Which Speakers would you choose

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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First off I'd like to make it absolutely clear this isn't a criticism of either as they're both brilliant speakers within their size / price bracket ... but each has it's own strengths.

The coice is Elac Debut 2 B5.2's or Dali Spektor 2's.

The Boss isn't a fan of loud music generally so I'm often playing it quieter than I'd like ... althoough that said 75% of the time they're for bacground music as opposed to 25% critical listening.

Overall the Dali's are much better at lower volume and everyday listening to the radio in the background and probably when friends are round for drinks and playing background music. As they're a bit brighter the vocals more forth coming at lower volumes ..... especially noticeable with things like the DJ speaking on the radio.
Certain songs with higher volume and the volcals can err towards being a smidge shrill / annoying.

The Elac's at lower volume just aren't as clear but turn it up a bit and it's a much fuller / richer sound and the low / low mid range is sublime ... bass lines are ubelivebale for speakers of this size and can completely make a song.
Overall I wish these just had a smidge more clarity in the upper mid to treble ... but if they did I may be saying they sound a bit shrill at higher volumes with certain songs.

A summary of what I'm asking ... do you go with the speakers that best serve your purpose for everyday and 75% of ther use .... or the best for a much lower pecentage of critical listening.

Wish I had them both wired in and could just switch :D
 

JonRA

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Jul 3, 2022
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I would have said that if you want to listen to a system critically, even if only for 25% of the time, any system that doesn't let you enjoy your music that way is going to feel a bit of a let down. I like having background music when I'm reading or chatting or whatever, but what really gives me a kick is hearing those bits of a track I haven't noticed before or just teasing out one instrument over another - even the way a tom tom sounds on a particular track can do it for me. I also have Spektor 2s and I love them (admittedly I am new to this game and one of the things I have yet to learn is what a better system sounds like) - they are great for clarity and have decent bass. However, having read about the potential benefits of a subwoofer, I added a cheap one this week and it gives a whole new depth to the lower tones and warms the sound overall. I only have it on a low output most of the time but for a thumping bass track, I do turn it up a bit and feel the sound through the sofa as well as my ears! And of course I can turn it off if I want to listen to the Spektors unsullied. Best of both worlds! One other thought, if your idea of critical listening is similar to mine, for the most critical listening, I think headphones take some beating. I have got a pair of Grado SR225x that are amazing - though maybe a little too bright if you find the Dalis bright?

Edit - one thing I should have added is that if I were to revisit my subwoofer purchase, I would probably spend a bit more and get something a bit more adjustable than the one I bought which has a volume control only. That would stand me in good stead as my system is upgraded (as I feel is most likely to happen LOL)
 
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Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I would have said that if you want to listen to a system critically, even if only for 25% of the time, any system that doesn't let you enjoy your music that way is going to feel a bit of a let down. I like having background music when I'm reading or chatting or whatever, but what really gives me a kick is hearing those bits of a track I haven't noticed before or just teasing out one instrument over another - even the way a tom tom sounds on a particular track can do it for me. I also have Spektor 2s and I love them (admittedly I am new to this game and one of the things I have yet to learn is what a better system sounds like) - they are great for clarity and have decent bass. However, having read about the potential benefits of a subwoofer, I added a cheap one this week and it gives a whole new depth to the lower tones and warms the sound overall. I only have it on a low output most of the time but for a thumping bass track, I do turn it up a bit and feel the sound through the sofa as well as my ears! And of course I can turn it off if I want to listen to the Spektors unsullied. Best of both worlds! One other thought, if your idea of critical listening is similar to mine, for the most critical listening, I think headphones take some beating. I have got a pair of Grado SR225x that are amazing - though maybe a little too bright if you find the Dalis bright?

Edit - one thing I should have added is that if I were to revisit my subwoofer purchase, I would probably spend a bit more and get something a bit more adjustable than the one I bought which has a volume control only. That would stand me in good stead as my system is upgraded (as I feel is most likely to happen LOL)
I do have a Sub where the speakers will go but to decide which I like best I've actually switched it off. When I've decided which I want to keep I'll then access if the Sub adds benefit or not, I feel if I keep the Elacs I may get rid of it.

I think I'm erring in the direction you say as the critical lsiten is probably more important, I've certainly heard sounds with both of these pairs that I didn't with the previous speakers, the Elac's I specifically noticed the tone / crack of the snare in some songs.

I'm not great with headphones as have tinnitus in one ear (stupidly drummng for years with no protection).

If you like your Bass an amazing song is Nikitta by Elton John, brilliant bass player and a track I use for testing speakers.

Cheers for your input.
 
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nopiano

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I think you’ve put your finger on why so many modern speakers are too bright. I say that in the sense that they have a rising HF or a slightly recessed mid, giving a similar impression. It makes quieter listening ‘clearer’, though it’s not strictly accurate. Much as loudness control boost treble, and bass, to counteract our natural loss of hearing sensitivity as the volume drops.

