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New system time :) Best mains for $2-3k? (used ok)  

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
My old system is sold, HK AVR7200, Formula R1 12" sub, Energy Veritas 2.1 mains. Looking at getting new mains and am interested in advice on what is the best you can get (USED is fine) for 2-3k? I love the styling of Martin Logans and was looking at some used sets, I think a 1-3yr old used model would be a good balance of having newer technology but also being cheaper? I love my veritas though and would not be opposed to a newer model Energy speaker, but know there are so many options, PSB, Monitor, Martin Logan, Monitor Audio, etc. Since I do not know all of these other brands I was wondering if there is a model in the 2-3k range that is generally accepted to rise above the rest?
post #2 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raster man View Post

My old system is sold, HK AVR7200, Formula R1 12" sub, Energy Veritas 2.1 mains. Looking at getting new mains and am interested in advice on what is the best you can get (USED is fine) for 2-3k? I love the styling of Martin Logans and was looking at some used sets, I think a 1-3yr old used model would be a good balance of having newer technology but also being cheaper? I love my veritas though and would not be opposed to a newer model Energy speaker, but know there are so many options, PSB, Monitor, Martin Logan, Monitor Audio, etc. Since I do not know all of these other brands I was wondering if there is a model in the 2-3k range that is generally accepted to rise above the rest?

I can only suggest ID like Salk Sound, Ascent Acoustics and Philharmonic Audio as well as certain DIY kits available. If I was in the market for mains $2-3k the only two loudspeakers I'd be looking at are the Sierra Towers NRT/Raal and the Phil 2/3s. You might also considering some of Zaph's speaker designs or Jed Kunz's and have someone build them for you.

I wouldn't buy any of the major brand loudspeakers with famous names...

PERIOD

DIY or perhaps five small outfits I could suggest and that's it.
post #3 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raster man View Post

My old system is sold, HK AVR7200, Formula R1 12" sub, Energy Veritas 2.1 mains. Looking at getting new mains and am interested in advice on what is the best you can get (USED is fine) for 2-3k? I love the styling of Martin Logans and was looking at some used sets, I think a 1-3yr old used model would be a good balance of having newer technology but also being cheaper? I love my veritas though and would not be opposed to a newer model Energy speaker, but know there are so many options, PSB, Monitor, Martin Logan, Monitor Audio, etc. Since I do not know all of these other brands I was wondering if there is a model in the 2-3k range that is generally accepted to rise above the rest?

This:

http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/philharmonic2.html

You can find user feedback here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1348949

I was also very impressed with this at last years CAF:

http://soundfieldaudio.net/
post #4 of 49
What are the dimensions of the room? What is your home theater to music usage?
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

I can only suggest ID like Salk Sound, Ascent Acoustics and Philharmonic Audio as well as certain DIY kits available. If I was in the market for mains $2-3k the only two loudspeakers I'd be looking at are the Sierra Towers NRT/Raal and the Phil 2/3s. You might also considering some of Zaph's speaker designs or Jed Kunz's and have someone build them for you.

I wouldn't buy any of the major brand loudspeakers with famous names...

PERIOD

DIY or perhaps five small outfits I could suggest and that's it.

+1

I would also add the Salk SongTower RT in there as well. IMO, the Philharmonic is a better/more accurate sounding speaker, but the SongTower RT is better looking (if that's important to the buyer) while still beating any "major brand" speaker well above its price range.
post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys, I'm torn, the SongTowers are so beautiful, but the Philharmonic 2s are such an incredible value for the hardware included. I do not know my room dimension as I am moving (forced sale of current system with house) and haven't picked a new place yet, but my home is for something in the 25'x15' range. As for system use, its about 50% music, 30% HT, 20% used as TV. FYI planned new TV will be a 65" plasma, current pick is the Panasonic VIERA TC-P65GT30.

