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  1. #1

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Hi guys,

    Thought the crew around here would enjoy this one:

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Thanks, and enjoy your Sunday!

    Jeff

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Sorry Jeff... but these two statements means that the list has no value what so ever in my view.

    "Price matters. By definition, a low-priced product cannot be a luxury product. For the purposes of this list, any company that doesn’t make a loudspeaker model costing north of $100,000/pair (all prices USD) is excluded.

    Cones and domes only. Although I’ve spent years listening, at audio shows and in dealers’ showrooms, to horn, planar-magnetic, electrostatic, ribbon, and hybrid speakers of all sorts, I’ve never heard any that produced what I thought was the very highest-fidelity sound. If any of those types of speakers are your thing, that’s great -- but they’ve never been mine, so I can’t include them here."

    Really, so KEF does not qualify... well maybe it does because they have one model that is a quarter of a mil, but then their next closes is what, $32k... so a company that makes one over the top model qualifies even if all their rest top out at 1/3 the requirement.

    Avantgarde doesn't qualify... nor does Sound Lab, Martin Logan, Magnepan, Klipsch, JBL, B&W, MBL, T+A, MC, Vandersteen, etc., etc. Many of the longest standing and top customer loyalty brands in the world...

    Just got to say, while I enjoy your writing skills and descriptions I disagree with the entire premise of the article. It excludes far too many of the longest standing and normally highest rated speaker manufactures. And again, you state top speaker brands, not top models, and then excludes many, dare I say most, of the longest standing most renowned brands in the world from even being considered.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Fritz View Post
    Hi guys,

    Thought the crew around here would enjoy this one:

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Thanks, and enjoy your Sunday!

    Jeff
    Jeff,
    Another excellent article. Love your writing!

    Anshul

  4. #4

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Sorry Jeff... but these two statements means that the list has no value what so ever in my view.

    "Price matters. By definition, a low-priced product cannot be a luxury product. For the purposes of this list, any company that doesn’t make a loudspeaker model costing north of $100,000/pair (all prices USD) is excluded.

    Cones and domes only. Although I’ve spent years listening, at audio shows and in dealers’ showrooms, to horn, planar-magnetic, electrostatic, ribbon, and hybrid speakers of all sorts, I’ve never heard any that produced what I thought was the very highest-fidelity sound. If any of those types of speakers are your thing, that’s great -- but they’ve never been mine, so I can’t include them here."

    Really, so KEF does not qualify... well maybe it does because they have one model that is a quarter of a mil, but then their next closes is what, $32k... so a company that makes one over the top model qualifies even if all their rest top out at 1/3 the requirement.

    Avantgarde doesn't qualify... nor does Sound Lab, Martin Logan, Magnepan, Klipsch, JBL, B&W, Vandersteen, etc., etc. Many of the longest standing and top customer loyalty brands in the world...

    Just got to say, while I enjoy your writing skills and descriptions I disagree with the entire premise of the article. It excludes far too many of the longest standing and normally highest rated speaker manufactures.
    Right there with ya, Randy.

    It appears that...Gamut, Dynaudio, Wilson, Borreson, Raidho, etc. don't qualify either. Why no Wilson Chronosonic, for example? And anything Dynaudio doesn't know about loudspeaker design is probably not worth knowing.

    And..what's with the light grey font on a dark gray background? Not a model with respect to print design for readibility and legibility. There's a reason books have been printed with black ink on white paper for over...500 years.

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    I’ve typically enjoyed Jeff’s articles. This one, gets two thumbs down. Why? There are many brands that are in the top tier of audio that are not considered; Stephen (Puma Cat) mentioned just a few.

    PS - What’s the value of such a writing? In my view, this is a partial list.
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    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Jeff, very interesting. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying here is that speakers must be both incredible sounding, well engineered, a heritage and elegant so as to earn the true meaning of luxury. Speakers which aren’t mentioned are akin to saying a Tesla Model X might be fast, but it won’t win any beauty contests, doesn’t have much of a heritage and is difficult to consider it “luxury” against a Ferrari or Bentley.

