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    Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

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    crashb4

    Posts : 13
    Join date : 2016-01-07
    Age : 55
    Location : Monson, Ma.

    Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by crashb4 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:59 am

    Guys,
    Wondering what you use for music when auditioning speakers. As a classic rock listener, I am looking to evaluate bottom end, presence and dynamic range. I have sold off my equipment due to an upcoming move.  I currently own an ST-70 and that’s it. New listening room will be a modest 10 x 20. Also looking for thoughts on speakers. My budget is modest so they will undoubtedly be used.
    Thanks all

    ramon68

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2009-04-12
    Age : 75
    Location : naples fl

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by ramon68 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:13 pm

    I don't know what your budget is, but here is my experience. I had a $700 kit mtm from Parts Express that sounded merely OK at moderate volume.
    Couldn't play loud without distorting or soft without losing detail. Bought a Tekton Lore for a grand. 98db for 1 watt in. It ain't perfect but at its price,
    it is awfully good. Very detailed and when you twist the volume, it plays loud and detailed. Doesn't lose focus when cranked.
    If you are going to buy used, I recommend getting a high efficiency speaker, (95db minimum) for good dynamics. Audition the speaker using
    unamplified jazz, classical and choral music, even if you don't normally listen to these genres. You know what an instrument or voice should sound like,
    judge by that.

    mazeeff

    Posts : 116
    Join date : 2014-01-06
    Age : 61
    Location : Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by mazeeff on Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:18 pm

    This is just one Mans opinion, but the Cerwin Vega 15" line of speakers, sound fantastic on the ST-70, and can can be found cheaply. I have Cerwin Vega AT-15s, RE-38s, and RE-30. The AT-15s and RE38s have sensitivity levels of 102db. This makes driving them very easy, and a ST-70 will handle classic rock at VERY high levels with these speakers! They can be found for $200 a pair. As far as Music, I use Mark Knopfler for auditioning. His recording studio is 2nd to none. His latest CD (Tracker) has everything you need for testing!

    Mike

    crashb4

    Posts : 13
    Join date : 2016-01-07
    Age : 55
    Location : Monson, Ma.

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by crashb4 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the input guys. Budget will be about 1K. Tossed over horns or cones. I've had Klipsch KG4s and found them a little harsh. Maybe tubes will sound different. Was thinking Heresy or Chorus. Maybe Polk SDAs.

    Maintarget

    Posts : 208
    Join date : 2013-02-10

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by Maintarget on Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:15 pm

    Check "Baddog1946" recent post it has piqued my interest........

    crashb4

    Posts : 13
    Join date : 2016-01-07
    Age : 55
    Location : Monson, Ma.

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by crashb4 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:04 pm

    I read that post. Looks very interesting. Love the cabinet work. It looks fantastic. Problem for me is time. Work and 3 special needs kids keep me busy. Some day I will give it a try.
    Thanks all.

    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2377
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:24 pm

    For lower priced speakers that are pretty good, check out the Axiom speakers sold from Canada directly to the consumer ..

    Axiom speakers

    For higher quality speakers > the best buy you can get are the Tyler Acoustics speakers. These are also sold directly to the consumer from Owensboro, Kentucky. Tyler Lashbrook (the fellow that runs the company) uses high quality Seas and Scanspeak drivers and very good quality crossovers. These speakers are, however, higher priced and would run over your $1K spending limit.  I would consider them to be "high end" speakers sold at discounted prices. Tyler has no middlemen and sells only directly to the end user. The quoted prices include shipping to anywhere in the USA. He also sells used speakers that were traded in by customers at lower prices. The used speakers may have a minor mark or two but are acoustically perfect ...  Link below ..

    Tyler Acoustics

    Bob


    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:04 am

    Bob Latino wrote:For lower priced speakers that are pretty good, check out the Axiom speakers sold from Canada directly to the consumer ..

    Axiom speakers

    For higher quality speakers > the best buy you can get are the Tyler Acoustics speakers. These are also sold directly to the consumer from Owensboro, Kentucky. Tyler Lashbrook (the fellow that runs the company) uses high quality Seas and Scanspeak drivers and very good quality crossovers. These speakers are, however, higher priced and would run over your $1K spending limit.  I would consider them to be "high end" speakers sold at discounted prices. Tyler has no middlemen and sells only directly to the end user. The quoted prices include shipping to anywhere in the USA. He also sells used speakers that were traded in by customers at lower prices. The used speakers may have a minor mark or two but are acoustically perfect ...  Link below ..

