Top down or bottom up? Just asking...


This is a purely theoretical question that I’m tossing out just to learn what folks might say.

Consider, say, Magico and Wilson Audio. Their top speakers are in 6 figures, but their ‘bottom’ ones go as low as 10k. Consider, say, Monitor Audio and Paradigm. Their bottom is very low 4 figures or lower; their top in the low 30s.

Now, wouldn’t it stand to reason that other things being equal a 20-30k speaker from Wilson or Magico would be better than the same from the other firms? The upper firms have all that top level technology to scale down, while MA and Para would be at the top of their game in the 20-30 range.

Obviously, there are other issues—personal taste being the most important. And room size and other components.

But ‘all things being equal’ isn’t the answer clear? What am I missing?

P.s. I am a very happy owner of MA PL100II, which I got half price used here at less than a year old. And of B and W CM9 I got 10 years ago. I’m just wondering…


128x128rsgottlieb
If you want the best lowest priced speaker of a high3nd brand I say look no further than the Rockport Atria II. It is the entry speaker into rockport but does not sound like an entry speaker. IMO it beats speakers from both wilson and magico in its price range. I would take the Atria ove lr a pair of S3MKII or Yevette. Add a pair of great subs that would put it in line price wise with a sasha daw and it will keep up with it as well.

The great thing about Rockport is that as you go up the line you just get more of the family sound. 
Best damn room I ever had was in the cheapest room in a cheap hotel.

I was caught at night in a Nevada sand storm, barely able to see the hotel's neon sign from the road. They were full, but they put us up in the lobby. Under the circumstances, best room in the state.

To the OP's point - most speakers can be dramatically improved by substituting higher quality but similar components. Almost always the crossovers can be enormously improved for a couple of thousand, for a sonic improvement that is not subtle. In ESL's the power supply matters quite a lot. And the big Magnepans can hardly be bettered at any price, but change the crossovers and you have a world beater.

I use a swarm of modified ESL's, and that's perfect for my tastes. 

I doubt if a lower priced exotic could be upgraded to the same extent. 
So I say keep your lower priced exotics and instead, do a DIY upgrade of a very fine product to a great one.
terry9,

"...they put us up in the lobby"

You might have gotten the biggest room in the house. Under the circumstances, Versailles would not have been a match.
Actually that's not true the reason why monitor audio speakers aren't as expensive as magico and Wilson is because they are manufactured in China but if you look at the white paper and see their driver technology in the platinum line it's far ahead of anything that Magico and Wilson make at 80 to 100,000. I've heard the platinum 500 G2 and a $30,000 they're just as good or better than anything that Magico and Wilson make at 80 to 100,000, and that AMT tweeter is much better than that beryllium tweeter that Magico uses.And remember how much more expensive the labor rate is in the United States than it is in China. So the better value is monitor audio because their speakers are just as good in the high-end for one quarter of the price. And they sure do look a lot better than the ugly metal boxes that Magico make.
Here's another thing to consider monitor audio has two anachoic chambers, one in England one in China those cost a million dollars each to build. Magico doesn't even have one in their factory in the United States. I compared the a3 to the platinum 200 G2 and the platinum was much warmer and more natural and real sounding that's why I bought them. And they were $1,000 less than the ugly Magico metal boxes. And I got them in a beautiful Rosewood finish. Monitor audio has a team of 20 engineers working on their speaker designs. I don't dislike Magico, but for the money monitor audio trounces them in looks and sound.