Recommended Speakers for 2 Channel Listening - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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My friend is looking for speakers for a 2 channel, primarily music listening set-up and he's pretty much sold on a pair of Martin Logan Theos. I have to say, I've heard them before and I just heard them again with him and they do sound AMAZING. I like them very much myself, and he does also. I know for the price, there are A LOT of options out there. I was wondering from you guys that are familiar with the Martin Logan Theos speakers if you have heard anything for the price that you would consider "better?" I told him about Salk as being a very viable contender, but he wants to hear them first. What do you guys think?

Also, he will be using 2 Emotiva XPR-1 amps to power them so he has all the power he could ever want/need to drive nearly any speaker.
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 01:12 PM
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I haven't heard the new Theos speakers, but have heard the Vantage and Summit X and they were very good speakers. I'm guessing they should sound very similar. Audio is subjective and it would be his preference, but I my first recommendation would be a pair of Revel M106 bookshelves and a pair of capable subs like the Rythmik F15HP. Spend the rest on acoustic treatments. That should provide VERY good sound at a fraction the cost of his current selection.

Option 2 would be for a pair of Revel F208 floor standers if your friend doesn't want bookshelves and a pair of good subs like the Rythmik mentioned above. Any decent receiver will be able to power the Revels unless your friend is listening from the next building.

Salks are nice, but I believe they are mostly designed by Dennis Murphy so why not save some money and go with Dennis Murphy's own speakers. His company is called Philharmonic Audio. The Salks do have much more higher grade cabinetry though if that's important. Sound quality wise, they are similar. I have a pair of the Philharmonic 3s and they are very clean and clear sounding speakers.

Whatever your friend decides I would recommend skipping crazy expensive amplifiers and spending it on a good pair of subs instead. That will make an actual difference in sound quality. Very few people actually need the additional power of external amplifiers.
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

I haven't heard the new Theos speakers, but have heard the Vantage and Summit X and they were very good speakers. I'm guessing they should sound very similar. Audio is subjective and it would be his preference, but I my first recommendation would be a pair of Revel M106 bookshelves and a pair of capable subs like the Rythmik F15HP. Spend the rest on acoustic treatments. That should provide VERY good sound at a fraction the cost of his current selection.

Option 2 would be for a pair of Revel F208 floor standers if your friend doesn't want bookshelves and a pair of good subs like the Rythmik mentioned above. Any decent receiver will be able to power the Revels unless your friend is listening from the next building.

Salks are nice, but I believe they are mostly designed by Dennis Murphy so why not save some money and go with Dennis Murphy's own speakers. His company is called Philharmonic Audio. The Salks do have much more higher grade cabinetry though if that's important. Sound quality wise, they are similar. I have a pair of the Philharmonic 3s and they are very clean and clear sounding speakers.

Whatever your friend decides I would recommend skipping crazy expensive amplifiers and spending it on a good pair of subs instead. That will make an actual difference in sound quality. Very few people actually need the additional power of external amplifiers.

Thanks for the reply. He already has the amplifiers though, as well as some treatments and a good sub. He just wants to upgrade the speakers. I will relay your recommendations to him. I forgot about the Philharmonics. His number one priority is sound reproduction. He liked the uncolored, accurate and natural sound of the Martin Logans. He preferred them over the B&W CM10's.

Thanks for the recommendations! We have some more auditioning to do
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 02:37 PM
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Gotcha. I thought he was going to buy the XPR-1s to power the speakers as well. What's his max budget for the speakers? One thing he has to remember is that the Theos will need an electrical outlet nearby each of them to power the panels. I'm sure he knows already, but just thought I'd bring that up just in case. I wouldn't mind having a pair of Martin Logans myself. I was lusting after the Summit Xs when I was going through my speaker selection journey.

I've not heard the Revel M106, but they should be similar to the F208 floor standers when crossed over to a capable sub. The F208 I've heard and they are AMAZING. If your friend is looking for good sound reproduction, the Revels have that in spades. The F208s are very clean, clear and neutral. It will make great recordings sound great, but bad recordings will, unfortunately, be exposed for what they are. I would bet that I couldn't tell the difference between the F208 and my Salon2s blindfolded. They are that good. The finish on them is spectacular.
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

Gotcha. I thought he was going to buy the XPR-1s to power the speakers as well. What's his max budget for the speakers? One thing he has to remember is that the Theos will need an electrical outlet nearby each of them to power the panels. I'm sure he knows already, but just thought I'd bring that up just in case. I wouldn't mind having a pair of Martin Logans myself. I was lusting after the Summit Xs when I was going through my speaker selection journey.

