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  1. #1

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    Default What is it about Speakers??

    That make so many of us crazy??

    It seems there are so many peeps that buy/collect/modify speakers, and spend more time doing so then their actual gear to run them..

    I know I had my moment where I did this, but I now spend more of my time with my gear choices then speakers, but!!! I am happy with my speakers for the moment as well..

    Sometimes I get the feeling that most feel the speakers are more important then said gear. Now this might be true and come across more with new members, the peeps that have hung out and pushed to a higher level of sound..

    Again it just seems speakers make many of us crazy and pick-up a set even if they don't need them or better yet some folks have many sets of the same model collecting dust.. LOL!!:
    Last edited by Toolfan66; 04-04-2013 at 11:12 AM.
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  2. #2

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    Maybe it's that speakers are easier to mod for those of us without advanced electronics knowledge than front end components.

    I've thought for a long time though that as long as your speakers are decent, front end upgrades will yield more bang for the buck. IOW you're not really hearing what your speaks can do if your front end (CDP, DAC, pre, and amp) is not high quality. In my experience upgrading any of these, as long as there are no compatibility issues, almost always improves what you hear from your speaks.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    That make so many of us crazy??
    I know I had my moment where I did this, but I now spend more of my time with my gear choices then speakers, but!!! I am happy with my speakers for the moment as well...
    Since you were in that phase at one time, why did you do it?

    For me, it's because I know the speakers I have are not high-end and there is so much room for improvement.
    I can go get different amps but speakers are the front end and you can only do so much without changing the front end.
    It's like pushing 1080p resolution from blu-ray to a CRT monitor that does no good whether signal is from a DVD player or blu-ray.
    I'd rather upgrade monitor to LCD/LED first and then get a blu-ray player.

    Boston A400,VR950, DefTech BP10,, Klipsch Forte,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690, Genesis 3+.
    SUB:Deftech PF15TL+, DCM TB1010, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-535,555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

  4. #4

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    I am an equal opportunity obsess-or. In fact, I have more excess amps, preamps, and DACs layin' around than I have excess speakers.

    That said, speakers have the biggest impact on sound by far, and they are the most exciting component to change out because of how different they sound. For example, I use to like to switch back and forth between a pair of Maggies and a pair of SDA's in my 2-channel system. Talk about different sounds! There is no amp or preamp that I could have swapped in that would have made that dramatic of a difference in sound.

    I've been playing more with components than speakers recently, because I'm pretty happy with my speakers... but I'm sure I'll get the itch again soon...
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  5. #5

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    For me its somewhat multifaceted but primarily comes back to my years in car audio. When the components are isolated (save for a few very educated and intelligent people); we simply don't and are mostly unable to design and then build our own gear except for speaker systems. With speakers we can choose from a wide array of components and design the system around those. That's what I did in car audio. Sure we put together entire sound systems but when broken down to sub systems inside the overall plan the speakers were where I was able to be creative and create my own designs for my customers to have what others didn't. It is basically what separated the winners from the losers in the car audio events. Everyone could purchase the same gear, but not everyone could adjust the sound exiting the speakers the same way. I was fascinated early on by how a person could take lesser components and when put together properly make them sound much better than high end components put together by the average installer.

  6. #6

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    Bingo


    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    I am an equal opportunity obsess-or. In fact, I have more excess amps, preamps, and DACs layin' around than I have excess speakers.

    That said, speakers have the biggest impact on sound by far, and they are the most exciting component to change out because of how different they sound. For example, I use to like to switch back and forth between a pair of Maggies and a pair of SDA's in my 2-channel system. Talk about different sounds! There is no amp or preamp that I could have swapped in that would have made that dramatic of a difference in sound.

    I've been playing more with components than speakers recently, because I'm pretty happy with my speakers... but I'm sure I'll get the itch again soon...

  7. #7

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    Started as ignorance. I've stopped because I love my Usher's so and have not heard anything in my prospective price range to better them. Now I do it for a bit of fun and flipping opportunity. Nothing in audio is easier to flip than speakers. Even those ignorant of how electronics affect the sound are willing to trade out speakers.

