What speakers do I buy next?

vineetrad

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I am trying to build systems that sound significantly different from each other and have distinctly different strengths

Currently my lineup includes (along with what their strong point is)-
Accuphase+Harbeth M30 - Rich, musical - excellent for vocal, jazz, etc
ATC SCM40+Hegel (earlier had active ATCs) - Transparent, dynamic - excellent for almost all well recorded stuff
Genelec 8040+Freya+ pre - All the advantages of an active system, excellent for rock and metal
Harbeth P3+Leben - night time low volume casual listening

I want to replace the P3+ Leben because the Accuphase+Harbeth M30 does pretty much the same thing (and does it better in most ways) with something else markedly different. Options I am evaluating are:
1. Leben+Zu Audio - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
2. Leben+ big JBLs - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
3. Leben+Tannoy Prestige/Audio Note - a bit more toned down compared to the JBL and Zu options (but will it sound too similar to the Harbeth?)
4. Replace the Leben with a SET amp + one of the above high efficiency speakers
5. B&W 8xx diamond series + McIntosh - typical sparkly hifi sound different from what I have with any of my combos
6. Rethm Saadhna + SET amp
7. Something high end with an ribbon tweeter?
8. Go higher end to Wilson Audio/Avalon/TAD etc (used availability will be a challenge)

Any thoughts on any of these options or other suggestions I have not considered?

The main criteria as I mentioned above is to put together something that presents music in a markedly different way than my existing systems. Budget is flexible within reason.

Thanks in advance :)
 
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vineetrad

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Other option would be Harbeth P3esr + Naim. It certainly makes the P3 sound different but not sure I like what it does lol.

Also, practical constraints rule out electrostatic speakers.
 

sidvee

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I am trying to build systems that sound significantly different from each other and have distinctly different strengths

Currently my lineup includes (along with what their strong point is)-
Accuphase+Harbeth M30 - Rich, musical - excellent for vocal, jazz, etc
ATC SCM40+Hegel (earlier had active ATCs) - Transparent, dynamic - excellent for almost all well recorded stuff
Genelec 8040+Freya+ pre - All the advantages of an active system, excellent for rock and metal
Harbeth P3+Leben - night time low volume casual listening

I want to replace the P3+ Leben because the Accuphase+Harbeth M30 does pretty much the same thing (and does it better in most ways) with something else markedly different. Options I am evaluating are:
1. Leben+Zu Audio - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
2. Leben+ big JBLs - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
3. Leben+Tannoy Prestige/Audio Note - a bit more toned down compared to the JBL and Zu options (but will it sound too similar to the Harbeth?)
4. Replace the Leben with a SET amp + one of the above high efficiency speakers
5. B&W 8xx diamond series + McIntosh - typical sparkly hifi sound different from what I have with any of my combos
6. Rethm Saadhna + SET amp
7. Something high end with an ribbon tweeter?
8. Go higher end to Wilson Audio/Avalon/TAD etc (used availability will be a challenge)

Any thoughts on any of these options or other suggestions I have not considered?

The main criteria as I mentioned above is to put together something that presents music in a markedly different way than my existing systems. Budget is flexible within reason.

Thanks in advance :)
I am no expert Vineet, but your current setups seems oriented towards warmish, euphonic (read thin walled cabinet) type or the other extreme studio sound (read dead neutral). I have been through these phases, had my likes and dislikes, but once I moved into the speaker offerings where major attention is paid to cabinet material (with advanced materials - composites etc), at-least for me there is no turning back. I know there is a lot of discussion that speaker technology has not changed in a few decades - etc. etc., but there has been a huge leap in speaker cabinet development - with FEA analysis, advanced composites, metal machining etc. (at-least imo), and it really shows in the presentation, where-in regardless of the speaker size the speaker cabinet literally disappears, and only presents the limitations of the drivers, room, electronics etc. So one major variable is stabilized, which makes a huge difference to SQ - and this is done not with the intent of creating a studio type sound where-in everything measures flat, but with some effort of producing musicality, richness of tone, spatial cues, microdynamic nuances etc. With that background in mind, do consider offerings from Wilson audio, YG acoustics, Magico etc. which have invested huge amounts of research and funds into cabinet development. These will sound significantly different from your current set up's - whether you like them or not is another issue, so do try to audition.
Cheers,
Sid
 

