Looking for the next level in imaging...

I enjoy my system every time I sit down and listen. But as we all do, we get the itch to seek improvement!  I am intrigued by Omnidirectional speakers such as MBL’s, German Physiks etc. and breaking free from the head in a vice sweet spot to get better imaging throughout the room and better the imaging in the sweet spot!  I believe changing the speaker will deliver on this quest!  What speakers would you look at? Or would changing a component yield the result? Has anyone gone from the traditional dispersion speaker to an omnidirectional?

current speakers are Martin Logan Ethos

budget $20-30K...could stretch if something is exceptional


to be honest when I am at a live music event, I don't listen for the sound stage. I believe my eyes 😊

@grislybutter  There is no sound stage at most live concerts.

@patrickdowns  Nice beginning!

I was born in 54. Up till age 4 my dad had to play me records on his Zenith console system. I could not reach the top. I pestered him constantly to play records. On my 4th birthday my parents went out to dinner, I guess, leaving us alone with Mrs. Viles, our elderly babysitter. They came back at something like 11 PM and dropped this large brown cube at my feet in bed. Dad asked me to guess what it was. I do not remember coming up with an answer other than it is a box. I could not think that it would be something so precious as a record player. It was a Zenith portable with the same Cobra  tonearm my dad's big system had except it was black. His was a tan color. At first my father would not let me touch it! I had to get them to put on a record, but now I could easily watch how to do it. So during the daytime, with my dad at work, I grabbed my mother and requested that she watch. I did everything perfectly. It took her another week to talk my dad into letting me use it by myself and away we go. Walk On By was one of my favorites. 

Listen to a lot of systems, listen to live acoustic music. You would be very surprised at what you can do at a relatively low price. Don't guess and lose all your assumptions. Measure. Get a good mike, Earthworks makes the best, and a measurement program. See what your room is doing, where the problems are. This will guide your acoustic management. You have to use your ears to authenticate results and compare with what you've heard on the best systems. How equal are the two channels. Any differences greater than 3 dB are certainly an issue. How committed are you to your speakers? Do you plan on upgrading? If so, don't waste a lot of money on this system. Read the Benchmark Post in Misc Audio. I think this is great advice. Good for them!! You are building a system around speakers dealing with their specific issues over time. This is an evolutionary process. If your speakers are shy in the bass you add subwoofers and a two way crossover. If you are clipping on loud passages you need a bigger amp, and so forth. It has always been a game for me to build a state of the art system without spending stupid money by researching and choosing components carefully. 

I prefer the "without" wavetouch. Sounds like you’ve removed the body and dynamics.


Similarly, in the thread when the option of the cuts includes the original, the MBLs, and the wavetouch, I preferred the original. The MBLs sounded too thin (maybe almost "tinny") and the wavetouch sounded contrived.

Perhaps musicians listen about as well as we would performing.


I wonder if you are thinking about some 19 yr old punk rocker screaming at a bar into a 300 dollar plastic PA kit.

I am not a professional musician (not my livelihood), but, I’ve been known to be strapped to a violin (piano to a lesser extent) since I was single digits old. Are you implying that the average "audiophile" I run into at shows could hear a violin better than me? In fact, I have a few different violins. I could play/record a few different pieces on 2 of them and I can safely say you wouldn’t be able to say which is which. To me, the difference is night and day (must be some kinda voodoo indeed).

I know my place... A friend of mine is a sax guy, who’s been tied to it longer than I have to my instrument. Do I hear it better than he? Absolutely not! Another friend of mine is a Ghanaian musician who only lives a couple of miles from me. I certainly ain’t no expert of him. His way off describing music would sound quite bizarre to some, but, he is also the most golden eared bat I’ve ever known.

When I’ve done blind tests with gear swaps, the "audiophiles" I’ve known have always failed by a mile. I could trick em all day long. 😁 The guys who reliably pass such tests are the musicians I know.

Strange thing is...You seem to be dismissing decades of dedication and pain one may through with an instrument...just like that. Well, frankly, I don’t give a crap..., but, sure, Okie dokie.