Best audiophile speakers for stereo music? (3000$ budget) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I'm looking into purchasing a complete dedicated stereo music system for a dedicated music room.

I have a budget of roughly 2,500$ for the integrated amp/CD player combo and roughly 3,000$ for floorstanding speakers.

In amplifier threads, these were the suggestions given for my budget:
- Rega Mira3 integrated amplifier (60w rms/ch) and Rega Apollo cd player

- Cambridge 740A Integrated amp along with the Cambridge 740C cd player

- NAD C375BEE integrated amp with the Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd player (apparently one of the best cd players under 5,000$)???

- SimAudio i-1 integrated amplifier (50W RMS/ch) + i-1 CD player

- Naim 5i amp and CD5i cd-player

- SimAudio Moon i3.3 integrated amp (100w RMS/ch) + SimAudio Moon CD3.3 cd player

And now comes the search for the perfect speakers to go with one of those amp/cd combos...

Any speaker suggestions for my budget?

I had these in mind:

- Totem Acoustic Forest
- Focal (JM Lab) Chorus 816v or 826v
- Salk Songtower
- PSB Synchrony Two

I'm sure with your help, I'll get the best possible setup...

Don't be shy to comment on speakers and the above integrated amp and CD player suggestions.

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 08:37 PM
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Did you not have a thread on a similar topic where you choose the Totem Speakers?


Imo, just go listen and buy the one you like. The only thing a thread like this can do is create unwanted subjective indicators that your brain will use in the conclusions during listening (your uncontrolled listening test will be tainted). In the end nothing discussed here is really going to help you when all you need to do is get some speakers in your room and just enjoy.

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post #3 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 08:38 PM
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Are you serious, or do you want people to pick Totem for you.
You went with Totem for your home theater.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #4 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 08:39 PM
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haha, I beat you to it....yeah, he wasted our time with that thread

I find it too funny that he picked speakers that are not remotely considered high quality HT speakers but now he thinks there is another set of speakers for music Does he not understand that his original pick was a 2 channel choice to start with??

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post #5 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

haha, I beat you to it....yeah, he wasted our time with that thread

I find it too funny that he pick speakers that are not remotely considered high quality HT speakers but now he thinks there is another set of speakers for music Does he not understand that his original pick was a 2 channel choice to start with??

You beat me by one minute - and you are right!

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #6 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, I don't want this to be a flame war.

I just asked for simple advice. It's not because I made a personal choice for my HT setup that I have to be criticized. Everyone and anyone thinks they have the best setup in the world, it's natural to feel that way, since everyone invests a lot of money in their setups.

If I'm asking for advice, it's because I'm open to suggestions.

The proof is that when I was searching for a good subwoofer, I did my research and had Focal in mind, however, after exchanging with many users here, I came to the conclusion that SVS was a good choice even though I didn't know anything about the brand. I bought an SVS PB13 Ultra for my HT and I couldn't be happier.

Now I'm looking for the best stereo setup for my money and I'm open to suggestions.

My choice on my HT was harder because I had to make sure my front stage blended in nicely with the receiver and rear setup...

Let's not confuse both.

Those who want to give suggestions, please go ahead. Those of you who don't, please don't waste your time writing here.

Thanks.
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post #7 of 153 Old 10-26-2010, 11:58 PM
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IMO your electronics budget is a little high with respect to your speaker budget. Do you plan on getting a sub? I'd pick a preamp/receiver with Audessey and adding a sub (Rythmik, Martin Logan) over a high end integrated with floorstanders - food for thought, I'll drop it now.

In addition to the obvious choices such as B&W, PSB, Paradigm, Revel, Martin Logan, Dali, etc. I would recommend auditioning Aeriial, Avalon, Harbeth (they won't be floorstanding, but they are worth an audition regardless), Magnepan (they really need a tight sub) Vandersteen, and Thiel.

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post #8 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post

In addition to the obvious choices such as B&W, PSB,

Thanks Ron,

So you also think PSB is a good audiophile speaker? What do you personaly think of their Synchrony Two line? That's the model that a user on this forum suggested to me...

My total budget for the setup is more or less 5,500$ CAD so that's why I was thinking 2,500$ for the integrated amp/cd player combo and 3,000$ for the speakers...

I don't think I can afford a dedicaded processor/preamp with a seperate power amp plus a cd player and the speakers and a subwoofer..

