Which pair of speakers changed your Hifi life?

*** I am not trying to create a debate or a quarrel with anyone. My discussions are purely having a talks and to express one's experiences. Also to learn fellow audio lovers passion. Please do not disrespect with hurtful words or expressions. Please be more forgiving and understanding in this discussion thread. Thank you." ***

Hopefully one day, someone would say "Mon Acoustic speakers were the turning point in my Hifi life".  😃

My 2ch-audio journey began when my uncle bought his BOSE system at his home (don't even know the model or never really heard it) in early 90s. Bose was rear and expensive in Korea(South) back then. So I started my own system with Bose Cinematics 2.1. Then moved on to Goldenear Triton 3, then to Triton 1. But more utilizing the speakers for AV set ups, not 2 ch stereo.   

When I had my first house, I bought a pair of Revel M105 speakers and I think these are the pair that really changed my audio life. My initial paring with M105 was Yamaha receiver. Then I tried goofie set up with center speaker 3.1 to see if it improves vocal in the songs I liked. We went through many combinations of system set up. I ended up with Chord Electronics set up. 

I still own them. Always struggle time to time, whether to sell them or not due to the number of pairs I own(out of a guilt). I cannot argue how many pairs of shoes my wife owns.  I pair them with NAD M10 (version 1) for my bedroom since my wife likes the warm and well rounded sound, and 80% its white design aspect. 

So what are the speakers that have impacted your life? 



Snell A -II’s in the early 80’s for their deep, tight bass & full sound like few others back then. My brother’s Proac EBS’s around the same time for their great midrange  & 3 dimensional imaging w/ Conrad Johnson tubes. Finally, my Volti Audio Rivals now for truly live sound that bests most concerts I’ve been to other than the Boston Symphony in Symphony Hall. 

I have loved speaker every since my father helped me up grade my sunperman turn table by adding an extra speaker to it when I was about 6. The first was a pair of EPI that my uncle gave to me. This was the mix 80’s. I had to replace the woofers because of dry route. But they sounded incredible. They were warm with solid bass. I didn’t know what I had.  The other that changed me were a pair of energy speakers a friend had. This was back in 1991. It was a small pair of satellites hooked up to a small integrated amp. No sub. They did not do everything, but what they did do they did well. They imaged like nothing I had heard before.  I had a pair of self made speakers at the time ( I had been and still like to build speakers). They sent me on a quest to build or buy a different type of speaker. Before I focus on speakers that did everything but not necessarily right. To one’s that did what they could right. They also was the state of me learning about real hiring. What proper placement and setup could do for an ok pair of speakers. Also rom treatment, etc. I think I have come full circle and realize that there is not a perfect speaker. So I kinder love them all differently. I’m trying to break the habit.

For me, it was on a visit to my local audio store that I first heard a pair of ADS L810 speakers back in the 1980's. The music was clear and precise, with a sound I hadn't heard before. I took them home, tried them out and have been a big ADS fan ever since! I currently own their L1590/2 speakers and am satisfied that this will be my forever speaker!

