Loudspeakers come in a variety of prices, shapes and sizes, employing a wide range of technologies. The majority of loudspeaker manufacturers use “piston-type” drivers (cones and domes), and employ various cabinet loading techniques. Others, such as Magnepan and Quad, move air with a film-like diaphragm over a large surface area. The “Maggies” are magnetic ribbons and “quasi-ribbons”, and are noted for their speed and open, natural sound quality. The Quad ESRs are electrostats that use charged panels – thus requiring power supplies connected to AC. Like the Maggies, the Quads are extremely fast and open sounding. There are a number of examples, too, that use ribbon tweeters with cone drivers, as well as companies that combine electrostatic panels with cone woofers. At our store, we show almost all types with the goal being the same for each - the natural reproduction of music.
I’ve never been too dogmatic as to which “type” is superior as there are great products in each of the aforementioned categories. I’ve already mentioned Magnepan and Quad, and both of these companies’ products are at, or near, the top of my list. In fact, I own examples of both – much to the consternation of my wife, Ann, who has a much more practical outlook on most things than I do. Nonetheless, I rationalize the importance of all my speakers. Like everyday life, value judgments are personal and sometimes irrational. For instance, I love my Avantgarde Duos, although there is no place for them in our home. Thus, they reside at our store. The same goes for my Magnepan Tympani IVa’s, etc., etc., etc.. You get the picture – it’s a good thing we have a store to keep my speakers that are currently “unemployed”.
The speakers that are on display at Glenn Poor’s Audio Video are all speakers I would personally own. There are currently thirteen different speaker manufacturers represented in our showrooms, with most manufacturers being represented by a number of different models. Even so, it’s easy for me to recommend any of them. The choice comes down to budget, how they’re to be placed, and, most importantly, how they sound to the person who will own them. Like everything we carry, the speakers chosen by our customers represent a personal decision. We want our clients to buy products they’ll enjoy for many years – whatever the price range. That’s why we carry so many brands and choices. We want to give our customers the opportunity and variety of products to make good value judgments – without any pressure from us. And, we want to give our customers an environment that allows good choices to be made.
Come visit us at our Champaign store in the Old Farm Shops, bring in your own music, relax, and just listen. I guarantee you it will be fun.
- Geoff Poor