General Speaker Advice and Recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by shotgunshane, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    170
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Montreal
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a pair of bluetooth powered speakers to switch seamlessly (finger crossed) on that between my laptop, phone, and TV. After some searching and helps from other members, I have narrowed it down to 2 choices: the Vanatoo Transparent Zero and iLoud Micro monitors. I'm having trouble deciding which one to get, and the breakdown goes something like this:

    - portability: tied. both are great for my needs
    - bluetooth connection: not sure which one has a more stable connection but both are recent models so I'm assuming this would not be an issue (please correct
    - sound quality: I'm looking for a comparison for both wired and bluetooth. According to noaudiohile, the T0 sounds quite a bit better according to his ratings:
    [​IMG]

    -cost: T0 goes for $350 while I can get an iLoud for $250. If the SQ is indeed that much of a difference then I'm willing to spit out another hundo but if not, that's good money saved. Personal sound preference: relatively neutral, though I'm a mid-head, would prefer a bit less bass than a bit too much base, pretty easy going with treb except for either extremes. Overall, I like a planar sound or more specifically a really good planar like Code X.

    Thank you for reading folks.

    P.S. these will be on my working desk, i.e. a few ft away from me. And sorry for the crappy image, my PTS broke down.
     
  2. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I have heard these a couple of times with the Unison Research Triode 25 and it is a pretty nice combination. Not the ultimate in resolution terms perhaps, but those Max1's are extremely musical and rendered piano quite exquisitely which is quite a must for me to like a speaker so tonality wise I found them very enjoyable and pretty spot on. Definitely on my short list for moving on from my Kefs and being quite efficient they are very flexible in terms of using with lower output amplifiers and SET valve amps so you can buy high quality amplification at a reasonable price to pair along with them.

    I also note with interest the discussion surrounding the JBLs. I have had the opportunity to spend some time with the Everests one morning, though that was a couple of years ago now and did note that they liked being positioned in the corners of the room with them being pointed directly at the listening position. Unfortunately I no longer remember the intricacies of their sound, but they were pretty impressive, but less imposing than their size suggested and I definitely did prefer them to the B&W 800 Diamonds in the same room. I still have a better liking for the dual concentric Tannoy's with large woofers, think it was the Canterburys. The latter is more musical with more presence compared the JBLs that I remember.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  3. kida

    kida Rando

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Budget of not over $10k for speakers, power amp, cables. (not including DAC/pre, which I would probably get schiit gears as needed based from sbaf impressions.)
    For sound, just a bit north of neutral, but my main goal for speakers system is 3D soundstage with good resolution. I listen to mainly classical, classical crossover, & metal.
    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll try to audition into what you have listed.
     
  4. alubis

    alubis Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Jakarta Indonesia
    On addition to above suggestions, I would suggest to audition active ATC based on your preference. I am currently using ATC SCM19A and previously I had the passive ATC SCM40. I bought the ATC SCM19A around USD 6K new. I have schiit saga, freya, and Yggdrasil a2, but I prefer dangerous music source which cost much cheaper than schiit freya + Yggdrasil a2 or schiit saga + Yggdrasil a2.

    Hedd is interesting, but I live in Southeast Asia and I find it difficult to find dealers who carry Hedd around here.

     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
  5. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,852
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    What do you notice from 40 passive to 19 active? Thinking active ATC myself. Seems Freya isn't a good match though?
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    If you are running active with built-in amps / xovers, absolute waste to get fancy DACs, preamps, etc. Best off with a decent solid DAC with balanced outs and preamp option.
     
  7. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,852
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Why is that? I honestly don't know.

    Current setup is DSJr and Freya. Thought Freya could "tune with tubes" to dial things in. So balanced but is it a voltage out thing?
     
  8. alubis

    alubis Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Jakarta Indonesia
    The active is more dynamic and transparent which are attributes that ATC is known for. I have heard the passive with various amps: musical fidelity, bryston, atc p1, and accuphase, and none can rival the active. The drawback is you need good preamp for the active and preferably balance since the active only have xlr input.

    Freya in any mode is less transparent compare to my Dangerous Source + LPS. I don't think either Freya or Saga is a good match with active ATC.

     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Active tube mode on Freya is bloomy and has a slight veil. Tubes change the tonality and may push back the soundstage.

    No preamp is best, if possible.

    The other consideration is that the drivers and electronics inside the ATC are not resolving enough to take advantage of high-end sources. It's a balance between immediacy / resolution and precision / focus / articulation. The latter is an easier and more cost-effective approach.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Eons ago, I had a choice between a Linn Aktiv (with three lesser amp) and a passive system (with one very expensive amp that was twice the price of the three lesser amps combined). The Aktiv system sounded more precise and focused with better bass extension. However, over time, like ten years later, I realized the Aktiv system lacked the soul that the passive system (with the super expensive amp) had. Sure the passive system has blurrier bass compared to the Akitv, but it made my spine tingle when listening to Peter Gabriel's So album. As I've gotten older, I've realized what matters most is gear that sucks you into the music. I think a good example to determine where you are at is whether you prefer HD radio mode in your car compared to OG FM radio waves.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    I'm not opposed to active solutions. My current system is a hybrid passive up top and active with DSP for the bottom. This was the synthesis of over ten years of ideas and experimentation and component selection. After all this time, I can say that I am finally content. There are areas that can be improved, but I'm like screw it, not worth the time. This is when you know you are finally there.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  12. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,817
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There’s no fixing ATC with tube or dacs, clean or special sounding. Atc uses 1980s class ab mosfet poweramp style sheet purrin. The better class d plate amps will spank it like atc’s a bad girl in a dungeon for cleanliness and detail. Atc is britfi so it doesn’t matter as long as the dynamic magic mids are happening and stays in attack formation. I mean even the prism stuff they are demoed with is total overkill. All that super clean prism air ain’t coming through those British soft domes 100%
     