+1 on the Kef 105’s. Way back in the late 70’s. I worked in a hi fi store to pay for college expenses. One of the guys hooked up a new pair of 105’s, sat me down and said listen to this. He put on “the firebird “ by Stravinsky and wow!!! These speaker’s were the only ones that gave me goosebumps listening to them. Since then I’ve been chasing the rainbow to get the same reaction from a pair of speakers. 
 I have had the privilege of being able to buy a few goodies over the years such as acoustat 1100, Martin Logan (various models), and a few other weird and esoteric brands. Fast forward to earlier this year, looking on Facebook marketplace, lo and behold. A pair of Kef 105/2 for sale at a steal price. Called and talked with the owner and found out he hated them! Didn’t sound like his Maggie’s ( duh). Set up a meet in a parking lot of a hardware store. Driving up I was amazed at the condition of the cabnets, like new. He had both types of dust covers( no rips or tears). Needless to say I kept my mouth shut, paid the man, loaded them up, and home I went. Full well knowing my wife would give me a hard time for buying another pair of speakers. (Side note , I had just bought a pair of Martin Logan’s). Well I deflected all the evil eyed looks, hooked the 105’s and the ml’s up and did a demo for her, not knowing what to expect. After listening to dido, the planets, tony Bennett, and Beethoven’s 5th. Her reaction was priceless. She said, the kefs were amazing!!! Now I have them set up as the speaker of choice for moment. 
  My home is currently under renovation, boxes, furniture, and stuff everywhere. When finished I’m going to hook up all my old guard speakers and do a fair comparison. I know most of you have mega systems that put mine to shame. I should say that this forum has helped me with several questions and thoughts. Thanks for the advice. 
  For now, I’ll sit back and explore my new node streamer and listen to the Kef 105/2. 

Dahlquist DQ-10s and Magnepans opened up my ears to what was possible for the first time in the late 70s. (Enjoyed ML SL3s for 16 years.)

The Raidho D2s by Mike Borresen took my listening to another level, revealing musical information on CDs I'd owned 20 years and that my Dynaudio Sapphires could not pull out. (Of course hearing mega-buck world class systems at shows is a hoot as well.)

Dynaudio Audience 82. First time I ever truly experienced and then understood the term "disappear" when describing speakers. I remember the very first time I sat down for a critical listen after bringing them home and waiting about a week for them to break in...Just simply awestruck. I'll never forget that moment...

ESS AMT-1 with Heil Air Motion Transformer...my brother bought a pair in the late ‘70’s and I was absolutely mesmerized with his music.  I had no idea stereo music could sound so real...I inherited them and need to pull them out of storage, repair the woofer foam and see how they hold up today🤔

Amazing how many answers were about planar speakers. They never sounded musical to me, kind of tinny.

klipschorns with McIntosh amps, and Bose 901’s, woke me up to high end, around 1970. 

i’s a pair of Phase Linear speakers from c. 1980 I miss the most, though.  They were stolen, along with everything else. 

Quad ESL 57! I got my first pair in the late 80s and foolishly sold them in the 90s. Bought my second pair in the early 2000s and sold them about 7 years ago. Again, this was a mistake (I will never learn). For all the things the old Quad do wrong, like play real loud and that really narrow listening window, the midrange is just perfect and unforgettable once heard. I am about to acquire my third pair of the ESLs and this pair I will never sell. I have learned my lesson, finally. 

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The Quad 57s! Bought my first pair in the late 80s. I remember the dealer, who was also a personal friend, told me that, even if I wanted to try a different speaker, to never sell the Quads. I didn't listen and sold them in the mid-90s. Bought my second pair the early 2000 and kept them for about 10 years. For me, the big problem with the Quads was the very narrow listening window - Quads are not a social speaker - and I like listening to music with friends. However, the Covid pandemic has put an end to group listening, at least for the foreseeable future. So, I will be purchasing my 3rd pair of the 57s and this time I will heed that early advice and never sell them.  

For me, it’s Usher. I heard a demo of the BE-718 years ago and was mightily impressed. I bought a pair, and have since gone upward in their line. From Mini One Diamond to Mini Two Diamond.

I am yet another who joyfully lived with Quad 57s for 10 years in the ‘90s.

And sold them to get dynamics, bass and treble. I had also taken off the screens and was tired of the look. And always missed them.

Now, when an Electrostatic Solutions rebuilt pair came up for sale, I snatched them up. There is no question that they are far from perfect. And that their presentation is very unique and different. I have great dynamic speakers from which I have moved.

And yesterday, I heard a friend’s fantastic dynamic speaker based system.

That system is among the best aI have heard. But my former speakers, my friend’s, and all dynamic speakers I have heard, present the music “at you”. The 57s pull you in. Because the midrange is so “right”, there is more of an emotional connection. Granted, they take getting used to. But when you do, they are addictive. And it has been said correctly, that with the right music, there is nothing better.