    I've almost cleared out my "stash". It's kind of nice to have an extra closet in the house now.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  8. #8

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    I do crazy things because I have an addictive personality, and sometimes I have to put my self in check..

    I have also learned that without quality gear you will never know what your speakers can really do. Sometimes the weak links in gear can make the best speakers sound like ass..

    I have also learned about synergy!!! This IMO along with isolating your gear from vibration ( pads-spikes ), and room treatments are for the most part the most important thing one can do!!
    Last edited by Toolfan66; 04-04-2013 at 12:01 PM.
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Started as ignorance. I've stopped because I love my Usher's so and have not heard anything in my prospective price range to better them. Now I do it for a bit of fun and flipping opportunity. Nothing in audio is easier to flip than speakers. Even those ignorant of how electronics affect the sound are willing to trade out speakers.

    I've almost cleared out my "stash". It's kind of nice to have an extra closet in the house now.
    That's where I am at with my 1.2tl's, and my wife likes the extra room since I have let go of a lot of my stash. But I still have my closet full of parts!!
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    I do crazy things because I have an addictive personality, and sometimes I have to put my self in check..

    I have also learned that without quality gear you will never know what your speakers can really do. Sometimes the weak links in gear can make the best speakers sound like ass..

    I have also learned about synergy!!! This IMO along with isolating your gear from vibration ( pads-spikes ), and room treatments are for the most part the most important thing one can do!!
    THIS!!! ^^^^

    I've recently finished upgrading the caps in my speakers for now and am moving on to upgrading the caps in my amp.
    The lastest caps I am using are Jupiter for the Tweeters and Clarity Cap MRs for the Drivers and SDA in an attempt to bring out the most potential my 1.2TLs have to offer.
    Statistics show that 98% of us will die at some point in our lifetime.

    The other 2% will work for WalMart.

  11. #11

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    I was hoping that we would get some different view's since everyone's journey is different as well as we all have different budgets as well..

    The nice thing is there is no right or wrong just different opinions on how we think is should be done. I know that I still have a lot to learn and have been critical on other's view's..

    I just thought this would be a fun discussion, and hope it stays that way..
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  12. #12

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    There are very different takes on what constitutes good reproduction of sound - and many in this hobby are not looking for accuracy against a given standard (e.g., a live performance - which is actually irrelevant for many kinds of "modern" recorded music, anyway). They want it to "sound good" to them (a very objective endpoint). The Zu Druids are a good example, I think. Some folks love 'em, others hate 'em... it is kind of like licorice, or cilantro. :-)

    This subjective "bottom line" standard of excellence is as applicable, I think, for the manufacturers of loudspeakers as it is for the consumers of loudspeakers - even in this era of cheap, easy analytical hardware for FFT analysis, automated Thiele-Small parameter analysis, sophisticated crossover modeling, CAD/CAM design of mininmally diffracting enclosures, etc. etc.

    That said, I think that the best loudspeaker designers and manufacturers ultimately use their ears (or someone's ears) to decide the ultimate "voice" of their loudspeakers.

    That said, I find that I enjoy myriad different loudspeaker 'voices'. Day-in/day-out, my preference is the "Altec Voice of the Theatre" sound. These loudspeakers were not flat - they featured a significant midrange peak (hump) that was purpose-built to project sound through a movie theatre screen... because that is they way they were intended to be used. Over the decades, audiophiles have adapted the effortless dynamics and breathy, musician's in the room with me presence of the VOTs to much higher standards of fidelity with vastly improved crossovers and augmentation with a subwoofer (and, in some cases, with supertweeters) to counteract the marked roll-off of these speakers at both ends of the audible spectrum.

    But I also really enjoy the sound of the classic Quad ESL-57 electrostatic, the BBC LS3/5a specification nearfield monitors, the 1970s/1980s Braun/ads loudspeakkers and (not coincidentally) the original Polk "Monitor Series" speakers. These are all more sophisticated and more polite sounding loudspeakers than the Altecs - but they all (Altecs) get the midrange right in a subjective way that works for me.

