Speaker Question...first post on the gon

Hello. I'm wanting to put together a dedicated 2 channel system that is capable of simulating a "live" performance with blues, jazz and rock. With that being said, I value dynamics secondary to soundstage/imaging. I haven't had the opportunity to audition any speakers worth mentioning. Unfortunately, with work and other activities and a lack of dealers in my area, auditioning speakers is not even a viable option so I am hoping to make informed decisions in the used market, and with any luck find what I'm looking for the first go around. Currently the speakers in my hd (a/v?) uh, the room with my tv lol, have been pulling double duty with music. I have a Definitive setup with BP7001SC for L/R and BP3000 center and some smaller Definitive towers for rear. After much work with placement and a pair of Parasound HCA1500's bridged mono to the fronts with a small tube buffer between the amps and an H/K reciever I'm using as a pre/pro, I've managed to achieve pretty decent and dynamic soundstaging with 2 channel, for the types of music I listen to, or a decent improvement at least. I have a Parasound 5250 amp that can handle all 5 channels for movies, so for now I'm wanting to start with the 2 HCA1500's I have which are 630w at 8ohm bridged mono and use these for amplification. What speakers in the used market for $5000 or less, (preferably less :) will give me the bottom octaves at least on par with what I'm used to from my powered towers, tight/snappy midbass and a remaining audio spectrum that is musically dynamic but not fatiguing and with the ability to achieve focal imaging that essentially eliminates the sense of speakers as the source? I'm currently lookin on the gon at a pair of Vandersteen 5's (not 5a...not sure how different) and a pair of Vandersteen Quatros, mostly because I'm fairly confident that they will not disappoint in the lower octaves. Any opinions on these as well as any other speaker recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I will only warn Vandersteen wont play loud so not sure if that is your goal for dynamics. My father has the Quatro wood signature model and they are 90% of a 5A.
It sounds like you know what you want, and that's a good start. Based on your criteria, look for sealed speakers, powered woofer, soft dome tweeters and a 3-way design. All these things are needed for the well defined bass (sealed), good dynamics (powered woofer, 3-way), and non-fatigueing (low THD, flat treble, soft dome) sound you want to hear. For "disappearing speakers" look for wide dispersion and a good polar & power response; this will also reward you with good casual listening outside of the sweet-spot.

Good luck with a "first go around."
If you can stretch your budget, I highly recommend the used pair of Wilson Sophias on the Gon. This recommendation comes with the provision that you have the room and patience to set them up properly. They are not a "plug 'n play" purchase. However, once set up properly in your room, you will experience dynamics and deep bass definition that will be several levels above your current DT setup.

I recently bought a pair of Sophias with the thought that they may be the last pair of speakers I own. Or at the very least, take me through for the next five or so years. And I have a strong feeling that they may do just that. After having owned 25 different speakers in the last 10 years, that's no small feat.

With the specs you are looking at the only speaker I can think of would be Klipch but I am not familiar with their lineup as to which model;I have always liked the cornwalls
and forte's though;you might want to check out their products for yourself.
You might want to also consider dunlavy and merlin;
as these are excellant performers but I don't know about the live performance spec you mention;I had a pair of dunlavy scIII's and always considered them to be one of the best speakers I have owned;Merlins speak for themselves and I have never seen a bad word on any of their products.
First, I'd reconsider that using amps in bridged mode, business.

AS no speakers are in house to fill the bill yet, aim for those which the current power amps can handle readily, and you'll not be over stepping their abilities.

if the speakers you believe you desire now need 600wpc.... think about some other's or thingk about other more capable amps at the same time. Bridging nearly eliminates any headroom on the amp, or diminishes it severely.

$10K + speakers are gonna sound better with something a bit above those Parasound amps... but perhaps swapping out the amps is in the back of your mind now anyhow for some future date.

Blues and rock can produce great dynamic swings as part of the package. It'd be nice to have squeakers which could reproduce them, and a shame if they could not..

Gaining that ease in the reproduction might be better served by adding a tube preamp to an SS amp, rather than seeking out a softer sounding speaker.

That’s a very popular idea BTW.

That way enables you to have your cake and eat it too. Jump, jive and wale when you wish, and kick back when desired.... easy speakers remain easy ALL THE TIME.

As Chas said right off... Vandy's aren't going to play loud, and as subjective as is that word, considerable vol is as much a part of two of the genres you enjoy now.... from time to time. Me too.

to try to emulate 'live', and I emphasize the word 'TRY' squeakers must be capable of recreating those swings in dynamics those genres ordinarily possess in the instruments and emotive vocalizations. Relaxed speakers simply aren't going to provide such impactful occasions.

Several posts here are already are alluding too with their notes on Klipsch and Zu speakers which would also allow you to run those amps unbridged... easily.

High sensitive speakers allow for many choices in amplification ordinarily. I have the occasion to play either all SS, SS + Tubes, or all tube power trains using my speakers. Of them all, I prefer using all tube power and enjoy exactly blues and classic rock, among other genres.

