Stereo Speaker Reviews and Home Theater Speaker Reviews

Let me first make an apology…

…we don’t have very many speaker reviews.

We are not a magazine.349xNxisnt-quad-mini-side-shot-full-view.JPG.pagespeed.ic.m2sN29TIqv

But reviewing speakers fits into our business model pretty well because of our position in the marketplace.

We are always listening to new designs. Many of them we like, some we have owned and others, well…

Speaker Reviews of Retail Speaker Brands

These are speakers that we have heard or personally used over months of listening. There are many factors that effect a given home speakers performance in any home theater set up or stereo sound system.

Read Jim Wilson’s review of the Mini Cube 2 (MC²) -a better audio shelf system.

Magnepan 3.7 Speakers

Avalon Opus Review

Bose Home Theater system Review

Bose Acoustimass 15: Follow Up review for the Bose home theater review

Our Speaker System and Home Theater Reviews:

instrument two best stereo loudspeakers

Instrument 2 Loudspeaker with Digital speaker crossover: Full Review – Page 1 -best home speakers Instrument 2 Loudspeakers: Full Review – Page 2 -home audio speaker kits

Instrument 2 Loudspeakers: Full Review – Page 3

Instrument 2 Built with Measurement Data: Page 4 -Audio home speaker testing

Home theater Room acousticsare probably known to be the most unruly contributor to any given audio test.

If you have not read our page about the speaker and equipment rating system below Read This First: Go to – Home Theater Speaker Review.

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Abbreviated Speaker Reviews:

Thiel CS 2.3 Stereo Speakers:

The Thiel CS2.3 is a good all around performer. Decent bass extension. Pretty coherent sound quality. Can be a little harsh on top. Speakers measure pretty flat so in room response tends to sound thin.

Negatives: Their was very little sound stage height. I owned 2 pairs of these in a home theater setup for years. Overall, they were excellent in this audio setup.

Sound staging: 7 out of 10

Imaging: 7 out of 10

Transparency: 6 out of 10

Dynamics 7.5 out of 10

Neutrality: 4 slightly cooler than (neutral- 5)

Value: 5 out of 10, Reasonable value for performance vs. cost.

Thiel CS 2.4 Stereo Speaker system:

The 2.4 is about the same as the 2.3 but with a little bit better definition and extension in the bass. The only negative I found with this speaker was I felt as if I were looking down at the stage on some music. Their was very little sound stage height.

Sound staging: 7 out of 10

Imaging: 7 out of 10

Transparency: 6 out of 10

Dynamics 8 out of 10

Neutrality: 4.5 slightly cooler than (neutral- 5)

Value: 5 out of 10, Reasonable value for performance vs. cost.

Thiel 7.2 Stereo Speaker system:

Thiel’s flagship speaker sounds remarkably similar to its little brother the 2.4.

Obviously more bass on tap than the 2.4. And treble tends to be a bit smoother as well. Will need some room treatments to tame the top down a bit because of the flat anechoic response. I really like this speaker though… I’ve been a fan of it for over 8 years.

Sound staging: 7.5 out of 10

Imaging: 7 out of 10

Transparency: 7 out of 10

Dynamics 8.5 out of 10

Neutrality: 4.5 slightly cooler than (neutral- 5)

Value: 5 out of 10

Avalon Acoustics Opus stereo speakers:

Full Avalon Opus Speaker-Review

This speaker is an imaging and sound-staging champ. When I first heard these, I was nearly taken off my feet. The sound-stage seemed about 200 feet deep.

The Audio Research preamplifier being used was only about 1600 bucks too. I considered buying these speakers for a very long time. In the end, I couldn’t go without the superior pitch definition of the big Thiel’s.

These Avalon speaker disappear incredibly well. Very transparent. Deep sound-staging… Won’t play the deepest bass with as much impact as say the Thiel 7.2. Thiels pitch definition is better too.

