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post #1 of 66 Old 07-27-2014, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Sound for 17 square meters room - confused and begging for help

Hi everyone, I just want to say that I have read SO many threads on SO many forums that my head is just spinning and spinning and I no longer know what to do. English isn't my native language - but I think I explored all forums in my country ( with little success unfortunately ... ), so it's time to go abroad.

I'll try to be as brief as possible. I have a ~17 square meters room ( not much but I'm going to live in this flat for long for sure ). When I was a kid I got a Creative T7700 set - which I was using up until last year - when a revolution took place in my head and I thought "my goodness I'm sick of this sound". I didn't have much money so I looked for some better speakers - but still "computer" speakers. My friend had a Microlab FC330 set and I thought it sounded a lot better than what I had. Since I'm more into music than movies I thought I'd give Microlab a shot and ordered Solo 7C - which is now playing with a Audiotrak Prodigy Cube. The difference is really big - but it's not what I want to finally achieve.

What I want is a system that will match my dreams :

- my priority is music, so I'd say 75% music 25% movies
- let's say I could spend around 2000-2500 $ ( but I guess it's not enough ... )
- I know everyone is saying that "if you want more music - stereo is the way" , but how much money would I spend for fronts that could do well in movies and really reproduce frequencies below 30 Hz ?
- since my room isn't too big many people recommend not buying floorstanders - but the smaller ones ( bookshelves ? ) - but it's a no-no for me without a good subwoofer
- I like listening to very different kinds of music - from rock to metal ( so many different sub-genres ), from DnB to dubstep, from trance to house, overall pretty much a little bit from almost every genre - except I'm not touching rap ( well, ocasionally ) /jazz/blues
- what I don't like about Solo 7C's is even though they are worth the money ( around 200$ for brand new ), because they sound way better than my previous system, the sound is a little boxy though, the quality is good but not great, the highs are a little to piercing, the bass is not deep and not really powerful ( and we're talking about four 6,5" speakers alltogether ), mids could be way warmer and there could be more "breathing", space and depth in this music

So I like a warm sound, crystal clear and warm mids and highs ( but not too metallic or piercing if you know what I mean - I hate too flashy highs that hurt my ears ) and the sound just has to be big, firmly supported with good deep low bass - especially because I like listening to music not-so-loud. When I turn the volume down on my Solo's - the bass is just gone, no depth at all. I'm not a basshead or technohead - I just feel like bass is extremely important because it gives that feeling that there is some weight to the music. And I like really low notes - below 30Hz. So to sum up I think a subwoofer is necessary in my case - I heard that REL, Velodyne ( expensive though ) produce some good stuff. Also I read many opinions that people who previously didn't even think about adding a subwoofer to their stereo system - after adding it - never looked back.

Is it possible to create a warm and pleasant sound in my room that won't ruin me financially and will get properly deep and low?

So far I've had an opportunity to test Klipsh RF62, Klipsch Synergy F30, Quadral Quintas 5000, some JBL ES series. I don't know if they were powered by crappy amps or something but my reaction for all those mentioned was " really? this sound for that price? no ". I listened to my CD with only .flac files. Not one of these sounded deep, crisp and clear.

Ironically I bought myself I pair of AKG headphones - for like 50$ ? And accompanied by my Prodigy Cube - this is the best sound I have heard so far in my life. Just like I want it - deep, crisp, warm pleasant mids that are exactly where they should be, highs clear and lightly touching the ears, the bass building a massive foundation - my smile when I heard 27Hz note ( Young Jeezy - Put On ( yeah I used rap for bass testing because it contains pretty low notes ) ) sound sooo good was priceless for sure.

Is it possible to build some good sounding system in my room within the budget? If not, how much should I spend - or what should I start with to expand the system slowly in the future? I could buy an amp and fronts for now and add a subwoofer in the future when I save more money. Or are there floorstanders that wouldn't suffocate in 17 square meters and would match my dreams? Please share your knowledge with me - my head is full of information, but none of them is a solution.
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post #2 of 66 Old 07-27-2014, 05:33 PM
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17 meters square room is huge (3136 ft). Surly you have got the measurements wrong (maybe
7 square meters, how high is the ceiling? Cubic ft (or meters). Room size is important when
recomending speakers and especially subs. Where do you live as that's important also.

vardo
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post #3 of 66 Old 07-27-2014, 07:22 PM
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Room size is typically not an issue with speakers. The distance to the main listening position is what is important. For subs ans low frequencies in general total cubic room size is what matters most.

I would look to some nice bookshelf speakers like the ascend sierra or the the ones made by Dennis Murphy or similar.
Then add a a really good sub or better yet a pair of them. Something like a pair is SVS sb2000, PSA xs15s etc. that will put you just over $2500 for the speakers and a pair of subs. Get any decent AVR for power. There's not much difference in them on the low to mid range end.
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post #4 of 66 Old 07-27-2014, 07:44 PM
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First, if English isn't your native language you could have fooled me. I don't see many people write as well as you. By my calculations 17 sq. meters is equal to 183 sq. ft., so if one considers 8 ft. (2.4 m) high ceilings we are at a little under 1,500 cu. ft. (42.5 cu. m), which is at the upper limit of a small room size. Therefore, you should have no problems finding a quality speaker to fill that area very nicely. The problem is, I don't know what speakers you can buy in your part of the world.

You are also doing exactly what should be done, and that is auditioning as many speakers as you can, until you find the one speaker that is golden to your ears. It can be a long and frustrating search, but keep at it.

Full range tower speakers vs. bookshelf speakers. I own full range tower speakers (Magnepan 3.6s), and I don't know of any tower speaker that could not be greatly enhanced by adding a quality subwoofer. In that case, it would be wise to look at good bookshelf speakers paired with a quality sub. That will get you a lot deeper and for less money than you can with a tower speaker alone.

There are plenty of discussions concerning speakers, and you'll get dozen of suggestions. Find the ones that are in your area and audition them. Once you've found a speaker that is pleasant to your ears, ask them to add a subwoofer and audition them again.

I wish you the best of luck.
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post #5 of 66 Old 07-28-2014, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for replies time for answers from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vardo View Post
17 meters square room is huge (3136 ft). Surly you have got the measurements wrong (maybe
7 square meters, how high is the ceiling? Cubic ft (or meters). Room size is important when
recomending speakers and especially subs. Where do you live as that's important also.

vardo
Well it actually is 17 meters square - it's 5 meters long, 3.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, so together we have around 43 cubic meters indeed.

I live in a block of flats on 10th floor - but my flat is pretty isolated from the other ones, and the walls are really thick. I was thinking about sound-proofing the room though and getting some wave-absorbing materials in the future. For now the room looks like this :

- a piano placed along one of the 5 meter long walls
- a bed and a large cabinet with shelves and drawers and stuff placed along the other 5m wall
- windows ( balcony ) along one of the shorter walls ( curtains inside )
- a small couch along the second short wall
- a huge and thick carpet almost all over the place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
that will put you just over $2500 for the speakers and a pair of subs. Get any decent AVR for power. There's not much difference in them on the low to mid range end.
That price for the speakers alone would be awesome ... I heard a lot about SVS subwoofers - also the closed casing is just what I need for music and deep drops I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
The problem is, I don't know what speakers you can buy in your part of the world.

