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What are your favorite 2.1 speakers?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I went over to a Magnolia design center yesterday and was struck by an interesting thought while talking with the rep there. I asked his opinion between B&W, Sonus Faber, and Martin Logan which were the brands they had on display and he didn't give me a straight answer. Instead he categorized the speakers. He said that for HT his preferred B&W and for 2.1 he preferred Martin Logan. I'm a big B&W fan I've got two systems with their speakers, however I must say I was really impressed by both Sonus Faber and the Martin Logan's I listened to. They were both $10k speakers, but the Martin Logans' had a spatial quality that defied their positioning. They had them placed only about 3ft apart, yet sat me nearly 10 ft away. Obviously not an equilateral triangle, yet the sound stage and imaging were amazing. So on to my question Which speakers do you prefer for 2 channel listening and why?
post #2 of 15
I just bought a pair of Vandersteen Treo speakers, which are the best I have ever heard for under $10,000 (they cost $5950).

IMO they will blow away ANYTHING Martin-Logan makes, at any price. Some Sonus Faber speakers are pretty good, but you will dismiss them (anything under $15K, that is) once you have heard the Treos. I assume that you probably listened to the Cremona, which lists at $10K. Pretty good, but not great IMO.

I am running them with an Audio Research LS-26 preamp and a Bryston 3BSST2 amplifier, and the sound is to die for.

John Fort Audio in Richardson is your local Vandersteen dealer.


www.johnfortav.com
Edited by commsysman - 5/28/13 at 7:11am
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Which speakers do you prefer for 2 channel listening and why?
My old Paradigm 5se MkII / 7se speakers. They have a "laid-back", neutral to slightly "warm" sound, with clean highs, clear mids and a nice bottom end. Perfect with every kind of music. cool.gif

At ~$150 for a gently-used pair, they're also very affordable. wink.gif
Edited by eljaycanuck - 5/28/13 at 7:09am
post #4 of 15
The NHT Xd system.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65 Electra Glide View Post

The NHT Xd system.
I was never lucky enough to hear this one, but everyone I know that had it or heard it was impressed.

Sad they decided to discontinue it.
post #6 of 15
Magnepan 3.6 in a perfect room. I know I know it's the room. But it's the only one that stood out of all the speaker I've heard. I've heard many high end speakers in a non ideal rooms. I heard some that are close to it in non ideal rooms. Still searching and learning
post #7 of 15
My pick would be the Vandersteen 3a Signiture or the Salk HT3.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I was never lucky enough to hear this one, but everyone I know that had it or heard it was impressed.

Sad they decided to discontinue it.

I was lucky enough to grab one of the last sets, if not the last set, at a price which I felt was a no-brainer, plus even added a second sub to the system. They obviously sound incredible, but they even look much better when you actually see them than what they appear in the pics.
post #9 of 15
Newform Research R630
post #10 of 15
The NHT Xd clearance prices were crazy. The Xd had something like a $200 woofer and $100 tweeter per speaker (OEM) and the satellites were going for $100/each! O_O
post #11 of 15
It depends on the room and the person. I have a friend with Martin Logan's and they sound great, however when off axis the SQ drops like a rock. IMO, if you have the choice between B&W, Sonus Faber and Martin Logan though, it's just a preference thing. What sounds best to you. At my Magnolia, I've had a sales rep state he liked the Sonus Faber's over the B&W's. I've also had another state he liked the B&W's over the Sonus Faber's, and didn't care for the Martin Logan's at all. And then you have Salk speakers that sound fantastic too. Quite honestly, if you had those choices, you really can't go wrong with any of them. Just demo them for yourself, and pick the one that sounds best to you. For me, I chose the B&W 805 Diamonds. Why? Because those are the size speakers that will work best in my room and they sounded fantastic when I demoed them. Yes, the B&W 800 Diamonds technically sound better, but they were out of my budget and also wouldn't even work in the room (way too big). So in short, first narrow down and select the speakers that work best in your room. Once you've done that, demo as many as you can to see which sounds best to you.

And sorry if I didn't sate this before, but my friend was using his ML in a 2.0 setup. I'm also using my B&W 805 Diamonds in 2.0. I'll later add a sub to cover the lower frequencies, but the 805's do a pretty dang good job of covering the lower frequencies for their size.
Edited by LaoChe - 5/28/13 at 2:22pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post

The NHT Xd clearance prices were crazy. The Xd had something like a $200 woofer and $100 tweeter per speaker (OEM) and the satellites were going for $100/each! O_O
They were great components...but the tweeter was not $100(oem) according the SEAS rep.
post #13 of 15
What kind of room are you working with Tweaked05?

I was gifted extended listening time with the Sonus Faber Venere 3.0 at AXPONA this year. I thought they were wonderful sounding and my girlfriend thought they looked the part as well. For $3,500 they are on par with likes of the small boutique companies so many of us love. Their look might appeal to you more than those. It helped that the speakers were not close to any walls.

How close will your speakers be to your walls? What kind of music do you like to listen to?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

They were great components...but the tweeter was not $100(oem) according the SEAS rep.

IIRC, I vaguely seem to remember reading somewhere that the tweeter was basically the same version they had used for years going all the way back to the 3.3 and 2.9 models. The drivers, while probably great, are not what make this system special, it's the DEQX box which has been custom optimized specifically for them that gives them their "magic powers".

I need to get a Windows XP system to play around with changing the filters for dual subs since my Windows 7 computer apparently doesn't work with them. I also saw where somebody else basically posted the exact same problem on the NHT thread.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 65 Electra Glide View Post

IIRC, I vaguely seem to remember reading somewhere that the tweeter was basically the same version they had used for years going all the way back to the 3.3 and 2.9 models. The drivers, while probably great, are not what make this system special, it's the DEQX box which has been custom optimized specifically for them that gives them their "magic powers".

I need to get a Windows XP system to play around with changing the filters for dual subs since my Windows 7 computer apparently doesn't work with them. I also saw where somebody else basically posted the exact same problem on the NHT thread.
I completely understand and agree.

It is the integration of those drivers is the real work. The great drivers certainly help.

At the 2005 CES (I think)...I saw/heard a demo on B&W 600 series bookshelves with and without DEQX. The difference was surprising!
Edited by cschang - 5/29/13 at 12:00pm
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