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Best floor standing speaker for ~ $3000...

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
...or less??

I am putting together a 5.1 system (just figure 50/50 HT vs music listening) and am trying to build around a set of floor standing speakers. Music tastes is primarily adult alternative stuff like DMB, Mat Kearney, ColdPlay, etc. Room is a modest 15' x 18' but open to 2nd floor above (19' ceiling). Source gear will be nothing too audiophile-ish....it'll likely be a good AVR (like Yamaha RX-A3000/Denon AVR-4311/Integra DTR-80.2 or 50.3) with a Oppo BDP-93 universal player. I also have an old Yamaha M-80 (2 channel, 250w/ch amp) that is getting restored and I was hoping to ad this to drive the main's.

So my short list includes:

GoldenEar Triton Two
Paradigm Studio 100 v5
Def Tech STS (or a used set of ST an owner is selling locally)
BMW CM9
Aperion Verus Grand Tower

Yes, I realize these range from more like $2000-$3500 so the $3000 is more of a ballpark area. This is a price point for speakers that frankly, I am new to so I could really use some suggestions from those of you more familiar in this space. I know people have mentioned Salk SongTowers and PSB Synchrony Two on here as well.

Any information/advice/suggestions are much appreciated Thanks much!
post #2 of 115
Hey, I have a pair of Energy V 6.3's and I think they are great. A lot of people have written them off because they are owned by Klipsch but they don't have horn tweeters and don't sound like anything from Klipsch. I'm very happy with them, they make me smile from ear to ear. I push them with an Integra DTR 50.2. I got caught up in the B&W, must have because God himself makes them by hand mind set but don't be fooled. While they make a great speaker, listen to your own opinion and go with it.
post #3 of 115
Are you planning on getting a sub or you already got one?

Reason I ask is if you are going 2.0 then go with Goldenear. You also wouldn't need an amp for them. If you want 5.1/7.1 system, I recommend Studio 100's for neutral sound or CM9's for warmer sound.
post #4 of 115
"Best" to one person can mean something different to another. I would add the Martin Logan Motion speakers to your list, but otherwise it seems like you have a nice selection.
post #5 of 115
Dali Ikon MK2 series....
Totem Forest
KEF XQ90
Acoustic Zen Adagio
Waterfall Audio Iguascu(about $1000 over, but you'll see why...which I have these)
post #6 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vailvon View Post
Are you planning on getting a sub or you already got one?

Reason I ask is if you are going 2.0 then go with Goldenear. You also wouldn't need an amp for them. If you want 5.1/7.1 system, I recommend Studio 100's for neutral sound or CM9's for warmer sound.
Sorry, I didn't address the sub situation. Yes, I was likely going to add a sub. So far, I have only auditioned the Triton Two's and the Studio 100s. The others on the list came from hearing them referred to in various threads. I wanted to demo the Def Techs but now with Ultimate Electronics out of business in the Minneapolis area, I need to find another dealer who has them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post
Dali Ikon MK2 series....
Totem Forest
KEF XQ90
Acoustic Zen Adagio
Waterfall Audio Iguascu(about $1000 over, but you'll see why...which I have these)
Oooo, good stuff schan1269...those Iguascu speakers look sick!
post #7 of 115
You have a good list
Focal 836V is an option
http://www.spearitsound.com/focal/focal_836v.asp
Boston VS336 is a little over
http://www.bostonacoustics.com/-VS-3...aker-P239.aspx
post #8 of 115
Personally I would add Dali to the line-up. Try to find someone or a shop with them. Audiogon has a great deal up right now
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-priced-reduce
post #9 of 115
I would also try to demo RBH Signature Edition floorstanders.

Triad in-room spakers (Gold LCR) should be on your list as well. They are large bookshelf speakers that can be bought with stands that make them look just like a floorstanding speaker.

Klipcsh RF7-II floorstanding speakers as well
post #10 of 115
Some clarification needed;

"I am putting together a 5.1 system"

A few things; first, ~3$k per/speaker? Total? either way, system is the key word here, that said, building around a set of floor-standing speakers is un-necessarily constrictive in my opinion. A 5.1 rig needs every component in consideration due to their inter-dependence. Ideally, all three fronts should match. The surrounds matching is far less important. The sub(s) system is enormously important and will determine what type of mains. There are many LCR mains offerings that possess limited LF capability,..and these may be ideal for you. So, do you have a sub currently? What are your sub plans?

Regardless of your budget, IMO the dynamic capability of the potential speakers is one of the most important aspects wrt HT speakers. Some measure of directivity control, and highly capable, high linear output loudspeakers.

