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? 



No one brand in particular but I would say active speakers in general, particularly with DSP controlled active crossovers. I still listen to passive speakers but they are a poor imitation. 

I've always been anti horn,. not because I'd heard them but because I took the word of others that I thought were in the know.  We moved to a new house with a big room to fill.  I tried several types of speakers in the room and they sounded underwhelming.even with 300 watts.  I really liked tubes and had purchased a SET amp that sat in the box unopened for over a year.  I came across a deal on some Speaker Lab corner horns that was too good to pass up. 2 watts with those horns sound  glorious. There are several manufactures whe make upgrades switching out the horns and crossovers and these boxes would be perfect for that  but it's not the priority I thought it was going to be when I bought them. These speakers took everything I thought I knew and changed my perspective.  

Yamaha NS1000M, what an amazing revelation they were nearly 45 years ago. They looked and sounded stunning to me. OK, I have a pair of Magico A5 speakers now that I am very happy with, but, still miss the Yamaha’s.

Apogee Duetta II.  I can't go back to boxed speakers.  I still have them but one woofer panel is blown.  Got a pair of Maggies to replace them until I can maybe get them repaired


Magnepan IIB's gave me a glimpse of what was possible.

Been on the rollercoaster ever since.

They all have. Every speaker I’ve owned, auditioned, listened to...has helped me learn, grow and understand better. The (my) future trajectory remains open ended and exciting.

The Acoustat X with integrated tube amplifiers. 

The sound was amazing. I eventually tired of the very small (head in vise) listening window. The realistic transients, sound stage, etc. allowed me to understand why people pursue this hobby

I went from Vandersteen 2ce’s for many years of pleasurable listening to my current Spatial M3 Sapphires. Oh what I was missing!

B&W DM1800.  First quality speakers I ever had.  Kept them for a long time.  This was back when B&W still made speakers that sounded "just right".  I also had the integrated, sand-filled stands.

It was early  pat of 1980 and the KEF105.2's. Still wished that I had kept them.

On a whim, I purchased a pair of brand new Dali Oberon 3 from my local Amazon because it was discounted half price and paired it up to a cheap Sabaj amp. I was using a Sonos Playbase for music and movies, thought it was pretty good. But the Dali Oberon 3 made me realize how enjoyable listening to music can be. It was miles better than the Sonos and down the rabbit hole I went. They were gone and I am using a much better (and expensive) setup, but I would forever remember them. 

When I was a kid, I heard the large Klipsch corner horn (mono) system playing Marche Slave....that made me an Audiophile....the goosebumps are still there.

Mirage M5si.   These were leaps and bounds superior to anything I had prior.   I switched over to hybrid tube power which proved a great combo with these speakers.   

For me it was the discovery of planar speakers in the middle 70's.  First it was a pair of Magnaplanars..   Wow.  I was completely blown away.  once I got them set up for my room (placement and toe in).. the imaging and scale of the presentation both left to right and top to bottom,... wow.  

Maggies were the best I could afford for most of my adult life.  paired with reasonable priced electronics (lower end models of high end brands).  Then about 15 years ago I got into tubes, primarily triode designs.... and got my hands on modern Quads.  The Quad 2805 ESL speakers.  Another huuuuuge wow.  Of course it was not only the Quads.  I had gone from a total system cost of about 10-12k including everything to a system cost of about 80k,  Shindo Monbrison Pre (later upgraded to Shindo Masseto Pre), Air Tight ATM-3 mono blocs..   great turntable.  Wavelength Audio Tube DAC.. . Crimson model with the upgraded silver wiring and silver transformers.... top end end all DAC.  

But I gotta say, those Quad 2805s properly positioned in the room, driven by great electronics took my audio to an entirely new and better level.  

Had to sell most of it a few years ago due to a 'situation' our family had to deal with.  now working to rebuild a similar system over the next couple years.

So, my answer: QUAD ESL's considered by many to be 'the best' or 'one of the best speakers ever'.  .... 

I also listened to a great pair of original Quad 57's ESL's with a low power amp in a near field position.. sublime.

So again.. the QUAD ESL is the speaker that really did it for me.

Sound Lab Millennium 1, a large full-range electrostatic.  I bought the first pair in 1999, unseen and unheard, and they impressed me so much that I changed careers (taking a big pay cut) and became a high-end audio dealer.  

The first time I heard Classic Audio loudspeakers was also transformational, as they started me on the path to becoming a hybrid horn loudspeaker manufacturer. 


