help me choose my mains [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-14-2006, 08:47 AM
Hi, I'm an audio novice currently own Bose 701 Series 2 floorstanders as mains and I'm thinking about upgrading them (somewhat influenced by Bose bashers I

Unfortunetely I don't have much room in budget (max $600 so I'm looking more into used sets) yet I want to be sure it sounds better than my Bose. I had already compared my set against Infinity Alpha 50 and Yamaha NS777 and my speakers actually sounded better with wider imaging and bass so I had to return them. My current cadidates are:

Pinnacle Gold Towers
Infinity Beta 50
Paradigm Studio 20 - I don't mind bookshelves as long as they can fill my 23*12 living room.
or any other in that price range you want to recommend

Any help is highly appreciated!!

Mr Peabody
01-15-2006, 11:06 PM
Out of the 3 you listed I'd choose the Paradigm. I haven't liked the Infinity I've heard in recent years. They seem very unbalanced but that could be because they expect you to use a sub. But I think it was the Alphas I auditioned and sent back as well. The speaker actually had good bass response, it's just that the tweeter drowned it out, that's why I say, unbalanced. I haven't heard Pennacle. It could be you are just comfortable with your Bose, if you are happy with them, keep them. You shouldn't change over what anyone else thinks.

Bare in mind that most speakers that come right out of the box need some break in time, so don't make a hasty decision. Break in will vary from brand to brand. Either let your CD player go on repeat or turn your tuner on and let the speakers play while you are at work. After a day or so of doing this you should be able to tell the sound is improving or not.

Bose speakers usually give a diffuse sound stage. Meaning nothing can be pin pointed or, difficult, to pin point. This can also give the illusion of large sound stage or the sound being more omni directional. Many enjoy a more defined image to the music and being able to tell where things are in the sound stage.

01-16-2006, 05:39 AM
I think you are definitely going about this the right way in comparing the speakers one at a time to your current 701s...

I confess I am not the biggest fan of any of the brands you are auditioning, but Paradigm does have a pretty large following here and elsewhere, so it very well may be a good choice for your price range.

Others I would recommend considering (new) are the Rega R-1 mini-monitors ($500/pr. new) which are great little mini-monitors that are not highly marketed, the Tyler Acoustics Freedom F-1 mini-monitors at $525/pr. new are a bit bass shy, but offer a lot of bang for the buck at that price point using some quality SEAS and VIFA drivers, and 1 inch thick MDF real wood veneered cabinets (only sold Internet direct at with a free home trial to allow a comparison with your 701s).

Used choices may be speakers like the Linn Katan mini-monitors (about $400-$500 used). I like these a lot, but low bass is not a strength, so keep that in mind before purchase (particularly if you are not pairing them with a subwoofer).... and a long shot due to lack of availablility would be a used pair of Consonance Eric-1 mini-monitors ($500-$600 used). The Eric-1s are the best out of the speakers I recommended above, but I have yet to see a used pair on yet... Maybe you will get lucky.

As for floorstanders in the $600 price range (new or used), I recommend avoiding as they will have major compromises at that price point that outweigh any extra low bass they may provide, IMO.

Good luck,


01-16-2006, 06:11 AM
The Studio 20's are great, but I'm not sure if they'll work so well in a room that big. You may find yourself wanting a sub to fill out the low end. It's tough to choose between a higher end bookshelf and a lower end tower that would generally give you more bass. Of course I have to plug my own Studio 40 V.2s which are a bit more bassy than the V3s. You might be able to find them used at a pretty good price. They sound quite good (imo) for a <$1000/pr speaker, have plenty of muscle and are certainly acceptable without a sub.

If you want something exotic, you could try to Magnepan MMGs. ($550/pr Retail)

Another choice that will give you spread out sound and decent bass are Definitive Technology BP6Bs ($600/pr Retail). I'm not a huge Def Tech fan, but if you like the sound, they are a pretty good value for the money.

01-16-2006, 08:05 AM
If you want something exotic, you could try to Magnepan MMGs. ($550/pr Retail)


Ditto. I agree with this. 30 day return policy.

01-16-2006, 08:41 AM

If you want something exotic, you could try to Magnepan MMGs. ($550/pr Retail)

You certainly want a sub with the MMG's, (unless you listen only to chamber music). They also demand proper placement, viz. 2.5+ feet from wall behind them and 1.5+ feet from the side walls.

01-16-2006, 12:07 PM
I'll third the MMG's, as long as you have the sub, the space, and a decent amp. Just make sure the Maggie sound is to your liking.

The most dynamic monitor I've heard is the Von Schweikert VR1. IMO, a speaker that outclassed every monitor I heard several times it's price and definitely worthy of an audition. Another way to go would be a pair of Epos ELS3's and a DIY Dayton sub from partsexpress. That would make a nice little system that you could build on as funds became available.

Hope this helps.

01-17-2006, 08:56 PM
thanks very much for all your recommendations. I actually do have a sub (Velodyne CHT 12) so bass is not a problem..I set my towers small for both movie and music so they pretty much play like loud bookshelves - that kinda gets me thinking I may be better off buying a bookshelves for my limited budget, although my decent size living room worries me a bit. No one heard of Pinnacle Gold towers? I read some great reviews of these speakers in this website and their price seem to be in my striking distance. Thx.

01-17-2006, 09:18 PM
How about the skip the Els 3s and the Dayton sub,and go for the bigger brother the Epos M5 by far the best speaker i've heard under $700,you buy them from audiowaves for under $600 with free shipping,now thats a deal.

01-18-2006, 05:39 AM
They just discontinued the Energy Conneseiur line so there might be some good deals out there on some of those. I just got a set of the C-5s for about $375, which I thought was a good deal. They are still in the stages of getting broken in, but they sound promising.

01-18-2006, 06:31 AM
the energy speakers have a very harsh high end