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Jazz lover needs 2.0 or 2.1 speakers, for $1000-1500

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm a rookie lost in the world of $1000-1500 speaker pairs. The number of "affordable" choices is astounding. I'm hoping my audio preferences can reduce the number of candidates along with, of course, whatever generous insight you guys can provide me.

I'd like a 2.0 or 2.1 setup that emphasizes honest acoustic fidelity and a wide soundstage.

I'm a HUGE jazz fan (and a jazz drummer), and I want the Miles Davis 60's quintet to blow me away. This is pretty much the only thing I care about, as movies and bass shaking performance take a back seat.

Any recommendations?

For starts, several speakers have come to my attention:

Tetra 105 + a NSM EXP Sub ($1300 total)
Omega Super 6 ($1450)
Monitor Audio RS6 ($1000)

What say you!
post #2 of 16
I would go used. Audiogon is a wonderful place to get speakers for less than half of their new price. You can really stretch your money going used. Use the search bar if you have a particular brand in mind.
post #3 of 16
ACI Sapphires
post #4 of 16
I love the way the Essential Brubeck CD sounds on my setup.

B&W 685 speakers, B&W ASW650 sub (used very lightly - don't like boomy jazz.)

If I had some extra cash, I'd probably replace my sub but I'll wait until it starts aging more (it's already 5 years old, but not used extensively.)

685's were $650 / pr and the sub was about $550 when I bought it. Since the ASW650 is dead model, and there are SO many sub options out there. But the 685's sound light and airy, while maintaining accuracy at normal listening levels and lower levels too. (That last part I think is a credit to the amp I'm using.)
post #5 of 16
Easy. Used Maggie 1.6s if space is not a concern:


I'm a jazz lover in a tiny room, so I use Sunfire Cinema Duos with a True Junior sub, which is an excellent jazz set up, but Maggies are best.
post #6 of 16
but I actually play jazz and piano on my speakers, thru midi synthesis. Smaller bookshelves cannot handle the load + bandwidth of this type of signal at high (peak) volumes, which jazz has tons of. I'm running a 2.0 setup consisting of Klipsch THX ultra 2 KL-650s for the mains (no sub--yet) powered by an Emotiva XPA-3 (hugely important, it made the audio quality leapfrog what I was using before, which is a NAD amp that now serves as analog pre-amp).

I play all the jazz .flacs from my computer via analog outs off my Asus Xonar DX sound card that has a 116 db S/N ratio with very low noise floor. I might try to eliminate the preamp entirely but I don't trust windows very much. There's always random youtube and flash ads that are waaay louder all of a sudden. Anyway, for Jazz my 2.0 setup rocks, very neutral but powerful. Handles everything I throw at it, including Pianoteq which I pound relentlessly. The amp really helps with this. The built-in amp of my NAD didn't cut the mustard.

my $0.02. listen to all the speakers you can, and if you want to know where to get a great price shipped on the klipsch just PM me. I got them unheard after being not too impressed by the lack of relative value of other things I listened to, based on glowing reviews from basically everyone. Horn speakers are great for well, horns. Saxes are super smooth, piano, bass, percussions - everything sounds huge, controlled, effortless, and above all very musical without being tiring in the slightest. All the fortes of jazz music for listening long hours.
post #7 of 16
Ohm Micro Walsh Talls! $1000 plus shipping.

Depending on the size of the room, you can get the Ohm Super 2 S3 for about $1300

I'm a bit of a fan-boy, but the 3 months that I've had these speakers as been the best 3 months of music listening in my life. ESPECIALLY for jazz!

post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post

Smaller bookshelves cannot handle the load + bandwidth of this type of signal at high (peak) volumes.

What the heck does that mean ???? with all due respect that statement is a bunch of whoie !! ....first off speakers don't 'handle the load', that's an amplifiers responsibility as well as the bandwidth and spectrum thereof.

now.....if your talking about a speakers ability 'to be driven' as measured in spl along with a stated freq response and deviation (from "flat") then you can corolate that refrence to bookshelf speakers. Regardles , you have also keep in mind the size of the room that one is 'pressurizing' with music as well !

Now with all this gobbely goock being said I'll wager the ACI Sapphires I mentioned combined with and adequete sub would satisfy any jazz listener in any room 300 sq ft or less.
post #9 of 16
What about something like the Triangle Celius?


I love the way my Antal's sound playing jazz.... and rock... and well just about anything.
post #10 of 16
B&W is discontinuing the 700 series. you may be able to find a deal on a floor model or b-stock for the 705's, which are $1,650/pr

also, as said before, buying used will get you SOO much more

one other thing; any plans for a specific amp? do you already own one, or are you looking for that too?
post #11 of 16
I will avoid recommending what I own, but will point out that you have started with some very different configurations/styles - 2-way monitor, 2-1/2 way floorstander, single driver - and now we have added planar magnetic and horn to the list. Add an electostatic and we have the bases about covered.

The one recommendation buried in here about listening to as many as you can is spot on. Also consideration of the room size and acoustics. I don't know how much experience/exposure you have had to not necessarily different brands but different drivers/styles - cone, horn, stat, planar mag, single driver, etc. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and while perhaps some of it may favor a particular genre of music, much of it also comes down to personal taste and preference. Once you have determined your tastes, you can do a much better job of selecting a specific speaker. Otherwise, what you are getting are a lot of recommendations for what suits the recommenders' tastes - which may well not be your own.

I personally would like the bass weight and drive of cones, with the macrodynamics of horns, microdynamics/transient speed of stats, tonality of planar mags, and coherence of single drivers. If anyone has THAT recommendation I am all ears.

One final plug ... I will take a more modest set of speakers in a well-treated room/acoustic over a great pair of speakers in an untreated room every time.
post #12 of 16
One of your requirements was a wide soundstage. I don't know where you live, but try to seek out a Vandersteen dealer. Vandersteens have long been known for their ability to create a very dimensional soundstage (some might say holographic) and the cost is reasonable because the company doesn't spend lots of money on advertising nor are they always coming up with new models. Vandersteen comes up with a good design, sticks with it, and continually improves it. The investment is put into drivers, cabinet design,and crossovers. At your price point, you'll be looking at the 2Ce Sig (new). Like other posters have mentioned, look for used also. Vandersteens usually show up on Audiogon, but not in large quantities. As always, let your ears be the final arbiter in your purchasing decision. Happy hunting !
post #13 of 16
I second the recommendation on the Maggies. Nothing better for jazz.
post #14 of 16
TimB, godd reply ! and good advise !!
post #15 of 16
As another thread reminded everyone, Vanderstein 2Ce's are worth looking at.
IMHO, Maggies can't handle the dynamics or realistic levels of Jazz. Even the big ones. Jazz has bass. You need a real full range, or build a pair of woofers. I was not happy until I built a pair of 12's to go with my monitors so I could play Dave Grusin's Discovered Again.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post

Maggies can't handle the dynamics or realistic levels of Jazz. Even the big ones. Jazz has bass..


you obviously haven't heard a Maggie set-up done right !
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