Bookshelf Speakers for Classical Music under $ 1.500 ?
Hi, I'm looking for a good pair of Bookshelf Speakers for up to $ 1.500 / I mostly focus my listening on Classical Music. Please feel free to add any reccomendations as to Amps. and cables, and also online dealers who carry these items...
Paradigm Studio 20's, 40's, or the B&W 700 series bookshelf speaker. All of these sound very good with classical music. If you are doing 2 channel I would look at pairing any of these speakers the a Musical Fidelity integrated amp. Great combo's for classical. More affordable are the integrateds from NAD.
Gabriel, to faithfully reproduce all the complex waveforms classical music entails, you need a very simple first order speaker. This is the only design that can be correct in both time domain as well as phase. You simply cannot get a higher order crossover (2nd order or higher) time and phase aligned. Paradigm and B&W both fall into the latter catagory. Some examples of 1st order crossover units would be Theil, Meadowlark, Vandersteen, Green Mountain Audio, etc. I'm sure there are others, these come to mind. I recall reading a Stereophile review of some old Quads years ago. The reviewer could not believe how a speaker could measure what was deamed less than ideal yet sound so fantastic. Yet he had the answers in front of him: step response was pretty much perfect. In other words, it was phase and time accurate. I believe thats the key to a great speaker. Have a peek at the website link below to see what higher order crossovers so to the original waveform then ask yourself if preservation of the original waveform is desireable or if it's hogwash, as some speaker manufacturers would like you to believe. To assist you thru the site, note that a second order(12db/octave) crossover has 180 degrees of phase shift at the crossover point, a 4th order (24db/octave) has 360 degrees of phase shift or, one full cycle apart. Yet people buy them everyday. Many higher order designers will reverse the phase of the tweeter to make the speaker measure flatter in the frequency range. Keep that in mind as you read the article. Hope this helps. http://www.soundstage.com/maxdb/maxdb081999.htm
Hi, Thank you all for your answers, i'm going to start looking at your reccomendations. Gabriel.
Of course you also know a steady-state vibration pattern from a vibrating system cannot be attained instantaneously. Onset times of various instruments vary. The trumpet has an onset time of about 20 msec while the flute requires 200 to 300 msec. Even this short (in absolute terms) onset time of 300 msec is significant in perception of timbre. This significance was demonstrated in an experiment where the initial portion of a tone was removed. It was revealed that even experienced musicians had considerable difficulty in discerning common orchestral instruments!!!!!
And what about phase-aligned? Do you agree with that too?
Some people like 1st order crossovers, some people prefer extreme slope (especially at high volumes). The type of crossover is _not_ specifically associated with a brand. The Klipsch type-A crossover is 1st-order and most of their more recent crossovers are not. The same drivers work with either type.
I don't know about your speakers but my Paradigm Studio 40's reproduce all music very well. I know, I see live music often. Oh and I bought my Paradigms from an authorized Vandersteen dealer (Bradford's Home Entertainment in Eugene, Oregon. I've listened to all the speakers on Paul's list with the exception of the GMA's and I don't get it. The proof is in the listening not the specs. I listened to the Meadowlarks at Stereotypes in Portland with Naim electronics I felt that both the ProAcs and the Spendors they had outperformed them. I listened to the Thiels at Fred's in Portland and did enjoy them but again I felt that the Paradigm Signature speakers were in some ways superior. Truly it is a matter of taste.
Hey Arthur - it must be a matter of taste, because I had the opposite experience. I compared the Studio 60 v3's to some old, original model Meadowlark Kestrels recently and found the Studios fell flat. I compared some live - two track recordings that I made of a band that I was playing with, and found the Studios just could not recreate the event as well as the Kestrels - not even close. I guess it depends on what one's sonic priorities happen to be.
wow thanks for the informative post mauimusicman, it seems you really have had alot of experience with the audio field. I only fear that your comments in this forum, which are abortive and dictatorial, might be misconstrued by some as pointless. If looking at my profile for rationale on answering a valid question about an audio product you may not like is a way of making yourself feel supercilious , then more power to you but otherwise shut the fu(k up and let others with amenity answer my questions.
joe unfortunately fake maui has a point. far too often threads get hijacked by people asking unrelated questions or bringing up unrelated topics. all you had to do was start your own thread. no need to take it so personally or be so offensive to other members.
