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  1. #1
    Dev
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    Speakers for Classical Music for Rotel RB 1070 (budget: upto 2k$)

    Hi everyone!

    I recently bought a new Rotel RB 1070 pre amp and RC 1070 power amp and have not bought any speakers yet and need your guidance to avoid wasting my money.

    I listen only to classical music and as i mentioned my budget is upto 1k - 2k USD only.

    The power amp requires min of 4ohms impedance and is rated for 130W/ch at 8 ohms.

    Many thanks!
    Dev

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Magnepan MG1.6 QR's www.magnepan.com They are excellent for classical music as well as jazz, acoustic and blue's. Also consider Thiels but they may run more than 2k. http://www.thielaudio.com/THIEL_Site.../cs1_6nws.html

    You have many choices with a 2K budget. But for the money and if you don't mind the door panel look, go with the Magnepans.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
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    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
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    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
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    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
    RGA
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    Depends on the size of the room and how much space you have. For a smaller room the Audio Note AX Two with Stands would be quite nice for $700 + stands (I recommend Skylan out of Alberta for quality and price)

    Bigger room you could look into the Magnepan 1.6, B&W 604S3, - both with varying degrees of compromises.

    I'd also check out Gershman Acoustics X1 (a little bass shy without the matching Sub 1) and PMC's line of speakers (with the silk dome tweeters not the metal domes). They should be in the middle of your price range. But they are nearfield monitors requireing you to sit relatively close and in a smallish room depending on the model.

  4. #4
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I'll agree with the guys' assertion that Maggies will do a job for you on classical music, and also agree that the size of your room will be impactful on your choice.

    To throw out another name, I have heard on several occasions a Rotel/Dynaudio combination that I thought had excellent synergy (surprisingly, much more so than Rotel/B&W).

    Welcome to the forums, btw. It sounds like you're getting off to a good start.
    So, I broke into the palace
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    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  5. #5
    Dev
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    Forgot to mention, my living room is of ~400 sq feet area and i listen at not-so-high volume level.

  6. #6
    RGA
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    Maggies don't sound very good at low volumes and they need to play louder to sound open. They're limited in that sense as well as they also don't like to be pushed. They have a volume sweet spot and a very very very tiny listening window - what is referred to has a head in the vice listening position. They're tough to position and you must sit in one very small spot - otherwise the entire thing can sound pretty dreadful. But if you have a complimentary room and you can listen without moving your head much and you listen louder but not too loud and bass isn't important then they can be very nice. For me personally though it's too much work and not quite enough reward - but I stress also that MANY people love them and by all means you may be one of them and they're certainly worth an audition - after all what have you got to lose.

    In a lower budget I would try to avoid metal tweeters in general. Sonus Faber and Wharfedale, might also be added to the list at opposite ends of the pricing but in your budget perhaps. Higher sensitivity will generally perform a lot better at low volume but that is general - the AX Two under a grand would be my choice. And it sounded quite nice with the Rotel RA-02 - though it does prefer Tubes - which would be my next upgrade and having an easy to drive speaker is not a bad idea. (Thinking a few upgrades down the road).

  7. #7
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev
    Hi everyone!

    I recently bought a new Rotel RB 1070 pre amp and RC 1070 power amp and have not bought any speakers yet and need your guidance to avoid wasting my money.

    I listen only to classical music and as i mentioned my budget is upto 1k - 2k USD only.

    The power amp requires min of 4ohms impedance and is rated for 130W/ch at 8 ohms.

    Many thanks!
    Dev
    I previously owned a Rotel RC1070/RB1080 Combo & had good results with a pair of Mission V63 Towers... However, if I still had that combo, my top choice of speakers would be the Revel Concerta F12 ($1.5K).... If you are willing to trade in some bass response, then you could also consider the PSB Imagine T, B&W CM7 & Epos M16i (all $2K)...

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Another vote for MG 1.6's

    Dev,

    Welcome to AR Forums.

    Put me down as another vote for Magneplanar MG 1.6QR. Given appropriate room setup and adequate power, they will beat anything in their price range for accoustic music. I have owned these speakers for about 3 years with no plans to replace them -- ever.