A simple integrated amp + cd player + floorstandings.

I auditioned a entry level audiophile setup not too long ago and it played amazingly well... It consisted of a Rega Brio3 integrated amp (49w rms/ch) with a Rega Saturn cd player and Totem Hawk speakers. If that setup played well, I'm sure I can get a lot more for my budget (that setup goes for roughly 4500$ total)...
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post #9 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

Thanks Ron,

So you also think PSB is a good audiophile speaker? What do you personaly think of their Synchrony Two line? That's the model that a user on this forum suggested to me...

My total budget for the setup is more or less 5,500$ CAD so that's why I was thinking 2,500$ for the integrated amp/cd player combo and 3,000$ for the speakers...

I don't think I can afford a dedicaded processor/preamp with a seperate power amp plus a cd player and the speakers and a subwoofer..

A simple integrated amp + cd player + floorstandings.

I auditioned a entry level audiophile setup not too long ago and it played amazingly well... It consisted of a Rega Brio3 integrated amp (49w rms/ch) with a Rega Saturn cd player and Totem Hawk speakers. If that setup played well, I'm sure I can get a lot more for my budget (that setup goes for roughly 4500$ total)...

You really want to put together a good system? Read this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduc...8160900&sr=8-1
Ron
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post #10 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 01:55 AM
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I assume this is going to be for critical listening, right? First step is to listen to music on the home theater system you just set up. See what you like and and don't on that one. I also think you could save some on equipment and put that into speakers.

Go listen to paradigm lots of shop up here have them and I love the sound of them just not the cheapest around.

What are you going to be listening too? Looks like it is mostly cd or are sacds and dvda also in the mix. I ask because imho if you are going to be going digital it makes sense to put money into the cd players DACs or the AMPs DACs not both. Take a look at emotiva.com and their cd player and processer. If this purely for 2 channel you could get the cd player + pre amp + amp for almost half of your budget. Don't let the low price turn you off these are well reviewed but look them up for yourself.

I have had stuff priced before from them and shipping ect is not too bad. Give them a call and chat and see what they recomend. Very helpfull and actually they talked me out of spending more while getting something better suited to my needs. They have some good deals right now plus you could get a package price.

I don't personally have any of these products (will be getting one of thier amps soon) but if I was setting up a stereo only setup this what I would go with.

My review comparisons of Energy RC-70s to Veritas V6.3 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post21199418
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post #11 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

If I'm asking for advice, it's because I'm open to suggestions.

Now I'm looking for the best stereo setup for my money and I'm open to suggestions.

Buy a pair of used LaScalas, convert them into "JubeScalas" (taking them to a actively biamped 2-way system) and perhaps a sub or two

Thank me in the morning.

This is presuming you have space for the LaScalas. I think there is only one person in Canada who's done this so if you ever get near Vancouver Island....

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post #12 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 05:44 AM
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Magnepan 1.7's. Outstanding for two channel. Not bad for HT use if you aren't too worried about ultra high volumes.

http://www.magnepan.com/model_MG_16

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post #13 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:58 AM
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I would agree with Ron's suggestion reflecting Audyssey and floorstanders ... makes all the difference. But many with dedicated space and treated rooms (not me ) prefer not to use room EQ. So I understand the pure 2 channel approach choices in the list. Like Ron though, I too would eschew the integrated route. A quick glance at the latest Audio Advisor catalog shows what is possible: Vincent SA-31 tube hybrid preamp + Vincent Sp-331 tube hybrid amp + any number of excellent CD players ... all for under $2500. And CalgaryCowboy gives good advice on the Emotiva suggestions. It is amazing what quality can be had nowadays for less money.

I would also introduce the notion that the while the speaker choices are all wonderful, there are commensurate rewards to be gained with better speakers, if you are willing to consider buying used. As much as I love the Synchrony Twos, I think I would prefer staying near budget and buying used with the Synchrony Ones for the dedicated mid-range ... same with the other great brands that Ron mentioned, especially Vandy and Thiel. A personal favorite of mine for 2 channel and sure to be a top target for me when I build our retirement home will be the Strata Minis, an outstanding bargain on the used market. If you are designing a system yielding a true sweet spot listening experience, then Maggies naturally should be at the top of the list.
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post #14 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

Guys, I don't want this to be a flame war.

I just asked for simple advice. It's not because I made a personal choice for my HT setup that I have to be criticized. Everyone and anyone thinks they have the best setup in the world, it's natural to feel that way, since everyone invests a lot of money in their setups.

