Best Speaker Pair for $10K in 2018? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 58 Old 03-13-2018, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Best Speaker Pair for $10K in 2018?

Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening. I'm starting from scratch so don't have anything yet, but am trying to decide on the front speakers pair first. My budget for the front pair is $10k.

I did recently have the local A/V store demo the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10k/pair) and the GoldenEar References ($8500/pair) and found the sound of the GoldenEars to be better than the Persona 3Fs which I found to be a little bright.

I would love to hear which of these two speakers others would recommend or if neither of these, what are the the best speakers in the $10k budget for the pair? Thank you!
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post #2 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 08:58 AM
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Funny, most everyone on these Forum's are looking for $300 speakers. With a $10,000 budget, you will be hard pressed to find anything that comes close to Golden Ear Reference performance at even twice the cost.
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post #3 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post
Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening. I'm starting from scratch so don't have anything yet, but am trying to decide on the front speakers pair first. My budget for the front pair is $10k.

I did recently have the local A/V store demo the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10k/pair) and the GoldenEar References ($8500/pair) and found the sound of the GoldenEars to be better than the Persona 3Fs which I found to be a little bright.

I would love to hear which of these two speakers others would recommend or if neither of these, what are the the best speakers in the $10k budget for the pair? Thank you!
Hi,

If I were you, I would look at this as a process which may take some time to complete. And others, including myself, who comment may have entirely different perceptions of what sounds bright, or clear, or natural, or balanced, or full, or whatever terms are used to describe what we hear. Not long ago, I encouraged a friend of mine, in a similar position, to make a road trip to a larger community where he would have the opportunity to audition a number of different "high-end" speakers. To our mutual surprise (since he had never considered panels), after doing several auditions, he ultimately selected large Martin Logan electrostatic panels. And, he loves them.

Who knows what you will find that you like when you actually listen to a number of different ones. And, comparable price may not equate to comparable performance according to your personal standards. I would try to listen to several different speakers in approximately the $5000 to $10,000 price range, gradually discarding the ones that don't quite measure up. That will let you concentrate on the top two or three that you believe you really like. And, you might want to audition your top choices more than once, with gradually longer listening sessions.

Pay attention to the size of the room that you are listening in, and be sure to use your own music. Also try to make sure that the speakers are positioned in about the same relationship with the listening position that they would be in your room.

Finally, try to make sure that the ones you select are purchased on-approval, so that you can spend some time with them in your own listening environment. The audio store listening room may be very different from your own, and that could affect your final preference for a speaker. Good luck with your search!

Regards,
Mike

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post #4 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 09:40 AM
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I agree with the poster directly above me. Different people will have different objectives and we do hear differently.

For instance, I listened to the exact same two pairs of speakers as the op. And had exactly the opposite conclusion. The reference sounded like someone threw a blanket over them. And the Persona 3f sounded so good and real that I got emotional. I loved them so much it became a lifelong journey to own them. And I now do own them. Although they are in my closet until my new room gets done. They really do need to be in a treated room however. And some have said you don't want them firing directly at you. You want them toed out slightly so they are slightly off axis.

So not only do you want to listen but you really need to experiment with placement also. And definitely take into account what size room they are going in.

Some suggestions, the new Revel 228be, the Magico A3, I would still put the 3f Persona in there. Also the new Elac Adante's.

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post #5 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 09:43 AM
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don't discount slightly less expensive speakers either ... especially if you are going to be using a subwoofer.. that's the place to really get spendy...great subs and a great bookshelf speaker will outperform towers alone in a lot of applications ...
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post #6 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post
Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening.
Passive: JTR 215RT

http://jtrspeakers.com/noesis-215rt.html

Active:

Seaton Catalyst:

https://www.seaton-sound-forum.com/p...erview-3044980

Or you could look into the JBL Pro or the JBL Synthesis line.
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post #7 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post
Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening. I'm starting from scratch so don't have anything yet, but am trying to decide on the front speakers pair first. My budget for the front pair is $10k.

I did recently have the local A/V store demo the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10k/pair) and the GoldenEar References ($8500/pair) and found the sound of the GoldenEars to be better than the Persona 3Fs which I found to be a little bright.

I would love to hear which of these two speakers others would recommend or if neither of these, what are the the best speakers in the $10k budget for the pair? Thank you!
Visit this showroom in Santa Rosa as part of your auditioning process.

With your budget I'd also go to showrooms in Marin, SF and LA...the latter would involve a plane but well worth the investment.

https://www.lavishautomation.com/
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post #8 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:35 AM
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You have to listen and in your own environment if possible. With your budget I would definitely consider active monitors to add to others you are considering.
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post #9 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post
Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening. I'm starting from scratch so don't have anything yet, but am trying to decide on the front speakers pair first. My budget for the front pair is $10k.

I did recently have the local A/V store demo the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10k/pair) and the GoldenEar References ($8500/pair) and found the sound of the GoldenEars to be better than the Persona 3Fs which I found to be a little bright.

I would love to hear which of these two speakers others would recommend or if neither of these, what are the the best speakers in the $10k budget for the pair? Thank you!

What other brands of speakers did the A/V store have besides the ones you demoed?
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post #10 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:44 AM
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At that price point you really need to hear the speakers in Your Own Room,with that I would recommend the JBL M2's. Incredible sounding speakers.


