Bookshelf Speakers & Center. $5k To $9k - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-27-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello: Im looking for any opinions on a set of bookshelt speakers and center in the $5k to $9k price range. That range does not include subs or electronics or surround rears, just the hree fronts. Not too concerned about the bass as these will be supplemented by two Funk Audio 18 subwoofers. Loking for speakers which will do 30 percent music and 70 percent HT. Im really not interested at all in what many deem warm sounding speakers with a dulled down mid or upper range. I want as much clarity as I can get in the mids and uppers. Already auditioned the B&W 805 Diamonds and really liked them. Funny thing is I thought being run by Rotel gear their upper and mids were very clear and had nice punch yet I read one review whe the guy actually thiought they were warm and mellow? Any suggestions would be welcome on other models/brands. Im gong to audition some KEF Reference 201's tomorrow. Other brands I hAve at least started to consider are Focal Electra 1008's, Dali Helicon 300 MK2, Theils, Wilson Benesch, and possibly Dynadio Contours - though Im not sure I would like these for HT. Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-27-2012, 02:07 PM
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Very nice choice on the subs! You might check out the Klipsch Palladium bookshelf speakers and center. I'm sure those will sound nice, and I doubt they will be warm. Something else I would look at is the Funk Audio F8.2P speakers, those things look killer, and I think they would sound great. The Soundscape M7 Monitor and center looks great too, but I'm not sure if the m7 pricing is per pair- if it is for a single speaker that will blow your budget.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-27-2012, 02:14 PM
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The Focal Electra is a good one to audition.

Also Monitor Audio Gold GX100
http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/gold-gx/gx100/

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post #4 of 20 Old 07-27-2012, 03:32 PM
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you listed the Dynaudio Contours, but the new Focus line is great, you should look at the 160s and 210C, they might be much better at HT then the Contours and still compete on the levels of detail, imaging and dynamics. Personally as a Dynaudio owner, I like the new Focus more then the Contours.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 02:43 AM
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Have you looked at the Vapor Audio Cirrus?

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 07:41 AM
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You will be wasting money if you spend that kind of money on speakers and use a Rotel to power them. If you are going to use a Rotel amplifier, any speaker expenditure over $1500 is a total waste of money IMO.

The sound quality of top-quality speakers is only going to be realized with a higher-quality amplifier.

I suggest that you consider a pair of ProAc Response D Two speakers, which cost $3500. IMO they are some of the best speakers you can buy for under $8000.

Then you should invest in the kind of high-quality amplifier required to make them sound good.

If you put those ProAc speakers together with the Audio Research VSi60 Integrated amplifier, which costs $4495, you will have sound to die for.

If you prefer solid-state, rather than a tube amplifier, the Ayre AX-7e would be a good choice, and it is only $3500.

Using top-quality speakers with a Rotel is like buying a Ferrari and then going to a discount store and getting a cheap set of tires for it; not exactly the way to get top performance.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You will be wasting money if you spend that kind of money on speakers and use a Rotel to power them. If you are going to use a Rotel amplifier, any speaker expenditure over $1500 is a total waste of money IMO.
Hi Bob. How's the weather in Baghdad today?
The OP made no mention of which model Rotel he has, so your bizarre, specious and purely psychogenic claim is for the entire brandname?
Is a $3000 Ayre of "better quality" than a $5000 Rotel, psychologically, to you?
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The sound quality of top-quality speakers is only going to be realized with a higher-PRICED amplifier.
Then you should invest in the kind of high-PRICED amplifier required to make them sound good.
I fixed that for you. How did you determine the price of his Rotel?
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If you put those ProAc speakers together with the Audio Research VSi60 Integrated amplifier, which QUALITIES $4495, you will have sound to die for.
If you prefer solid-state, rather than a tube amplifier, the Ayre AX-7e would be a good choice, and it is QUALITIED at only $3500.
Couple more fixes for ya (yeah, I know Qualitied hehe). Why do you have this purely psychological association between price and sound?
Like this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-9849949-39.html
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Using top-quality speakers with a Rotel is like buying a Ferrari and then going to a discount store and getting a cheap set of tires for it; not exactly the way to get top performance.
Great analogy Bob. So lets' see your data where the higher priced amplifier/"Quality" brandname outperformed the Rotel is braking distance, acceleration, lateral Gs and lap times.
Bob, your data...and listening test verification?