If I'm asking for advice, it's because I'm open to suggestions.

The proof is that when I was searching for a good subwoofer, I did my research and had Focal in mind, however, after exchanging with many users here, I came to the conclusion that SVS was a good choice even though I didn't know anything about the brand. I bought an SVS PB13 Ultra for my HT and I couldn't be happier.

Now I'm looking for the best stereo setup for my money and I'm open to suggestions.

My choice on my HT was harder because I had to make sure my front stage blended in nicely with the receiver and rear setup...

Let's not confuse both.

Those who want to give suggestions, please go ahead. Those of you who don't, please don't waste your time writing here.

Thanks.



No flames intended, you simply spent a lot of resource time picking an HT package and Im wondering why you do not consider that choice to be the best audiophile stereo choice. I mean in that thread you pick the speakers because of their audiophile characteristics, you didnt pick them because they are the best HT. Those speakers you picked are great audiophile stereo speakers....enjoy them, buy another pair, enjoy them too.....

Im not posting based on anything I own either. Im posting because you have exhausted this search already, you just do not know it.

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post #15 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 08:23 AM
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i'd agree with ron, the ratio is out of whack...

why don't you look at it as having a $5500 budget total?

if it was me (and i know it's not me), i'd spend $4k of it on a pair of salk ht2-tl's, whatever it costs for a reasonable universal player (couple hundred bucks, tops), and then get whatever pioneer sc series avr from either last year or the year before that i could find...

fwiw, to the op, i think you are getting some very questionable advice in your other thread...

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post #16 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 08:28 AM
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It was a silly thread, he started with Totem Mites and ended up with Totem Model-1s.

He likes Totem, we all know that....so why bother with another thread about speakers??

If he likes them enough to use them in HT then he has to LOVE them for music.

Also what is with all the "audiophile" stuff in his questions......does even understand the term is kind of meaningless.....like there are "non-audiophile" speakers floating around

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post #17 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 08:32 AM
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It's too bad you won't have the opportunity to audition some SVS speakers (they're an internet company). They make incredible sounding bang for the buck speakers. However, I'm sure won't go wrong with any of the speakers mentioned above.
The SVS MTS series speakers would make a great choice for stereo or HT. And they would fit into your budget. Just a thought...to add to the confusion, LOL. Although many of the people here are much more expert regarding audiophile sound than I. Just my 2 cents.


Tom
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post #18 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 08:40 AM
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NAS + Sonos + Rotel RB-1572 + JBL LSR6322 = Awesome
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post #19 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichaelf View Post

NAS + Sonos + Rotel RB-1572 + JBL LSR6332 = Awesome

Fixed it for you. And I agree those should be great speakers.

Orange, I'd also suggest putting a little more of your $5500 budget towards the speakers. So, I'll also suggest these but you need a sub with them and I'm not sure how you feel about integrating a sub.
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post #20 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 11:35 AM
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Thanks! Those jibbles or even the Geddes' speakers are a sort of dream setup for me.
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post #21 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 12:33 PM
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all that wasted money on a fancy CD player that could instead go to better speakers and/or room treatments

the electronics budget is out of whack, as others have noted. If critical "audiophile" listening is the goal, speakers + acoustics should be the focus.

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post #22 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 01:13 PM
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^^^

bp, did you check out his other thread where some "audiophile" is leading him down the garden path on electronics? if not, don't, it'll just make you want to cry...

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post #23 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

It was a silly thread, he started with Totem Mites and ended up with Totem Model-1s.

If he likes them enough to use them in HT then he has to LOVE them for music.

I don't understand why you are that harsh on me. If you noticed, I never lash out at you the way you do, I stay calm and answer in a polite way.

I am running out of patience though with people that try and laugh at others or think you guys are "wasting your time" answering, but the matter of the fact is that instead of answering with knowledge or not answering at all (which wouldn't be wasting your time at all), you'd rather take time and write stuff like that previous comment to put me down.

It's not because I didn't follow YOUR specific advice or that of another user that it means you can start lashing out at me. Because I did follow some people's advice on different subjects.

I love my Totem Model-1 Signature speakers for my HT AND also for music. They really play great, and I'm surprised you want to put them down so much, because they are amazing speakers and there is not a single reviewer out there that has rated them as being anything shy of exceptionnal for the price point. Why so much hate over Totem???

