KeithR's "Dream Speaker" Search

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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Well I heard Odeon sucked this year at Munich from several people - guess nobody should ever consider them ;)

I think you put far too much stock in what sounds good or bad at Munich. Devore sounds badass at my dealer and in my home - its worth hearing his reference in an optimized non-show environment. To say that's a waste of time is LOL.
Well, I actually heard them in Munich this year and they far from sucked. It was definitely one of the better sounding rooms. A lot of others who were there that i know thought that the room sounded quite good as well. I don't; however, think they sound better than the much less expensive No. 38 or 33...so justifying the steep price tag of the speakers is hard, IMO.

Well, we can't all be Ked and fly hither and thither to hear everything in an "optimized" setting. It is what it is and you make or break based on how well you can demo your system. Maybe they are "badass"... or maybe not...
 

bonzo75

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I am not saying one should fly around. People have varying time in this hobby. But I certainly don't talk down components sounding bad at Munich that I haven't heard elsewhere. At the same time, I don't talk up rooms which sound bad at Munich just because I like gear in those rooms from outside demos.
 

spiritofmusic

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So, what is Ked's suggestion for Keith's less than ideal experience w the Animas? I mean, it's show conditions, and we've discussed how misleading Munich impressions can be. Should Keith be pushing for another listen, but in better conditions?
 

bonzo75

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So, what is Ked's suggestion for Keith's less than ideal experience w the Animas? I mean, it's show conditions, and we've discussed how misleading Munich impressions can be. Should Keith be pushing for another listen, but in better conditions?
Well he still might not like it. I think you have heard it in different conditions where you preferred Mani's the most after hating them elsewhere, still I doubt they are the choice for you. They were great in Munich 2016 where Ron did not like them. So they are not for him though he loves the Avaton. Brad, I, Sujay, and others loved them in Munich 2016. And I have liked them elsewhere though since then I heard other alternatives. How much time Keith wants to spend on this is entirely a personal call. If the local dealer is willing to show in his show room with different amps Keith should try
 
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bonzo75

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I also love how devores, like tannoys, fit into a life style.

BEEA7598-C3E1-4781-8C85-07F690B76B94.jpeg
 

Ron Resnick

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So, what is Ked's suggestion for Keith's less than ideal experience w the Animas? I mean, it's show conditions, and we've discussed how misleading Munich impressions can be. Should Keith be pushing for another listen, but in better conditions?
If we all agree to buy Avatons maybe Manolis will sell them to us for a quantity discount price equal to the price of the Animas, and we can solve several problems in one go?
 

spiritofmusic

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Ked, Devores have that understated mid 20th century design ethos, which works as well in industrial lofts and other similar Corbusier and art deco inspired settings, as well as 2019 rooms requiring a self effacing design that won't dominate a room.

Devores would have looked the part in my old loft apartment aircraft factory 1930's building.
 

KeithR

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So, what is Ked's suggestion for Keith's less than ideal experience w the Animas? I mean, it's show conditions, and we've discussed how misleading Munich impressions can be. Should Keith be pushing for another listen, but in better conditions?
I'm not going to return to the Munich subject - Brad and I have PM'd and its best to move on.

I've actually considered hearing the Tunes again - but the lack of bass extension and output in a small room was so worrisome on electronica. I'm far more interested in Stenheim, although can't afford the Fives. And I'm hoping an Avantgarde demo will happen soon.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Keith, I've heard the Animas three times now. Twice unfavourably w both SS and tubes on rock, once much more favourably w SS. This latter experience was the one at Manisandher on modded First Watt SITs.

But even on this mostly excellent demo, it's inescapably apparent the Animas do not do the hugely extended or iron grip bass thing. It's more about palpable mids, and reasonable texture into 45-50Hz upper bass territory, that works for 80% of a lot of music. Just not for a diet of Rush, Nils Frahm, any choice of electronica.

My Zus don't massively outperform the Animas on absolute bass depth, but they're much more fit for purpose on a wider range of genres.

From my experience at Mani, if my tastes were purely jazz, classical, vocal, there would be a lot to commend the Animas. Extend those tastes to bass driven material, electronica etc, there are better choices.

In the horns world, based on my in depth experience at Blue58 of listening to Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Ryan Adam, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Prokoviev, Holst, Copland..AND Nils Frahm, Snarky Puppy, James Blake, Rush etc, the AG Duos are almost the perfect choice.

So Keith, find some way to hear them.
 

manisandher

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Feb 7, 2011
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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.
I hear this effect quite clearly with all the plastic-horned mids I've heard, but not at all with the Animas with their wooden mid horns. I really wouldn't be able to live with them if they displayed this.

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).
Yep, I agree. There's no edit: real bass deep bass impact. Without subs, I wouldn't recommend these speakers... if deep bass impact is what you're after. FWIW, the Animas don't do anything for my wife when she's in the mood for heavy dance music. I suspect they'd be pretty crap for a party (though I've yet to try :)). But with something more 'naturally recorded', they shine - even my wife loves them.

Regarding the low end of the Animas, is there any reason not to augment it with subs?
Apart from getting the integration right, I can't see one.

Should $50k speakers, that are advertised as 'full range', need to have subs to play all genres of music satisfactorily? Maybe...