A long time ago. They were Dunlavy SC4 set up well in a store. I then experienced not "you are there", "they are here" as it sounded like the performer was in the room.

My first pair of Maggies in the late 70s opened my eyes (and ears) to the open, spacious sound of dipoles with excellent sound stage and detail.  I've owned several pair over the years, but often alternated with dynamic box speakers to get more "slam". 

More recently, I built a set of GR-Research NX-Oticas which really opened my eyes to what open baffle had to offer. Finally, I have a speaker system with the dynamics and slam I crave from the best box speakers I've owned, with the open, airy sound stage and great imaging of dipoles. 

Quad 57's! Bought the first pair in 1981. Stupidly sold them in 2000. Several years ago I bought two pairs of 57's. A classic design that still sounds better than most any box speaker!

Don't laugh, but it was Klipsch RF7 II speakers that got me.  Up until that time I had been focused mainly on home theater surround sound with music listening a lesser priority.  I heard the Klipsch speakers at a dealer in a really nice room and was amazed at how good they sounded and how much bass they had.  That started me down the rabbit hole.  I still have a mixed 2 channel / home theater system for my main system, but the emphasis is definitely now on the 2 channel performance.

I never owned them, but when I was 20 I visited my older cousin in Northampton, MA and he had very very large Maggies. I don't know the model. Let's just say there's the period in your life before you lose your virginity and the period afterwards, and there's one individual who conveys you through that threshold.

@djones51 I love active speakers as well. My first impressive active speakers were Bose computer speakers, which I thought they were great for the price back then. Now after experiencing Goldenear Triton series and KEF LS series, it's hard not to disagree. But I still believe there is a joy of finding great matching components in passive market. Recently one of my friend suggested DSP in our listening room and we will explore that opportunity as well. 

@mgattmch I had to look up and it shows from 1977 since it redates my birth. What a great era to be in analog audio. Yamaha has had great philosophy in their product development and their quality until now. Even in AV receiver market, one of my favorite brands.

@danager I totally get you. I had my doubts base on my prejudices or my own scientific knowledge which I thought was a common sense knowledge. Audio proved me wrong many times until I experience it myself. 

@vinylzone Apogee Duetta 2 are luxury speakers I have only heard from my senior audio lovers. I don't think I have heard anyone owned them in Korea. What made them special to you? 


@tsacremento Tell me more of your story, please. KEF 104.2 caught my attention long time ago due to its weird design(to my taste), but such great reviews made me curious about them. 


@mckinneymike KEF 105.2! This model is my current R&D inspiration with our existing product models for the US market. Not sure if Jun(Mon Acoustic founder and a designer) would go for it yet. 


@david_ten Oh come on, you need to tell me a story with at least one of your favorite speakers. You must have a story with one of them. Don't be shy.


@stringreen We had some visitors at AXPONA 2022 gave us some feedbacks like your experience. Giving goosebumps. Any feedback like this can make the designer dance. Jun danced to it. I am sure Klipsch team would be happy to hear your experience. 

@pdspecl Sorry, I am not familiar with the model and the brand. But what were the previous speakers you had and gave you the leaping experience? Just so I can understand. 

@sailboat Quad ESL, never had the pleasure yet. But now I want to after reading what you have described!!! 

@koestner Those are tall speakers. Do you remember what you were listening to at the time? 

@jaytor I think most of the regular people who are used to TV speakers, would have out of world sound experience when they hear dipoles sound for the first time. Which, these days, SVS does extremely well at an affordable price range in my opinion. 


I listened to Apogee Duetta Signature II’s for 34 years. Cost me $3900 Then, I had them completely rebuilt by Rich Murray (True Sound Works) 4 years ago and drive them with a Pass Labs X350.8 and PS Audio BHK Pre. Rich worked a miracle and made those Apogees so much better in all ways that we ribbon speaker aficionados love….even some low end punch.

Two weeks ago, I received my pair of the brand new Aspen FR30’s by PS Audio. I ordered in the second tranche last December.  PS Audio offers a 30 trial. Well, I have found my forever speakers. Amazing frequency response, bass punch, sound stage and a Apogee-like wall of sound! 

To be fair, the FR30’s are a bit more than 2X the original purchase plus Rich’s rebuild investment I made in my Apogees. One never knows ;-)

A pair of Fisher 101 bookshelf speakers I bought in 1972. Combined with a Fisher 222 Studio Standard receiver and  Dual 1225 turntable. As I recall, the local dealer had a special where you bought one speaker for $99 and the other was a penny. This was when vinyl was still “in” before it went “out” and came back “in”. Used those speakers all the way through college and a bunch of years thereafter.

