Speakers That Changed My Life

maxwardmaxward Posts: 413
This is the title of an article in the current issue of The Absolute Sound (#296). In it, many staffers describe theirs. For Robert Harley, it was the Polk Monitor 10. It’s an interesting article, in that it gets one thinking about which speakers, if any, quality on a personal level.
Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
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Comments

  • teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,156
    Like Mr. Harley, the Monitor 10s were the first to draw me in, back in ‘89! B)
  • Jimbo18Jimbo18 Posts: 2,161
    Mine were a pair KLH 5's. Not great speakers but after the Zenith system I first bought........
    HT - Pio Elite SC-63, Nuance Spatial 3S, Spatial Cen S, FXi50 surrounds, Def Tech PF 15TL+, Belkin PF30, Samsung UBD-M7500, Roku Ultra, Furez 12-2.
    Bedroom - Sony STR DN850, Monitor 5jr+ Series2, CS400 center, Furez 10/2, Roku Ultra
  • verbverb Posts: 8,222
    SDA 2B's were my first set of Polks. Been a fan ever since! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • daddyjtdaddyjt Posts: 1,098
    edited July 16
    Infinity RS6b in the late 80’s - completely blew me away, especially for their size.

    *stock photo
    hdbrhct3zhvd.jpeg

    Too much stuff to keep track of.

    Currently enjoying: Legacy Focus 20/20, McCormack DNA 225, Bill D C1, Oppo 105
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,602
    edited July 16
    I am surprised that Harley's hifi loudspeaker epiphany was the Monitor 10. That's cool, though.

    Polk Monitor Series Model 7A (and The David Grisman Quintet) for me. (edit) Early (?) 1977. Soundscape. Baltimore.

    Still got 'em; although I couldn't actually afford to buy a pair 'til 1978 -- and even then had to go with demonstrators in "rosewood" :p vinyl.

    ... and y'all know how that all turned out...

    B)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,602
    edited July 16
    Jimbo18 wrote: »
    Mine were a pair KLH 5's. Not great speakers but after the Zenith system I first bought........

    Oh, I dunno -- the KLH 5 was pretty darned decent IMO/IME.

    The Quad ESL-57s probably made the biggest incremental impression on me, FWIW.
    I have a flashbulb memory of the first time I heard them. I literally wanted a pair upon first hearing (playing Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here on Quad ss electronics) and did ultimately acquire a pair (albeit only decades later).

    Some of the least colored sounding loudspeakers extant, then and even still now. Just astonishing (within their limitations, which are admittedly rather significant). :)

    Everyone who is interested in hifi sound reproduction should, ideally, own a pair (with appropriate amplification available, of course) -- or at the least spend a good chunk of quality time listening to them, I'd opine.


    28967395507_9e11ba5b54_b.jpgquadsnvinyl0609 (1) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,275
    Not sure if they changed my life, but my Pioneer CS-A700 speakers I bought in 73-74 established the sound I had to better with every subsequent purchase. Actually, I guess they did change my life when I think of all the dinero I have spent on speakers since then. :)

    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • OleBootOleBoot Posts: 573
    My revelation were Leak Sandwich speakers that were purchased for a song by my Dad from an audiophile friend of his (who upgraded to speakers embedded in concrete in the wall of his house - the ultimate in those days) and given to me for Christmas to be powered by my 20 wpc Teleton amp.
  • gyosagyosa Posts: 270
    As good as my SDA 1c’s ave always been , my new Salks have blown me away ....
    That Raal ribbon tweeter is unbelievable - mids and highs are orgasmic.

    Bk
    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50, Polk SDA 1c’s , Sony 42” - bedroom

    B&K EX-442 , PS Audio 4.6 preamp , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - pool

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Salk Supercharged Songtowers
    Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - den

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - patio
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,582
    Magnepan Tympani mated with AR amplification and front end... I would go listen for my lunch breaks when I worked there in 1985 prior to leaving for boot camp.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 413
    For me, two speakers qualify. The first was a pair of AR 2ax, in my freshman dorm (1968). Owned by a kid who built tube Dynaco kits to drive them. He had them facing each other on the tops of the built-in bookshelves in the corners of the room. Yeah, way too much bass, but when you’re 17, what else is there? This, and other like-minded residents of the dorm, is what started an interest in stereo. Then, in about 1975, on a trip up the California Coast, I stopped in a cafe in Mendocino and heard some jazz playing at relatively mild levels and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. A waiter pointed out the Quad ESL-57 pair sitting up on a low room divider. I found a table nearby and was amazed at the natural sound of the music while I ate my lunch. I have ever since thought about getting a pair of Quads or other electrostatic speakers.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,411
    I'm not sure "changed my life" would be my exact words, but, I remember several different phases of life where different speakers/setups wowed. I remember my first Klipsch Khorns with Mac tube mono's...the clarity and detail. I remember the first time I heard the SRS's, that was life changing...I knew there was a different level of sound stage and dimension available. I remember the first time I heard Maggies. That was a watershed moment.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,370
    KLH model 8's wowed me. I used them for years. I think I had a small Pioneer silver face powering them.