    So - short story long ;-) - I think one needs to own and log lots of ears-on time with lots of different speakers and lots of different kinds of music.
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 04-04-2013 at 01:55 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

  13. #13

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    For me, its about trying new things. I love getting a new pair of speakers and setting them up for the first time.

  14. #14

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    I'm pretty much in agreement with mhardy above. You really need to listen to a lot of different things. But I have also ALWAYS believed that there are just some SPEAKERS that sound "good" with almost anything powering them because they WERE designed to do so and because YOU can produce such a design! And that is where all these endless varieties of this and that that exist today just disturb me. I know that I own a few vintage pieces that though they sound a "little" different on this and that amp, do NOT vary much! And "I" like that, I like that A LOT! Considering the number of things I have to attend to in my field daily, I do not want to spend the rest of my life chasing some synergy I may never see if I can find a set of speakers that will "do" that for me! And I believe there are some out there that do that fine!

    Personally I am not that much interested in the law of diminishing returns. I'm not trying to get that last one or to two percent out of my system if I already have 98 percent.It's not worth the time or the money. And at my age, I probably won't be able to "hear" that "difference" anyway. I already can't hear above 14Khz? And that will only get WORSE as I become a toothless, deaf, balding old fart in a couple of decades or so? I'll probably be lucky if I can hear my wife calling me to dinner! lol

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 04-04-2013 at 02:10 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    ... But I have also ALWAYS believed that there are just some SPEAKERS that sound "good" with almost anything powering them because they WERE designed to do so...
    .

    Indeed. A good example are the mid-late 1970s ads loudspeakers (e.g., the L-710). Despite being sealed-box ("monkey coffin") acoustic suspension loudspeakers, they're surprisingly sensitive and sound good even with low-powered vacuum tube amplification (e.g., single-ended 2A3 at ca. 3.5 watts per channel). It's a safe bet that the Braun designers of these speakers didn't ever envision someone using 'em with such an amplifier... but their design nonetheless enabled it.

    I will say that, to my surprise, my own Polk Audio Monitor 7As did not sound great when hooked to an EICO HF-81 (push-pull EL84 stereo integrated amp of about 12 wpc). The L-710s and some other "modern" (relatively speaking) loudspeakers such as DCM timewindow (original series) and Allison Ones sounded dandy on the EICO.

    all the best,
    mrh

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    There are very different takes on what constitutes good reproduction of sound - and many in this hobby are not looking for accuracy against a given standard (e.g., a live performance - which is actually irrelevant for many kinds of "modern" recorded music, anyway). They want it to "sound good" to them (a very objective endpoint). The Zu Druids are a good example, I think. Some folks love 'em, others hate 'em... it is kind of like licorice, or cilantro. :-)

    This subjective "bottom line" standard of excellence is as applicable, I think, for the manufacturers of loudspeakers as it is for the consumers of loudspeakers - even in this era of cheap, easy analytical hardware for FFT analysis, automated Thiele-Small parameter analysis, sophisticated crossover modeling, CAD/CAM design of mininmally diffracting enclosures, etc. etc.

    That said, I think that the best loudspeaker designers and manufacturers ultimately use their ears (or someone's ears) to decide the ultimate "voice" of their loudspeakers.

    That said, I find that I enjoy myriad different loudspeaker 'voices'. Day-in/day-out, my preference is the "Altec Voice of the Theatre" sound. These loudspeakers were not flat - they featured a significant midrange peak (hump) that was purpose-built to project sound through a movie theatre screen... because that is they way they were intended to be used. Over the decades, audiophiles have adapted the effortless dynamics and breathy, musician's in the room with me presence of the VOTs to much higher standards of fidelity with vastly improved crossovers and augmentation with a subwoofer (and, in some cases, with supertweeters) to counteract the marked roll-off of these speakers at both ends of the audible spectrum.

