Current PSB Alpha User Seeks Upgrade Suggestions - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Current PSB Alpha User Seeks Upgrade Suggestions

Hello all,

This is my first post. I familiarized myself with AVS while researching which integrated amp to get to replace my trusty old NAD 701 receiver, which finally bought the farm the other day. I went with the NAD D 3020 because I've developed an affinity for the brand, read a lot of raves about the amp, and the feature set (bluetooth streaming, in particular) really appeals to me. I don't expect a major sound quality improvement, but hopefully the D 3020 will suit my needs for some years to come.

My dad, who is something of an audiophile with some nice McIntosh and Carver stuff, kindly gifted me the NAD receiver, a companion CD player, and a pair of PSB Alphas back in 1995. The setup was a huge improvement over the all-frills Sony receiver and Bose Roommate speakers I'd been using. I've never been inclined to go deep into high end stuff, though; I'm a musician and I prefer to spend more of my money on instruments and recording gear.

That said, having thought more about hi-fi the past several days and seeing what's on the market, I'm tempted to invest in a new pair of speakers that might take my listening experience up a notch. My system resides in a living room measuring about 20' by 15'. It's not a closed space--it opens wide to a kitchen/dining area about the same size. Right now I'm thinking I'd like a pair of towers to get a bit more low end and add charm to the room's decor. I'm not really interested in really hyped up bass, so subwoofers don't appeal much to me, nor does an elaborate surround setup even though I do run my TV through the stereo. I like simplicity.

I'm not married to the idea of towers, though--if I decide getting another pair of bookshelves (or even sticking with what I have) is most practical, I'll go that route. The PSBs put out plenty of volume, and the 3020 isn't dripping with power, so I'm not looking for something gargantuan that will put out a clean 120 dB. What I'm really looking for first and foremost is to take the sound quality of my system to the next level up. I listen mostly to rock music, from classic stuff like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin to some indie and punk/postpunk. I listen to a fair amount of hip hop, too, but again--I don't crave hyped up bass. I also enjoy a bit of classical and jazz. I like warm, smooth tone with good detail and presence, but no piercing highs.

I saw that Crutchfield is selling PSB Image T5s for $600 a pair, which seems like a pretty great deal on a speaker that might fit the bill, though I haven't seen an overabundance of love for that particular model. I could wind up spending a bit more than that, but naturally I don't want to spend money just to spend it.

Anyway, enough rambling. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Cheers!
bleu_falcon is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 09:13 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
zieglj01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,881
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked: 465
The PSB Image series will take you to another level

Another option is the Boston RS334 tower speakers - also new in the box
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...ack-new/1.html

The PSB will have a somewhat boosted midrange - the Boston RS334 will have a slight rise
in the treble, however it will not be harsh or sharp/edgy sounding.

Your call - if not going with a sub, then I would go with the towers

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
zieglj01 is online now  
post #3 of 21 Old 08-19-2014, 10:33 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cel4145's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 11,757
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked: 778
Yeah. I don't see how you could go wrong with the T5s at their current price

Your questions are answered:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
Desktop: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | HK 3390
Headphone & Portable HE-400 | K612 Pro | HP150 | DX50 | E12
cel4145 is online now  
post #4 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 05:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Transmaniacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,435
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Liked: 419
Another good option is the EMP E55Ti, excellent neutral speaker that has laid back highs. They don't have the best bass, but it is clean and accurate down to 40Hz, which sounds like it would fit your requirements well. They look absolutely stunning as well, and the build quality is fantastic. EMP is an offshoot of the well-known speaker manufacturer RBH, which offers a more high end selection.

I think you would be happy with the PSBs or the EMPs, there are a lot of reviews on the EMPs though and they are consistently praised.

Living Room
Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon DBP-1611 | Roku 3
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12

Computer
Topping TP23 | NHT SuperZero 2.0 | Velodyne DEQ-8R
Transmaniacon is offline  
post #5 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Transmaniacon, those EMPs do look quite nice--lots of drivers though. Too many for my room? I also see that the recommended power is 50-200 watts; the 3020 is spec'd at 30, with the usual NAD claim that their specs are deceptively low.

KEF, Monitor Audio, and Focal are also catching my eye. Wouldn't mind opinions on those brands.

Reading reviews and browsing these forums, I'm getting the impression that a lot of enthusiasts consider subs essential. I wonder if I'm being close-minded about this.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #6 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 09:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Transmaniacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,435
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Liked: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Transmaniacon, those EMPs do look quite nice--lots of drivers though. Too many for my room? I also see that the recommended power is 50-200 watts; the 3020 is spec'd at 30, with the usual NAD claim that their specs are deceptively low.