    Then the ESS AMT1B's. super wow!

    Then the Polk Monitor 10's had a sound that made my classic rock sound oh so good!

    You all know the rest. I'm still getting wowed by road side finds or free speakers from my local Craig's list ads.
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,602
    gyosa wrote: »
    As good as my SDA 1c’s ave always been , my new Salks have blown me away ....
    That Raal ribbon tweeter is unbelievable - mids and highs are orgasmic.

    Bk

    Does that mean that the bass... is not?
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,602
    Magnepan Tympani mated with AR amplification and front end... I would go listen for my lunch breaks when I worked there in 1985 prior to leaving for boot camp.

    a classic combination (assuming by "AR" you mean Audio Research) -- I remember hearing the 1B morph of the Magneplanar Tympanis (which were marketed by Audio Research, not Magnepan, interestingly enough) with Audio Research amplification. Very, very nice.

    My only "issue" with them (and this only in retrospect) was an un-natural bigness to some recordings -- I vividly remember the impression of the 12 foot wide piano that they presented. It was impressive (and I was young and impressionable!) but not exactly realistic (although the tone and weight of the sound was good).

    Not much will beat the reproduction of 'real' sounding piano from the aforementioned ESL-57 or the Altec Duplexes IMO and IME. Indeed, I am not sure anything will. I certainly haven't heard any better (in terms of real sounding) piano reproduction than from those two units. They remain my reference for real (as opposed to realistic) midrange reproduction.

  • gyosagyosa Posts: 270


    No the bass is there .... plenty.
    Doesn’t go as low as the 1c’s , but it it is way tighter , more defined.
    Transmission Line cabinet vs passive radiator.....
    Bass is “mushy” on the 1c’s compared to the Salks.
    The Salks are a very “accurate” speaker .
    Still love the 1c’s though .....

    Bk

    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    gyosa wrote: »
    As good as my SDA 1c’s ave always been , my new Salks have blown me away ....
    That Raal ribbon tweeter is unbelievable - mids and highs are orgasmic.

    Bk

    Does that mean that the bass... is not?

    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50, Polk SDA 1c’s , Sony 42” - bedroom

    B&K EX-442 , PS Audio 4.6 preamp , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - pool

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Salk Supercharged Songtowers
    Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - den

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - patio
  • Polkitup2Polkitup2 Posts: 1,539
    After a long Hiatus from audio, the Polk RTi150s sucked me back into audio. Not sure I'd be too impressed with them now, but at the time I thought they were the greatest thing my rookie ears had ever heard. They could rock! My listening tastes are completely different now (14 years later), but I must say that the first couple years of getting back into audio with the Polk's were the most fun.

  • motorstereomotorstereo Posts: 1,337
    Properly set up sda's would be mine. The next day after I heard what Polk 1.2tl's were capable of in December of 2011 I disassembled my entire rig in a quest that continues to this day to retrieve and refine that sda sound.
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,367
    They didn't change my life, but they stopped me in my tracks. Acoustic Research AR-9's playing outside - Deep Purple Made in Japan had just come out - and I'd never heard it. A stereo shop was playing the AR-9's behind their shop hooked up to some good separates (maybe S.A.E.), and I was literally stopped in my tracks when I heard those speakers - I thought a live band was playing over there. I didn't even know there was a stereo shop there so I walked closer to see the band and I was flabbergasted to see only those AR-9's and a small group of people mulling about.
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,370
    That's a fantastic experience and cool story. ;)B)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,370
    Reminds me of my brothers' story in a way.

    He went to an outdoor party and the people had huge Klipsch Cornwalls or La-Scala's or what ever model bigger BOX Klipsch speakers and he said it was like a live band was up on the platform they had made to put the speakers on with a DJ.

    He'll never forget them he said! :DB)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    edited July 17
    SDA SRS2

    First real speakers I ever listened to. Due to that experience I searched and now own an upgraded pair of 2Bs that would probably beat the snot out of those unmodded SRS.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
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  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,411
    edited July 17
    I saw Carl Sagan speak at a seminar

    Ding ding ding ding ding...we have a winner!
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,283
    Polk SR5250

    x107SR5250.jpeg

    Then, Usher CP-6311

    CP-6311a-500x500.jpg

    THEN, Rosso Fiorentino Fiesole

    bkn-20170923192828289-0923_00982_001_01p.jpg?20170923192926

  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,188
    About 10 years ago, I had recently joined the forum due to a pair of Monitor 70’s and as we do well around here...was quickly encouraged to buy a pair of LSi15’s.

    The LSi15’s blew me away. They were so clear and “real” sounding compared to anything I had heard previously. I honestly remember being at work and tweaking about getting home for a listening session. It was like an addict situation.

    I’ve enjoyed my brief journey so far, but to this point, that has been my “wow” moment.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,714
    Klipsch C Horns, Pink Floyd's The Wall and possibly some acid involved....

    Great Karma! In with 69
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
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