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Kirt

What High end speaker to choose?

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HI,

I am planning a music room in a house under construction. I am set on using Mcintosh for all components but am trying to figure out what speakers to use. B&W Nautilus? I know this is old technology and the current wait time is 10 months.  Mcintosh XRT2.1K? Are they worth the money? Any other suggestions? We are building a very modern home so i wanted speakers that had somewhat of a dramatic presentation. The Nautilus looks awesome- The Mcintosh is this huge tower that carry's this huge presence. Should i be considering something else? I will mainly play digital and vinyl- I have already ordered the Mcintosh MT 10. 

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Sonus Faber Aida.  I love the SF finishes.  I know nothing else about these but they seem to be in the same league as XRT2.1K but with an Italian style.


RIG:  MB Pro - Benchmark DAC3 L | Benchmark AHB2 | Paradigm Sig S6 Cables:   Van Damme XLR Canare 4S11 Biwire Lifatec optical Wireworld and IsoTek power

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@Kirt  I have McIntosh solid state electronics and really enjoy the sound of my Wilson speakers.  I’ve heard them with tube amps sounding very good.  The owner of this site also has Wilsons with different front ends.  If you can find a dealer to audition them it would be worth it. 

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12 minutes ago, cjf said:

Two more options.

 

I believe the creator of these Vivids worked at B&W back in the day.

 

https://vividaudio.com/giya/giya-g2-series-2/

 

31.jpg?w=1842

 

Another option with some Spice to its looks:

https://us.kef.com/kef-blade.html

 

kef-blade-2-100703430-large.jpg

Both excellent speakers. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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52 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

True. But it's good to have a short list to audition, and opinions can be helpful in creating one.

 

Very true. I just wanted to make sure my recommendation was to listen before buying.


No electron left behind...

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Yes Laurence Dickie designed the B&W Nautilus and now the Vivid range out of South Africa.

 

Some nice speakers mentioned already but I couldn't go past the Vivid G2's.

 

National Audio show in the UK. Best Sound in Show 2016

 

MILANO HI-FIDELITY 2019 - VIVID AUDIO Giya

 

I think the aesthetic is stunning, looking a bit like a treble clef. Then again some hate the look. Importantly, form follows function - its all about outstanding sound quality

 

Laurence Dickie

You are absolutely correct in repeating my assertion that the use of reaction-cancelling drivers and ports eliminates reaction forces from the drivers and enclosure and hence removes the need to consider the 'grounding' of the enclosure. SO you can mount our speakers on spikes or rubber, hang them from the ceiling or screw them to the wall- it really doesn't make any difference to the bass reproduction.



I would just like to take the opportunity to correct the misplaced belief that our speakers are just designed to look different. This erroneous opinion has so often been repeated that the opening slide in my usual show presentation goes:

 

A common mistake is to believe our loudspeakers are just an exercise in aesthetic industrial design. The reality is that the shape is very much determined by the acoustic engineering requirements. We are, first and foremost, an engineering-led company and the form follows the function.</quote>

 

<quote>I’ll try to give you a brief summary of the key points of the engineering design but really I would like to address anyone who’s seriously interested to the technologies section on our vividspeakers.com website.

 

1. Firstly we have to remind folks that we make everything in-house; drivers, cabinets, crossovers…everything!

2. Optimisation of diaphragms to push first break-up modes well above reproduced bandwidth.

3. Exponential absorbers on rear of all mid and high frequency drivers to totally absorb sound without any trace of resonance or reflection.

4. Design of chassis with struts aligned with airflow to present minimum disruption to the rear wave.

5. Highly perforated voice coil former to eliminate usual magnet chamber resonances.

6. Smooth external shape to minimise diffraction effects of ordinary square edged boxes

7. Reaction cancelling bass drivers and ports

8. Tapered tube reflex loading for the bass. This latest improvement is used in all the Giya speakers and combines the best of both worlds: the total absorption of the top to bottom resonance while preserving the full port output. (that’s the spiral on the top – Colin)

9. Computer-optimised passive crossovers give very accurate fourth order Linkwitz-Riley filter shapes which sum perfectly through crossover.

10. Hard-wired crossovers, more laborious to make but just sound better than printed circuits. I have no idea why but since there’s no harm in it, that’s what we do. Sometimes you just have to be pragmatic!

11. Time aligned drivers. This last one being the reason the bass drivers are mounted in a bulge so their acoustic centres are pretty much below the rest of the drivers.

12. High flux radial magnets to increase the efficiency so the drivers can produce more sound for less power and hence suffer less power compression for a given power.

13. The grille was chosen from all the available meshes I could find as being the most open at 80% and only available from the US. It is positioned so that it is as close to the tweeter diaphragm as possible so that any effects are at as high a frequency as possible. The result is that putting the grille in place adds a gentle wiggle of about 0.5db at 15kHz. I would challenge anyone to identify whether the grille was on or off in a blindfold test.


Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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I would build your speakers around your room. Do you room first, address room acoustics, then try didn't speakers to suit your room size. Just my view. 

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Thank you- yes we have our architect working on room acoustics and design. 

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Great information about Vivid- I am originally from South Africa. 