KEF, Monitor Audio, and Focal are also catching my eye. Wouldn't mind opinions on those brands.

Reading reviews and browsing these forums, I'm getting the impression that a lot of enthusiasts consider subs essential. I wonder if I'm being close-minded about this.
Definitely not too big, I use them in a smaller room than yours. The power handling is really just an arbitrary spec, you only need 1 watt to power a speaker, and the NAD will do a fine job making them plenty loud. Those are all good brands, though I would try and save for the Reference line from KEF, much improved over the Q series.

I think a sub and bookshelf system offers a lot of value. A sub is always going to be better at the low frequencies, and a good sub that is properly integrated won't be overpowering or boomy. I would budget at least $500 for a sub, this gets you something that will offer quality bass and I think would be more to your liking.

The Reaction BPS212 would be a great choice for music.

Living Room
Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon DBP-1611 | Roku 3
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12

Computer
Topping TP23 | NHT SuperZero 2.0 | Velodyne DEQ-8R
Transmaniacon is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 10:41 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
zieglj01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,881
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
KEF, Monitor Audio, and Focal are also catching my eye. Wouldn't mind opinions on those brands.
These for a somewhat restricted tight budget

Boston RS260 - sold each
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...h-black/1.html

Focal 706V (this Focal model does measure nice)
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-f...eakers-pr.aspx

Monitor Bronz BX-2
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Monitor-.../#.U_TdWuZd2PY

KEF Q300
http://www.kefdirect.com/q300-booksh...udspeaker.html

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
zieglj01 is online now  
post #8 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
I'm not really sure what my budget is. If I were to grab something in the immediate future, I would likely spend less than $1k on something like the T5s which appear to be a bargain that won't last forever. But there's a possibility that I might decide to invest more on something that I become convinced I'll really cherish for the next 20+ years. After all, I spent over $2,500 on an iMac that will very likely be replaced in less than 10 years, but then again that thing is kind of a centerpiece of my life in a way that the living room audio system won't be. If I do get into the >$1k range I might save up for a bit or make sure some other financial priorities are taken care of before pulling the trigger.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #9 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 11:24 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
zieglj01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,881
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
I'm not really sure what my budget is. If I were to grab something in the immediate future, I would likely spend less than $1k
I have owned PSB Alpha speakers - while they are nice for what they can do,
you Do Not Need to spend nearly $1k to get a clear step up in sound quality.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
zieglj01 is online now  
post #10 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I have owned PSB Alpha speakers - while they are nice for what they can do,
you Do Not Need to spend nearly $1k to get a clear step up in sound quality.
Yes--I guess I'm beginning to consider two steps up, as well. Did I mention my habit of treading on slippery slopes?
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #11 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 11:35 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
zieglj01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,881
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
Yes--I guess I'm beginning to consider two steps up, as well. Did I mention my habit of treading on slippery
slopes?
You can still go 2 steps up, under 1k - however, spend the money if you wish.

Enjoy the adventure of skiing on the slopes.

JBL Studio 530
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530...jbl+studio+530

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
zieglj01 is online now  
post #12 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
You can still go 2 steps up, under 1k - however, spend the money if you wish.

Enjoy the adventure of skiing on the slopes.
Thanks. Yeah, not looking to waste money or get into greatly diminished marginal returns, but I'm open to spending a little more if I decide it's worth it.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #13 of 21 Old 08-20-2014, 12:27 PM
Advanced Member
 
RayGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked: 80
For a conservative budget, look at the Golden Ear Aon 2. If you go for the expanded budget, The Golden Ear Triton 7s have been getting rave reviews everywhere for being the cost to sound quality deal of the year (including folks here). Go for a listen.

That said, there are a LOT of good speakers available now, so go listen to lots of speakers. Only your ears can decide what they want to listen to for the next decade+.
RayGuy is offline  
post #14 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
You are right of course, Ray. Hearing in person is the best way to go and I shouldn't buy anything sound unheard that doesn't at least come with a good return policy. Golden Ears look very interesting; I may have to check them out. Do you know the street price on the Tritons? I love the general tonal characteristics of ribbon mics (very smooth) and I'd imagine this quality carries over to speakers. Speaking of ribbons, it's interesting that someone bumped the Magnepan thread yesterday. I'd forgotten about that brand, but when I was a kid flipping through my dad's audio rags I used to daydream about having a pair. I've always loved the look of panel speakers.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #15 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 10:46 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Transmaniacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,435
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Liked: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
You are right of course, Ray. Hearing in person is the best way to go and I shouldn't buy anything sound unheard that doesn't at least come with a good return policy. Golden Ears look very interesting; I may have to check them out. Do you know the street price on the Tritons? I love the general tonal characteristics of ribbon mics (very smooth) and I'd imagine this quality carries over to speakers. Speaking of ribbons, it's interesting that someone bumped the Magnepan thread yesterday. I'd forgotten about that brand, but when I was a kid flipping through my dad's audio rags I used to daydream about having a pair. I've always loved the look of panel speakers.
You can probably get a deal less than MSRP, but the extent of which I am not sure, try posting in the GE thread and see what people are paying.