Look into the Ascend 170s and 340s, these are Internet-direct and extremely well reviewed, just Google them. They excel at the highs and crucial midrange which jazz and classical music mostly consists of, but will need to be used with a subwoofer to fill in the low end.
Best bang for your buck in the under-$1000 range, easily.
Don't worry about the cables, any 12 gauge generic cable will do just fine. The amp/receiver is a far more crucial area second only to the speakers.
If you're doing 2-channel music only then look into the HK 3480, or a NAD integrated amp.
Arthur, your speakers have 180 degrees of phase shift at the crossover points. As you move away from those points, the phase shift changes, meaning it is never the same. This is why you might prefer the sound of your speakers on certian amplifiers more than others. And it's also why you more than likely have recordings in your collection you consider poor sounding. Of course, people blame the amplifier or call the recordings bad, but in reality it's nothing more than the speaker. Trust me, Paradigm isn't the only speaker company with this problem. I personally think many, if not most of us have been duped into believing B&W or Wilson or Paradigm are the best speakers. I used to think all that mattered in speaker design was good parts, quiet cabinets and solid drivers. I no longer think that. Like I said in another post, i've been reading a lot on phase issues around the net, on Audiogon, Audio Circle etc. and it makes a heck of a lot of sense to me. The more I hear 1st order designs, the more I like them. Have yet to hear the GMA's but they sure got a rave review at six moons.com as well as on audiogon and audio circle. Can't find one bad post nor one bad review on them. Must be something that company is doing right, don't ya think? I'm going to make it a point to listen to them as soon as I find a dealer near me. And, no....i'm not in maui....i'm in Mpls, Mn. 10,000 lakes and no sharks.
Cornelius, it appears you and I have been walking the same path in our audio journeys. There are some pretty sharp guys chatting about this topic on Audiogon. You might enjoy reading those posts. www.audiogon.com click on discussion forums then speakers. You'll see the threads. Fascinating information.
Paul, perhaps you've been duped but I have listened to all but one of the brands mentioned and didn't need "duped" the sound did the talkin'. My suggestion to you is to go see some live music. I personally don't think at all about speaker design, amplifier design, source design, or any other design for that matter. I leave that to the engineers etc. I know that the only thing that matters is that the gear SOUNDS right. I couldn't care less about theory I only care about sound, and I listen to enough live music to have a good reference of comparison. You can continue to get yourself worked up over 1st order designs and the like and I will continue to enjoy the music.
Hey guys, what about the PSB Stratus Mini compared to the Paradigm Sutdio 20 , or the B&W 705 ???
hey Paul, I've been following the GMA threads at Audiogon. I've been listening to time coherent designs for some time now. I think it's funny that some people don't think the time coherent designs are relevent, to not worry about technical issues, but when you get down to it, the time coherent designs are the ones that sound most like music. I'm a musician and I live in NYC so I'm exposed to a lot of live music and I'm in and out of a lot of hi-end recording studios. More and more sound engineers (who are always skeptical about hi-end audio) are now getting into time coherent monitors.
Sometimes I find other designs pretty listenable, but I must say that being exposed to time coherent speakers has opened my eyes and now I know what to sonically look for when listening to a pair of speakers. My speakers at home are Ohm Walsh series, without looking at a step response (like Arthur, I'm not into measurements but the step is the only one I'm interested in) I can't tell you if they are actually time coherent, but they certainly have many of the traits of a time coherent design, so that's good enough for me . I do, however think a lot of the problems that I have with Paradigm, b&w, psb... have a lot to do with time/phase shifts in the mid-range, they just twist the waveform, and it's not subtle.
