I need new Speakers,

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  • 04-19-2009, 07:26 AM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    I need new Speakers,
    Im fairly new to the home theatre scene so forgive me of any ignorance i possess,
    But I have been bitten by the A/V bug and want to upgrade my speakers....

    I recieverd a new Yamaha RX-v663 7.2 A/V reciever for X-Mas from the wife,
    It came in a package with a set of Yamaha Tower speakers, Center, surrounds and sub,
    Its a definite upgrade from what I had prior,(JVC 5.1 with Dolby Digital as its only home theatre digital audio decoder)
    The Yamaha speakers are passable for home theatre applications but really fall apart on the 2 channel stereo music end.
    Horrible mids and no bottom end,
    The question is what speakers would match up nicely with my reciever,
    My budget is around $1.500 andI want some well made Stereo speakers that sound really good musically,
    Audiofile quality on a beer budget I guess......

    I use the reciever for 70% H/T and 30% music,
    I would either use the new speakers as fronts for my existing home theatre and move the Yamahas into the surround position for 7.2 surround or use the new speakers for 2 channel music in zone 2
    My music taste is all over the spectrum, from Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong/Billie Holliday to Classic Rock like Dire Straits, Boston, To new age music like to Bjork and Sarah Mclaughlin all the way to Classical/Opera

    The speakers I have been thinking about are
    B & W 600 series,($1.300)
    I auditioned them and wasnt really all that impressed,
    Pardigm Studio 100v2 ($1.600)
    I havent heard them but reputation and product history are impressive, Especially the studio 20s,
    So the 100s have got to sound good right?
    Energy RC 70, ($1.099,)

    Any insight into any of theese speakers would be helpful or any other suggestions
    Thanks alot for any ideas....
    Grouch,
  • 04-19-2009, 08:45 AM
    02audionoob
    For starters, I'll suggest not mixing in another model of speaker into the surround setup. The speakers within one system should match. As for a stereo setup with a better mid and bottom and covering the spectrum on a beer budget, how about the Dynaudio Audience line...perhaps the 62 in particular.
  • 04-19-2009, 02:31 PM
    blackraven
    What was it that you did not like about the B&W's? It would help in recommending a speaker.

    The Dynaudio's are an excellent recommendation. The Studio 60's and 100's are a good speaker as well. I would also consider the PSB Imagine line, NHT Classic 4's, Monitor Audio RS6's.
  • 04-19-2009, 04:02 PM
    frenchmon
    Only your ears, eyes and budget can tell you what you like in a speaker. I suggest you do your research and then go out and listen to some....and btw, there are some good speaker company's that sell online only and will let you listen in your home for 30 days without charging you. If you like them keep them and pay for them, if not, send them back with no stings. So get out or send for, and find that perfect speaker.

    frenchmon
  • 04-19-2009, 04:51 PM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackraven
    What was it that you did not like about the B&W's? It would help in recommending a speaker.

    The Dynaudio's are an excellent recommendation. The Studio 60's and 100's are a good speaker as well. I would also consider the PSB Imagine line, NHT Classic 4's, Monitor Audio RS6's.

    I auditioned the B&Ws with Boston Acoustics VR M90(I think) and Energy's Rc 70
    using Fleetwood mac rumors c.d.
    What I didnt like is(Keeping in mind Im no audiofile)
    First off all the price for speakers at B&Ws entry level line,
    Also I didnt find the mids and highs detailed enough,

    The energy's sounded better to me than the B&Ws,
    I didnt care for the Boston's at all, Its just that the Energys and the B&Ws sounded better,
    I should give the B&Ws another go, Just to make sure Im not missing anything in the sound they produce, They do have a great rep in making really good speakers,
    I just dont want to regret the investment, I want the most bang for my buck I guess,

    It could be my untrained ear is confusing detail for harshness and overbrightness,
    I want to hear the subtle and not so subtle nuance's in Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms"
    Or the different Strings and woodwinds in Wagners "Ride of the Valkyries,