I‘d admit I’ve rarely auditioned speakers quietly, though I usually turn them down from a typical dealer’s preferred volume.

All that said….The quality when listening quietly seems to me to be relatively hard to predict with any given system. I don’t subscribe to the view that only sensitive speakers work well quietly, for example.
 
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Gray

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...do you go with the speakers that best serve your purpose for everyday and 75% of ther use .... or the best for a much lower pecentage of critical listening.
That's a genuinely tough question for you.
I would go for uncompromised listening for 25% of the time - but that's because personally, if I'm not critically listening (at realistic, but not anti- neighbour level), the hi-fi is off.
Seriously, it may sound strange but I never do background music.
How people can read books and, God forbid, hold conversations while 'listening' to music, is beyond me 🙂.
I've never owned speakers that haven't sounded better (with decent music) at higher volume.
Being in a semi-detached house is the one (significant) compromise to full appreciation of my music....but no doubt that's the case for many, worse for poor souls in flats, surrounded by neighbours ☹.
 
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Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I think you’ve put your finger on why so many modern speakers are too bright. I say that in the sense that they have a rising HF or a slightly recessed mid, giving a similar impression. It makes quieter listening ‘clearer’, though it’s not strictly accurate. Much as loudness control boost treble, and bass, to counteract our natural loss of hearing sensitivity as the volume drops.

I‘d admit I’ve rarely auditioned speakers quietly, though I usually turn them down from a typical dealer’s preferred volume.

All that said….The quality when listening quietly seems to me to be relatively hard to predict with any given system. I don’t subscribe to the view that only sensitive speakers work well quietly, for example.
Your comments got me thinking and made me wonder if maybe that's also dependant on price point as well.

Their biggest "mass" market is probably a lot of people who "like" music but aren't audiophile. They maybe want something better than a £50 pair of speakers, will have a budget of maybe £200 to £500 and are used for general rather than "critical" listening ... a lot of which may be background music at lower volumes and if they do turn it up they may not notice they're maybe a smidge sharp.

Granted more expensive speakers should be able to cope in a wider range of situations but as you say if you go into a shop they tend not to play it at lower volumes as audiophiles (or just people really into music) are more likely to listen at a volume that's not background.
Any audiophile, play it at a volume they'd normally play music at and it's a bit sharp they'd hate it.
It'd be really interesting to hear a totally sublime pair of high end / expensive speakers in a similar very quiet backgound situation and maybe they won't sound muc different but suddenly come into their own as soon as you get off that base level ... don't know but just an interesting thought.

Sometimes starting a thread it makes you more subjective about what you're asking (and other people's comments) and it really is at very low volumes the "muddy" is noticeable.

If you're then on your own and maybe tidying up or doing something in the room the volume goes up another few notches and it's still not "loud" but the muddy starts clearing.

A big thank you to everyone for their input it's been really helpful and greatly appreciated.
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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So you didn't fancy the hassle of having the PMCs on loan so you could compare older but more expensive speakers with new ones?

The Elac's at lower volume just aren't as clear but turn it up a bit and it's a much fuller / richer sound and the low / low mid range is sublime ... bass lines are ubelivebale for speakers of this size and can completely make a song.
I think you've answered your own question.
 

Witterings

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So you didn't fancy the hassle of having the PMCs on loan so you could compare older but more expensive speakers with new ones?
I mentioned in the DM's my car had been off the road for ages ... I've literally only just got it back after 2/3 months of hassle (and sourcing 2nd hand parts that were compatible ... £300 instead of £3000) and whilst the speakers wouldn't fit in my car the other half needs hers to drive to work every day so in essence I was carless for ages and don't think they'd have gone on my motorbike :D.

Weekends I don't seem to stop and we've been away a totally disproportionate amount (probably feeling free from Covid + Boy's graduation and going to see daughter between finishing Uni and going off for travels) so I literally haven't had 5 minutes to pass wind ... let alone go and pick up some speakers that weren't on my doorstep to try.

That aside I think your motivation was to sell them and I didn't want to feel that because someone had done me "a favour" I felt obliged to buy them.

If you were 5 minutes round the corner woould have been a different story and thank you for the kind offer.
 

treesey

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May 18, 2015
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All good - but my motivation was to share knowledge. I never seem to sell things, only buy them :D Cars for instance - I have a 1970, a 1983, a 1989, a 1996 as well as the workhorse 2004...and the sons' 2007 and 2008. You can see I have no interest in modern cars!
 

treesey

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...and to that end, I'll be at Stirlands this thursday, and then revisiting on saturday 27th August if you wished to borrow the PMCs over that period.

I'd simply be interested in how they compare to a modern/cheaper speaker, though you might not want to know any more :D
 

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