    But I also really enjoy the sound of the classic Quad ESL-57 electrostatic, the BBC LS3/5a specification nearfield monitors, the 1970s/1980s Braun/ads loudspeakkers and (not coincidentally) the original Polk "Monitor Series" speakers. These are all more sophisticated and more polite sounding loudspeakers than the Altecs - but they all (Altecs) get the midrange right in a subjective way that works for me.

    So - short story long ;-) - I think one needs to own and log lots of ears-on time with lots of different speakers and lots of different kinds of music.
    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    I'm pretty much in agreement with mhardy above. You really need to listen to a lot of different things. But I have also ALWAYS believed that there are just some SPEAKERS that sound "good" with almost anything powering them because they WERE designed to do so and because YOU can produce such a design! And that is where all these endless varieties of this and that that exist today just disturb me. I know that I own a few vintage pieces that though they sound a "little" different on this and that amp, do NOT vary much! And "I" like that, I like that A LOT! Considering the number of things I have to attend to in my field daily, I do not want to spend the rest of my life chasing some synergy I may never see if I can find a set of speakers that will "do" that for me! And I believe there are some out there that do that fine!

    Personally I am not that much interested in the law of diminishing returns. I'm not trying to get that last one or to two percent out of my system if I already have 98 percent.It's not worth the time or the money. And at my age, I probably won't be able to "hear" that "difference" anyway. I already can't hear above 14Khz? And that will only get WORSE as I become a toothless, deaf, balding old fart in a couple of decades or so? I'll probably be lucky if I can hear my wife calling me to dinner! lol

    cnh
    Nice write up guys, and well said..
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  17. #17

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    the good ones have personality....some would say they're not supposed to but they do...they also don't have bad tendencies, that can be acceptable at first, but will challenge any long term friendship...now excuse me, i've lost me lighter;)

  18. #18

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    Speakers lay the premise of what is upstream and IMO, are the single most important part of any system leading all of the way back to incoming power before the outlet and associated ground configurations.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  19. #19

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    I have a jones for a new ( vintage ) pair of speakers but find anything that could " de-thrown" my RTA12c's at least for less than a grand. Im sure they exist but i cant find them!
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
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    YAMMY CDC-665
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    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Speakers lay the premise of what is upstream and IMO, are the single most important part of any system leading all of the way back to incoming power before the outlet and associated ground configurations.

    Tom
    Wouldn't you agree that the room can make or break even the best of speakers? I would have a hard time putting the room on the bottom of the food chain in regards to a fine tuned system.. Treating a room is like getting a new set of speakers without having to move them in and out..

    I know the speakers don't always sound like ass but treatments sure can place the instruments in the right place, and fine tune the bass hits. I don't have the most optimal room, and room treatments sure help fine tune my room, and give my room a larger then life feel..

    Not saying I disagree with you as a matter of fact I agree.
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

  21. #21

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    My fascination is there are just so many great speakers out there. And I read reviews and what not and want them! In my very limited budget....I go more for the vintage stuff. On my hit list ADS 1530, ESS Rock Monitor, Infinity QLS and Polk SDA to name a few. And the big ole' Altec's and JBL's fascinate me, especially the big mutli cell horns. Don't even get me started on Kenrick vids on Youtube! lol

    I have several pairs of speakers that I rotate in and out all the time. Luckily I have a huge listening room and another room dedicated to my "junk" that is gear storage. As well I am lucky to have a wife that does not fret when she comes home and there are 3 pairs of speakers in the den. She never complains! I think I really wanna be on that show horders someday!
    --Gary--

  22. #22

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    Speakers and phone cartridges have the biggest "bang for the buck" impact on any system. Don't know what's taken the place of phono cartridges...DACs
    Yamaha DSP-A1 Integrated Amp
    (4) Polk Monitor 10B's w/SoniCaps, Mills, and RDO-194 tweets (R/L F/R)
    (2) Polk Monitor 4's w/peerless tweets (dual centers)
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    That make so many of us crazy??

