Coaxials - Reality vs. Experience?

Should say "hype vs. reality" in the headline. 


Coaxial speaker design has been around in one way or another for a long time. I often think I’ll be absolutely blown away by them, but in practice traditional vertical layout speakers often have sound as good, or have other features that make them sound better.

Thiel, KEF, Monitor Audio, Tekton, Seas are among the many players attempting such designs, but none has, by the coaxial drivers alone, dominated a segment of the market.

What are your listening experiences? Is it 1 coaxial speaker that won you over, or have you always preferred them?


@kokakolia  Focal and Tannoy continue to be rehashed legacy designs. I had the KEF ref 1 bookshelves for about a year before I sold it. Clinical sound and i could never get emotionally involved with any tracks no matter what electronics I tried. I could say the same about Magicos. It is just not my kind os sound (The latter is quite effortless with TADs and the new Technics that i audited). Yamaha is also the biggest manufacturer of musical instruments. It would be safe to say that their engineers understand more about music in addition to core engineering.

@deep_333 The Closer Acoustics OGY + Creek 4240 + Bluesound Node setup is serving me well. I like how responsive the OGY are to amplification. You can make them sound clinical with a budget class D amp or warm with a budget British A/B amplifier or a tube amp. 

I suppose that 2-way speakers (even coaxial) with crossovers are less responsive to amplification. The crossover kind of tunes the sound. That may also explain why the coaxial design doesn't seem to standout compared to having separate drivers. I am just speculating. 

Re: engineering. From what I see on the internet, it seems that engineers focus a lot on measurements and reducing resonances (through measurements). Perhaps engineers have shaped the industry more than they want to admit. We're clearly heading in a specific direction: small narrow enclosures, dead cabinets and many drivers. This direction should result in a very clinical sound. I go to a lot of live shows and it sounds different compared to Hi-Fi. You have a lot more resonances and vibrations. Sounds kind of blend together into a wall of sound (especially in an orchestra of string instruments). Stereo imaging is a fiction. Granted, most if not all rock concerts have terrible sound. Jazz, electronica, folk and orchestral music sound a lot more clear. 


Clinical sound and i could never get emotionally involved with any tracks no matter what electronics I tried.


I think I know what you mean, but how exactly do we define "clinical"?

Especially when we're talking about some of the most admired and costly loudspeakers out there?

Yet, there is little doubt that far too many designs fall into this category, but is "clinical" even something that can be measured?

I suspect this is a hugely important question to all of us who regard tone as king.

Wasn't it Harry F Olson, one of the acclaimed greats of audio, who first suggested the importance of "good tone"?

Yet here we are some 60 years later, and still without a good means of defining what that exactly means.