    So basically, the non-audiophile is seeking true luxury in a speaker and therefore, they tend to look more at the criteria you laid out. An audiophile might be ok with paying a lot of money for average build quality, average appearance, if they simply love the sound.

    Would I have this correct?
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Mike, your avatar is of a speaker that simply is not luxurious enough because it is hybrid and uses God awful ribbons (ok, Radialstrahler) in their design.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Mike, your avatar is of a speaker that simply is not luxurious enough because it is hybrid and uses God awful ribbons in their design.
    I don’t think they use ribbons. I think he’s referring to ribbon speakers like Alsyvox perhaps?
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  9. #9

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Jeff, very interesting. Correct me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying here is that speakers must be both incredible sounding, well engineered, a heritage and elegant so as to earn the true meaning of luxury. Speakers which aren’t mentioned are akin to saying a Tesla Model X might be fast, but it won’t win any beauty contests, doesn’t have much of a heritage and is difficult to consider it “luxury” against a Ferrari or Bentley.

    So basically, the non-audiophile is seeking true luxury in a speaker and therefore, they tend to look more at the criteria you laid out. An audiophile might be ok with paying a lot of money for average build quality, average appearance, if they simply love the sound.

    Would I have this correct?
    Hi Mike,

    Yes, precisely. The answer is complex. I've written a series on luxury purchases, but one quote I'd like to share. The quote comes from this article:

    I've Changed My Mind About Luxury Audio

    "In his article for Fratello, Rob Nudds said: 'Time and time again, wide-eyed, somewhat green Kickstarter campaigns pop-up promising to ‘democratize’ luxury by making it affordable. Unfortunately, however, such a promise doesn’t even make sense. Luxury cannot, by its nature, be democratized; quality, however, can be.'”

    There are some awfully fine brands listed above in the replies that I myself love. The definitions as applied in my article are very stringent, and are applied with my own biases. There are many great speakers that are very high performance and are built extremely well that do not make the list because of one or more criteria not met -- these are extreme for sure. I do understand there will be disagreement and I respect that!

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I don’t think they use ribbons. I think he’s referring to ribbon speakers like Alsyvox perhaps?
    I know they are not true ribbons, but very similar; however they are definitely a hybrid design which are specially eliminated from consideration.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    I think if we all take a step back from the outrage that our favorite speaker brand isn’t mentioned and try to understand the point Jeff is trying to make.

    I’m wondering if Jeff is thinking about the non-audiophile, true luxury buyer. I have had the pleasure of working with many of those folks. I can assure you, they would never consider a speaker that doesn’t at least look similar to what everyone envisions a typical speaker looks like - a box. I can assure you someone who doesn’t understand panels, horns, etc., would look at an Alsyvox and think of them as a room divider, chuckle and say “no way”.

    Let me give you a REAL life example. I had a call from a very wealthy gentleman in the north west. He said he had just heard his friends system in California. He knew nothing about high end audio. Our conversation, went like this: “what can I get for $100,000?” I put together a system. He looked at it online, researched a little. He called 24 hours later and said, “what can I get if I double it to $200,000?”

    I ended up putting him in a full MSB, Magico M2’s system, cabling, conditioning, rack, etc.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Right there with ya, Randy.

    It appears that...Gamut, Dynaudio, Wilson, Borreson, Raidho, etc. don't qualify either. Why no Wilson Chronosonic, for example? And anything Dynaudio doesn't know about loudspeaker design is probably not worth knowing.

    And..what's with the light grey font on a dark gray background? Not a model with respect to print design for readibility and legibility. There's a reason books have been printed with black ink on white paper for over...500 years.
    Hmmm... Wilson offer the WAMM at $850k... ... Why I didn't put them on my list 😜.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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  13. #13

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I think if we all take a step back from the outrage that our favorite speaker brand isn’t mentioned and try to understand the point Jeff is trying to make.

