Finally found THE SPEAKER!!!

I have been a HiFi guy starting at 12 years old with my father passing along the love. We would spend almost every weekend auditioning speakers looking to find the perfect system. We purchased many speakers over the years and they all had their pros and cons, but the trade off always seemed to be nuanced and delicate vs. dynamic and punchy. When auditioning speakers people would always ask what kind of music do you like to listen to? Rock, female vocals, classical, etc... We had/have eclectic taste and would listen to it all. Why could't a speaker just play all of it?!?! Anyway my love for music, sound, etc... became my profession as I am now an Oscar nominated Supervising Sound Editor with well over 150 movies under my belt.

For the last 5 years I have been looking for speakers that can play films at reference levels with all the detail and punch, yet when I want to listen to music can give that nuanced and detailed imaging, space, air, articulation without being harsh and fatiguing. I have listened to SO MANY speakers and spent hundreds of hours auditioning everything I could find. I would fall in love with something for music and then try play one of my films at reference level and it just never gave me the impact I was looking for. I get it - hard to move a lot of air and still be nuanced and articulate. There are some excellent compression drivers/horns that can do the impact stuff, but for me they always have that harsh edge when it comes to music. The flip side with dome type tweeters I have found things have to be pushed to the edge to try to give that theatrical impact. Looking for the quick transient response of an electrostatic, with the punch of compression driver type of system.

Then a dealer recommend I listen to some speakers from Wisdom Audio. I have to admit I was pretty skeptical at first. I read about these and it all sounded like marketing to me, but the dealer I was talking with said he was blown away by them. So I reached out to the company and setup a demo. They use planar magnetics which is not exactly new, but is very difficult to manufacture. I asked them to have one of my films available to listen to. I chose one that I knew extremely well that has a LOT of dynamic punch as well as subtle nuance. I live in Los Angeles and the company is in Carson City, Nevada. I bought an airplane ticket and I was off. I was treated to a tour of the factory and shown how the speakers were made. USA manufactured!! Then we spent a few hours listening to all types of music on different ranges of speakers. I LOVED what I was hearing with the music part of the audition. Then I asked to hear my film in their theater. I expected to be disappointed based on what I had experienced in the past. Then it happened... I heard the film play and it sounded AMAZING! These speakers could do it all!!! No compression, no fatigue, HiFi sound and still able to play theatrical film tracks as they are meant to be heard. In fact - better! I called my wife in disbelief that my search for "The Speakers" was finally over! I even called my father to tell him what I had just heard. It was the impressive! I remind you - I do this for a living!

Since we are undergoing a major remodel at our home, my wife expected that the family room was going to be filled with big speakers as she has become accustomed to living with me. With some of these Wisdom Audio speakers, they are actually designed to be flush mounted in the wall. I thought there is no way a wall mounted speaker could ever sound as good as a traditional speaker. I was so wrong!! So not only did I find the perfect speaker, but not big boxes in the room 3 feet away from any walls! My wife was thrilled.

If you have never heard speakers by Wisdom Audio you need to find a dealer where you can audition them, or fly to the factory for a private demo!

Hi Duke... I think I may have addressed some of your questions, but not directly so I will try to do that here.

When you say over modulated, do you mean "distorted" or just louder than what you think they should be? We use over modulated to mean distortion so I am wondering if you just mean levels. Based on the rest of your thread I am going to assume it refers to level.

Again - what you are describing is the "dynamic" range issue.

Here is how things play in a mix. Dialogue (DX) is king. It is the reference level for the track. We play DX at a comfortable level while we are mixing and everything is relative to that. One of the ways we can make a scene louder without having to kill the audience - (yes believe it or not, MANY of us try to do this with our mixes) is to let the music and/or SFX (sound effects) drown out the DX without having to resort to things just getting stupid loud. As a viewer you know that the car, plane, train, whatever is loud now because the DX is now drowned out by the SFX.

I know this is not what you are talking about, but just thought I would share. Now there is one director in particular who does tend to burry DX (dialogue) with music with EXTREME level. Many of us have complained about this in the industry but again it is the director's vision so be it.