    Thanks Guys,
  • 04-19-2009, 04:54 PM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    Also from what Ive read...
    I doubt my reciever could power the paradigms to their full potential, Ive read "their hungry for power and to have a powerful reciever to run the paradigm 100s"
    What sez you?
  • 04-19-2009, 05:04 PM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Only your ears, eyes and budget can tell you what you like in a speaker. I suggest you do your research and then go out and listen to some....and btw, there are some good speaker company's that sell online only and will let you listen in your home for 30 days without charging you. If you like them keep them and pay for them, if not, send them back with no stings. So get out or send for, and find that perfect speaker.

    frenchmon

    Well thats true enuff frenchmon,
    Ive been bitten before by sales people and I want to avoid that if I can help it,
    Thanks,
    Grouch,
  • 04-19-2009, 05:07 PM
    02audionoob
    One thing to keep in mind on the power issue with the Paradigm, their spec's say recommended amplifier power 15-350w, according to this review:

    http://stereophile.com/floorloudspea...52/index3.html

    This is a wide range. It's apparently a fairly efficient speaker. The listed sensitivity number seems to confirm that.

    As for auditioning speakers...it's not as easy as audiophiles sometimes make it out to be. A few years ago, I listened carefully and for quite a while to a pair of speakers at Tweeter that I thought had amazing detail. I bought them and have been a little frustrated by their brightness for most of the time I've owned them.
  • 04-19-2009, 05:14 PM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    Yeah thanx alot...
  • 04-19-2009, 06:10 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Paradigm would more likely be driven better by your receiver than the Dynaudio. I feel the Dyn's would sound better, but their efficiency is in the mid 80 where Paradigm is over 90. I also concur that you should at least consider buying the matching center speaker of whatever speaker you decide on so at least your front home theater sound stage will have seamless panning of sound.

    Listening in the store is not really an audition. It gives some idea of what the speaker can do but it gives you no idea of what it can do in, your, room with, your, equipment. So an "audiophile" shops at an audiophile shop which has no problems with in home auditions. Even the mass merchants now give 30 return policy. This helps with not making a regretable purchase. Also, you want to be sure what you are asking from a speaker can be achieved with a receiver. You can have the best speakers but if the detail you want isn't coming from the source in the first place you won't hear it no matter what speakers you have.
  • 04-19-2009, 06:20 PM
    02audionoob
    Mr Peabody's response also reminds me...the impedance of the Dynaudio is 4 Ohms and for the Paradigm it's 8 Ohms...another indicator that the Paradigm would be easier for your amp to drive.
  • 04-19-2009, 06:24 PM
    Mr Peabody
    02AN, are you talking about the Focals? Are they bright with all sources? I haven't listened to them yet but a dealer here does carry them. I'll have to check them out when I get a chance. I've always heard that they were more polite than the Dyn's though. I heard the CA-50 with B&W's and didn't notice the amp being over bright but with a pair of Martin Logan I found it to be so.

    You have a nice amp. Have you ever experimented with a better CD player? Not that it would cure any brightness, it's just with an amp of that capability your system would show the benefits from better players. Not that the MH is a bad player just that a better one could take your system to a higher level of resolution.

    That Basic stuff you have is good. You probably know that. It's just not the typical Kenwood though.
  • 04-19-2009, 06:28 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Good catch, if the amp could handle the lower impedance though, it could make up for any difference in efficiency.
  • 04-19-2009, 06:33 PM
    blackraven
    Couch, your first mistake in auditioning the B&W speakers was using the Rumors CD. I listen to this CD a lot and it is recorded poorly and does not present the most detailed highs.
    I even have a remastered edition and it is no better. One thing you will find is that when listening to poorly recorded music on higher quality equipment, the music my not sound as good. This is a known problem with higher end equipment.

    If you don't think that the highs and mids are good on the B&W 683's then you may not be happy with most speakers in the $1500 range. I find that the 600 series excels at the high and mid frequencies. But speakers are so subjective.

