• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

What do you look for when buying speakers

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
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
Both are slimline ported speakers.

This in itself puts a glass ceiling on the overall sound quality attainable.

In terms of sound quality for the money spent, you are getting worse sound quality whilst spending more than you would if you bought classic 70kg+ speakers from EV, Altec, JBL etc.

In terms of looks and size you get a much more domestically acceptable package from the Kef's and Dalis.

It's a personal choice: WAF or better sound quality for less money.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
This would be the biggest factor.

Some years ago a friend bought a school building to cobert into a home, his main listening area was huge, listening position around 25-30 ft from the speakers. We installed a big pair of Martin Logan hybrids and at that distance the integration between the (passive) cone bass driver and the electrostatic panal was absolutely seemless, something that I had never really heard before.

In the current market, with a decent space, I would hop on a flight to Boulder Colorado to visit Sanders Sound Systems for a pair of the Model 10 speakers with Magtech amplifiers and all the trimmings. The $17,000 price tag is pretty reasonable for what you get.

Big electrostatic hybrids without any of the compromises of more mainstream models and the kind of visceral power and presence from the best moving coil speakers. Practicality, who needs practicality!

http://sanderssoundsystems.com
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
CnoEvil said:
Macspur said:
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)
I think you've just described Harbeth 40.2 there Cno

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
Trouble is, I've also described the Ref 3s (in the right system).
I thought that might be the case.

Mac

www.realmusicnet.wordpress.com
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
davedotco said:
This would be the biggest factor.

Some years ago a friend bought a school building to cobert into a home, his main listening area was huge, listening position around 25-30 ft from the speakers. We installed a big pair of Martin Logan hybrids and at that distance the integration between the (passive) cone bass driver and the electrostatic panal was absolutely seemless, something that I had never really heard before.

In the current market, with a decent space, I would hop on a flight to Boulder Colorado to visit Sanders Sound Systems for a pair of the Model 10 speakers with Magtech amplifiers and all the trimmings. The $17,000 price tag is pretty reasonable for what you get.

Big electrostatic hybrids without any of the compromises of more mainstream models and the kind of visceral power and presence from the best moving coil speakers. Practicality, who needs practicality!

http://sanderssoundsystems.com
I heard a pair of Innersound Eros ( Sanders ) electrostatic hybrids some years ago and they left a lasting impression on me especially playing classical music , it was probably the most realistically reproduced classical music I have ever heard even to this day .

The downside was that with ordinary run of the mill rock, blues , jazz they sounded between average and absolutely dire , also you had to sit in exactly the right spot to hear the magic.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
The first thing I'd look for is either a Transmission line or a sealed box design . ( infinite baffle )

It would probably be a three way type speaker with multiple bass drivers rather than just one larger bass driver.

It would have to reproduce deep bass with the least amount of distortion and have wide dispersion characteristics.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
So would there be any audible difference between a 8” driver and a 6.5 “ driver ?

And I know that bigger drivers like 10” upwards are great for bass but so can a 6.5” driver but am I right in thinking that a 6.5” driver will be faster with bass but a bigger driver will not be as quick with bass response

I am just trying to find out what the pitfalls are with driver size if any differences can be heard
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
plastic penguin said:
Ones that fit into your room is a good start. *biggrin*
I posted above about what I would consider the best speakers (the $17,000 Sanders systen) that I might be prepared to pay for in other circumstances, but for my current situation?

Right know I am in a room of roughly 300sq ft and about to move to room of a similar square footage but with different proportions.

This, and my desire for a system that is reasonably unobtrusive means that my current speakers are pretty close to ideal for my current circumstances. Visually they are a pair of elegant small floorstanders, no obvious branding or logos with a decent quality piano black finish that suits the room. They are slim, and sit about 8 ft apart and slightly in front of the plasma tv.

