High End Audio Brands

jota73

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 19, 2006
301
0
South America
Guys,

Can anyone tell me wich is the best brand on Audio? I own a set of Bose speakers and acoustimas... I remember another brand I saw in a post but forgot its name... "averion....?" dont know... any other that is not bang olufsen??

Thanks
 

jelloyacket

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2007
51
0
Pittsburgh, PA
How high-end do you want? If you want a $16,000 pair of speakers, look at the Revel Ultima Studio. If you want a $20,000 amp to drive them, look at the Mark Levinson No. 33H. A nice $13,500 Conrad-Johnson ACT2 tube preamp would be a proper front end for it. Top it off with a $9000 REL Reference Studio III subwoofer.

If you'd rather not get a second mortgage for the house, take a look at Stereophile and get an idea of what's available. I like MartinLogan speakers, not only do they sound pretty but they look cool, too. M&K makes some very nice speakers, too, suited more toward the home theater folks than the stereo-only crowd. They have great subs, too. For powering it all, Yamaha's higher end equipment is consistently good, too. If you want to make sound come out of your computer, look at Echo Audio's products.

I don't have any of this stuff, though, since I spend all my money on bass guitar gear instead.
 

amd4me

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2006
364
0
I have a set of B&W 800D's and I love them.
They are expensive but not as pricey as some other brands.
 

jelloyacket

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2007
51
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Ha, yeah, I definitely don't have a golden ear. I'm more interested in the music, too. Heck, right now I've only got old Altec ADA885 computer speakers that I've had for 7 years.

Oh yeah, Paradigm has some nice speakers, too.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
The best is highly subjective.

What I use:

Wilson Benesch - speakers
Duevel - speakers
Mark Levinson - Amplifiers
dCS - digital front-end
Combak Reimyo - digital front-end
Shanling - digital front-end
Sennheiser - electrostatic headphones / electrostatic amplifier
etc

Most of it isn't worth it from an audio point of view - I wouldn't dispute it sounds good, but the actual sonic difference between something that's $2K and $20K is minimal. Perhaps I'm not a genuine audiophile but to me it's more worth it as 'exhibitionist functional furniture'.
 

Tucom

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2006
1,194
269
jota73, you're probably thinking of Aperion Audio. Close :p

Here is a list of companies that make excellent audio gear, some of which are internet direct - in most cases you get more for your money.

Will put a * next to subwoofer-only companies.

Crell

Aperion Audio

Velodyne*

Orb Audio

KRK Systems

Klipsch

SVS Sound - originally started out as subwoofer only company.

Dynaudio

Monitor Audio

NHT

Martin Logan

Magnapan

AV123

Infinity

Boston Acoustics

REL*

Paradigm

Definitive Technologies

(again, all from memory :D)

Sunfire*

JL Audio*

elementalDesigns - originally started out as a subwoofer only company.

All these aforementioned companies produce excellent, very high-end audio gear.

Time to do you research :)


Peace
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,635
456
Redondo Beach, California
Most companies make a range og products some good some not. There are a few that are very specialized but any of the companies that produce for the mass market make a range.

I good example is Infinity. They used to be a small company that maed just a few speakers, all high ed. Then they got bought out by a biger company and greatly expaned their product line to include much just "run of the mill" kind of averagesounding stuff.

You say "high end audio" but for what purpose? What exactly are you looking for?
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,770
5
dallas, texas
I love my McIntosh (Not Macintosh) 6100...this is really absurd...there is no "true best"...

If you want "the best" you need to make sure that you have everything up to far: for example...the guy that bought the Shue e5's but is listening to music downloaded off limewire...problematic....
 

CarlsonCustoms

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2007
387
0
"no highs, no lows, must be bose"
I really think its a sad sight when you hear people saying Bose is the end all be all of audio. Some of the best sounding items are items you'd probably never have heard of.
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
"no highs, no lows, must be bose"
I really think its a sad sight when you hear people saying Bose is the end all be all of audio. Some of the best sounding items are items you'd probably never have heard of.
Dunno about that. Most of the Bose stuff I've heard sound perfectly acceptable. They just work, their performance or build quality isn't that hot but the sort of people who buy them aren't going to care too much about that - and they're decor-friendly in an unobtrusive way, as well as usually pretty usable. They're to audio what Apples are to computers.
 

plaidhippo

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2007
89
0
jota73, you're probably thinking of Aperion Audio. Close :p

Here is a list of companies that make excellent audio gear, some of which are internet direct - in most cases you get more for your money.

<snip>
NHT

<snip>
Infinity

Boston Acoustics
I have NHT speakers and absolutely love them. I have had great experiences with Boston Acoustics speakers and I have seen them being sold for very low prices on deal web sites (slick deals dot net). I've heard good things about Infinity in recent years but don't have any personal experience with them. As for amplifiers, I love my Harmonn Kardon amp. I have the lowest end model from several years ago, and it still blows the walls down of my entire house.

