• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

What are some great non-traditional speakers like omnidirectionals and electrostatics?

BingaMoon

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
43
Likes
23
I have Revel M16's which I love and I don't think upgrading to the more expensive towers like F206's will be that different of an upgrade so I'd like to try out of some more unique types of speakers. Stuff like omnidirectionals and electrostatics. Speakers with big woofers like Klipsch Forte are also included in this. Just anything that is great and not traditional. My budget is around $3000 but I'd be willing to spend more if it was worth it.

Ohm Walsh, Martin Logan ESL's, and Klipsch Forte's I have on my list right now.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,134
Likes
14,825
Quad ESL-57 and ESL-63
Allison One
DCM timewindow
Polk SDA series (myriad models) or the new L800 SDA reboot

FWIW, I'd opine that a Klipsch Forte & its kin are about as conventional and traditional as a box loudspeaker gets.

The OP may want to consider open baffle loudspeakers or non-electrostatic planars such as Magneplanars.

EDIT: Since acoustic suspension alignments are way out of fashion today (with a couple of exceptions such as the new "KLH 5"), the OP might also want to consider one of the acoustic suspension monkey coffin classics from AR, EPI, KLH, Advent, etc.
 

Jim Taylor

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,559
Likes
3,356
You might want to try the CBT speakers that D.B. Keele developed. AFAIK, they're sold in kit form only, but they're not difficult to assemble. Jim
 

Rip City Dave

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2021
Messages
161
Likes
239
Location
Portland, OR
mbl_101x_2.png
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
2,023
Likes
2,599
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
I do love old classic Quad speakers (57 and 63's if both are set up right) BUT and it's a huge but - they're OLD and some are falling apart now (63's) and need expensive restoration. The 57's have a few restorers, but getting as-new performance may be impossible as the diaphragm material is I gather, unobtainium and the new stuff causes changes to the tonal balance (I need citation here, but One Thing Audio's new tweeter panels were reportedly up in level over the originals, giving a 'saddle-back response').

Never a huge fan of 'omni's,' I can't really say, but Shahinian's were well liked by some (at a price of course).

Too conventional for this thread I suspect and existing samples will need some work doing now on crossovers and driver surrounds, but I dearly loved the AR LST's at the time which, in a suitable room, spread the sound without annihilating the central image as omni's do. I loved the look as well, but maybe colourations aren't so good by modern standards. they can also fit flat to a wall pretty much without booming terribly and they may well respond to modern amps able to drive awkward loads?

1659958907337.jpeg


AR-LST+Speaker.jpg
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,134
Likes
14,825
The acoustic suspension AR-LST is pretty traditional other than being festooned with drivers. Not really much different than an AR3a, though even tougher to drive.
Heck, it even presaged the modern fashion of making loudspeakers that are too hard for most amplifiers to even drive properly.
;)
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,134
Likes
14,825
The Fisher/Bertagni (BES) loudspeakers were fairly nontraditional. ;)

P1010094.jpg


... although this approach has become more common again in recent decades, at least in the DIY space. :)

I did like the Magnepan Magneplanar Tympani multi-panel planars, FWIW.

213vintagmag.promo_.jpg

They do tend to suffer from the "20 foot wide" piano" syndrome, though, IME. :rolleyes:
 

Thomas_A

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
2,255
Likes
1,591
Location
Sweden
Carlsson OA61 should be a candidate.
 

RayDunzl

Grand Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
12,301
Likes
14,585
Location
Riverview FL
I have had a pair of MartinLogan reQuests, since 1998.

They do everything I need.

Bass to 23Hz, crossover to panel at 180Hz.

12" sealed woofer and 15x48 inch panel.

Example photo:

1066954-baa772ec-martin-logan-request-speakers.jpg


They show up from time to time on eBay and other sites for around $2000

They're kinda big, too, if you like that sort of thing.

1660069785487.png
 

hex168

Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
308
Likes
262
Within budget? Eminent Technology LFT-8:

Don't worry too much about the Stereophile measurements, a panel measured at a distance of 45" is going to be wonky. I'd love to see one on an NFS!
 

Ken1951

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
554
Likes
1,052
Location
Blacksburg, VA
The acoustic suspension AR-LST is pretty traditional other than being festooned with drivers. Not really much different than an AR3a, though even tougher to drive.
Heck, it even presaged the modern fashion of making loudspeakers that are too hard for most amplifiers to even drive properly.
;)
We had these in the main showroom being driven by a Mac 2300. Displayed them sitting on top of Bozak B302As. Sounded pretty good for the day.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,134
Likes
14,825
We had these in the main showroom being driven by a Mac 2300. Displayed them sitting on top of Bozak B302As. Sounded pretty good for the day.
Oh they sound great. I donated some drivers from a sadly decrepit (but fully functional) pair of dump-find AR3 (not AR3a!) to help reanimate a pair (actually the Cello Amati variant). They're kind of a tough amplifier load, though. ;)

AR3oneLF.jpg


AR3twoRF.jpg


As a fairly (but not totally!) irrelevant aside, I have a pair of the very seldom seen AR-LST cousin, the AR MST, in pieces, in my basement. They were kindly given to me by a fellow who was planning to restore them, but moved out of the country for career reasons, and thought they needed a good home! ;)
I occasionally get the urge to spiff 'em up and reassemble them if for no other reason than to reduce the volume of space they take up -- but I am easily distracted...