    See this earlier thread on the subject of the MG .16 ... MG 1.6QR crushes competion

    They sound perfectly fine at low volumes -- contrary to RGA's assertion. They are not really difficult to position except that they need to be 2.5 - 5 feet from the wall behind and 1.5 feet or more from sidewalls. Their "sweet spot" is a little narrow, but not too bad at about 4 feet side to side at 10 feet from the speakers. Magnepan recommends a minium amplifier power of 50 watts per channel which is fine for restrained volumes in a small medium room, in a 400 ft^2 room, I suggest at least 100 wpc.

    See a pic of these speaker in my listening room which is about 11.5' x 20; the speakers are about 3' from the wall though they migt look closer.
    ...
    Last edited by Feanor; 01-12-2009 at 08:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Dev
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    Thank you all for quick reponse - i had no idea this forum is this active! By the time i added my room config i did not notice there were 3 responses already!!

    I will try all the sugggestions, my only fear is i may not have all available in my city - I live in New Delhi, India. So far B&W, Dali (no one has suggested it, I have noted), Maggies and Dynaudio are confirmed and i am searching for dealers for other brands.

    It looks to be very busy week ahead and i am looking forward to it!!

  10. #10
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Dev
    Thank you all for quick reponse - i had no idea this forum is this active! By the time i added my room config i did not notice there were 3 responses already!!

    I will try all the suggestions, my only fear is i may not have all available in my city - I live in New Delhi, India. So far B&W, Dali (no one has suggested it, I have noted), Maggies and Dynaudio are confirmed and i am searching for dealers for other brands.

    It looks to be very busy week ahead and i am looking forward to it!!
    I haven't heard any of the Dali speakers in your price range. A few years ago, I heard the Dali Helicon 400, which was quite nice, but the current iteration is even more expensive. They're a good, well known speaker manufacturer, so Iadvise you to audition their speakers.

    I have been favorably impressed with the Dynaudio speakers I have heard. They tend to be insensitive and 4 ohm impedance, but your Rotel amplifier should do fine. Their standmount speakers also have good bass response for small speakers. I believe their floor standing speakers are above your price range. What about Quad speakers? Are they available? A lot of people seem to like their dynamic speakers, though I have only heard a little one.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  11. #11
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    I had Maggie 1.6QRs for several years and really enjoyed them. I had no problem with them at lower volumes. There is a good chance I'd still own them today if I hadn't moved.

    The only catch was when I moved 3 years ago they simply didn't fit well in the new listening room. It was smaller and I was unable to place the speakers far enough out from the rear and side walls.

    I ended up selling them and now have a pair of Spendor SP1/2Es which are perfect for the new room. They are very similar in that the sound from both the Maggies and Spendors has a ease that is very natural. They are both wonderful for classical or any other primarily acoustic music from jazz to bluegrass. You could get the SP1/2E for under $2K used or one of their newer "S" series.

    However, some classical music buffs want very deep bass from their speakers, particularly if they listen to the larger orchestra works or pipe organ. Neither the Maggie nor Spendor are known for their deep bass. A plucked or bowed double-bass sounds incredibly lifelike in my room but you won't get the full effect of a kettle drum or low C from a pipe organ. It doesn't bother me but one could always add a subwoofer down the road.

  12. #12
    Bill L
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    Speakers for Rotel RB 1070

    I'll throw in yet another reommendation for Maggie 1.6's. I've had mine for a couplle of years and I haven't got tired of listening to them at all. They are the kind of speakers that you can listen to for a long period of time with absolutely no ear fatigue whatsoever.

    I listen to a lot of rock music, but other genres as well. I recently burned a disc of movie soundtracks, including themes from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Ben Hur, Star Trek, Saving Private Ryan, Aliens, Kelly's Heroes, Lawrence of Arabia, among others. The string sections of the various ochestras sounded very good, The horn sections were absolutely outstanding. The Maggie's clarity and depth are simply joyous when playing this type of music. And that's from computer downloaded CD burns from I Tunes.