Just for my information, how much does the hardware alone in the Philharmonic 2s cost? (everything except the cabinets). I'm leaning toward the Philharmonic 2s with custom veneer right now.
post #7 of 49
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

+1

I would also add the Salk SongTower RT in there as well. IMO, the Philharmonic is a better/more accurate sounding speaker, but the SongTower RT is better looking (if that's important to the buyer) while still beating any "major brand" speaker well above its price range.

Yeah I should have thrown the SongTower in there as well.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raster man View Post

Thanks for the advice guys, I'm torn, the SongTowers are so beautiful, but the Philharmonic 2s are such an incredible value for the hardware included.

What about the Sierra Towers ! They are certainly good looking and relatively small for a full range floor stander.

The great thing about Salk Sound though is you have just about anything you want done to the cabinet in terms of materials and looks.

I really really like Dave's bamboo Satin Espresso finish though...
post #10 of 49

The cabinet drawings have not been published and the ML-QWT is a VERY HARD cab to build/design. It would be hard to reverse engineer for DIY without cutting the bottom cab into pieces. Perhaps we might get a cab drawing someday.

BTW isn't Dennis Murphy's margin totally HONEST in a price/performance level when looking at the cost of the drivers! I was going to DIY my next speakers but when you look at ST and Phil 2/3 it's almost impossible to built something comparable at the same price point.

I still can't decide on which pair I'm going to get. I'm waiting for word from that MI GTG before I make my purchase.
post #11 of 49
Nothing in present line up like the vintage Veritas in present energy line up. Since your speakers were designed they were sold to the Klipsch group and now audiovox. I like my modern energy speakers but those vintage Veritas were specail. If you liked yours look at Paradigm for similar sound. PSB as well.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy View Post

Nothing in present line up like the vintage Veritas in present energy line up. Since your speakers were designed they were sold to the Klipsch group and now audiovox. I like my modern energy speakers but those vintage Veritas were specail. If you liked yours look at Paradigm for similar sound. PSB as well.

Interesting... I didn't hear the Klipsch Group sold API to Audiovox. I thought Audiovox was just a stencil and TM. I do know they have licensing for branding Chinese batteries Engergizer. Perhaps that's the confusion? Energy... Energizer...
Maybe?

For the most part I thought they were an IP/TM company that really does no ODM/OEM but simply stencils mainland ODM/OEM products. I do know they purchased the driver company Recoton some years ago though...

I also know Toshiba owns a sizable percentage of the company.

PS they made a **** LOAD of money stenciling HTC phones/PDAs product back around 2006-1990s
post #13 of 49
Wow they did purchase the Klipsch Group last spring for $177 million. Amazing an outfit that really has DONE NOTHING in terms of engineering other than enter the market at the RIGHT TIMING via Chinese ODM stenciling of Omega/Candle/JiL quality CRAP can manage to make enough on portable DVD players, cheap headphones and cell phones back in the 90s to purchase FAMOUS LONG STANDING audio design houses within a decade. They were doing over a billion dollars a year back in 2k let alone now!

Sickening...
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

This:

http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/philharmonic2.html

You can find user feedback here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1348949

I was also very impressed with this at last years CAF:

http://soundfieldaudio.net/

Phil harmonics are fine for small rooms but put them in a big living room and i dont care what amps you have, power compression will make them sound bad as soon as you turn them up.
post #15 of 49
^^ You may wish to ask questions in the Philharmonic thread for more accurate information.

Good luck!
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

Phil harmonics are fine for small rooms but put them in a big living room and i dont care what amps you have, power compression will make them sound bad as soon as you turn them up.

I noticed no such thing when auditioning them in Dennis' large living room. I also heard them at CAF in a very large room and they had no trouble there either.

Have you actually auditioned them?
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nethawk View Post

^^ you may wish to ask questions in the philharmonic thread for more accurate information.

Good luck!

+1!
post #18 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy View Post

Nothing in present line up like the vintage Veritas in present energy line up. Since your speakers were designed they were sold to the Klipsch group and now audiovox. I like my modern energy speakers but those vintage Veritas were specail. If you liked yours look at Paradigm for similar sound. PSB as well.