    I’m wondering if Jeff is thinking about the non-audiophile, true luxury buyer. I have had the pleasure of working with many of those folks. I can assure you, they would never consider a speaker that doesn’t at least look similar to what everyone envisions a typical speaker looks like - a box. I can assure you someone who doesn’t understand panels, horns, etc., would look at an Alsyvox and think of them as a room divider, chuckle and say “no way”.

    Let me give you a REAL life example. I had a call from a very wealthy gentleman in the north west. He said he had just heard his friends system in California. He knew nothing about high end audio. Our conversation, went like this: “what can I get for $100,000?” I put together a system. He looked at it online, researched a little. He called 24 hours later and said, “what can I get if I double it to $200,000?”

    I ended up putting him in a full MSB, Magico M2’s system, cabling, conditioning, rack, etc.
    Mike has nailed it. This is the article where I sorted it out in my mind:

    The Purchasing of Luxury Audio and the Pursuit of Hi-Fi Are Two Different Hobbies

    They are two different buyers oftentimes. The luxury buyer will only consider a limited subset of products as Mike describes. What I am doing is limiting it EVEN MORE. Now luxury AND super high performance. Hence my list is very short.

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I think if we all take a step back from the outrage that our favorite speaker brand isn’t mentioned and try to understand the point Jeff is trying to make.

    I’m wondering if Jeff is thinking about the non-audiophile, true luxury buyer. I have had the pleasure of working with many of those folks. I can assure you, they would never consider a speaker that doesn’t at least look similar to what everyone envisions a typical speaker looks like - a box. I can assure you someone who doesn’t understand panels, horns, etc., would look at an Alsyvox and think of them as a room divider, chuckle and say “no way”.

    Let me give you a REAL life example. I had a call from a very wealthy gentleman in the north west. He said he had just heard his friends system in California. He knew nothing about high end audio. Our conversation, went like this: “what can I get for $100,000?” I put together a system. He looked at it online, researched a little. He called 24 hours later and said, “what can I get if I double it to $200,000?”

    I ended up putting him in a full MSB, Magico M2’s system, cabling, conditioning, rack, etc.
    I do see your point but I do not agree that elimination an entire brand because they do not offer a model over $100k is silly. That same customer that you described would as often as not end up with a full McIntosh system maybe even including their speakers, but would also enjoy a JBL or some other speaker they have seen at a concert. They would probably be extremely happy and believe that they purchased pure luxury.

    Most of the brands that have been mentioned here have the legacy and are known for quality, and consider luxury products maybe even more so then some of the products that made Jeff's list.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    I guess those are speakers that could be included on any list but it is far from complete
    Jim

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    The issue, I think, is with the word “definitive” on the title. Indeed, SF and Tidal wood work and related accessories are just plain beautiful. The others manufacturers on the list are definitely high quality but do not necessarily exceed the beauty and finish of other speaker lines.

    Lastly, not a big deal to me. I look forward to more articles and perspectives from Jeff.
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    The issue, I think, is with the word “definitive” on the title. Indeed, SF and Tidal wood work and related accessories are just plain beautiful. The others manufacturers on the list are definitely high quality but do not necessarily exceed the beauty and finish of other speaker lines.

    Lastly, not a big deal to me. I look forward to more articles and perspectives from Jeff.
    That might have been the initial issue for me as well. I saw definitive list and then read limitations that made it anything but a definitive list. Also the references to the entire brand not specific models. When considering a definitive list of luxury brands I do not believe an entire renowned brands should be eliminated because of one design facet or another, especially when considering some of the most long standing and highly respected manufactures.

    I do look forward to reading additional articles by Jeff however.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; HeadAmp; Abyss

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  18. #18

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Sorry Jeff... but these two statements means that the list has no value what so ever in my view.

    "Price matters. By definition, a low-priced product cannot be a luxury product. For the purposes of this list, any company that doesn’t make a loudspeaker model costing north of $100,000/pair (all prices USD) is excluded.