While I didn't own the following speakers mentioned, they had a lasting impact on me:

Yamaha FX-3. Heard them at a local dealer in 1980 with my brother and father playing the then recently released Pink Floyd double LP 'The Wall' - "Another Brick In The Wall, Part II." I was 8 years old, and at the time already being very interested in sound reproduction they blew my mind. 

Some 4-5 years later, Snell AII's. My first acquaintance with a stage, coherency and timbre of this kind. Lovely speakers. The later AIIIi's were less convincing to my ears. 

Around '90/'91 I heard a pair of JBL K2 S9500, and was astounded by their explosive dynamics and clean, visceral presentation. I was already quite familiar with the sound of larger JBL models like 250Ti, 4430, 4435 and Everest DD55000, but this was something altogether different. To date the most dynamic JBL domestic line speaker I've heard (incl. the Everest DD67000), no doubt aided by the crazy powerful 1400ND (first neodymium magnet) woofers, Bessel tuned. 

S.P. Technology Revelation + dual EV TL880D subs, some 10 years ago. The interesting takeaway auditioning this speaker setup was that I heard the transformation from their original passive configuration to a fully active ditto, which convinced me of the natural attributes of going active and that it was even possible this way

That effectively settled my audio path going forward some years later pursuing active configuration myself, though "married" with a different approach in speakers more in line with and inspired by the K2 S9500's mentioned earlier, which is to say large, dual pro style woofer/mids and compression driver/even large horn as a 2-way main speaker setup, augmented with a pair of tapped horn subs. 

In my 58 years, I have owned about 20 pairs of speakers. The only ones that were purchased brand new were the Sony SS-CS5 bookshelf and the tower version the SS-CS3. So yeah, nothing to write home about budget speakers. Good for the price and for what they are. As far as used ones, they have all been of a wide variety but always floor standers. A couple years ago I scored an almost mint pair of ESS AMT 1B’s at an estate sale for $60.00. All they needed was a refoam on the woofers and new passive radiators. That Heil tweeter was outstanding. I sold them locally for $700.00. Not long after that, I bought a new pair of Tekton Enzo XL’s. I simply loved them. If I could go back in time I would have bought the Double Impact or even Moab and likely would have been done playing speaker buying and guessing games.       BUT WAIT! While walking through my local Salvation Army store, I eyed a unique looking pair of high gloss black speakers in the furniture department. I Googled them and nothing really came up on them (to the best of my recollection). I had never heard of the brand before, but just judging by the cabinet finish and the typical "knuckle wrap" test, I immediately suspected that I stumbled on a really decent, older pair of large speakers. They both had a price tag on them. $250.00 each. I asked the cashier if they were really $250.00 each and not for the pair because nobody is going to just buy one. Nope, they were $500.00 for the pair. I walked around the store for a bit weighing in on the WAF and decided that I was going to do it. That’s a lot of money for a Salvation Army item, but darn it, they had such a nice finish and a serious looking 12 inch woofer. Well to my ears, these speakers ended up sounding every bit as good as the Enzo’s and were a quarter of the cost. I still have them after 3 or so years and I will never sell them. They are Amrita Audio Reference Standard speakers. It turns out that they have a 13 inch woofer with cast aluminum frames, dual 6.5 inch Dynaudio midranges in their own sealed enclosure within the box, and Vifa aluminum dome tweeters. I believe the efficiency is 92db and they are 6ohm. The gorgeous gloss black MDF cabinets are about 49 inches tall, 14 inches wide and 16 inches deep (all approximate). I believe they were manufactured in 1992 and sold for $3500.00. For the pair, not each LOL. I’m not sure what they weigh, but they are stout for sure. The bass is certainly adequate and the midrange is very detailed and forward. Pretty cool that these were not produced in very high volumes. I still don’t see any for sale anywhere and I look fairly often. I would love to be able to A/B compare them to the Double Impact speakers. My inquiring mind is really curious if they are close in sound signature.

