Assistance and thoughts on Loudpseakers under $4000? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-09-2012, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, a dangerous thread to be sure. I would like to get some thoughts on a new loudspeaker acquisition. I have a budget for speakers set at $4000.00, new or used. I have heard several of the following speakers. I have not heard the Salks or the Philharmonics, but know of their beloved reputation. All are available either 9/10 used, or new.

I believe that these speakers pretty much represent the best in this range. Here they are.
Salk Veracity H2-TL
Philharmonic 3
Audiophysic Tempo 25
Ascend Acoutics Sierra
NOLA Viper IIA
Acoustic Zen Adagio
PSB Synchrony One
Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 Old 07-09-2012, 08:05 PM
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Well, I like the Phil3 a lot.

Compared to my Salon2, Orion3, & KEF Reference 201/2, I like the Phil3 a whole lot.
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post #3 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 02:03 AM
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Honestly I'd take the KEF Q900 over any of those.

Spend some of the extra money to get the crossover slightly reengineered.

The big KEF R-Series may be excellent, too. I've not heard them, nor seen measurements, though.

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post #4 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 04:27 AM
 
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What will be the use'HT'or a 2 channel music sysytem or both.How big is the room.What type of music do you play.All of these question come into play.
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post #5 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Its going to be a two channel rig. Using on the front end either the new Emotiva reference monoblocks or the Odyssey Stratos. The current room is 15 wide, 9 tall, and 24 long. I am looking for something that can handle a larger room as i am moving to a new home and will have the finished basement to myself. The Philharmonic 3's keep coming up from a lot of sources.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Ive heard the KEF Q900, to my ear their was something missing. coherence maybe? what i would call "confused" and i have heard more detailed speakers like the Tempo 25's.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

Ive heard the KEF Q900, to my ear their was something missing. coherence maybe? what i would call "confused" and i have heard more detailed speakers like the Tempo 25's.

If your preference is for excessive midrange energy thrown into the room over accuracy (that excess midrange often results in assessments that a speaker is "detailed"), then my words won't help you much as my preference is different.

Any speaker like the Tempo 25, with a 6-7" midwoofer and a tweeter on a 180deg waveguide, will innately have that same midrange coloration. Some designers do different things to band-aid it, but the only way to fix it is to either

(1) do a three-way with a very small midrange and a small-flange neo tweeter, for very wide midrange directivity, or
(2) load the tweeter in a real waveguide, and effect the crossover where the waveguide matches the woofer's midrange directivity.

I do find the Q900's fatiguing over a longer listen. I suspect the midrange cone breakup, which is inadequately addressed in the crossover, is at fault. However, that's easy enough to fix with a notch filter.

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post #8 of 25 Old 07-10-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

Ok, a dangerous thread to be sure. I would like to get some thoughts on a new loudspeaker acquisition. I have a budget for speakers set at $4000.00, new or used. I have heard several of the following speakers. I have not heard the Salks or the Philharmonics, but know of their beloved reputation. All are available either 9/10 used, or new.
I believe that these speakers pretty much represent the best in this range. Here they are.
Salk Veracity H2-TL
Philharmonic 3
Audiophysic Tempo 25
Ascend Acoutics Sierra
NOLA Viper IIA
Acoustic Zen Adagio
PSB Synchrony One
Thanks!

Wow - that's a very good list. Have you heard any of the non-ID stuff yet?

The Kef's recommended are good, but not in the same league as most on your list. Their Reference line is quite amazing, though.

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post #9 of 25 Old 07-12-2012, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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You know, I read reviews like the review of the KEF Q900 and just have to wonder. I was not impressed by the sound, yet it received a stereophile class B rating. Should be the cat's meow. The problem is....professional reviewers rooms are set up to maximize speaker performance. The speaker is compared to the reference speaker the reviewer uses. Many times, consumers cannot reproduce the sound heard in the reviewers room. I have a family room, and yes, i have wall treatments but nothing that is set up to professionally review speakers. I have just heard the von schweikert VR-33's in a home here in Omaha....jeez, they were phenomenal. Placed 6" from the front wall. The sound was just beautiful, clear, concise, detailed, with tight controlled base. I am hearing the Adagio's this weekend. .
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-12-2012, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

You know, I read reviews like the review of the KEF Q900 and just have to wonder. I was not impressed by the sound, yet it received a stereophile class B rating. Should be the cat's meow. The problem is....professional reviewers rooms are set up to maximize speaker performance. The speaker is compared to the reference speaker the reviewer uses. Many times, consumers cannot reproduce the sound heard in the reviewers room. I have a family room, and yes, i have wall treatments but nothing that is set up to professionally review speakers. I have just heard the von schweikert VR-33's in a home here in Omaha....jeez, they were phenomenal. Placed 6" from the front wall. The sound was just beautiful, clear, concise, detailed, with tight controlled base. I am hearing the Adagio's this weekend. .