cheers,

AJ
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:19 AM
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LOL! Awesome AJ! To the OP. Don't listen to commy. He has no idea of what he is talking about.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

You will be wasting money if you spend that kind of money on speakers and use a Rotel to power them. If you are going to use a Rotel amplifier, any speaker expenditure over $1500 is a total waste of money IMO.
The sound quality of top-quality speakers is only going to be realized with a higher-quality amplifier.
I suggest that you consider a pair of ProAc Response D Two speakers, which cost $3500. IMO they are some of the best speakers you can buy for under $8000.
Then you should invest in the kind of high-quality amplifier required to make them sound good.
If you put those ProAc speakers together with the Audio Research VSi60 Integrated amplifier, which costs $4495, you will have sound to die for.
If you prefer solid-state, rather than a tube amplifier, the Ayre AX-7e would be a good choice, and it is only $3500.
Using top-quality speakers with a Rotel is like buying a Ferrari and then going to a discount store and getting a cheap set of tires for it; not exactly the way to get top performance.

What about ATI amps which costs only $3K? They are OEM for the likes of Mark Levinson, Lexicon, Cary Audio, & Theta Digital. Is that high quality enough for you?

I guess the Rotel is only $2800, so it's crap. So the amp must be $3,500 to sound any good?
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 11:09 AM
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Note to self:

If I ever start an amplifier company, make sure the starting price is $5,000. People will think they sound great even though they measure exactly the same as a $1K amp.
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Note to self:
If I ever start an amplifier company, make sure the starting price is $5,000. People will think they sound great even though they measure exactly the same as a $1K amp.
It'll be crap because commysman won't have one.tongue.gif

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info guys. Just to let everyone know, the Rotel gear I was referring to was the dealers, not mine. Thats where I was demoing the speakers. That said, i still have a 5 channel Rotel 1075 amp and rspn1068 preamp that Ive used for about 8 years to drive 1st generation Paradigm Signature S4's, S2's and center. I think they sound pretty darn good, and the audio shop that sold me them with the Paradigms certainly did not thik hey were cheap electronics. I have no issue spending money on something if it falls in my budget and I think it gives me real value added. But I have admittedly never bought into the super high end amp or cable arguments. Cables just transmit a signal, nothing more , and as long as its competently made and shielded I have a hard time imagining theres a big sonic result difference between a well made Belden or Canari cable and some multi hundred or tjousand dollar boutique brand.

Id much prefer to put my cash into things like speakers, treatments, projectors, source players, etc. I have the same attitude towards amps, not processors, but amps. An amp like a cable has a very simple job, supply power, thats it, nothing more. If you compare two amps driving the same speaker and both amps are capable of driving that speaker comfortably, I have a seriously hard time beleiving in a true double blind test one could actually hear a detectale sonic difference between say a Krell and a Rotel. Yes, if the Rotel were perhaps being asked to drive something it was not well capable of and clipping I think one could certainly hear that distortion, but matched with a speaker it can handle I just dont buy that people can hear all these expensive amp sonic differences that they claim they can hear. Placebo effect is a very powerful thing and humans in all recreational fields are well proven to be influenced by it. As a species we are actually pretty low on the ladder regarding our sense of smell, sight and hearing, but we like to imagine we are not. And Im not saying the Krell might not have slightly better tech specs than the Rotel. For 4 times or more the price it better have better transformers, boards, etc, but just because laboratory specs measure differently does not equate to audible speaker differences detectable by humans. Im just questioning whether those differences can actually be easily heard as many claim. I for one have never been able to hear them. I have played my Paradigms with my Rotel gear as well s some Classe gear and I could not tell one bit of difference, none, and those Sigs are not chopped liver as speakers. They are pretty darn darn good. Give me two capable amps driving the same speakers at the same db level and I cant tell you which is which.

