the cupped hands on Avantgardes (nor JBLs, Oceanways, and some others). But that 50-150hz range was a struggle the other day and sounds like you heard the same thing.
 

spiritofmusic

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Keith, we're all susceptible to different things. Most people don't notice Blu Ray motion judder on digital projectors. I can't not see it.

I've heard a fair few horns myself, and for me the struggle is in the bass extension or warmth of lower mids/upper bass. FWIW, the horns w true horn bass other than AG dynamic drivers I've liked are the Cesarro Liszts. I'm sure I'd also get on w AG Trios w Basshorns.

As the best compromise of wanting proper extended bass w true horns mids and highs, surely the AG Duos XD are it. I can tell you that Blue58's sound I've heard a couple of dozen times at least has never been less than vivid and fully engaging.
 

KeithR

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Keith, we're all susceptible to different things. Most people don't notice Blu Ray motion judder on digital projectors. I can't not see it.

I've heard a fair few horns myself, and for me the struggle is in the bass extension or warmth of lower mids/upper bass. FWIW, the horns w true horn bass other than AG dynamic drivers I've liked are the Cesarro Liszts. I'm sure I'd also get on w AG Trios w Basshorns.
Funny you mention projectors as the cupped hands and DLP "rainbow effect" are similar to me in the two hobbies. The Cessaros outside of the Wagner are just too much $$$ and so the brand is officially off the list. I have not decided whether I will demo the Duo XD or not (requires travel).

The Stenheim Alumine Five is the next dynamic driver that I would like to hear. Its getting up there on price though as well.
 

spiritofmusic

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Keith, nothing is cheap. I'd really encourage you to find some Duos somewhere. Re climbing costs, I tip my hat to Sean Casey, he's stressed considering anything over $25k for the new Experiences.
 

KeithR

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I talked to Sean last week and the new Definition is expected to be out by the end of the year - <$20k. Same form factor as your IVs, but with the new drivers and cabinet of the Druid VI as well as a new amp for the active bass. On the downward firing 12", he's considering a new driver that has more horn bass traits though doesn't extend past 22hz or so (it would be a consumer option).

Also, my friend is getting Druid VIs and dual Submission subs and I'll get to hear the setup in August - mega fun!
 

spiritofmusic

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Keith, can you rephrase that last bit about the sub bass on the new Defs IV (to be called the VI, so Sean tells me).

It was always a bit ambitious to say the IVs went to 16Hz, so 22Hz sounds more accurate.
 

KeithR

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There would be two drivers to choose from - the first has ultimate extension like today's driver, the second is a slightly less extended version but with more horn bass characteristics. My guess is the latter has more texture.
 

spiritofmusic

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Intriguing. Tbh, I'd rather move from downfiring bass, so I'll wait for the likely $25-30k Experiences.
 

spiritofmusic

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And Keith, choice on horns remains both limited in choice, and in all-round appeal on all genres. Of the horns I have heard, Liszts would be my likely choice, but we're talking €130k. I quite like the Ares Cerat Symphonias, €80-120k. I'm sure AG Trios w Basshorns would float my boat at €100k. AG Duos XD are probably the most genre-agnostic choice, and best for rock, electronica etc at €40-50k.
 

the sound of Tao

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The Tune Audio Anime (show conditions):

I had been interested in horns going back all the way to my original post as I've always valued dynamics highly. Historically though, I've heard horn colorations (cupped hands) pretty easily on Voltis, Chopins, and some others. I also get concerned about integration, coming from 6.5 years of owning FRD-based loudspeakers previously (Zu). Finally, I was curious how horn bass in a relatively small horn would work - that said, the Anime is a full 3-way horn unlike the JBLs, Ocean Ways, etc.

The Animas were setup on the long wall at THE Show and used a Nagra digital setup into Wavac preamp and EC300B amp. There was no streaming or vinyl rig, so I was stuck listening to audiophile demo music and not my own. I was seated in the middle for over a half hour in prime time seating position, albeit right against the back wall. The first thing I noticed is that they project a huge amount of space - I feel like this is why the classical guys feel horns can convey an orchestra better. And I get it. Dynamics not surprisingly were exceptional and "alive." The next thing I noticed was the hanging female vocal (almost dripping) in front of me - which to be fair is usually what I have heard on SET amps in the past.