    Go back and listen to the B&W's with a high quality recording, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. Also, don't be put off by the price of 600 seires entry level price as many entry level equipment of high end manufacturers start at a high price.

    You cant be thinking Infinity or Pioneer.

    By the way, I listened to a pair of Paradigm Studio 100's and the Signature S6's with a 60wpc Jolida integrated amp and they played clearly at very loud volumes. Your Yammy should be ok.

    Cheers,
    Larry
  • 04-19-2009, 06:37 PM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    02AN, are you talking about the Focals? Are they bright with all sources? I haven't listened to them yet but a dealer here does carry them. I'll have to check them out when I get a chance. I've always heard that they were more polite than the Dyn's though. I heard the CA-50 with B&W's and didn't notice the amp being over bright but with a pair of Martin Logan I found it to be so.

    You have a nice amp. Have you ever experimented with a better CD player? Not that it would cure any brightness, it's just with an amp of that capability your system would show the benefits from better players. Not that the MH is a bad player just that a better one could take your system to a higher level of resolution.

    That Basic stuff you have is good. You probably know that. It's just not the typical Kenwood though.

    Yes...the bright ones are the Focals. They're a great speaker overall, but I have often experimented with ways to soften the highs. At the moment, I have tissue paper hanging on the inside of the grille to block the direct path of the tweeter. I've also occasionally used open-cell foam in front of them. They sound nice with the tissue, so that's been there a while now. I'm currently searching for speakers, especially looking for something with great midrange. I'm leaning toward ProAc, a British brand that seems very popular there but less so here.

    As you noticed, my CD player isn't up to the level of my amp. I'm working on that, too. I've been impressed by the Rega players, so that is looking good to me, right now. The Music Hall doesn't have as much of an edge as my Adcom, so in that regard I'm pretty happy with it, as long as I'm listening to vinyl or the tissues are in front of the tweeters. With the turntable running through the Tube Box, it's not nearly as bright as the CD.
  • 04-21-2009, 05:33 AM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    :yikes:
    Ok I could go bonkers trying to figure out what speakers are "the best"
    So what Im gonna do is listen to The B&Ws again with better recorded media,
    And Im going to give the Paradigms a listen, Maybe the energys again also
    Since Ive been talking about Dire Straits, I'lll bring that along, as well as some Jazz,
    Any sugestions on well recorded Jazz?
  • 04-21-2009, 05:35 AM
    Couch Potato Grouch
    Thanks for all your help,Advice, and suggestions,
    Its good to know I can go somewhere and get an unbiased opinion,
    Heaven knows I cant get that at my nearest A/V store,
  • 04-21-2009, 07:26 AM
    blackraven
    Couch, I use Patricia Barber- Cafe Blue as a reference CD. Also Christy Baron- Retrospective, its a hybrid SACD and it plays great on a standard CDP.

    By the way, give a listen to the PSB Imagine line of speakers.

    Good Luck!
  • 04-21-2009, 09:06 AM
    Auricauricle
    Grouchy: You're gonna spend the rest of your life looking for "the best speaker"; only one person owns such a thing, and that is you. The fact that you are taking the time to listen to your music with more involvement and with an ever critical ear is a great accomplishment, but with that development comes the awful realization that you will always be hungry for something more.

    These guys are giving you great advice: frenchmon's post about home auditioning (post 4) via online vendors is a wonderful idea. In the meantime, visit friends, etc. who have systems that you admire and take notes about the speakers. Are they planar, horn, conventional, etc.? What brands stand out? How big were they? Where were they played? Do those conditions match yours? By no means should you be swayed by the Circuit City tactic of playing something loud or in such a way that you're making a decision with anything but your God-given ears and your well-cultivated comprehension and talent.