And for the person who compared Bose to Apple - for shame!! Apple builds GOOD products which while "expensive", provide a better computing experience for that price. There is nothing about Bose products which makes them superior to any other speakers I've ever heard (and i've heard some ****ty speakers!). The phrase "no highs, no lows, must be bose" is NOT a myth! I'm not an audiophile, but I've heard a lot of speakers and I have never once been pleased, much less impressed by Bose products. Sorry to sound like such a hater, but seriously, for the amount of money one spends on Bose, they can get an entire system for a second room and both will sound better than that single bose system. IMHO, of course. :rolleyes:
 

Sesshi

macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
8,113
1
One Nation Under Gordon
Well - what can I say. It takes experience not to be a fanboy.

I use Bose products here and there and I find them generally acceptable for the environment they're intended to be used in, fuss-free and designed pretty well with their intended use in mind - but if I was being critical, I'd say they were not very well built and far from ideal in terms of absolute performance. Their sales and image is based on heavy - and competent - marketing in the aspirational lifestyle vein. I have exactly the same opinion for Apple products.
 

RaceTripper

macrumors 68030
May 29, 2007
2,703
23
The best way to get a good audio system is to grab a handful of CDs you know and like, stay away from Bose stores, and go to legitimate audio shops and listen. Don't read specs and reviews. They are totally useless, unless — like someone said earlier — you are in to listening to audio systems using music rather than listening to the music itself.

I have a Linn Sondek, Arcam electronics, Linn SARA speakers, and Dynaudio speakers/sub for HT. And other than rated amplifier power I have no idea about specs on any of it.

If you want to know how great Bose really is, read this. :rolleyes:
 

CarlsonCustoms

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2007
387
0
The phrase "no highs, no lows, must be bose" is NOT a myth! I'm not an audiophile, but I've heard a lot of speakers and I have never once been pleased, much less impressed by Bose products. Sorry to sound like such a hater, but seriously, for the amount of money one spends on Bose, they can get an entire system for a second room and both will sound better than that single bose system. IMHO, of course. :rolleyes:
Thank you very much. Bose does one thing excellent ......


MARKETING..

I can't fault them for that but I wouldnt' buy any of their stuff for true sound quality.
 

CLuv

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2007
293
2
Northern VA, USA
If you're looking for speakers I highly recommend JM Lab. They're are made by Focal. Focal makes drivers and crossovers for hi-fi companies such as Wilson Audio (regarded as one of the finest speakers). Focal decided to then start making their own speakers. I have their entry level, but I've heard them all, and I can say they are amazing. Especially for the money. I went with the Chorus 705's since I only had room right now for bookshelfs. They'll eventually be the rear channel speakers when I have room.

http://www.focal.tm.fr/

Another good choice I would recommend is Vienna Acoustics, but you can get a better deal but same sonic performance from JM Lab.

I realize you have Bose, and you got flamed for it, and most high end audio guys will give you grief for them. I won't give you grief, but I'll explain quickly why hi-fi guys don't like Bose, Bose plays loud, they're bright, and they're boomy. So people buy them for home theater, but if you're looking for listening to just music in a stereo arrangement, I do not recommend Bose at all. I used to sell B&W and other high end audio equipment, and I would see other people buy Bose and then come back to me and say it sounds nothing like we had to offer.

Now if you're looking at hi-fi equipment, and not the speakers. I recommend Integra (high end division of Onkyo), Rotel, MacIntosh, or Mark Levinson.

Subwoofers - I always liked Velodyne personally.

Interconnects - I use StraightWire. Don't go the Monster route, Noel Lee is a master at marketing. StraightWire makes the wire by hand, and they also make and do the wiring for major studios and for other high-end audio companies.

http://straightwire.com/

Hope that helps. I recommend you bring some CD's that you're very familiar with, and spend about a minute or two listening to them by yourself in the room of a true high end shop. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT have the sales person switch back and forth between speakers while you listen. You will always pick out the worst speaker, and the reason is because it's bright and/or boomy and it sticks out in your head. You'll then take them home, and you'll be disappointed. I used to work for a high-end audio store, and used to design whole house audio/video for clients. You have to listen, and pick what you like. It took me close to 1.5 years to find the speakers I wanted after a lot of listening. If you're looking for control systems I recommend Crestron, and Lutron for lighting.

I personally use run the following (not much, but room and budget was and still limited):

JM Lab Chorus 705
Onkyo TX-DS484 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo DV-CP702 6 Disc DVD Player
iPod Dock
AudioQuest Mini-Plug Mini Series 3 from iPod Dock to Onkyo
StraightWire Maestro II
For Video StraightWire Component Video Silver Link II
 

Tucom

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2006
1,194
269
"no highs, no lows, must be bose"
I really think its a sad sight when you hear people saying Bose is the end all be all of audio. Some of the best sounding items are items you'd probably never have heard of.
Actually, that phrase is pretty much a total contradiction to Bose products. The lows, and the highs especially, are Bose's strong points, but are light on the mid-range.

There are some very quality prodcuts from Bose. The MusicMonitor and Companion series to name a few. Their Acoustimass and Lifestyle systems are nice as well, though some models are overpriced, but you're getting a solid, quality product from a company that has some of the best customer care and support.


Peace
 
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