My fathers Quad 57's which got me into audio in the first place

Proac EBS studios - purchased in 1982 - which had ATC midrange drivers. Just sold them last year to get current ATC gear.

Snell 2c mk2 with Adcom electronics Woo really missed them when I switched to canton 9K monitors and Technics Integrated sug 700, that is until I added a SVS SB1000 pro sub. Forgetaboutit this system crushes the Snells in all respects.

I might also add the tech support at SVS is freaking outstanding! Technics support on the other hand absolutely sucks. No sucks is too kind it is nonexistent! Seriously stay away from that company if anything goes wrong with their product you are alone, buyer beware. They do not have working phone numbers, texts and emails go unanswered. Panasonic the parent company is up to something. Lucky the amp works fine but man what a crap company avoids them like COVID 19, no make that Ebola.

Great post, thanks.
Martin Logan Monolith IIIx (with the active crossover).

Ironically, I never really got them to work in my room! They're gigantic! Bass integration, beaming, room bounderies...

But what they did right was startling and mesmerizing. And it started my journey into audiophilia nervosa (which may not have been such a good thing). But I believe I found my forever love: Vandersteen 5s. Fussy, but not recalcitrant like the MLs.

I learned that what you admire, and what you can get to work, are not always the same thing, and that the biggest component in your system is your room. And that anyone telling you that your thing is mid-fi and their thing is better, well, it's nonsense unless they've heard your system in situ.

Fun reading all the answers! What a wonderfully odd hobby we have.


When I was 16, around 1969, went with a friend to the house of an acoustics professor/in-home audio dealer and heard a pair of Klipshorns paired with a mono center Belle Klipsch.

I was in awe & bitten....own a pair of K-horns today.

Technical note: He was a Crown dealer and for EACH corner horn used a bridged DC-300 for the woofer, a DC-120 for the mid, and a DC-60 for the tweeter. Overkill, but in his acoustically designed room it was a life changer listening to Sticky Fingers.




Altec Valencia (VOTT). It wasn't  audiophile or accurate, but boy was it fun! Wish I still had 'em.

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Pioneer HPM60, when I was a teenager, but they weren't mine. The ones that I owned long after that did it, they were A/D/S  L1530.

For me, it was the KEF Q75. I bought them off Craigslist for $100 years ago and it was my first gateway. I wouldn’t call them special but they led me to get into the hobby and end up where I am now.

im in love with the Raven Corvus Monitors. Paired with 2 subs all I need is good sounding music to fit my house. Isn't that all we look to gain in the end?

My first were a pair of Mirage M1s that I bought second hand at an audio store. Loved them for several years and battled with what amp and front-end to drive them. Very rewarding with good equipment. 

I’m the early 80’s bought a pair of Spica TC-50s.  First time I really heard imaging.  I’ve since moved on to many different speakers but still remember the TC-50s,   Currently own Joseph Audio Perspectives.  

As a teenager in the 70’s a friend’s Dad had a pair of Klipch LaScalas...I was floored, or more like the old advertisement of the guy sitting in a big chair with sunglasses on, in front of a pair of speakers, and getting his long hair blown back. It took 25 years, but I did get a pair in 2001, and Khorns, Hersey II's, etc. Now being older, I've grown away from horns, and love the addition of my Monitor Audio Platinum PL300ii's.

A pair of AR3a's in a dorm mate's room.  I never owned them, but I listened to his system and they were amazing to me.  I realized what I was missing from my cheap 3-piece Fisher system's speakers.  Made me realize I needed to go on the upgrade path.

@tsacremento Wow, I think it sums up your audio life nicely. I envy you in a sense that you know what you want clearly. I like many different speakers depending on the music I like. I personally think that I have many years to get acquanted with different speakers and get to know my own taste little better. 104.2 speakers are fantastic. I don't know why, but even the design is somewhat striking to me. 