    CD's for listening? Try Freddie Hubbard's First Light and Laurie Anderson's Mister Heartbreak. I just listened to the LA this morning. Lots of strange and wonderful stuff happening in there....
  • 04-21-2009, 09:38 AM
    frenchmon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Couch Potato Grouch
    :yikes:
    Ok I could go bonkers trying to figure out what speakers are "the best"
    So what Im gonna do is listen to The B&Ws again with better recorded media,
    And Im going to give the Paradigms a listen, Maybe the energys again also
    Since Ive been talking about Dire Straits, I'lll bring that along, as well as some Jazz,
    Any sugestions on well recorded Jazz?

    Yeah I got one for you, but you may not have it in your library. If you remember the old Coltrain years, well one of his pianist is still around doing some stuff. There's a great hybrid SACD put out by Chesky Records called "New York Reunion" Its got McCoy Tyner on piano, Joe Henderson on Tenor Sax, Ron Carter on Bass, and Al Foster on Drums. With that line up of all-stars you would think this was one of those old Blue Note recordings of the 60's, but no it was recorded with one mike in the center of the band with no mixing by Chesky Records in 1991. Sound is great...a really good recording. You may find it anywhere from 12-18$$$ on line. If you can, check it out...a great one to have in your library.

    frenchmon
  • 04-21-2009, 12:49 PM
    02audionoob
    Well-recorded jazz CDs...there's a good topic all by itself. I personally would never audition speakers without Sade...but hey...that's just me. I have to hear some Wynton Marsalis, too.
  • 04-21-2009, 04:45 PM
    frenchmon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    Well-recorded jazz CDs...there's a good topic all by itself. I personally would never audition speakers without Sade...but hey...that's just me. I have to hear some Wynton Marsalis, too.

    Two very good selections.

    frenchmon
  • 04-21-2009, 04:58 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Personally, I don't understand what you are doing. If you listen to Fleetwood Mac and it didn't sound good, so what if a reference recording does, is that all you are going to listen to from now on at home. The Rumors album isn't that bad of a recording. When I listen to it though I enjoy the sound stage and vocals, some albums just don't use a lot of cymbals. The CD that has been on the most high end systems in my library is Eric Clapton, Slow Hand. This happened pretty much by accident, I had it with me when I started going to high end shops and since I heard it on a lot of good equipment I will throw it in the stack when I go to audition or have something in my system I listen to. This is hardly a reference recording but there are plenty of characteristics of the CD that I know and listen for on other systems. For instance, on a good system you will notice Clapton has a bit of a lisp on All The Way, like he has false teeth in or something. I love how on Wonderful Tonight how the background female singers are distinctly on the far left and a bit to the right of Clapton's voice, I recall how the slide sounds on That Old Frisco. On Rumors a couple things I remember off Rumors and I wish it was the song titles but on one song the guitar in the left speaker just sounds like he is plucking the mess out of it, and on one of the songs you can hear congos that really aren't that noticeable on the radio, the one song is just McVee with a piano. There are many attributes to music or an album that can help you evaluate.

    I think it's alright to take a good recording to see what a speaker can do but the best CD's to bring for audition are ones you are most familiar with.

    And, listen for a variety of characteristics of the speaker. The frequency response for sure but also how do they do presenting the sound stage, are instruments and voices distinctly separate etc.

    When you audition ask the sales person what provisions they have for you to listen in your home. Because when you go to audition you aren't actually hearing one speaker vs another, you are hearing total systems vs other total systems, they just happen to each be using speakers you are interested in.
  • 04-21-2009, 05:11 PM
    blackraven
    Mr. P, I agree with you about the Fleetwood Mac album. Its a great album but not a reference album. I use reference albums to see what the system can do with a well recorded album. However, I do believe that when evaluating equipment, you should use the music you like to listen too, not just reference material.
  • 04-21-2009, 06:54 PM
    Auricauricle
    Something I have considered recently is listening to material that you may have a passing relationship with, but keep on hand knowing that it is "important". I have a few such recordings, of superb performances which have been recorded beautifully by people in the know. Recently, as I've been acquainting myself with a CD player bought the other day, I have put on a couple of the CDs. At times, the result has been nearly startling as I realize that yes, indeed, these are truly important and beautiful recordings.