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berts
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~ $1000/pair of speakers

I'm just starting the migration from the usual Sony/Yamaha/Panasonic consumer stuff to what I hope will be a real, albeit entry level, listening environment.

I've already made my move to an NAD C372 integrated amp, and now I'm looking for suggestions for speakers to replace my current Boston Acoustic VR2's.

The "music room" is a 15' X 25' carpeted areas with a vaulted ceiling, a sofa and love seat and a few pictures on the walls. My listening habits are about 45% classical, 35% 60's, 70's and 80's rock, and 20% country/folk/everything else. Source is CD's exclusively

I've got speaker selection down to a short list the includes the following;

Paradigm monitor 11
PSB Image T65
Monitor Audio RS6

At least these are what I can actually audition without an uncomfortably long drive. Any one of these qualify as a stand-out or a box to avoid? Or are there others at this price point that I'd be well advised to consider even if I can't give them an in person listen?

Thanks,
Bert

Buddha
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

How about a pair of Infinity Primus 162 plus a pair of Infinity PS212 powered subwoofers...retail price for the whole works is only 1050 through Crutchfield.

I'd call that a no lose kilodaollar speaker set up!

berts
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers


Quote:
How about a pair of Infinity Primus 162 plus a pair of Infinity PS212 powered subwoofers...retail price for the whole works is only 1050 through Crutchfield.

I'd call that a no lose kilodaollar speaker set up!

Thanks!! Thing is, I'm kinda hung up on full range floor-standers. At least that's the way I Think I want to go.

Regards,
Bert

wgriel
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers


Quote:
Thanks!! Thing is, I'm kinda hung up on full range floor-standers. At least that's the way I Think I want to go.

Regards,
Bert

I can understand that - I like floorstanders for 2 channel listening myself.

The only thing is, I'm thinking that you will be hard pressed to get substantial improvement over your VR2s for a thousand bucks. Is there something that you don't like about them or are you just in the mood for a change?

berts
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers


Quote:

I can understand that - I like floorstanders for 2 channel listening myself.

The only thing is, I'm thinking that you will be hard pressed to get substantial improvement over your VR2s for a thousand bucks. Is there something that you don't like about them or are you just in the mood for a change?

The VR2's are nice, but their soundstage leaves a bit to be desired. So are you saying the Monitor Audio's or PSB's or Paradigm's won't be substantially better? If so, I'm surprised because of the substantial price differential (as in ~$500/pr vs. ~$1000/pr).

Maybe you don't always get what you pay for(?)...

Regards,
Bert

jackfish
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures at AudiogoN for $900 and $999.

http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/284/

Dali IKON 6 $1,120 at Audiophile Liquidator.

PSB Image T65 $969 at Audiophile Liquidator.

Or a pair of Infinity Primus P362 floorstanders ($378) and an Infinity PS212 subwoofer ($400). http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/605infinity/ http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_4/infinity-primus-speakers-10-2003.html

Buddha
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

Great post, Jackfish!

zfreiman
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

Hi berts,
I would highly suggest Focal/jm labs Cobalt 816s! My father has a pair, and they are very musical. I have a pair of Wharfedale Evo 40 v2's and they are not as revealing but play a little deeper and are not as bright on some source material. I would recommend both. But its all about taste and what sounds good to you. I think you have made really good choices on what to audition. I'm thinking the MA RS6 might be hard to beat.

-Z

berts
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

OK!! So it sounds like my short list just got a bit shorter.

I'm thinking I'll give the PSB Image T65's and Monitor Audio RS6's a listen. This works out well since the closer of the 2 dealers I've been working with has both. That'll save me some running around, which, believe me, is a good thing in the S.F. bay area.

BTW, I'm really loving that NAD!! I just got the C372 a couple weeks ago, and even with the BA VR2's, I'm hearing nuances in the music, especially on the Isaac Stern rendition of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in D major, that I swear I've never heard before. Even my wife has remarked about the change.

Thanks to everyone for the input.

Regards,
Bert

wgriel
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers


Quote:
The VR2's are nice, but their soundstage leaves a bit to be desired. So are you saying the Monitor Audio's or PSB's or Paradigm's won't be substantially better? If so, I'm surprised because of the substantial price differential (as in ~$500/pr vs. ~$1000/pr).

Maybe you don't always get what you pay for(?)...

Regards,
Bert

Shows you what I know - I didn't realize the VR2s were that cheap. Generally I've thought the Boston VR series was fairly comparable in quality to the Paradigm Monitor series, but does have a different character.

Everything mentioned is a solid choice. One more you might consider is the new B&W 684. It's the successor to the B&W DM603 which received quite an enthusiastic review in Stereophile a couple of years ago and was chosen as the budget product of the year for 2005(?)

Good luck!

Bill

Jan Vigne
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers


Quote:
Thing is, I'm kinda hung up on full range floor-standers.

I'd urge you to keep an open mind regarding satellite/subwoofer systems. Every room has its own challenges but vaulted ceilings tend to vault the problems to the fore. Discuss with your dealer the problems you might encounter and the various ways to counter such issues.