Magnepan makes some great stuff, but they are a little more sensitive to placement, so you just need to make sure you have the right space for them.

Living Room
Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon DBP-1611 | Roku 3
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12

Computer
Topping TP23 | NHT SuperZero 2.0 | Velodyne DEQ-8R
Transmaniacon is offline  
post #16 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
You can probably get a deal less than MSRP, but the extent of which I am not sure, try posting in the GE thread and see what people are paying.

Magnepan makes some great stuff, but they are a little more sensitive to placement, so you just need to make sure you have the right space for them.
I'd imagine that sensitive to placement = sensitive to listener's position, too. I don't think that's something I want. My dad's Carvers, which have very long ribbons, are amazingly detailed--but you really have to be right in the cockpit to get the full effect. Of course, every speaker is this way to some degree.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #17 of 21 Old 08-26-2014, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Several days later and after some consideration, I'm still really tempted to grab those Image T5s, but my wife doesn't sound too excited about me spending the money on them right now, so I've begun establishing the idea that I'm going to get myself some speakers for my birthday in January after our bathroom remodel, vacation, and the holidays are behind us. This means I'll probably spend a bit more and do a fair amount of listening over the next couple months.

The Golden Ear Triton 7s seem to have gotten superlative accolades all around, so I will definitely check them out. The only thing counting against them (in my opinion) is their appearance: not terrible, but less inspiring than a lot of other floorstanders out there. I'm also planning to check out PSB, Tannoy, KEF, Monitor Audio, Focal, and whatever else catches my eye in the shops. Thanks again for the suggestions.
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #18 of 21 Old 08-26-2014, 03:49 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
zieglj01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,881
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 353 Post(s)
Liked: 465
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
I'm also planning to check out PSB, Tannoy, KEF, Monitor Audio, Focal, and whatever else catches my eye in the shops. Thanks again for the suggestions.
Enjoy the search adventure!

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
zieglj01 is online now  
post #19 of 21 Old 09-15-2014, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
So my intentions (and budget) went a bit astray. After reading all the raves and accolades, I couldn't resist buying a pair of KEF LS50s. I didn't even go audition anything, which is a bit lazy of me, but in defense of pulling the trigger sound unheard: paired with a different amp and in a different room, a pair of speakers at the dealer is going to sound somewhat different than in your home. Also, Amazon Prime has a good return policy, so if I'm not as delighted as I expect to be I can return them.

Thanks again for the input!
bleu_falcon is online now  
post #20 of 21 Old 09-15-2014, 12:26 PM
Member
 
Alec88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post

I'm not married to the idea of towers, though--if I decide getting another pair of bookshelves (or even sticking with what I have) is most practical, I'll go that route. The PSBs put out plenty of volume, and the 3020 isn't dripping with power, so I'm not looking for something gargantuan that will put out a clean 120 dB. What I'm really looking for first and foremost is to take the sound quality of my system to the next level up.
The Image B5 would be a good upgrade. I just don't like the NAD 3020 much. It does have high quality sound and is somewhat punchy at higher volumes but the NAD 7050 sounds much fuller and would have more power for the T5 (my speaker).
Alec88 is offline  
post #21 of 21 Old 09-15-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec88 View Post
The Image B5 would be a good upgrade. I just don't like the NAD 3020 much. It does have high quality sound and is somewhat punchy at higher volumes but the NAD 7050 sounds much fuller and would have more power for the T5 (my speaker).
I'm happy with the 3020 so far, and I like that it has an analog input. The 7050's Airplay and built in wifi seem nice, but I don't know how much better off I'd be with those features; streaming from my iMac through Apple TV into the NAD's TOS input is working out well for me. Also, 50w vs 30w doesn't seem like a terribly advantageous boost, on paper anyway. If I'd bought the KEFs first I might be tempted to try both the 3020 and 7050 through them to see if the latter is really worth the extra $500 to me, but at this point I'm inclined to leave well enough alone, barring any disappointment with my setup when I connect the new speakers.
bleu_falcon is online now  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off