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Speakers with good bass for $4-6K (Read 1953 times)
dalerf
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Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
08/27/13 at 14:45:36
 
What a minefield, I know different recordings sound different, but overall I wan't a speaker system with good bass. Most of the reviews I've read the majority lack bass without having to use a sub-woofer which I'm not prepared to do! So far narrowed down to VAF speakers (Australian), thought the Elacs might be good, or the Adagio Zen, looked on the net at the Zu's. A lot of speakers are sill under 90db, which I won't consider. A friend is running 35watt per channel on Wharfdales and can't get any good volume. I can get Klipsch RF7 - II for a very good price, you'd have to be dense to pay rrp for speakers, so often they all come on sale at very good discounts. I've never heard horn speaker, but I'm impressed with two 10" woofers on the Klipsch. I've read you will never get good bass from 6-7" inch speakers. I'm currently using Paradigm Monitor 9 speakers, good highs and mids, lack bass Sad
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will
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #1 - 08/27/13 at 16:03:13
 
It occurs to me that one factor could be that 35 watts output may or may not be the same as 25 watts output with a Torii MkIV, especially since Steve thinks it is an improvement over the MkIII. "If the first watt sucks," "usable power," etc.

Another may be just the feeling from well designed and well made, more efficient speakers. Seems many folks making efficient speakers are in a sort of "purist/real sound" school, using efficiency to utilize smaller/simpler amps that are nimbler and create more of a "player in the room vibe," (often with tubes)....Then add the speakers designed for these amps... often nimbler and  more expressive utilizing speed, detail, great spacial info and image, and hopefully bass.

I think the Torii MkIII has powerful bass. And with it, in my room, both the Decware MG 944s (94dB) and HR-1s (92.5 dB) have to me very believable bass, both with only 6 inch drivers. And there are great reports out there on Zus and others...With these and other speakers, there is always the option of a good Mid-bass module  like this http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/mbm-12mk2.html (good reports from some Decware users) or subs if desired. I don't feel the need in my system though.

I think one thing that really excites me about speakers made for low/lower power is the speed and imaging, and it seems this does not necessarily have to sacrifice bass.
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« Last Edit: 08/27/13 at 16:03:48 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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dalerf
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #2 - 08/27/13 at 16:13:03
 
I have drooled over the HR-1's, only problem with them is postage costs to Australia, that is why I've been looking at what is available to me locally, which limits choices. Also none of the Hifi shops let you take them home to see what they sound like in home environment, which is totally different to how the speakers sound in the store. So hard........
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will
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #3 - 08/27/13 at 16:36:00
 
I feel your pain! To me also, it is really important at this level of potential, to try stuff in my room. But on the other hand, after research, I have not sent much back...maybe lucky...trusted sources. I have also done some simple modding to make me more happy with both my speakers...always an option if something is just not as good as it could be to your taste. This concept of adjustment is what made me suggest the HSU mid-bass module if it (or something similar) turned out to be necessary to fill out your room if some really nimble, smaller speakers didn't quite cut it. I understand though...in my room, there is little space for a bass unit and I prefer my speakers taking care of it.
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« Last Edit: 08/27/13 at 16:37:26 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #4 - 08/28/13 at 00:00:14
 
The trouble with your KIlipsch alternative is that horn that will begin shouting at you as you turn the volume up enough to feel that bass.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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beowulf
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #5 - 08/28/13 at 06:54:26
 
Have you heard of Omega Loudspeakers?  Another US made designer that pairs nicely with Decware.  They are a single driver design and I am really digging the sound of mine and find I have no need for a sub.  They are very reasonably priced as well.

Here is a review of the Super 6 Alnico on John Darko's site.  The Omega's were Darko's first review to ever receive a Dar-KO award.  The Super 6 is Omega is top of the line speaker in his line up, but I have a custom pair that use the Super 3s cabinets with his new Model 7F drivers and I like the combo a lot, they are super efficient 95 dB - no crossover - single driver speakers that are driven by a Decware Taboo MKII @ 6 watts and they can get really loud before I even hit halfway on the volume knob.
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« Last Edit: 08/28/13 at 07:40:49 by beowulf »  
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #6 - 08/28/13 at 12:11:38
 
Why not try DECWARE speakers? The MG944 and HR1's put put tremendous bass.

Steve and Zygi are like the Rogers and Hammerstein, the Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the Leopold & Loeb of speaker design.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Lin
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #7 - 08/28/13 at 12:34:24
 
RR "Why not try DECWARE speakers?"

dalerf  in 2nd post "I have drooled over the HR-1's, only problem with them is postage costs to Australia, that is why I've been looking at what is available to me locally, which limits choices."