Full range tower speakers vs. bookshelf speakers. I own full range tower speakers (Magnepan 3.6s), and I don't know of any tower speaker that could not be greatly enhanced by adding a quality subwoofer. In that case, it would be wise to look at good bookshelf speakers paired with a quality sub. That will get you a lot deeper and for less money than you can with a tower speaker alone.
Well I live in Poland - so availability isn't that much of a problem - still a little bit though. For example there are no SVS dealers in Poland, but there are some in Germany. So the surrounding countries might be helpful. What I see mostly in hifi shops here is Klipsch, JBL, Canton, Polk Audio, KEF, Jamo, Dali, Taga, Tonsil, Magnat, Wharfedale, Yamaha, Monitor Audio, Roth, Paradigm, Epos, Focal, Tannoy, APS, Boston Acoustics, ELAC, Mission, B&W, stuff like that. The trouble is everybody is suggesting something different. And everything is damn expensive

See the problem is that I don't really know what part of the system is the most important to start with. Going from the speakers to the source or the other way around. Also I forgot to mention that I want to use my PC as the source of everything - I mean music and movies.

But in general I quite like the idea of getting quality bookshelves and quality sub(s). The thing that worries me is how much trouble does it cause to properly set them up when I'm not very experienced? I mean - towers are made to sound like one .. thing. But to match several groups of speakers is an art I guess. Still would be a hell of a lot of fun probably.

Next big trouble is looking for the right thing if you know what I mean. Given my music preferences are there any particular brands that I should research? There is so much stuff it would take a lifetime to properly examine everything ... and even more money. The subs are less problematic I guess - because I read everywhere that the best ones are made by dedicated companies like SVS, REL, Velodyne. I'm clueless about quality bookshelves though ...

Maybe smaller towers would do the job too? Somebody highly recommended listening to JBL Studio 2 series, but there are so many various opinions about them it's hard to actually trust anybody.

Maybe you have some suggestions? Aside from the one given in previous posts - I looked that SVS sub up - my goodness the specs sound amazing and the price is insane for this ! There are more expensive subs with WAY worse specs around - at least here where I live.

Do you believe that towers + sub would be too much for my room and I should really go into bookshelves + sub ?
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post #6 of 66 Old 07-28-2014, 05:31 PM
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daru: Speaker selection is a very personal and intimate journey. Right now you haven't heard any speaker yet that thrills you. Notice that I said "thrill" and not just "like". When one talks about two or three grand, one is seeking to be thrilled. And what thrills me in a speaker, may not thrill you. I was fortunate in that I already knew exactly what I was looking for in a speaker. It's one I had heard over 20 years ago and the sound never left me. I always told myself, "One day, I'll own these." Even being that positive, it wasn't an easy choice. There are a lot of really good speakers out there. However, the speaker I heard and fell in love with was a Martin Logan ESL (don't remember the exact model). Surprisingly, I ended up actually preferring and purchasing the Magnepans during my audition period, but these are both panel speakers and the sound is remarkably similar.

Your choice will be impossible until you listen to a speaker that turns your head. Until that happens, it will be like pounding your head against a block wall (as you have already found out). Luckily, you have some quality brands you can choose from to audition. And if you are not against looking at quality bookshelf speakers, that opens up a whole new area to look at. Just don't be in a rush, and don't compromise. Take a speaker suggest as just that. A suggestion. Everyone will tell you that the most important factor in any sound system are the main speakers (or the left, right and center channel in a surround system). Find those first and the rest is easy … or easier. The second most important aspect to sonic nirvana is a subwoofer. Then you can look for a decent receiver or AVR. The surrounds (if you go that way) are the least important.

Subwoofer and speaker integration can be challenging. But in most cases you will find the proper location to place that sub. Or at least you will know the approximate location to get the best sound at your listening position. This is done simply by using the subwoofer crawl test. If further refinement is needed, it could be as simple as moving the sub 6 inches one way or another. Or it could mean getting a microphone and free REW software. One will also want to level match the sub with the speakers and perhaps using a little EQ to dial it in more precisely or tame a peak. Sounds complicated, and yes, depending upon your room it very well may be. In most cases you won't have too much of a problem. I have two subs, one sub in one room and the other sub in another room doing different tasks. I didn't have a problem with either, and it was quick and painless. If it were as bad as people say, most people wouldn't own subwoofers! And once you do get that sub located and dialed in, you'll be forever grateful that you took the time and effort. It's a game changer.

As far as towers and a sub being too much for your room, I'd say no. What's far more important is what I indicated above. Find a speaker you love in your price range, be it a tower or a bookshelf, then add a sub.

A list of subwoofer companies that are very popular here in the U.S. are the Internet Direct companies. These are (in no particular order) Hsu, Outlaw, SVS, Rythmik, PSA, Reaction Audio, JTR and Seaton (and I'm sure I missed a couple). You won't find commercial companies like Velodyne, Paradigm, JL Audio, and REL talked about here all that often. The reason isn't because they aren't good subwoofers. Some of these are great subwoofers. It's the price vs. performance ratio. Other that DIY (do it yourself), I.D. companies provide the most sound for your money, and thus, the most value.
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post #7 of 66 Old 07-29-2014, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
daru: Speaker selection is a very personal and intimate journey. Right now you haven't heard any speaker yet that thrills you. Notice that I said "thrill" and not just "like". When one talks about two or three grand, one is seeking to be thrilled. And what thrills me in a speaker, may not thrill you. I was fortunate in that I already knew exactly what I was looking for in a speaker. It's one I had heard over 20 years ago and the sound never left me. I always told myself, "One day, I'll own these." Even being that positive, it wasn't an easy choice. There are a lot of really good speakers out there. However, the speaker I heard and fell in love with was a Martin Logan ESL (don't remember the exact model). Surprisingly, I ended up actually preferring and purchasing the Magnepans during my audition period, but these are both panel speakers and the sound is remarkably similar.

Your choice will be impossible until you listen to a speaker that turns your head. Until that happens, it will be like pounding your head against a block wall (as you have already found out). Luckily, you have some quality brands you can choose from to audition. And if you are not against looking at quality bookshelf speakers, that opens up a whole new area to look at. Just don't be in a rush, and don't compromise. Take a speaker suggest as just that. A suggestion. Everyone will tell you that the most important factor in any sound system are the main speakers (or the left, right and center channel in a surround system). Find those first and the rest is easy … or easier. The second most important aspect to sonic nirvana is a subwoofer. Then you can look for a decent receiver or AVR. The surrounds (if you go that way) are the least important.

Subwoofer and speaker integration can be challenging. But in most cases you will find the proper location to place that sub. Or at least you will know the approximate location to get the best sound at your listening position. This is done simply by using the subwoofer crawl test. If further refinement is needed, it could be as simple as moving the sub 6 inches one way or another. Or it could mean getting a microphone and free REW software. One will also want to level match the sub with the speakers and perhaps using a little EQ to dial it in more precisely or tame a peak. Sounds complicated, and yes, depending upon your room it very well may be. In most cases you won't have too much of a problem. I have two subs, one sub in one room and the other sub in another room doing different tasks. I didn't have a problem with either, and it was quick and painless. If it were as bad as people say, most people wouldn't own subwoofers! And once you do get that sub located and dialed in, you'll be forever grateful that you took the time and effort. It's a game changer.

