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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Main Speakers - Wharfedale Opus 2 or Polk Lsi15

    Hi everyone,
    I am turning to your wisdom in my first post here!

    I have picked up a new Denon AVR-3806 amp on special, and now looking for a good set of main speakers. Options are pretty limited here in New Zealand when it comes to getting good value. Also, we do not have most of the brands you have in the States.

    I have identified 2 options. The Wharfdale Opus 2 at NZ$2,400 (US$1,800), or the Polk Lsi15 at NZ$2,800 (US$2,100). If these prices sound crap, its because we are milked by the importers (also freight prices are high and there's the small sales tax). Both are listed as NZ$3999 retail here.

    I am looking for a set of excellent front speakers for use in music etc, but will expand to 5.1 HT later.

    Anyone come across both these sets and can advise?? The info on the Opus series speakers are very limited and any comments are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I would check out dmc-electronics and get the PSB Stratus GT-1. I know it wasn't one of your options, but it will destroy your current options and it costs the same. I just don't know if they'll ship worldwide, but if they do, snag them up!!! You won't be disappointed. Normally I always tell people to audition first, but since you are limited with where you live on what you can demo first, this is a safe bet purchase!

  3. #3
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    You've got two fairly different sounding speakers there. Both have their strengths and weaknesses (as do all speakers). The Polk's will be a bit more dynamic and have a very good tweeter. The challenge is the bass, which can get a tad wooly in my experience. More boom than accuracy.

    The Wharfie's are defined by their magnificent midrange, no doubt thanks to what appears to be an ATC soft dome transducer. Vocals are glorious on these things. They are not bass shy, but are not as dynamic as the Polks. Very Brit like, that. They exhibit better speed and control, although have a tad harder top end than the Lsi's. They are not fatiguing per se, just not as airy as the Polk.

    As I mentioned, they actually sound quite different. If you can audition them, I doubt you'll have a hard time discerning which sounds better to you.

    Hope this helps.
    "If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." Mark Donohue

  4. #4
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    Ok, thanks guys.

    Wharfies are sold in mass market here and the name doesn't have much credibility. This situation means a better buy from their top end. I guess I was wanting some info on whether they are up to the polk lsi standard. I have had a hard time finding any reviews on them..... anybody seen one?
    Also the polks are from 2002 (eek) and are due for replacement soon...?

    There is a store here that has the Opus 1 (rather than the Opus 2 I am looking at) which misses out the second 8 inch woofer. I will go and have a listen this weekend, and then go back and listen at the polks. Of course in different rooms etc, but its the best I can do.

    I think 8" speakers are "inclined" to lack good control over a range say, compared to 5.5" to 6.5". Hence the 3.5" I guess.... fill in the midrange.
    Last edited by kungfu@paradise.net.nz; 06-20-2007 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    My man...

    Quote Originally Posted by kungfu@paradise.net.nz
    Ok, thanks guys.

    Wharfies are sold in mass market here and the name doesn't have much credibility. This situation means a better buy from their top end. I guess I was wanting some info on whether they are up to the polk lsi standard. I have had a hard time finding any reviews on them..... anybody seen one?
    Also the polks are from 2002 (eek) and are due for replacement soon...?

    There is a store here that has the Opus 1 (rather than the Opus 2 I am looking at) which misses out the second 8 inch woofer. I will go and have a listen this weekend, and then go back and listen at the polks. Of course in different rooms etc, but its the best I can do.

    I think 8" speakers are "inclined" to lack good control over a range say, compared to 5.5" to 6.5". Hence the 3.5" I guess.... fill in the midrange.
    Listen here....for 2K you can do a heck of alot better than Polk. I am not knocking Polk or even the Wharfs, but for that kinda money you could really get some sweet speaks.

  6. #6
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfu@paradise.net.nz
    Ok, thanks guys.

    Wharfies are sold in mass market here and the name doesn't have much credibility. This situation means a better buy from their top end. I guess I was wanting some info on whether they are up to the polk lsi standard. I have had a hard time finding any reviews on them..... anybody seen one?
    Wharfedale is owned by the Quad Group and are considered one of the "Old Guard" from Britain. They languished for a few years until Quad bought them and rebuilt the line-up. The fit and finish on the Opus is very, very good. The binding posts are high quality and the cabinetry exhibits good craftsmanship. The cabinets aren't Sonus Fabers or Dali's, but few speakers are.

    I think 8" speakers are "inclined" to lack good control over a range say, compared to 5.5" to 6.5". Hence the 3.5" I guess.... fill in the midrange.
    Be careful generalizing speakers based on looks alone. This is the same thinking behind the misconception that all metal dome tweeters are hard and sibilant. I've heard ultra-controlled speaks with 13" drivers (Wilson) and boomy speakers with 6"ers (Athena). It's all about the application, the quality of the driver, and the skill of the designer. BTW, that soft dome midrange on the Opus is one of the best I've ever heard.

    Good luck in your search.
    "If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." Mark Donohue

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    Listen here....for 2K you can do a heck of alot better than Polk. I am not knocking Polk or even the Wharfs, but for that kinda money you could really get some sweet speaks.
    The problem is our market is so small that we miss out on a good variety. This means people have mention brands that not only do I not recognise - but are not even available in the country.

