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Help me choose the best 'natural sounding' speaker for orchestral classical...

Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport

bhanja_trinanjan

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Hello!

Here are the candidates:

ATC SCM11

ATC SCM19

Usher BE-718

By 'natural sounding', I mean 'true to source' and highly resolving.

But, it should not end up sounding STERILE, ANALYTICAL, AMUSICAL, DRY, BORING etc...

Real music is not sterile; so a real loudspeaker should engage the soul.

However, I hate coloration at the same time. I value accuracy of tone and timbre and do not have the cash for an electrostat.

And it should be a HUGE leap ahead from my Diamond 9.1.
 

odyssey

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Hi
What is the rest of your chain like? Are you looking for source and amplification components as well?

cheers
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Hi
What is the rest of your chain like? Are you looking for source and amplification components as well?

cheers

Yes... I will start from scratch.

I am stuck between a high-end speaker setup and an extreme end headphone setup... (Sennheiser HD800...)... I am studying the speaker arena in depth now....

For headphones, I might consider:

Transport-->PS Audio Digital Link III DAC--->SPL Auditor---> Sennheiser HD800/ALO recabled K702
 

longshanks

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ATC SCM19 hands down the most neutral sounding and true to source speaker(little analytical) out of the list that you have mentioned.

The rest of the components also plays an important role so if you pair em right you have an absolute winner(source and amplification needs to be clean).Also the SCM19 needs quite a large area to shine and might not be suitable for small living area.

ATC SCM 19 is quite expensive in India as well, so if you feel its real expensive then the SCM 11 is an excellent choice will fill most of the rooms with amazing non-fatiguing music, and it will make even the songs that you don't like that much sound good to your ears(it did that to me at least).

The difference between the two is sound stage,bass, transparency(scm19 is very revealing) as far as i can remember cause the bass produced by the SCDM19 is one of the best ive ever heard from any bookshelf speaker.The music they produce will be very realistic specially for you taste of music(orchestration).


These speakers will never sound dry or cold,boring since that was a major concern of urs.

Note : all ATC speakers are quite power hungry.

This might help.

http://www.sonicflare.com/archives/sonicflare-review-atc-scm19-speakers.php

AudiogoN Forums: ATC SCM 11 Vs SCM 19...Need immediate suggestion

What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision - Int amp choices for ATC SCM 11 or 19
Stereophile: ATC SCM 11 loudspeaker

Speaker Asylum - ATC SCM 11 Vs SCM 19...Need immediate suggestion!! - Plinius_Fan - September 07, 2009 at 09:05:53
 
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Asit

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Hi Trinanjan,

As a start, you may listen to a few set-ups and see what sort of sound you may like for your music genre. For this the obvious option is to go to a few shops like the SKS Traders and Digital Acoustics. In addition, you may also want to listen to a few home set-ups. Many of our forum members and others (non-members) have a variety of set-ups and if you find time mutually agreeable you may visit and listen. This helped me tremendously when I started many many years ago. I got to listen to many installations that people carefully put together at their homes. That took a lot of confusion away and I had a clear vision, of course within my budget, what I wanted. At showrooms like the ARN systems and a few others, they carefully put together set-ups according to the customers preferred range and inclination. Unfortunately in Kolkata the shops would not allow you such liberties. Even after waiting to hear an Arcam CDP for the last year and a half, SKS people have not been able to set up that, even though they are the official dealers for Arcam in Kolkata.

You are very welcome to my place, although you'd not get these speakers currently available, but you'd have an idea of a particular kind of sonics with your preferred music. I am sure some others will be happy to invite you and make you listen to their set-up.

Once you are through with this phase, it makes better sense to talk brands, funds etc.

Regards.
 
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bhanja_trinanjan

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Hi Trinanjan,

As a start, you may listen to a few set-ups and see what sort of sound you may like for your music genre. For this the obvious option is to go to a few shops like the SKS Traders and Digital Acoustics. In addition, you may also want to listen to a few home set-ups. Many of our forum members and others (non-members) have a variety of set-ups and if you find time mutually agreeable you may visit and listen. This helped me tremendously when I started many many years ago. I got to listen to many installations that people carefully put together at their homes. That took a lot of confusion away and I had a clear vision, of course within my budget, what I wanted. At showrooms like the ARN systems and a few others, they carefully put together set-ups according to the customers preferred range and inclination. Unfortunately in Kolkata the shops would not allow you such liberties. Even after waiting to hear an Arcam CDP for the last year and a half, SKS people have not been able to set up that, even though they are the official dealers for Arcam in Kolkata.

You are very welcome to my place, although you'd not get these speakers currently available, but you'd have an idea of a particular kind of sonics with your preferred music. I am sure some others will be happy to invite you and make you listen to their set-up.

Once you are through with this phase, it makes better sense to talk brands, funds etc.

Regards.

