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venessian's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
New speakers, music mainly: Snell, Jamo, Boston Acoustics, Aperion?

Hello, new here, first post.

My wife and I need a new stereo system, as everything we have is old and outdated. She is a part-time opera singer, so it is important that the set-up be geared for her to listen to her practices and other works, as well as a range of music from classical to jazz and blues. Therefore, “musical” speakers and receiver.

We are not, however, looking for a “music only” set-up, as we would like the receiver to be AVR and to connect the speakers to the TV/DVD. We are on a fairly tight budget.

For now the system will be 2.1, 2 new speakers and a new AVR. We may expand into 5.1 in the future, and we may not. We will not be hooking up iPods, doing gaming, etc. Only listening to music and watching films.

Here is a plan of the living area. The space is quite long (37’) but is divided into 2 sections in terms of height. The shaded area that has red dots over (where the stereo/TV are) is about 12’ x 14’ with a flat ceiling about 8.5’ high, while the area not dotted rises from 8.5’ at the windows to about 16’ high at the curved dashed line. The floors are terrazzo except for 3 rugs; the walls are plaster over brick; the ceilings are drywall, so a lot of hard surfaces. Sound will be provided to the dining area via a Sonos ZP90 connected to the receiver, and a Sonos S5 player at the far wall on a credenza. The area of primary focus then is the sitting area.

Also, the apartment is in Venice, Italy and I am currently in the US, therefore any home audition is impossible.

I have looked into “musical” speakers and have come up with 4 alternatives, that are all interesting to me.

In price order (shipped, etc.) they are:

2 mint used (almost new) Snell Acoustics K5 (2004); $375.
1” tweeter; 6.5” woofer; FR (+/- 3dB): 48-20,000 Hz; Impedance: 8 ohms; Sensitvity: 86db.

2 mint (demo level) Jamo C803 (very recent) $425.
1” tweeter; 7.0” woofer; FR (+/- 3dB): 45-24,000 Hz; Impedance: [U]6 ohms[/U]; Sensitvity: 87db.

2 new Boston Acoustics VS260; $600.
1” tweeter; 6.5” woofer; FR (+/- 3dB): 45-30,000 Hz; Impedance: 8 ohms; Sensitvity: 87db.

2 new Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf; $600.
1” tweeter; 5.5” woofer; FR (+/- 3dB): 59-20,000 Hz; Impedance: [U]6 ohms[/U]; Sensitvity: 87db.

Reviews on the Snell K5 and the BA VS260 are hard to come by, but the few I have found are very positive. Reviews on the Jamo C803 and the Aperion VGB are far more common and almost all extremely positive.

I have heard some Jamo C803 and I thought they sounded great; it is not possible to audition the others, as the Snells are used, Aperion are ID only, and nobody in my area carries the BA VS260.

Any comments/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if any of these speakers might NOT require a subwoofer, I would be interested in knowing.

If a good musical sub is required, and recommended, it MUST be 120/240 V switchable, like the HSU VTF-1 or the Velodyne Impacts, since eventually it will be in Italy. I haven’t looked at other subs yet.


Regarding the receiver, again I have a short list:
Denon AVR-1712; refurbished; $308.
Denon AVR-891; new; $389.
Denon AVR-1912; refurbished; $414.
Marantz SR5005; B-stock; $449.

I like Marantz a lot and looked at the Marantz SR6005 as well, but $516 is a lot of money....If someone can recommend a lower-priced Marantz AVR with Audyssey and the power to run the speakers, please do so!

However, if the Denon 1712 would be fine we would quite OK with that and “saving” some money...we still need cables, etc.

Again, any comments/recommendations as to which, if any, of these receivers might pair up best with the speakers above would be greatly appreciated.


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 2 days 20 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am
Speaker Choice

Sounds like you have a bit of a project there, lol.

I won't say that the speakers you list are bad speakers, but I don't think they are the best I have heard for your application or budget.

I suggest you consider the EPOS ELS-8, the PSB Image B5, or the Monitor Audio Bronze BX2. For the type of usage you describe, they will do the trick.

These are 3 excellent speakers, all costing about $450 per pair list; maybe you can find them for less.

I particularly recommend the PSB, but they are all excellent choices that will meet your need. PSB has speakers that are designed to expand the Image B5 into a multi-channel system at a later date if desired.

You can check the manufacturer's website or the Audio Advisor website for photos and specifications.

Audio Advisor is a company I do business with on occasion because they offer a 30-day free trial, with no strings. If you send a product back, you do pay the return shipping charge. For me, there is no substitute for a week or so of in-home listening to make my decision final, and no other company I am aware of makes it easier.

Doing a home trial has saved me from expensive mistakes several times.

As far as a receiver is concerned, I would personally say that I have never found Denon receivers to have a sound I am comfortable with; the sound of their amplifier circuitry is harsh to me. The only Denon component I ever bought that I still use is an AM/FM tuner.

I would recommend either Marantz or Cambridge. The Marantz SR6005 might be a great choice for you at $550, since it has lots of power and comes with the Audessy system built-in and 7.1 capability for future use. Surely an extra $100 is justfiable to get a unit that you won't feel a need to replace later on. Its list of features is so extensive that every possible future need seems to be provided for.

Venice! I envy you. I love the Hotel Do Pozzi there; an absolute gem with a pefect location.

Good luck!

Edfuent's picture
Last seen: 5 years 11 months ago
Joined: Dec 1 2011 - 9:49am
New Speakers

Hi Venessian!

I was viewing the forums as I occassionaly do and noticed that there hasn't been much discussion regarding your question besides commsysman's helpful comment.

Let me first tell you that I handle marketing and product development at Aperion Audio (full disclosure).

As you likely know, speaker choice is a very subjective undertaking. All of the speakers mentioned above could be great solutions for your size room and listening needs.  However, it would be best to hear for yourself.

It sounds like you've come across the reviews of our VGB, and you've probably seen the thorough test by Goodsound/Soundstage Net at the NRC in Canada.  So let me suggest that if you are in the states for a few weeks yet, you could try out the Aperion VGB at no risk.  If you contact our Home Theater Guru's, they can answer any questions you may have, no hard sell - just information.  If you decide to try a pair of the VGB there is no cost to you if you decide they're not a good fit - unfortunately we don't ship to Italy!

Best of luck in your search for sonic joy,

Ed de la Fuente

Aperion Audio

venessian's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Nov 20 2011 - 9:15pm
First of all, thank you

First of all, thank you commsysman and Edfuent for the replies.

Edfuent, yes, if I am looking to go new I am still considering the VGB of those on my list.

commsysman, thanks for those suggestions. I agree with you, after doing more research and actually auditioning some speakers in stores, that I need to revise my list.

In fact, I listened to some PSB Image B6 the other day and liked them quite a bit. The same store also had some Tannoy Revolution DC6 (both speakers driven by a NAD 326BEE) which I liked a bit better but they are almost double the cost of the Image B6.

Those are both new, along with the Aperion VGB and perhaps the Ascend Sierra-1.

In terms of used, in addition to the Snell K5, I have 3 options, all about the same price:
Sonus Faber Concertino (original version)
Sonus Faber Concerto

Any comments on any of these?

I know the Hotel Do Pozzi! I live quite nearby.

ikymagoo's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 1 2011 - 6:54am
have you looked at these?
jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Since you will be in Italy you should really

listen to the Opera Linea Classica Prima which will best the Sonus Faber Concertino for less money.  You might get an in home audition.


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