    **sigh**

    Ok, overall it seems the Wharfies are rated above the polks - agree?

    And, if US$2000 was the limited, any specifc recommendations that I can try and find locally?

    Thanks again for the help.

  8. #8
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfu@paradise.net.nz
    The problem is our market is so small that we miss out on a good variety. This means people have mention brands that not only do I not recognise - but are not even available in the country.

    **sigh**

    Ok, overall it seems the Wharfies are rated above the polks - agree?

    And, if US$2000 was the limited, any specifc recommendations that I can try and find locally?

    Thanks again for the help.
    Did you check with dmc-electronics to see if you can get the PSB's???

  9. #9
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    I agree with Peruvian Skies about the PSBs. Do have a listen. They list for $2000Can but I picked mine up for $1350Can.

    Here is the address/link for the New Zealand dealer;

    Sound Group Holdings
    PO Box 302-106, NHPC
    Unit B, 3 Rothwell Ave.
    North Harbour Estate
    Albany, Auckland, New Zealand
    Tel: 64 9 415 9099
    Fax: 64 9 415 6683
    EMAIL: psb@hifimarketing.co.nz
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  10. #10
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    I agree with Peruvian Skies about the PSBs. Do have a listen. They list for $2000Can but I picked mine up for $1350Can.

    Here is the address/link for the New Zealand dealer;

    Sound Group Holdings
    PO Box 302-106, NHPC
    Unit B, 3 Rothwell Ave.
    North Harbour Estate
    Albany, Auckland, New Zealand
    Tel: 64 9 415 9099
    Fax: 64 9 415 6683
    EMAIL: psb@hifimarketing.co.nz
    Thanks Luvin Da Blues...we are doing all the legwork, maybe we can audition them for him as well!!!! Just as long as he's buying them!

  11. #11
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    , maybe we can audition them for him as well!!!!
    Hey PS how's it going? I already auditioned them, that's why I own them

    Bye the way, nice Gibs..do you have anything recorded on that beautiful guitar that you may wanna share??
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  12. #12
    nightflier
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    Well there are a few companies down under, right? Plinius and Perreaux come to mind and as far as speakers, I ran across the following (although I'm sure there's got to be more):

    - Osborn (http://www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au/),
    - Image Loudspeakers (http://www.imageloudspeakers.com/index.asp),
    - Kea Audio (http://www.keaaudio.com/),
    - Krix Loudspeakers (http://www.krix.com.au/)
    - Legend Acoustics (http://www.legendspeakers.com.au/)
    - Sonique Audio (http://www.sonique.com.au/)
    - Whatmough Audio (http://www.whatmough.com.au/)

    I certainly am curious to find out more about the Oceania model from Kea. Or for a sound similar to the Polk's check out the special 'ring radiator' design of the Signature series from Whatmough. Now I know these don't have the name recognition of B&W or Magnepan, but many of us here wouldn't mind hearing a bit more about these manufacturers, I think.

    If you are dead set on the Polks because of that amazing tweeter (and it is pretty sweet), why not get a pair of the LSi7 bookshelf speakers and then add a sub later if you need it? The LSi9 is also an option, but I don't think it offers up much more than the LSi7, considering the price difference. I don't know anything about Wharfedales, so I can't speak about them, but it does seem like their top of the line stuff is well made.

    Anyhow, that's my 2c.

  13. #13
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luvin Da Blues
    Hey PS how's it going? I already auditioned them, that's why I own them

    Bye the way, nice Gibs..do you have anything recorded on that beautiful guitar that you may wanna share??
    I know you bought them...I was being sarcastic about it. Anyway, things are going well. I only recorded things about 10 years ago with that guitar, but it sounded great...nothing that I still have, but now that you mention it I might want to record something again with it...my favorite thing to do is take it into a room like the bathroom or a stairwell and play with the crazy acoustics.

  14. #14
    superdougiefreshness
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    Options look good for you in your price range ?

    Hi KungFu.....
    The suggestions by Nightflier are an excellent starting point for you. I just was on some of the sites offered and I must say I was very impressed with Krix KDX main bookshelf speakers, and can't find a price for them. If you can listen to them let me know what their like. I think you have some searching that could result in amazing sound for you. I have not heard of about half of the companies on that list, but what a great vantage point too follow. Did you buy anything yet and if so what did you end up with ?

    Have a great time hunting.
    SuperDougieFreshNess - San Diego - Blessings by the sea

    p.s. I am not very fond of Boston Acoustics myself to be honest.......... and what the heck does it mean if I have reputation points in here ? does anyone know that answer ? ........LOL

  15. #15
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    I had a listen in the weekend to Mission M66 and E81. Not bad. Not great.

    I was trying to get to listen to the Opus, but they are out of stock for another week. However, I listened to the Evo2 30's. Was not impressed. Again they were ok but...

    The guy in the store said people buy the Opus for the fantastic looking cases, but thinks even the Mission M66's are better. If so, damn.

    I then had a listen to the Polk Lsi15s. Pretty good. I listened to the Dynaudio Audience 72SE speakers next to them. The depth of south from the guitar on Dynaudios was beautiful next to the Polks. If I could have afforded them, I would have got a set on the spot. But at NZ$5,300 (US$4000) it is out of my reach!

    I will try and get to listen to the PSBs recommended next week.

    Thanks!

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