Anyhow, althought I love my HT setup, it's in a large living room, and I sometimes like to have some quiet time alone in a dedicated room to enjoy stereo music. I have a room just for that and that's why I wanted to build a stereo setup exclusively to listen to music.

I'm not locked in the Totem line of speakers for that, I just never eliminate them from my mind, as they do play great.

However, I am open to suggestions and will audition as much of the brands that I can, at least the brands listed here.

I respect everyone's opinion, and that's even what got me to select the SVS PB13-Ultra subwoofer for my HT setup. And the people in that thread never told me they were "wasting their time" answering my questions.

I hope this helps.

As of right now, the PSB line of speakers seems to come up often... I'll have to check those out. Also, many Focal Chorus 800 series owners seem to be happy with those as well...

And the Salk Songtower are probably the ones that come up the most. But many also say they aren't impressed with them...

So I guess it will really boil down to what my own ears think and hear, because for a brand X of speakers, there will always be some who say "Those are awesome" and others who say "They suck"...

I wanted to see if there's any sort of concensus on a great speaker for my budget...

Because it seems to be a bit easier in the subwoofer world. Everyone agrees on the top brands like SVS, HSU, eD, JL Audio and Epik. No one puts them down...

It seems more difficult in the speaker world...
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post #24 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

I don't understand why you are that harsh on me. If you noticed, I never lash out at you the way you do, I stay calm and answer in a polite way.

you kinda have to take penn with a grain of salt... even though he's much younger than an 85 year old, he's at least as cranky as one... his opinions, while sometimes not put too kindly, tend to at least have scientific validity to them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post


And the Salk Songtower are probably the ones that come up the most. But many also say they aren't impressed with them...

who might these "many" be? also, as pointed out earlier, you should be aiming higher with your speaker budget and lower with your electronics budget...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

I wanted to see if there's any sort of concensus on a great speaker for my budget...

Because it seems to be a bit easier in the subwoofer world. Everyone agrees on the top brands like SVS, HSU, eD, JL Audio and Epik. No one puts them down...

It seems more difficult in the speaker world...

one thing you have gotten consensus on is that we all agree that you need to re-apportion your budget... so you did get at least some consensus...

it's "more difficult" because there's significant variance between how speakers "sound"...

trust me, if you haunt the sub forum enough, you'll see the fanboys of the various brands trash the others... and all of the fanboys will trash jl... and fwiw, i'd choose a submersive over any of those (with the possible exception of the jl, simply because i LOVE the way those things look)...

- chris

 

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post #25 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

I don't understand why you are that harsh on me. If you noticed, I never lash out at you the way you do, I stay calm and answer in a polite way.

I am running out of patience though with people that try and laugh at others or think you guys are "wasting your time" answering, but the matter of the fact is that instead of answering with knowledge or not answering at all (which wouldn't be wasting your time at all), you'd rather take time and write stuff like that previous comment to put me down.

It's not because I didn't follow YOUR specific advice or that of another user that it means you can start lashing out at me. Because I did follow some people's advice on different subjects.

I love my Totem Model-1 Signature speakers for my HT AND also for music. They really play great, and I'm surprised you want to put them down so much, because they are amazing speakers and there is not a single reviewer out there that has rated them as being anything shy of exceptionnal for the price point. Why so much hate over Totem???

Anyhow, althought I love my HT setup, it's in a large living room, and I sometimes like to have some quiet time alone in a dedicated room to enjoy stereo music. I have a room just for that and that's why I wanted to build a stereo setup exclusively to listen to music.

I'm not locked in the Totem line of speakers for that, I just never eliminate them from my mind, as they do play great.

However, I am open to suggestions and will audition as much of the brands that I can, at least the brands listed here.

I respect everyone's opinion, and that's even what got me to select the SVS PB13-Ultra subwoofer for my HT setup. And the people in that thread never told me they were "wasting their time" answering my questions.

I hope this helps.

As of right now, the PSB line of speakers seems to come up often... I'll have to check those out. Also, many Focal Chorus 800 series owners seem to be happy with those as well...

And the Salk Songtower are probably the ones that come up the most. But many also say they aren't impressed with them...

So I guess it will really boil down to what my own ears think and hear, because for a brand X of speakers, there will always be some who say "Those are awesome" and others who say "They suck"...

I wanted to see if there's any sort of concensus on a great speaker for my budget...