Sonically they are very tight and controlled so positioning is pretty easy, the bass drivers are not easily excited by the room and overall tonal balance can be easily fine tuned with the bass and treble shelving controls. Because of the positioning the soundstage is a bit 2 dimensional but that is not a big issue for me. The important thing is the rhythmic integrity and their ability to 'dissappear', even at quite modest levels. I would put overall capability as being similar to AE1as but with a little more bass extension and the marvelous X-Art tweeter.
 

paulkebab

New member
Dec 26, 2014
66
0
0
almost...​ answer your question but there's another factor. I downsized (as recommended) from the IPL S4tl to the S2tlm because the bass produced by the 8" was getting way too much, the S2 has a 6.5" bass unit and things are a lot better. However, the 8" driver cone was Kevlar and the smaller driver is magnesium which is a bit stiffer which should in theory make it 'faster'. Midrange is a bit clearer ie detail but not overpoweringly so. Bass is still very good but I'm not convinced it's any faster than the 8", there's just less of it and that was my main reason for change. As people have commented, you need to look at speakers which will work in your room and sound how you want them to. Lots to audition with that figure in mind, but if you can get the manufacturers' recommendations on room sizes for a given speaker, that could take a lot of work out of your search.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
paulkebab said:
almost...​ answer your question but there's another factor. I downsized (as recommended) from the IPL S4tl to the S2tlm because the bass produced by the 8" was getting way too much, the S2 has a 6.5" bass unit and things are a lot better. However, the 8" driver cone was Kevlar and the smaller driver is magnesium which is a bit stiffer which should in theory make it 'faster'. Midrange is a bit clearer ie detail but not overpoweringly so. Bass is still very good but I'm not convinced it's any faster than the 8", there's just less of it and that was my main reason for change. As people have commented, you need to look at speakers which will work in your room and sound how you want them to. Lots to audition with that figure in mind, but if you can get the manufacturers' recommendations on room sizes for a given speaker, that could take a lot of work out of your search.
I’ve got Dali rubicon 8s on order which have 3x 6.5” drivers but my current Dali opticon 8s uses 8” drivers which work ok in my room but depends how they tune the drivers on the rubicons because I heard the Dali rubicon 6s which had plenty of bass when I had a demo .

But it’s coming from a 8” driver to a 6.5” driver that worries me as there is no way I can demo Dali rubicon 8s as they are a special order only so buying blind which I do not like doing but I am going by what mine current speakers sound like now and what I heard at the demo with the Dali rubicon 6s And the fact richer sounds is letting me bring back my Dali opticon 8s and getting the full £2000 back towards the rubicon 8s so it’s a deal I didn’t want to say no to but the last thing I want to do it make one expensive mistake .
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
Three very good speakers. Three different presentations:

Dali Epicon 6

"Straight from the get-go, on the first and every subsequent track, the effect of the dual-tweeter module on the performance is clear. There’s no passive listening here – the Epicon 6 is an overt and open speaker, a magnificent detail retriever and resolution acquirer which demands attention, and attention it gets!  The tweeters their fine nuances up in the extended areas of air and ambience where room/recording venue reverberation is rendered staggeringly realistically. This trait is also demonstrated in the speakers’ power to separate instrumental lines. Within the context of our system and room the Epicon 6 was a scalpel at its sharpest in slicing through complex material with the cleanest of cuts. And that also translated to very fast transient attacks and a revelation in micro-detail. Seldom have I heard with such clarity the finest of minutiae from the subtlest of recordings and most delicate musicianship."

Kef Reference 3

"They shone as truly outstanding transducers, excelling in some of the most important aspects of music reproduction such as Dynamic Extension, Bass Power, Soundfield Reproduction and Tonal Accuracy....High frequencies are a model of refinement and subtlety. Some Audiophiles may prefer a more overt, more forward treble, But this reviewer found the high frequencies were spectacularly delicate, natural and rich in timbal textures."

Harbeth Monitor 40.2

"Inasmuch as I gave away the punch line at the outset, let me finish by saying that if I were asked to recommend a loudspeaker to someone who loves a really wide variety of music and wants it reproduced accurately, naturally, and beautifully such that he or she truly can listen for hours without fatigue, my recommendation in the here and now would unhesitatingly be the Monitor 40.2. As the review period has lasted several months, during which time I’ve had to evaluate several other components, I’ve also come to appreciate the Harbeth’s value as a tool for reviewing equipment and recordings. This is one speaker that really will tell you the truth about any source or any components feeding it."

All these speakers have a wide frequency range and dig up prodigious amounts of detail...but will sound very different...with the Harbeths being the most relaxing, the Dali being the least relaxing and with the Refs somewhere in between.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
205
30
10,820
Blacksabbath25 said:
So would there be any audible difference between a 8” driver and a 6.5 “ driver ? 

