Looking for help choosing a speaker - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-24-2012, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess this must be a good place to be if your interested in speakers. First let me tell you what I like to hear out of a speaker. I now own a pair of Vandersteen 2C. They are great. Very accurate, clean sound, with a great imaging and sound stage. Sound will go beyond the speakers but its a natural sound not overexagerated like some SDA Polks are. Also they never fail making me hear something new out of the same material. The Vandersteen's are in my man cave the new speakers will be in our living room. I know, why don't I just get another pair of Vandy's? Well just don't want to hear the same speaker all the time.
Right now I am looking at a pair of B & W DM 603, They will be used and I am not apposed at a good bookshelf. Also I am not rich just love great sound. Another words the 700 and 800 series are out as are any other reference speakers unless you know of a good deal somewheres.
Hopefully you have enough info. Now hit me with some good suggestions.

Thank you in advance,
Joe
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-24-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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One more thing. Although they will be used in a home theatre it's 2 channel music first priority.

Joe
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-24-2012, 08:04 AM
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I have had the Vandersteen 3A speakers in my desert house for almost 20 years in my "big system" and love them.

I started to set up a system in my new second home last year and found that I couldn't use the 2C speakers, which were my first thought, because the 16" width wasn't going to fit; limited wall space and 60' TV.

Anyway, after a lot of listening, I narrowed it down to the KEF900 and the PSB Image T6 speakers. They seem to me to be best-sounding for under $2000. Those B & W speakers don't compare well at all IMO.

Anyway, I ended up with the PSB Image T6 speakers, and I love them. Highly recommended. If you want bookshelf speakers, there is the Image B6 to consider.

For a 5.1 system you may want to pair them up with the Image C4 and B4 speakers.


P.S.- I have the Ayre C5xe/MP CD/SACD player that I bought for $6K in 2005 at the big house. It is excellent. It was certainly the best-sounding unit that money could buy at the time.

However...I recently purchased a OPPO BDP-95 for the second home, and it is actually better than the Ayre! It is the best-sounding player I have ever heard anywhere at any price, and is only $1000. It makes every player from $800 to $25,000 obsolete, in my opinion.

Everyone who gives a hoot about CD sound should definitely get one of these; the sound quality is just off the chart; an incredible player for a bargain price.



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Originally Posted by maandjojo View Post

One more thing. Although they will be used in a home theatre it's 2 channel music first priority.

Joe

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2012, 08:11 AM
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I'm in a similar boat in a way, although it looks like your price range is a bit higher than mine.

I will let others chime in with recommendations but will give you a list I am considering. Admittedly, these may not meet your criteria if you are willing to drop a lot more cash than I am. For 2 fronts, I have a fairly strict 3K budget.

Contenders for me (no particular order):

Aperion Grand Verus towers - 1800 for two with free shipping and free return shipping during 30 day trial. Really outstanding internet reviews and a lot of supporters here it seems. Have seen a few posts saying that the ascend sierra towers or the song salk towers are 'better' but I'm still looking to read the definitive in-home shootout.

Ascend Sierra Towers - ~2000-2900 with shipping depending on exterior selection and if you want the 700 RAAL ribbon tweeter upgrade. People are also raving about these on this site and others. Made of bamboo without upcharge. Return shipping is paid by the buyer but they also do a 30 day in home trial.

Salk Song Tower - similar in price to Ascend Sierra towers with or without RAAL tweeter upgrade. Less clear in home trial period but very similarly lots of fans online. Lots of choices for exterior appearance. For all of these interned direct brands, I am a believer that I am getting better components for my money. Just hard to buy without hearing and I am not sure I have the time to arrange multiple in home auditions.

B&W CM9 - 3000 a pair, likely 1500 cost to BB or other retailers though. I have HEARD these twice and maybe it's just me but I was very very impressed with mids / highs. Heard one next to a pair of 804Ds (7500/pr) with same setup and didn't hear 4500 worth of difference. Maybe 1000 worth of difference. I'm having a hard time not pulling the trigger but keep thinking that the internet directs 'must' be better for the price.

Philharmonic 2s. Love the price for a RAAL tweeter and love the great feedback I'm reading about these online. I just cannot handle the appearance.

Martin Logan Vista electrostatic - discountinuted / on clearance for 2000 a pair. Panel size similar to the Theos / Ethos (which I've heard) and really loved the sound. Their directional nature and very different soundstage was at times disconcerting. I'm also worried that I heard a Martin Logan ESL, 2K for a pair not on clearance (also getting fantastic internet reviews) in the same room with the CM9s and the CM9s KILLED it top to bottom. I went back and forth 3 times to be sure because I happen to find the ML look 'cool' but it wasn't even in the same league. Maybe a setup issue and YMMV...just what I heard.

Many more mentioned here, KEFs, Paradigms, PSBs, etc.

I probably haven't helped much...too new to this myself. But here is what I am considering with a 3K budget.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2012, 03:32 PM
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Bump.

Looking for more opinions to help the OP and (selfishly) me as well. TIA.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-02-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the suggestions. Leaning toward PSB image t6 or b6.

Joe
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-02-2012, 09:20 AM
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For towers that provide high quality sound, build quality and decent price, take a look at http://www.rbhsound.com/sx6300.php You could also look at http://www.rbhsound.com/sx6300r.php Really well built and well executed speakers.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-02-2012, 09:39 AM
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I really love Vandersteen's speakers, and I've spent considerable time with the 2CE Sigs in my own home in the past (really liked them, but my wife hated their appearance). I've since moved to Salk SongTower's and finally have a speaker that doesn't make me regret selling the Vandersteen's. The SongTower's imaging and sound stage capabilities are just as good, but their midrange resolution is even better (cleaner and more resolving and accurate). I've heard nothing better for the money in the past 4 years.

The Salk's or Philharmonic's are unbeatable for the money IMO (The Philharmonic's on paper, as I won't hear them for another week). There's no speaker in the $2000 range I'd rather have. If 2-channel is priority you owe it to yourself to check them out.

Salk SongTower's

http://www.salksound.com/songtower%20home.htm

Philharmonic 2's

http://philharmonicaudio.com/


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post #9 of 10 Old 04-03-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Philharmonic 2s. Love the price for a RAAL tweeter and love the great feedback I'm reading about these online. I just cannot handle the appearance.


I thought the Philharmonic 2s looked cute; at least from the front!



Bob
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-06-2012, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Just scored on a pair of PSB image 6 towers and image 5 center. Thanks for all the suggestions, after listening for a few days they do give me quite a bit of what the Vandersteen's do. Also the wife was impressed. They replaced a pair of Magnepan 1.5qr. Loved the Magnepans' but didn't have the space needed upstairs. When they were in the man cave I had them 4' from the back wall. They just need a lot more space than conventional speakers. If you have the room they are up for sale. They should be pick up only. Live in Northeast Pa. Not meaning to make this a sales pitch but you can get them for a great price.$ 350. joegjr1@ptd.net

Joe
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