Best system for jazz?

My musical tastes have shifted and now I find I listen mostly to jazz with some classical, bluegrass and space music thrown in. I'm just curious what kind of systems provide the most enjoyment for you jazz fans?
Please take the time to come up for a visit. It's only an hour's drive, and I think a listen might add to the enjoyment of your search.
Hope you can make it.
Budrew, when I posted my system here on the GON I called it "The sound of Jazz" because I mainly listen to acoustic jazz form the 50's, 60's and 70's. Swing,Be-bop,and Hard-bop are played on a daily basis in my home. Take a look at my system and notice the speakers,MG-20s, I believe that Maggies are all around great speakers, but really shine on acoustic music regardless if its small groups or large ensembles. Any of the Maggies(1.6s,3.6s) have this magic with acoustic music so you might consider them for an audtion to see if you would want to build your system around them. Hope this helps.
E-stats, horns, planers IMO. Each of those types comes with what could be component/setup restrictions for some people so trade-off will not bring out their best.

If you have few-no restrictions then I would also throw in Apogee speakers as a must listen. Apogee Stage with stands comes to mind!


I appreciate that you asked what we enjoy instead of asking us to dictate our tastes to you.

As a listener to jazz and classical music,I value the interplay of instrumental lines and the timbres of the instruments(including voices)in orchestrated combinations more than I value a speaker's ability to reproduce frequency extremes and dynamic ranges.

In my price range,after much trial and error,I'm happy with the Maggie 1.6 s. In my opionion,they require a reasonably dead wall behind them,at least five or six feet of "breathing room" and high current amplification.

I listen to jazz about 80% of the time ...old stuff, new stuff and fm radio ...WRTI Philadelphia ..jazz 6pm to 6am.

I like the sound of Klipsch classic speakers, at the present time I'm using the Forte I's . The amp I use is a Cary SLI-Signature in the triode mode. I'm hoping to upgrade to Cornwall's or Bell's in the future. I like the up front presentaion the high and mid horns give and the bass is all I want with a 12" woofer and 12" passive radiator.

As you can see from reading this thread, we are all over the map as to what we use. It comes down to personal preferences I guess.


That's certainly where I was going with my response as well. Larry, if your life can make room for Klipsch La Scala's, I highly recommend them. I think they benefit from a good subwoofer, but the midrange is glorious. For jazz & classical, the presence of trumpets, sax, violins, piano (and certainly vocals) is spine-chilling. No question, it's all a matter of personal preference, but IMO the classic horn line is an island of paradise dismissed all too often by distant passersby. If nothing else, they're certainly worth a listen.
So Drew, you comin' up to Sac-o-Tomatoes?
Yep, I guess it's true that there are many solutions for jazz (and for any
music). I'm not actually looking for a new system. I was curious what those
who like jazz a lot listened to to get the most of the experience. To me the
criteria that stand out would be that the instruments sound natural and that
the pacing be natural as well to keep up with the microdynamics and timing
swings. My Audio Note system does well, the Meishu tops at the first
criteria, but it's the deHavilland amp that is the king of pacing and
microdynamics. If only I could combine them into one box!

Howard, I appreciate the offer! Once I get past a hectic time here I'll see what
I can do.
hi Bao2,

I am seriously thinking of looking for a pair of La Scala's or Bells's. Really big horns gotta sound great ! Gotta talk to the wife first, or hide them in them rec-room. Anybody know how to sweet talk wifey into these ?

Horns and single fullrange based driver speakers, with low power tubes or flat out low power, high quality class A amplifiers.

Jazz, reproduced with technology existant in the time of its heyday is the most accurate and exciting sound you will ever get.

I really enjoy my Audio Note system on jazz. It has a beautiful open and natural tone that consistantly reminds me of live music, especially the way high notes 'cut' through the other instruments but maintain musical identity. Percussion instruments of all kinds are well represented, much like a live performance, but not at the expense of midrange which is harmonically rich and very neutral at the same time. The bass is not fast and tight, it just sounds like real bass. These are terrific 2 way speakers that are easy to drive.

BTW, I have AN-E speakers but have not updated my system info...
This jazz flunkie uses Supratek Sauvignon/ Atma-sphere M60s into Silverline Sonatas IIIs and for my taste this is just divine.
Space, pace, transparency and focus in spades and just plain natural music. For me that is what makes a system cook with jazz.