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  1. #76
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    Thanks for your help guys. Now I just have to find a place that carries the full line of paradigm speakers, so I can compare the studio 20's and that focus.

    I may go used yet, but it seems that there has been a significant spreading out of the top designs and materials into the budget range. I wonder if today's $300 dollar speaker isn't better than the $800 dollar speaker of ten years ago.

    I didn't see anyone mention the lowest priced, mail order maggies. I have heard some hyperbolic things about planar speakers, and while my local audio shop has some, they are of the $15,000 variety. (At that price, I'm sure any format can excel. ) I would love to hear them before I start measuring my walls and making sight-unseen orders, even if they are money back.

    Thanks, All.

  2. #77
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    I have buillt 2 pairs of the AR.com Ed Frias speakers.These were for friends.They are very refined and coherent speakers and sound a bit like some of the excellent but pricey stand mounts from Spendor and Proac.For the cost they are a bargain and will provide fatigue free listening.

    JT

  3. #78
    Polkyphil38
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    jt like you I owned a pair of Ar.coms that were built by Ed frias himself and cost $600 a pair. Ed measures and matches each compnent with respect to the drivers and X-overs. As expected they were excellent speakers. However, I also own a set of the Paradigm Studio 20 v.3's and was able to do an A/B test between the two and in every category IMHO the Studio 20 v.3's were better. The 20's imaged better, were more effecient, had a larger soundstage, much better low frequency extension, and were more articualate in the upper midbass regions. The tweeter was also more open and airy w/o and harshness or sounding rolled off. Dont take me wrong the Ar.coms are excellent speakers and are better than many out there BUT the Studioi 20v.3's are in another class all together and should be given their $800 a pair pricetag. It is just very hard to beat the Studio 20v.3's all around performance in the $800 or less category of stand mounted speakers. The Studio 20 v.3's truly are giant killers.
    REMEMBER "THE ABSOLUTE BEST SPEAKER(S) IS THE ONE THAT SOUNDS BEST TO YOU." ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE AND WHAT YOU PREFER. IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT. HAPPY HUNTING!!!!

  4. #79
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennymack
    Thanks for your help guys. Now I just have to find a place that carries the full line of paradigm speakers, so I can compare the studio 20's and that focus.

    I may go used yet, but it seems that there has been a significant spreading out of the top designs and materials into the budget range. I wonder if today's $300 dollar speaker isn't better than the $800 dollar speaker of ten years ago.

    I didn't see anyone mention the lowest priced, mail order maggies. I have heard some hyperbolic things about planar speakers, and while my local audio shop has some, they are of the $15,000 variety. (At that price, I'm sure any format can excel. ) I would love to hear them before I start measuring my walls and making sight-unseen orders, even if they are money back.

    Thanks, All.
    You should try Magnepan's offer on the MMG's. If you don't like them you just return them for a refund. IMHO they simply walk, no stomp all over anything comparably priced. To my ears no box speaker sounds right. I have owned planars since 1976 and have never looked back.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
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    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
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  5. #80
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    To my ears, the MMG's have no 'weight' behind the music they are reproducing either. 'Big and thin' is the best way I can describe the music coming from a small planar.

    The bigger Maggies aren't bad if you're pushing them with million watts per channel, but I'll take the inferiour cone speakers and their smaller soundstage along with their superior dynamics. Note that virtually all recording studios use conventional cone based monitors for mastering, and not Maggies. That's not 'hyperbolic' at all.

    Larger Paradigms are overpriced, under driven, and sell off the coat tails of their smaller siblings. I'd certainly audition them besides Axiom, which I feel offers a better and more innovative floor standing product.

  6. #81
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Let's keep this thread on track here. This is supposed to be a place we can point newbie's, not a poll as to whether or not you think someone's suggestion is good or not. We all hear differently, and we all have differing opinions. Let's allow others to make up their own minds, 'kay?

    Thanks .

  7. #82
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I second that

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Let's keep this thread on track here. This is supposed to be a place we can point newbie's, not a poll as to whether or not you think someone's suggestion is good or not. We all hear differently, and we all have differing opinions. Let's allow others to make up their own minds, 'kay?

    Thanks .
    If you have a speaker that you think represents a good buy then buy all means post it. This thread is not here for bashing other peoples opinions. Lord knows we got plenty of those already.
    Audio;
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    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  8. #83
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Well as far as used speakers go that i havent listed yet, i would like to add

    • Hales
    • Acoustats
    • Eminent Technology
    • TDL
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  9. #84
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    Good to know that there are some commercial speakers around like the Paradigms that offer such good value.The AR.com kits are a bit amplifier sensitive.I suspect they would sound good on the end of a digital amp.They aren't really happy with most valve amps and need a really good 80 watts RMS transistor[oxymoron I know].
    JT

  10. #85
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Some best bang for the buck speakers I love are:

    • Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE Mk II ($1400 CDN)
    •*Totem Acoustics Sttaf ($1800 CDN)
    • PMC DB-1 ($1300 CDN)
    • Dynaudio Audience 52
    • Elac BS 203.2
    • Elac BS 204.2


    Have owned some of these and extensively demoed others and feel that for what these speakers do, they do it extremely well, especially those with ribbon tweeters. Have also owned B&W DM602s (too bloated for my liking but a good buy for the $$$) and Paradigm Studio 20s v. 3 (good speaker for the money but not my cup of tea so to speak).