[email protected]

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I’ve heard the Rethm Sadhnaas coupled with Lowther 15inch bass drivers , powered by QSC amps. Huge scale and depth , massive but accurate bass.Should be worth considering.
 

arj

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I am trying to build systems that sound significantly different from each other and have distinctly different strengths

Currently my lineup includes (along with what their strong point is)-
Accuphase+Harbeth M30 - Rich, musical - excellent for vocal, jazz, etc
ATC SCM40+Hegel (earlier had active ATCs) - Transparent, dynamic - excellent for almost all well recorded stuff
Genelec 8040+Freya+ pre - All the advantages of an active system, excellent for rock and metal
Harbeth P3+Leben - night time low volume casual listening

I want to replace the P3+ Leben because the Accuphase+Harbeth M30 does pretty much the same thing (and does it better in most ways) with something else markedly different. Options I am evaluating are:
1. Leben+Zu Audio - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
2. Leben+ big JBLs - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
3. Leben+Tannoy Prestige/Audio Note - a bit more toned down compared to the JBL and Zu options (but will it sound too similar to the Harbeth?)
4. Replace the Leben with a SET amp + one of the above high efficiency speakers
5. B&W 8xx diamond series + McIntosh - typical sparkly hifi sound different from what I have with any of my combos
6. Rethm Saadhna + SET amp
7. Something high end with an ribbon tweeter?
8. Go higher end to Wilson Audio/Avalon/TAD etc (used availability will be a challenge)

Any thoughts on any of these options or other suggestions I have not considered?

The main criteria as I mentioned above is to put together something that presents music in a markedly different way than my existing systems. Budget is flexible within reason.

Thanks in advance :)
Looking at your current setups, maybe one setup missing is a good Single drive + SET

The Rethm+ SET sounds like a good option !
 

lowpoweraudio

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Hi Vineetrad,
You certainly have a lot of options. Have you considered the newer baffle-less speakers by Spatial Audio Labs? They've been getting very good reviews and have very nice finishes/atheistic IMHO. The high/higher efficiency should match well with your Leben. They also are reported to excel in low level dynamics, which very few speakers do.

Kind regards,
Lowpower audio
 

Yelamanchili manohar

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Other option would be Harbeth P3esr + Naim. It certainly makes the P3 sound different but not sure I like what it does lol.

Also, practical constraints rule out electrostatic speakers.
Hi Vineet :)

I wouldn't bother trying a Naim with harbeth. I've recently heard the falcon LS3/5A gold badge edition. And don't think the naim will prove a synergistic match to the harbeth house sound.

I see that your ATC setup comes the closest to a fast and dynamic sound. So if you want another addition in the same category but faster and punchier, then Naim + kudos, or Neat acoustics or PMC is the way to go. But in all honesty I think you have that covered with active genelacs already. It would be difficult for a passive speaker to match the speed, slam, timing and dynamics of a active speaker.

If you like what the genelacs do, then the neumann KH 310A might also please you. I've never heard it in person. But some friends in the UK in the mixing / recording scene swear by them. But these are active 3 way monitors, so will have an outright advantage on your genelac's, unless you are already running them with a genelac sub. Just my 2 dumb cents :D
 

Kushanava

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@vineetrad - My choice would be

1. Alta audio / Joseph audio (traditional multi driver) + ss or cherry amp
2.jtr audio ( horn based) + cherry amp or ss or set
3.Open Baffle - spatial audio + cherry amp or ss or set
4.single driver Rethm or lii audio + set.
 
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jls001

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2. Leben+ big JBLs - more dynamic lively sound of high efficiency speakers
This (in bold).