:p
 

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
17,017
Likes
29,585
You could try Acoustat ESL's. People do manage to restore them. You'll get pretty severe head in vice syndrome. But they are very nice within that vice. Here are some model Two's which I have owned.
1660076210422.jpeg


You could look for more oddball ESL's like Beveridges.
1660076271210.jpeg

Or some KLH 9 speakers.
proxy-image

Or Dayton-Wright XG-8s or XG-10s which were contained within mylar bag holding sulfur hexafluoride gas. The gas had a different speed of sound making the speaker acoustically larger and let it run higher voltages so it was an unusual ESL in that it had good bass and was fairly efficient. Of course that is the most potent greenhouse gas known.
435258-d392c776-a_very__rare_dayton_wright_xg10_electrostatic_speaker_system_awesome_full_range_estats.jpg


You might try some of the early Martin-Logan speakers in the CLS line. They were a single curved panel. Not much bass, couldn't play loud, not very efficient. For music not needing much below 100 hz they were pretty special.
cls.jpg


You could look for old Infinity speakers made by Arnie Nudell. They look something like big panels, but have conventional woofers with his own type drivers for midranges and tweeters. RS models I'm thinking of in this case.
1225199-bae3d285-infinity-rs1b-infinity-reference-standard-1b-speaker-system.jpg


The old Apogee ribbons are very good speakers. Make sure you have an amp that doesn't mind a one or two ohm load. Classe amps were the go to pick for those, but other big iron amps would work with them. I'd think good class D amps would be okay, but haven't seen or heard such a combination.
1660076661133.jpeg


The only old box speakers that would be of interest in my opinion might be some of the big horns from Klipsch or Altec or similar.
 

hex168

Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
308
Likes
262
You could try Acoustat ESL's. People do manage to restore them. You'll get pretty severe head in vice syndrome. But they are very nice within that vice. Here are some model Two's which I have owned.
View attachment 223318

You could look for more oddball ESL's like Beveridges.
View attachment 223319
Or some KLH 9 speakers.
proxy-image

Or Dayton-Wright XG-8s or XG-10s which were contained within mylar bag holding sulfur hexafluoride gas. The gas had a different speed of sound making the speaker acoustically larger and let it run higher voltages so it was an unusual ESL in that it had good bass and was fairly efficient. Of course that is the most potent greenhouse gas known.
435258-d392c776-a_very__rare_dayton_wright_xg10_electrostatic_speaker_system_awesome_full_range_estats.jpg


You might try some of the early Martin-Logan speakers in the CLS line. They were a single curved panel. Not much bass, couldn't play loud, not very efficient. For music not needing much below 100 hz they were pretty special.
cls.jpg


You could look for old Infinity speakers made by Arnie Nudell. They look something like big panels, but have conventional woofers with his own type drivers for midranges and tweeters. RS models I'm thinking of in this case.
1225199-bae3d285-infinity-rs1b-infinity-reference-standard-1b-speaker-system.jpg


The old Apogee ribbons are very good speakers. Make sure you have an amp that doesn't mind a one or two ohm load. Classe amps were the go to pick for those, but other big iron amps would work with them. I'd think good class D amps would be okay, but haven't seen or heard such a combination.
View attachment 223332

The only old box speakers that would be of interest in my opinion might be some of the big horns from Klipsch or Altec or similar.
Second on the Arnie Nudell Infinities and on the Apogees (I liked the Duettas best).
 

nerdoldnerdith

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
450
Likes
616
Location
Chicago
Where are you located?

I have a pair of Morrison Audio Model 19.1's with the latest Model 29 tweeters that I am trying to sell, not because I don't love them, but because I simply don't have a good place to put them.

These are true point-source omnidirectional speakers that radiate sound evenly in every direction in half space above the speaker. They are not dipoles. They are not bipoles. They aren't "omnidirectional" speakers with drivers firing every which way and creating a mess of lobing and phase cancellation. Unlike MBL their drivers are less than 1/4 wavelength apart at the crossover, so they are even good in the vertical domain.

They were designed by a guy who has spent decades mastering the design of a true point-source omnidirectional speaker, and I would say he has done quite a good job. Everything has been carefully designed to make it work. They utilize an external active crossover and are basically active speakers.
 

mhardy6647

Master Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
7,134
Likes
14,825
The only old box speakers that would be of interest in my opinion might be some of the big horns from Klipsch or Altec or similar.
Well... yeah, me, too... although they're really pretty conventional in the great scheme of things. :)

One could consider something like the magnificent RCA bass horns, known (and I apologize for the archaically tone-deaf moniker) "Ubangis".


With (RCA -- or other) electrodynamic drivers (instead of permanent magnet drivers).
... and Tungar tube power supplies for the electromagnets. :)

IMG_1103.jpg



hardcore (and magnificent)
 
Top Bottom