If there's a Monitor Audio dealer in your area, personally I think it would be worth taking the time to audition a pair of their Gold Reference 10's. I listen to quite a bit of classical music and I love mine.
Actually in this price range, and for the type of music Gabriel mentioned, the time coherent design is a very good option to consider - I think it's very relevent for the thread. I'm not recommending GMAs because I haven't heard them, but here is a quote from their designer. I mention this quote because it seems to apply to the original post:
"Finally, one must know what time-coherence really sounds like, perhaps by going to hear live music up close and personal, for hundreds of hours. Ever hear a string quartet practice for weeks in one's living room, and then get up and walk around them? Or a bluegrass band, or a wind band, or a Fender Twin Reverb, or a soprano, or a Steinway played with expert hands? From four feet away? How about experiencing a 100-voice chorale, on stage from 20 feet? Across weeks of rehearsals? I know this is what a speaker designer needs to do."
Well you guys have drifted way off mere recommendation.
Gabriel, just so you are fully aware, this time/phase coherency camp is in the minority. I have heard of many people doing the reverse, removing a good quality 1st order crossover and putting in a $1000 a pair extreme slope crossovers and be delighted by the extra detail, clarity, and enhanced staging they got. The argument being how can you possibly get good soundstage if multiple drivers of different sizes are both contributing to the same frequency sound; it's better to sharply separate them.
So, three schools of thought... (1) 1-st order, (2) extreme slope, and (3) it doesn't matter all that much.
You can defend time alignment but you can't defend phase alignment (as real maui tried to do). So be careful.
Well, another view on the "extra detail" result can also be viewed as slicing and dicing the mix or performance so much that you're left with a distorted sample of the original performance. The $1000/pair extreme slope xovers concept sounds more like listening to "hi-fi" than listening to music.
As I've mentioned before, I've listened to many higher xover designs at high end stores, studios and hi-fi shows. I still believe that the majority of the designers out there do not associate themselves enough with live music or have never been in a recording studio. So yes, I am in the minority.
Alot of brits listen to classical on Monitor Audio speakers so they would be worth a listen as well. I must admit that I have liked what I've heard from them. Also listen to Triangle, Dali, ProAc, Spendor, Sonus Faber and on and on. So many good speakers so little time.
Try the Audio Note AX-Two, sounds like spendor at half the price.
Actually, the crossovers nearly cost that much to make! It's not a botique tweak with 1000% markup, as someone here puts it.
My point is that these people have tried both in the same speaker, in their own homw. That was the only variable changed. You can't say that about listening to "many higher xover designs at high end stores, studios and hi-fi shows."
Yep, Triangles are nice---but like Klipsch, you'll probably love them or hate them. My sales guy explained them as being "subjective speakers" as opposed to "engineered speakers"---he considered most Canadian and especially Internet speakers to be the latter.
Actually all of the speakers that I mentioned in my previous post were speakers very much of their countries of origin. They are all great speakers but they all sound different. If you're going to audition speakers you might as well taste something a little different each time.
Gabriel - Don't focus too much on the technical mumbo-jumbo. Like Arthur said, it's not in the specs; it's all in what you HEAR and whether or not you LIKE what you hear. Some folks like neutral, some like bright, some like warm, some like accurate and uncolored, some like . . . well, you get the picture.
Gabriel, Peter says it's better to have a higher order crossover to sharply separate the drivers frequency output. My opinion is that destroys the original waveform. Read the following article and decide for yourself. Do some research on your own. The facts are the facts. Note that figure 5 is what you'll get with Paradigm or B&W http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~ashon/audio/primer1.htm
Ofcourse, don't listen to Paradigm or B&W, just note figure 5. BTW, Peter did not say what you have quoted him as saying he said, "I have heard of many people doing the reverse, removing a good quality 1st order crossover and putting in a $1000 a pair extreme slope crossovers and be delighted by the extra detail, clarity, and enhanced staging they got. The argument being how can you possibly get good soundstage if multiple drivers of different sizes are both contributing to the same frequency sound; it's better to sharply separate them. So, three schools of thought... (1) 1-st order, (2) extreme slope, and (3) it doesn't matter all that much." He, unlike you made no judgements as to what is best, he simply noted different listening preferences. I for one respect that.