    It seems there are so many peeps that buy/collect/modify
    I tried to do the same with women but I got in trouble with the law :(, So I stuck with speakers!
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
    With new Exotic wood, Sonicaps, Mills & RDO198's - Born on 4-24-1989 and Signed by Matthew Polk!!!!


    My Polk SDA SRS 1.2TL's http://www.LASAREATH.com/


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    I tried to do the same with women but I got in trouble with the law :(, So I stuck with speakers!
    Same here, but it was with a lawyer.
    --Gary--

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    I started with weak sounding speakers and bought different ones to try out. Twenty years go I found a pair of ADS speakers and loved the sound . I had never heard of them and the Internet was new and then I kept finding more pairs of the until I had quite a collection and never knew their loyal following . I just knew I loved the sound. Then I bought my first pair of new speakers from Newegg Monitor 70's and started hanging around this forum . Everyone's ears are different and even though I no longer have ADS speakers. My new to me Monitor 10A's are bringing me that classic sound back! My wife thinks I am nuts over speakers! Without hobby's , where would we be? Keeps me out of trouble and sane at the same time. Peace

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    For me it's always been about the mechanics of sound reproduction. All those moving parts working together to create music from an electrical signal. You can play with them (boys and their toys), take them apart, and put them back together. Even those with rudimentary electrical and or carpentry skills can repair, restore, and improve what they have. Modern electronics on the other hand, have become almost impossible to service. Circuit traces and individual components that were once easy to identify and repair, have become microscopic, or are all contained in a single, non-serviceable chip.
    You can open a KLH speaker from the early 70s, or a new speaker, made in China from a big box store, and still know your way around.
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    .

    Indeed. A good example are the mid-late 1970s ads loudspeakers (e.g., the L-710). Despite being sealed-box ("monkey coffin") acoustic suspension loudspeakers, they're surprisingly sensitive and sound good even with low-powered vacuum tube amplification (e.g., single-ended 2A3 at ca. 3.5 watts per channel). It's a safe bet that the Braun designers of these speakers didn't ever envision someone using 'em with such an amplifier... but their design nonetheless enabled it.

    I will say that, to my surprise, my own Polk Audio Monitor 7As did not sound great when hooked to an EICO HF-81 (push-pull EL84 stereo integrated amp of about 12 wpc). The L-710s and some other "modern" (relatively speaking) loudspeakers such as DCM timewindow (original series) and Allison Ones sounded dandy on the EICO.

    Man those remind me of my long departed L-700's. Same cabinet, woofers, tweeter but without the mid range. Wish I still had 'em.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills, polyswitches removed, Lg Solen inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips installed on back wall behind MW's & Tweeters, interior of cabinets sealed, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer

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    What Tom said IMO is the most correct its all about the speakers first and foremost then you can customize the sound to your liking by adding other components..
    It's like when someone is going to build a system and their budget is 10K, IMO 50% should goto speakers first then the other 50% for everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Speakers lay the premise of what is upstream and IMO, are the single most important part of any system leading all of the way back to incoming power before the outlet and associated ground configurations.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    Man those remind me of my long departed L-700's. Same cabinet, woofers, tweeter but without the mid range. Wish I still had 'em.
    Superb loudspeakers by any reasonable (qualitative!) standard.
    I wish you still had 'em, too :-)
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumminman View Post
    Man those remind me of my long departed L-700's. Same cabinet, woofers, tweeter but without the mid range. Wish I still had 'em.
    You mean these?
    I had them L700 and very decent speakers.
    I think it actually had Braun in the back label as well as ADS.

    I never have had 3-way ADS yet.
    I traded the 700's for a Mackie PA amp. No, I'm not using the Mackie to power Polks.

    Name:  ADS 700.jpg
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    Boston A400,VR950, DefTech BP10,, Klipsch Forte,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690, Genesis 3+.
    SUB:Deftech PF15TL+, DCM TB1010, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-535,555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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