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Most affordable path to 95% of the way to a reference system

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  • Most affordable path to 95% of the way to a reference system

    I am working to get a couple of friends interested in the hobby and want them to have a system as close to a reference standard for the least amount of money, since they may not upgrade the system for a long time.

    A reference system is different things to different people, so I'm ok with subjective opinions. What is your reference system?

    To me, a speaker like the Kef LS50 qualifies as being about 95% of the way towards the reference systems I have heard. I have heard %7000k+ Focal, B&W and ATC speakers, which I am basing this on. I'm aiming for at least as much output a good 1+7 MT.


    Would you say a speaker like the Overnight Sensation MTM is 95% as good as the Carrera?


  • #2
    Originally posted by DearSX View Post
    I am working to get a couple of friends interested in the hobby and want them to have a system as close to a reference standard for the least amount of money, since they may not upgrade the system for a long time.

    A reference system is different things to different people, so I'm ok with subjective opinions. What is your reference system?

    To me, a speaker like the Kef LS50 qualifies as being about 95% of the way towards the reference systems I have heard. I have heard %7000k+ Focal, B&W and ATC speakers, which I am basing this on. I'm aiming for at least as much output a good 1+7 MT.


    Would you say a speaker like the Overnight Sensation MTM is 95% as good as the Carrera?
    No. I am pretty familiar with the Carrera since I own the first pair ever made. The Carrera just does everything better, by a large percentage. The OS MTM is a nice design, just not Catrera nice.
    craigk

    " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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    • #3
      I've given away a lot of speakers and systems. The only person who actually appreciated my gift and realized its value was already a forum member. Oh, and a kid I sent a subwoofer to did send me a thank you.

      Make them something nice, do it for your own satisfaction. Don't be disappointed if your work is not appreciated.

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      • #4
        How much are you willing to spend?

        If you can get yourself the Usher 8836AC and the Aurum Cantus AST2560, you'd be about as close to top of the line reference as you can get without spending at least 2-3 times as much for any improvement.

        On a more budget friendly note, the Peerless 830874 and DA25BG08 will make a very low distortion TM with simple crossovers.
        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

        Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


        95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
        Gravity is an overrated force on the cosmic scale. Physicists are missing the bigger picture. They fell into a black hole and were never seen advancing the understanding of the cosmos again.

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        • #5
          Since this is PE we probably have to stick to PE based recs, so I vote for the Aviatrix or Jeff's Tango/Denhams.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DearSX View Post
            A reference system is different things to different people, so I'm ok with subjective opinions. What is your reference system?
            For me it's anything that can reproduce reasonably full-range audio for the intended listening material with reasonable (let's say +/- 3dB) accuracy. The definition of "reasonably full-range audio" would be around 40hz-15khz for popular music IMO. The JBL LSR305s would fit this definition.

            That's a very modest, literal definition: it's a system that is objectively correct and can therefore be used as a reference! That doesn't mean it's the most enjoyable system, of course. But it would be a useful reference.

            Originally posted by DearSX View Post
            To me, a speaker like the Kef LS50 qualifies as being about 95% of the way towards the reference systems I have heard. I have heard %7000k+ Focal, B&W and ATC speakers, which I am basing this on. I'm aiming for at least as much output a good 1+7 MT.
            I understand that a lot of people call systems like these "reference" systems but I don't think that's a very good use of the term. A lot of high-end systems don't strive for accuracy; they may have rising treble responses or other "artistic touches." Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think it's a "reference" at that point.

            Originally posted by DearSX View Post
            am working to get a couple of friends interested in the hobby and want them to have a system as close to a reference standard [...] Would you say a speaker like the Overnight Sensation MTM is 95% as good as the Carrera?
            It seems like you're going with the definition of "truly awesome, capable system" when you say "reference."

            So I think what you're really asking is if the Overnight Sensations are high-end speakers.

            I've built a whole bunch of Overnight Sensations TM and MTMs. Mostly as gifts. I love them; they're ridiculously fun. The MTM version is IMO one of the best secrets in the entire audio world due to their high sensitivity. Hook them up to even a modest amp and they will rock the house.

            Are they fun? Do they put out amazing bass? Do I love them? Will I buy Paul Carmody a million beers if I ever meet him? Heck yes.

            Are they high-end? Oh heck no. Never heard the LS50, but the highs and mids on the Overnight Sensation aren't quite as nice as a Pioneer BS22. The KEF Q100s outclass the Overnight Sensations away in pretty much all regards, so I'm guessing the LS50s would be even farther out of reach.

            The Classix II and Amiga designs are what I'd call high-end. Some people would scoff and set the bar for "high-end" way higher than this. That's fine. For me, these two speakers deliver at least 95% of the enjoyment of anything out there. Detailed, full-range audio for most types of music, powerful bass, completely enjoyable and smooth from top to bottom. I think both are way more enjoyable than the KEF Q100s, to use a common and well-loved reference point.