I’d not say my deal is equivalent to ‘live’ as you say you want, but it’s involving, dynamic and can run you out of the room, but is also easy enough to listen to for lengthy sessions… like all night.

Seems to me you’re comparing all to the system on hand and desiring better yet feel only speakers are needed to do it.

Maybe so. I feel there’s more to it though than simply adding expensive speakers. Take a look at Silverline, or PSB., even Legacy or Eggleston… as well as those listed here.

good luck anyway
Another consideration would be Emerald Physics using your amps biamped rather than bridged. They will put out some serious sound pressure.
One of the few speakers I've ever heard that can do dynamics much like the real thing, were the UREI 813 studio monitors. They are big, really ugly and not exactly the most transparent speaker out there. However, they are fairly efficient, play LOUD, are relatively flat in frequency response and can swing dynamics like nothing I've ever heard before. With a good solid-state amp, they go low with the 15" Eminence woofers and the short foam horn tweeter is one of the better ones I've heard.

Again - not everyone's cup of tea - my pair are sitting under the stairs with the Altec 604 tweeter/midrange and Eminence bass drivers safely packed away. I prefer the transparency and vocal realism of my Magnepan 1.6/QRs.
What you want are high-efficiency horns. NOTHING else will deliver dynamics like horns. However, you may need to rethink the amp you have now.
2 Points:
1-The HK is your weak link. Your system can only sound as good as the weakest link.
2-Instead of bridging (great comments above), you can always bi-amp where they remain in stereo mode. Running 630 watts into the klipsch suggestion would be like sitting inside an airplane engine.
Final Note: That's a ton of wattage. Keep db in mind when looking. Very few rated 92db or higher in efficiency will be doubtful with handling 630wpc.
Chadnliz...what do you mean that Vandersteens don't play loudly? Mine get louder than I would want to listen to....and too...in what part of the hall do you usually get tickets? Dynamics in the 1st row are way different than the middle of the hall, or in the back. I like to sit in the middle of the hall, and for that, my Vandersteens are fine. I do suppose, you need a proper amplifier...ie, a good one with adequate muscle.
The poster said he wanted to be able to simulate live rock, while Vandersteen will play loud depending on how loud he is wanting the Vandersteen may or may not be the right speaker. I love Vandersteen String and you know that as well as anyone, hell I even heard your speakers at your home in Jersey but that isnt to say they are right for everyone. Just trying to give the guy lots to think about.
The Vandersteen 5 would in my opinion be an awesome match with its 8 ohm steady impedance and their own self powered bass amps with adjustable room compensation will work great with the Parasounds in Bridged mode.
Because they are High passed .Bi amped this offers superb coherence,dynamics in your room when set up with little effort.
I am sure the well intended folks recommending their favs are not aware that Bridged amps are at their best with a steady 8 ohm load where these others speakers can fall down below 4 and not be at their best in that scenario.
Best Johnnyr
Another high efficiency speaker with great dynamics in your price range are the Daedalus DA-RMA's.
Parasound will tell you (at least this is what they told me) that running those amps in bridged mode is sub-optimal, and that if you want the best full bandwidth performance you should run them un-bridged. They recommend "Single Stereo" which uses only one channel of the amp, and they indicate the power output will increase by ~30% since the PS is only supplying one channel. Depending on your speakers, you could also vertically biamp.

I also agree with the statement that your HK is the weak link. I would take part of the speaker budget (ie $1000) and get a good 2 channel preamp and run it in passthru mode for HT use.
Well even if you run an amp in its stereo mode as John noted its not powering the woofer and has a much easier time playing than many might think so you may not need a boatload of watts due to its easy draw. My father runs a Aesthetix Atlas amp to his Quatro and if its an 8ohm load he is only going 200 watts, it has never even hinted that it was not enough power.
I only cautioned Vandersteen because of a few small words in the original post..."rock at live performance levels" and that could mean 120db to some so if OP will clarify that may clear things up. Vandersteen is an amazing company I champion all the time but not sure its a good speaker for those who want to crank to abusive levels. Its a shame some do want this because its both dangerous and somewhat insane but some do want that so I suggest accordingly.
Wow, awesome replies that definitely give me alot to think about.

Chad, I've been "trolling" around here long enough to know that you love the Vandersteens so I appreciate your candor and honesty with regard to them.

Oj, I totally agree with your comments regarding sealed subs and soft dome tweeters based on my car audio experience.

Shak, I've lusted after Wilsons ever since reading early reviews of the WP5's, but at the time their cost made them seem like speakers only a very rich person could afford and I'm definitely not that person. Now it seems their prices are only average; that is to say that now everyone wants $30,000+ for their best speaker offerings. Don't get me started on that. I appreciate fine craftsmenship and R&D expense as much as anyone, but please. Of course I have never heard 75-200k speakers but they better include a reach around with velvet gloves.

Rock, the Zu Defs have definitely been on my short list. I researched them and have been considering them for a couple of months now.

