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bgentry

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  1. The HSU VTF-1 (10") is probably worth looking at. It's $50 more than the S8. I have the HSU VTF-2 (12") and I think it's pretty incredible. Brian.
  2. It's been a couple of weeks now with the Warfedale Denton 80s and the HSU sub I bought to go along with them. Overall I'm pretty impressed with this setup. It's very dynamic and "fast" sounding with a lot of instrument separation. The bass is really well integrated. I spent a lot of extra time getting the sub position and parameters set up. Really a lot. I even re-arranged my room so that I'm sitting very close to a wall and my desk and speakers are near the center of the room. This improved the bass a good bit and the midrange and highs as well. Instruments became even more separated after this re-arranging. The sound is actually more "audiophile" and revealing than any other system I've had. Some of my systems have been far more expensive. The bass in particular is some of the best over the entire range that I've ever heard from my systems and really even from most audio shop systems I can think of. But that's the sub integration. The bass from the Dentons alone is OK, but they have 5" drivers. So you're never going to get real bass from them. The HSU makes a huge difference. Vocals in particular are pretty incredible. I'm not sure I've ever heard Mark Knopfler or Michael McDonald or BIlly Joel sound as full of life as on these. The chest resonance really makes them sound "big", but the emphasis on the upper midrange also gives just a ton of detail to the voices. I wouldn't exactly call the Dentons "warm". They are extremely revealing, but also not terribly harsh. When played loud or with music that's kind of "forward" or complex (think loud rock or metal) they get a bit unpleasant and I usually turn it back down. I bought an NAD integrated amp to go with them hoping it might warm the sound up some. I don't think the NAD did any "warming", but I think the overall sound is better now; more smooth and maybe a smidge less strident or harsh. I think my listening distance plays a big role in this. My ears are around 3 feet from each speaker. When I push back from the desk and nearly touch the back wall, the forward nature of the sound (like the singer is very close to you) goes away and they sound a bit different. I'll probably play with position a bit more. I've got the treble on the NAD turned down a few notches which helps. But it doesn't really change the character of the speakers. It's just a tweak. As you can see I'm happy, but have slightly mixed impressions. Brian.
  3. Thanks for the extra suggestions guys. I've already bought the Wharfedale Denton 80s. I'm still tweaking things. ...and I have new amplification and a crossover coming soon, so more to be done. I'm mostly liking the Dentons, but I find them a bit thin sounding. On some music they get kind of unpleasant. My choice of speaker position and seating position probably influences this greatly. I may do some room re-arranging experiments too. Thanks, Brian.
  4. I have never owned any horn speakers. I've heard a small number of home audio horn based speakers. I've set up and heard a good number of pro audio speakers. I've also helped design a couple of large scale bass horns, but that was very unusual, featuring huge amounts of power, large drivers, and horn mouths that were 8 feet tall or more. Different and interesting with high SPLs. But not "hi-fi" by any means. Brian.
  5. I received and installed the Wharfedale Denton 80s yesterday. Initially I thought they were rather bright. But then I realized that they just have good upper midrange detail. Voices sound very natural. Even at elevated volumes, I never got any unpleasant sibilance or other high frequency exaggeration. In general I would say I like these pretty well. However, they do lack in bass a lot. Which isn't surprising given that they only have 5" drivers. Turning the bass knob up on my receiver to about the 3/4 mark helped a lot with this. But they are still a bit lacking. Luckily I anticipated this and a new subwoofer is arriving today. I'm hoping that both fills in the lower two octaves and perhaps makes these even a bit more "warm" without sacrificing too much of their midrange detail. I may have more to say in a few days... though I'm not sure anyone here is all that interested. Brian.
  6. Good horns have some "magic" that's for sure. Bad horns are really bad. Very "poke you in the ear" sound. I think the reason that good horns are so good is because of the enhanced coupling of the driver (the thing that moves) to the air mass in front of it. A metal dome tweeter sitting on a mount on the front of a speaker is kind of a normal tweeter. To many people, like me, metal dome tweeters sound pretty bad. Very "screamy" and just not natural at all. But if you take a similar dome shaped driver and put a horn in front of it, the air load on the metal dome changes it's behavior drastically. The dome moves much less though it's pass band because the air mass is coupled to it. Almost like a weight being attached to the dome. Paul Klipsch said that horns revealed the "Inner voices in recordings". Those are interesting words because on the right system with horns, you really do hear subtle details that are masked on other systems. I often think of those words when listening to good horns. Midrange and bass horns that are good are much more rare, especially in the hi-fi world. On the other hand, even good horns can be a little too revealing. Bad recordings can really sound bad. This is the balancing act we play with high end audio: How much detail, resolution, and "wow!", versus how much listenability with average to poor recordings. For me, after 30+ years of seeking great audio, I've finally decided that all I really care about is loving listening to the music that I already like. If my chosen system won't play Van Halen's 5150 and make me like it, then I should have a different system. 5150 is particularly bright 80s recording that sounds quite bad on systems with a lot of tweeter response. It's also music I really like, so I want to be able to listen to it. The Cowboy Junkies', The Trinity Session is a bit of an audiophile standard and sounds good on many systems. It's actually great music too, which is quite rare. Many audiophile quality recordings are boring, or niche, or otherwise don't have much appeal. The Trinity Session is a great exception to that rule. But it's not a great way for me to judge whether or not I like a pair of speakers... because it sounds good on a lot of different speakers. The Violent Femmes, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and The Beastie Boys should all be equally at home in my system. Because those are all bands I love and I should enjoy listening to them, as opposed to saying to myself "you know this is a bad (70s, 80s, 90s) recording and I should play something better on this great system." That's flawed audiophile BS. Horns can be great! Just make sure they play the music you like in a way that makes you smile. Brian.
  7. I'm trying to decide what to power the Denton 80s with. I'm currently using an old stereo Technics receiver with the volume up to 1 oclock, and an external passive preamp for volume control. Why? Because the amp sits under my desk to save space and the passive preamp can sit on the desk taking up very little room as it's only about 7" wide and 2" tall. I also have an older Crown DC300A amplifier that I could use in the same configuration. But it occurs to me that neither of these seem like a great match for these kind of speakers and the sonic profile I'm looking for. I've heard NAD receivers in the distant past and was quite impressed with them. Maybe a bargain used NAD receiver or power amp? Thanks for any advice. Brian.
  8. I just ordered a pair of Warfedale Denton 80th Anniversary speakers. Based on reading quite a few pages of forum threads about these, and some reviews, they sound like exactly what I'm looking for. I guess I'll find out in about a week. Thanks again for the suggestion @Hugo9000 . Brian.
  9. Headphones were a big thing for me a few years ago. I have a decent headphone setup (nothing great) with a dedicated headphone amp, DAC, and a few pairs of headphones. I've mostly lost interest in headphone listening for music. It can provide a good experience, but it's different than speakers. Also, I'm fairly certain that extended listening to headphones, at moderate to low levels, has increased my tinnitus substantially. So I avoid extended listening with headphones these days. which is too bad because I've found that the value proposition of headphones is just enormous. In many ways, my $300 pair of headphones bests my Paradigm main speakers that cost closer to $2500 for the pair. So I'm still on a quest for a desktop setup that does more things right than wrong. My budget is steadily creeping up as I continue to shop. Darn it. That always seems to happen! Brian.
  10. I've done some reading and watched some videos on the Wharfledale D80. These honestly sound the closest to what I'm after so far. I think I'll definitely want a subwoofer with these, which increases my budget of course. If anyone has more suggestions, I'd like to hear them. Thanks, Brian.
  11. Ok, let's say that I completely accept everything you said in your last post. What speakers can you point me to that have "dark", "warm", or similar response that I might like? Polk and Genelc are not particularly known for that kind of sound as far as I know. I have not heard all that many Polks and zero Genelecs, so I'm just going based on general impressions and what I have read. In other words I could be wrong! Brian.
  12. Hmm. I'm not here to argue, but I'm rather certain that sitting close to speakers elevates their high frequency output. So ideally nearfield speakers will be designed with less output at high frequencies that at low frequencies. It's the same reason that professional loudspeakers tend to have very elevated high frequencies when heard from 10 feet away: Because they are designed to sound correct far back from the stage; like 30 to 50 feet back. Thanks for the recommendations. I'll do a little searching and see what I can find out about them. In the mean time I'm moderately interested in the Tekton Mini Lore Monitors. I need to find out more about them too. Brian.
  13. Thanks for responding. The speakers you recommended seem to be designed for regular 8 foot listening distances. I'm afraid that if I get speakers like that again and then put them on my desk 3 to 4 feet from me, that they will be very bright with excessive high frequencies. I'm specifically trying to avoid that, as I find lots of highs to be fatiguing. Regarding my listening level: You're probably correct that I'm actually listening quite a bit lower than I said. It probably is closer to 70 dB. Maybe I'll dig out my meter and measure it. I only mentioned higher SPLs like 110 because every now and then I like to listen to 1 or 2 songs pretty loud, just to "rock out" for a bit. But generally speaking the volume level is very tame at my desk. I forgot to mention a few details earlier: I'm open to either powered speakers like studio monitors, or to passive speakers. I can probably dig up a receiver or something similar to power passive speakers. I'm currently feeding my desktop rig with a Schiit Audio Modi Multibit and plan to keep that as part of the system. Just in case that matters to anyone. Thanks, Brian.
  14. A few years ago I discovered that I really enjoy listening to music at my computer desk at home in a bedroom (roughly 10 x 12 feet). I've been using an older set of home theater speakers made by a company called "Seas", but not the same as the European speaker driver manufacturer with the same name. I think these are American. They are a 5.25" two way with a passive 10" bandpass subwoofer with integrated passive crossovers. The sound is ok, but it's extremely bright because these were designed for home theater and as such were expected to be placed at least 6 feet from the listening position and really more like 8 to 10 feet. When using a ton of equalization, I can make them sound much more warm and less 'biting'. But without it, they really tear your head off. What I'm shopping for is a set to replace these that sound more like what I want, straight out of the box. I've found that "detailed" sound and even what a lot of people call "neutral" are far too fatiguing for me for long term listening. I want good vocals that sound natural, but no extended highs. Pleasing and warm really are the operative words here. I don't want highly exaggerated bass, but I do want elevated bass, as compared to "flat" or "neutral". I think I'm going to end up with a pair of medium sized desktop speakers and a powered subwoofer. But I'm not sure. Perhaps a large pair of desktops, with an 8" or 10" mid/woofer would make me happy. I'm here to ask for recommendations and opinions. My final budget is undetermined, but let's start with no more than $750 for the main speakers and they would have to be full range at that price. Typical listening levels are fairly low for me. Probably 85 dB or under. But I do sometimes like it far louder, so I'd like the speakers to be able to reach more like 110 dB or so. That's just a round number; nothing I've measured. My listening distance is 3 to 4 feet and will probably stay that way. The speakers will be located less than 6" from the back wall. But I like bass, so a little bit of "bump" from the proximity shouldn't bother me too much. Thanks for reading. Brian.
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