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New loudspeakers for classical music

julesd68

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How important is driver size in regards to giving a satisfying portrayal of scale in orchestral music?
 

Nopiano

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How important is driver size in regards to giving a satisfying portrayal of scale in orchestral music?
Not especially, in my view, as no single measure is vital. Rather like a good recipe, the skill is in the overall design and execution, not the individual ingredients.

Of course ‘satisfying’ is the illusion. To my ears getting some perception of the size of the hall plays a major part, and I suspect that is about things like lack of colouration, phase accuracy, and retrieval of information - which don’t make demands on driver size. I guess if you require sound below, say, 35hz then the answer is it has some importance.
 

Blzebub

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How important is driver size in regards to giving a satisfying portrayal of scale in orchestral music?
I think it's extremely important to have large bass drivers in order to portray the sense of a very large space - such as a concert hall or church. These large spaces support very low frequencies, which most speakers can't reproduce. You won't know that these sounds are present unless your speakers are genuinely "full-range".
 
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tuga

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How important is driver size in regards to giving a satisfying portrayal of scale in orchestral music?

It is paramount.
Low frequencies can be achieved by large cone surface or longer cone excursion. The latter will produce higher levels of distortion.
Large cone surface can be achieved by using a single large cone or multiple smaller cones.

The ideal speakers would be large sealed 3-ways, perhaps supported by a pair of subs for full frequency coverage.
 
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julesd68

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Strangely enough my old 12" HPD's were fantastic with orchestral music but I'm not sure why exactly - they certainly weren't the last word in low end extension but they did scale really well somehow.
 

A.S.

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Great video and interesting technology in these studio monitors.

However, they are studio monitors designed for use by mixing enginerers and not for audiophiles listening at home using the mix that the engineer finished up with and released to the streaming service companies and CD / vinyl pressing companies.

My own experience with studio monitors is - leave them in the studio and buy good domestic speakers for use at home. They are designed with different markets in mind and best to use each type in their intended markets. Peter



I have had a home demo of these in 2018 in my living room measuring 6m x 5m and they sounded absolutely stunning. I closed my eyes and could locate separate parts of the orchestra with my eyes closed. The tonal colours were exhilarating. One of the best speakers/sonics I’ve ever heard.

Like anything worth an audition to see if it floats your boat.
 
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Bi Focal

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Totems are neutral and musical, ATC neutral but (for me) a tad boring. Don’t touch Focals - if you want something neutral and laid back. They are pretty forward and can get tiring to listen to
 

ssfas

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@cotes-du-rhone My office is the same size as your room and I listen to classical music a lot when I work. I also go and hear/see a lot.

I had P3ESR, but then put together a system comprising Raidho X1, REL S/2 and Cambridge Audio CXA81.

It was superb, very small footprint and cost me £4K total.

The X1 have amazing clarity and tone, very good top end and never fatiguing. They say they use the same ribbon tweeter in their £250,000 speakers. They barely do anything below 80Hz, so you need a good, small subwoofer.

Nowadays I might go for the CA EVO 150.
 

Juancho

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@cotes-du-rhone My office is the same size as your room and I listen to classical music a lot when I work. I also go and hear/see a lot.

I had P3ESR, but then put together a system comprising Raidho X1, REL S/2 and Cambridge Audio CXA81.

It was superb, very small footprint and cost me £4K total.

The X1 have amazing clarity and tone, very good top end and never fatiguing. They say they use the same ribbon tweeter in their £250,000 speakers. They barely do anything below 80Hz, so you need a good, small subwoofer.

Nowadays I might go for the CA EVO 150.
Listen to some Klipsch Forte IVs. Amazing with classical (and everything else!)
 

Jazid

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The OP has dismissed most of the obvious candidates. Fair enough. So what might behave like a Beauhorn? Immediate, presence, fine detail, sensitivity? No comment on neutrality.