    I like to listen to the Maggies at an average-to-slightly-above-average-level. The "quieter" the music, the more I tend to tweak up the volume. This should work for your particular tastes in music very well.

    One other thing, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra does an outstanding job with practically every recording they make. They delve into a lot of areas (classical, soundtrack, themes, etc). Great source for the "quiet" music I was referring to.
    tx,
    Bill
    Music:
    Magnepan 1.6 QR's, upgraded xovers
    B&K 125.2 reference amp
    SONY SACD 2000ES
    Technics direct drive TT

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  13. #13
    Dev
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat D
    I haven't heard any of the Dali speakers in your price range. A few years ago, I heard the Dali Helicon 400, which was quite nice, but the current iteration is even more expensive. They're a good, well known speaker manufacturer, so Iadvise you to audition their speakers.
    ....
    Indeed, Helicon is way beyond my budget. But they have Ikon 6 an Ikon 7 series which is very much in the limits. I came across decent reviews as well so I certainly plan to audition them. Would be glad if anyone who has had experience with them shedding some light.

    Maggies seems to be the majority's recommendation but their bass response has added to a big negative already - the dealer quoted price at 3.5K!!! Now that makes it far too expensive (i have a mortgage to pay as well ).

    Feaner: Thanks a lot for the pic. That was very helpful.

    B&W 683 anyone? I read they have good bass response.

  14. #14
    Bill L
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    3.5k$$ ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dev
    Indeed, Helicon is way beyond my budget. But they have Ikon 6 an Ikon 7 series which is very much in the limits. I came across decent reviews as well so I certainly plan to audition them. Would be glad if anyone who has had experience with them shedding some light.

    Maggies seems to be the majority's recommendation but their bass response has added to a big negative already - the dealer quoted price at 3.5K!!! Now that makes it far too expensive (i have a mortgage to pay as well ).
    Feaner: Thanks a lot for the pic. That was very helpful.

    B&W 683 anyone? I read they have good bass response.
    $3.5K!! That's awful. 1 and a half years ago they were going for $1.75K in the US. I don't think they cost much more than that today. Are you stuck with that one dealer or is there anybody else who offers Magnapan so you can compare prices? Are you sure the dealer was quoting the price for a 1.6, and not a Maggie 3.6?
    Music:
    Magnepan 1.6 QR's, upgraded xovers
    B&K 125.2 reference amp
    SONY SACD 2000ES
    Technics direct drive TT

    HT:
    Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver
    Bang&Olofsun Penta Surrounds
    SONY Bravia 46" HD LCD

  15. #15
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    B&W certainly has their following, but I'm not a particular fan of theirs, especially for acoustic music.

    I would strongly encourage you to listen to any candidates yourself, preferably in your own room. Bass - as with any frequency band - has a number of characteristics. How strong it is in terms of loudness, how deep it goes (which can be very deceptive), how "tight" it is, and how well it integrates with the rest of the speaker's output. (If you've ever heard a badly integrated subwoofer you know how annoying the last item can be.)

    Since bass is extremely room sensitive, that's the reason for suggesting you audition in your home if at all possible.

    As noted, my Spendors aren't famous for deep bass, but I've never heard a more lifelike double bass anywhere else. (Get yourself a copy of Orlando Lopez's "Cachaito" album for some stunning jazz double bass work. He's the bassist from the Cuban "Buena Vista Social Club" albums.)

    As an alternative to buying new, some people take the approach of buying used equipment blind, just based on reputation. Then if they don't care for it, they can resell it for about what they paid. Not everybody's cup of tea (especially since speakers tend to be expensive to ship) but it might be an alternative for you if you are interested in equipment that you just can't audition before you buy.

  16. #16
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev
    Indeed, Helicon is way beyond my budget. But they have Ikon 6 an Ikon 7 series which is very much in the limits. I came across decent reviews as well so I certainly plan to audition them. Would be glad if anyone who has had experience with them shedding some light.

    Maggies seems to be the majority's recommendation but their bass response has added to a big negative already - the dealer quoted price at 3.5K!!! Now that makes it far too expensive (i have a mortgage to pay as well ).