    Cones and domes only. Although I’ve spent years listening, at audio shows and in dealers’ showrooms, to horn, planar-magnetic, electrostatic, ribbon, and hybrid speakers of all sorts, I’ve never heard any that produced what I thought was the very highest-fidelity sound. If any of those types of speakers are your thing, that’s great -- but they’ve never been mine, so I can’t include them here."

    Really, so KEF does not qualify... well maybe it does because they have one model that is a quarter of a mil, but then their next closes is what, $32k... so a company that makes one over the top model qualifies even if all their rest top out at 1/3 the requirement.

    Avantgarde doesn't qualify... nor does Sound Lab, Martin Logan, Magnepan, Klipsch, JBL, B&W, MBL, T+A, MC, Vandersteen, etc., etc. Many of the longest standing and top customer loyalty brands in the world...

    Just got to say, while I enjoy your writing skills and descriptions I disagree with the entire premise of the article. It excludes far too many of the longest standing and normally highest rated speaker manufactures. And again, you state top speaker brands, not top models, and then excludes many, dare I say most, of the longest standing most renowned brands in the world from even being considered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Right there with ya, Randy.

    It appears that...Gamut, Dynaudio, Wilson, Borreson, Raidho, etc. don't qualify either. Why no Wilson Chronosonic, for example? And anything Dynaudio doesn't know about loudspeaker design is probably not worth knowing.

    And..what's with the light grey font on a dark gray background? Not a model with respect to print design for readibility and legibility. There's a reason books have been printed with black ink on white paper for over...500 years.
    I think what's being overlooked in these responses quoted above is this is one person's list, one person's limited experience, and one person's definition of luxury/performance for his definitive list. If he's being honest (I have no reason to believe he's not), he can only list what has been heard, in context, and what he likes in terms of fitting in his list.

    It may not meet with your idea of a similar list using your definitions. That is mostly to be expected with any list put together by any individual. Try putting a list together and see how many will agree with it. We all look at and pursue this hobby differently.

    Mike B. has good points and a more objective perspective. He see's the difference and acknowledges it, whether he agrees or not.

    Sometimes it's helpful to observe another person's perspective even if it's not your own. If anything, it makes part of the hobby less than boring for some.

    I don't particularly care for the list one way or another. It's something to read and it certainly drew enough interest to elicit the responses quoted above. (Although, I'm not sure what the out of context website font and background comment has to do with the subject of the thread's post.)

    If he wanted the article to get a response, he accomplished his task with some.

    Dre

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List


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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Dre_J View Post
    I think what's being overlooked in these responses quoted above is this is one person's list, one person's limited experience, and one person's definition of luxury/performance for his definitive list. If he's being honest (I have no reason to believe he's not), he can only list what has been heard, in context, and what he likes in terms of fitting in his list.

    It may not meet with your idea of a similar list using your definitions. That is mostly to be expected with any list put together by any individual. Try putting a list together and see how many will agree with it. We all look at and pursue this hobby differently.

    Mike B. has good points and a more objective perspective. He see's the difference and acknowledges it, whether he agrees or not.

    Sometimes it's helpful to observe another person's perspective even if it's not your own. If anything, it makes part of the hobby less than boring for some.

    I don't particularly care for the list one way or another. It's something to read and it certainly drew enough interest to elicit the responses quoted above. (Although, I'm not sure what the out of context website font and background comment has to do with the subject of the thread's post.)

    If he wanted the article to get a response, he accomplished his task with some.

    Dre
    This is true with one rather large cavoite. When the title of the thread/article starts with "The Best Loudspeaker Brands" and ends with "The Definitive List" it is implied that it is a whole lot more than one person picking a list of his favorite few companies. It would have been easier to be recognized as such if something identifying it as such was in the title. Other than that you are absolutely correct.
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    The catch is “luxury”. If you study the appearance of the four certain nominees, you will notice the design and materials aspects of those speakers that differentiates them. Certain others mentioned may equal them in performance but fall short on the luxury side of the equation.
    Jonathan
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    The Best..

    cheers,

    AJ

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    The issue, I think, is with the word “definitive” on the title. Indeed, SF and Tidal wood work and related accessories are just plain beautiful. The others manufacturers on the list are definitely high quality but do not necessarily exceed the beauty and finish of other speaker lines.