paul, just for your info. nobody here enjoys arguing with the first order mumbo jumbo especially after having to deal with the old real maui for a long time. i appreciate the input, but dont get on your way to becoming everyone's favorite punching bag.
and please follow peter's previous request of starting your own thread on time coherence stuff and stop hijacking threads like maui used to do. it is quite annoying. it was enough that the other paul and edster were doing that for like a month going on about botique speakers and giant speakers. honestly dont need any more distractions like the time domain crap that real maui would always bring up. not to say it is unimportant, but you could have your own discussion in a differnt thread on time domain.
Ok, there are actually good points being made on both ends, so let's not drag it out here. One, I won't continue to make this the time coherent thread (even though these designs work well for classical music). Two, it IS important to listen, and not rely on specs so much (I mentioned this above - and even Richard Vandersteen says the same).
But, there are some threads on audiogon right now, and some GMA reviews at sixmoons, that will give everyone an idea of the benefits of time/phase coherent designs. I'm not very technical in the hi-fi world, but this topic is interesting, because of the wide variety of how speakers sound. It's made me look and listen to speakers in a different way. What you'll find with some research is that only lower order design speakers can maintain the waveform. Whether this is important or not is up to the listener.
Well guys... this discussion is going further than I ever thought. The thing is that I Live in Colombia, South - America, and what I would love to do is go to a good High End Audio Store and give the equipment a try before the purchase. Since I'm not planning on travelling soon, I am taking advices from you guys and from articles on the web. I don't intend as yet to get too technical about it, because I think that one also needs to go to a store and have a listen. But I'll be taking my chances with this purchase, and have it shipped here at extra costs. Only thing I can get here is the Sony stuff and i'm going for something better than that !!! Meanwhile i'm learning lot's of new stuff so thanx a lot !!! It will surely be applied as soon as I have the chance... I own a pair of Klipsch RB5 plugged to a Sony Amp and CD player...yuks ! I intend to correct my mistake..
Christopher, I don't understand your logic. Keep the forum sheilded from the truth? Is that what you want this to be? If so, I can lie as well as the next guy. This forum should be about learning. About sharing information. Knowledge. Any attempt on your part or from anyone to supress the open discussion about all audio is wrong in my humble opinion. Is this a "forum" or a Paradigm "cult"?Gabriel, would giving you lies and half truths suit your needs best? Or did you learn anything at all from the links I provided? I did not pen those web sites. So, it's not just my opinion. Keep this in mind. And by all means, DO listen to every speaker in your budget. Just know what to listen for and how to listen. This comes with time like anything else.
i never said you are not allowed to talk about time domain. just stop hijacking threads, it is annoying. make your own thread and i will gladly explore time domain and first order crossovers with you. dont take it personally. there are quite a few here who dont stop talking about one thing in every single thread and that gets annoying. i can understand if you really like the idea of first order crossovers, but again, please try to keep the majority of the arguing in a different thread. may i suggest starting another thread then refering posters to that thread when you would like to talk about first order crossovers and time domain. is that really too hard?
Nobody is trying to shield the forum from the "truth". The problem is, there is no such thing as the perfect speaker. There are lots of excellent speakers out there, some are time aligned and others arent. You can't definitively say that everyone will like Meadowlark speakers over B&Ws; it just isnt plausible. No one has a problem with you presenting time aligned speakers as an option, but the way you do it is akin to harrassment. Nobody said has said not to audition time aligned speakers, but your posts would suggest otherwise.