            In car terms they're like a well-equipped Audi A6 or something else in that price class. Not the world's most ultimate vehicle, but damn it's nice and unless you're doing laps around the Nurburgring it's just about all you need.

            In some ways the Amigas would make more practical gifts than the Classix II. The Classix II are really big bookshelf speakers and realistically they need stands because they're not going to fit on a lot of shelves.

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            • #7
              By reference, I do mean truly awesome, capable and ultra clean accurate sound.
              I am aiming for a kit that is already out there and I don't have to design. I am also looking to have them pay for it. If they can't do that, I'm not looking to gift them something very expensive at all.

              Thanks for the different points of view. Something like the Usher/ Aurum Cantus AST2560 speakers would be great.I hope they are willing to pay that much and an easy design already exists.

              I'm sometimes tempted to buy the Kef LS50 because I enjoyed them a bit and use them as a measure of my DIY projects. Although I am afraid they may not sound great in my house, although that is something to use as a measurement for my room also. I hope to go to my first speaker meet soon so I can hear other DIY designs.

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              • #8
                If it was me, and recommending something really good and small/inexpensive, the first thing that comes to mind are Rory's Neutrinos. They are small, well defined, and very clean. Scott Sehlin's Rhodium would also qualify. ....And I'm very partial to my Stances.

                Later,
                Wolf
                "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by djg View Post
                  I've given away a lot of speakers and systems. The only person who actually appreciated my gift and realized its value was already a forum member. Oh, and a kid I sent a subwoofer to did send me a thank you.

                  Make them something nice, do it for your own satisfaction. Don't be disappointed if your work is not appreciated.
                  That is really a shame! Did you give away DIY kits you made yourself, or did you give away other gear?

                  I've had great success giving away Overnight Sensations TM and MTMs to friends and family, plus a pair of Amigas to my sister.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DearSX View Post
                    By reference, I do mean truly awesome, capable and ultra clean accurate sound.
                    I am aiming for a kit that is already out there and I don't have to design. I am also looking to have them pay for it. If they can't do that, I'm not looking to gift them something very expensive at all.
                    Am I understanding correctly?

                    1. You have friends who currently have no interest in the hobby.
                    2. You'd like them to be interested in your hobby
                    3. Your idea is to get them interested in the hobby is... to ask them pay for speaker kits that you, yourself, have never heard.

                    Wow. Well, okay. That really doesn't fit my definition of "gift" at all.

                    "Hey Bob! I know you don't like basketball! So how about you buy some expensive basketball tickets? Merry Christmas, you're welcome!"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                      If it was me, and recommending something really good and small/inexpensive, the first thing that comes to mind are Rory's Neutrinos. They are small, well defined, and very clean. Scott Sehlin's Rhodium would also qualify. ....And I'm very partial to my Stances.

                      Later,
                      Wolf

                      could not agree more. this is a great suggestion.
                      craigk

                      " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnBooty View Post
                        Am I understanding correctly?

                        1. You have friends who currently have no interest in the hobby.
                        2. You'd like them to be interested in your hobby
                        3. Your idea is to get them interested in the hobby is... to ask them pay for speaker kits that you, yourself, have never heard.

                        Wow. Well, okay. That really doesn't fit my definition of "gift" at all.

                        "Hey Bob! I know you don't like basketball! So how about you buy some expensive basketball tickets? Merry Christmas, you're welcome!"

                        I have friends who usually will pay $500-1000 for a car audio system and love music buy usually own an affordable Sony plastic bassy system. I told I built my own kit and its not too hard and not too expensive. I don't want to gift them the speakers, I want to interest them in building a great pair of quality speakers to listen to the music they love. I should probably show have them listen to my system and see what they think, although I am taking a long long time to finish something I started over a year ago.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wushuliu View Post
                          Since this is PE we probably have to stick to PE based recs, so I vote for the Aviatrix or Jeff's Tango/Denhams.
                          I think something like this..... The Tango or Marksman might work. Good price, baffle cut, good output and quality drivers. Any negatives to these designs?

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                          • #14
                            the Usher 8836AC is on sale now too ! its shielded , dont see that often anymore . the AC AST2560 has gotten great reviews from many respected designers/builders . is there an existing design with these drivers ? if not and if there is an interest this could be an option !?
                            donc

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by donc View Post
                              the Usher 8836AC is on sale now too ! its shielded , dont see that often anymore . the AC AST2560 has gotten great reviews from many respected designers/builders . is there an existing design with these drivers ? if not and if there is an interest this could be an option !?
                              donc
                              Don, if you want to, I'll order the parts and work up a crossover and send you everything once completed. Just let me know.

                              And if you can wait just a little longer, Erich will have the Anarchy MTM (Apollo) available shortly. A pair will easily be able to crest 110dB from 40Hz on up in most any listening room.
                              R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio

                              Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51


                              95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                              Gravity is an overrated force on the cosmic scale. Physicists are missing the bigger picture. They fell into a black hole and were never seen advancing the understanding of the cosmos again.

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