  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,817
    Trophy Points:
    113
    ATC? Transparent? Wat? That bass and treble are nuffin to write home about. Stuffs okay but the dangerous gear is america-fi, not British fi. We hit hard, won both world wars, made nukes, computers, shitty beer, and a melting pot Of hot chicks with perfect teeth unseen anywhere else on earth. Central Europe may have hot chicks but teeth? Balkans all smoke. Vietnam iffy on both teeth and smoking but diet is better. In many places you are lucky if they have all their teeth. Not America. That yoga instructor will have all her teeth. Just meditate with her and don’t think about it. That’s the point. Listen to American speaker with American style band like Slayer. Slayer are a melting pot of satan, atheism, Mexican, Viking, monster truck rallies, black masses, and Oakland/LA Raiders made by Satan, master of reality, to take metal to the next level. British speakers are for the BBC. You’re not supposed to stare at their teeth when watching Masterpiece Theater


    .
    I’m drunk but at that budget you can buy whatever and shoot justblisten to a ton of stuff. Maybe you love HEDD, maybe ATC, maybe Neumann sennheiser warmth, maybe Genelec, maybe KRK slam pieces. Who know? Only you know what’s best for you. Only you can discover that. Only you can prevent forest fires and get to the fentanyl of a tootsie pop
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  14. alubis

    alubis Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Jakarta Indonesia
    I would agree that atc treble and bass are not the best, but it's good enough for me and I still prefer atc compare to genelec, adams, and neumann that I can audition around here. I would like to hear Hedd though, too bad they don't have dealer where I live.

    Not a big metal fan in my younger days, I would rather listen to Bad Brains and Minor Threat rather than Slayer. We all have our preferences.



     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  15. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,762
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Simply for understanding's sake, I'd be curious to see a generic proposed $10k budget solution for each case: Immediacy/resolution and precision/focus/articulation.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,195
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    This is why I’ve sort of been hesitant to look at powered speakers. The goal I think of many actives is to have unbridled power delivery and to measure like a dream, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to sound like something that matches my tastes and musical interests. With active systems, now both the speakers and the amps have been “voiced” a particular way (according to the designers preferences or goals), which I may or may not like. But what if I like most of the sound, but not certain smaller aspects - I have very little left to be able to tailor the sound to my liking (source and preamp, which should really be as transparent as possible) - so they’d better sound pretty close to perfect as far as what I’m looking for, otherwise you’re kind of locked in (at least more locked in than with passives).

    That said, dynamics are a huge part of being able to achieve that “live” sound, and actives are certainly a more straightforward (and likely more cost effective) way to achieve excellent dynamics, for a given speaker design, than most passives due to the crossovers.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  17. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,843
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Estonia
    Trickery in dsp or line level eq + straight amp to transducer connection gives better driver transient control, but that is not all to what I call 'dynamically great'. Often the transducers themselves are of lower quality than on similar caliber passives, where trickery can't be applied to have acceptable bass performance.
    Trickery can't completely hide the underlying distortion mechanisms of the transducers.
    This is the goodness (proportionality) of the scale. It usually sucks from speakers more than from good headphones, but passives have been better at that, ime.
    Also why do people assign dynamics only to bass?
    No active speaker I have ever heard has done great dynamics in mids (I have not heard ATC with a dome mid).
    The breathing life into instruments kind of thing (instead of 'dead').
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  18. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Perhaps another factor to consider is your listening habit. How long do you get to sit down?

    I find my Prism dac somewhat airy, which is nice at initial listen but starts to feel too airy after a while. The thing is though, my listening habits are so sporadic and I'm always getting up to do stuff. By the time I can actually listen to a half album, I'm already half asleep anyways.

    I had an RME that felt more resolving, but took me longer to adjust my ears into it, so the initial listen never really grabbed me and didn't give me the immediate relaxation that I wanted.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,852
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    On the first point, it's interesting you say this because whenever I've auditioned studio monitors in the past, they've all felt like lifeless reproductions of music -- Accurate, bright as fuck and boring. It's a reason why I don't go by the adage Meazurementz4Lyfe and why I've steered clear of studio monitors in the past.

    However I have heard the passive SCM40 and really enjoyed it. Have yet to hear the ATC SCM40A but would certainly simplify my life if all I had nervosa about was preamp/dac.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    75,101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Think of active systems like an AIO solution, with all the advantages and disadvantages of AIO. You are going to get something solid for the price with a minimum of fuss. The more handy active solutions will take digital input and use DSP for crossover / surgical EQ.

    The thing with passive is that it takes time and exposure to a lot of gear to put together a system. If you aren't a high roller at the local hi-end stereo place where they let you audition gear in your home, you are going to have a harder time putting something together that sounds as good as the better active systems.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List

Share This Page