    Feaner: Thanks a lot for the pic. That was very helpful.

    B&W 683 anyone? I read they have good bass response.
    B&W's should be a good choice for Classical (considering that several major classical recording studios use them)... But as you have probably already realized, speaker selection is a very personal thing... we all have our favorites... so in the end you'll just have to audition what you can and pick your favorite...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev
    Indeed, Helicon is way beyond my budget. But they have Ikon 6 an Ikon 7 series which is very much in the limits. I came across decent reviews as well so I certainly plan to audition them. Would be glad if anyone who has had experience with them shedding some light.

    Maggies seems to be the majority's recommendation but their bass response has added to a big negative already - the dealer quoted price at 3.5K!!! Now that makes it far too expensive (i have a mortgage to pay as well ).

    Feaner: Thanks a lot for the pic. That was very helpful.

    B&W 683 anyone? I read they have good bass response.
    I haven't heard any of the Dali Ikon speakers but the measurements for the Ikon 6 in Stereophile look quite good. The frequency response is a little less even in the midrange than I would like but it's quite good really, perhaps a little tizzy on top (a slight cut with the treble control might make an improvement, but they have quite good dispersion and should image well. They look to have useful bass to below 30 Hz, and I presume the Ikon 7 would go even lower.

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

    In your price range, I tend to prefer standmount speakers for value. One can get a subwoofer later for the deep bass. The Dynaudio Focus 140 measures very well (another I have not heard), so it would probably sound even better than the Ikons. The measurements indicate it actually has useful bass down to about 30 Hz but it would not have as great an output capability in the deep bass as an Ikon 6 or 7.

    I would like to suggest Canadian speakers such as the PSB G-Design Series and Paradigm Studio Series (I haven't heard the current models), but I have no idea whether they are available in New Delhi. They would have some floor standers in your price range, as well as standmounts. With a little dealing, you could probably get their topline standmounts (the Paradigm Signature S2 and PSB Sychone One B) for less than $2K.

    I haven't heard the lower priced B & W speakers for a long time. Again, they make some very good speakers.

    I audition speakers initially using recordings of full orchestra with massed strings, male and female vocals, mixed chorus, and piano. Most speakers don't pass. Then I can audition the ones that do pass at greater length.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Feaner - "They sound perfectly fine at low volumes -- contrary to RGA's assertion."

    Well no they don't contrary to your assertion - most panel guys who own this panel say the SAME thing. The dealer in BC says the same thing and they sell them. And I continually get the same result. And the room is not too big. Denying these aspects does people a huge disservice in my view. Of course low volume is relative - if your hearing is going and your in your fifties+ then maybe high volume to you is pretty quiet.
    Last edited by RGA; 01-14-2009 at 04:31 AM.

  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Hells bells

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Feaner - "They sound perfectly fine at low volumes -- contrary to RGA's assertion."

    Well no they don't contrary to your assertion - most panel guys who own this panel say the SAME thing. The dealer in BC says the same thing and they sell them. And I continually get the same result. And the room is not too big. Denying these aspects does people a huge disservice in my view. Of course low volume is relative - if your hearing is going and your in your fifties+ then maybe low volume to you is pretty damn loud.
    What? Are you accusing me of failure to disclose, RGA. I deny the "these aspects" because I don't hear them. I should think if my hearing was going I'd want to play at louder not quieter.

    There are several MG 1.6 owners around here. They have endorsed this speaker and haven't lined up to agree with the "don't sound good at low volumes" BS. Possibly the 1.6's sound even better at higher volumes, (not that I'm saying that), but it's not that they don't sound good at lower volumes

  20. #20
    Dev
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    Bubslewis: that's true, I reconfirmed. The price for 3.6 series is 7k!! I feel like complaining to Maggies manufacturer - this dealer is killing their pdt. Since he is selling BnW as well Maggies guys will be interested I am sure

    mlsstl: no dealer for Spendors here I am afraid. Buying used equipment in India is not an option since there are not many users around. I certainly would have gone for that over there in US.