Read my posts Paul. I advocate listening to many different speakers to make a choice. If you check the "Top 5 speaker" thread you will see that I respect all types of speakers. It's about respecting peoples choices. I like my Paradigm Studio 40's more than the comparably price Vandersteen. That doesn't make me right or wrong, it just speaks to my preference. I very much like the Vandersteen Model 5a and consider it a steal in it's price range. I would just ask you to respect the fact that everybody doesn't "hear it" the same way you do.
wow. my apologies. I am far from ignorant, and consider myself as one of the forums fairly knowledgable posters. That comment may have been distasteful, but it was to make a point, and you clearly missed it.
too many people hijack a thread and turn it into something more dramatic than it needs to be.
BTW, I think the time coherent thing is real, I'm starting to read up on it and heard some GMAs the other day at a recording studio. Shows doesn't need an apostrophe - it looked good at the time.
That's ok, I know what you meant. I've seen hijacked threads on forums before and I always wonder what the original poster must think. Most of the time you never see another post from them within the thread.
Anyway, I think some nice monitors are Dynaudio, Paradigm Studio Series (I don't like the floorstanders) Reference 3A Dulcet and Devore Fidelity Gibbon 3. All good for classical, jazz...
A nice integrated in that price range is the Naim Nait 5. If you're into trying tubes, Rogue audio has a real nice one out (I saw it at the Home Entertainment Show) for around 1700US. Looks really nice.
I'm glad that you have found a speaker that you like cousin_it. However, nobody is debating whether time coherence is real. If you like GMA's, by all means, buy them. However, if we sample them and don't care for them, leave it at that. You people act like you're on a crusade to convert everyone to time coherent designs.
BTW, if you want to be technical, there should be a period between "thing is real" and "I'm starting to read" instead of a comma.
lol... if you want a time coherent / phase correct speaker, I havent even mentioned the one from a manufacturer that I am familiar with, USHER AUDIO! The CP-777 from the Dancer Series is both time and phase aligned. I have not heard this speaker, so I can't comment on the sound.
Actually "I think this time coherent thing is real" is such a lame line it doesn't even deserve proper punctuation.
I'm not on a crusade, I just happened to stumble on these speakers the other day. I never even said what I thought of them. If my technical memory serves me correctly, the monitors that I suggested above are not time coherent.
I'm afraid I did not get a chance to try out the PSB's. In fact I didn't even get to an audio store. Went to a few music stores and did alot of eating. The activities around the ballet recital took considerable time and it was prom weekend in the Puget Sound area so traffic was pretty tight until yesterday when I came home. Sorry.
Hi Arthur, Thank you anyways... Would you suggest a decent Amp. and CD player to go with them ?
Arthur, What would u think about pairing the Studio 20's with a Rotel RA-1062 Integrated Amp and a Rotel RCD-1072 CD Player ? They have very good reviews. Nice price range too...
Gabriel, the Paradigms have 180 degree's of phase shift. Thats one half of one full cycle off the original waveform. Are you sure you want to smear your music like that? Have you heard them compared to something like a Meadowlark, Vandersteen, GMA,Gallo? Something without the phase lag? Listen. Compare. Don't just buckle under the Paradigm Peer Pressure. But.....it IS your money. YOU are the one that has to live with your choice. Make it wisely.
Gabriel, Iv'e owned the PSB Stratus Mini's for about a year now, so id say Im pretty familiar with them. However, I do not have any experiance with paradigm...but from what ive read they should sound similiar to PSB, but a little brighter while the psbs are warmer and more full bodied.
And i agree with trying the Audio Note AX-Two. Ive heard so many good things about this speaker and company. From what ive read its suppose to stomp all over the B&W 705.
Their is no "Paradigm Peer Pressure", Gabriel asked about Paradigm and received an answer.
Arthur, Thank you for your kind answers. I am 50-50 between Paradigm and PSB's. Would the NAD's u suggest fit the PSB's also ? Paul, Thank you too. I would love to "go and listen", it's true, that would be the best way to make a final decition. Sadly they don't sell these brands in my country so I'm taking chances. What do u think about the PSB Stratus Mini ? Somed00d, Thank you for your answer. What Amp. and CD Player u have with your PSB's ? Would the Rotel I mention or the NAD's suggested above by Arthur would be good with them ?
