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ClassicalDJ's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 16 2013 - 9:36am
Speakers for Classical (Orchestral) Music ($2k/pair)


This is my first post on this forum, so here's a little about me and my audio system:

I am an avid listener of classical music, especially of the orchestral variety. I am a big fan of the Super Audio CD format (I have purchased about 200 SACDs in less than two years), and from time to time I will listen to LPs (I am considering upgrading my ancient Technics SL-5). I am still undecided whether stereo or multichannel is the way to go with the SACD format, but currently I am listening in multichannel with some "entry-level" (~$250 apiece) Klipsch speakers. Here are my system details:

Oppo BDP-103 Blu Ray/SACD Player
Teac UD-501 USB DAC (w/ Foobar2000)
Technics SL-5 Automatic Turntable

Denon 4310 AVR
Denon 2112 AVR (Spare)

Klipsch RF-15 Floorstanders (Fronts)
Klipsch RC-25 Center
Klipsch RB-61 Bookshelf (Surrounds)

Assuming I was to go the two-channel route (I think there might be more bang for the buck here), I would like your opinion on good speakers for classical (mainly orchestral, but at least competent with chamber and jazz) music in the $2000/pair range, preferably without requiring an immediate upgrade to my amplification (Denon 4310).

I have looked into the following models:

KEF Q900
Monitor Audio RX6
Magnepan 1.7
Martin Logan ESL 8
Sonus Faber
Golden Ear Triton 3


Thanks for your input,


Bill B
Bill B's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 days ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm

consider also Focal Profile 918, SVS Ultra Towers, and Vandersteen 2ce signature II.  The  last one is around $2400.

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 50 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

The Monitor Audio Silver RX6 would be my first.choice, by far.

If you subscribe to Stereophile, you will notice that they place them in Class B of Recommended Components, where many speakers cost 3 to 6 times as much. They are an incredible value for the price, only $1250 per pair.

The company also makes matching speakers if you want a 5-channel matching set.

My second choice would be the PSB Image T6, which i had for two years; they are very good.

I replaced them with a set of Vandersteen Treo speakers, which are incredibly good-sounding, but they are $5995.

The Vandersteen 2Ce is excellent, but the 16-inch width makes them problematical to place or fit in sometimes.

In the long run, however, IMO you will need to get a better amplifier to fully utilize the performance available from either of those sets of speakers.

There are several good integrated amplifiers from Musical Fidelity, Arcam, Creek, and others. If you want a 5-channel system, however, the only real high-quality sound available IMO is the Cambridge Audio AVRs. The sound quality of all the other AVRs is not in the same range.

ClassicalDJ's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: Sep 16 2013 - 9:36am
Monitor Audio RX6 vs. KEF Q900

I was able to audition these speakers in my home a few months back. The RX6 held its own against the Q900 in every respect except imaging and soundstage. If I do take the stereo route over multichannel, I would choose the Q900; but for multichannel I think I'd prefer the RX6 - because of its modest size, a five-identical-speaker setup would be quite doable with my room constraints.

I also heard the Magnepan 1.7 at a dealer and was quite intrigued with its clean boxless sound. It will probably be difficult to get an in-home audition with this model, however. Can anyone comment on its performance with classical music? I can imagine that smaller scale works sound wonderful on the Maggies, but what about larger scale orchestral music? Also, would they sound good at a close listening position (6-9ft)?

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Last seen: 3 days 22 hours ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm

As an ex-Magnepan owner I can testify to their suitability for Classical, Jazz and acoustic music in general. If you have the room, they may be what you're looking (listening) for. One caveat: An AVR receiver may not have enough power to adequately push a pair of 1.7s. In general Magneplanars need some real 4 Ohm power.

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