  11. #86
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    WOW! 4 pages and not a single mention of the NHT SB-3! One of the finest monitors I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. Smooth, detailed, deep controlled bass - just amazing. Impossible to beat at $600/pair. Have to agree with the VR-1's too - incredible as well but at twice the price of the SB-3s.

  12. #87
    Forum Regular Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Another vote for the MMG's here.

    Sure, they don't push air like cones do, but the resolution, richness and overall quality of the sound is impossible to beat for that kind of money.
    There's an audiophile born every minute. Congratulations; you're right on time.

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  13. #88
    RGA
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    Impossible to beat is rather subjective. Unless of course you've heard every $600.00 speaker. I am personally suspicious of speakers in this price range using metal tweeters.

  14. #89
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    The problem with MMG's is;

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    Another vote for the MMG's here.

    Sure, they don't push air like cones do, but the resolution, richness and overall quality of the sound is impossible to beat for that kind of money.
    That they let you hear the quality of your amp/preamp better than most speakers in this range. Not my pic if all you've got is a receiver.
    Audio;
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    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
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  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Impossible to beat is rather subjective. Unless of course you've heard every $600.00 speaker.
    Yes... thank you for pointing out the obvious....

    I think everyone else who reads my reply will not take the post quite so literally...

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I am personally suspicious of speakers in this price range using metal tweeters.
    Perhaps you should listen to the SB-3 then. I've always found the immediate dismissal of metal tweeters quite perplexing. I've never been able to draw a correlation between tweeter material and "harshness", "glare" or "brightness" - I've heard both metal and non-metal tweeter based monitors that exhibit these qualities. The SB-3's don't, which is why I recommend them.

    A good, well engineered design is a good well engineered design regardless of material... or price.

  16. #91
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    What about the Ascend Acoustics Signature Editions? They've got SEAs tweeters and aerogel woofers. They are pretty damn linear (+/- 1.25db 70-20KHz).

    $350 for their CBM-170SE monitor with 1" Seas tweeter and 6.5" midrange; $550 for their D'appolito style dual 6.5"s and 1" tweeter.

  17. #92
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinyladdict
    A good, well engineered design is a good well engineered design regardless of material... or price.
    Yes I agree with this in theory - I am just going based off my listening experience. I feel I have heard a large number of speakers over the years including the 1.5, 2.5 and 3.3 from NHT back when I was in the market for speakers.

    I have heard well engineered and reasonably well integrated speakers using dissimilar drivers - though generally, they cost a lot.

  18. #93
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    MMGs are probably one of the best examples of bang for the buck, I'd love to get them but simply can't accomodate them in my current setup right now. Properly positioning them would be impossible.

    I own them, and a year and a half ago when I got them I'd say the Axiom M3Tis were a steal. I'd still say that but who knows if I'd buy them again. Since I bought them there have been more good speakers that have dipped down in to their price range that I might choose first.
    Last edited by emorphien; 04-02-2006 at 02:36 PM.

  19. #94
    rockin' the mid-fi audio_dude's Avatar
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    the paradigm atoms are the best budget speaker that I know of...I got a them for like $185 CND, thats $65 less that the $250 retail.

  20. #95
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    From my standpoint if your talking $2,000/pair my choice would be Phasetech 9.1's--these towers are just incredible for their price range. The large soundstage from any phasetech speakers I got turned onto years ago. If your talking $1,000/pair, then Phasetech 3.1's are even
    more of a bargain for the quality of sound. I'm not saying their the best but their great performers when you account for the price.

  21. #96
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    "Best Bang for the Buck."
    I've listened to B&W 604 S2's($1400), JM lab's Cobalt 816 S ($2000), Martin Logan's ($2500), Polk ($1200), Boston Acoustic's VR-3 ($1300) and Snell's LCR7 ($2000).

    By far the best speaker I've listened to is the Snell's LCR7. Side by side comparison with the Snell the B&W and the Martin Logan the Snell outperformed them both.
    I also made side by side comparisons with only the JM lab, Polk and Martin Logan, The Martin logan slightly surpassed the JM lab because of its very large soundstage however the tonal qualities were quite similar. I can't remember the name of the Polk speaker but I do remember the price. The Polk could hold its own against the JM lab speaker and was quite a value.
    I listened to the Boston Acoustics speaker with no side by side comparison. I asked the salesman to please turn it off and thanked him for his time.

    In short the Polk speaker was by far the best "Bang for the Buck." However not the best speaker under $2k. That honor goes to the Snell LCR7 a compact speaker but don't let that fool ya. It's sound will knock your socks off! They are also hard to find and relatively new to the market but if you get the chance to listen to them be ready to be impressed.

  22. #97
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    OOPS!
    I made a mistake on the thread above. I meant to say B&W S3's.

  23. #98
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    By Far, Without A Doubt, The Best Speaker Under $2k Is The Snell Lcr7.
    And That's All There Is To Say.

  24. #99
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    I heard a pair of Devore Fidelity Gibbon 3's yesterday. For 2Gs they are they best that I've heard yet.

  25. #100
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Anyone do any listening to the KEF Q11's?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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