Omega has an Australian dealer and are also very good speakers.
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dalerf
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #8 - 08/28/13 at 13:59:11
 
The Omega's look interesting, auditioned 3 speakers today, Focal 836v, Jamos, and Klipsch F30 (as they don't stock Reference series). Focals had good highs and mids, lack bass, Jamos the same, compared to the F30's no contest, much more detail, I didn't find the horns hard on my ears, good tight bass, and these cost lots less than the other two brands, so if the F30's sound like that, what would the RF7's be like, they must be better!! So at the moment the Klipsch impress me, good feel in the music, volume knob only on 2 setting, wow.
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beowulf
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #9 - 08/28/13 at 18:46:02
 
Quote:
Lin said,
Omega has an Australian dealer and are also very good speakers.


Good point Lin!  The actual intent of my post was to mention they had an Austrailan dealer, but left that important part out ... senior moment Grin
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« Last Edit: 08/28/13 at 18:47:44 by beowulf »  
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beowulf
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #10 - 08/28/13 at 19:05:45
 
Quote:
Rivieraranch said,
The trouble with your KIlipsch alternative is that horn that will begin shouting at you as you turn the volume up enough to feel that bass.


I agree, when I was shopping for speakers I wanted to originally get something from the Klipsch Heritage line (specifically the Heresy), because I liked the retro look of them, but had the same problem with the shouting ... I wanted to love them, but just couldn't fit the sound of them to my room so moved on to other alternatives.

My listening position is Nearfield more than anything else and that also motivated me to find speakers that best fit my needs which brought me to the Omega single driver line, there are other single driver speaker designers out there, but the OP mentioned he lived down under, so I thought of Omega right away, not to mention I find the quality of his products to be top notch.
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maddog07
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #11 - 08/28/13 at 19:22:21
 
I'm going to get scoffed at here...but the proof is in the listening.  I have some very good sounding speakers in my stable right now, 5 pair, each being a radically different "design".  They range from conventional sealed box, dynamic drivers to electrostats, to full-range, high-efficiency, single-driver DIY's, to open baffles and even a vintage horn-loaded Klipsch, i.e. Chorus II's.  
The subject of "bass" is very subjective.  What most people are actually talking about is "weight" thru the mid-bass region and not bass extension into the "sub" bass range.

Nobody would believe this (including myself), until they heard it - but my single, full-range, high-efficiency drivers(12" Audio Nirvana Super Cast Frame Alnico's ) in a 5.6 cu/ft ported box have bass "weight" like no other speaker I've ever owned or heard.  It really has to be heard to be believed.  HOWEVER... this is only true when they are driven by my Torii MK.III.  There is something going on here in terms of synergy between these drivers, no crossover parts at all and the Torii that defies logic, experience and physics.  This combo has dumbfounded everybody who's heard it so far.  I do have a "frame of reference here" as I have twin Velodyne Optimum 12 subs, that I used with my ML Vista's(which measure essentially flat to 40hz in my room without a sub).  But this setup does not have the "weight" of sound of my DIY's.  Its hard to verbalize, but once you hear it, you know it immediately.  No the DIY's do not do "sub bass" - but they do everything else and they do it about as good as it gets in my experience.  Near electrostatic transient speed, dynamics and detail with a fluid realism no other system I've ever owned possessed.  I want to again stress, this is only with the Torii driving them.  Hook up a solid-state amp, even very good, highly respected ones, think Levinson.. and they are dry, forward, etched, lack weight and bass.  Hook up the Torii... in a double-blind you would swear you were listening to totally different speakers - radically different.

I've heard the Decware HR-1's at Decware... very nice speakers.  But I would have to hear them in "my room" before I laid down that kind of long green..  but they might very well be what you're looking for.

If you are into DIY'ing just a bit, and don't want to spend piles of $$$ unnecessarily - at least not at first.  See if you can find a vintage pair of Klipsh Forte II's or Chorus II's in good shape.  If you're willing and able to spend a few $$ and some of your time to redo the xovers in these, replace the tweeter and midrange compression driver diaphraghms with the Crites and a little tweaking - driven by a Torii - they will stun you.  Do not get Chorus' unless you have a huge room for them, otherwise the bass will overpower the room and the Chorus' will sound out of balance, heavy and too dark - try the Forte instead.  Some of the newer Klipsch models may work well also - but the ones I've heard, are not as good as the old ones - to my ears.