Here's a left field suggestion: Rullit field coil open baffle speakers. Give up if you want to demo them, but they do horn dynamics, immediacy, detail, that thing to a tee, not so much the sensitivity. Maybe your gig OP?
 

HouseElf

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I’d consider a couple of options:

Pearl Acoustics Sibelius with a decent Class A amp - maybe Sugden or Pass Labs. The designer is heavily into classical music and records concerts/musicians himself.

Or a pair of Diapason speakers. The designer is a classically trained musician. Work well with valve amps - Mastersound in particular.
 

diceman

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My main takeaway from the OP's first post was: - "preferably that doesn’t have to be a meter from the nearest wall (my living room is 3.5 x 4!)"

In a small room like that I feel that most of the suggestions I'd normally come up with will not work. The sensible desire to have the speakers close to the wall will rule out most as hardly any speakers are designed to work close to a rear wall and will sound bass heavy as a result. My feeling is that the room & desired speaker location will mean you will probably have to change your expectations of what a speaker will do. I'd have suggested having a listen to sme panel speakers otherwise but they really need room behind them (although I did enjoy refurbished Quad ESL57s in a similarly small room but but there wasn't room for anything else!

Whilst they totally dominated the room; both the Snell A's and Klipsch Cornwall did amazingly well in small rooms at the recent hi-fi show.

Active speakers (ideally with waveguides to control dispersion) will also allow you to tweak the bass to suit your room. Yamaha NS1000 will also workj up against a rear wall but IMO are more of a studio monitor type sound and probably not what you are after.
 
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Juancho

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Whilst they totally dominated the room; both the Snell A's and Klipsch Cornwall did amazingly well in small rooms at the recent hi-fi show.
And Klipsch make much smaller speakers than the Cornwalls that also work well close to a wall........
 

hiesteem

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(my living room is 3.5 x 4!).
I would personally keep to speakers that will work in a smaller room. I perhaps would be looking at smaller active's.
Perhaps Buchardt a500 stand mount. Being active they should be able to control bass response, whilst giving that extra bit of attack and detail to classical material.
 

Hifimad1

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It is with some trepidation I ask for advice here. 😀

The internet is full of the latest and greatest ever, often at very modest prices, but age and ill health really precludes months of touring dealers.



I downsized the house before the pandemic and although my Beauhorn virtuosos work really well in their new tiny listening space, they are visually obtrusive, so I’d like to replace them with something smaller, preferably that doesn’t have to be a meter from the nearest wall (my living room is 3.5 x 4!).



I already have a smaller 2nd system which is Spendor SA1s with a Bel Canto DAC2.5/Ref500 combo. This sounds ok, but is no substitute for the Beauhorns.



I listen to R3 and QoBuz through Roon and have a legacy LP12 and Marantz CD80 for records and cds. I only listen to classical music, whether symphonic, chamber, opera or lieder. I have neighbours, so listening levels are not high.



To me, the Beauhorns present a realistic impression of the performance (not from the front rows of course…) with a sound that is powerful or delicate as required. I never hear the loudspeakers themselves unless I am stood by one. There is a good stable image left to right and some height. I discern no depth of image, but then I don’t remember that from live music either!

I don’t have much experience of other peoples equipment. My only longer term exposure is to my son’s Alexia/Audio Research stuff, which is deeply impressive, but which I feel brutally assaulted by every time I hear it.


So, suggestions please, for smaller floorstanders, or standmounts, and suitable amplification that you think might suit me. Before the pandemic, dealers introduced me to Audio note, Linn and Kef active, none of which pleased me much. I did hear some Klipsch loudspeakers I thought I could have lived with, but they hardly met the size reduction brief!😀

rgds

Hi, the most natural sounding small speakers I have heard are from the Raidho stable, they just disappear and leave you with a big soundscape.Quality drivers plays a big part in achieving this,especially where Small speakers are concerned.You will hear plenty of both width & hight with most small speakers but the better ones do it , well …better.
 

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