What do you look for when buying speakers

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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Got me thinking what people looked for when buying speakers apart from sound which is obviously the number 1 one the list *smile*

Do you look at driver size when buying speakers

size of the cabinets

the quality of the cabinets

The spec’s of the speakers

The technology being used

whether you want a 2 way or 3 way speaker or more

I will start my question of first how does driver size effect sound quality ?
 

jmjones

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2009
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Driver size? Wallop and efficiency. Have a listen to a pair of Ditton 66s.

On the rest:

Size matters, I’m afraid I’m quite keen on the slimmer floor standing look.

Specs insofar as matching amps. Power/current/efficiency.

The rest is by ear really.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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- Musical Engagement
- Natural presentation
- Controlled Bass that plays tunes
- Realistic Midrange
- Detailed without being analytical
- Refined Treble
- Bass that goes below 30 Hz (in room)
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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jmjones said:
Driver size? Wallop and efficiency. Have a listen to a pair of Ditton 66s.

On the rest:

Size matters, I’m afraid I’m quite keen on the slimmer floor standing look.

Specs insofar as matching amps. Power/current/efficiency.

The rest is by ear really.
thanks I forgot that important one Efficiency *smile* it helps when buying speakers and what amplifier will run the speakers right
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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CnoEvil said:
- Musical Engagement - Natural presentation - Controlled Bass that plays tunes - Realistic Midrange - Detailed without being analytical - Refined Treble - Bass that goes below 30 Hz (in room)
that list is most of me then *smile*

when you say analytical does that mean not sounding natural as I’ve heard that said about CD players before and when you say Refined Treble would you say a realistic treble that will make instruments like cymbals sound realistic ? Cymbal sound
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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For me, Analytical means overly etched and glassy sounding, often sounding a bit bright, as a result of pushing up certain frequencies, to give the impression of extra "air".

Refined is the opposite to forward...More on the sweet side.

I try to get as close to Real and Natural as possible.
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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I've had Lindsay's are ev sentries in my lounge and they dwarfed our speakers sound with ease.

That's why I'd only settle on ATC SCM 100 ask as my main system as a minimum
3 way active super linear bass driver 3 separate power amps per side.
12 inch bass driver
ATC mid dome mid unit into the best in the world
And a matching mini dome s tweeter.

Have a listen to a speaker like this in the correct surrounding and you'll never go back.

Another type to look at are the large JBL speakers with the highly impressive high frequency compression driver for that 'live in the room's presentation that few normal style speakers can compete with on an ab comparison.

I'd challenge you or highly recommend you have a listen to these sort or avoid disappointment or upgrade bug in a few months again.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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Andrewjvt said:
I've had Lindsay's are even sentries in my lounge and they dwarfed our speakers sound with ease.

That's why I'd only settle on ATC SCM 100 ask as my main system as a minimum 3 way active super linear bass driver 3 separate power amps per side. 12 inch bass driver ATC mid dome mid unit into the best in the world And a matching mini dome s tweeter.

Have a listen to a speaker like this in the correct surrounding and you'll never go back.

Another type to look at are the large JBL speakers with the highly impressive high frequency compression driver for that 'live in the room's presentation that few normal style speakers can compete with on an ab comparison.

I'd challenge you or highly recommend you have a listen to these sort or avoid disappointment or upgrade bug in a few months again.
So let’s say Kef reference 3s and Dali rubicon 8s both have 6.5” drivers but obviously different technology’s but the rubicon 8s have 3 x 6.5” drivers and uses the hybrid tweeter

But the Kefs reference 3s are £8000 but the Dali rubicon 8s are £4000 but not willy waving here but just trying to figure out what your getting for your hard earned money here
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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CnoEvil said:
For me, Analytical means overly etched and glassy sounding, often sounding a bit bright, as a result of pushing up certain frequencies, to give the impression of extra "air".

Refined is the opposite to forward...More on the sweet side.

I try to get as close to Real and Natural as possible.
yes your tastes seem to be like mine as that’s why I brought the Yamaha A-S3000 because the way it presents instruments and vocals and to be totally honest the Dali opticon 8s are pretty good at giving this kind of sound and thinking they might be hard to let go .

The trouble is sometimes what you have is good but you always think if I spend a bit more money I would get an even better speaker that would sound better then the opticons or not so I keep getting cold feet but the rubicon 8s are still on order I hate cold feet
 

Andrewjvt

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Jun 18, 2014
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Every man's interpretation is slightly different and also hearing/likes/dislikes

What I'd warn you from is the typical 'audiophille' description or reputations for sound as they can put you off certain thing unnecessary.

One example is studio monitors are too revealing and musically uninvolved/cold

Another one
Metal done tweeters sound metallic.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
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Big size mid range drivers always win for vocal naturalness. The last time I heard them I came away impressed.

That said I bought my PMC's blind on enthusiastic recommendation from here. And I am mighty glad I did. They are spectacular at what is 95% of my listening. EDM , trance etc.

For the other 5% - Diana kralla and Adele. I would look to a large driver refined speaker excellent on vocals alone. Here I would be willing to trade speed and bass depth for refinement and naturalness. May be a full range driver with tube based amplification.

