Warmest most musical bookshelves around 1k? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi AVS,

I'm looking for recommendations (New or used) for bookshelves around 1k. I'm looking for something that projects a large soundstage and that has a warm, polite tone. I want something that will allow me to relax and mellow me out as opposed to something that keeps me engaged on the edge of my seat.


At the moment I'm looking at the Swan D2.1 customs as they seem to have the characteristics I'm looking for.

Would anyone here have any recommendations for me?
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 01:29 PM
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Ascend Acoustics Sierras get great recommendations.

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 01:29 PM
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Check out Audiogon for Dali 300 Helicon the MKi, not II's. I have seen them as low as $1200. Really a great speaker for the money. Retail was $3k.

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Ascend Acoustics Sierras get great recommendations.


thanks, but those don't fit the characteristics I'm looking for. I'm looking for something "warm".
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

Hi AVS,

I'm looking for recommendations (New or used) for bookshelves around 1k. I'm looking for something that projects a large soundstage and that has a warm, polite tone. I want something that will allow me to relax and mellow me out as opposed to something that keeps me engaged on the edge of my seat.


At the moment I'm looking at the Swan D2.1 customs as they seem to have the characteristics I'm looking for.

Would anyone here have any recommendations for me?

Pls feel free to call on us if you think we could help. I'm familiar with the D2.1se+ Custom's character...

Jon Lane
The Audio Insider
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

thanks, but those don't fit the characteristics I'm looking for. I'm looking for something "warm".

Hard to recommend anything here, don't really know what you mean by "warm and polite". BTW, what avr do you have? What room do you have? How do you set up your speakers and sub(s)? So many open questions when it comes to do on-line help. A sketch or a couple of photos of your room would really help out the advisors here. Care to share?
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Hard to recommend anything here, don't really know what you mean by "warm and polite". BTW, what avr do you have? What room do you have? How do you set up your speakers and sub(s)? So many open questions when it comes to do on-line help. A sketch or a couple of photos of your room would really help out the advisors here. Care to share?

I have an old technics sa-gx330, 100wpc and a pair of Sierra 1s. 22x15 room with the speakers about 5 feet apart projecting sound towards the deeper part of the room. I don't have a subwoofer
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post #8 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

thanks, but those don't fit the characteristics I'm looking for. I'm looking for something "warm".

From my experience they are on the warmer side.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:10 PM
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To me "warm and musical" means plenty of bass and a lack of fatigue. The GE Aon 3 looks like a superb candidate.

http://www.goldenear.com/products/aon
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:20 PM
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just a suggestion

outlaw bls speakers

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:25 PM
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Based on your description of your preferences, I would recommend the Dynaudio Excite X12, which run $1200.

I suggest that you read the Stereophile article on them to see if you feel they are on target for your needs.

Another nice pair I could recommend at the same price is the KEF R100 speakers.

Those will both give you the sound you are after with a good amplifier, but NO SPEAKER is going to reproduce music without an "edginess" or "roughness" to it if the amplifier is of poor quality and has significant harmonic distortion (like those in 90% of the HT receivers on the market).

A large soundstage and a warm tone is never going to happen with your current low-quality amplifier driving your speakers. Never. If you are going to keep that amplifier, you should get a pair of cheap Sony speakers for under $100 from Amazon and they will give you all the sound quality that old Technics receiver can deliver.

It is a waste of money to buy such good speakers and drive them with a low-quality amplifier. Something like the Musical Fidelity M3i or the Music Hall A70.2 would be appropriate to get nice sound from those speakers. Garbage in, garbage out.




Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

Hi AVS,

I'm looking for recommendations (New or used) for bookshelves around 1k. I'm looking for something that projects a large soundstage and that has a warm, polite tone. I want something that will allow me to relax and mellow me out as opposed to something that keeps me engaged on the edge of my seat.


At the moment I'm looking at the Swan D2.1 customs as they seem to have the characteristics I'm looking for.

Would anyone here have any recommendations for me?

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post #12 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

Hi AVS,

I'm looking for recommendations (New or used) for bookshelves around 1k. I'm looking for something that projects a large soundstage and that has a warm, polite tone. I want something that will allow me to relax and mellow me out as opposed to something that keeps me engaged on the edge of my seat.


At the moment I'm looking at the Swan D2.1 customs as they seem to have the characteristics I'm looking for.

Would anyone here have any recommendations for me?

Two speakers I have recently owned may meet your criteria:

1. Harbeth Compact 7 ES2 - around $1200 used, large bookshelf, 8 inch mid, big soundstage. The Harbeth Radial driver design is unique. There is a pair on AG now described as pristine, asking $1500

2. Quad 12L - under budget, warm, great looking speakers

I've owned Spendor S20 and S3/5 and currently own Spendor SP7/1. Look for something like the Spendor SP3.1

The good thing is that any of the above are not demanding in terms of amplification. Something like a Rega Maia integrated would be perfect.
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm driving my current sierra 1s with a technics sa-gx330 and an external wolfson DAC which I've noticed has made the speakers sound a little more rich. I was under the impression that theres really not much of a difference between amplifiers with similar (accurate) power ratings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Based on your description of your preferences, I would recommend the Dynaudio Excite X12, which run $1200.