    So the probable list so far is Dynaudio, Dali, Ravel Concerta F12. I will check BnW as well.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    I disagree with RGA as well, yes Maggies tend to open up at a higher volume level. Other systems do this better but they are excellent speakers. Of course if you are into Shostakovichs's 8th Symphony, 1812 Overture from Tchaikovski (MarchSlave) etc... you need a system with real balls to make it alive. Most systems do not and are restricted which is why for huge classical pieces you can sort out 90% of all speakers in my opinion. For a small string quartet and soft listening maybe go with RGA's general recommendation above everything, regardless of situation and buy an Audio Note speaker.

    Cheers
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  22. #22
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    What? Are you accusing me of failure to disclose, RGA. I deny the "these aspects" because I don't hear them. I should think if my hearing was going I'd want to play at louder not quieter.

    There are several MG 1.6 owners around here. They have endorsed this speaker and haven't lined up to agree with the "don't sound good at low volumes" BS. Possibly the 1.6's sound even better at higher volumes, (not that I'm saying that), but it's not that they don't sound good at lower volumes
    I was busy and miswrote - I edited my last post.

    First you said contrary to my assertions - may I ask why my assertions are incorrect but your ARE correct? Yes I may like Audio Note but at the same time most panel guys only ever recommend their brand of panel - or the ones they used to own. Which in fact makes them not unlike me - oh except that I have actually heard all the speakers in question and therefore have an actual frame of reference as to which does what better and not better or even good.

    I am sure some magnepan 1.6 owners feel the way you feel - it's mostly related to one's experience and what one compares to. Soundhounds has numerous speakers and systems to compare to - some dealers may be letting their customers compare to $300 Bose in which case maybe the 1.6 is a champ at low volume. Maybe Magnepan at Soundhounds is simply up against a lot better competition. I suppose I'm just spoiled. I'm used to speakers that can present realistic pressure of instruments.

  23. #23
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    I disagree with RGA as well, yes Maggies tend to open up at a higher volume level. Other systems do this better but they are excellent speakers. Of course if you are into Shostakovichs's 8th Symphony, 1812 Overture from Tchaikovski (MarchSlave) etc... you need a system with real balls to make it alive. Most systems do not and are restricted which is why for huge classical pieces you can sort out 90% of all speakers in my opinion. For a small string quartet and soft listening maybe go with RGA's general recommendation above everything, regardless of situation and buy an Audio Note speaker.

    Cheers
    Okay please explain - "yes Maggies tend to open up at higher volume" = umm isn't that exactly what I said Florian - you disagree with me by agreeing with what I said. They open up - they sound better - at higher volumes.

    Then you say "other systems do this better" - well I am glad to see that you know this now explain that to Feaner.

    The 1.6 is one of my favorite speakers under $2k but if it did not have ANY flaws at all whatsoever then why would you buy a 3.6 or 20.1 or an Apogee Grand? Nope the 1.6 is absolutely the PERFECT speaker - I see so that's the argument - whatever Feaner can afford is the pinnacle of the audio state of the art and has no weaknesses whatsover. No other speaker could be better at low volumes than the 1.6 which is the perfect low volume listening speaker.

    If true Florian then why did you sell your Magnepan for Apogee? And more to the point if your apogee is better than Magnepan why has Feaner not traded his Magnepan in for say a used Duetta Sig II - they sell them here used for $500 - surely it is better than a measly 1.6? Wait Feaner must think a Magnepan is better than used Apogees. Scintilla a few years ago was going for $850 cad back when the dollar was 60cents against the Greenback. Yet people are paying more than double for a Magnepan

    Although having heard three Apogee models - going out of business was not much of surprise to those of us with decent ears. Although they are back - hopefully the new stuff uses a better ribbon and are remotely listenable this time around.

  24. #24
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Although having heard three Apogee models - going out of business was not much of surprise to those of us with decent ears. Although they are back - hopefully the new stuff uses a better ribbon and are remotely listenable this time around.
    Those are fighting words! Now where's my Popcorn? This is gonna be good...

  25. #25
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Not if Florian does not reply, which I doubt he will

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