@tylermunns Usher is a brand that gives sonic satisfaction to many audio listeners for sure. 

@tweak1 What do you mean by a needle firmly inserted into your arm? Are you on a medical condition? The way you describe your sonic satisfaction visualizes your audio space to me. Who can resist that tube light when you listen to a good music? Not sure about the knock off cable, but as long as it is safe and gives you what you need. Your set up sounds legit. I think you need to recommend me some of the music you listen to. I want that experience myself.

The ones I built from scratch....Layette Tri-Axial 12lb magnet... cross overs wired by hand in HS electronic shop...cabinets in wood shop....put a bug in me that has been driven for almost 50 years 

Radio Shack "Realistic" Optimus 10’s....man those things sounded great....one of my first real hifi Loudspeakers.



The Optimus 10’s were my first “proper” speakers. 

Have zero recollection of their sound. But I sure did play them loud, much louder than I should have I suspect.

The first speakers that had my jaw hit the floor were the Wilson Grand Slams. This would have been one of the first versions of this speaker as it was a long time ago.

Was “window shopping” in a high end store, and it was a slow day there. A sales person knew that I was not in a position to buy such a pair of speakers, but I guess he understood my excitement for audio gear and took me into the listening room so I could listen to them. They were powered by some giant Krell. I was blown away by what I heard.

Most recently, the ESL-57’s I picked up for a comparative steal  in 2021. They are everything written about them, both positive as well as their shortcomings. With the exception that I do not find them lacking in bass. Granted, I am not a bass head, and listen to them in a small room. 

I look forward to hearing the next speakers that move me.


Magnapan mmg.

I had my system in my treated and dedicated room. Using heavy modified speakers with ALL better parts custom made point to point mounted and so on.


I got the tip that if you buy a second pair HiFi Speakers then it is a good idea that they are if a different type then the ones I currently have.


The idea is that the sound difference might be a greater contrast. Than just buying yet another "box" speaker that is same same but different..


In came dipole magnapan mmg second hand that were ~40 years old (uncommon speaker in my part of the world)


I put them up it took me less than a song and I just go "Wow i thought that I HAD HiFi but those magnapan showed me that it were not the case. (The box speaker went into the closet and yes I have two OB 18" for bottom end in the system).

Falcon LS3 and harbeth 30.1 opened my eyes but only my current tannoy ardens made me go wow and that has been 4 years without any niggle or doubt raised. Heard some klipschorn in a posh funk club that made me smile a lot too....


LOL, the needle in my arm was referencing our audio addiction, which Ive had since the mid 60s! The glowing tubes I mentioned were cherry(scary) red as in something upstream was over heating them

I think I neglected to mention Mad Scientist Audio’s Graphene Enhanced Contact treatment. A 2 ounce bottle is only $75. First clean all your contacts with 90% isoprophyl, then apply according to directions


As to the Nordost cables on Ali Express, they offer Free returns. TRY THEM


My musical tastes are all over the map, except for cRAP


Bose 901 Series 1 & 2 only !

And now Klipsch Cornwall IV's & a Heresy IV using the 901's for Surround duty. Now I need to buy back a used PS Audio DirectStream DAC Sr. because I sold mine in order to put a down payment on the gently used Cornwall's.

So many records that were just OK on the big boxes are lovely on the Quad 57s!



Boston Acoustic




Monitor Audio





For better or for worse, all of the above speakers changed my hifi life.


Magnepan. Ruined me but in a good way. Changed my view of what real hifi should sound like. First time I ever heard a piano reproduced well.

I think this might be the least useful of all the advice here...