    Lastly, not a big deal to me. I look forward to more articles and perspectives from Jeff.
    NOTE: Bold added



    That’s a good observation Mike.

    Yes. One imagines that a “definitive list” – where the term “definitive” is correctly used to mean authoritative and conclusive – should also be more exhaustive.

    In this situation entitling the article as “The Definitive List” is a stretch because the results are clearly delimited by the number of speakers fitting the determinants that Jeff has actually auditioned – which does not appear to be many.

    To be fair, I see this more as Jeff’s “personal” view on the best loudspeaker brands based on determinants that he adjudges to be most important – and indeed he says as much with his comment “This month, it’s personal.” Jeff's chosen determinants may hold little or no relevance to readers.

    With that in mind no one should be disappointed if their favourite speaker brand doesn’t get a mention.
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  24. #24
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    To be fair, I see this more as Jeff’s “personal” view on the best loudspeaker brands based on determinants that he adjudges to be most important – and indeed he says as much with his comment “This month, it’s personal.” Jeff's chosen determinants may hold little or no relevance to readers.
    Exactly. it's really just Jeff's preferred speakers that he's reviewed over the years. Yawn.
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  25. #25

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Fritz View Post
    Hi guys,

    Thought the crew around here would enjoy this one:

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Thanks, and enjoy your Sunday!

    Jeff
    This is an interesting list, Jeff. But it’s a bit problematic.

    Looking for the best speakers, dome and cone only, is like picking the highest performance car, but arguing it needs to be naturally aspirated. It’s possible to set such rules, but that basically would mean forgoing the major developments in performance car evolution in the past 20-30 years. Therefore, the question is whether it’s meaningful.

    In terms of speakers, it’s the tweeter that poses the biggest challenge. While there are good dome/ cone tweeters, e.g. of the diamond-coated or other Beryllium variety, they just are not on par with the best in the industry. E.g. most ribbon, amt, electrostat, radial or plasma tweeters outplay them with ease (horns are mostly just domes behind a megaphone).


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  26. #26
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    This is one fellows list. Deeply flawed in my opinion or very shallow experiance. I know how I will treat this writer's opinion in the future.
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  27. #27

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Poor Jeff. Need to rewrite the article that includes 50 brands.

    Note: Tidal wins on looks in my book, every time. Also, this is also the reason I don’t think I’m audiophile enough. Looks matter a lot to me.

  28. #28
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Perfectly reasonable and valid list. Of course it is only the author's opinion, and others will have different opinions, which is fine.
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  29. #29

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    Jeff's chosen determinants may hold little or no relevance to readers.
    This is an excellent point, and why I laid out those determinants at the outset, before the list.

    Even still, you guys are correct: These are my views, so those determinants are judged through my eyes, ears, and overall experiences and therefore are aligned completely with my biases.

    One last point on "definitive." It sounded better to me than "one guy's opinion that you may not care about."

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Seemed very clear to me what Jeff’s criteria was. I thought it was a well thought out and reasoned, and written, article. Even if my speakers (Magico) were not on the list I would still have enjoyed it. Chill, lads.
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    This is an interesting list, Jeff. But it’s a bit problematic.

    Looking for the best speakers, dome and cone only, is like picking the highest performance car, but arguing it needs to be naturally aspirated. It’s possible to set such rules, but that basically would mean forgoing the major developments in performance car evolution in the past 20-30 years. Therefore, the question is whether it’s meaningful.

    In terms of speakers, it’s the tweeter that poses the biggest challenge. While there are good dome/ cone tweeters, e.g. of the diamond-coated or other Beryllium variety, they just are not on par with the best in the industry. E.g. most ribbon, amt, electrostat, radial or plasma tweeters outplay them with ease (horns are mostly just domes behind a megaphone).