If you have some intermediate wood working skills and the equipment (or a friend who does), get some Audio Nirvana drivers and put them in a well braced reflex box of 5.6 cu/ft. or larger - strap on a Decware Torii - stand back and prepare to be amazed!!!  Take the $$$ you saved and buy music or setup a nice music-server front end... then just sit back and enjoy!!!
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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Lon
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #12 - 08/28/13 at 19:42:58
 
maddog07 wrote on 08/28/13 at 19:22:21:

The subject of "bass" is very subjective.  What most people are actually talking about is "weight" thru the mid-bass region and not bass extension into the "sub" bass range.



No scoffing from me. I learned this through tuning the bass drums on my drum kits and the interaction between different bass guitars and different amplifiers, and the sound of my contrabass violin. That weight is what people want and it doesn't come from the lowest bass range. Good observation.

Room is so much of the equation. In my previous room, the HR-1s had fabulous bass but the weight wasn't there completely. It was realistic and accurate actually, but most don't want "neutral" ---they want something with heft and so do I. In a large part that is why many i think like vintage tube gear. But in my new room I have the weight just by interaction with the room and it's nicely satisfying. The downside is I'm forced to listen near-field as there just isn't enough room not to. I'm getting used to it (again) but it's a chore when you've become accustomed to a large room and more space between you and the speakers.
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will
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #13 - 08/28/13 at 20:35:27
 
Informative post maddog! Thanks. Can you put up pictures of your DYIs?

I agree, a big part of the sense of good bass tends to come higher than we might think. Relative to Lon's thoughts on room, my room has a mode peak at about 45Hz, beginning at 32 and ending around 55. This is all muddle and fatigue to me, so I EQ it down to good limits.

I have not tried it, as I find the Torii MkIII/HR-1 bass very satisfying (once cleaned up), but this is why the HSU mid-bass module intrigues me. I find this interesting in the context of your observations. The unit specs at 50-250Hz. Tight and bold performance here, it would seem would give a great sense of weight and bass.
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« Last Edit: 08/28/13 at 20:37:15 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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maddog07
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Re: Speakers with good bass for $4-6K
Reply #14 - 08/28/13 at 21:43:24
 
I think it was Dick Olsher... that wrote an article and routinely talks about bass "weight".  And of course it is absolutely impacted to great extent by room interaction... but once you "hear it".. it's hard to live without it - it just adds so much to the realism of playback.

My current room is "huge"... practically an anechoic chamber.  In fact, it's too dead in some regards.  No detectable, by ear, slap echo at all.

I heard the HSU mid-bass modules at RMAF in HSU's room there.  Well... an empty, standard size hotel room - not ideal for nearly anything without lots of treatment.  I have never had a pair of them in my listening room, but suspect they might actually be what most people are yearning for - they just don't know it - so they add subs and then try to run them at higher xover points than they were designed for, which isn't ideal in most cases.

Lon... completely understand your point of reference.  I have a 7-piece drum kit in another part of the man-cave... I still haven't managed a system that can fool me into thinking I'm listening to the real thing... but I'm getting closer.... no replacement for "displacement" you know!

I will try to take some pics and post of my Audio Nirvana DIY's... they are not quite where I want them to be cosmetically - yet.  Still a bit of a work-in-progress there.  This was my very first attempt at "finish" woodworking skills... but they're not horrid either.  Zygi would laugh at me and make me feel bad!  But functionally and sonically, after a couple months of listening to them now, I think they are "there".  However, I want to make it clear that my sonic conclusion here, is only applicable when they are driven by my Torii MkIII.  There may be other amps that have this synergy and magic with the crossoverless, high-efficiency, full range types... but I haven't found it or heard it yet.  And that includes the Decware SE34i I had before the Torii.  The SE34 is beautiful sounding, but the Torii is logic defying, revolutionary and life altering with these drivers.
I don't have the "added ambiance" of an HR-1, or an ERR or an open baffle type with these.  But I do think that sonic trait is indeed "additive" - but I find I "like it" also - at least part of the time.  Which led me to my 2nd DIY speaker project(custom Hawthorne Audio Trios-OB's), which won't be completed until after Zenfest.  Then, maybe, just maybe, I will be "there" and satisfied for awhile.  Probably only a little while, but hopefully the audiophile nervosa will be put in check for at least a few months.  Oh.. wait a minute, I forgot about that Torii MK.IV upgrade thing looming just around the corner... OK... maybe after that..!!!   Wink
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva UMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Marsh P200b, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, I'm outta room..
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