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What Speaker Company Represents the Cutting Edge in Technology?

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  • What Speaker Company Represents the Cutting Edge in Technology?

    Speakers, probably more than any other component in the audio chain, have arguably benefited the most from new technologies. Materials, parts, drivers, cabinets, incorporating the latest in measurements, etc. After all, just like a cartridge, the speaker's cabinet job is to hold the driver's motionless and allow them to play.

    One thing that I came home with after my visit to Magico is that speakers are really like big boxes to most people. After all, you can pop the top to your amplifier and see its guts. But that's not so easy to do with a speaker. In fact, some think building a speaker is like buying a Madisound speaker kit and nothing could be further from the truth.

    So what speaker company do you think is first and foremost pushing the boundaries in speaker design today?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    My short answer is Magico and I don't own them. but they're not the only player in the balls out, pushing the SOTA in speaker design. I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses from passionate owners of many other brands of speakers.
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think the answer to this question can be assigned to one specific manufacturer as there are several advancing the art of speaker design...and it's happening at all price levels.
      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

      Comment


      • #4
        I think if we are talking about the bleeding edge of the art, it would have to be Magico in the here and now. Few companies actually design and manufacture their own drivers, let alone SOTA drivers. There are similarities between YG and Magico as they both make their own all aluminum enclosures and YG actually manufactures their own drivers as well. However, the speakers sound nothing alike. I will say that YG speakers have become better sounding to me in the last two years at shows so something has changed.
        Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

        Comment


        • #5
          My vote would be for VividAudio and the Giya line. They also make their own drivers and have a unique philosophy to cabinet design. I can't say I have heard any but the reviews have all been good.
          Marty

          Comment


          • #6
            Myles, I think you know my answer to this question. ;-)

            YG Acoustics is also a very technically driven company. Had a virtual walk through their manufacturing process at RMAF with the YG Sales Rep. Very impressive.
            Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

            Comment


            • #7
              Three Come to mind
              First is genisys tech
              Next is meps Nola they have a clean sound natural to my brain
              Last is focal or legacy
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #8
                I will have to say Raidho after hearing the ultrasmall shoebox size new X1 in Hamburg, they are pushing the boundaries all the time, as I see it, at a price I know.
                In the budget segment it must be the new line from Elac or Q Acoustics, they push the limits for what is possible for little money that almost everyone can afford.
                Last edited by banditcat200; 02-14-2016, 05:14 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are into digital, the new Dynaudio Focus XD series are something very special.
                  First and foremost Dynaudio is honest sound, thats why I have chosen Dynaudio in my own system, they will tell the truth, good or bad, but maybe they are not to everyones liking

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think what is impresses me me the most is the breakthrough in drivers and material technology, whether it be graphene, diamond coatings, etc, is helping to push driver break-up modes way pass the bandpass and all and allow designers to revamp and simply their xover design. As we all know, simpler is better. Better parts are certainly important component in designing speakers but in many circumstances are a band-aid for other issues. Sometimes need to address the primary, not tertiary issues!
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lots of drivers have nasty peaks that fall within the audio band and the designers have to implement a notch filter in order to tame them. As Myles said, if you can design the drivers not to have those modes, you get to eliminate crossover parts.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will put in a vote for Enigmacoustics. That Sopranino super tweeter is incredible and it opens up the highs like nothing I have ever heard.
                        VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, PS Audio: DirectStream Memory Player, Directstream DSD DAC, BHK Pre, BHK 300 Mono's, Vandersteen Quatro CT's, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I say this in a very kind and respectful way. I'm very curious to know people thoughts. But how are people supposed to know what company represents cutting edge technology without being an engineer, or better yet, a very experienced speaker engineer and having all of the facts. Just because a company may manufacture their own drivers doesn't mean they are any better than say SEAS, Scanspeak, or Accutons. Most of the time those driver resonance peeks are so far above the crossover point that the very seldomly interfere unless you are using a shallow slope filter. Also, how does somebody know how a speaker truly measures or how well the drivers integrate with one another. Or if a speaker truly has time alignment or is phase coherent or if the speaker is in phase quadrature. I've seen a few speakers get great reviews when I know they measure horrible, but have the ability to be very musical. And the bottom line is if that speaker is what you enjoy, then there is no wrong. How can you tell what manufacturers knowledge in crossover design is cutting edge? If you really want to have fun, take a Chesky Records Imaging CD to a show. I think you will be in for a shock on how many systems don't follow his voice through the test. I did this at a show and got a few dirty looks lol. Won't ever do that again. There are so many other factors involved than just driver materials which I totally agree with Myles have come such a long way over the last few years. So the question is..................how do you truly know who is on the cutting edge? Again I say this in a respectful and curiously fun way.
                          Last edited by Leif S; 03-13-2016, 08:05 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Fair Question. In the specific case of the Enigmacoustics, they are cutting edge with their super tweeter. Also they do manufacture the drivers in house. From a measurement standpoint they were well received at Stereophile. My incoming speakers are Vandersteen Treo CT's. Also well measuring and time aligned with 1st order crossovers.

                            From a definition stand point I would qualify the statement "Cutting Edge" as best in class for what I hear, vs examining it exclusively from an engineering stand point. Not being an engineer I could not make any case unless I was referring to someone with qualifications stating their findings.
                            VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, PS Audio: DirectStream Memory Player, Directstream DSD DAC, BHK Pre, BHK 300 Mono's, Vandersteen Quatro CT's, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you for your answer longbowbbs. Congats on your new speakers

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