As far as towers and a sub being too much for your room, I'd say no. What's far more important is what I indicated above. Find a speaker you love in your price range, be it a tower or a bookshelf, then add a sub.

A list of subwoofer companies that are very popular here in the U.S. are the Internet Direct companies. These are (in no particular order) Hsu, Outlaw, SVS, Rythmik, PSA, Reaction Audio, JTR and Seaton (and I'm sure I missed a couple). You won't find commercial companies like Velodyne, Paradigm, JL Audio, and REL talked about here all that often. The reason isn't because they aren't good subwoofers. Some of these are great subwoofers. It's the price vs. performance ratio. Other that DIY (do it yourself), I.D. companies provide the most sound for your money, and thus, the most value.
Sounds really like words of wisdom

I'll do what you suggest - I'll start from the fronts. I turned my head towards bookshelves because I thought that let's say $1000 bookshelves could be more "quality" than $1000 towers - am I wrong?

Also I'm a little afraid how much would I have to spend for a good AVR that would power a sub + fronts with a nice quality ...

I read a lot about the combo Kini62 described - Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 + SVS sub. Those Sierra's get some amazing reviews everywhere, I wish there was a dealer around my country ... since it's impossible for me to listen to them. They are nicely priced too.

So far I've chosen to audition some Focal, Monitor Audio, JBL, Magnat, Dali, B&W that are around my price for the front bookshelves ( I would like to get a pair under 1000$ ) - I read a lot of reviews aiming for clean and "airy" sound. Apparently those have it. As for sub I think I will go with SVS since there is a dealer in Germany and those are pretty highly praised. I still have no clue about a decent, moderately priced AVR that would combine fronts + sub(s)

Thanks a lot for your suggestions !
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post #8 of 66 Old 07-29-2014, 12:36 PM
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daru: The Ascends do sound intriguing and do indeed get impressive reviews, but unless you can audition them I'd say look at only those you CAN audition, and thus, those you can have repaired if something goes wrong, or taken back if they don't suit you. The good thing about subwoofers is that most come with their own plate amplifier, so amp/receiver/AVR power isn't involved. AVRs come and go. Just find a model that has the bells and whistles that you are looking for. The difference between a 75 watt/channel AVR and one that has 100 watt/channel capability is negligible (as long as we are talking apples and apples -- the same specifications being used). You need to double the power to get just a 3 dB sound level difference. What may matter more is the efficiency of the speaker itself.

When auditioning several speakers, I always advise to take a dB meter with you (or use one at the store). One needs to level match each speaker so one isn't fooled because a more efficient speaker will sound louder through the same amp/receiver/AVR.

The amount of money one spends on a tower or bookshelf speaker doesn't always correlate with quality or sound. We all hear the statement, "You get what you pay for.", and that is true to a point. But I've auditioned speakers I liked much better than those costing two and three times as much. So let your own ears be the guide. When that special speaker comes along, no one will need to tell you … you'll know it in your gut.

Fortunately, SVS makes very good subs. Just choose the one that is right for your room volume and your needs.
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post #9 of 66 Old 08-09-2014, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Allright so I had a chance to audition some speakers today - this time bookshelves. The source was Marantz MCR-610, and I took previously burned cd's with .flac files that would really test the speakers - meaning heavier rock music - which is in my opinion the hardest to reproduce without annoying the listener's ears.

So here we go :

a) Usher S520 - around 550-600 $ pair - nope, muddy mids, too bright and irritating highs
b) Monitor Audio Silver 2 - around 1k $ pair - I heard so much good about MA, but honestly these weren't sounding great - not really much better than the Ushers - a bit warmer but still very tiring, highs way too harsh
c) Focal Aria 906 - a bit more than 1k $ pair - these were really pleasant, nice mids, lots of detail, nice vocals and overall a pleasant sound, highs were way less tiring than in the previous models but still could be a bit better - maybe that's the amp's job ?
d) Linn Majik 109 - haven't heard about them before - about 1500 $ pair - a big WOW ... but a negative one, really bad mids, very "boxy" - but the highs were brilliant, airy , just like they should be for me ...

So if there was a speaker combining Focal's mids with Linn's highs - I would be pretty satisfied today

I'm not judging bass because there is hardly any bass in bookshelves - at least not the kind I'm looking for. The sub will do it.

I'm also not judging the amp, because I have literally no comparison. The good thing is it had a subwoofer out - I wouldn't pick the 610 model though, because I read that there are lower models with less "cool stuff" that I barely need - but with the same sound quality. I really don't need much stuff, just maximum sound quality + sub out. The amp was around 1k $ as well, but lower models are priced at around 600-700 $. That is a difference.

Next time I'll listen to floorstanders to compare the sound. But I like Focals so far. It's not the "golden" sound yet though. Maybe some of you have listened to what I named and maybe you can share some thoughts?

The sad thing is - I came back home and even though the speakers I auditioned sound better than my Microlab Solo 7C's - they clearly DIDN'T beat my 60$ AKG headphones with 100$ Audiotrak DAC ....

It makes me wonder if this whole thing is worth putting money into ?? I really much prefer speakers to headphones though - headphones are uncomfortable for me. Plus I can't watch movies with them the way I want to.

Any thoughts?
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post #10 of 66 Old 08-15-2014, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Upping !

I finally got a week free so I'm going to storm the audio shops in my city. I made a further research and these are the models I want to test ( since there were no answers to my previous post just a reminder - I liked the sound of Focal Aria's 906, though the treble could be a bit sweeter and airy ) :

- JBL LS40
- KEF R300
- ELAC BS244
- JBL Studio 530, 270
- Monitor Audio BX6
- Dali Zensor 5/7
- Dali Lektor 6
- Klipsch RF-52
- B&W 685 S2
- Paradigm Monitor 7v7 or 9v7

Any opinions on them ? Maybe I can rule some out ? As for the sub - I would like to go with SVS but I just remembered that there is a different voltage in the U.S. - we have 230 VAC in Poland - I hope they can be powered with that. I asked SVS for a recommendation and they suggest a sealed sub for my ~1550 cubic feet room, but they also told me not to expect much punch from a sealed sub. Makes me wonder if I should go with ported, as I want that low rumble for movies ...

Any thoughts on the speakers I mentioned and sealed vs ported subwoofers ? I mean, I know the difference and destination, but I read many reviews that ported subs do just as well as sealed in music. Also I think I can close the port when I want to, and have a little headroom for movies.

What do you think ?
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post #11 of 66 Old 08-15-2014, 03:27 PM
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Happy to see you back, and even happier that you made a list to review. There are a lot of highly recommended speakers on your list, so your auditions should be interesting. Unfortunately, I haven't heard any of those speakers so I cannot comment. But do go out and audition them all, and any others on the showroom floor. You just never know what will make you pull the trigger. But again, use caution. Have the sales people level match the speakers you're auditioning.