Theres a guy on one of the popular hifi websites (cant recall his name) that for years has offered anyone $10k if they can actually hear the differences between two different capable amps driving the same speakers. Many have taken him up on that challenge, and no one asfar asI know has ever taken the cash home with them. No one ! Google it.

And this is just my opinion folks. im not saying its fact or that im some audio guru because Im not. Just relating my own experiences.

I will check out the other speakers mentioned, thanks for the suggestions.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

It'll be crap because commysman won't have one.tongue.gif

I'll give him one. Then he'll go and tell everyone it's the best ever. eek.gif
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Breako View Post

Thanks for the info guys. Just to let everyone know, the Rotel gear I was referring to was the dealers, not mine. Thats where I was demoing the speakers. That said, i still have a 5 channel Rotel 1075 amp and rspn1068 preamp that Ive used for about 8 years to drive 1st generation Paradigm Signature S4's, S2's and center. I think they sound pretty darn good, and the audio shop that sold me them with the Paradigms certainly did not thik hey were cheap electronics. I have no issue spending money on something if it falls in my budget and I think it gives me real value added. But I have admittedly never bought into the super high end amp or cable arguments. Cables just transmit a signal, nothing more , and as long as its competently made and shielded I have a hard time imagining theres a big sonic result difference between a well made Belden or Canari cable and some multi hundred or tjousand dollar boutique brand.
Id much prefer to put my cash into things like speakers, treatments, projectors, source players, etc. I have the same attitude towards amps, not processors, but amps. An amp like a cable has a very simple job, supply power, thats it, nothing more. If you compare two amps driving the same speaker and both amps are capable of driving that speaker comfortably, I have a seriously hard time beleiving in a true double blind test one could actually hear a detectale sonic difference between say a Krell and a Rotel. Yes, if the Rotel were perhaps being asked to drive something it was not well capable of and clipping I think one could certainly hear that distortion, but matched with a speaker it can handle I just dont buy that people can hear all these expensive amp sonic differences that they claim they can hear. Placebo effect is a very powerful thing and humans in all recreational fields are well proven to be influenced by it. As a species we are actually pretty low on the ladder regarding our sense of smell, sight and hearing, but we like to imagine we are not. And Im not saying the Krell might not have slightly better tech specs than the Rotel. For 4 times or more the price it better have better transformers, boards, etc, but just because laboratory specs measure differently does not equate to audible speaker differences detectable by humans. Im just questioning whether those differences can actually be easily heard as many claim. I for one have never been able to hear them. I have played my Paradigms with my Rotel gear as well s some Classe gear and I could not tell one bit of difference, none, and those Sigs are not chopped liver as speakers. They are pretty darn darn good. Give me two capable amps driving the same speakers at the same db level and I cant tell you which is which.
Theres a guy on one of the popular hifi websites (cant recall his name) that for years has offered anyone $10k if they can actually hear the differences between two different capable amps driving the same speakers. Many have taken him up on that challenge, and no one asfar asI know has ever taken the cash home with them. No one ! Google it.
And this is just my opinion folks. im not saying its fact or that im some audio guru because Im not. Just relating my own experiences.
I will check out the other speakers mentioned, thanks for the suggestions.

Good for you. I wouldn't waste money on some crazy amps either, especially ones that have not even been measured and verified by a 3rd party.

Good to have high quality components. But when you have a budget, the majority must go to speakers, not amps and wires.

Rotel makes high quality amps.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

What about ATI amps which costs only $3K? They are OEM for the likes of Mark Levinson, Lexicon, Cary Audio, & Theta Digital. Is that high quality enough for you?
I guess the Rotel is only $2800, so it's crap. So the amp must be $3,500 to sound any good?