I suggest that you read the Stereophile article on them to see if you feel they are on target for your needs.

Another nice pair I could recommend at the same price is the KEF R100 speakers.

Those will both give you the sound you are after with a good amplifier, but NO SPEAKER is going to reproduce music without an "edginess" or "roughness" to it if the amplifier is of poor quality and has significant harmonic distortion (like those in 90% of the HT receivers on the market). I am curious what you are going to be driving them with, because in my long experience that really is a critical issue, given the goal you have expressed.

A large soundstage and a warm tone is never going to happen with cheap amplification drivng your speakers.

It is a waste of money to buy such good speakers and drive them with low-quality amplifiers. Something like the Musical Fidelity M3i or the Music Hall A70.2 would be appropriate to get nice sound from those speakers. Garbage in, garbage out.

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post #14 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:52 PM
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^^^

there isn't... i'd suggest you take that poster with a grain of salt...

harmonic distortion from a non-overdriven ss amplifier is not even worth thinking about, let alone worrying about...

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post #15 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 04:56 PM
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A quality amp is a quality amp. I have no clue if your technics qualifys as quality, but it looks cheap.
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post #16 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 05:00 PM
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Hey OP,

Did you consider the Dana 640is? Within this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1341386
you'll find a very detailed comparison between the Swan Customs and the Dana 640is... as well as a few others giving some praise for the 640is..

I ended up buying the smaller version of it (630i) and have been very pleased with it. I have been very lazy about posting a review on it, but a lot of the nuances touched upon in the reviews within that thread rang true for me. They offer great detail and I would think that they are very "musical."

I actually bought them for my dad, and recently hooked them up at his house after a super-extended break-in period. (They were really hard to let go of) The first album I put on for him was a classical album he's heard hundreds of times and he was absolutely floored by what he's been missing from listening in his car and from older speakers that these 630is replaced.

I bet the 640is would be a good match for you. They are a steal at the list price at theaudioinsider.com, and I believe they still might have a 15% off deal going on for them..
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 05:02 PM
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I have been building, designing, testing, and analyzing the distortion of amplifiers for 50 years. There are HUGE differences in amplifier distortion when amplifying MUSIC or other sound (as opposed to simple test tones), and power has very little to do with it.

Your "impression" is about as accurate as saying that any car that has 500 horsepower or more is a good candidate to win the Indianapolis 500, or that any healthy horse is a good candidate to win the Kentucky Derby.

You can buy 100 watt amplifiers for $300, and you can buy them for $3000 (and more). The difference in sound quality is not difficult to hear, which is why audio professionals have kept companies like Bryston and Boulder and McIntosh in business for the last 40 years are so. They are willing to pay a lot of money when something is clearly better, in their expert judgement.



Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

I'm driving my current sierra 1s with a technics sa-gx330 and an external wolfson DAC which I've noticed has made the speakers sound a little more rich. I was under the impression that theres really not much of a difference between amplifiers with similar (accurate) power ratings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver

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post #18 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ss View Post

I'm driving my current sierra 1s with a technics sa-gx330 and an external wolfson DAC which I've noticed has made the speakers sound a little more rich. I was under the impression that theres really not much of a difference between amplifiers with similar (accurate) power ratings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver

Please don't be silly. You're going to trust a fact filled article about Bob Carver/amplification, over Baghdad Bobs recommendation and internets/keyboard confirmed 500+ years experience? Sheesh.

cheers,

AJ
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

just a suggestion

outlaw bls speakers

x2

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post #20 of 20 Old 05-21-2012, 05:27 PM
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Technics gear many times did look cheap, but on the inside, well it was a different story compared to most other gear in the same price range. Their chip-based power amps were usually built more heavily - particularly with regards to current output - than their competitors. We used to experiment with various brands in our demo systems on dead days at the store and the Technics could usually handle the low impedance speakers much longer than other brands. Sound itself was a tad on the neutral-to-bright side but otherwise, I had no problem with it. And the reason they ran so hot, even while just idling with no input signal, was their semi-class A amp design (it was basically a class A/B design, but remained in class A mode much longer than other brands' amps to help maintain signal linearity for a wider volume range).

And one review by Sound and Vision way back in 2003(?) reported one of their $350 6.1 channel receivers (by then branded with the "Panasonic" moniker) produced nearly 70 watts per channel....all channels driven.....using a full range signal. It eventually shut down after several minutes, but still, not too bad for a budget receiver!
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