Rleff, not really a Klipsch fan, so when I tell you all what I wound up doing today, that statement may seem strange.

Deafjim err I mean blind (sorry, couldn't resist)I'm with you on the tubes and plan on trying some with the speakers I bought today. I definitely won't run those amps bridged after what you and Bdgregory had to say. Thanks.

So, in keeping with my impulsive nature, I pulled the trigger today on (drum roll) Tyler Acoustics PD-80's. They popped up on the Gon here and although I had never heard of them they looked like an interesting speaker and after some very brief research (couldn't find much on them, which is a little un-nerving) I called Tyler and after talking about them and getting a feel for Tylers business model and sensing him as a genuine, down to earth audio enthusiast with a particular set of skills, I bought them. That and he said if I didn't like them he would give me my money back so I jumped, after all the water isn't very deep and I have a pretty good feeling that they're gonna do it for me.

The driver compliment per speaker is 2 15" Emminence subs driven by an onboard 500w digital amp. They are ported which seriously concerned me but although I couldn't find much info about them on the Gon or anywhere else for that matter, nothing I did find was negative and one owner review here on the Gon stated that he was concerned that they may be boomy sounding but that they weren't at all boomy but rather were tight and defined with "slam!". The midbass/lower midrange are twin 10" Eminence drivers so I am expecting a very good midbass presentation which would account for the "slam!". From there, a horn takes over, as does my apprehension. I don't really know much about the horn except Ty says it crosses over higher that most horns because he doesn't really like a horn for midrange but I think he said it crosses over at 1800hz, so it will certainly be involved with some of the midrange. Ty claims this horn is smooth sounding and not bright or fatiguing so I'm hopeful but I really don't have any idea what type of image or transparency a properly executed horn is capable of, again I'm hopeful. I do know that I can't really expect any speaker to be perfect in every aspect but if it could reproduce the nuances and impact of a live drum kit better than expected I would REALLY have to dislike the imaging and or vocal presentation to not live with it, at least for awhile. So what is the imaging capability of a properly executed horn

By the way, they are 101db sensitive yet are rated to handle up to 600w so I'm sure lack of loudness won't be a factor. Ty says that they also sound very smooth and balanced at low volume levels. If I like them I'm definitely going to put tube power to them.

So, what do you guys think?
I almost bought a pair of those myself a few years ago but went with VMPS instead, I think you will like them and Ty is an absolute prince in this industry, very kind, very knowledgeable and very approachable. I think you going to have alot of fun with these new speakers but do let us know what you think once you get them. Enjoy my friend!
Congrats! Ty's PDs do look interesting. Please report back on those. Would love to hear them myself one day. Hey, I know, crank them up to 11 and open your windows and perhaps I will ;^}
Sounds like a speaker that fits all your concerns;let us know how they work out;I was wondering how big your room is?
Thanks guys, I will definitely let you know my impressions after I get an ear on them. I'm meeting Ty on Sunday to pick them up. He said he was buying dinner too! Rleff my room is 12x17. I have no concept of how much speaker is to much for a given room size but the sub amps have crossover, level and phase controls as well as a bass boost that can be switched on or off, so I imagine with some setup effort and room treatment if necessary I should be able to get them sounding the way I like on the low end. My only concern is whether the horn will sound smooth and balanced enough for me and be able to seperate the recorded sound elements and place them coherently into a 3 dimensional space. If the sound is just plain in your face, thats not going to work for me. Has anyone heard a horn that can do a respectable job of this? I sure would like to hear that it is at least possible.

Sound mechanic….

Er uh, ‘ynamic’ ….. sorry, it was too easy to pass up.

Definitely congrats. Ty is indeed a superb guy to deal with and he won’t try to over or under sell you. He’s one of the good ones with which to deal.

101 db. Hmmmm. Well you surely will have flexibility now with regard to amps, that’s for sure!

Before leaving to see Ty…
Step 1:
unbridge those amps.
Step 2:
Ensure the vol is turned completely DOWN.

I have no concept of how much speaker is to much for a given room size but the sub amps have crossover, level and phase controls as well as a bass boost that can be switched

Boost? 12 x 17 room?

You are about to find out … Again, do unbridge the amps first… before you unpack them even…. Just to be sure.

Going forward, I’d say you might want to look into obtaining the more Quiet power train devices…. Think truly balanced

Depending on which wall you place them near, 32 watts is going to blow you away!... 130watts should be enough to cause hearing damage at prolonged listening sessions. That is of course if you’re in the same room.

Routinely, under 20 watts could agrevate the neighbors with the windows open..

Consider bass traps as the very next move…. And trating first reflection points as your second move.

It’s to your credit to have come back and given closure to your endeavor here…. Many simply abandon the input they receive.

Any future updates would be super!

Very very good luck. Rock on! You darn should be able to now. Even with Triodes!
Sounddynamic, I know this is an old thread but how did you like your Tylers?? I'm close to pulling the trigger on the update PD-90s myself