It is my turn to ask advice from all the experts.
I am getting close to upgrading the speakers in my basement. It will be a 2.0 channel room, no subwoofer planned at this time
, and I am looking at getting full range floorstanding speakers in the price range of $2,000-3,000.
The room is 17 feet wide by 16 feet deep with 7.5 foot ceiling. I will sit about 11 or 12 feet back from the front wall. I will be powering the speakers with a Harmon Kardon HK3490, 120wpc, stereo receiver. I also plan to do some room treatments (separate budget).
I have read many threads here and I hope to do what many people recommend. I plan to bring in 3-5 different sets of speakers at the same time in my own home so that I can compare and end up with the set I like the best. I am also, as a relatively new enthusiast, trying to have fun during this process and learn what kind of sound I like out of my speakers. Therefore, I am looking to compare speakers that are different in design and components to see what I like better. I mostly listen to rock and classical music off of CDs. Sometimes jazz/blues. I will be watching TV also, but I am looking for primary music performance for this room, as I have a 5.1 setup upstairs. I want dynamic speakers that stay clear when loud, but are also accurate and have a good soundstage.
I have done a lot of reading and I have a good idea of which speakers I want to order, but I would love any and all suggestions, both on which speakers to try and how best to audition them.
I plan to mostly stick to ID, direct order, brands. They allow anywhere from 30 to 90 day free trial period. I will make the rounds to the local stores, and I actually have a good selection here in Denver, but most do not seem to be agreeable regarding home auditions.
1)Ascend Sierra tower with Raal tweeter
($2700), 30 day trial
I have read so many great things about these speakers that they seem like a no brainer to be at the top of the list in this price range.
($2,895), 90 day trial. I heard these at RMAF and was very impressed.
3)SVS Ultra Towers
($2,000), 45 day trial. I also heard these at RMAF and liked them. They are not even released yet, so it will be cool to be one of the first to give them a test drive. Plus, they are offering 45 day trial with free shipping both ways.
4) Anthony Gallo Classico CL-IV
($2,495), 60 day trial. I am attracted to the idea of a speaker with a large sweet spot and good low freq extension. They seem to get very good reviews.
I would say that I am 99% going to audition the Ascend and the Von Schweikert. The SVS and Gallo are less certain and could be replaced with other speakers.
I have already considered and eliminated the Salk Songtower
with ribbon upgrade and the Aperion Versus Grand
. The reasons are because the Salk, which I heard and liked very much, is similar to the Ascend but does not play quite as deep and may distort more at loud volumes without a sub. I compared the Aperion to the SVS at RMAF and liked the SVS a bit better.
Other possibilities:Tekton Pendragon or Lore-S
. I have read many good reviews on these, but have not seen any measurements. I did not totally love the sound of the Zu speakers I heard, and these seem similar. Also, they don’t pay for shipping and have a 15% restocking fee. Still, trying out a design with high efficiency and single driver technology might be interesting.XTZ 99.36
. Read a bit on these. A new company in the US. They seem to have good components. Only a 21 day trial.Emerald Physics CS2P
. Totally different design. Open baffle, dipole below 1000Hz, external DSP flattens freq response and lowers -3dB limit into the 20s. Not sure I am ready for these quite yet, as they are definitely different than most regular speakers. Still, they did impress me at RMAF.
As far as B&M models that I am going to audition, the ones that look attractive to me are the Goldenear Triton 2s or 3s, Paradigm Studio 100s or 60s, Kef Q900 or R500, PSB Imagine T, Monitor Audio RX8
. Again, I will listen to those and, if I can get a dealer to agree to it, might bring one B&M model home. Of these, I am most interested in the Goldenear Triton 2s.
So, do you like the 4 I have listed? Should I replace any? Which ones am I missing? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
When I do get them all in my room, probably in January or so, I will start a new thread to post lots of pics and my listening impressions.
p.s. I am starting a similar thread over at Audioholics