And I know that bigger drivers like 10” upwards are great for bass but so can a 6.5” driver but am I right in thinking that a 6.5” driver will be faster with bass but a bigger driver will not be as quick with bass response 

I am just trying to find out what the pitfalls are with driver size if any differences can be heard 
Be any audible difference in 1.5" of driver size. That said depends on how the rest of the cabinet is tuned. So a 6.5" driver in one cabinet can sound more bassy than another 8" driver in a different cabinet.

But since you found the rubicon 6 to be bassy, I would suspect that next up Rubicon 8 will be bassy too.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
Have you already paid for the speakers?
Is it too late to pull out?

I'm only asking no particular reason apart from any doubts you have.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
Andrewjvt said:
Have you already paid for the speakers? Is it too late to pull out?

I'm only asking no particular reason apart from any doubts you have.
no not paid for them yet because my Dali opticon 8s are part of the deal and richer sounds said ones they where in then pay for them
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
CnoEvil said:
Three very good speakers. Three different presentations:

Dali Epicon 6

"Straight from the get-go, on the first and every subsequent track, the effect of the dual-tweeter module on the performance is clear. There’s no passive listening here – the Epicon 6 is an overt and open speaker, a magnificent detail retriever and resolution acquirer which demands attention, and attention it gets! The tweeters their fine nuances up in the extended areas of air and ambience where room/recording venue reverberation is rendered staggeringly realistically. This trait is also demonstrated in the speakers’ power to separate instrumental lines. Within the context of our system and room the Epicon 6 was a scalpel at its sharpest in slicing through complex material with the cleanest of cuts. And that also translated to very fast transient attacks and a revelation in micro-detail. Seldom have I heard with such clarity the finest of minutiae from the subtlest of recordings and most delicate musicianship."

Kef Reference 3

"They shone as truly outstanding transducers, excelling in some of the most important aspects of music reproduction such as Dynamic Extension, Bass Power, Soundfield Reproduction and Tonal Accuracy....High frequencies are a model of refinement and subtlety. Some Audiophiles may prefer a more overt, more forward treble, But this reviewer found the high frequencies were spectacularly delicate, natural and rich in timbal textures."

Harbeth Monitor 40.2

"Inasmuch as I gave away the punch line at the outset, let me finish by saying that if I were asked to recommend a loudspeaker to someone who loves a really wide variety of music and wants it reproduced accurately, naturally, and beautifully such that he or she truly can listen for hours without fatigue, my recommendation in the here and now would unhesitatingly be the Monitor 40.2. As the review period has lasted several months, during which time I’ve had to evaluate several other components, I’ve also come to appreciate the Harbeth’s value as a tool for reviewing equipment and recordings. This is one speaker that really will tell you the truth about any source or any components feeding it."

All these speakers have a wide frequency range and dig up prodigious amounts of detail...but will sound very different...with the Harbeths being the most relaxing, the Dali being the least relaxing and with the Refs somewhere in between.
again Cno it depends what amplifier you put the Dali with as my Yamaha is neutral sounding you just get a natural sound out of the Dali’s and they can be relaxing or easy going but depends what music you use but that’s way I like the Dali sound because they are very good with instruments and that emotion you was taking about .
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
And something else I’ve noticed since I’ve been using the Oppo for cd playback is that my Dali opticon 8s are a little more bassy using the Oppo so a sorce can change how your speakers act as well but using the Yamaha CD player is setup to be more natural sounding .
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
I chose the Epicon 6 as they are on a level with the Ref 3s...and as those 2 extracts were from the same reviewer, they are most likely on the same system, in the same room.

Have you heard the Epicons, as they may well have more resolving, less forgiving tweeters?

I have never heard Dali, but from what I've read, that description of a very clean, highly resolving ability...with a very modern, sit up and take notice presentation, rings true.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
CnoEvil said:
I chose the Epicon 6 as they are on a level with the Ref 3s...and as those 2 extracts were from the same reviewer, they are most likely on the same system, in the same room.

Have you heard the Epicons, as they may well have more resolving, less forgiving tweeters?

