Loudspeakers I Like

Loudspeakers I have heard and liked
Here is a list of loudspeakers I have heard and liked. The order is alphabetic.

Slant6: This is the only Apogee I have heard AND liked. Good midrange and treble supported by a decent bass.

Bowers & Wilkins
Several models: Bowers & Wilkins has always been among my favorites, nearly all models are good. Their matrix boxes are the most intelligent solution to the box problem presented until now. The B&W bass performance is always a bit 'slow'.

Another favorite. Not all Dynaudio speakers are good, but there are some very good.
Contour 1.3: Sounds a bit like ESL-63, but with more coloration and less detail. One of the best mini-monitor speakers. Recommended as side systems with subwoofer, this makes them a true high end contender.
Contour 1.8: Basically the same as 1.3 but with more bass (and coloration).
Audience 10: Not in production any more, but this was a poor mans Contour 1.3. Same kind of sound, just not as good.
Audience 40: New and cheap model, still very pleasant.
Larger models: I have heard some of their larger models (including the largest) and some of them are very good, but the price makes them less interesting. With higher price the competition gets stronger, and in this price range I prefer planar speakers.

Final Electrostatics
I have heard their largest electrostatic loudspeaker. Very impressing it was. The system setup included Copland CDA-288, Mark Levinson 332 or 333. The CD was an extremely good OPUS-3 recording with HDCD. The sound was very detailed and alive with a large soundstage (2-mike recording), almost too large. I think these speakers need a very large room. The loudspeakers were almost new and that maybe explains that the treble was a bit sharp (could be the transistors) and that there was little bass. I would like to hear more of these.

JM Lab
Grand Utopia: I heard these at a hifi show, the sound was detailed and easy. The box sound was pretty obvious though. Still a very good speaker, but also terribly expensive.

I heard these at a hifi show, and the the sound was very impressive. It was large scale, detailed and fast. If I felt the need for a backup system to play rock music at realistic levels, I would certainly consider to use the Klipschhorns, probably with an SE triode amplifier. I liked the sound from these horns more than the modern large scale loudspeakers (JM Lab Grand Utopia, Von Schweikert VR-8). The Klipschhorns have some coloration as do all horns, but they make listening to music fun, and that is what it is all about. The sound character is best described as expressionistic.

Magnepan and Magneplanar
Several models: I have heard many Magnepan models and they all share the same qualities, very good midrange and treble (excellent with ribbons) and a terrible bass. I like them because the music scenery sounds alive. In the mid 70's the Magneplanar Tympani 1C were my favorite speakers, but no longer. I think the coloration is too high, the soundstage too large and the bass a real no-no. The cheaper models are highly recommended. Together with a good subwoofer the sound can be great.

Martin Logan
Aerius i, Sequel II, SL3, Request: I have heard these three models and they share the same qualities, very good midrange, good treble and decent bass. Compared to the Quads the sound is less accurate, with box coloration and a little edgy treble. Still very good loudspeakers sharing the see through qualities with other electrostatic loudspeakers. You can also play a little louder with these except for the Aerius which to my ears sound better than the others on small scale music but can not cope with large scale music. I would like to hear the CLS, this could be good with dipole subwoofers.

M1: One of the best box speakers I have heard. Some coloration, but easy to listen to.

Monitor Audio
Several models: Their treble unit is one of the best and the midrange is also very good in most of their models. I have not heard good bass (not bad either) from Monitor Audio, but together with a subwoofer the result should be very good. The finish in the more expensive models is terrific.

Tablette, Response 2.5,3.5: Very good speakers, the Tablette need support from a subwoofer but the others don't. Together with Dynaudio my favorites among box speakers today. Easy to listen too.

ESL, ESL-63: Still my favorites. Extremely good midrange and treble, excellent bass but limited bass extension and SPL. The soundstaging qualities are also excellent especially in the ESL-63. The ESL-63 is a bit laid-back compared to the ESL, some like it, some don't. The most accurate loudspeakers I have heard.

Sonus Faber
Some models: I have heard a few models, and they all sound very good.

Von Schweikert
VR-4, VR-8: I like these speakers, fun to listen to. Not the most accurate reproduction, but fun.

Loudspeakers I have heard and NOT liked

Here is a list of loudspeakers I have heard and NOT liked. The order is alphabetic. I will only include loudspeakers that have been well reviewed by others, but not by me.


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