But as we continued to play other cuts, the cupped hands veil was clearly obvious - didn't matter the instrument or voice, but there it was. Also, images were unnaturally large - to be fair, this might be due to the speakers being 15' apart. He played some well known jazz (forgive me, forget the exact cut right now) and some of the horn shout also came into play. I do believe setup wasn't ideal, but was expecting better - and those who know me offline understand that expectation bias was actually in favor of the Tunes coming into this demo. The last track we played had drums and string bass and this is where the second big negative came - the absence of real bass. Like total absence. These speakers must roll off hard below 100hz as it was clearly obvious they struggle down low and had no bass impact (even in a hotel room). I asked about the bass and the only thing you can play with are footers underneath the bass horn - which appeared to be an inch or two off the ground. Whether this is a difference between horn bass and cone bass, I do not know.

So I returned with an electronica CD on Saturday to give it another go on my own music - St. Germain to be exact- to test sound stage and bass. I actually enjoyed the sound stage and didn't find the imaging objectionable. But there just wasn't any thunder down under - and this cut doesn't have 20-30hz bass at all, so its not even that challenging. For reference, I had played the CD the same day in the VSA room and the bass was excellent, tuneful, and full of energy! So a clear comparison was made. I asked the show attendant if any changes had been made and he replied there wasn't. I didn't notice as much shout in my seating positing the second time around, so maybe my positioning was better - it was clearly smoother. For final kicks, I transferred from my wheelchair to the seat (2-3" lower) for the final track to see if my height was a disadvantage - nope. Still heard the same issues.

So where does this leave me with horns? Well the Anime and by corollary the Cessaro Wagner don't make any sense - the bass just isn't there. I feel the Avantgarde Duo XD is probably the only horn that might work for my tastes.

ps. I wasn't a fan of the Altecs as much as others due to sensing a coherence issue between the horn and the cones. It was pretty easy to hear what sounds were coming from which driver. On the Tunes, to their credit, i didn't get an incoherent sense although a larger room would be necessary to fully adjudicate that issue.
Great explanation of what you heard Keith. Many could (and do) live perfectly happily with Anima sans subs but I also ultimately am on the cusp with this and prefer them with subs for some music. It’s always a bit of a trade off either way.

Given your music preferences then it’s perfectly understandable that they don’t make sense for you and aren’t where you are heading. Though I’ve not heard the Animas be shouty (which is one of the reasons I do like them) and they do work very much towards the coherent end of the spectrum which is also very important for me... unsure if the drivers might then have the prerequisite number of hours up on them if that is what you heard (did the importer say that they were recently arrived?)... tbh could be a whole combination of factors at play including the plethora of standard issues of hearing a speaker in show conditions syndrome.

The people who fall in love with them tend to live long term with them... just as equally some will just not relate at all. In my experience horns are mostly like that.
 

Exlibris

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And Keith, choice on horns remains both limited in choice, and in all-round appeal on all genres. Of the horns I have heard, Liszts would be my likely choice, but we're talking €130k. I quite like the Ares Cerat Symphonias, €80-120k. I'm sure AG Trios w Basshorns would float my boat at €100k. AG Duos XD are probably the most genre-agnostic choice, and best for rock, electronica etc at €40-50k.
How about hORNS Universum III?
 
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joeinid

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Keith,

I have never been as happy with a set of speakers as I am with my Avantgarde Duo XD.

Absolutely wonderful speakers.

The Tune Audio Anime (show conditions):

edit

So where does this leave me with horns? Well the Anime and by corollary the Cessaro Wagner don't make any sense - the bass just isn't there. I feel the Avantgarde Duo XD is probably the only horn that might work for my tastes.

edit

.
 
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Tango

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From what I have heard, Bass is also world apart from Magico to Cessaro. Cessaro with full front load bass horns never gonna make Pink Floyd The Wall sound as excitingly wow as M6 with Qsubs. Just can't feel the helicopter like the Magico. I do not have enough experience to generalize the bass character of cones vs horns, but I find cone bass is better than horns on rock and club music. Good to have two systems if one can.

Tang :)
 

Folsom

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That's because they try to make horn bass (which is just cone bass, unless they have an actual enormous horn) higher sensitivity to match. At least that's common, and it won't produce the kind of deep thunder you can get from more excursion. It's fairly simple physics.
 
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