    Tyler Acoustics

    Bob


    I've got to second HRH Latino on the Tylers. Ty is a delight to work with and he builds the best speakers I've ever owned. Each order is a custom order, so you get to know him personally during the process. Other people in the audio world I know who've bought Tylers will tell of similar experiences and satisfaction with what they've got. The free shipping is a big plus, too.
    If you're auditioning speakers, some of the most difficult things a speaker has to reproduce are the piano and the female human voice. If you get a sense of transparency in those simple areas the speaker can probably do anything else you want.

    jasn54

    Posts : 30
    Join date : 2015-04-13

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by jasn54 on Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:29 am

    For budget speakers, I've been seeing a lot (a real lot) of buzz about Elac Debut Speakers around the interwebs.  The price point is ridiculously low and can be found on Amazon Prime to boot.

    These speakers are designed by Andrew Jones and I've been told (but not confirmed) that they are manufactured by Axiom.

    Elac even has a newer, modestly higher-end product that came out at CES this year called Uni-Fi.  You can watch a YouTube gush about them Here starting @ 4:20 and an interview with Jones Here.


    Last edited by jasn54 on Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:54 am

    Another thought occurs, if you're going the used route: Dynaco made a great line of speaks back in the 1970s early 1980s, the A-25, -35, and -50. They were very simple and great-sounding two-way speaks, and used top-notch SEAS drivers. The woofer surrounds are rubber so they're not susceptible to the rot that ruined a lot of foam-surround designs of that era. I have a pair of A-35s in the man-cave and love 'em. Crossovers are very simple: a resistor rotary switch to trim the tweeter, and a single electrolytic cap. The A-25 is externally vented; the bigger ones internally vented, so they're quite efficient.  The A-35s and A-50s are a bit hard to come by but there's always a couple pairs of A-25s on Canuck Audio Mart for around $200 a pair plus shipping, which is a consideration because even the A-25s for their size are heavy. Just make sure they've got the original SEAS drivers. The only surgery they might need is pulling the woofer, cleaning up the resistor switch contacts, and a new 5uF or so capacitor for 10 bucks, then reinstalling the woof. Elegant designs for their time.

    daveshel

    Posts : 148
    Join date : 2011-11-06
    Location : Tucson AZ USA

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by daveshel on Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:03 pm

    Second the Dynaco. They really work well with tube equipment. The A-25 is probably ok for the size of your room. I have some A-50s that are amazing as well but you would need a crate to ship them in.

    For evaluating equipment I like Steely Dan or Donald Fagen, and Mark Knopfler or Dire Straits is excellent as well. A sleeper is Al Stewart - I particularly like Time Passages but all of the later stuff is well produced and has good dynamics also.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:30 pm

    daveshel wrote:Second the Dynaco. They really work well with tube equipment. The A-25 is probably ok for the size of your room. I have some A-50s that are amazing as well but you would need a crate to ship them in.

    For evaluating equipment I like Steely Dan or Donald Fagen, and Mark Knopfler or Dire Straits is excellent as well. A sleeper is Al Stewart - I particularly like Time Passages but all of the later stuff is well produced and has good dynamics also.
    Yeah, what daveshel said. Superbly produced albums. The transition on Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms album, between "So Far Away" and "Money for Nothing" is pure torture to a crappy sound system and you'll hear it right away, especially on vinyl. Another excellent test-drive is Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me." A good sound system will have her sitting on your lap.
    Yeah, I'd put the hunt-dogs out for some original Dynaco speaks. Can't vouch for the top of the line A-50s 'cuz I've never owned them, but having owned -25s or -35s, you can't go wrong.
    Somebody is selling a a DIY A-25 kit for about $1k a pair or more, and requires carpentry.
    Get the old guys with the SEAS drivers. I'm sure anybody on the board can talk you through upgrading that cap in the cross-over. OTOH, they might sound just fine the way they are, in which case, no foot-shooting required.
    Dave

    hogzilla

    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2015-09-04

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by hogzilla on Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:13 pm

    I've seen AR-3a and Large Advents for around $200-300 on Craigslist from time to time. Both excellent vintage speakers that should match your ST-70 well.

    corndog71

    Posts : 444
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:20 pm

    I know a speaker designer who has a whole bunch of discounted speakers for sale. They're new in box but b-stock due to insufficient polyfill. You could use them as is or tweak them a bit for even better perfomance. I was thinking about picking up a pair of the CSC-1 for use as monitors. (Just have to rotate the tweeters.) For the money they are a steal!