Lafayette Criterion 3003 Hell Speakers. Had the LR9090 System, was my first major electronic purchase. 1979 around $1000 buck's for the entire system. 

A pair of B&W805s sitting on top of a pair of B&W800ASW subs.  Changed my audio journey trajectory. 

It was 1983 when I purchased a new pair of JBL 4430 monitors. I hooked them up to my Luxman B-12 mono block amps and Luxman CL-32 preamp and WOW! All the lies about horn speakers not imaging and not being high fidelity soon disappeared. My previous speakers were JBL L65 and JBL 4315 monitors. I currently own JBL 4435’s. 😎


Goldenear Triton’s with those class D subs built in opened my eyes to this to this rabbit hole filled hobby after a 30 year sabbatical…they keep getting better with each component upgrade and tweak. Can only imagine what the GE Ref’s sound like…just getting started 🤔😳

Guy owed me money for carpentry work when I was 20. He paid with with some kef 104/2. That started it for me nearly 34 yrs ago. Too bad I couldn’t afford a proper amp but I loved those speakers. 

Wilson Audio Sabrina . . . After a long hiatus, I made a list of speakers I wanted to hear. Sabrina was not on the list. I traveled to Chicago, because many of the speakers could be found there. Visiting a shop to hear Focal, I asked to hear the Sabrina. Even though they are/were Wilson’s entry level floorstanding, their house sound was mesmerizing to me. Driving away, I realized they were being driven by $100K+ in gear. I called the next day, to ask to audition them with more realistic components. They still sounded incredible. That was 2018. 


Focal Aria 906s —not because they are super special speakers; they are not. But they are good speakers. They let me try amps, preamps, integrated amps; I heard the differences. When I settled on my amp and preamp, I could see that maybe other speakers would be better in some ways, but I reached the point at which I can concentrate on the music, getting more than enough of its sounds from my system. Sometimes I remind myself that if I were in a concert hall or a night club, there would be hall noises and my good or bad luck with the seating.


When I was 18, I took all my money that I made selling weed and bought a pair of ESS Amt 1B’s. The world opened up for me.


Not a pair, but a tube based mono setup sporting a Klipsch corner horn (around 1959/1960).

Music floating in the rather large room that sounded realistic.



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IMF Studio transmission line speakers. Not only were they a step up from my original AR2a(modded to the x version) but because of them I got to know the man they were named for, Bud Fried and we became life long pals and later through him I got to know Gordon Holt the founder of Stereophile and the current style of reviewing.

Magnaplanar 1C(s) were my first really serious set of speakers. Iterations later it was the Infinity RS-1B(s) and finally the Dunlavy speaker line. I am doubtful that I will ever replace what I have now, given that I am more than 'satisfied' with the performance.

Infinity RS II-a. Bought them at Lyric in NYC ca 1980-82 new and kept them for 15 years. Equally enjoyable the B&W 801 S3 Matrix, which is still in action.

Here is an infinity RS-II A for sale (not affiliated) that came up while looking for a picture.


Horns Mummy by Autotech, followed by Horns Atmosphere MK2.  Similar to Danager, I didn't realize the potential of horns (when done right).  With the Mummy's, I learned what a large soundstage is all about, along with HF clarity, clean bass, speed, etc.  With the Atmosphere, I realized how soft and detailed horns can really be, albeit for a smaller space.  Previously, I had HPM-100, Pioneer (Andrew Jones), various Klipsch models, Definitive Technology, Elac, and Sonus Faber.

Like others here, Apogees .. in my case Slant 6's.  Was working in LA for a few weeks in th early 80's and went into a hifi shop, was a pair of 8's being played, blew me away on how good they sounded  Couldn't afford them but they had 6's which were also awesome, so accurate and fast, and I duly brought a pair and shipped them back to Australia.  Added a pair of Class A Sugden C51/P51 and they changed my world for ever until eventually the 6's ribbons went. After a decade in my garage I found a brilliant guy who makes them in Australia so had new ribbons fitted and the bass speakers reconed, magnificent sounding on my bedroom system, 2 years ago I picked up a pair of 8's very cheap. The 8's are on par with my Dynaudio C2 Plats, but not quite with my Harbeth 40.2's.