Because it seems to be a bit easier in the subwoofer world. Everyone agrees on the top brands like SVS, HSU, eD, JL Audio and Epik. No one puts them down...

It seems more difficult in the speaker world...

Well said. I also do not understand why some here can not just pass a thread by without adding their comments to it. Comments that do not add any value to the thread or are any help in the least. I guess some here just can not resist to wax on about how much more they know than the rest of us here and that they are always right. Pretty immature in my book and shows a little insecurity as well to have to be constantly reminding us all how wonderful they are.

I would have to throw in a recommendation for the Salk SongTowers as I own them and I am very happy with them. I have not read any reviews of people not liking the SongTowers but I'm sure they are not for everyone. I also feel if you are happy with the Totem Model-1s thats all that matters.

Bill

My SACD collection, watch it grow and my wallet shrink ;-).

 

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post #26 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup, now the discussion is going in the right direction...

I will probably go with suggestions from this thread, because I also want my stereo setup to sound "different" from when I listen to music on my HT system...

So that's why I don't think I'll go with Totems for my stereo setup.

I want to have a different sound.

However, if you guys suggest shifting more of the budget towards the speakers, how much should I be left to invest in a decent stereo integrated amp and dedicated cd player???

I thought the quality of the amp was super important to bring out the best of a chosen set of speakers...

Now I'm all mixed up.

So let's say my budget is 6,000$ CAD for the complete stereo setup (integrated amp, cd player and speakers), what kind of setup would YOU get??? I still want to have a high quality amp and cd player, as I do believe they make a difference, probably the amp a bit more...
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post #27 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

I would have to throw in a recommendation for the Salk SongTowers as I own them and I am very happy with them.

1) The suggested retail price for those is 1899$, but there are a bunch of options than can be added... Are they worth while? Like ribbon tweeters (700$ option), Sonicap platinum bypass caps (300$) whatever that is...

2) Does the company ship to Montreal (Canada)?

3) How much power should my integrated stereo amp have to drive those correctly? Because on their website, they suggest 80-250 solid state watts, which seems a lot... So technically, a Rega Mira3 integrated amp couldn't even drive those (60w rms/ch)... What integrated amp could I use that's available for shipping to Canada?

Keep in mind, my total budget is roughly 6,000$ CAD (5,850$ US)
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post #28 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:14 PM
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^^^

please change (or at least consider changing) your "belief" on cd players/amplifiers... it will save you some money to put into things that really make a MUCH bigger difference (i.e. speakers and proper room acoustics)... regardless of the "advice" you've gotten in your other thread...

i'm not quite sure i understand the "i want it to sound 'different'" rationale, but to each his own...

as far as "what would i buy?"... the suggestion i gave you earlier in the thread would be what i would do... to the best of my knowledge, they would ship to canada, but if you go to the salk website and drop jim an email, he'll let you know...

- chris

 

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post #29 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangevee View Post

1) The suggested retail price for those is 1899$, but there are a bunch of options than can be added... Are they worth while? Like ribbon tweeters (700$ option), Sonicap platinum bypass caps (300$) whatever that is...

2) Does the company ship to Montreal (Canada)?

3) How much power should my integrated stereo amp have to drive those correctly? Because on their website, they suggest 80-250 solid state watts, which seems a lot... So technically, a Rega Mira3 integrated amp couldn't even drive those (60w rms/ch)... What integrated amp could I use that's available for shipping to Canada?

Keep in mind, my total budget is roughly 6,000$ CAD (5,850$ US)

Salk will ship anywhere in the world. Cap upgrades? Spend your money on something more substantive in the audio world or make a nice donation to charity. The RAAL Ribbons? I prefer them, but I personally wouldn't spend the extra money without hearing them.
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post #30 of 153 Old 10-27-2010, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^

please change (or at least consider changing) your "belief" on cd players/amplifiers... it will save you some money

Yes I'm willing to do that, but don't you still agree that even Salk Songtowers need to have a decent amplifier to drive them?

I don't think a crappy 300$ amp would do them justice... That's my belief.

So what would be a great integrated amp to drive those speakers, or any other of the good brands of speakers mentioned here???

I can agree on spending less on a cd player (like getting a 300$ one instead of dishing out 1,400$ for a Rega Apollo or 1,000$ on a Sony X54ES...)

by the way, what advice did you say I should be skeptical about in my other thread???
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