Is there really a need for panel speakers in 2012

Traditional box speakers have become so good nowadays is there really a need for panel speakers in 2012?
Solid state amps have become so good is there really a need for tube amps? HiRez digital has become so good is there really a need for analog? On-line retailers have become so good is there really a need for B&M stores?

Was there really a need for the original question?
Was there really a need for the original question?

No, but: It's Friday :-)
Taters, I'm hippie and like trips myself, can you share where you get it and what?
I should of been more clear. I meant what's the point of having big panels in you're house taking up space when a box speaker will sound just as good, maybe better
I think everyone understood your point. I'm sure that the many who own panel speakers and appreciate their strengths will disagree with your initial premise that a box speaker can ever sound as good as a panel speaker.
I have to give props to Magnapan for exactly that reason...the fact that they sound great but are utterly impractical in most rooms but still popular is testament to "audio geekdom" at its most classic. There's a restaurant nearby that has the smaller Maggies hung from the walls in at least 4 places...who does that? Cool. I love the sound of Maggies but am also in the "where the hell would I put them" school of thought...but people do find a way to use them and I'm glad they do.
"Was there really a need for the original question?"

You really have to consider the source. Anyone who knows Sudz from AA will know what I mean.

Yep, Taters izzzz Sudz and vicey-versa. I just wish he'd stop asking his endless "in-depth", "probing", and meaningless questions. Givc it a break, luv...

I'll fess up and admit I have occasionally wondered if there is really any need for any speakers that do not use Walsh drivers?

I guess they would not work very well mounted in ceilings or walls.


Honestly, I'm only half joking.

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Shakydeal, Just because the people on AA don't like my questions doesn't mean the people here won't. I've been here for 10 years and have 100% perfect feedback!
I've been thinking about putting a new pair of mmgs in my wife's sun room. They match the decor.
Rlwainwright, For the most part the people on this site have a higher Intelligence level than the people on AA. People here appreciate Intelligent conversation without being sarcastic. (Mostly what you find on AA)
hey Taters. If you have heard the new 56zphf computational device(samsung telephono) with beats audio you probably would be asking why the need for any of these stupid audio separates. Why am I even on this web site. What are people thinking here. Where can I get my samsung mod done with shimmering nanobutology. And then you would be asking- What in the heck IS music anyway. ok. Oh by the way we don't need any of this stuff. I was away from my system for 3 weeks and came back kicking better than the before. Survived just fine. Hey it's friday.
I had to give up my Sound LAbs two years ago and am still in audio depression and withdrawls.

Tradional speakers are just that, "traditional", and all, imo sound like crap compaired to giant FULL RANGE electostats with the CORRECT amps.
On the contrary, I find many new box speakers to be only marginal and panel makers should continue sleeping well at night. I have had 3.6, 1.6 maggies, monitor and numerous floor standing speakers. All have some sttribute and limitation. My maggies took up less space than my Aerial 10 T, but I feel both made music. I find many modern speakers tilted up and less bloom than I prefer. Perhaps different amplification could remedy this but many rooms I visit at shows are on the hot side. Different tastes for different ears, Jallen
To clarify, my response is to the original question, not 6550C with who I agree with. JALLEN
Taters, conventional cones cannot reproduce the sound of an orchestra like panels can. Have you ever heard massed strings through a panel? That alone is a very good reason to have panels.
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I've always been imprssed with panels although they don't work in my room. I think they'll be around for a long time. Wish I could own a pair and listen to them.

an interesting question. The short answer is yes IMHO. The long answer is that some box speakers can have planar type aspects sonically these days. But just as drivers and materials have got better for cones and domes,so have planars.

My refurbished and modified Apogees are hard to beat. Graz ribbons which are made to higher tolerances than the original ribbons start to show up many other speakers.

Have a listen to the latest Magnepans and see which speakers can compete for the same budget?

You may need to rewrite your question to "Is there really a need for anything but panel speakers from now on?" Lol
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I believe your question is a good one. Why not ask it? I have heard arguments for both (pro's and con's). Maggies sound thin and bright to me with little or no bass. I considered getting a pair of 1.7s but heard them and was deeply disappointed. We added two high quality Martin Logan sub-woofers which helped but the combination was no match for my Von Schweikert vr-35s.

