I currently have the following setup:
-Pioneer VSX-818V receiver
-Proficient Audio NFM5 bookshelfs
-Proficient Audio PS8
My receiver is starting to give issues with the stereo channel and I'm thinking it may be time to look into upgrading since I may be needing to purchase a new receiver soon regardless. I've read that Watt output in most receivers isn't as important nowadays due to optimization, however I figure I'll get a new receiver based on what I end up upgrading. I listen to music 90% of the time and movies the other 10%. Also, I'm currently living in a small room college apartment with 12 foot ceilings.
I don't really see myself purchasing new bookshelf speakers anytime soon since I can't notice a large enough difference between bookshelf speakers to warrant purchasing new ones. Instead, I want to get some tower speakers which have a much broader range than bookshelf speakers. For the past year now I've been in love with the Bowers & Wilkins 683 speakers and have been considering finally purchasing a pair. I'm not that interested in surround sound at the moment, but I do want to leave open the possibility of adding new pieces to my setup over time. Due to the price of the 683 speakers and the fact that I'm in a relatively small room, I've had mixed feelings about getting the speakers and am hoping that some people here can help give me some advice.
I really want to purchase these speakers, however I've been told by various people that the speakers would be overkill for a small room. I've read mixed articles online about whether having tower speakers in a small room is too much or sounds good. Does anyone have experience with listening to tower speakers in a small room and whether the music would sound as bad as I've been told or would it be a major upgrade from my current setup?
Also, I've considered the possibility of combining my two bookshelf speakers and subwoofer with the 683 speakers to test what the sound would be like. Ideally what I'd like to do is combine my current bookshelf speakers and over time replace them with Bowers & Wilkins (although at the same time, I'm mostly interested in listening to music so it's not a major priority). Does anyone know if this would be possible?
I want this purchase to be something that I will be able to enjoy for years, so I want to get as much feedback as possible from people. The apartment I am at is only temporary since I'll be graduating within the next year so while it may be slight overkill for a small room, I want something powerful. I've also looked at other brands such as MartinLogan, however at the moment I'm mostly leaning towards B&W. If there are other brands that people would suggest that are within the same quality as the B&W 683's I'd like to know about them!
Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | Outlaw Ultra-X12
How small is the room? They should be fine as long as you can space them out a little bit to create a nice sound stage. You can definitely use your current speakers as surrounds, but since music is your main source, there really isn't a need. Also just to point out, the sound quality of towers and bookshelves when paired with a sub is very similar, and you can buy a nicer bookshelf than you can tower for the same money.
And do some reading on the forum. There are definitely some good alternatives to the B&Ws.
Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
HT: Energy RC-50 & RC-LCR, Ascend CBM-170 SE, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
Desktop: Sierra 1 | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | Parasound Zamp
Headphone & Portable AKG K7XX | NAD HP50 | AKG K550 | Soundmagic E50 | DX50 | E12
Out of curiosity what are other alternatives to B&W? I'd like to purchase something around a similar price range $600-850 per speaker, but am limited on my knowledge of brands.
I'm aware of brands like Paradigm, however I've never been able to listen to any speakers from them. I had considered the possibility of getting the studio 20 bookshelves for around a similar price as the 683's. I'm not sure whether bookshelves or towers would benefit me more at this point since I already own a pair of bookshelves and by adding towers I'd be almost at a 5.1 setup and could then over time slowly change my old speakers to better quality ones.
As for the room, I'm not entirely that concerned since I will be moving out of my apartment in about a year. The room is big enough to where I'd have the space for two tower speakers comfortably.
Don't discount second hand, I bought a pair of $1500 standmounts for about $200. As for brands...well there are many lol.
But you do have to match up with your taste, and your amp. Amps don't sound the same, so one pair of speakers might not match well with a certain amp. My B&W don't match well with forward sounding amps.
$470 with shipping
A subjective review
If you want towers - $780 a pair with shipping
Also, Monitor Audio Silver RX-1 (black is sold out)
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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7, EOS 150SP
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30