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Very excited to see how this develops!  All of the speakers above should produce wonderful sound.  If my only objective was sound, and I had no other constraints, I expect that I'd end up with a pair of Wilsons.  BUT--the Nautilus will produce magnificent sound and also be a real statement as sculpture.  Coincidentally, I was drooling over their looks the other day--absolutely timeless, and I do not say that lightly.  My son and his art critic girlfriend were also admiring.

 

To drive these beauties I'm thinking a pair of MC275s, or an MC2152, and a C70.  (I have the former driving B&W 805s beautifully, no experience with the latter, but really just going on looks here, haha)

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Thank you kindly to everyone that has given feedback so far.

 

I may be leaning towards Sonus Faber Aida2 - Any specific thoughts on this speaker? I know it will require less amplification Than the Macintosh XRT 2.1.  I have been told that 2 MC 901's will be sufficient.  Any thoughts? I think i am going to Fly to Houston to listen to them at Houston Audio.

Her is what's already ordered - 

MC901   x2

C1100T  Tube pre amp

C1100C Audio pre amp

D1100 Digital Pre amp 

MCT500  CD

MT 10 Reference turntable

Men220 - Room Correction System 

MS 500 music streamer

MPC1500 AC Power Controller

Cables - Redwood SWB BFA- SPADE

 

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6 minutes ago, Kirt said:

Thank you kindly to everyone that has given feedback so far.

 

I am leaning towards Sonus Faber Sonus Faber Aida2 - Any specific thoughts on this speaker? I know it will require less amplification Than the Macintosh XRT 2.1.  I have been told that 2 MC 901's will be sufficient.  Any thoughts?

Her is what's already ordered - 

MC901   x2

C1100T  Tube pre amp

C1100C Audio pre amp

D1100 Digital Pre amp 

MCT500  CD

MT 10 Reference turntable

Men220 - Room Correction System 

MS 500 music streamer

MPC1500 AC Power Controller

Cables - Redwood SWB BFA- SPADE

 

An impressive selection of gear, though a couple of things give me pause.  I am not sure why you'd order a D1100.  Since you already have a C1100, I'd get a killer non-Mc DAC instead.  I would not order a MEN220 right out of the gate--it will not necessarily improve your sound, it may make it less engaging on balance (it did with my system.  I'd get everything else first, live with the system for a few months, then consider the MEN220 after you understand your baseline.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Kirt said:

Thank you kindly to everyone that has given feedback so far.

 

I may be leaning towards Sonus Faber Aida2 - Any specific thoughts on this speaker? I know it will require less amplification Than the Macintosh XRT 2.1.  I have been told that 2 MC 901's will be sufficient.  Any thoughts? I think i am going to Fly to Houston to listen to them at Houston Audio.

Her is what's already ordered - 

MC901   x2

C1100T  Tube pre amp

C1100C Audio pre amp

D1100 Digital Pre amp 

MCT500  CD

MT 10 Reference turntable

Men220 - Room Correction System 

MS 500 music streamer

MPC1500 AC Power Controller

Cables - Redwood SWB BFA- SPADE

 

That will be quite the system. Which color of the Aida 2, red or wenge? They are both beautiful in person. 
 

I would possibly consider an additional source of music like a Roon Nucleus, Aurender, Lumin etc... It all depends on your music listening habits though. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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32 minutes ago, Kirt said:

Thank you kindly to everyone that has given feedback so far.

 

I may be leaning towards Sonus Faber Aida2 - Any specific thoughts on this speaker? I know it will require less amplification Than the Macintosh XRT 2.1.  I have been told that 2 MC 901's will be sufficient.  Any thoughts? I think i am going to Fly to Houston to listen to them at Houston Audio.

Her is what's already ordered - 

MC901   x2

C1100T  Tube pre amp

C1100C Audio pre amp

D1100 Digital Pre amp 

MCT500  CD

MT 10 Reference turntable

Men220 - Room Correction System 

MS 500 music streamer

MPC1500 AC Power Controller

Cables - Redwood SWB BFA- SPADE

 

I forgot to address one question about the two options. 
 

I’d much rather go with the Aida than the XRT 2.1. I think the Aida is a much better speaker on all aspects. Driving it with the 901s should be great. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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Probably Wenge color. Thank you for the suggestion. 👊🏻

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@Kirt   I saw an Aida demo at a local dealer.  Very impressive!  I have the D150/MCT450 combo to play SACDs. (I only setup and rip them occasionally so always new ones piling up!)  That would be my only reason to get the combo, however, there are great alternatives like the EMM Labs/Meitner DAC-transport combo or dCS Rossini player that would compete against the Mac combo.  McIntosh has greatly improved their digital products but I don’t think they are near the level that your other components warrant.  I would love to hear whatever you end up with, I’m sure it will sound spectacular in a well designed room!

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Well, just to note Sonus Faber designers help with the design of the McIntosh speakers since they are part of the same company.

 

The Aida are not a hard speaker to drive but do sound good and look amazing - so much better in person.


Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Audio Research SP-16

Amplification - PS Audio S300 - Kenwood L-07M's - Pioneer M-22

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - ELAC unifi UB5's - Linn Tukans - others......

Cables:Tara Labs and DiMarzio Interconnects

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