Must have 15" woofers. You'll hear real sub bass with texture, not the pale image that most others present.

Though you've listed Tannoy Prestige and AN in the same line I think they are very different sonically. Prestiges, right from the entry model to the top of the line Westminster, are typically shown placed against the wall BUT they sound best when they have 3-4 feet space behind them.

Personally I find the AN sound too forward. Attention seeking, even. Literally grabs you by throat in an uncomfortable way.

Many wide band single drivers tend to have their own signature timbres that your ears may/may not agree with. This includes the Sadhanas. And possibly the Zu.
 

Decadent_Spectre

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Lowther are well known driver & speaker manufacturers from UK.
Can’t recall the QSC model. But I do know it was locally sourced in Kolkata.
Do you mean this company -


I could not find a 15" bass driver listed, could you link me to it?

Their products look interesting.

This (in bold).

Must have 15" woofers. You'll hear real sub bass with texture, not the pale image that most others present.

Though you've listed Tannoy Prestige and AN in the same line I think they are very different sonically. Prestiges, right from the entry model to the top of the line Westminster, are typically shown placed against the wall BUT they sound best when they have 3-4 feet space behind them.

Personally I find the AN sound too forward. Attention seeking, even. Literally grabs you by throat in an uncomfortable way.

Many wide band single drivers tend to have their own signature timbres that your ears may/may not agree with. This includes the Sadhanas. And possibly the Zu.

I'd recommend Klipsch/QSC or other larger speakers with 15" drivers over JBL. Never heard a JBL I liked. Which 15" woofer speakers did you have in mind?
 

arj

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<snip>

Though you've listed Tannoy Prestige and AN in the same line I think they are very different sonically. Prestiges, right from the entry model to the top of the line Westminster, are typically shown placed against the wall BUT they sound best when they have 3-4 feet space behind them.
Very True. Ideally around 4- 5 feet for the bass to sound clean :)
I believe the triangular cross section cornetto/corner horns could be placed in the corners but most setups seemto have them placed as regular speakers hence not sure.

AN speakers , since were based in the snell designs are better placed with the wall reinforcement
 

grindstone

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Hello Vineet

As you surely know, everything does something well sometimes. Space/finances/domestic-approval are the limits, and I don't know your specifics. Sound has always been very important to me and I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm but it seems you are committed from your list :) I think everyone should find a way to hear at least these:

- small single driver speakers (w/ or w/o woofer). These teach about coherence.
- OB - pref larger drivers. These teach (inversely) about cabinets
- Bass horns - these teach about bass quality & rooms
- panels - these teach about transients (and inversely about power)
- mid & high-horns - these teach about directivity & clarity
- pipes/TL's - these teach about lining/stuffing/damping and bass rolloff & ripple

If you were my neighbor, I'd bring you over to hear large old corner horns. Amps matter (everything does), but for the "big speaker" experience alone, not at first so much.

What I see in your post is that you do not yet have firm/fixed priorities ranked in order. This is okay (almost no one does) and takes a very long time of hearing a lot of things--everything you can hear every chance you get, in-fact. Trade things with friends for a while. Move speakers around. Listen to program material that you don't normally listen-to, etc. Buy cheap used stuff and resell it when you are done--just to hear them/live with them for a while.

You will know without doubt when you know what you want. Until then, know that you are on a familiar journey and that it's almost never really done (because _you_ change along the way, too). We all change. What I loved 40 years ago I now think is funny :) And 30...and 20... :) You are educating your hearing, too. All else is preferences, and we are all different. The best you can do is get to a position of comfort with your own compromises for your own uses in your own space and then life will have you move where that doesn't work :)

Out of your list, I'd vote big JBL's (or Cornwalls or Altec 19's, etc). Big speakers simply do things little ones don't (and the converse). I think hearing what you are trading-away is important to make informed choices. To me, considerations for sound have become foundational--i.e., speakers can not be an afterthought that works with decor but rather the first consideration. Efficiency becomes a trade with low-bass and clarity and size.

These things take time. Have fun!
 
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