Thanks a lot for your offer to allow me to listen to your setup... :)

I shall definitely keep that in my mind in the days ahead.. :D

My AKGs are very transparent; you can hear people turning notation pages in a philharmonic... the inner detail of piano notes etc... but there is one flaw in my current setup that makes music sound a bit dry... (more on the exact problem later... I have lots of work and am in office)

Some forum members have told me that my source (640C) is a dry sounding CD player and I would benefit tremendously from a better upsampling DAC....


At the end of the day... it is good to own the best of both worlds... the best headphone and the best speaker... :eek:hyeah:

That's why I keep researching!
 

sidvee

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bhanja_trinanjan,
my 2 cents. If you love the sound of phones, no speaker or set up (I have heard combos upto US$50k-$60k) will get you that sound IMHO. Of-course I have no idea of higher cost set ups. Instead you will get an entirely different sound with soundstage width, depth, imaging etc. Both sounds are different and there are strong proponents of each. The resolution/transparency you mentioned that you hear with phones may be missing in many mid and high-level setups. That being said, obviously if you enjoy both type of setups, then you will be getting the best of both worlds.
Cheers
Sid
 

unleash_me

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At the end of the day... it is good to own the best of both worlds... the best headphone and the best speaker... :eek:hyeah:

Well I'm also on a similar pursuit! Pretty happy with my hifi setup, so that's taken care of. Now want to explore the headfi route. Currently have a modest MS1i, being used mostly unamped with portables/PC and at times via int amp.

Kinda torn be WA6 (maxed out) and GS-1 with LA2000 (bubinga/jana/furutech) Another option which I'm strongly leaning towards is the EF5/HE5 combo. The impression across the forums are very promising. Unfortunately there is no way I can get an audition at present. Plus, being new to orthodynamic headphones, I'm taking my time learning as much as possible and waiting for the HE5 to mature over time and hopefully they will bring out an upgraded/refined one.

Cheers.
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Well I'm also on a similar pursuit! Pretty happy with my hifi setup, so that's taken care of. Now want to explore the headfi route. Currently have a modest MS1i, being used mostly unamped with portables/PC and at times via int amp.

Kinda torn be WA6 (maxed out) and GS-1 with LA2000 (bubinga/jana/furutech) Another option which I'm strongly leaning towards is the EF5/HE5 combo. The impression across the forums are very promising. Unfortunately there is no way I can get an audition at present. Plus, being new to orthodynamic headphones, I'm taking my time learning as much as possible and waiting for the HE5 to mature over time and hopefully they will bring out an upgraded/refined one.

Cheers.

Your best headphone setup would be like:


A CD player used as a transport---> Very High Grade DAC(PS Audio Digital Link III mentioned by some head-fiers)--->SPL Labs Phonitor/SPL Labs Auditor--->Sennheiser HD800/ALO Audio cabled AKG K702(2nd choice)

There are other entertaining phones out there... but those Senns and AKGs are of the neutral studio monitor type...
 

bhanja_trinanjan

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Dear bhanja_trinanjan

Western classical music is on the verge of dying..... and this has taken quite a deep turn since the start of the millennium. Most highend speakers which used to be voiced for classical music are now voiced for jazz, rock & pop. Stalwart speaker manufacturer like B&W who had been supplying their speakers for 2 decades to some of the major classical music labels like Decca, Abbey Road, EMI, London, Sony CBS, Deutsche Grammophon, etc. has even started to voice their premium models for jazz, rock & pop.

This is very, very sad. No other genre lays such great emphasis on tonal and timbral accuracy, dynamics, timing and resolution!

If a speaker can render the complex sound of a Stradivarius with ease, then I bet that it can do just about anything else.

Clarinets and woodwinds demand spot on tonality and perfect integration of mids and highs....

Pop and rock is all about synthesized sound and bass grunt as opposed to acoustic instruments.... i might sound like a classical snob here, but in my book, classical remains the defacto benchmark for a speaker to be judged... :eek:hyeah:
 

neo

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Though classical music is not my main realm. I do dabble in to it form time to time & Ive been fortunate enough to hear a live strad. From what I understand, that it has a bright & open tone with immense amount of focus & far reaching ability. It is def not soft mellow toned violin. Very few recordings are able to reproduce the sound of a strad accurately.

For a hifi setup to reproduce a strad correctly it has to have an immense open dynamic mids & highs which most people will find bright. From some super set ups that I've been fortunate enough to hear, very few set ups were able to get some essence of it.
IMO Room size is also a big factor. I hope you have a mid size room & budget of arnd 13-20 lacs to achieve your goal.
All the best.
Cheers.

Wish you all a very happy 2010.
 

Asit

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I have the following 2-LP vinyl set:

J.S. Bach
Sonaten und Partiten
Itzhak Perlman

By EMI Records Ltd (Hayes Middlesex England)

These recordings are in some sense unique because Perlman used his Guarneri for some of the items and his Stradivari for some others.