Standing waves are common in rooms with vaulted ceilings and speaker placement aimed at the best soundstaging is unlikely to provide any relief from the low frequency suckouts in a room the dimensions of yours. Satellites are also much more efficient at the soundstaging game than most floorstanders of equivalent price. An independent subwoofer allows placement aimed at maximizing transparency while getting the most from the available frequency response the room will allow.

Before you head to the dealers try two things. First, experiment with the Wilson techniques for speaker placement; http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?fr=ybr_sbc&p=W.A.S.P.%20%20speaker%20placement and http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/waspe.html

After you've found the "best" speaker location for your room, you'll find most speakers will fit within a few inches of that same location whether they are standmounts or floorstanders. Second, walk the room from front to back and side to side to listen for bass anomalies. If you are hearing bass response that suddenly disappears in one area and comes back in another a few feet away, you are in need of an independent subwoofer or room teatments to bring the room's response in order. If you can site your listening position in the correct location taking these room issues into account, you can minimize the effects of the room at that one spot. But only at that one location. If room irregularities are an issue, you will not get the additional bass response you are paying for in a floorstanding speaker while at the same time maximizing soundstaging abilities. Discuss this with your dealer.

Jan Vigne
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

If you are considering the posibilities of the internet, consider auditioning a few speakers that are rather untraditional choices. For soundstaging abilities you will be hard pressed to do better than a single driver design. There are quite a few companies building the type of product which will benefit your classical selections as well as any vocal material you choose. Where most "conventional" speakers will typically place the crossover for the two or more drivers within the center of the vocal range, a single driver does away with the problems associated with crossovers and voicing multiple drivers to sound as one instrument. Single driver designs offer a cohesive sound quality that can only be matched, if at all, by much more expensive multi-driver designs. If you are familiar with the sound of a live symphony orchestra, a single driver design has many benefits. As is typical of any speaker, single drivers also have some disadvantages. You'll have to decide which qualities are at the top of your priorities list and which are sins of ommission are forgiveable and less desired. Read a bit on the web pages of single driver companies to find more about the benefits and disadvantages of such products.

I would suggest you begin by considering an audition of the Magnepan MMG's for approximately $550 and then consider a more conventional enclosure such as the Omega speakers. Both companies offer home trials at minimal cost to you should you need to return a product. Omega builds products designed around the Fostex line of full range drivers and you can find multiple choices for similar products by placing "Fostex drivers" in a search engine. I believe Magnepan still ranks as the most popular "audiophile" speaker to own in the latest Stereophile survey. They've been around for decades and offer excellent customer service. You can even take a tour of the manufacturing facilities if you live or visit their part of the US, eh?

Your profile doesn't give a location for your home but you might want to consider a trip to the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Festival. It would be a good opportunity for a look at and listen to some of the most interesting gear available today. Many but not all of the manufacturers displaying at the show are small internet based companies which tend to offer very high levels of performance for quite reasonable prices. Most of these designers began as hobbyists who still enjoy talking to other music lovers or gear heads and are more than willing to discuss how their unique products best serve the music. They offer a wealth of information and an unforgetable experience for the low price of admission should you be anywhere close to the festival site. The Rocky Mountain festival has grown over the last few years to be one of the most important audio shows within the States. It's well worth the effort if you are in the market for ideas.

http://audiofest.net/2007/index.php

berts
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Re: ~ $1000/pair of speakers

Jan,
Thank you so much for your insightful posts!!

Let me describe my listening environment in a bit more detail and tell you what I'd done with it do date.

The ceiling is a straight slope from a height of 18' along one of the long (25') walls to 8' at the opposite long wall. It's poor acoustic characteristics were apparent even with my previous "consumer" type set up, and I tried any number of arrangements to compensate for it without success.

I was decrying this situation to a friend when I first started to get serious about upgrading my system when he pointed me to the very same link you supplied about the Wilson Audio Setup Procedure. Well, using that technique, I was indeed able to come up with a configuration that provided at least one rather small spot in the room where listening was acceptable. The problem was that this configuration forced a furniture arrangement that was awkward at best and totally unacceptable to my wife.

So, I then set about tweaking the room with cloth wall hangings (most of which were appreciated by she who must be obeyed), the strategic placement of a small room divider, the construction and use of a pair of 3" tall hardwood speaker platforms, and the application of acoustic texturing to the ceiling itself. It took a good deal of time and work because this was all done on a "trial and error" basis, but the end result was more than worth the effort. Long story short, the speakers ended up parallel to the 8' wall about 13" from it and 7'-10" apart. The left speaker as seen from the listening area is 4'-6" from the side wall, and the 5' long room divider is 3 feet from the right hand speaker. This creates an area of very good listening about the size of our love seat about 7' from the taller wall and allows for a practical and pleasing furniture arrangement. I did need more toe-in on the speakers than I would normally have used, but not quite as much as descibed in Thorsten's article.

I'm just hoping that I won't have to shuffle things about too much when I finally do upgrade my speakers.

BTW, I'm out on the left coast about 40 miles due East of San Francisco.

Regards,
Bert

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