The only issue I've had with the veritas is the vinyl cracking and peeling off the sides, I've had this same issue with 4 of them! I think the glue they used was crap.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

BTW isn't Dennis Murphy's margin totally HONEST in a price/performance level when looking at the cost of the drivers! I was going to DIY my next speakers but when you look at ST and Phil 2/3 it's almost impossible to built something comparable at the same price point.

I agree.


I wonder what the model is in the background, is this an older model Phil or a custom one? I love the round vintage design of the mid and tweet.

post #19 of 49
The one in the background is a Salk Soundscape 10 or 12.
post #20 of 49
Keep an eye out in this place. They have some great deals.
http://www.msshifi.com/crazy-super-i...rstanders.html
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raster man View Post

I wonder what the model is in the background, is this an older model Phil or a custom one? I love the round vintage design of the mid and tweet.

Yes, the walnut speaker in the background is a Salk SoundScape 10.

The photos were taken at the Capital AudioFest last July. The light maple speaker is a Philharmonic 3, and the black one is a Philharmonic 1.

And that room was 25'×26' by tape measure. I also heard them and confirm what Saturn94 said about no problem with inadequate volume or compression.



post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

Phil harmonics are fine for small rooms but put them in a big living room and i dont care what amps you have, power compression will make them sound bad as soon as you turn them up.

From my DIY loudspeaker work and LIMITED design and engineering understanding and experience with Neo8 that's exact what I think as well. It's entirely speculation though as I've never heard them. I do wonder though about Denis testing the FR at 70db initially (not totally sure but I think it might have changed). I noticed on the site that's now increased to 80 db. I do wonder though why he didn't test at the STANDARD 90db. Is he trying to hide compression? I really hate to questioning stuff like that as I feel Denis is an honest guy and I'm most certain those speakers are absolutely AMAZING compared to ANYTHING available from a big name at that price point. It's just hard for me to believe the neo8 can "push enough air" when driven so low for mid to really work well in such a design. Who knows though with the open back/baffle design of the upper section. I'm sorry for my cynicism. It's only because I've heard neo8 used on it's own and then I've heard it used with multiple PDRs in a line and the difference was SIGNIFICANT when it comes to "compression" and "dynamics" when used for midrange. This also was a case where the Neo8 was crossed higher as well...

Why did he test at only 80db and not at 90db?
post #23 of 49
I'm going to have to recommend the Philharmonic 2 as the best $2K speakers and the Phil3 as the best $3K speakers.
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I'm going to have to recommend the Philharmonic 2 as the best $2K speakers and the Phil3 as the best $3K speakers.

I wouldn't doubt if this is the case the world over...

BUT have you heard the Sierra Tower with Raal?







post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

From my DIY loudspeaker work and LIMITED design and engineering understanding and experience with Neo8 that's exact what I think as well. It's entirely speculation though as I've never heard them. I do wonder though about Denis testing the FR at 70db initially (not totally sure but I think it might have changed). I noticed on the site that's now increased to 80 db. I do wonder though why he didn't test at the STANDARD 90db. Is he trying to hide compression? I really hate to questioning stuff like that as I feel Denis is an honest guy and I'm most certain those speakers are absolutely AMAZING compared to ANYTHING available from a big name at that price point. It's just hard for me to believe the neo8 can "push enough air" when driven so low for mid to really work well in such a design. Who knows though with the open back/baffle design of the upper section. I'm sorry for my cynicism. It's only because I've heard neo8 used on it's own and then I've heard it used with multiple PDRs in a line and the difference was SIGNIFICANT when it comes to "compression" and "dynamics" when used for midrange. This also was a case where the Neo8 was crossed higher as well...

Why did he test at only 80db and not at 90db?

This question about the limited dynamics of the Neo8 midrange driver has been answered in detail by Dennis Murphy several times.

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...tml#post873535

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...9-post477.html

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...tml#post845469

I found those from searching the thread on AH. I didn't search the Philharmonic Audio thread here at AVS.