When I read the original post I was going to say NAD and PSB .. the PSB Stratus Mini as a matter of fact. Looks like lots of people here think along the same wavelengths! Good stuff. NAD Will work great with PSB .
Infact, NAD and PSB often set up joint corportate demos. Yes... They'll work very well together! Why? Because both NAD and PSB are part of the Lenbrooke Group based in Canada. http://www.lenbrook.com/ .
I have 2 small PSB bookshelfs (not of the stratus level though) and really like them. Most of my serious equipment is Energy Speaker Systems gear though. You could check out their Veritas line. They work great with NAD too (I have Energy C-5s, and set up with a NAD370). PSB you'll be very happy with though I'm sure!
For bookshelf speakers, KEF are very good, in my experience. Many of their models have the tweeter mounted inside the bass-midrange driver; the sources from the two drivers have the same axis, and are the same distance from the listener. This gives good phasing, too, I think.
There are also a number of makers producing models close to the original BBC LS3/5a design, which has a loyal following. It is a sealed box, two-driver design, with a special crossover; I do not know if it is first-order.
However, Gabriel, unless it really has to be a bookshelf design, consider alternatives to electromagnetic speakers, with their difference drivers and crossovers. Phasing problem are inherent in this design. I agree with Paul that accurate phasing is essential for the realistic reproduction of classical music, which almost always acoustic.
I recently bought a refurbished pair of Quad ESL63 Electrostatic Speakers. They are a revelation. It would be impossible to recommend them too highly. Unfortunately they are large, not at all for a bookshelf. Also, only used ones would be in our price range. The equivalent current production model is the Quad 988 and it is large and expensive.
However, I read good reports about Magnepan MMG speakers, which which have similar advantages, and about which people say similar things. These would be well within the price limit, but possibly only in the US and Canada. Again, they may be too large for your preference. I would put the sound first, personally!
Gabriel... the Energy C-5s are floorstanding, not bookshelves. The Energy C-3s use the same drivers as the C-5s in a bookshelf model. I use a pair as rear surrounds in my small theater, but they are highly competent speakers for main use too.
Gabriel, one final attempt to get some common sense advice to you. Christopher Lee says 1st order stuff is "mumbo-jumbo" I guess thats another way of saying "People fear things they don't understand" Fair enough. Here's a thread on Audiogon on the pro's and cons of first order crossovers. Some very good information from two gentlemen in particular "Karls" and "GreenMountain Audio" the latter being one of the speakers I said you should listen to. Read the thread, if possible prior to buying speakers. Then you decide what you want to listen to day after day for years to come. I'm pretty sure by the time you digest all this information, you will be amazed that you can purchase a pair of speakers with all that knowledge put into them starting at a mesely $1.000.00 a pair. Here's the link, and by all means everyone in the forum should read it....we can ALL learn from these peoples expertice. http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1113252618&openflup&66&4&&st0
Paul - Your interpretation of "mumbo jumbo" is interesting. It seems to be an attempt at a put-down because someone eschews technically oriented material. That doesn't mean they don't know what they like. I don't have to have an understanding of chemistry, biophysics and animal husbandry to appreciate the taste of a well-grilled ribeye steak or to know why I prefer ribeyes to sirloins. Neither do I have to have an understanding of crossovers to know what sound appeals to me in a speaker.
The point that several of us have been trying to make -- apparently to deaf ears -- is that it doesn't matter what type of crossover a speaker has; it's THE SOUND and the listener's PREFERENCES that matter. I'm sure there are many people who, after listening to both types of speakers, prefer the sound of the type of speaker you're advocating. I'm equally sure that there are many people who, after listening to both, prefer the sound of other types of speakers. Isn't it all a matter of what we like and prefer?
What's more important -- that one chooses a speaker that has a first order crossover or that one choose a speaker that sounds better to that person?
Am I correct in paraphrasing Paul's message as follows? "One aspect of speaker design that is extremely important in achieving a realistic sound is the phase between different drivers; a first-order crossover helps achieve this."