The literature that came with the 2-LP album quotes Perlman as follows:

"This recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin was made over a period of several months. At the start of the project the violin I was playing on was my beautiful Guarnaeri del Gesu of around 1740 - 'Ex Sauret'.

However, after the recording was underway I was most fortunate to acquire the Antonio Stradivari 'Soil' of 1714. I could not resist using this magnificent instrument on record at the first opportunity: the C major and A minor Sonatas became that opportunity.

People often ask which I prefer to play: the Stradivarius or the Guarnerius. I must admit that although each instrument has its own unique qualities and characteristics, I find it a great pleasure to change from one to the other and I certainly love playing them both."

Regards.
 
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suri

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I have the following 2-LP vinyl set:

J.S. Bach
Sonaten und Partiten
Itzhak Perlman

By EMI Records Ltd (Hayes Middlesex England)

These recordings are in some sense unique because Perlman used his Guarneri for some of the items and his Stradivari for some others.

The literature that came with the 2-LP album quotes Perlman as follows:

"This recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin was made over a period of several months. At the start of the project the violin I was playing on was my beautiful Guarnaeri del Gesu of around 1740 - 'Ex Sauret'.

However, after the recording was underway I was most fortunate to acquire the Antonio Stradivari 'Soil' of 1714. I could not resist using this magnificent instrument on record at the first opportunity: the C major and A minor Sonatas became that opportunity.

People often ask which I prefer to play: the Stradivarius or the Guarnerius. I must admit that although each instrument has its own unique qualities and characteristics, I find it a great pleasure to change from one to the other and I certainly love playing them both."

Regards.

god was not kind to me!

if i could enjoy music like you do, i would be blessed!

but all i do is listen and analyze if the system can hold up! - one of my closest friends (i do not have many) called me challenged!
 

neo

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@ Audio Engr.
Thanks for the furthering my understanding on the subject.
The bright was in comparison to a normal violin. But I never used the word harsh.

@OP. If your budget is 2.5 for the whole set up.
IMO you are better off postponing it or just get yourselves a decent pair of speakers arnd 2.5 & upgrade the rest of your chain as & when you can.

All the best.
Cheers.
 
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hifiashok

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if u r open to it, consider Viren's Amity. it was able to handle all of what we threw at it coming out tops. well within the sugg. budget for the entire setup, speakers, amp and source.
 

Dr.Bass

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Hi Bhanja,
Somehow I relate to what you want to buy because I was in a similar boat 6 months back. As audio_engr has already mentioned, I was using a nice pair of Dyanudio Contour 1.3Se and it was not easy to upgrade from there unless one has an hefty budget and large variety of speakers to choose from.

Finally I travelled to Singapore just for the sake of listening to whatever is possible within the territory. I auditioned almost 40 different pair of speakers in 5 days from a range of 70k to 300k (some speakers like Avant Garde was much more but they were auditioned only for fun). My focus was mainly on Neutrality, True Tone and Timbre and Transparency. The speakers I ended up liking were
Rockport Technologies Mira Monitor, Tannoy Prestige Glenair and ATC.

With ATCs, their tones and transparency was truthful that I could have happily lived with the SCM-11 even though its priced lot cheaper than my previous Contour SE. But I finally took the leap and went for the best ATC I could afford and bought the SCM-40. They are as accurate as a monitor speaker but with a fullrange extension and presentation. Especially their dedicated midrange driver is priceless. If you have the room (around 200 sqft) then SCM-40 is what I would recommend.
Between SCM-11 and 19, as already mentioned you would not know what you are missing in the 11 till you hear the 19. So both of them are superb at their price points. However with the 19 you would have to stick to better recordings as they are quite a bit less forgiving than the 11. Do understand that with ATCs are very musical speakers but they reveal the flaws in a manner for which you would not want to blame the speakers.

Be ready to invest well on clean electronics, cables and power...it would be heavenly when you get to that point.
 

venkatcr

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Western classical music is on the verge of dying..... and this has taken quite a deep turn since the start of the millennium. Most highend speakers which used to be voiced for classical music are now voiced for jazz, rock & pop. Stalwart speaker manufacturer like B&W who had been supplying their speakers for 2 decades to some of the major classical music labels like Decca, Abbey Road, EMI, London, Sony CBS, Deutsche Grammophon, etc. has even started to voice their premium models for jazz, rock & pop.

Audio Engineer, I do hope you were joking when you made this statement. Western Classical music is only growing with new artists and new ways of playing springing up every day. It is different matter what kind of music manufacturers adhere to for designing their speakers, but that is not a reflection of the longevity of the genre of music. Yes, I do agree that the number of people who listen seriously to Western Classical may be dwindling as compared to say, rock, bit again that is no reflection of the genre's longevity.

Cheers
 
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