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Kuoppis,

    You are not wrong. But I don’t think Jeff was advocating the perfect speaker. I know a few guys with lots of money who are not audio guys but want a toy and can afford it - they all want cone and dome, because that seems... ‘normal’

    Andrew
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  32. #32
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Fritz View Post
    This is an excellent point, and why I laid out those determinants at the outset, before the list.

    Even still, you guys are correct: These are my views, so those determinants are judged through my eyes, ears, and overall experiences and therefore are aligned completely with my biases.

    One last point on "definitive." It sounded better to me than "one guy's opinion that you may not care about."
    The title really was problematic to me. Definitive, etc. I expected a review or comparison, or differences between several high end brands. It was obvious when you followed the link and read the first couple of sections. It was also highly disappointing to me.

    The title could have been more indicative as to what the article was about... maybe my definitive list, or my favorites, etc., even indicating that it was literally five brands that you determined to qualify. My short list of definitive... etc.
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  33. #33
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Media doesn’t work this way
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  34. #34

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    First off, I've read many reviews that Jeff has written. I found them to be comprehensive / well informed and gave one a reasonable idea of a component's sound. However and with all due respect, the words "luxury" and "performance" are so subjective that it renders this thread meaningless. Furthermore, to exclude alternative transducers except for the traditional cone speakers in a "box" also renders the thread irrelevant to any serious hobbyist. There is nothing "definitive" about this list. Good try Jeff but two big thumbs down. Best.

    Gordon

  35. #35
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Thank you to Jeff Fritz at Soundstage. Always a fun time.

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Thank you to Jeff Fritz at Soundstage. Always a fun time.

    Suncoast Audio on Selling Luxury Hi-Fi - SoundStage! Talks (November 2020) - YouTube


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    An interesting interview. I was surprised to learn that about thirty percent of your customers fit into the luxury segment in which the customers primary focus may be aesthetics, ease of use or size profile (as some examples) rather than outright performance.
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi_1282001 View Post
    An interesting interview. I was surprised to learn that about thirty percent of your customers fit into the luxury segment in which the customers primary focus may be aesthetics, ease of use or size profile (as some examples) rather than outright performance.
    A close family friend of ours used to own the Porsche, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes dealership in Jacksonville and told us many many years ago that the overall majority of people buying a Porsche or a M series or AMG series Mercedes were after the luxury of those cars, not the performance factor., but it was nice to have if needed. Interesting how that ties in on Mikes comment.

  38. #38

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    ....
    the overall majority of people buying a Porsche or a M series or AMG series Mercedes were after the luxury of those cars, not the performance factor., but it was nice to have if needed...
    Quite true particularly of Porsches. Many of those are hardly ever driven; they end up as garage queens and never set tires on a track.

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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    This is an interesting list, Jeff. But it’s a bit problematic.

    Looking for the best speakers, dome and cone only, is like picking the highest performance car, but arguing it needs to be naturally aspirated. It’s possible to set such rules, but that basically would mean forgoing the major developments in performance car evolution in the past 20-30 years. Therefore, the question is whether it’s meaningful.

    In terms of speakers, it’s the tweeter that poses the biggest challenge. While there are good dome/ cone tweeters, e.g. of the diamond-coated or other Beryllium variety, they just are not on par with the best in the industry. E.g. most ribbon, amt, electrostat, radial or plasma tweeters outplay them with ease (horns are mostly just domes behind a megaphone).


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Sorry...there are no "best tweeters" for obvious reasons. One must always look at individual drivers in the context of a whole system.

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  40. #40

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Sorry...there are no "best tweeters" for obvious reasons. One must always look at individual drivers in the context of a whole system.
    Nonsense, of course there are. It just based on personal preference. Some prefer dome, some ribbon, some radial, some emt etc.