Those last two were asked by someone with an identical monniker to yours

I can understand skepticism, but Dennis has answered this question repeatedly, so it seems to me like this is becoming less like skepticism and more like cynicism.
post #26 of 49
The Phil 2, is much larger, and for sure will have deeper extension. If there is no sub being used, it is definitely something to consider.
post #27 of 49
I can't help but interject here and do a bit of devil's advocacy. ..It seems like the ID proponents have run wild with this thread and no one has spoken up for the maligned big brands.

Now I don't know the Philharmonic or the Salk speaker folks so I mean them no disrespect when I suggest that it should not be accepted as uncontested fact that buying direct from a manufacturer guarantees that one is getting better performance for their money. Building speakers involves quite a bit of raw material, and sophisticated machinery (unless building simple slab-sided box speakers). As such, larger speaker companies such as Revel, Dynaudio, Vandersteen, PSB, B&W, Paradigm, etc... have a huge cost advantage over small guy-in-a-garage type outfits. And what about R&D? These larger brands have full-time engineers with sophisticated research tools and facilities at their disposal.

Yes, larger brands do rely on a intermediary retailer. ..But this is not necessarily a bad thing. ..Because of area retailers I was able to spend many hours listening to various brands of speakers before making a decision. ..Also, these larger speakers companies have been around for awhile and seem likely to be around for many years to come, which is helpful should your speakers ever need servicing or should you need to order a driver, etc... ..As for marketing expensive... Well, NONE of these brands spend much at all on marketing. An ad in Stereophile is not terribly expensive and does NOT add much of anything to the cost of a pair of speakers.
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

I wouldn't doubt if this is the case the world over...

BUT have you heard the Sierra Tower with Raal?

Does it cost $2,000 and does it go down to 32Hz @ -2dB like the Phil2?

If so, then I would also include it in the list.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

I can't help but interject here and do a bit of devil's advocacy. ..It seems like the ID proponents have run wild with this thread and no one has spoken up for the maligned big brands.

Now I don't know the Philharmonic or the Salk speaker folks so I mean them no disrespect when I suggest that it should not be accepted as uncontested fact that buying direct from a manufacturer guarantees that one is getting better performance for their money. Building speakers involves quite a bit of raw material, and sophisticated machinery (unless building simple slab-sided box speakers). As such, larger speaker companies such as Revel, Dynaudio, Vandersteen, PSB, B&W, Paradigm, etc... have a huge cost advantage over small guy-in-a-garage type outfits. And what about R&D? These larger brands have full-time engineers with sophisticated research tools and facilities at their disposal.

Yes, larger brands do rely on a intermediary retailer. ..But this is not necessarily a bad thing. ..Because of area retailers I was able to spend many hours listening to various brands of speakers before making a decision. ..Also, these larger speakers companies have been around for awhile and seem likely to be around for many years to come, which is helpful should your speakers ever need servicing or should you need to order a driver, etc... ..As for marketing expensive... Well, NONE of these brands spend much at all on marketing. An ad in Stereophile is not terribly expensive and does NOT add much of anything to the cost of a pair of speakers.

To counter your devil's advocacy with devil's advocacy...

You have to house those R&D departments and pay the employees. At least a few ID companies that I know of have the same type of R&D tools. Also, don't forget the need for support(internal and external) and administrative staffing as well as the B&M company gets larger. Also, some of these ID companies have been around 10+ years.

R&D brands have sale reps to pay...these are the guys that sell to the retailers, or try to get the retailers to carry their lines. While the ad in Stereophile may not cost much (I would think it is not exactly cheap, or else the magazine will not stay in business), that marketing material needs to be developed as well as training/marketing materials for the retailer.

Then the retailer's markup is somewhere in the 40-60% range. If there is a possible need for a distributor, don't forget their own cost/markup).
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Does it cost $2,000 and does it go down to 32Hz @ -2dB like the Phil2?

If so, then I would also include it in the list.

Do you have a subwoofer?

How about a matching center channel (same driver compliment and specs)?

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