Best analytical loudspeakers for strings (midrange)?


Folks-

I am interested in comparing Wilson Yvettes (can obtain a discounted price, and which I have used in my house) versus Paradigm Persona 3F or 5F passive loudspeakers.

My system now combines McIntosh preamplifier, hybrid amplifier, PS Audio DirectStrem DAC, and transport, TIDAL server. My listening room is 300 square ft and has been optimized sound insulation (absorption and reflection tested using an audio engineer).

Although I love rock, electronica, jazz, and classical music, I want to be able to have high-resolution separation of different strings (violin, viola, cello, bass) in orchestral music, or even as solo instruments. I am a scientist, and I want to listen to high resolution ("clinical") sound.

Any advice? I have Wilson WattPuppy 7's and love the resolution, but I want to upgrade these speakers. I know that Vandersteen, Magico, etcetera are all great speakers as are many other brands, but I have limited my options at this point in time. 

Are the Paradigm Persona loudspeakers a better alternative to the Wilson Yvettes for string resolution?

Thanks in advance for any advice. - Gerry


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@gerry, I've had Magnepan and now JansZen hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers.  The JansZens are my retirement speaker.  Clarity and realism (via near zero distortion) are what ESL speakers bring to the table.  I have found Linear Tube Audio (David Berning designs) electronics to really allow the JansZens to soar with the realism we seek.  The combination of JansZen/LTA is very, very convincing.  JansZen speakers also come as powered models if you like convenience and possibly a stronger presentation. 

You didn't offer the size of your room or listening SPL preferences.  You may be looking at larger speakers that can play with more impact than the JansZens, but they won't sound more correct.  It kind of depends on your room size for a good match.  I've heard a number of ESL speakers and they all do the clarity and realism thing better than most IMO.  The bigger ones of course support bigger rooms.  I find horn based speakers kind of shouty.

Great cabling also matters greatly.  There are many good ones.  I am hooked on Cerious Technologies for cables. 

As so many are saying here, just about any planar loudspeaker; Electrostatic, Magnetic-Planar, or Ribbon. In the past, there have been only a few available at any given time; now there are many, at all kinds of price points. Truth-of-timbre is one of the planar's greatest strengths, whether of strings, vocals, piano, or drums. I heard my first (Magneplanar Tympani-I) in 1972, and was instantly converted.

Dynamic speaker designers work very hard to make their products do what planars do effortlessly. But no matter what they do, a point source loudspeaker will always sound like a point source---a miniaturized version of a Grand Piano, for instance. A crossover somewhere in a critical frequency band will always be necessary with dynamic drivers. Enclosures of some sort will always accompany those drivers (except in the case of Open Baffle speakers, which have their own problems and limitations). Bah!

I appreciate all of the comments very much. I have listened to electrostatics and a former BBC monitor brand (e.g, Harbeth) in my listening room.

I may not have clearly articulated my idiosyncrasies. I found all of these speaker types not to be analytical in terms of separating instrumental voices in orchestral music - it was difficult for me to resolve dissonant frequencies, textures and tone color.     

It may be that I am old-fashioned. I currently now have an Audio Research GS150 tube amplifier, a DCS Puccini SACD/CD player with a bridge to my Mac Retina, and Wilson WattPuppy 7 speakers. I also have audio ADHD upgrade fever!

Thank-you for all of your helpful comments. Kind regards - Gerry
PMC MB2;s will deliver what you seek and compete head to head with ATC in the mastering arena.
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