The new Von Schweikert vr 100s will change the concept that box cannot match or better panels. Speaker technology is changing.
So the "question validity topic and sarcasm police" don't have the day off. Members of this lofty crowd of opinionated elitists who feel that scoring a point for themselves in the race for "value judgement point score totals", can feel comforted by the like minded patting them on the back for circling together in their Snark Attack.
Wolf, there's a serious side to you. I like that. :-)

All kidding aside, there is a jump factor here that even amazes me. One can tell the humorous from the snarky.

All the best,
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I have Apogee Duetta signatures and Vienna Acoustics Beethoven. The Apogees did some things better, on the right recording they can launch a bass wave into the room that no box speaker can quite match. They are also slightly more transparent in the midrange but the VA's have a more detailed and airy treble. Overall the Vienna are more cosistently satisfying. I also have friend who was an acknowledged eletrostatic fan who had owned various models from Acoustat and Martin Login. Anyway he tried a pair of Vienna Acoustic Mahlers and was so happy he sold his ML Monoliths, a year later he got a pair of ML Prodigy's the VA's prevailed and the Prodigy's soon. About a year later he decided to try the ultimate stat the big ass Soundlabs and sold his Mahler's. Sometime later he calls me and asks me if I thought he was crazy because after living with the Soundlabs he had buyers remorse and whas thinking about buying another pair of VA Mahler's. I told him he wasn't crazy the Soundlabs were slightly more transparent but we both agreed that the VA's were just as coherent and seamless as the Soundlabs but had better bass, with superior imaging and soundstaging.

Anyway my Apogee's are in storage but sometimes I miss that wave launch. My friend has been cured of his panel addiction and still has the Mahlers with no plans of going back.
At the risk of raising some feathers of those who like panels, which is fine if they are enjoying them. I personally would never use them. There are to many drawbacks and not enough positives to my ears but Thats Me.
If you have a dedicated listening room great, otherwise most planars, electrostats are butt ugly,have a serious SAF, and just don't blend with most decor
Maggies miss a bet by not using artwork on their panels. Are they weirdly art-phobic at Magnapan? It's sort of obvious...really...with the option of a large bland hunk of fabric or something visually interesting you might want around...has this been done?
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I actually wish I had a dedicated room for planars/panels, etc...until then....a conventional, well engineered 2 way(with a sub if u like) reference type monitor works for me...guess I can dream...
There's no need ,just choice.

I've had numerous Quads,ML,s and back to Acoustats again,although this time with the Acoustat tube servo amps,the only way IMHOP.

I've also had numerous cone speakers,from LS3/5A, to Mirage M3si,JBL L65,Meadowlark Heron i, to Tannoy Ardens, Grand Veenas,VR4,and others.

I will not state that what I use now are better than what I have owned in the past, but I will say they give me more pleasure.

But the sound quality now is not what I got when I purchased them.

I had to do some upgrading parts wise to the servo amps and to improving the quality of the power going into the speakers.

I've found that using the upgraded components from Furtech has been money well spent and the replacement parts were well worth the extra cash and effort .

The panels are still the same ones from the 1970's.All I've done to them was to clean them as best I could by hand using Q-tips and some DEoxit, one square at a time.

I have a few friends with the same amp/speaker but with different mods and none of the Furutech replacement parts that I used.

Theirs have sound that I think would convert many a cone man into a panel man.

My more modified Acoustats are another step up in clarity, speed and definition than my friend's since I did the last upgrades.

So while there maybe no need for panels in 2012, I will be using my panels well into the next year and for a few more decades to come.

They have survived for 40 years,and are still able to deliver the goods and reveal upgrades done to them and to the rest of the system.

Panels done right are as relevant today as ever.
But like cones, they aren't all the same.
Ditto...Maggies, Soundlabs, Accoustats... and my favorites : Apogees. All with appropriate power (preferably tubes), quality electronics,and properly fit/set-up per room. Dynamic speakers can't do what they do. Period. Besides, any concession to size requirements is completely forgiven if your primary reason for their existence is what they do so well: lifelike music. My Duetta Sigs are getting buried with me.
Try this test someday. Let someone sit you in a Porsche 911 Turbo with your eyes closed until you're inside. Drive the piss out of it (preferably someplace you can really let her rip). Get out. It will be the most beautiful car you've ever seen when you walk away from it.