Time to replace the 104/2's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-04-2013, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking at potential replacements as my 104/2's are not totally repairable. Looking at Paradigm, Polk and whatever may be out there. Klipsch is out (sorry to the Klipsch fans). I'm looking old and new. I've not auditioned speakers in more than 21 years (when I bought the 104's). I've heard the "new" Klipsch and it's just too harsh for me. This is part of a HT system so they need to do it all.

Suggestions? Fire away.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-04-2013, 08:17 PM
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Besides currently owning the 104/2's and the 104's I landed on the Polk LSi15's. A steal at $500 each. I have no problem recommending them. They are on amazon and if you decide you don't like them they have a very good return policy. I kept them. Like the Kef's they are 4 ohm so I assume you have the power to drive them.

It would help to know your budget.

Denon AVR4311CI
Magnepan 2.7QR's w/ MGCC3 Center
(2) Polk RT15i
(2) Sonotube Subs with 18" Stereo Integrity D4 Drivers
Behringer NU3000 & NU4-6000 Amps
Panasonic DMP-BDP210 - Projector: BenQ W1070
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WDTV Live & Minix Neo X7
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-04-2013, 08:34 PM
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For music and HT suggest looking at the Kef R700s assuming twin subs or if you have room R900s. I know there are many great speakers but I feel Kef does music and HT both very well. They are also starting to hit on all cylinders again with the Blades, R series and LS50s.

For the money you will be hard pressed to beat the R series but I know there are other great options also. If you can, audition as many as you are able to. You certainly have a great Reference to go from.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX View Post

Besides currently owning the 104/2's and the 104's I landed on the Polk LSi15's. A steal at $500 each. I have no problem recommending them. They are on amazon and if you decide you don't like them they have a very good return policy. I kept them. Like the Kef's they are 4 ohm so I assume you have the power to drive them.
It would help to know your budget.

Thanks for the recommendation on the Polks. I've been driving my 104/2's for years with a couple of different Onkyo receivers since getting rid of all of my Adcom separates. They've had no problem driving the 104/2's. I don't listen to much of anything at high volume levels.

As far as budget I'd like to stay in the $1200 or less range. I know that's not much...but it's what I have to work with.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

For music and HT suggest looking at the Kef R700s assuming twin subs or if you have room R900s. I know there are many great speakers but I feel Kef does music and HT both very well. They are also starting to hit on all cylinders again with the Blades, R series and LS50s.
For the money you will be hard pressed to beat the R series but I know there are other great options also. If you can, audition as many as you are able to. You certainly have a great Reference to go from.

The R series appear to be quite impressive but are outside my budget at this time. One in college and one going next year has a way of really putting a stranglehold of funds....
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I was also doing some research on Paradigm Monitor 11's. There is a member selling a full Paradigm setup minus the sub in the classifieds that has my curiosity piqued.

Here is the link: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1448902/fs-paradigm-v5-monitor-11-cc390-adp-190-5-0-home-theater-set

I'm hoping to go and give a listen to Paradigms today at a local dealer just to get a sense of the Paradigm "sound".
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 08:40 AM
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I heard two generations of tower Monitors side by side with my old Kef 103/4s and B&W CM7s about 2 1/2 years ago. While they had decent bass, the mids were extremely muffled as compared to the Kef and B&Ws. I incorrectly thought they were two levels of Paradigm but the lower price was trying to sell the floor models of the discontinued model. It turned me off on Paradigms but I would like to hear the Studio and especially the Signiture lines.
Besides the new Kef Q series or perhaps B&W683s, I am not that up on what is available in that price range but I am certain you can get some great sounding speakers. Check out Aperion and PSB along with Q700s and the 683s.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 09:30 AM
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I would recommend that you spend $600 on a pair of KEF iQ70 speakers. They are excellent speakers and the price is a steal.

They will sound far nicer than many of the alternatives, and the current price at KEF Direct is only half of their original price.