As far as a ported or sealed subwoofer, it depends upon several factors, including the subwoofer itself. Some ported subs don't have variable tuning, while others do (meaning it's a bad idea to grab something and stuff it into a single port). Subwoofers, much like speakers, will have a different sound. And while they may indeed sound a little different, I doubt most people could tell if a sub was ported or sealed, provide we are talking about the same quality subwoofer.

You're fortunate that your room size is only around 1,500 cu. ft. Even a small, high quality sealed sub would be able to fill that room quite well (say an SB-2000, or possibly even an SB-1000). Another advantage for sealed subs (besides physical size) in your room volume is that they will have a chance to actually dig deeper than specified due to "cabin gain". A sealed sub has a gentle rolloff, while ported subs will have a steep rolloff below their tuning port. But a sealed sub won't generally give you the level of output a ported sub can produce, and certainly not at the ported subs tuning frequency. For that low rumble that you can really feel, ported is probably best, like a PB-2000.

Let us know how the auditions went.
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post #12 of 66 Old 08-18-2014, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, Klipsch got ruled out

Irritating, in-your-face ear piercing highs, can't stand this. I'm worried about Paradigm because I read that they are also pretty aggresive ... I guess I like a more sweet, neutral and balanced sound - well I learned something.

I did more research and I'm happy to find BRILLIANT overall reviews of JBL Studio 530, B&W 685 S2, PSB Imagine B6, Q Acoustics Concept 20, Q Acoustics 2050i floorstander. They are all cheaper than the Focal Aria 906 that I auditioned ( and so far liked best ) and I am SO excited to listen to them ! If I could buy fronts for less than Focals cost I would be happy to add more to a good amp/avr. I really can't wait to storm the shop tomorrow. I prepared every piece of music I want to hear.

As for the sub, based on the discussion from the other topic I think I'm going with the PB-2000 and I will just tune it to my liking and environement
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post #13 of 66 Old 08-18-2014, 03:59 PM
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First, we don't care about the 'square meter' measurement, what matters is the actual dimensions of the room.

17 meters square is very different than 17 square meters. One is 17m x 17m which is huge, and the other is 4.12m x 4.12m or 13.5ft x 13.5ft.

Next you quoted in Dollars, can we assume those are USA or Canadian Dollars?

Next, where in the world are you? What is available in the world, many not be what you can personally get locally,

The Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) CM9 fit your budget, and are generally very good speakers. Assuming this is a speaker only budget.

Though is the stated $2500 just for speakers or is it for a whole system? If a whole system then what components do you expect in that system? CD? Turntable? Radio? Network Streaming? Amp? Speakers? DAC? Other?

Next, and this is just my opinion, to maximize the equipment you get consider a Stereo system with a DAC (digital to analog converter). Yes, surround sound is impressive, but you are spreading your budget over many amps and many speakers. A good stereo system can still do extremely well for movies, minus, of course, actual surround sound.

Next, do you have any idea of what Amp you will use the speakers with? Or is a new amp included in the budget.

I think we are somewhat shooting in the dark until we have our 'duck in a row'.

What list of equipment is the budge suppose to buy?

What are the actual dimensions of the room?

Stereo or Surround?

In my opinion, if your taste is predominantly music, then you get a Music System, meaning a Stereo, and don't spread your budget thinly over Surround products.

Then, though it may not help us much, if you could reveal your location? (simply the country is enough)

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post #14 of 66 Old 08-18-2014, 04:02 PM
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Also, the Dali Ikon 6 are very good speakers running about $1700/pr to $21000/pr, depending on the source. These are somewhat compact with twin 6" bass drivers. These might be workable in a tight room.

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post #15 of 66 Old 08-18-2014, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Though is the stated $2500 just for speakers or is it for a whole system? If a whole system then what components do you expect in that system? CD? Turntable? Radio? Network Streaming? Amp? Speakers? DAC? Other?

A good stereo system can still do extremely well for movies, minus, of course, actual surround sound.

Next, do you have any idea of what Amp you will use the speakers with? Or is a new amp included in the budget.

What list of equipment is the budge suppose to buy?

What are the actual dimensions of the room?

Stereo or Surround?

Then, though it may not help us much, if you could reveal your location? (simply the country is enough)

Steve/bluewizard
Ok I'll try to answer all questions :

The actual measurements are 3,5 by 5 by 2,5 meters, so 42-43 cubic meters - which after calculation gives around 1550 cubic feet.

About the money - I meant USA dollars - and unfortunately I would prefer spending 2000-2500 ( but preferable around 2k ) for speakers AND avr/amp ... one $ is worth 3,14 PLN, so even though I know 2-2,5 k $ isn't much in hifi world - it is a lot to me - but I hope it's enough for an entry-level and possibly good sounding system. I'm not counting sub into this amount - that goes separately. Well my current speakers are worth around 200$ so I guess I can count for a proper upgrade

Location - Poland. There are actually many brands available either here or in other european countries. Well I could name many but as far as I know, the main brands within my wallet's range are JBL, some B&W, Tannoy, Wharfedale, Canton, Paradigm, Elac, Roth Audio, Boston Acoustics, Q Acoustics, Taga, Focal, Monitor Audio, PSB, KEF, Dali, Klipsch, something like this.

Another big list taken from one of the biggest stores in my city :

APS, Amphion, Arcam, Audio Physic, Audio Pro, Acoustic Energy, Audiolab, Avalon Acoustics, Avance, Boston Acoustics, Cabasse, Canton, Chord, Dali, Edwards Audio , Elipson, Epos, Equilibrium , FOCAL, Franco Serblin, Genelec, GoldenEar Technology , Harbeth, Harman/Kardon, Jamo, JBL, Klipsch, MBL, Magico, Magnat, Magnepan, Mission, Monitor Audio, Monster, Naim Audio, Q Acoustics, REL, Roth Audio, Sol Republic, Sonos, Spendor , Tannoy, Usher, Vandersteen, Velodyne, WLM, Wharfedale, Wilson Audio, Xavian

As for the equipment - yes I want just stereo ( with a sub-out, I already chose SVS based on outstanding reviews and pretty reasonable price for mind-boggling performance numbers, at least on paper ) - and I only want to focus on quality sound and achieving the best possible price/performance ratio - I don't need CD player, don't need radio, don't need any streaming options, in fact I just want to be able to play the high quality files from my PC -> transfer them to the amp/avr and let them shine - that's it. Well MAYBE Spotify support would be nice but I could easily live without it. No surround sound for movies is absolutely no problem - I don't need that. What I need for movies is clear sounding fronts and a good sub. Trouble is - even though I'm auditioning some speakers right now and I know what kind of sound I like - I have no experience and zero knowledge about various amps/avrs - because I never had a chance to listen to much hifi gear. I don't know if you read through my previous posts, but so far I auditioned this :

- Klipsch RF-62 - irritating highs, very fatiguing listening experience
- Klipsch Synergy F-30 - didn't like the sound at all, just muddy and awful
- Usher S520 - very bright, ear-piercing, didn't like it
- Monitor Audio Silver 2 - surprisingly muddy mids and also unpleasant highs ... which is weird because there is so much praise for Monitor Audio
- Linn Majik 109 - very likable highs, but very boxy and laid back mids, didn't like it
- Focal Aria 906 - the only one I liked so far - very pleasant sound, sweet and detailed mids, not coloured, sounded natural, just "right" and clear, pretty airy, the highs were also pleasant but could be even more so - and these are below 1000$ for a pair

That's my experience so far I'm going to audition a lot more speakers this week - mainly those mentioned in my previous post. So this time I want to learn what JBL, B&W, Q Acoustics, Dali, Elac, Kef, Paradigm, PSB etc. sound like.