Mani.
 
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manisandher

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But even on this mostly excellent demo, it's inescapably apparent the Animas do not do the hugely extended or iron grip bass thing. It's more about palpable mids, and reasonable texture into 45-50Hz upper bass territory, that works for 80% of a lot of music. Just not for a diet of Rush, Nils Frahm, any choice of electronica.
Oh, I think they do have an iron grip on the bass (especially using the right amp), but it's just not as extended as some might like.

Also, I think the quality of the recording is paramount. Stuff like PF's 'The Wall' and 'DSOTM' really do sound great here. I was listening to Orbital's 'Monsters Exist' the other day and really was surprised at how punchy and impactful the bass was.

On a final note, I've mentioned before that I can get my Animas to sound totally different just by changing the front end and amps. I find my current set up very satisfying for 99% of the music I tend to listen to. But clearly, without subs, the Animas just aren't going to meet many people's preferences.

Mani.
 

KeithR

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Back to musical selection, I was playing this Com Truise last night - might give folks a better idea of 1/3 of my listening. While I've mellowed out to more intelligent dance music and trip hop compared with house music in my 20s, electronic beats will always run through my veins :)

 
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KeithR

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Back to the speaker search, I have procured a Stenheim Alumine Five demo next Saturday afternoon. I believe it is more in the Devore direction than some of the others but I thought Gamut might be ideal too and it didn't turn out to be.

I also heard my friend's Zu Druid VI over the weekend - it was good to return to Zu for a day and 213Cobra has optimized amplification for them now. Jeff and I both preferred the push/pull 2a3 over the F2a SET amps. The speaker exudes tone and dynamics - but this time with a refinement that my prior Zus lacked. I would say the Druid VI is even *more* dynamic than its predecessor and the bass is now truly outstanding. Sean Casey has made a huge leap in cabinet design that is readily apparent in any listening session. Hearing a crossover-less speaker is always beneficial and I highly recommend others do it from time to time - when I've noted that certain speakers sound mechanical or lack cohesiveness its because of an experience like this. We also heard the Definition IVs after and while the sound stage is still much better because of the MTM design, I preferred the new Druid's refinement. People might ask which do I prefer between Zu or Devore and I would still lean towards the latter but I am excited to hear Phil's incoming Definition VI towards the end of the year which will incorporate all of the cabinet and driver changes of the new Druid.

IMG_3846.jpg
 
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spiritofmusic

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Keith, that sounds highly promising. For me, I'm gonna hold my fire and wait for the Zu Experience flagship. If the new Defs VI has the jump on Druid VI, as Druid VI has on Def IV, and Experience has the jump on Def VI, Experience could be the spkr that propels Zu into proper deserved exposure as a high end alternative to the usual suspects.
 

KeithR

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May 7, 2010
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Keith, that sounds highly promising. For me, I'm gonna hold my fire and wait for the Zu Experience flagship. If the new Defs VI has the jump on Druid VI, as Druid VI has on Def IV, and Experience has the jump on Def VI, Experience could be the spkr that propels Zu into proper deserved exposure as a high end alternative to the usual suspects.
Honestly, I think you might be waiting a long long time. I just don't think its a Zu priority. Get the new Definition, Marc. I very much prefer the Druid VI to the Definition IV outside of sound stage - its a *huge* leap forward. Much bigger than Druid 4 to 5, etc. You can always trade them in for Experiences should that day come. Your Defs are 10 years old now - time for an upgrade!
 
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spiritofmusic

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Pity the piggy bank is only rattling with a few coins.
 

morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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Back to the speaker search, I have procured a Stenheim Alumine Five demo next Saturday afternoon. I believe it is more in the Devore direction than some of the others but I thought Gamut might be ideal too and it didn't turn out to be.

I also heard my friend's Zu Druid VI over the weekend - it was good to return to Zu for a day and 213Cobra has optimized amplification for them now. Jeff and I both preferred the push/pull 2a3 over the F2a SET amps. The speaker exudes tone and dynamics - but this time with a refinement that my prior Zus lacked. I would say the Druid VI is even *more* dynamic than its predecessor and the bass is now truly outstanding. Sean Casey has made a huge leap in cabinet design that is readily apparent in any listening session. Hearing a crossover-less speaker is always beneficial and I highly recommend others do it from time to time - when I've noted that certain speakers sound mechanical or lack cohesiveness its because of an experience like this. We also heard the Definition IVs after and while the sound stage is still much better because of the MTM design, I preferred the new Druid's refinement. People might ask which do I prefer between Zu or Devore and I would still lean towards the latter but I am excited to hear Phil's incoming Definition VI towards the end of the year which will incorporate all of the cabinet and driver changes of the new Druid.

View attachment 54085
Does he have an additional super tweeter on top? Doesn’t the Radian compression driver give enough “air”? Just wondering because I thought the Radian 850 came in quite high already.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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So Keith, do you think the new Defs VI will outperform the Druids VI as you feel the latter outperforms the Defs IV?

I've really got to a point where my Defs IV are night and day difference to when I bought them 6-7 years ago. To hear that they could go further more levels of loveliness w the new model is food for thought.
 

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