Another good choice would be the Mordaunt-Short Carnival 8 speakers, which run about $700 per pair.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 01:50 PM
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I just noticed TAS has listed the Monitor 9 series 7 in their recommended components buyers guide so perhaps they have made recent improvements.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Well did a bunch of listening today. Consisted of some older JBL monitors, Paradigm Monitor 11's and 9's, Studio 20's and lastly B&W 684 and 683's. I have to say of the lot the Studio 20's were very nice but over 2K with stands. The B&W 683's were the most impressive. I really enjoyed the sound coming from them. The 684's weren't bad but the 683's soundstage and overall evenness was outstanding IMHO.

At $1500 it'd be a bit of a stretch (pending wifely approval).

There is no one locally that has PSB's or KEF's and I believe in listening to what I'm going to buy. I will do some research on the IQ70's mentioned if for nothing else price point alone!

Thanks for the feedback thus far.
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-05-2013, 02:38 PM
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You should be able to do a bit less than MSRP on the 683s, say 10-15%. I compared IQ30s to 685s and they were close but the B&Ws had the edge mostly due to the tweeter. I am not a big fan of the 3/4" tweeter of the IQ/XQ lines as they come up a bit short on air but still very good.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-06-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Went back to the Paradigm dealer this morning and re-listened to the Monitor 11's he had. They seemed a bit muddy yesterday when I listened to them. Like a dummy I didn't give a thought to their placement. He had them about 4-6 inches from the wall. Today I asked if we could move them more along the lines of how my fronts sit. A couple of feet from the wall. What an unbelievable difference! Much more clarity without harshness. Mids were nice a even and the soundstage and imaging was very good IMO.

Then he drops a bomb on me that he has a set of Monitor 11v5's he's taken in on trade. We hook them up in the same position but next to the new Monitor 11's. I'll be honest I could not tell the difference between the two sonically. He wants a $1000 for the used 11's. I think that's a bit high and could probably work on that. The new 11's run $1500 for the set.

I'm going to go back and listen to the B&W 683's today again. Now that I've gotten a better idea of the Paradigm's abilities the B&W's will need to blow me away.

There's still a forum member that has a nice Paradigm setup in the classifieds that I put a link to earlier in this thread. If I end up deciding on Paradigm I may just make the long drive and buy his....
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-06-2013, 08:54 AM
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I suggest that you consider the Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 55 speakers. They cost $600 per pair and are excellent.

Stereophile did an article on them recently, and they almost ran out of superlatives in describing them.

There is no question in my mind that they sound better than either of the B & W speakers.

You should always listen to what you want to buy IN YOUR HOME with your amplifier and acoustics for at least 2 days; there is NO substitute for that. Any dealer that won't let you either borrow them or buy with full refund privilege isn't worth spit.

Another pair of speakers that are better than ANY of them are the Anthony Gallo Classico CL-2 speakers, which will run you $800 for a pair. The Absolute Sound did a very informative and flattering article on the larger CL-3, which I tried and bought and absolutely LOVE...lol!!!

Gallo will give you a 60-DAY FREE HOME TRIAL, with no obligation (if you return them you pay nothing; they pay shipping both ways) No risk there. Nothing is half as good as trying them in your own home with your equipment and acoustics (especially for a month or more).
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-08-2013, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Well my search is over.

Last evening I purchased an older set of 600 series B&W's from the original owner. The set included DM603S2 Fronts (2), DM601S2 bookshelves (2) and an LCR6S2 center channel.Came with boxes, all documentation and packaging. In near mint condition. I demoed them with a wide variety of material in both 2-channel stereo and blu-ray content. I liked everything about these speakers. They sounded just outstanding in his home regardless of material.

After re-listening to the 683's at a Magnolia store Sunday again I liked the sound but not the price. I stumbled across this setup on my local Craigslist. I got them home unboxed and inspected each unit in great detail and put them all in place. So this group swapped out my KEF 104/2's my Polk 4A surrounds and my JBL EC-35 center. The only other speakers I have are my rear surround Definitive 1000 Monitors and of course my Outlaw LFM-1 Plus subwoofer. I haven't re-calibrated my environment yet but they sound spectacular to me in my listening room. My wife whose been sick with a head cold for a couple of weeks even noted how nice they sounded.

Thanks for the suggestions and comments in this thread. I appreciate all the input.
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