The first "revelation" speakers for me were my Voigt pipes. (I built them based on Derek Walton's Voigt pipes.) Used them for two decades until the surround gave up. (Cloth surround.) These are so-called "Full range" speakers with a single driver (Fostex FE-204) that in my application (system & room) gave a 30Hz-18kHz response. While that seems as a joke to many, what is no half joke is the integrity of the sound you get from a crossoverless loudspeaker. Coupled with a Darling amplifier, I had as much joy with it as humanly possible. It took me from the slicing sausages attitude of gear comparison to embracing music into my heart and soul, and the night turned  into sceances instead of the love/hate listening sessions we are used to.

Second paradigm shift: the Voice of Lancelot speakers (which are my creation), which despite two way have the purity and serenity of single driver speakers - with deep bass (and infrasonic bass) added to the mix along with the ability to play so loud to put the fear of death in me (and that volume without listening fatigue). These two have opened up an entirely different range of experiences.... it needs not play loud, I usually listen moderate / quiet, but can cover all the experience ranges when that's what I'm looking for....



Rogers Sound Lab 3600 Studio Monitors built to compete at the time with JBL 100s. Everyone that heard then in a comparison with the JBLs bought the Rogers which were offered at a slight price advantage. It led me to realize how good a system I had and gave me the motivation to start taking it further. Still have them set up in my sound lab as a speaker to evaluate various pieces I pick up here and there. Extremely accurate with a natural sound quality. Still handles solo piano and challenging classical and jazz pieces beautifully.

Vimberg Mino D - just purchased my first high-end speaker which was the AXPONA 2022 demo.  

Fortunately for me i was bread into the audio world at 8 years old being a son of single dad. In 1982 my dad bought the Ohm Walsh 2's, a Nakimichi tape deck and a pair of Carver Ma500 cube amps..and the Walsh 2's hooked me from there. And then we had a good friend that owned a Hiend Audio Store that carried B&W, Thiel, Linn, Magnapan, Martin Logan, Infinity, Acoustic Energy, Castle and Ariel Acoustics.

  All great speakers but my Favorites that i logged 100s of hours on the Aerial 7b the midbass speed on this speaker was incredible, the B&W Nautilus 805 the way they just disapeared into the room was unreal. The Infinity Overture 1 just a incredible all around speaker and quite the Bargain for the Class that it was playing in. But my Ultimate at that time the Aerial 10t it was ugly but it quite simply the best speaker i had heard and still 1 of the best to this day.

 Being young and broke the first great speaker i owned was the Paradigm Atom V2 just loved them...but then i got the bug pretty Fast and bought the Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 the first budget speaker to use Kevlar driversmost and they changed the way i listened to music it was different having that ear education at home i still own them till this day. And finally the speaker i bought showed me what i value most in a speaker... The Totem Arro they showed me what tone and Elite Soundstaging and imaging was...till this day they are still 1 of the very best in Soundstaging and Imaging i've heard..


quad esl63 (on arcici's) - taught me what transparency and purity means in this pursuit

In 1981 I gave my 3-way Jensons to a girlfriend and bought Maggie SMG's and a Nakamichi 530 to drive them. They were the most natural sounding speakers I'd ever heard and kept me happy for ten years...until I built a house with a very large livingroom that really exposed how directional they were and how bad the old stands that made them point up were.

I tried a few box speakers and went back to Maggie SMMG's and eventually 1.6's.. the vertical stands and quasi-ribbon tweeters overcame the SMG's flaws, and then some.

Now, retiring and downsizing, the Maggies are gone, and some Kef R300's are working out nicely.

Dumped my Seas Thors MTM for dual Full Range a  8 inch + 6 inch DavidLouis wood cone, clone of Voxativ.. Would not ever EVER consider going back to any/every woofer/tweeter thing. Been there DONE THAT. 

Full range for me is top of Mount Everest, The Pinnacle. 

Woofers/tweerrs fell off the cliff laying below in a  pile of broken pieces.

Poor Seas, poor Sacnspeak, what lousey fidelity with crappy sensitivity. 

Nice Day