As you know I have not joined the camp that all amps sound the same. Although I have not heard ATI, I am certain that both Rotel and ATI make very good amps. While I know ATI makes amps for others, some very high end, they are not using the same design. I agree with Dav1dF in the UK, that the design is as much significance as the components. How revealing and demanding the rest of your system is will determine whether it matters. The majority of the time any good amp will sound the same, I just believe certain passages can distinguish between them. Recent experiences have reinforced that most of the time no difference, but certain points yes, a difference. Maybe I drank the Koolaid but I am still in the camp that amps CAN make a difference. Did not say always do.

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post #16 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Good for you. I wouldn't waste money on some crazy amps either, especially ones that have not even been measured and verified by a 3rd party.
Good to have high quality components. But when you have a budget, the majority must go to speakers, not amps and wires.
Rotel makes high quality amps.

Yep, I will always plow as much cash as I can budget into
speakers. Always.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Good for you. I wouldn't waste money on some crazy amps either, especially ones that have not even been measured and verified by a 3rd party.
Good to have high quality components. But when you have a budget, the majority must go to speakers, not amps and wires.
Rotel makes high quality amps.

Yep, I will always plow as much cash as I can budget into
speakers. Always.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Good to have high quality components. But when you have a budget, the majority must go to speakers, not amps and wires.
Rotel makes high quality amps.

100% agree that it is the speakers first and foremost. Also agree that two quality amps will sound the same most, if not all the time. Don't agree that the amps in receivers or lower price less capable amps will sound the same as long as you don't crank it up in more revealing or demanding systems.

Speaker wire and interconnects, good quality but zero need to do anything exotic. I have 12 gauge speaker wire from Aperion and RCA cables from Emotiva. The only desire i have to upgrade is for corrosion prevention, connectors and manufacturing techniques (e.g. Ultrasonic welding) to make the connection to the wire. Corrosion is a real sonic impactor.

And if anyone knows speakers, ADTG certainly does and agree that Rotel makes quality amps! smile.gif

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post #19 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 09:03 AM
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Although I'm in the all-high-quality-amps-sound-the-same camp, I would love to own Mark Levinson, Krell, McIntosh, Bryston 500wpc amps. biggrin.gif

......For reasons not related to sound quality. biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 09:52 AM
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As mentioned by another poster I would add Dynaudio to the list as well as Focal. My two favorite speaker brands of those I have auditioned. I did have a Martin Logan wow moment once or twice though.

I have not heard the latest Focus line from Dynaudio but did own the original Focus when introduced years ago. They were really nice! Now have C1s and Confidence Center and my journey is done.

I have never been in the camp of better for HT or better for Stereo. There is music in movie soundtracks is there not? Blu-Ray concerts? Talk about wow moments!! I have heard the Contour and thought they were also excellent and at the time had a much better center in the family than the Focus I originally owned.

Nice to see you are considering monitors in your budget range. I went this route and have been thrilled with monitors and a REL sub. Never could have afforded the Confidence line unless I went monitors but that also got me the kick ass center.

Amps and pre/pros as well as cables are so taboo here. Since I achieved the speakers I wanted and there was no where to go from there I did invest in different gear than what I originally had . I have been more than happy and a big upgrade to me was the pre/pro. To me not a subtle difference in the analog section. I will strongly argue that the imaging which might be considered a speaker trait had very obvious change and does not require a blind test when I went to what might be considered a higher end offering than what I originally owned.

I also use a multi channel amp and for shits and giggles may try a stereo amp on the L/R but I am about out of room up front. To me, I now have equal money in speakers as well as electronics and I am very happy . I did upgrade to a different multi-channel amp than my original and felt at the time the bass in my center was impacted most. It seemed to grab my speakers by the nuts (non-audiophile chat) but I quickly settled in so who knows. I would not go back to my older pre/pro for nothing .

The Focal BEs would be a nice audition as well but I am Dynaudio guy and my HT and Stereo enjoyment has never sounded better to me. Don't blow by the center as an afterthought.

Rick

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