Well I got my new "high end" speakers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Well I got my new "high end" speakers

11-24-2003, 08:04 PM
First, thanks a lot to you guys for helping me narrow the field a bit.

To begin with, I auditioned a pair of Spendors (a medium sized bookshelf speaker--forget which model) and a pair of Ref3A DeCappo MMi.

The imaging on the Spendors was truly amazing, but the mids and lows seemed very boxy to me. Maybe the highs were a bit too laid back for me as well. I guess this is the European sound everyone talks about. I'm not going to knock it, but it is just not for me.

Next I tried the Ref3a. I had very high expectations for this speaker and the price justified me having high expectations. But I simply was not that impressed. It has very good detail, but the music just was not engaging. The bass, while tight, was not as good as I had read about in the reviews. Maybe I was just being unrealistic about how much bass a small speakers could put out (even with an 8" driver) after being used to my STudio 100's. It was, after all, a large listening room with high ceilings. I suspect, since this was a Ref3A dealer, that this speaker was not broken in enough. If this was the case, then the 1895 price the demo model might have been worth it. The 2795 for new seems overpriced.

I almost passed on audtioning the Swans since the dealer seemed to be steering me away from them, and since my monster (200x4, or 400x2) amp is such overkill for such efficient speakers.

The Swans are amazing. They sound very similar to my Studio 100's, but they don't have the hard edge on the highs that Studio line can have with certain recordings. I was sure to bring my Rush Moving Pictures CD along to test this, since it one of the discs that does not sound that great on my speakers. Yet it still has that sparkle that I like in metal dome tweeters. The cymbals in the beginning of YYZ just seemed to fill the room, yet were quite easy on the ears. The mids I would say are about on par with the 100's, which is to stay neutral and honest. The bass was staggering for such a small speaker. No distortion whatsoever even playing tracks like Massive Attack's Angel. Easily handled Porcupine Tree's "Ambulance Chasing". The little Swan decal on the screen in front of the bass driver jumped visibly, yet no chuffing, no popping, no warbling. Rock solid bass. It didn't go as deep as my 100's, but the quality of bass for as far down as it would go was better than the 100's. And for the bass it can't reproduce, it simply tapers off nicely which is better than the Ref3A which tries feebly to reproduce the deep bass of the 'Angel' track and just sounds thin and makes you want to add a sub.

When I heard they were selling for $599 (demo model) I knew I was done shopping. I was planning on shopping around a bit more, but I know I will not find a better speaker for that price, and in the unlikely even that I do find one that could justify the increased expense, I am sure to get most of my money back on it since it lists for around $1600+.

So now I have a Citation 7.0 preamp, Citation 7.1 amp, and Swan D3.1. All I need is a decent CD player. Any suggestions?

11-24-2003, 10:48 PM
A small speaker actually can put out a lot of bass, but generally it costs a lot of money. The DeCapo will reach ~35hz and so too will My Standmounts. Typically there is a limit to how loud you can play and postitioning is vital for both. My AN K well out into a room will lose a significant amount of bass as it requires a wall to re-inforce the bass. Not all speakers are like that. The De Capo wants to be a good 3 feet from a wall or you get a muddier sound. The expansiveness on classical music is amazing and it also excels with voices.

A big bass producing floorstander like the Studio 100 will be able to produce bass louder...IMO a little to uninvolving a sound for my taste, but a fine value.

You have not said which swans - But good luck and congrats on your new speakers.

Jimmy C
11-25-2003, 10:02 AM
...new baby. I'll bet it was a suprise you found the sounding you were searching for at such a resonable price! There are many speakers I'm curious about (Swans are one of them) that I can't seem to find in my area.

I feel a bit different than you regarding the de Capos... I thought they made pretty good music - I'll agree about the bass, I was expecting more also.

As far as a CDP goes, I would look at the Rotels. I have (directly as possible) compared my cheap Rotel to players that cost up to 7x it's price... pretty damn close presentation. For 500 clams, you could have a mid range unit. I have had mine for about five years now, no problems. I'm sure there are many good budget CD players, this is one of them.

Have fun with yer new toy...

11-30-2003, 06:36 AM
I played around a lot before I got my CD72. Have to disagree with the Rotel thing. The 871 which got such great reviews was a complete dog. Friend bought one, replaced with cheaper ARCAM which sounded better, then tried to sell it to me...cheap. Sold it on line to some guy who wanted to get one based on the review buzz. Was willing to pay a premium for used because of the review. Gotta love mags.

Mr Peabody
11-30-2003, 07:31 PM
I also have found Arcam is probably the best value in cd players. The performance you get for the money is outstanding. I had the Alpha 9 for awhile and the info it was able to pull off my cd's was amazing. I bought my Alpha 9 after a side by side comparison with a California Audio Labs costing twice as much.

I'm not familiar with Swan but you said a couple things I have to pat you on the back for. First off, you trusted your ears when they tried to steer you away from the Swan. And you didn't shop by price, you know, "this is more, it must be better, somehow".

Rush Moving Pictures isn't a very bass heavy cd. There are much better demo pieces. On the other hand along with good recordings I always bring Eric Clapton Slow Hand. Not an audiophile recording but it somehow has made it to almost every speaker demo I've had. I think because I had it when I got a chance to play it on the Krell $25k cd/preamp combo going through Krell monoblocks into some Dynaudio Confidence 5's. This system must have been perfect for the room because I've yet to hear a better one. Now I take the Slow Hand cd to compare everything else to that magic listening session.

Pat D
12-01-2003, 10:20 AM
I have never heard them, myself, but I would like to. Will have to find a dealer, I guess, although apparently they sell over the net, too.

I'm glad you weren't so enthusiastic about the De Capos, just because RGA likes them so much! :D

As far as I can tell, most CDPs meant for high fidelity systmes sound about the same (some CDPs have a bass boost to compensate for the bass roll off with small headphones). Tracking ability is one of the important considerations.

01-31-2009, 04:43 PM
cngratilations on your new speakers. hpe they server you well.

02-01-2009, 05:11 AM

This thread is more than 5 years old - not really new speakers anymore.

02-01-2009, 05:39 AM

This thread is more than 5 years old - not really new speakers anymore.

...they are if you're a Galápagos tortoise.