    What is in turn a challenge, is to insinuate that there would be an absolute in best in something defined by taste, personal preference, or just some other individualistic factor.

    Within categories it might be easier to discriminate though. Luxury and performance however still include all tweeter types. Hence the comment to Jeff: difficult.

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  41. #41
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene View Post
    Sorry...there are no "best tweeters" for obvious reasons. One must always look at individual drivers in the context of a whole system.
    +1

    Kuoppis forgot he is trying to sell a speaker he just bought based on the “best tweeter” approach. Turns out it takes a whole speaker to make good sound

  42. #42
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    You don't need to go to a track to really enjoy performance. Yes - for that last 5% you do but, not for the majority of the performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Quite true particularly of Porsches. Many of those are hardly ever driven; they end up as garage queens and never set tires on a track.
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  43. #43
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    I'm into Audio. Have been all my life. So it's really hard for me to understand the luxury stereo.

    But . . . . If I was to buy a luxury watch, I would go to a trusted dealer and buy one that had clout and that I liked the way it looked. Spend my $$$ and go home happy.

    I do know people that buy grand pianos because they have a room that it would look good in. They don't buy a cheap one even tho it will never be played. Yamaha or Steinway at minimum

    Same with art. People buy what is hot at the time. Hopefully something that they like -- but not always, as long as it impresses.

    Why not the same thing w audio?
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  44. #44

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    You don't need to go to a track to really enjoy performance. Yes - for that last 5% you do but, not for the majority of the performance.
    Yes, you can enjoy a high performance car under normal driving conditions, but really that is just a hint of what they can do. At a track, you are allowed to do things that you cannot do on normal roads. That’s when you demand much more from a car: acceleration, hard braking without fading, car balance, etc. That is when you can really appreciate what that car was designed to do. That has been my experience.

  45. #45
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Yes, you can enjoy a high performance car under normal driving conditions, but really that is just a hint of what they can do. At a track, you are allowed to do things that you cannot do on normal roads. That’s when you demand much more from a car: acceleration, hard braking without fading, car balance, etc. That is when you can really appreciate what that car was designed to do. That has been my experience.
    Jock

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  46. #46

    The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by LVB View Post
    +1

    Kuoppis forgot he is trying to sell a speaker he just bought based on the “best tweeter” approach. Turns out it takes a whole speaker to make good sound
    Do we have yet another angry old man outburst here?

    Interestingly enough, you are again talking about gear you have never heard. Baseless assumptions are of course also an opinion.

    But I do indeed have speakers with excellent tweeters, mids, and bass. They are in fact so good, that I stepped back from an amp replacement, which would have ultimately lead to me changing my speakers.


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  47. #47

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by the professor View Post
    But . . . . If I was to buy a luxury watch, I would go to a trusted dealer and buy one that had clout and that I liked the way it looked. Spend my $$$ and go home happy.

    I do know people that buy grand pianos because they have a room that it would look good in. They don't buy a cheap one even tho it will never be played. Yamaha or Steinway at minimum

    Same with art. People buy what is hot at the time. Hopefully something that they like -- but not always, as long as it impresses.

    Why not the same thing w audio?
    A suggestion.I hope that folks of this financial stature consider contributing a portion of their disposable income to a charitable / non profit agency where it will help people in need and have a positive impact.

  48. #48
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    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Do we have yet another angry old man outburst here?


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    On the contrary, always a pleasure to point out the dichotomies in your posts

  49. #49

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by LVB View Post
    On the contrary, always a pleasure to point out the dichotomies in your posts
    Ever tried to be smart and pleasant? Some people say that goes a long way.


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    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Soulution 520 preamp with phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist MK II/ Soulution 511/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Canada/HK
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    289

    Re: The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Ever tried to be smart and pleasant?

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Don’t think I can help you with the "smart" part, but on pleasant I can try. For starter, you should try opening your posts with a considerate tone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Nonsense, of course there are...

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The Best Loudspeaker Brands for Both Luxury and Performance: The Definitive List

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