I only heard one avr so far - it was a Marantz MCR-610 - and I can't really give an opinion because I have no comparison - but aside from having too many options that I don't want and which raise the price - I guess it was okay, I liked how Focals sounded after all.

This came out long, but I wanted to give you a lot of details and thanks for showing interest in my thread

One more thing I mentioned before is the kind of music I like - but I'll just remind. Mainly rock/lighter metal music, pretty much a lot of different kinds of rock. Also a lot of electronic, experimental music ( that's why I need a sub ), DnB, vocal trance, progressive, deep house, but also classical, some pop, pretty much everything - I'm listening to music everyday for several hours after coming back from work, so I really want something with pleasant, slightly warm mids, good separation, no muddiness, clear, airy, breathing highs that won't be tiring. The bass - well, that's what the sub is for

I hope I covered all your questions as good as possible, please share your thoughts

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post #16 of 66 Old 08-18-2014, 10:22 PM
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Had a long post all ready made, but had a rain storm and the power went out, so I will try again.

Because you are in Poland, and because I'm more familiar with Equipment in the UK (AVForums.com), I'll use the UK as an example. But first let's resolve the currency issue.

US Dollars = $2000 to $2500, Pounds Stirling = £1200 to £1500. Euros = €1500 to €1900

I would guess about £500 for the amp and about £800/pr to £1000/pr for speakers.

So, let me throw out some possibilities.

The Yamaha RN500 is an AM/FM receiver that has Internet and Local Network Streaming of Audio, 80w/ch to 8 ohms, an Internal DAC with Optical, Coaxial, and USB inputs. Priced at about £450 -

http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-13779-yam...-receiver.aspx

The Network Streaming is obvious, you can stream audio from a computer, or a Network Attached Storage, or from the Internet including services like Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, and others.

The Optical Input will easily allow you to connect the Audio of any TV to the amp for TV and Movies.

In highly rated speakers consider these Bookshelf and two Floorstanding, though it will depend on if these speakers are available to you.

Dali Ikon 2, 6.5" bass. 41hz at -3db, ~33hz to about 36hz at -6db. Pretty good for a bookshelf. = £639/pair

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/dali-ik...-speakers-pair

Dali Ikon 5, 2x5" bass(130mm), 39hz at -3db, ~31hz to 34hz at -6db. Also very good for a very small compact floorstanding speaker. = £819/pr -

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/dali-ik...-speakers-pair

Dali Ikon 6, 2x6.5"(165mm) bass, 37hz at -3db, ~29hz to 32hz at -6db. Large, deeper bass, but not a huge speaker. There is a video of a trade show in Germany on YouTube that should just how small these speakers are. If you want, I will post a link to it. Price = £999/pair

http://www.audioaffair.co.uk/dali-ik...-speakers-pair

If you want to go one better on the amp, but you will lose the Network Streaming, then consider the Rotel RA-12, 60w/ch, DAC - Optical, Coaxial, USB, and Bluetooth. Bluetooth might be a way to stream Audio directly from a Smart Phone, Smart Pad, or computer at very near CD Quality. Price = £599 -

http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-10875-rot...-with-dac.aspx

Other possible speakers -

£799/pr = Wharfedale Diamond 157, 2x6.5"(165mm), 35hz at -3db

Somewhat rare in Europe, but recently introduced into the UK -

£899/pr = Polk Audio TSx550, 2x8"(200mm), 2x5", 36hz at -3db

£???? = Polk Audio TSx400, 2x6.5", 43hz at -3db (next model down in the TSx line)

£1000/pr = Monitor Audio Silver 6

£999/pr = Tannoy Revolutions DC6T-SE. 2x6" (150mm), 30hz (?)

If it is possible to audition the Dali Ikon, it is certainly worth a listen.

That should give you a cross section of possibilities in the UK, and I suspect, anything in the UK is also available in the EU.

Also CANTON speakers are very popular in the EU and worth a look if you can find them.

http://www.canton.de/de/hifi.htm

If you know the -3db response of a speaker, you can make a fair guess at the -6db (still very usable) response by subtracting 5hz to 8hz. That will be pretty close for most speakers.

A good DAC as a stand alone is about £150 to £200. If movie watching is involved, typically with modern TVs you will need an amp with an Optical Input to get sound from the TV, either in a separate device, or built into the amp.

Network Streaming as a separate item can be about £200 to £800.

Bluetooth is actually pretty cheap. A Bluetooth Receiver to add that capability to any amp is roughly £60. There are also Bluetooth Transmitters available for a modest cost if you need one for your computer.

That should give you some ideas.

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post #17 of 66 Old 08-19-2014, 01:07 AM
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The last speaker brand I was really impressed by was XTZ, so I would suggest their 99 Series bookshelf speakers and their integrated amp, which has a built in DAC. If you go for the 99.25 and the amp it would be €1610, and you would have room left in the budget for a good subwoofer.
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Well I added Canton and Dali to my shortlist

Today I visited 4 stores and set up 1 meeting for tomorrow, 2 meetings for friday and 1 meeting for saturday. I just can't wait !

But I established a few things today, besides really NOT great availability of the speakers I wanted to audition

Store 1 :

There was a young guy, I told him everything about my situation and he recommended from what they had available DALI Zensor, Lektor and Ikon series, also some JBL - mainly Studio 2 series which they currently have. He said that he wasn't impressed with Q Acoustics speakers and shared my disliking towards Klipsch. He also told me that Paradigm might be similar to Klipsch - too bright and aggresive. He also said that I could set my system like this : PC -> my DAC -> new AVR -> speakers. Well overall a positive experience but nothing really in-depth.

Store 2 :

There were 2 older guys who told me interesting things. They seemed experienced and really well informed about not only speakers but sound engineering overall. We talked a lot and they were eagerly listening to my preferences as well as providing interesting feedback. They recommended small floorstanders for my room - with either Harman Kardon HK3770 or the above mentioned Yamaha R-N500 within my price range. They told me that JBL's would hate the Yamaha - so they didn't recommend listening to them. Also they told me that speakers in the league of KEF R300, ELAC BS244, JBL LS40 ( all recommended but above my budget ) aren't a good option if I intend to buy an AVR for my price range. They said it would be like putting a 1,5 litre engine into a BMW 7. Maybe they're right. So they suggested B&W 685 S2, which I'm really excited about, KEF Q500, Monitor Audio BX6, and Pylon Audio Topaz 20 ( a polish brand ). The guy really seemed to know what speakers suit what electronics, so I have high hopes for this audition.

Store 3 :

This was also a fun visit - this guy recommended also DALI Zensor, Ikon and Mentor series, with Canton Chrono series, also some JBL. Both bookshelves and floorstanders, but he really highly recommended bookshelves for my room size saying that floorstanders would need to play loud to open up, while bookshelves would shine even at moderate listening levels. He wasn't against a sub - and told me that a ported design would be more appropriate for moderate listening levels because it would just humm effortlessly in the background, reproducing deeper frequencies at lower volume than a sealed sub.
As for electronics - he recommended Marantz MCR-610, Marantz 5005, Advance Acoustics i90.