I've not heard the Revel M106, but they should be similar to the F208 floor standers when crossed over to a capable sub. The F208 I've heard and they are AMAZING. If your friend is looking for good sound reproduction, the Revels have that in spades. The F208s are very clean, clear and neutral. It will make great recordings sound great, but bad recordings will, unfortunately, be exposed for what they are. I would bet that I couldn't tell the difference between the F208 and my Salon2s blindfolded. They are that good. The finish on them is spectacular.

I'm gonna have to tell him about these Revels. He knows the Logans have to be plugged in, that's not a problem. His budget is around the 5k mark, which is exactly what the Theos' cost.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Just saw the hometheaterreview.com and it got a perfect score AND is right at his price range also! Sounds like a VERY strong candidate. I found it very interesting that they directly compared it to the Martin Logans electro stat speakers. He actually compared it to the lesser one than the Theos. He said the soundstage isn't quite as enveloping as the Martin Logans, but he didn't compare much further than that.

Here's a link to the review I just read on Hometheaterreview.com

http://hometheaterreview.com/revel-performa3-f208-floorstanding-speaker-reviewed/?page=2
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 03:43 PM
 
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Are PSB Synchrony One's on his radar?

http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/408psb
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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If there is a dealer that has them on the floor and he can audition them, they absolutely are. The reviews on those Revels are very impressive!
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-13-2013, 10:06 PM
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I know that there a few pair of salks in the NYC area. Have him call Jim. I'm sure that there's more than one owner that will let him have a in-home audition.
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Blackdevil77 View Post

If there is a dealer that has them on the floor and he can audition them, they absolutely are. The reviews on those Revels are very impressive!

Does your friend live near you? The dealer locator on PSB's website indicates several dealers on Long Island.

Failing that, Crutchfield offer a 60-day return policy. (Buyer pays return shipping.)
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll let him know. Yes, he lives about 5 minutes from me. I told him about the Revels and he's very interested in them. He wants to compare them with the Martin Logan Theos speakers. Hopefully a dealer around here has both. The one thing that has him wanting to compare the two so badly was Home Theater Reviews statement that the Martin Logan ESL's had a more enveloping soundstage compared to the F208's. I would love to read a more direct comparison between the two and how they compare in other ways. I wasn't able to find any using google.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:13 PM
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Bowers and Wilkins Diamond series. You cant go wrong. The diamond tweeters are magical. I owned Theos and dropped them in heartbeat for diamonds. The total experience is also depended on the whole package amp, pre amp, wires, room etc... not just the speakers.
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Very interesting. I didn't know Yamaha made anything in this class
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Bowers and Wilkins Diamond series. You cant go wrong. The diamond tweeters are magical. I owned Theos and dropped them in heartbeat for diamonds. The total experience is also depended on the whole package amp, pre amp, wires, room etc... not just the speakers.

I believe it and I would personally love them for myself for a 2 channel system. Those are WAAY above the budget of 5k
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:29 PM
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Bowers and Wilkins Diamond series. You cant go wrong. The diamond tweeters are magical. I owned Theos and dropped them in heartbeat for diamonds. The total experience is also depended on the whole package amp, pre amp, wires, room etc... not just the speakers.

You sure about that? Lot of people pile on B&W for their sound signature.
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Very interesting. I didn't know Yamaha made anything in this class
I believe it and I would personally love them for myself for a 2 channel system. Those are WAAY above the budget of 5k

I'm pretty sure you could get several of the speakers of the 800D line for under 5k on audiogon, if willing to buy used.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:30 PM
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Few thing I want to add about the Thoes based on my owner ship experience

1) Position of theos is critical - if they are not position correctly you will miss the sound. Based on my experience it has very narrow sweet spot.
2) Sound - I am biased and this is just my opinion - Theos lack the "soul" of the music, they seemed not full or rich and didn't had the depth (I'm spoiled smile.gif ) At first when I bought them I thought they were the best speakers but after living with them for over a year - I had some other thoughts.
3) Don't ever use a class D amp with theos - they are good in power delivery - but takes the "soul" out of the music even further.

These are just my thought smile.gif Good luck!
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:36 PM
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I'm pretty sure you could get several of the speakers of the 800D line for under 5k on audiogon, if willing to buy used.