A center channel absolutely should help with your issue. My previous suggestions of raising the center channel by a few dB and maybe engaging the DRC Dynamic Range Correction algorithms built in to most DVD players and/or receivers might help achieve the "version" of the film mix you enjoy more.

There are also film enthusiasts that go full blow Atmos home theater and want that Theatrical dynamic range that is absolutely part of the movie going experience.

I have SO many headphones, but my goto personal music listening are my Focal Utopias. These have weight, detail, depth, dimension etc.... But they don't have what a full range loudspeaker can deliver. It doesn't give me sound I can also feel.

As a violinist I also feel the music. To be honest I haven't played my violin for at least 8 years now... not sure why it just sort of became less and less of my life. Talking about it makes me want to open the case and see if my fingers can still do the dance! Anyway... playing in an orchestra you can absolutely FEEL the music in your body as well as just your ears. I guess it would be like just tasting with your tongue and not your smell - you are not using all of your senses to their fullest... in my opinion.

I have no problem with levels in my own home with regards to film playback and this is not playing things at reference level most of the time. I am not utilizing any compression, but I guess I am ok with a little more dynamic pop than some. HA!

Your iPad experience is simply this. Those limited range speakers are designed to favor the DX range of the audio frequency which if you prefer DX only/mostly will work in your favor. I on the other hand miss the power of the score, SFX that bring to the film experience. Many filmmakers recognize that SOUND if at least 50% of the movie going experience.

Does any of this help???

Again... nobody is right or wrong about their own personal preference(s).

Glad to discuss further but as usual I get lost in the weeds as I ramble on here.
power my Duetta Sigs with a BAT VK250. Can get the Duettas to play very loud without distortion or fatigue.

You haven't heard what an apogee can do until you actively bi-amp them with well over a 1000 watts per channel using quality amps. 
drewde- I get your (voluminous) arguments/observations, etc. I have heard good things about Wisdom Audio myself so I have no problem with a successful technology that you want to discuss. I know classical music has dynamic shifts etc. My only observation is that people are known to speak softly even to a whisper on a film which also contains "other" sequences with loud to extremely loud content as well. And I still maintain that 7.2 home theater is in fact very different than 2.0 music coming from small to medium to 600 lb./each floor standing speakers
that assumes all the sound is coming from a bandstand or a stage. The 2.0 system has (99%) no conversations in any tone of voice in the mix. 
If Wisdom speakers sound phenominal that's great. I myself (just me!) prefer a movie like My Friend Godfrey or It Happened One Night to Transformers or another Marvel sequel. OK?

I get it. My favorite film is Citizen Kane. Transformers and Marvel films are not really my cup of tea either. But there are plenty of other dynamic films that are not stupid comic book stuff. 

I would put a stereo pair of Wisdom Audio speakers up against pretty much anything I have listened to. Again... the majority of my time at Wisdom was spent listening to just that. Stereo music of ALL types. If I could afford the LS4 models I would get them. Just amazing. The great thing about a speaker like these is that they play at lower levels with greater detail and presence than more traditional speakers. Just because they CAN go loud, doesn't mean you need to listen to them at that level. My evaluation of these speakers is on quality not "volume/loudness"


@drewde your comments and information are greatly appreciated. You have invested a huge amount of time on this thread. I am also a musician and a strong advocate of improving the sound quality of home theater as well as music reproduction systems. I agree that people who use sound bars and other inferior products are missing out on half the fun of movies. 

The latest, and worst iteration of the "SFX" problem is the canned crowd noise being transmitted over the announcers during NFL games. You can hardly hear the play by play over the gratuitous (and ridiculous) white noise.

My McIntosh AV preamp offers compression settings and I try to use them, but frankly, the setup of these units is so complex they need to be professionally set up. Based on your suggestions, I will do two things: Push the center channel settings and try to find an expert to calibrate my system. 

If that doesn't work, I will audition the Wisdoms.