    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=116702.0

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by tubes4hifi on Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:16 pm

    I'm sure I'll get flak from some people for recommending these, but I checked out the Axiom M50s at $1180 a pair,
    and they remind me of my Infinity p360s which I bought for $300 8 years ago.  Infinity's aren't super resolution but they put out
    a really decent sound and the price is amazing for the performance, compare VERY favorably with most $1000 speakers.
    Latest version is the p363, sold by Crutchfield, and still only $300 a pair, check them out here
    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P363BK/Infinity-Primus-P363.html?tp=185&awcp=1t1&awcr=82642628003&awdv=c&awkw=infinity+p363&awmt=p&awnw=g

    also free shipping, and 60 day money back guarantee

    pmarcin

    Posts : 131
    Join date : 2009-01-20
    Age : 68

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by pmarcin on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:16 pm

    I havejust purchased the JBL Studio 530s for inclusion in my pantheon of speaker gods. Several reviews on the Internet tout them as the 'greatest spesker ever.' I haven't unboxed them, so the suspense builds. I'll review them lster.


    ztw; They sre sold out on the Internet until Apr 3. They're being scalped for 810-1031USD,but list for $599 with a sale price of $19. You can get the bigger brother $1060, but it's a floorstander.

    Gregg R.

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    Age : 71
    Location : Land of 11,842 Lakes

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by Gregg R. on Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:48 am

    Like Roy Mottram, I have a pair of Infinity P360s, also purchased from Crutchfield's, about 6 years ago. They are sitting in a closet, replaced by some Legacy Studio HD monitors, which cost about 5 times as much. For the money, the P360s are a steal!! The main difference in the P36x series is cosmetics.

    Here is a review that appeared in TAS about a year ago:

    Infinty P363

    The review accurately reflects what I hear, although I did perform some modifications to the crossover and internal wiring.

    Gregg R.

    Note: I believe JBL and Infinity are both owned by Harman Intl., and use the same research facilities.

    crashb4

    Posts : 13
    Join date : 2016-01-07
    Age : 55
    Location : Monson, Ma.

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by crashb4 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:22 pm

    Thanks for the input guys. It's great to have a source of collective experiance. It looks like i am going with a pair of Polk SDA1a at a bargain price. At 95 db W/M the ST-70 should power them ok. Besides, The ultimate goal is a VTA120 and if i don't like them, I can sell them for what i have in them easily.

    Thanks again all.

    crashb4

    Posts : 13
    Join date : 2016-01-07
    Age : 55
    Location : Monson, Ma.

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by crashb4 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:29 pm

    BTW: Pink Floyd Animals (specifically Sheep) did it for me.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Auditioning music, speaker recommendations

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:46 pm

    Gregg,
    thanks for the review, really, these speakers at this price (Infinity P363, older models P362, P361, P360) are really almost too good to be true.
    I also have a matching pair of their "center channel" speakers which I use as studio monitors in my workshop.
    Hard to believe, but when I bought them, I was floored that they sounded better than some extremely expensive speakers that I had before.
    Here's some quotes from the review for those who don't want to follow the link and read the whole thing . . . .
    the Infinities are superbly uncolored and un-speaker like. And they vanish as sources in a way few others can match, presenting a seamless and stable sonic image.
    This is no-compromise behavior. Not good for the money, not good for two or three times the price, but just plain good, period. You can spend $90,000 for a pair
    of speakers and not do as well in radiation pattern. This is a speaker that everyone ought to listen to carefully. At the price, one could almost buy them just
    to try them out . . . . I do not want to appear to be deliberately provocative, but these things are really something. In many fundamental ways they
    are in the top echelon of anything out there. Hard to believe, perhaps, but have a listen. They do more than sound like a really good speaker.

    At any rate, much as I'm always itchin' to buy me some $5000 speakers, these sound so good it makes spending that kind of money ridiculous.
    Although keep in mind, my idea is always value for the money, as 90% of the sound for 10% of the price has always been foremost in my mind.

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