what's best sounding speaker you have ever heard?

A stacked quad esl 57 driven with otl amps, best resolution , best midrange ever. The smoothness and clarity simply divine.didn't bother me at all that the instruments were shown larger. the bass was perfect enough for me.
Exsample with other amps
 
Can someone tell me how they separate the sound of one component so as to declare it the best?
We only listen to a system and a huge part of that system is the room and of course the set up within the room.
I have not heard some of the items discussed here and therefore can't comment however I am sure if you took DDK's system and stuck it in someone else's room without his expertise it wouldn't be nearly the same.

I have heard too many systems to count and have heard many examples with the same speaker with wildly different results, Just for example at one of the Munich shows there we 3 or 4 different rooms with Magico M6's and the sound spectrum went from really awful to very good all on the same speaker. So it was the system and room not the speaker we experienced.
These discussions IMO are really futile and I believe many have not realized the importance of the unpurchased items
THE ROOM
THE SET UP

Experience and expertise are important Just one man's view.
It is a fair point and I will modify that the best speaker I have heard is the YG Sonja XVi driven by a big Boulder amp. I passed on YG speakers for years because the local YG dealer carries only electronics with the kind of sonic signature they think a system should have, but isn't my preference.
 
Not on WBF anymore , the overall level dropped a couple of notches as compared to 3-4 years ago

Having only sanitized archives and but the briefest of encounters beyond '18.

Am I correct you are stating instead of point collecting validations / congratulatory responses to new gear acquisition. Members actually understood and deliberated over why a given change was interesting or foolhardy. Which mandatorily included a generous dab of colorful uninhibited remarks on wide ranging topics so fully devalued in the social arena of late.
 
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“what's best sounding speaker you have ever heard?”

I believe that after an audiophile has (i) sufficient experience listening to live, unamplified music, including a variety of instruments and voices; and (ii) sufficient experience listening to evolved and refined audio systems in people’s homes or at loudspeaker manufacturer factories or in dealer salons (I am trying to exclude audio shows here), that eventually, ultimately musical genre preference drives loudspeaker preference.

The “best” loudspeaker I have heard varies based on whether I am trying to maximize my suspension of disbelief for, for example, solo vocal recordings, live jazz club recordings or big symphony orchestra recordings. If I listened equally to each musical genre then I would select, yet again, a different loudspeaker as a general purpose loudspeaker to maximize the sum of my suspensions of disbelief across different musical genres.
 
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then you did the right thing. You listen to something more than once. Only if it gets repeatable (same bad signatures repeat in different systems) it is bad. If it is bad once and good another time, find out what makes it sing in the good system with repeated. Why do people assume that everyone listens to something once and that’s it

like with your trio post, some people went back later to hear it with different valve amps

You have evolved, which is good.
 
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I guess I can only speak to my favorite auditions, but they are:

1) Alsyvox @Bobvin in Brooklyn
2) AvantGarde Trio 3.0 at Axpona 2022
3) Cessaro (don't know the model) at High Water Sound
4) Quads at Quintessence Audio in Chicago

FWIW, which probably isn't much.
 
I remember a few years back you drawing conclusions on several components after visiting someone for for a day. Listening over time - multiple listening sessions to the same system(s) typically yields more informed judgement. It's not a criticism.

never did. I always followed components around. Sometimes for years.

your reviews are all done in one system though
 
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You didn't understand what I said. Nevermind.


I compare components and follow components around. You have to understand a component and a system. Not just one or the other, e.g. when I heard the Zellaton at audio arts with all unfamiliar gear, I followed Brinkmann balance around in many systems including compares. Same with his cartridge (Allaerts) electronics (did a compare of FM phono and pre) and graded the power again didn’t get to do a compare.

When I heard General’s system, I have followed the Vyger around in 10 systems and counting. The red sparrow on different arms. I had a compare of the phono in that system, but got a compare of the preamp couple of years later in another system. Rolled valves on the preamp to understand it. The Mayer 46 power amp is actually in for a compare again this Sunday with an 801 amp. And have heard the speaker with various other amps. Both the speaker and the TT I have heard sound splendid and not.

When I heard Mike’s system, I visited Dartzeel who has the same amps and speakers one level down. I’ve heard big darts on Stenheim with a compare two months ago. I heard the smaller Dartzeel, the integrated, the cartridge he used in different systems. I am visiting Mike again and have heard the CS port today, compared the linear tracker, have heard the DaVa, this will more continue at Mike’s and post Mike’s visit. Dava will be heard at Bill’s, Leif, and compared with Neumann and Analog DmT

Part of the hobby is understanding the character of the components that make a system work. And you have to understand them in different contexts to understand them. Listening in same context for hours on end is pointless. Those who don’t get it quickly in the same context are poor auditioners. They have the wrong recordings and don’t know what to listen for.

I try to understand my valve components with tube rolls. Every speaker I recommend I have heard in multiple rooms and set ups. Same with any other components in the chain. Things I don’t like such as Wilson and Magico I have heard in even more set ups than the ones I like. All carts I like I have heard in multiple contexts and try to hear them with different arms and phonos.

the Sigma MAAT speaker I am now listening in multiple rooms with multiple amps.

I often buy gear and post it around then visit to compare
 
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Two speakers struck me as astonishing when I first heard them.

The Kind Horn Company speaker at CES, Las Vegas in the 1980s. I picked up a spec sheet but I've never heard of them since, despite Google searching. Any information of what happened to this company appreciated. I guess this was a prototype, Stunning sound and incredible looking, but what a shame if it never went into production.

A pair of large Martin Logan speakers playing in a London shopping mall outside the hi-fi shop showing them off. The first electrostatics I'd heard and this experience led me to buy a pair of MLs about 40 years later. As it happened a very disappointing purchase, but I blame my room, not the speakers.

Those were speaker systems that tickled my fancy many years ago, but more recently (2002 I believe) after reading Stereophile's review and choosing at as their annual Best Speaker, I bought Avantgarde Unos. I found these hard to better despite listening to hundreds of systems at shows, showrroms and friends' systems. Only bettered by Duo and now my Duo XD. No doubt there are better systems, including other AG models, but the Duo XD still takes a lot of beating.
 
A stacked quad esl 57 driven with otl amps, best resolution , best midrange ever. The smoothness and clarity simply divine.didn't bother me at all that the instruments were shown larger. the bass was perfect enough for me.
Exsample with other amps
Despite only being able to hear it via video, there is certainly something very special about this...thanks for posting.
 
Not on WBF anymore , the overall level dropped a couple of notches as compared to 3-4 years ago

That must be when I joined :D

Seriously, I do think it may be better to say what is really interesting rather than what is best. There are lots of technologies or ingenious ideas that I find interesting without needing to claim they are the only way to do things.
 
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Magico M3s. These might be surpassed by M6s or M9s or Von Schweikert‘s Ultra 9s in another room. But for our present room, Oh, the joy of the M3s!

571E8EC0-F5C1-4E54-BAD3-B0FBCF75B796.jpeg
 
I liked the video of those stacked Quads, too.

I would have to spend serious time with a setup to declare any kind of 'winner', and the only thing I can do that with is my own system. Sometimes different might sound better just because it's different, until you get used to it, and it just becomes different, not necessarily better.
 

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