3k per main? or system?
What sub system?


edit; are you wanting two L&R mains first, then over time executing the remainder of the purchases?
post #11 of 115
http://www.salksound.com/songtower%20home.htm

Take a look at this. This is an excellent floorstander for music.
post #12 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Some clarification needed;

"I am putting together a 5.1 system"

A few things; first, ~3$k per/speaker? Total? either way, system is the key word here, that said, building around a set of floor-standing speakers is un-necessarily constrictive in my opinion. A 5.1 rig needs every component in consideration due to their inter-dependence. Ideally, all three fronts should match. The surrounds matching is far less important. The sub(s) system is enormously important and will determine what type of mains. There are many LCR mains offerings that possess limited LF capability,..and these may be ideal for you. So, do you have a sub currently? What are your sub plans?

Regardless of your budget, IMO the dynamic capability of the potential speakers is one of the most important aspects wrt HT speakers. Some measure of directivity control, and highly capable, high linear output loudspeakers.

3k per main? or system?
What sub system?


edit; are you wanting two L&R mains first, then over time executing the remainder of the purchases?

Hi FOH, good questions. That ~ $3,000 ballpark referred to a pair for the L & R mains. Yes, I am planning on getting the rest of the system speakers at the same time. In this home I have just moved into, the previous owner left behind a set of Speakercraft CRS8 in-ceiling speakers for the rears. I am first considering replacing those with my B&W DS6 dipole rears for now. As for a center, obviously I'd like to combine a timbre matched center of quality on par with the L & R mains. As for a subwoofer, I am strongly considering the Epik Empire which seems highly regarded especially considering the price.

You mention, "...the dynamic capability of the potential speakers is one of the most important aspects wrt HT speakers..." I wish there was a listed spec for this especially when its impossible to audition all the candidates.
post #13 of 115
Look into horns for your dynamic needs
post #14 of 115
Paradigm Studio 100 v.5
Energy V-6.3
post #15 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Mark View Post

Personally I would add Dali to the line-up. Try to find someone or a shop with them. Audiogon has a great deal up right now
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-priced-reduce

Sweet deal!
post #16 of 115
I'm looking at a similar setup (50/50 music and HT).

Ive narrowed it down to the Aperion Verus Grand Towers and the Definitive Mythos STS (through bajawaverunner).

Although the Aperions have stellar reviews, I've yet to find a single pro review online that didn't rant and rave about the Mythos STS. The main highlight is how well they work for both HT and music. Given the integrated 300W amp to drive the sub in each tower and a pretty damn high sensitivity, you can drive these with a solid receiver and not be leaving a ton of performance on the table.

99% sure I'll be pulling the trigger on the Mythos STS and grabbing a Mythos Ten for a center.

Good luck!
post #17 of 115
Are the SM-60f in this price range? That would get you pretty far. Also the JBL6332 or the GedLee Nathan (a little spendy).
post #18 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey019 View Post

Paradigm Studio 100 v.5
Energy V-6.3


I've had been comparing both after getting the V6.3's 3 weeks ago. Both great speakers and could go either way for anyone. I still prefer the Studio 100's and will be returning the Energy's this weekend.




I also have a Pair of Salk SongTower RT's(RAAL) on the way. These are all around the OP's price range. $3000 seems to be the range that many people have been looking into with alot to choose from. I've seen similar threads on hear that you can probably dig up.

broomet - What did you think about the Triton Two's and the Paradigm's? Do you have a favorite so far from the ones you have auditioned?
post #19 of 115
^DLS_222, could you elaborate on the shootout between the Studio 100s and the Veritas V6.3s? I and many others would be interested to know how they compare.
post #20 of 115
I can't really say much about most of the speakers on your list--I have a pair of Aperion VGTs and love them. They do compare to the CM9s--quite favorably and some would say they are a tad warmer sounding--and I did audition the CM9s speakers and chose the VGTs. I find the sound to be fantastic and they are quite a bit cheaper than the CM9s. You will find a few other comparisons in the Aperion thread. I highly recommend them.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=772081
post #21 of 115
audio physic tempo would be my choice.
post #22 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

....
Totem Forest
...

Or the Hawk set if the Forests are a tad over OP's budget. Either way, can't go wrong with Totem!
post #23 of 115
I own a pair of Nola Boxers that are pretty much the best $1,500 speakers I've ever heard. Their bigger brother, the Contenders are about $3,400 and if they build on the strengths of the Boxers should allow you to connect with your music in a way little else mentioned will. FWIW.
post #24 of 115
I have yet to hear anything under $4k that I prefer to the Songtowers.
post #25 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

^DLS_222, could you elaborate on the shootout between the Studio 100s and the Veritas V6.3s? I and many others would be interested to know how they compare.

Alright I'll but try I'm not the best at write-ups and choosing the best words like some comparisons I've read on here so I'll make it short..