I have never heard Dali, but from what I've read, that description of a very clean, highly resolving ability...with a very modern, sit up and take notice presentation, rings true.
No I’ve not heard the Dali epicon 6s as I haven’t found a dealer who stocks them around my way and because of the cost of them £8000 not many dealers will stock them .

The reason I’ve looked at the Dali rubicon 8s is 2 reasons 1 going by the reviews on them I am actually getting 75% of the Dali epicon sound and technology from the epicon 6s which at £4000 is a bargain if this is the case and reason 2 obviously the deal I’ve got taken back the Dali opticon 8s which if I did go to a place where they do stock Dali epicon 6s I would lose out on not getting back £2000 for the Dali opticon 8s . It’s a predicament I am in to be honest
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
742
305
5,270
Technically Rubicon 8 are a very strange design. Very difficult to get right. I generally like strange but not sure how they pulled it off and this one is a little too strange for me. They describe it as 2 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2. Whereas your Opticons are 3 1/2 where 1/2 is because of use of the ribbon so in fairness very standard three way although ribbon assisted.

How that translates to sound is anyone's guess. In general the less mucking around with crossovers the better. Easier to time align drive units which usually) translate to more coherent presentation.

Of course the improvement could come from better drivers and better designed crossovers. But I still maintain it's a weird design choice.

The question you probably ask is are they actually better? One thing looking at specs alone that would perhaps concern me not knowing what parts are in the speakers is that Rubicon weigh 7.5 kg less.

How does that translates to sound and how they will sound in your room with your gear is anyone's guess. I can only hope that 2x premium when it comes to RRP is justified. Please don't let my rumblings put you off.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
8
0
I know all about predicaments!!

FWIW. My advice is as follows:

- if there is no other speaker, at the price of the Rubicon, that you'd rather own...then you are in like Flynn.

- if you spent the money on a great Source, would you consider keeping the speakers that you have?

- if there is a speaker you would rather have, that isn't in RS, then you have to decide whether the gain is worth sacrificing your deal for.

- If you really are looking at a speaker in the 8k category at some point in the future...then keep what you have, while you test speakers at that price (like Kef Refs and Sonus Faber).

- How big and well damped is your room....can it handle more bass?
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
insider9 said:
Technically Rubicon 8 are a very strange design. Very difficult to get right. I generally like strange but not sure how they pulled it off and this one is a little too strange for me. They describe it as 2 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2. Whereas your Opticons are 3 1/2 where 1/2 is because of use of the ribbon so in fairness very standard three way although ribbon assisted.

How that translates to sound is anyone's guess. In general the less mucking around with crossovers the better. Easier to time align drive units which usually) translate to more coherent presentation.

Of course the improvement could come from better drivers and better designed crossovers. But I still maintain it's a weird design choice.

The question you probably ask is are they actually better? One thing looking at specs alone that would perhaps concern me not knowing what parts are in the speakers is that Rubicon weigh 7.5 kg less.

How does that translates to sound and how they will sound in your room with your gear is anyone's guess. I can only hope that 2x premium when it comes to RRP is justified. Please don't let my rumblings put you off.
yes they are very strange design indeed which I do not understand and how they compare to the Dali opticon 8s spec’s and what it means and this is what I am trying to find out if £4000 pair of speakers are going to sound better then a £2000 pair of speakers ?

the cabinets are nearly the same height as the opticon 8s and the same depth as the opticon 8s but not the same width that’s where the wight changes because the use of the 6.5” drivers
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
293
81
10,970
CnoEvil said:
I know all about predicaments!!

FWIW. My advice is as follows:

- if there is no other speaker, at the price of the Rubicon, that you'd rather own...then you are in like Flynn.

- if you spent the money on a great Source, would you consider keeping the speakers that you have?

- if there is a speaker you would rather have, that isn't in RS, then you have to decide whether the gain is worth sacrificing your deal for.

- If you really are looking at a speaker in the 8k category at some point in the future...then keep what you have, while you test speakers at that price (like Kef Refs and Sonus Faber).

- How big and well damped is your room....can it handle more bass?
I think at the moment a 8” driver is the limit in my room but I haven’t tried any other speaker so I do not no but I could put a pair of B&Ws in my room and they could be to bassy which I do not like and the other factor is matching speakers with amplifier on a sonic level which took me a long time to find to match Yamaha sound the 2 are made for each other.thats the thing and I do not want to ruin that .
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS