I know there’s a bunch of topics on speakers in here. But I couldn’t find any topic covering this specifically.
I do listen to jazz, blues, som electronic stuff, and even the occational plain pop song. But I am an old metal head, and I would really like to sport a pair of speakers that enjoys reproducing metal and at the same time let Tom Waits sound like he should sound.
Ok, the perfect speaker for all genres might not exist. But an allrounder that can play well in all genres would be fun to try out.
I use the Dynaudio Focus 160 today, and I really enjoy them. I really do. But they do not favor metal.
The rest: Pro-Ject 1Xpression w/ Ortofon 2M Black/ Stageline/ Flatcap, Linn Majik DS, NAC82/ HC, NAP200, NAC A5.
I would give the ProAc D2R a demo. I owned them and listen to a wide range of music and they worked well for me and enjoyed the sound. Currently run a Par of ProAc D30RS speakers. Others will have different recommendations I’m sure… Demo at shop and at home if possible.
In the past I listened to different speakers from Bowers & Wilkins, Harbeth, Totem, Focal, Canton, Sonus Faber, Neat, etc. Each speaker has its strenghts and weaknesses but in your case IMHO the most interesting brands could be Totem, Focal and Neat.
I’ve mostly listened to floorstanders and I have a soft spot for Totem, but I’ve always found their bookshelf speakers so enjoyable and complete, therefore I would suggest you to try the Totem Skylight or the new Totem Bison.
However in the end it depends on your taste and if they match well with your system of course!
I’ve never heard any genre of music that doesn’t sound great with my speakers, Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum. Not that I’ve listened to every genre out there, but enough of different ones to believe they will just play everything well. FWIW: I also use them with a pair of REL S/510 subs.
@Thomas7string what brands do your dealers carry? Might be simpler to shortlist and discuss the merits within the limits of what you can actually purchase. These threads go on for quite a bit and often after 200 posts the OP comes back with, “It turns out the dealers within driving distance only carry brands X, Y, Z, and A. But thanks for all the other 25 recommendations.”
To me, a speaker that can’t handle whatever music I might want to play, of any genre, is simply a bad speaker. I listen mainly to classical (from dramatic orchestral to chamber), prog rock, heavy rock, opera, solo piano and occasional other things. To do all these well I believe the speakers have to be as uncoloured and close to neutral sounding as possible. (And the same goes for the rest of the system, but easier with that than the speakers.)
In my case monitor-style transmission line speakers have done well over the decades - originally IMF (TLS50 mk2 then RSPM) more recently PMC (EB1i then EB1i on bass, triamped with an ATC mid and Scanspeak tweeter, and now, best of all, MB2). They need an amp with good grip, though in my early IMF years I still found them hugely enjoyable with lesser amps. The smallest PMCs I’ve heard were the Twenty-26 and Fact 12 - I found the Twenty-26 good not as good as good as the IMFs it was to replace, The Fact 12 was better, and I would possibly be happy with them if I had a more limiting size room, but I had heard the MB2s…
However whether the NAP200 is adequate for the big PMCs is another matter - it may work better with smaller ones, but I have no experience of them so can’t comment on their handling of varied music - others may be able to. I imagine ATC’s speakers with their monitor heritage probably also do well with varied genres.
And you haven’t mentioned your budget… (secondhand or ex-dem of course can maximise its buying power).
I was going to say that, but didn’t. Now that you said it, I’ll say I agree 100%.
With that said, I’m surprised the OP says that about Dyn Focus 160. That’s a great speaker. But maybe with a NAP200 it just needs a bit more to shine with something like metal (or anything else). I bet a 250DR would transform it. I don’t know, because I started with a NAP 250-2 (with Dyn Contour S1.4).
I bought Graham Audio LS5/9f a month ago and Ive been listening to music for 100h+ easy.
Same preferrence as you, music with emotion and the metal/grunge aswell.
These speakers have a very rare magical touch to them, addictive midrange and suits all genres. They just play it all.
ie Aggressive metal sounds gritty and dirty and mean - and on the other hand more delicate music really soft and a true delight to listen to, as it should. Instruments and voices sounds just right and real, this would be described by some as a ”musicians speaker”.
The real selling point for me was the engaging factor at low listening levels whilst creating a huge grandios soundstage when above 9 o’clock, which they also do.
Mine is used with NAP200 and NAC282, feels really adequate for this efficient floorstanding speaker design.
Agree on the Graham LS5/9–I have a slight preference for the stand mounts rather than the floor standers, but the 5/9f do bring a bit more bottom. Graham and Rogers (and with less adherence to the model, Harbeth 30.2) versions of this model are all killer all around monitors.
I think you may find people recommending what they own and I will be no different.
The speaker I chose after a year of auditioning and buying and selling was the Harbeth 30.2XD.
Please bear in mind a speaker interacts with the room and that affects the outcome of a setup. For instance I’m sure there may be many people who have listened to the 30.2 XDs and it didn’t work for them in their system or room. Having said that I demoed the Harbeths against speakers more than three times the price and it wasn’t even close. I much preferred the Harbs.
What makes them great is an amazing open midrange and a very detailed but never fatiguing top end.This is surprising as a year ago I found a different pair of them a little bright which indicates something in my system was causing that brightness. They aren’t bass heavy speakers but they have such a clean and defined bass delivery that I actually enjoy it more than an overpowering type of bass. It’s a very very engaging speaker to me, I won’t poop on other speakers that are used quite a lot with Naim as I’m sure the room and system effected their outcome.
Overall I think it’s an amazing, epic speaker and I can’t praise it enough.
It doesn’t sound bad. It just sounds way better with Tom Waits, Eric Clapton or Miles Davis. But I guess most will. If I could get a speaker with 90% of the Focus’ coziness and 10% more rocking attitude, that would problably do it for me.
Not criticising because I often have no choice for demonstration. But a problem with any forum comment is people are prone to just recommend what they have. A collection of reviews is often more helpful. The forum can lead you to weeding out speakers known to not work with Naim.