Sound staging: 9 out of 10

Imaging: 8.5 out of 10

Transparency: 7.5 out of 10

Dynamics 6 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 Absolute neutral (neutral- 5)

Value: 6.5 out of 10

Avalon Eidelon Stereo speakers: speaker reviews

These must be paired with the right electronics to sound their best. This is true of all speakers but this set seems especially picky to me. But when you get it right they are very musical. Not the best with pitch definition and slam.

I would not use the Avalon Eidelon if Rock is your primary musical choice.

Sound staging: 8 out of 10

Imaging: 7 out of 10

Transparency: 7.5 out of 10

Dynamics 7 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral- 5)

Value: 5 out of 10

Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers:

Basically the same speaker as the Eidelon but with a slightly more natural high end extension.

This is probably as a result of the diamond tweeters but could be from slightly different speaker crossovers just as well.

Some would describe this as air. These speakers sound really good on orchestral type music. Similar to the basic Eidelon- not the best for rock or bass heavy music. It isn’t that they do not have bass because they do – but they don’t have a ton of slam in the lowest frequencies at high volume. These speakers would be characterized as more musical.

Sound staging: 8 out of 10

Imaging: 7.5 out of 10

Transparency: 8 out of 10

Dynamics 7 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral- 5)

Value: 3.5 out of 10

Sonus Faber Cremona M speaker system:

I listened to a pair of the Cremona M’s while voicing one of (the Instrument 2). our own loudspeaker designs Here! The Sonus Fabers have nice mid bass punch. Very musical and coherent for the price I believe. Pitch definition is good.

Sound staging: 7 out of 10

Imaging: 7 out of 10

Transparency: 6 out of 10

Dynamics 8 out of 10

Neutrality: 4 slightly cooler than (neutral- 5)

Value: 4 out of 10, Reasonable value for performance vs. cost.

Magnepan 1.6 speaker reviews:

These are off the value scale. Performance for this price is almost unbelievable. Superbly musical. Coherent. Sound-stage depth is amazing with the right source components. These speakers are more musical than anything else. Not much bass impact. I would use a sealed sub-woofer and integrate using a calibration mic to get the balance just right.

Needs a very fast sub to keep up with it so don’t scrimp on quality. Ideally an in home audition with the sub and speaker would be a good idea.

Sound staging: 8.5 out of 10

Imaging: 9 out of 10

Transparency: 8 out of 10

Dynamics 4 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral- 5)

Value: 10 out of 10, Incredible value for performance vs. cost.

Magnepan 3.6: speaker reviews

Very similar to the 1.6 in all the areas but bass. This speaker actually starts to have some bass. When combined with a powerful tube amp such as a McIntosh MC2301 the sound-stage and presence are absolutely staggering.

When paired with an amp like the 2301 this speaker is world class in transparency. Again, needs some help with the bass. A well integrated sub will help with certain types of music. Other music you will want the sub off.

Sound staging: 9 out of 10

Imaging: 9 out of 10

Transparency: 9 out of 10

Dynamics 5.5 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral- 5)

Value: 8 out of 10

Magnepan 20.1: speaker reviews: Magnepan 20.2 review coming soon!

Add 10% to the speaker reviews about the Magnepan 3.6. Very much the same speaker as far as sound quality goes. Even though it is rated down to 20Hz I still don’t feel the bass has enough punch in the low end.

And sometimes, the bass seems a little slow. I don’t think that it is actually slow. There is just not enough pitch definition. Needs better damping in the bass. I would add a very high quality sealed sub. Excellent speaker for the price though!

Sound staging: 9 out of 10

Imaging: 9 out of 10

Transparency: 9 out of 10

Dynamics 6 out of 10

Neutrality: 5 (neutral- 5)

Value: 7 out of 10

Add Your Own Reviews at the Bottom of the Page. We want to hear about your Favorite Speakers!

This concludes my speaker reviews! I have owned some of the speakers mentioned above. Namely, the Thiel 2.3, and Thiel 7.2.

Many of the other designs I heard while auditioning for those speaker purchases at the beginning of my career in audio. Some of the speakers I listened to while voicing some of my speakers outlined elsewhere on this site.

What speakers have you heard? What was your impression of them? I am looking forward to your ideas and comments as well, just fill out the review section below.

Thanks, Peter


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