Yep - can pick up 805D (smallest) of the line for under 5K. They are great - I use them as surrounds and I can easily use them as mains w/ a sub.
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post #18 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Few thing I want to add about the Thoes based on my owner ship experience

1) Position of theos is critical - if they are not position correctly you will miss the sound. Based on my experience it has very narrow sweet spot.
2) Sound - I am biased and this is just my opinion - Theos lack the "soul" of the music, they seemed not full or rich and didn't had the depth (I'm spoiled smile.gif ) At first when I bought them I thought they were the best speakers but after living with them for over a year - I had some other thoughts.
3) Don't ever use a class D amp with theos - they are good in power delivery - but takes the "soul" out of the music even further.

These are just my thought smile.gif Good luck!

Thanks for the information. Sooo your not happy with these speakers??? Saying that they "lack soul" doesn't sound like a good thing
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:42 PM
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Thanks for the information. Sooo your not happy with these speakers??? Saying that they "lack soul" doesn't sound like a good thing

I thought they were the best before I bought them - after ownership for few months and also adding diamonds HT set up I had other thoughts.

This is purely my opinion based on my experience and setup I had. I sold them this past summer. Some folks swear on electro stats. Audition speakers w/ your favorite songs and compare the differences
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought they were the best before I bought them - after ownership for few months and also adding diamonds HT set up I had other thoughts.

This is purely my opinion based on my experience and setup I had. I sold them this past summer. Some folks swear on electro stats.

They sounded good to me and my friend. But I would definitely expect the diamonds to sound better. I don't know if he'll go for bookshelves, he was set on floor standing speakers. I'd like to hear more comparison of the Revel F208's and Theos speakers. I'm trying to find a place that sells both so we can directly compare them. So far I'm just finding places that have one or the other.
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post #21 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 04:56 PM
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My friend is looking for speakers for a 2 channel, primarily music listening set-up and he's pretty much sold on a pair of Martin Logan Theos. I have to say, I've heard them before and I just heard them again with him and they do sound AMAZING. I like them very much myself, and he does also. I know for the price, there are A LOT of options out there. I was wondering from you guys that are familiar with the Martin Logan Theos speakers if you have heard anything for the price that you would consider "better?" I told him about Salk as being a very viable contender, but he wants to hear them first. What do you guys think?
I second your Salk suggestion. Contact Jim Salk and he likely can get you in contact with an owner willing to let you listen.
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post #22 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by phalen302 View Post

I thought they were the best before I bought them - after ownership for few months and also adding diamonds HT set up I had other thoughts.

This is purely my opinion based on my experience and setup I had. I sold them this past summer. Some folks swear on electro stats. Audition speakers w/ your favorite songs and compare the differences

I told him about your recommendation and he didn't think the diamonds were anywhere near his budget. You now have him interested in the 804 Diamonds. He's saying if he really likes them more than the Theos and the F208's, he'll stretch his budget. Now we just have to find a dealer that has all 3 to audition!!! eek.gif

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I second your Salk suggestion. Contact Jim Salk and he likely can get you in contact with an owner willing to let you listen.

I'll make him call Monday. He's saying he feels strange going into somebodies home for this rolleyes.gif
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 06:53 PM
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I told him about your recommendation and he didn't think the diamonds were anywhere near his budget. You now have him interested in the 804 Diamonds. He's saying if he really likes them more than the Theos and the F208's, he'll stretch his budget. Now we just have to find a dealer that has all 3 to audition!!! eek.gif
I'll make him call Monday. He's saying he feels strange going into somebodies home for this rolleyes.gif

Yea try em out - take your favorite CD and play the songs you know well and like. Also keep in mind - the sound you hear in the demo room might be different then when you hear them at home.

The whole sound package is dependent on various variables, amp, pre amps, room, cables etc...I am running Transparent super cables all the way around; have invested over $6k in cables alone. Good luck and have fun smile.gif
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post #24 of 24 Old 12-14-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by phalen302 View Post

Yea try em out - take your favorite CD and play the songs you know well and like. Also keep in mind - the sound you hear in the demo room might be different then when you hear them at home.

The whole sound package is dependent on various variables, amp, pre amps, room, cables etc...I am running Transparent super cables all the way around; have invested over $6k in cables alone. Good luck and have fun smile.gif

Yeah, I told him all of that. That is why I want to find a place for him that has all 3 speakers to compare. Same room, same amp, same source etc, only difference being the speaker. Should give a better indication of how they all compare to each other.
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