No guarantees. I may love the sound of Philharmonic, Salk, Revel, KEF, but no telling how others may feel. Trust only your ears. biggrin.gif

I auditioned Salon2, KEF 201/2, Orion before buying. I bought the Phil3 on faith/ intuition. No auditions. Love them.
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post #11 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

You know, I read reviews like the review of the KEF Q900 and just have to wonder. I was not impressed by the sound, yet it received a stereophile class B rating. Should be the cat's meow. The problem is....professional reviewers rooms are set up to maximize speaker performance. The speaker is compared to the reference speaker the reviewer uses. Many times, consumers cannot reproduce the sound heard in the reviewers room. I have a family room, and yes, i have wall treatments but nothing that is set up to professionally review speakers. I have just heard the von schweikert VR-33's in a home here in Omaha....jeez, they were phenomenal. Placed 6" from the front wall. The sound was just beautiful, clear, concise, detailed, with tight controlled base. I am hearing the Adagio's this weekend. .

This may be conspiracy theory sounding, but many of us believe that big magazines like Stereophile are influenced by marketing dollars and other various perks. Baring that in mind, what happens when one of the worlds biggest audio publications trashes a speaker? They'd lose those marketing $$$'s and perhaps a few "friends," maybe even credibility. If you think about it, when is the last time you've seen one of the big three magazines trash a speaker? Now I am not saying those Kef's are lousy speakers; they're actually pretty decent for the money. But you're just not going to get the full truth from these "professional" audio magazines. Fortunately their measurements are much more useful than the reviewer's subjective impressions. Sometimes I think these reviewers have no idea what good sound is; that does not apply to all of them, of course.

You're also correct about the listening rooms of these reviewers; they're probably very nice (just a guess). They also likely have amazing front end electronics.
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Trust only your ears. biggrin.gif

^ This. Use measurements to rule out the lousy speakers, then audition the rest and pick a winner. Enjoy!

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post #12 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 05:54 AM
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I'm kind of a broken record on this forum, but if you're a form follows function type, a pair of JBL LSR 6332 are available for $3,000. The full range, powered Klein + Hummel O300 can be had for $4500. I don't have experience with the majority of speakers on your list. I've heard the Nola and PSB but don't have opinions on either of them. In my opinion, the value play is with JBL.
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 06:48 AM
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I've heard the Nola and PSB but don't have opinions on either of them.

Oh, well now, come on! Play along. Please share your thoughts on both the Nola & PSB speakers! We all realize everyone is entitled to a different opinion. biggrin.gif

I auditioned the PSB Imagine T once at a store. They were lined up side by side along the other towers (like in my darn room :ee: ). I thought the PSB sounded pretty good, but did blow my socks off. It was probably the room and placement. biggrin.gif
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 07:38 AM
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My thoughts on the Nola and PSB are pretty much that they're good at doing what they're designed to do like most well regarded, well designed speakers. I don't have the experience you have but it seems to me that my mood has as much an impact on my perception of a speaker as its own capabilities. In my opinion the common known variables, specifically room and level matching, have more impact than differences between individual speakers - when those speakers are worthy of direct comparison such as in the OP's list. I have spent time with pro models in different studio environments and I have spent time with super high end consumer stuff at shows and show rooms but I've never had the opportunity to do a direct comparison together in a single room in a single setting. Having heard PSB and Nola doesn't really mean anything. I've heard Wilson, Linn, and Acapella Audio too. They all sound good. I'm a value shopper though and find it hard to spend car (or house) money on a pair of speakers.
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post #15 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 08:49 AM
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I have the PSB Imagine B bookshelf and have heard the Nola Boxer.

The PSB speaker was what pulled me into this hobby. I went and demoed it and I heard a clear, smokey and mysterious center image for the first time. IT was like the singer was in the room in front of me. That was two years ago. Since then I have bought Magnepans, Sonus Faber, B&W, Selah and a few others. Currently, only the PSBs and the B&Ws remain in my collection. I love the PSBs and I don't think I'll ever part with them. They do voices for HT with amazing accuracy and are not sensitive to placement. Love'em!

The NOLA Boxer was a fun audition. They are beautiful to look at and sound very nice. I would not say it is an overly dynamic speaker but more of light, airy and fun speaker. I have not heard other NOLAS.
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post #16 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 10:51 AM
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Yeah, room and placement can certainly make a difference. Some speakers are more affected by certain rooms and placements than other speakers also.

The biggest factor may be the actual recordings. I think "Dave Mathews & Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City" will sound great on many speaker systems. biggrin.gif

Amazing fidelity quality recorded music is your best friend. biggrin.gif
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-13-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Yeah, room and placement can certainly make a difference. Some speakers are more affected by certain rooms and placements than other speakers also.

Are you referring to sound power response and directivity? In a normal listening room, treated or not, a high directivity design should have less room interaction than an omni, open baffle, or electrostatic speaker. The signal should therefore be closer to what you'd get in an anechoic chamber. I think your situation is nearly ideal for discovering which speakers are affected by room interaction. Without seeing a battery of measurements and graphs, including polar response, it's impossible to get an idea which speakers will remain well behaved in bad rooms without first hand experience. Direct comparison is the only alternative. rogue, GedLee and Danley might be worth a look too, though I don't know what a pair of Danley SH60s go for.
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post #18 of 25 Old 07-14-2012, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, this is what i narrowed it down to. The acoustic zen adagios can be had for $2700 brand new. They are excellent, heard them this morning. I have a lead on a pair of demo Usher Mini two diamond's that are awesome, and the Philharmonic 3's. I think that these three represent across the board quality for what i am looking for. I am trying to find a pair of philharmonics to listen too.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-14-2012, 06:59 AM
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I noticed that you mentioned the PSB Synchrony 1 which is over $5000, so I assume your price range goes that high.