Store 4 :

The best visit - the guy had the same interests in music, same preferences for the sound - and a very helpful and positive attitude. He basically told me that I can just come and we can listen to whatever we want - he seemed excited about it too. He recommended bookshelves too - also saying that floorstanders would need to play louder to open up - which I want to avoid. He also said that Klipsch, Paradigm, even Monitor Audio probably aren't for me if I don't like piercing highs. For electronics He also recommended Yamaha R-N500 and a TEAC 750 which in his opinion sounds even better. I will be listening to B&W, Mission and PSB in that store. He also wasn't against a sub - but told me that it's best to buy the sub as the last piece. Finally - he said that I can get discount up to 15-20% easily. That would be quite a lot ! He also seemed passionate about audio and I felt like he really knew what he was talking about, just like Store 2 . I have high hopes for this one as well. The guy also told me that it would be best to buy good cables, but I will worry about that later.

So to sum up - Dali, Canton, B&W, JBL, KEF, Mission, PSB are the main heroes to come up, along with Yamaha, Marantz, Harman Kardon and Advance Acoustics electronics. These AVR's do have sub-outs and are supposed to work no problem with a PC via wide range of inputs.

I can't wait to write a report after all auditions on saturday Maybe I won't like anything though LOL. I hope that won't happen.
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post #19 of 66 Old 08-19-2014, 09:32 AM
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Very interesting, daru. Just enjoy your auditions. I don't recommend auditioning a dozen speakers a day -- audio overload. Bring your favorite and most demanding music, make sure they level match (loudness the same) the speakers you're listening to (they should have a dB meter available) and continue to have fun. Looking forward to your next post.
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post #20 of 66 Old 08-19-2014, 02:50 PM
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XTZ is a company from Sweden on AVForums.com in the UK they are highly regarded and very well reviewed.

The focus of their sales is in Sweden, UK, USA, and Germany. Here is a link to the main site -

http://www.xtz.se/

On the top right you can select the country where you can get information and prices. Here is Germany which is closest to Poland -

http://www.xtzsound.de/

http://shop.xtzsound.de/

If you want English, select the UK, the prices are still in Euros.

The XTZ 99 series are very well received -

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop/eu/spea...ii-piano-black

There is also the new Cinema Series -

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop-en/spea...m6-left-center

Personally, in a lower cost speaker, I always thought the 95 series looked pretty cool -

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop/eu/spea...-44-black-matt

Canton, from what I have read, is the largest selling speaker in the EU. I was a bit put off by the fact that they use all metal cone drivers. That can come across as harsh. But I found the Canton I heard to be very smooth, clear, and clean. Very impressive. I wish I could have bought a pair.

The Dali Lektor are a bit cheaper because they don't use the Tweeter/Super-Tweeter combination. That softens the sound a bit, but still very good speakers, well worth listening to.

In my experience, JBL tend to be a bit bass heavy. Not a problem in general but the JBL Venue Stadium (2x8"/spkr) did not like to be close to the wall. The best I heard them is when they were 24 inches or more from the wall behind them, and they don't like being paced in the corner either. The LS series might be better in that respect.

Though more as pure cool factor, this is the new XTZ Cinema Sub with THREE 12" bass drivers with something like 900 watts of continuous power -

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop-en/spea...t-studio-black

http://www.xtzsound.eu/cinema-series

Not really of value to you, but still a pretty cool Subwoofer.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #21 of 66 Old 08-20-2014, 02:50 AM
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The new XTZ Cinema M6 speakers really do have an incredible sound! Lots of separation and big sound stage, and reaches deeper than I would have thought from the size of the box. I listened to them a while ago in XTZ's shop along with the rest of their lineup. I wrote a post about my impressions in this thread.
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post #22 of 66 Old 08-20-2014, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow these XTZ speakers do look interesting indeed too bad I can't audition them in Poland ...

I'm after my first audition though !

And basically I'm SHOCKED. SERIOUSLY shocked.

I listened to 2 AVR's - Yamaha R-N500 and Harman Kardon 3770. I guess my ear is too un-trained to tell much difference, because there wasn't. MAYBE but just maybe I liked the HK a little bit more. Now to give a price comparison I will use Polish Złoty ( PLN in short ) as reference.

I prepared my most demanding tracks - I mean going there with a thought "if this sounds good, everything will". A lot of rock/metal music, both heavier and lighter, some electronic stuff, some vocal-based music. The guy prepared all this very well - we were plugging 2 sets of speakers to the amp at the same time so that I could switch between them to tell the difference. We ran everything in the same setup, same playback level, flat EQ. Here we go :

1) B&W 685 S2 - these got 5 stars at Whathifi review, they are well recommended all over the internet. My initial impression was basically "wait what the hell ... why does this sound worse than my computer speakers ?". Seriously ! Totally laid back everything, muddy, just hell no ! I was shocked, this is B&W after all. I though maybe my tracks were bad, but I chose only .flac files and high quality stuff. Maybe my hearing is crappy? Maybe I'm too picky and aiming higher than I can afford? I was just plain confused, but hated the sound, honestly !

And these are 2600 PLN a pair.

2) Monitor Audio BX6 - these sounded better than B&W, but just like they warned me - a little bit "in your face" just like Klipsch. More pleasant, maybe. Not impressive though - still not really much better than my home speakers ... at least totally not worth spending 3500 PLN for a pair, while I spent 700 PLN for my home setup.

3) KEF Q500 - these are 4400 PLN a pair. But they sounded worse than Monitor Audio to me ... also muddy and very VERY boxy. I didn't show this but I was really hugely disappointed.

Although the salesman saved one pair for last.

4) Pylon Audio Pearl ( forgot the number ) - this is a Polish brand. This was the only one in the test that sounded open, clear and WAY more airy than the rest. Not fatiguing, although the highs might need a little tuning down just like the Focal Aria's I auditioned before. But I just wanted to listen to them ! They sounded uncomparable better than B&W, WAY better than the KEF, mostly better than Monitor Audio.

The price for a pair of these Pylon's is 1500 PLN. I was like "WHAT!?" . The guy told me that there is a better model of those Pylons coming next month - and that I couldn't listen to it today because they just sold it to a customer who compared the higher model to pretty expensive towers - and chose the polish product. And we're talking like 3500 PLN ( higher Pylon model ) versus 8000 PLN and above. He basically told me that these guys from Pylon Audio made a pretty big mess in the market of speakers ...

They were just shining above the rest - my goodness I can't wait to hear the higher model ! Would you believe such an outcome I'm shocked because I won't lie - there is a common belief here in Poland and not only here that what's polish - is bad. Not always though !

And I know one thing for sure - a lot of people told me that I won't need any sub with tower speakers because there will be more than enough bass. Not even close to being true, at least for my liking.

So - a very interesting experience today - I can't wait to audition the top model of Pylon Audio. If it manages to beat those I heard today - my goodness what a great job.

