Well today was a big auditioning day for me.
I went to visit two of the biggest audiophile stores here in Montreal (Canada).
As some of you might have read in a seperate thread I created a couple of weeks ago, I was looking into purchasing a decent stereo system to listen music with in a small dedicated music room (12'6" x 10').
I have a budget of 5,000-6,000$ CAD (roughly the same in US since dollar is almost at parity)
I auditioned many brands:
- Totem Acoustic Hawk & Forest models
- Focal Chorus 816v and 826v
- PSB Synchrony Two
- Sonus Faber Toy and Homage (way out of my budget on the latter!!!)
- Martin Logan electrostatics
Many were way over my budget, I even listened to a 180,000$ system that was INSANE literally, comprised of Sonus Faber Homage speaker series 35,000$ and expensive tube amps, blablabla. That was amazing.
But the main focus was my budget.
The one setup that stood out the most to me, was Sonus Faber Toy series floorstandings paired with Rega Brio3 amp and Rega Apollo cd player. I could get all that gear for 4,960$ CAD tax in and it even played hip hop amazingly well in the low end.
I listened to many recordings including female vocals (Acintha, Jennifer Warnes, Rebecca Pidgeon, Norah Jones and Patricia Barber), many instrumental CDs and even a bit of hip hop (to see if the system was versatile, because I like hip hop too). It played all of the above in an incredible manner.
One speaker I clearly crossed out were the Focal Chorus 826v. No way.
I also enjoyed Totem Hawk floorstandings on the same electronics as above, although the amp was the Rega Elicit.
I am pretty focused on getting the Sonus Faber Toys and wanted to know your opinions before I jump the gun, because unless I missed something, they were the clear winner to my ear and personal taste.
The build quality is amazing and they seemed to be very musical and "warm" sounding speakers, natural sound, not muddy like the Focals or other brands...
Plus they were driven perfectly by an amp like the Rega Brio3 which is only 49w rms/channel (but clean power).
They recommend 20-100w (8-ohm) for that speaker so it seems easy to drive.
Let me know what you think...