It is a good point, and something to consider if anyone is interested in why certain speakers sound better than others. The chances are, other things being equal, the maker's attention to phasing will have a dramatic effect, and one not easily described by simple specs about frequency response and power handling.
"It is a good point, and something to consider if anyone is interested in why certain speakers sound better than others."
Perhaps it is a good point. It also may be something to consider when speaker shopping. But I submit that it is not the only thing to consider. The overriding consideration should be how the sound of the speaker appeals to the listener.
You say, " . . . why certain speakers sound better than others." Which are the certain speakers you are referring to? And sound better to whom? As I said, some of these speakers that Paul is advocating may sound better to some but not to others. It's all a matter of preference. I've listened to some Klipsch speakers and they did not appeal to me. They do appeal to quite a few folks however and who am I to try to tell these Klipsch lovers that because their speakers are designed with horn-loaded tweeters which affect their tone in some dramatic but undesirable way (undesirable to whom?) that they should go out and buy some other speakers?
I don't doubt what Paul and others have said about speakers with first order crossovers being time coherent and phase correct. I readily concede that Paul and Cornelius are much more knowledgeable about the technical aspects of speaker design. My only point is simply that, in the final analysis, all this knowledge is less important than how the sound of any given speaker appeals to someone.
All I am saying is to do some research about how choices of crossover affects sound you hear. Again, I urge you all to read the thread I posted earlier. Two of the people posting in that thread are speaker designers who are HIGHLY repsected in the industry. I for one, am grateful for any knowledge I can get from people that design critically acclaimed products. Up to you all individually now. Knowledge is power. Take it or leave it.
I read it Paul and I have heard the speakers about which you speak. Big deal! They are nice as are many others. Let's give people options and let them chose. There is nothing inferior or superior about the sound of the various designs. It's all a matter of taste (Bose excluded). We can all agree to disagree on this one I'm afraid.
Arthur, do you agree or disagree with what was said there? If you do not agree, what in particular do you not agree with? I found it a fascinating read. Any others want to comment on the audiogon thread?
For me it is not about agreeing with what was said or not. It is about understaninding that there are a number of speaker design theories and that they are all right and all wrong......to someone. I will say it again I have enjoyed some of the time/phase coherent speakers that I have listened to very much. I believe that the Vandersteen Model 5A is a incredible buy at $15k. But I preferred the Paradigm Studio 40 to the the Vandy and Maggie in the same price range. I owned the Maggies and sold them. It's about what sounds good to us. Yes engineering goes into the products but in the final analysis I trust only my ears.
I was readin the reviews about the NAD CD Player and Amp and it seems they get good reviews mostly on their reproduction of rock music. Is this true ? What about Classical ?
I listen to very little rock music. My preference is classical and jazz, I believe that the NAD gear does an exceptional job at reproducing those genres. I listen to a lot of live music and it is my opinion that NAD does very well at getting the essentials right. There are products that extract more detail or that do one or another element of the music better but very few strike the balance that NAD does. Most importantly to get more from the music you have to pay a lot more.
I just got some vintage NAD gear and its performance with rock varies greatly depending on the quality of the recording/mixing. Generally, the older stuff from the 60s and 70s tends to suffer while stuff from the last 10-20 years sounds good.
With classical and jazz which are also my mainstays, the NAD shines because it amplifies the midrange very evenly and powerfully unlike lesser gear.
Thank you for your comments... !!! I'm set then for my purchase of the NAD's and PSB's...
That will be a good choice for classical, Gabriel. Classical is a minority market and makers no longer feature it in ads and promotional material, unless it is in specialist magazines. Possibly market researchers advise that "Classical" creates a negative image in the larger market (I can understand that). But the qualities of those makes are ones which are especially important for classical. I think you will be pleased with your decision. If you do not buy online, but go to a dealer, take some classical discs with you for demonstration. You will probably find a PSB-NAD dealer has some knowledge and will respond to your tastes and requirements.