The salesman showed me one more thing after listening - he plugged a 3 times more expensive amplifier - didn't tell me a single thing what to expect - just wanted to see if I can hear the difference. I could, but just a slight ... maybe because I'm not a trained listener to pick such things up. But that's a good sign - meaning I don't really need a more expensive amp/avr.

Overall a good visit ! Next one on friday - I can't wait

Last edited by daru2707; 08-20-2014 at 09:55 AM.
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post #23 of 66 Old 08-20-2014, 01:21 PM
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Have you listened to Mission speakers yet? I haven't heard the new models, but back in the day they had very non-fatiguing highs, incredible midrange, and adequate bass for small bookshelf speakers.

Regarding the receiver options, I would lean toward Marantz among that group, although I will admit to no knowledge of the Advance Acoustics products.

Last edited by RayGuy; 08-20-2014 at 01:40 PM.
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I don't know if it applies to Poland, but in the UK, you can ship XTZ from Sweden with a 30 day trial. They are confident that you will like their speakers and keep them. If you are not satisifed, you simply ship them back, so you are out the cost of shipping.

When XTZ has a dealer in the UK, he was shipping demo speaker and an amp around to various potential customers, and letting them have a 30 day demo that way. The XTZ amp was of prime interest, though no tone controls, it is a pretty sweet amp with digital inputs -

http://www.xtzsound.eu/en/products/e...a100-d3-svart#

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop-en/ampl...a-100-d3-black

One of the few amps I would consider that doesn't have Tone Controls.

The PYLON sound pretty impressive.

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Daru: Welcome to the world of auditioning . People simply have different tastes in EVERYTHING (music, cars, movies, audio equipment, and on and on). You can read a hundred reviews and get advice from a hundred people. But until you get out there and actually find out for yourself what various speakers sound like to you, it's all a guess.

Enjoy round two!
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post #26 of 66 Old 08-22-2014, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Have you listened to Mission speakers yet? I haven't heard the new models, but back in the day they had very non-fatiguing highs, incredible midrange, and adequate bass for small bookshelf speakers.

Regarding the receiver options, I would lean toward Marantz among that group, although I will admit to no knowledge of the Advance Acoustics products.
I'm going to listen to the Missions today Now I'm wondering how Marantz sounds compared to this Yamaha and HK - I can't remember well enough to compare the sound ... also they were powering different speakers so it's really hard to tell what did a better job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
I don't know if it applies to Poland, but in the UK, you can ship XTZ from Sweden with a 30 day trial. They are confident that you will like their speakers and keep them. If you are not satisifed, you simply ship them back, so you are out the cost of shipping.

When XTZ has a dealer in the UK, he was shipping demo speaker and an amp around to various potential customers, and letting them have a 30 day demo that way. The XTZ amp was of prime interest, though no tone controls, it is a pretty sweet amp with digital inputs -

http://www.xtzsound.eu/en/products/e...a100-d3-svart#

http://shop.xtzsound.eu/shop-en/ampl...a-100-d3-black

One of the few amps I would consider that doesn't have Tone Controls.

The PYLON sound pretty impressive.

Steve/bluewizard
Wow that is interesting - I'll try to contact XTZ and ask a few questions about this trial

The problem with Pylon Audio is that even though I liked them there are very divided opinions about them. A lot of positive ones, but also lots of hate.
People are saying that they are using extremely cheap tweeters bought from some other polish company, and that the towers are only as good as the cheapest component. I did indeed miss something in the higher range ... Also somebody opened the towers and there isn't much noise-cancelling inside them, they are saying that the electronics are cheap ... damn I don't know now. I can't disbelieve my ears though, and they did beat more expensive towers easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
Daru: Welcome to the world of auditioning . People simply have different tastes in EVERYTHING (music, cars, movies, audio equipment, and on and on). You can read a hundred reviews and get advice from a hundred people. But until you get out there and actually find out for yourself what various speakers sound like to you, it's all a guess.

Enjoy round two!
Yes indeed, I learned that I won't know anything until I try it myself But from what I've read about different speakers I auditioned so far - the overall reviews of most were at least slightly similar to my personal feelings. Well I wonder what is going to happen today. A big post coming this evening
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Allright, second and third audition done

During the second one I auditioned the Marantz 6005 and Advance Acoustics amp. I forgot the model again, but I have it written somewhere. I think it played a little bit better than the Marantz with flat EQ but not a big difference to me. With a little bass boost on the Marantz - I liked this one more.

As for speakers I heard those :

- Dali Zensor 5 and Zensor 7
- Dali Lektor 6
- Canton Chrono floorstanders and monitors, again I forgot the series but it's not important because I didn't like them
- Dali Ikon 2 MK II

And then we added a Jamo 660 sub, because it was the only closed one they currently had in stock.

So not really too much to write here - I didn't like Canton because they were in-your-face AND boxy at the same time, making a horrible mix overall. I didn't like Dali Zensor and Lektor series at all.

I liked the Dali Ikon though. I mean, not totally, but the highs were very pleasant, not laid back but sort of distant, enveloping, precise and detailed. Really good tweeters in there - a regular one + ribbon. I didn't like the mids though, they missed a lot of ummm, I don't know if this word is right but - saturation maybe? They seemed very plain and flat no matter how much I played with the equalizer. And they played like an octave too high for me. When we added the sub, the sound did get pretty satisfying, but not really amazing - Jamo subs aren't highly praised so maybe that was the problem.

Another thing I learned - a sub with bookshelves is fine, but with towers - it would be too much for my room. And not meaning too much bass, but it just
sounded wrong - the sub didn't blend in with the towers too well.

There was a pair of JBL 580's in the store and we didn't have time to audition it - but I asked the salesman how would they sound compared to the Dali I liked. He told me that JBL is more about electronic music - focused on bass, treble, and laid back mids. He told me I probably wouldn't like them.

So overall not really an impressive visit - but the Dali Ikon sounded pretty good, I added them to my shortlist.



Now - the third, highly anticipated ( by me ) visit. The salesman and I actually share the same preferences for music - his collection was basically mine but with different artists He was in the room with me for 2 hours and it was really a fun chat besides the listening.

When I stepped into the room I told him that previously I had a chance to listen to B&W and that I didn't like them at all. During my first visit here he also told me that probably B&W isn't for me. So he had a good premonition.

What was waiting for me in the room ? Really tiny looking ( but beautifully made ) Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand SE, connected to a Teac NP-H750. This little amp includes a sub-out, an internal DAC, and is easily connected to the PC via usb cable - just perfect !

The sound - OH MY GOODNESS THAT SOUND ... !! I literally couldn't believe my ears. This setup totally wiped the floor with everything I've auditioned so far. And I swear I'm not exaggerating even a little bit. After going out of this store - I walked like 5 minutes before realising my car is parked in the opposite direction

At first it took a while to get accustomed to this sound because they sounded totally different from all other speakers. But wow, this is just a complete different league ! This time I wasn't focusing just on how harsh/not harsh the highs are and stuff like this. This time I was just plain amazed at what a HUGE soundstage these little babies created. Highs - smooth and detailed, VERY pleasant, exposing a little harshness in poorly recorded tracks, but that was to be expected - I threw my heaviest cannons at them and they didn't fail. The mids were INCREDIBLY rich, saturated, just so present that I felt like walking through this music, not hearing it somewhere in the room. Just the way I wanted them to be ! The mids were like Focal Aria 906 but WAY better. The bass was just out of this world - I mean for little monitors ! Not only was it powerful enough to actually give me a thump in the chest ( and they didn't break a sweat while doing it ) - while still staying perfectly balanced and clear - but it was SO rich and deep, creating such a properly weighted sound that it's just ... wow ! All the details, all the instruments - they all sounded real, as if someone was playing in this room. The vocals were ASTONISHING, just unbelievable ! They must be great for movies too. They played everything JUST the way I wanted to hear it. They only had a little problem with the worst recorded tracks and most harsh-sounding ones - but nothing was able to play it well - not even my headphones. So they did good even with those - I can always play with EQ to tune the highs a little down. But I can't get that richness from other speakers that just don't have it !

