I am looking for new speakers (on stands) for my living room. I listen to Jazz, mostly. And because of neighbors and kids the volume is mostly rather low. At the moment I have old Dynaudio Audience speakers, which I generally like, but I have spent some time in Hifi Shops and I know there are better out there;) My first question is whether you think there are just good and bad speakers, or whether for some genres some speakers are better than others? Second question: what characteristics in speakers would you be looking for when you listen to Jazz mostly? Last question: Do you have recommendations for speakers in the 1000-4000€ range?
Additional info: I think that I can describe what I want to hear from the recording, but I don’t know how that translates to the kind of speakers I am looking for (if that makes sense?). So I don’t need loudness or thick bass, but I want to hear the particular sound of the double bass, or the way the drummer plays the snare, or the flaps of the saxophone etc. So all the details of an acoustic recording. And I guess that there are differences which speakers can deliver that, also in rather low volume.
Thanks for your advice.
Edit: My system so far: Rock on NUC -> Allo Digione -> Music Fidelity V90 DAC -> Denon Amp (old, 200€, I don’t know the model number) -> Speakers
I intent to update my speakers first, and the amplifyier later. The rest is fine atm.
I really wouldn’t see the point in paying 4k for speakers with that front end.
I have a V90 and I wouldn’t use it i my main system. Given you want standmounts and are intending to upgrade part of the system, maybe replace a lot of the chain in one go and buy Kef LS50 actives?
If you are listening at low volumes then sensitive speakers seem to come alive earlier than those that need a lot of power. The likes of tannoy possibly.
I personally think that a good speaker should play most genres well so there isn’t a “jazz” speaker especially as jazz is a pretty wide category. You want to hear the depths of slapped bass acoustic or electric as well as the top end.
If I were starting afresh I would explore fully active speakers now with or without inbuilt DAC. If Roon is your sole source just plugging in an Ethernet cable really appeals to me! I would also explore ex dem and second hand. Like previous comments, KEF, Meridian, Adam, Devialet, PMC, ATC, Dynaudio and Dutch and Dutch. There is plenty of info on here regarding most of these names.
I would get myself to a dealers and have fun auditioning them as only your ears will tell you what suits them. Enjoy the experience!
I agree with the thought of active speakers and/or some way to adjust to your listening conditions (convolution filters).
I’d be careful about Devialet. I have a Phantom and like it, but it is twitchy and support is terrible.
My Hifi dealer is not much into active speakers… he hates them.
Edit: What would be the advantages of active speakers? Less boxes, fine-tuned system out of the box, what else?
Negatives that come to mind: What if anything breaks, do I have to throw it all away? I have little influence on the sound, I either like it completely or I don’t.
You buy a system with DSP speakers, amps speakers, digital crossovers, design
On SE speakers you get some room placement capabilities and EBA (Advanced Bass Alignment) Ohh and of course… the sound…
Luckily I bagged some DSP 5200 pre owned low mileage.
Agree with that one. I have the LS50 wired and you can hear the tiniest touch of the cymbals even with low volume.
You can spend another 1K on a subwoofer (optional but recommended) and 1 - 1.5K on a new amplifier (necessary) and you are still below your budget.
I listening to lots and lots of jazz, all kinds of jazz.
I agree with Ged in that a good speaker will sound good when playing any genre, otherwise it is not a good speaker.
Based on your present system I also agree with the recommendations to listen to some active/all-in-one speakers before buying some new speakers. This may help you to avoid falling into never ending the upgrade trap - first new speakers then new amp then new DAC then new streamer then new…
Great, British sound;)
I don’t have much British Jazz. Only Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin, maybe others.
British for me is much more Rock/Pop/Electro. And there are too many to even start listing…
Britain has such an amazing music culture.
Whenever I have listened to them I have always wondered why they are so highly revered. The LS 3/5a on which many of these speakers are based was an outside broadcast speaker designed primarily for conveying speech! They were never intended for music. I think they major in conveying the voice but I find them small and constricting the moment you try to scale them up. And they don’t go loud. But then I wouldn’t expect anything that was designed for near field use in the back of an OB truck would be effective in a decent sized room. If it has to be a small speaker, find a pair of ProAc 1SC’s. They’ll need grunt behind them which may limit amplification options but they’ll put a smile on anyone’s face.
While that may be true, I don’t believe that we are discussing large speakers:
And for stand mounted, aka bookshelf, speakers my previous statement is true:
And for listening to music when low volume levels are required there are always headphones
Nonetheless there most certainly are many large and several not so large speakers that do not sound their best when played at low volume.