wolf larson

Is 6.5" enought to pleasure a listener? Why don't speakers come with bigger drivers?

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As you have now found out there are plenty around if you had bothered to look. The next thing you will learn is that there is a reason why there are so few in your price bracket is because in most cases they would sound shite. The vast majority of £600 speakers sound better with a good 6.5" driver than a rubbish 10" that would need to be used to keep within budget.

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Some like big ladies/some like big drivers. I love most ladies/big or suitably installed drivers.

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As you have now found out there are plenty around if you had bothered to look. The next thing you will learn is that there is a reason why there are so few in your price bracket is because in most cases they would sound shite. The vast majority of £600 speakers sound better with a good 6.5" driver than a rubbish 10" that would need to be used to keep within budget.

Thanks for your input. I had been bothered to look (at the general size of your average bass drive unit). £600 was my suggested budget, although I should added I've been listening to speakers mostly within the £1k-£2.5k - mostly Spendor, Neat, PMC, Monitor Audio and B&W - which are all that's on offer near me (and were used as starting point).

If you had bothered to read my opening post you'd have seen I referred to 6.5" being "the maximum norm" ie not niche, high end, kit or reasonably old, which was why I was asking the friendly folk of this forum for their suggestions and the reason for this light hearted thread.

I also learnt some time ago that opting for a cheap 10" for the sake of size is a false economy. My point was (and is) that 6.5" drivers are now seemingly 'the norm' for speakers (up to around £2k) and the others that have been suggested on this thread are the exceptions, well as 10+ years ago drive unit size varied far more from brand to brand on your average speaker.

Thanks again all for your suggestions - The Arts in particular could be of interest.

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Just to add an additional comment, I came to the conclusion that a bigger mid-bass was what I needed for accurate reproduction of accoustic instrumental timbre. My Nathan 10s do that, but they aren't designed for bass extension at all and require a sub (or multiple subs) to give of their best.

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So, I can't remember whether the OP is actually looking to move on from the Dali Suite 2.8's. TBH, in spite of their size, I am suspicious of their bass performance given their relatively low cost (two mid-bass drivers, a treble unit, and hefty curved cabinets for a grand all in). I've owned low-cost floorstanders in the past and have been underwhelmed with their lacklustre performance (such as B&W 603's, JBL XTi 80's). Both of these sub-£1,000 floorstanders have a pair of 6.5" bass units. The XTi 80 is a three way, the 603 is a 2.5 way. They both have bass punch and depth but the bass lacks texture and quality. The surprise for me was moving up the scale to a pair of £1,200 Dynaudio Contour 1.3mk2's. These standmounts had a performance which was nothing short of staggering compared with the low cost floorstanders. Moving up the price scale, in terms of bass control/definition, the Contour 1.8mk2's and the Monitor Audio GR60's were an improvement on the 1.3's. More quality, more transparency, better control of lower frequencies (driven by various amps - Naim, Unison Research, Krell, Simaudio).

Anyway, I must admit, at least with regard to bass performance, none of these speakers really compared favourably with the Yamaha NS1000M's. They were incredible - the 'thwack' of the kick drum and the 'thrum' of plucked bass... Those 12" paper woofers and beryllium domes were quite special... Mmm... NS1000M's... £600 could get you a pretty decent pair....

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Hi Jezzer, the Dali's were what I ended up with shortly after posting the thread due to impatience and their price. They may serve as a fill-in giving me breathing space until I find a suitable alternative, although so far I'm really enjoying them and the rest of the hi-fi and don't feel compelled to move on (especially after the other stuff I heard costing far more), although this thread has given me ideas for more thorough research when funds permit.

Worth noting compared most on here I probably don't have the experienced ears or wallet to warrant better speakers at this point. The Dali's are a step up to what I'm used to and to me are a good all rounder, although a bit too tall and thin for my liking.

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Although I like simply installed nice big 15" woofers, it is a fact that well-made/system-listening environment designed etc tinier thingies can sound great.

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Had a fair few speakers in the quest for bass performance. (excuse the pic fest, but I among others, like to see what we're talking about!)

My current speakers are Zingali Home Monitor 115s with a 15" omniray and a 15" bass driver.

4904120978_ff915c7e27.jpg

Also had Tannoy Glenair 15s.

3464421267_0876f58888.jpg

Neither of these speakers were close to the top of the pile for bass depth or slam. The texture and detail within the bass that they do/did deliver was exceptional, but I'm not convinced a big driver is necessarily the holy grail of bass performance.

In terms of depth, the Zen Adagios (2 x 7") I've still got kicking around the house were much deeper, and even they were no match for the Gallo's 22Hz (1 dual coil 10") that has already been mentioned. Although the bass from the Gallos was rather 'disconnected' clearly for me a result of the separate sub, that's exactly how it sounded - the Zens much much more integrated, but a little slow.

4416741330_f66419c5e8.jpg3990324534_4607219583.jpg

The Usher 6371s had a pair of 6.5" cones and the bass was huge, far far too bloated and excessive for me, but that speaker generated more bass than any other I've owned regardless of position.

3794923386_2960df3ed9.jpg

The panacea for me was the Impulse H2, corner placed, it was incredible, fast as hell and a genuine kick in the chest, never got even close to that with another speaker. That was an 8", but horn loaded to deliver something the equivalent of a 20" driver from memory. Sadly too many other failings to make it work for me as a keeper, but if I could get that bass, with a mid and top from the likes of the Zingali, I would be a very very happy man.

4464419593_9feef6022a.jpg

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The Zingalis are beautiful...

So there you have it. A guy who has owned several - rather tasty - multi-thousand pound speakers but still searching for perfection.

Which just goes to show how barmy this hobby is.

There are still so many speakers to try of course....

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Just as another note. I had the Impulses and Zens at the same time. I tried rigging the Zens up to DK Monolith subs to 'replicate' what the H2s were doing. Couldn't match it. Bass got bigger, foundations rumbled, but that elusive 'whallop' like the thump from a kick drum wasn't there - I suspect the subs were not fast enough for the upper bass, they could do scale and depth, but the impact seems to come from the speed of a driver in the 80-100Hz region. I guess that is where smaller lighter drivers will triumph over heavier large diameter drivers. That said, the two 15" speakers i mention above are rigged for low excursion (cloth S surround) and are both lightweight paper based cones, this is a totally different approach to the high travel rubber surround devices from subs (and the Gallo...), therefore, despite their width, they dont necessarily move more air than a smaller cone with greater excursion, the only advantage is that it can move the same volume faster as it has less distance to travel.

Interesting read on the Avantgarde website on their subwoofer development and the challenges they had to find a conventional active system that would mate with ultra high efficiency mid & top horns.

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thanks for posting them pics steve rb - some superb eye candy, particularly the panacea and zingali - wow

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Then there's the Living Voice Air Partner with 15" Vitavox's drivers in a hornloaded cab..they should be coming onto the secondhand market soon

around £600...

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