Unbelievable, this guy also told me that compared to those I probably wouldn't like any B&W in this price range, any Missions, never JBL. He really seemed like knowing what plays best with what electronics.

The only downside is that I'm scared these won't be so impressive in my room - but their room wasn't really full of soundproofing. There was a large carpet of course, and courtains all around the room. I have large courtains on the window wall, a large carpet as well. I don't really have dangerous surfaces I guess. And I'm scared because they aren't cheap - the amp is 2800 PLN and the speakers cost 5500 PLN/pair. So overall it's above 8000 PLN for the set. That doesn't include stands/cables. But I will worry about it later. The salesman told me though that he could sell the amp for 2000 PLN and give me a discount for the speakers maybe up to 20% - because it's still holiday season. So that would be a total of let's say 6500 PLN. That is pretty much the amount I wanted to spend for the system without sub.

I have a third audition today - but I don't really want to go now Another post coming this afternoon. Also I wanted to visit the first shop again to audition more Pylon Audio and hear Focals with a different amp. Should I do this ... ? Since we moved up with the price a bit, a lot of people recommended KEF R300, Martin Logan Motion 15, ELAC BS244 for me. Now I want to audition them ... but with this Teac integrated amp. Trouble is - only this store has the Teac, and only ONE store in my city has the R300, BS244. I don't feel like anything could beat those though ...

These Vienna Acoustics are really way above everything else ... and hands down the best speakers I've heard in my life - for the size of them.

Amazing !

Last edited by daru2707; 08-23-2014 at 02:38 AM.
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post #28 of 66 Old 08-23-2014, 10:23 AM
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Congratulations! You've found the speaker to judge all others by and you are excited. Actually, you are "thrilled" (see post 6). That's a great feeling and the same feeling I had when I was auditioning ESLs and Planars. It's the feeling everyone should have before opening up their wallet. But the Vienna's will be there, so continue your auditions. I'm pretty sure that it will take a speaker almost as good to draw you in, and hopefully for a lot less money. From what I read the Vienna SE's are reasonably efficient (89 dB), so you should be able to drive them with 100 watts/channel fairly well*, so I wouldn't be spending big bucks on a receiver.

Here is what the "se" version costs in the states in U.S. dollars (you'd have to calculate your currency): http://overture-audio.com/product_li...ydn_grand.html

Reviews on the non "se" version:

http://www.tonepublications.com/revi...y-loudspeaker/

http://stereomojo.com/REVIEWS.htm


Review on the "se" version:

http://www.hifizine.com/2012/03/vienna-acoustics-haydn/

Continued success on your auditions.

*Note: Those speakers have a 4 Ohm impedance, so just make sure that whatever receiver / amplifier / AVR you end up getting has the power supply to handle the 4 Ohm load.

Last edited by dsrussell; 08-23-2014 at 12:10 PM.
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post #29 of 66 Old 08-23-2014, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you

Well, another interesting thing happened today - and confused me ....

I went to the fourth audition with no real expectations and decided to give the Dali's another go, along with Indiana Line and JBL, because that's what they had available and recommended for my liking. We used Marantz PM6005 to power the towers.

Well - I'm really confused. Yesterday I absolutely didn't like neither Dali Zensor 7 nor Dali Lektor 6. Today - they both sounded good ! What the hell ? They were also hooked to a Marantz yesterday and I believe it might have been the same model ! Could it be the different placement or more importantly the fact that I was TOTALLY tired and didn't sleep well before the first audition? Yesterday the Zensor sounded too harsh for me - but then when I switched to the Lektor - it sounded couldy and too boxy, so I ruled it out.

Now today - the Zensor didn't sound bad, but it was too bright. The Lektor 6 though gave me a bad initial impression of a little bit of boxiness and overall less airy treble. But then the music just sounded right, rich, enveloping - I felt like IN the music again. I liked it ! I compared the Lektors to Indiana Line, but didn't like them. I also compared them to JBL Studio 280 - which sounded really good too ... I mean, the mid lacked something, but it wasn't wrong. They were more like just "playing" the music though - instead of drawing me into the sound, like Vienna and Lektor did. The treble on JBL Studio was excellent though - absolutely no harshness, very musical and open. Then I switched back to Dali Lektor 6 and again, the highs and vocals sounded a little clouded - but the overall impression was better, the sound was richer and I felt like long sessions would be more exciting.

Did Lektor 6 beat Vienna? I'm pretty sure not - I must give Vienna another go though, while being well slept and not tired.

I don't know if you get what I mean, but JBL Studio 280 gave me that open feeling in the upper range, while lacking something in the mid - STILL sounding very good, clear, detailed and satisfying. Lektor 6 and even more so Vienna Haydn were a little weird at first - but then I just got enveloped by the music, they were singing, not playing - just a different, better feeling that made me want to hear more of it. Although the highs were a little couldier in Lektor, and I don't know if not a little too bright at times in Vienna. I can always adjust that with the EQ on the amp though, right ?

I need to hear the Vienna quickly again when I still remember how Lektor sounds, because since it's still vacation period the salesman told me he can give me up to 20% discount. That is a lot. And they are cheaper here in Poland than in the US from what I see in the link you posted Well but that's not a surprise since they are being made in Austria, so it costs a lot to get them across the ocean.

I hope you get the feeling I just described. It does confuse me though ... I'm scared that the less musical towers ( say, JBL Studio 280 ) would actually be more pleasing for longer sessions than the more interesting and singing Vienna or Lektor 6 ...

I also think that since I liked the highs in Dali Ikon 2 - maybe I would like Ikon 5 towers ... I might have to audition them quickly !

Any thoughts on that?

Last edited by daru2707; 08-23-2014 at 11:41 AM.
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post #30 of 66 Old 08-23-2014, 12:22 PM
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A lot will depend on your room acoustics. Perhaps you can arrange to listen to them in your home for a 24 hour period? That will let you know something about your listening space, allow you enough time to really know if they will be fatiguing in extended listening, and allow you to throw everything at them!

One other note. You are finding things you like, but still unable to differentiate what is "better". This is perfectly NORMAL. You are in the process of educating your ears ... you just need to continue the process until you are sure. Don't get anxious, it will happen, just be patient and thorough in your search.

Your excitement is contagious and, I'm sure, reminds many of us of similar situations we have experienced. Enjoy the ride!
lovinthehd and dsrussell like this.

Last edited by RayGuy; 08-23-2014 at 12:26 PM.
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