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Bookshelf Speaker Comparison – Part 2

This post and the last (Bookshelf Speaker Comparison – Part 1) are a bookshelf speaker comparison that my spouse wrote based on the two of us sitting down for hours with a standardized set of recordings to come up with these comments. These comparisons were originally posted to AudioKarma, but I would like to share them with others who might be interested.

The Speakers

The last post gave the initial speaker list plus listed the music we used in order to listen. In this second and last set of listening, in order, we will listen to Linn Tukans (these are bi-amped the rest are not), Royd Sevens, Royd Envoys, and Sonus Faber Venere 1.5’s.

Linn Tukans

Tracks:

1. Crispness and detail is there a little more crisp than the LS2’s Tons of echo from the guitar and church. Breathing – this is an interesting thing, you can hear the musician breathing and I could finally discern that(is what I was hearing). Bass was nice – just lovely sounding

2. Bass is lively but a bit recessed (may have to do with back porting – the first four speakers were all front ported).What stood out here was the muted trumpet – it just sounded grand. The percussion was also really present and vivid – a very balanced sound.

3. The horns sound like it is live and right there. Harry Connick’s voice is very breathy and you can really hear it. My spouse felt the percussion was a but lost but still a dynamic sound – bass is recessed again.

4. Percussion sometimes seems lost sometimes not. The banjo really sounds very accurate.

Royd Sevens

Tracks:

1. Delicate is the word to use here. The soft passages are whispers the loud are just that. Not as detailed (no discernible breathing sounds). Very realistic presentation. My spouse states: ‘ Delicate, well-balanced and good detail’.

2. Percussion is there and detailed. but in the background. The bass is lively but in it’s own sound stage. The snare drum and the cymbals sound spot on. The horns sound snarky, like they are laughing at you.

3. Not as bright as the LS2’s or the Linns. The Horn decay is faster. This speaker is fast maybe too fast. Too much echo but the bass is nimble with just the right amount of overtones. The percussion is well, not so sure what to say about it. It is very confusing presentation of this piece of music.

4. Drums are not as sharp. Bass is there and definite. Highs stay to long and the bass is just too fast (decays quickly).

Royd Envoys

Tracks:

1. Same delicate treatment as the Sevens but with a little more bass. Very realistic presentation. My spouse states; ‘a little fuller on the low notes. but a little muffled).

2. Drums sound more pronounced. Horns just as snarky. Snaps just like the Sevens and too much echo.

3. Different presentation. Dynamic and the bass is really present (quick but not tubby). Too much echo in the higher notes.

4. Beginning sounds muffled. Not crazy about presentation and there is a massive echo. No sustain in the notes – speaker just too quick.

Sonus Faber Venere 1.5’s

Tracks:

1. Delicate and quick. Very dynamic – similar presentation to the Royds. Seem even more dynamic.

2. Horns are finally not snarky again. Unlike the Royds. it is a very dynamic presentation. Good bass, not tubby. The voice has no echo on it.

3. Beginning can really hear the cymbals and drums well. Then just get so dynamic. Horns not as snarky. Snares and cymbals are very realistic. Bass sounded nice but too much of it.

4. Can hear snare and other percussion more realistic (I know it is electronically made though). Banjo (un-amped part) sounds good but not in forefront of image. Too much bass. The slot port may need to be plugged a bit on this one.

Final Notes in Bookshelf Speaker Comparison

If you’re collecting speakers, either by chance or by choice, you can do a side-by-side listening of them in this same manner.

While it’s a good idea to have some theme to your task, the speakers aren’t necessarily required to be too similar. Of course, if the speakers are too diverse, some will obviously stand out over others. In some case, it’s the fact that some equipment is better matched to what you’re using to drive it. That’s a factor we didn’t list in this effort, but we did use all the same amps, pre-amps and etc… for each speaker pair.

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