So there is no one universal solution I guess
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I'm probably quite practical. I used to go through a lot of gear. So if I was looking for a pair now there's absolutely loads I'd want to have and none of them the usual subjects. From big point source, omnidirectional, full range, through electrostatics, horns, compression drivers, transmission lines. Basically the weirder the better,
I'd happily try it all.

With this in mind I'd look at original RRP. Trying to get a pair for less than 10% of it and fingers crossed under current market value :)
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
693
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I rely solely on my ears only. I pay no attention whatsoever to specs or driver size, I have found that bigger or more does not necessarily equate to better, hence why I have such a small pair of speakers that make me smile nearly every day *smile*
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
669
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18,970
Reviews since i very often can't listen to what i want to buy (like q acoustics mission lx-2)

A place where i can return it within 14 day which all online store must have, free return i like alot

Size since i use my speaker on my desk on each side om my 34" acer predator.

The only speakers that have disapointed me was the wharfedale diamond 220
 
Blacksabbath25 said:
So let’s say Kef reference 3s and Dali rubicon 8s both have 6.5” drivers but obviously different technology’s but the rubicon 8s have 3 x 6.5” drivers and uses the hybrid tweeter

But the Kefs reference 3s are £8000 but the Dali rubicon 8s are £4000 but not willy waving here but just trying to figure out what your getting for your hard earned money here
Wanna list? :)
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
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Blacksabbath25 said:
Andrewjvt said:
I've had Lindsay's are even sentries in my lounge and they dwarfed our speakers sound with ease.

That's why I'd only settle on ATC SCM 100 ask as my main system as a minimum 3 way active super linear bass driver 3 separate power amps per side. 12 inch bass driver ATC mid dome mid unit into the best in the world And a matching mini dome s tweeter.

Have a listen to a speaker like this in the correct surrounding and you'll never go back.

Another type to look at are the large JBL speakers with the highly impressive high frequency compression driver for that 'live in the room's presentation that few normal style speakers can compete with on an ab comparison.

I'd challenge you or highly recommend you have a listen to these sort or avoid disappointment or upgrade bug in a few months again.
So let’s say Kef reference 3s and Dali rubicon 8s both have 6.5” drivers but obviously different technology’s but the rubicon 8s have 3 x 6.5” drivers and uses the hybrid tweeter 

But the Kefs reference 3s are £8000 but the Dali rubicon 8s are £4000 but not willy waving here but just trying to figure out what your getting for your hard earned money here 
Your getting better construction of cabinet
Better drivers, crossover etc
But also the finish is premium and you are also paying for that.

What you need to consider for a speaker like the KEF ref is you really need a good amp to justify the purchase or you won't hear the benefits. Now they do sound remarkable for the driver size etc but just listen to the higher model the KEF blade with 10 inch bass drivers either side to show what larger drivers can do.

I went through the same thoughts as you over 2 years ago when I decided to buy ATC scm40s to go with my Hegel.

Now I also wanted larger drivers - demonstrated them and no doubt the larger speaker much better imo.

Now here is the big but:

If I brought the 40s, keep my Hegel I would of had brilliant sound quality and could have been happy if I never read another magazine or gone on the forum again.

Sometimes you need to just say to yourself that there is always something better out but mine is very good and I enjoy it.

Otherwise it's a never ending story or upgrade after upgrading and wasted money.

Look at my example
I sold all my stuff to buy ATC scm100 when I almost brought them my wife fell pregnant so I had to be sensible with money.

Now look at me with only an AV amp and tannoy speakers

Hope this helps
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
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Andrewjvt said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
Andrewjvt said:
I've had Lindsay's are even sentries in my lounge and they dwarfed our speakers sound with ease.

That's why I'd only settle on ATC SCM 100 ask as my main system as a minimum 3 way active super linear bass driver 3 separate power amps per side. 12 inch bass driver ATC mid dome mid unit into the best in the world And a matching mini dome s tweeter.

Have a listen to a speaker like this in the correct surrounding and you'll never go back.

Another type to look at are the large JBL speakers with the highly impressive high frequency compression driver for that 'live in the room's presentation that few normal style speakers can compete with on an ab comparison.

I'd challenge you or highly recommend you have a listen to these sort or avoid disappointment or upgrade bug in a few months again.
So let’s say Kef reference 3s and Dali rubicon 8s both have 6.5” drivers but obviously different technology’s but the rubicon 8s have 3 x 6.5” drivers and uses the hybrid tweeter 

But the Kefs reference 3s are £8000 but the Dali rubicon 8s are £4000 but not willy waving here but just trying to figure out what your getting for your hard earned money here 
Your getting better construction of cabinet
Better drivers, crossover etc
But also the finish is premium and you are also paying for that.

What you need to consider for a speaker like the KEF ref is you really need a good amp to justify the purchase or you won't hear the benefits. Now they do sound remarkable for the driver size etc but just listen to the higher model the KEF blade with 10 inch bass drivers either side to show what larger drivers can do.