For $4300 you can buy Vandersteen 3A speakers, which might be the answer to your dilemma. I have had them for over 10 years, and still have not heard anything better for a similar price.


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Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

Well, this is what i narrowed it down to. The acoustic zen adagios can be had for $2700 brand new. They are excellent, heard them this morning. I have a lead on a pair of demo Usher Mini two diamond's that are awesome, and the Philharmonic 3's. I think that these three represent across the board quality for what i am looking for. I am trying to find a pair of philharmonics to listen too.
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post #20 of 25 Old 07-14-2012, 08:59 AM
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I noticed that you mentioned the PSB Synchrony 1 which is over $5000, so I assume your price range goes that high.
For $4300 you can buy Vandersteen 3A speakers, which might be the answer to your dilemma. I have had them for over 10 years, and still have not heard anything better for a similar price.

Even from authorized dealers, MSRP is one thing, street price is another. I've seen the Synchrony One for $3900/pr delivered.
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post #21 of 25 Old 07-15-2012, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roguemodel View Post

Its going to be a two channel rig. Using on the front end either the new Emotiva reference monoblocks or the Odyssey Stratos. The current room is 15 wide, 9 tall, and 24 long. I am looking for something that can handle a larger room as i am moving to a new home and will have the finished basement to myself. The Philharmonic 3's keep coming up from a lot of sources.

I don't know how to word this without perhaps offending someone (which is not my intent)

What are some of your listening priorities?

Meaning, some speakers play & sound nice in a room....others (horns) might be a lot more dynamic and rather than listening to the music in the room, it might be more like the band is in the room with you.

I've got a predisposition towards horns so discount my comment accordingly.

A pair of used Klipsch LaScalas, biamped and converted into "JubeScalas" with the huge horn on top (best option) or the smaller 8"x15" horn (2nd best option) sounds absolutely killer however, the LaScalas can also benefit from a good subwoofer for the fully involved experience.

This is the large K402 horn on top of the LaScala. The midrange & tweeter in the speaker itself have been bypassed in lieu of the big horn which is crossed to at 470hz.

1.jpg 166k .jpg file


This is the smaller K510 on the Belle ( similar to LaScala) and would actually fit INSIDE the top of the LaScala should someone want to be creative (which is my intent as a center channel)

510.jpg 158k .jpg file


If you want to pursue dyanmics out the wazoo, then both of these are excellent starting points AND, used LaScalas can be had inside your budget however, these large horns are somewhere around $1,000 each. They do however, come with horn lens, driver and mounting tray as you see. They are literally, pull out of box, put into place and play.

Just thought I'd toss a different perspective into your mix

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post #22 of 25 Old 07-15-2012, 06:31 AM
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This is the smaller K510 on the Belle ( similar to LaScala) and would actually fit INSIDE the top of the LaScala should someone want to be creative (which is my intent as a center channel)
510.jpg 158k .jpg file
Interesting! I could eventually modify my wall-inset center La Scala with this in that case.

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post #23 of 25 Old 07-15-2012, 07:13 AM
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Interesting! I could eventually modify my wall-inset center La Scala with this in that case.

Yes but... you might have a bit of a sonic mismatch with the different K510 verses the K400/K77

Truth be told... I'd wager you lunch at your favorite place to eat, if you heard the JubeScala you'd probably love it... and then get infected with the "geez, how can I improve the sound coming from left/right?" and we both know where that would end up.

I grew up thinking 3 ways were always (by definition) better than 2-ways. Boy, were my eyes opened once I went to a 2-way with some signal alignment. The improvement in coherency is clearly evident.
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post #24 of 25 Old 07-19-2012, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Yes but... you might have a bit of a sonic mismatch with the different K510 verses the K400/K77
Truth be told... I'd wager you lunch at your favorite place to eat, if you heard the JubeScala you'd probably love it... and then get infected with the "geez, how can I improve the sound coming from left/right?" and we both know where that would end up.
I grew up thinking 3 ways were always (by definition) better than 2-ways. Boy, were my eyes opened once I went to a 2-way with some signal alignment. The improvement in coherency is clearly evident.

Yeah, that would be to match the KHorn bass bins + KPT-402 sitting on top of them in an active two-way configuration.

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post #25 of 25 Old 07-21-2012, 08:02 PM
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Salk super charged Song towers are 3.5k and come with raals.
Very flat frequency response.

I also Philharmonic.

Um I think it is also important to consider extra $$ for treatment is required.

The recommend these because they are accurate to the source.

You should listen to AcuDefTechGuy and Naunce their experience is most likely much higher then mine with numerous speakers. Let them filter out the snake oil for you wink.gif

Best luck to you finding your speaker smile.gif

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