What I prefer about the Paradigms is the more natural sounding mid-range. Listening to each one at a time both sound very good and I would probably be happy with either one. I may not have the ear that some of you do and it's only when a/b'ing that I could easily point out the differences mostly in the mid range. After immediately switching from the 100's - the 6.3's sound a bit thin in comparison.. when the other way around going from the 6.3's to the 100's it makes the 100's sound a bit chesty? I don't think I would be able to notice this without immediately switching. Shortly after switching the 100's seem to sound more natural especially with female vocals but it could just be something that I'm used to after owning them for over 2 years. Not to make it sound bad but in comparison the 6.3 sound a bit nasal with the female vocals. They both image very well and while Studio 100's have a large soundstage the 6.3's seem to have more depth to them. They have a very open sound that I like. I would say bass was pretty even between the two but since I use my subs for movies and music I compared only for awhile without them. I did break the 6.3's in but not much change after 2 weeks of playing them everyday.

Please note the room and gear used - they may sound much different in another place. My room is 14 x 17 x 8 open on one side to most of the basement(approx 4500cuft) and I used a Marantz SR8002 to A/B. I did hook them up to an Emotiva XPA-3 too which opened them up a bit but I think something like the 8002 is plenty for the 6.3's. I used them In HT with a Paradigm center and surrounds and RC-R rear surrounds and the receiver alone was able to handle all 7 speakers at decent volumes.

To me the 6.3's and Studio 100's are more alike than the 6.3's and the RC-70's which I also tried at home awhile back. They have a more up-front sound that I like and the RC-70's were more laid back. I think either the Paradigms or the Energy's would be a good choice depending on ones preference.

In a week or so I'll find out how different the Salk's are from these 2 with a completely different design and the ribbon tweeters.
post #26 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacophony777 View Post

I have yet to hear anything under $4k that I prefer to the Songtowers.

^ This. They are untouched in the OP's $3000 price range in my opinion.
post #27 of 115
I think you'll really like the SongTower RT's, DLS_222. They handily beat out the Paradigm Signature 8's in the midrange department at our SE Wisconsin GTG this passed April. I look forward to your impressions.
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

^ This. They are untouched in the OP's $3000 price range in my opinion.

I agree with this as well. I have had my SongTowers for over a month and they have far exceeded my expectations.
post #29 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DLS_222 View Post

broomet - What did you think about the Triton Two's and the Paradigm's? Do you have a favorite so far from the ones you have auditioned?

First off, I am definitely no audiophile so my "review" is at the kindergarten level compared to you guys unfortunately! So I originally went into this dealer after reading a bunch of positive reviews on the GoldenEar Triton Two. My expectations were super high and while they didn't blow me away necessarily, they were solid nonetheless. The big problem was that there was a set of Paradigm S8's in the same sound room. So naturally I wanted to hear those to give a reference point. Well, stupid move by me, because of course the S8 were at a different level (including the price!). The folded ribbon tweeter in the Triton Two's that sounded so crisp earlier, now became just a bit too bright compared to the beryllium tweeter of the S8. The built-in subs gave a nice low end and would be perfect for 2 channel audio although I think I would be adding a separate sub for my HT side of the application. One thing I took away from this audition as a positive (I hope) was that the Triton Two's were very "revealing". That seems like such as overused word in speaker reviews but NOW I understand why its used. My revelation came when I played a CD that I once thought was a decent sounding recording (David Gray - White Ladder), but was immediately blown away by how BADLY it sounded on these speakers. That means they're good right?! ha! Seriously, I asked the rep if a "mono" button was accidentally hit or something. The source gear was excellent stuff (Anthem D2V, Anthem amps, Marantz cd player) so that wasn't the culprit. And when I switched to a well recorded The Sundays - Static & Silence, the speakers came alive!

The other issue was that the Paradigm Studio 100 set were in a different room connected to different gear of course. So it was hard to A/B them. If I wasn't short on time, I would have had the rep move them so that I could audition them next to each other. The Studio 100s were "articulate" I guess you could say. I felt like I could easily discern every instrument in the music instead of everything being blended together. No strong bottom end but that opinion is coming from a guy who's now become used to subs so I'm a bit contaminated in that respect. I walked away from those thinking that those speakers would probably "teach" me what good quality, uncolored music should sound like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cacophony777 View Post

I have yet to hear anything under $4k that I prefer to the Songtowers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I think you'll really like the SongTower RT's, DLS_222. They handily beat out the Paradigm Signature 8's in the midrange department at our SE Wisconsin GTG this passed April. I look forward to your impressions.

Wow, I think I need to get over to the Salk forums and do some more reading on these SongTowers. So that extra $700 for the ribbon tweeter upgrade must be worth it? They sure are beautiful looking speakers especially with all the finish options!
post #30 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Mark View Post

Personally I would add Dali to the line-up. Try to find someone or a shop with them. Audiogon has a great deal up right now
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-priced-reduce

Now THAT is a deal! The whole used market throws a bunch more speakers into this $3k range.....UGH, more decisions!
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