I went through the same thoughts as you over 2 years ago when I decided to buy ATC scm40s to go with my Hegel.

Now I also wanted larger drivers - demonstrated them and no doubt the larger speaker much better imo.

Now here is the big but:

If I brought the 40s, keep my Hegel I would of had brilliant sound quality and could have been happy if I never read another magazine or gone on the forum again.

Sometimes you need to just say to yourself that there is always something better out but mine is very good and I enjoy it.

Otherwise it's a never ending story or upgrade after upgrading and wasted money.

Look at my example
I sold all my stuff to buy ATC scm100 when I almost brought them my wife fell pregnant so I had to be sensible with money.

Now look at me with only an AV amp and tannoy speakers

Hope this helps
+1

There will always be something better out there...we are still an evolving species so improvements haven't ceased :)
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
234
42
4,820
Andrewjvt said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
Andrewjvt said:
I've had Lindsay's are even sentries in my lounge and they dwarfed our speakers sound with ease.

That's why I'd only settle on ATC SCM 100 ask as my main system as a minimum 3 way active super linear bass driver 3 separate power amps per side. 12 inch bass driver ATC mid dome mid unit into the best in the world And a matching mini dome s tweeter.

Have a listen to a speaker like this in the correct surrounding and you'll never go back.

Another type to look at are the large JBL speakers with the highly impressive high frequency compression driver for that 'live in the room's presentation that few normal style speakers can compete with on an ab comparison.

I'd challenge you or highly recommend you have a listen to these sort or avoid disappointment or upgrade bug in a few months again.
So let’s say Kef reference 3s and Dali rubicon 8s both have 6.5” drivers but obviously different technology’s but the rubicon 8s have 3 x 6.5” drivers and uses the hybrid tweeter

But the Kefs reference 3s are £8000 but the Dali rubicon 8s are £4000 but not willy waving here but just trying to figure out what your getting for your hard earned money here
Your getting better construction of cabinet Better drivers, crossover etc But also the finish is premium and you are also paying for that.

What you need to consider for a speaker like the KEF ref is you really need a good amp to justify the purchase or you won't hear the benefits. Now they do sound remarkable for the driver size etc but just listen to the higher model the KEF blade with 10 inch bass drivers either side to show what larger drivers can do.

I went through the same thoughts as you over 2 years ago when I decided to buy ATC scm40s to go with my Hegel.

Now I also wanted larger drivers - demonstrated them and no doubt the larger speaker much better imo.

Now here is the big but:

If I brought the 40s, keep my Hegel I would of had brilliant sound quality and could have been happy if I never read another magazine or gone on the forum again.

Sometimes you need to just say to yourself that there is always something better out but mine is very good and I enjoy it.

Otherwise it's a never ending story or upgrade after upgrading and wasted money.

Look at my example I sold all my stuff to buy ATC scm100 when I almost brought them my wife fell pregnant so I had to be sensible with money.

Now look at me with only an AV amp and tannoy speakers

Hope this helps
I get where your coming from Andrew I really do and there’s nothing wrong with an Av and tannoys when my daughter was born I had an Argos midi hifi Andrew I had to sell my big hifi I Had some money to pay for the baby things which I do not regret one bit .

But my wife is letting me get back what I had 8 years ago which is kind of her but I have to do this in section of upgrading because I’ve still got a family to feed any they come first well before hifi as much as I like my hifi you still have to put family first .
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
163
9
4,595
At several of my friends place. I've decided just what I want next. Natural vocals is all I am missing. Once I know the devil I desire, its easy to chase it down. And I don't have to break the bank doing it. As it will be a dedicated cheap system optimised at one and only one thing. Things start getting expensive when we seek all rounders I guess. So my primary system stays as it is. I am getting new drivers from PMC and if I don't get the desired vocals. I have two cheap options to end my chase :

1. Tube headphone amp + headphones
2. Small SET Chinese amp + small full range driver bookshelves again on the cheap.

Maybe you can try pin pointing what you want next blacksabbath. Then you can find ways to get there. Several roads to Rome I guess... :)
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
114
21
18,595
Looking back on my speaker purchases over the decades, I’ve invariably bought something relatively affordable from a brand with something outstanding at their top end. So, for example, my first HiFi speakers were Acoustic Research AR4xa, because I loved the AR3a and the LSTs. Many years later I heard the original Sonus Faber (maybe in the early 90s) and I was bowled over. I’d never heard such instrumental colour and depth of staging. In 1997 I bought their then new Concerto Grand Piano, an almost budget model.

Last year’s purchase of a pair of ATCs modestly titled ‘entry series’ seemed pretty extravagant at the time, but I’ve since heard more advanced models from ATC costing up to ten times as much. I’m concluding therefore that parentage or pedigree is pretty important to me.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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0
There are 3 things I've looked at when buying speakers over the last 12 years.

1. Weight. Over 70kgs per channel is good.

2. Price when new. Over a million yen is good. Half a million yen is OK.

3. Price now. Under £500 now is good. At a price that's £1000 under the usual going rate is OK, if they're over £500.

Simplifying speaker buying down to this level has served me well.
 

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