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post #11 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:50 AM
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Not 10g/pr, but perhaps worth consideration...
http://philharmonicaudio.com/phil3.html
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post #12 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the recommendations. Definitely going to look at some more brands and do more listening to see what else is out there. Thank you for the tip about having the Personas toed out a little...I will visit the local shop again and try that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioplus93 View Post
Funny, most everyone on these Forum's are looking for $300 speakers. With a $10,000 budget, you will be hard pressed to find anything that comes close to Golden Ear Reference performance at even twice the cost.
Due to being busy with school and then work, it has been a decade of saving up for the HT setup haha. I've read on some corners of the Internet that the GoldenEar References are good speakers but poor for the price and that they have a huge marketing campaign by the manufacturer behind them. Is there any truth to that? They did sound good when I listened to them, but the Personas sounded clearer on vocals, although a little too bright.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
What other brands of speakers did the A/V store have besides the ones you demoed?
They had some B&W (802s?) and some electrostatic models but I did not listen to them. I believe the B&Ws they had were outside my budget so the salesman only had me sample the Paradigm Persona 3F and the GoldenEar References.
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post #13 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 11:59 AM
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$10k is a high enough budget, at price points lower than that the gains with price tend to fall off exponentially. I don't think there is any 'best' in audio in general in any price category its all so subjective. You have to decide how much you value other factors like looks, sales/support etc as at higher price points these become a pig part of the cost. e.g. if you look at ID companies you will get much better performance for the dollar.
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post #14 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 12:27 PM
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New: Revel F228Be

Used: Revel Salon2

Someone else mentioned JBL M2. Great speakers, but will cost more than $10K with amps. JBL 4367 is the passive version, normal amps to drive them.

JBL LSR 708's with good subs might approach $10K.

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post #15 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 02:48 PM
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These might be worth auditioning as well

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_760IMN...ss-Cherry.html

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post #16 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 02:54 PM
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I would be looking 20k used speakers for 10k or less. focal sopra 3 at top of my list.
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post #17 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 03:31 PM
 
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post #18 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 03:40 PM
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I really don't like Goldenear. I consider them an OK budget speaker. I think the built in subwoofers are terrible and very boomy sounding. If you don't use the built in subs, then there are much better speakers you can get for the price as those subwoofers are considered part of the goldenear package. I really like B&W 702s2's ($4500 a pair). They're a very nice and warm sounding speaker. If you're going to build a theater, you could buy 4 of those for $9000 and be really set for both music and theater. There's also B&W 804d3 but those are a little brighter in my opinion and really need a warmer sounding amp to drive them to sound good (like tube or mcintosh).

Another suggestion is, again since you're also going home theater, music sounds absolutely great in 2 channel mode on a B&W 702s2 and B&W HTM1D3 center. The HTM1D3 center runs about $6k and the 702S2's run about $4.5k so that's your $10k and you get one of the best centers money can buy. If your processor handles 2 channel stereo in 3 channel mode, this sounds really great on music. I enable my HTM1D3 in music on my anthem along with my 802d3 speakers.

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post #19 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 05:00 PM
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Oh, wow, at $10K the options are seemingly endless. I would agree with many of the already listed options and add a few that I am researching in this price range:

The new Revel F228be
The new Focal Kanta No. 2
The fairly new Paradigm Persona 3F
The new Magico A3
B&W 804D3
Dali Epicon 6
Canton Reference 7K or 5K
Used Focal Electra 1038be
And, especially, the Legacy Audio Focus SE
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post #21 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 06:58 PM
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I'm not so sure that the best front left and right for music would also be the best for theater. For that kind of money you should be able to audition then at home. If not, I would pass on that one. The transducers can be great but are normally designed for some specific type of setting. If you cannot hear them at home, just walk away. My system seems great to me in my home but it is likely not ideal for intricate imaging of a soundstage with instruments in obviously heard locations etc. I fell in love with big old JBL monitors and still go that route with compression drivers and horns. I built my fronts (Same drivers and cabinet volumes and crossovers as JBL 4343's) over 25 years ago and they seem to sell in Japan by Kenrick for more than that $10,000. You have to try to find transduceers that make you happy. The biggest factor besides room acoustics is the transducer, be it a cartridge or a speaker driver. The transfer of electrical energy to mechanical energy or the opposite is where the biggest main difference can be found. Quality and design of the interim electronics can maintain or degrade those transducers. Also many recordings just are not all that good.
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post #22 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 07:03 PM
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should add my room would dictate what speaker i went after...if I had space and the amps I might go martin logan or maggie. if an average size room I will stick to boxes that use a be tweeter

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post #24 of 58 Old 03-14-2018, 09:27 PM
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If you get the opportunity add Sonus Faber and Vandersteen to the list. Magnepan and Totem, also.
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Salk SoundScape 10:

http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=SoundScape+10

Salk Exotica 3:

http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=Exotica+3

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https://www.dedicatedaudio.com/colle...udspeaker-pair

Magico A3:

http://magico.net/Marketing/Press_Release_A3.php
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post #27 of 58 Old 03-15-2018, 05:33 AM
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post #28 of 58 Old 03-15-2018, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
If you get the opportunity add Sonus Faber and Vandersteen to the list. Magnepan and Totem, also.
I second the Sonus Faber recommendation. A pair of Olympica II's are right at your price point, and the Olympica IIIs are just a few thousand more. Very musical.
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post #29 of 58 Old 03-15-2018, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehan View Post
Hi all,

I have a room that I will be using as a dedicated HT and also for music listening. I'm starting from scratch so don't have anything yet, but am trying to decide on the front speakers pair first. My budget for the front pair is $10k.

I did recently have the local A/V store demo the Paradigm Persona 3Fs ($10k/pair) and the GoldenEar References ($8500/pair) and found the sound of the GoldenEars to be better than the Persona 3Fs which I found to be a little bright.

I would love to hear which of these two speakers others would recommend or if neither of these, what are the the best speakers in the $10k budget for the pair? Thank you!
You didn't mention if you already have subs, or if you had budget above $10k to add new subs. If your listening priorities are weighted 50% or more movies, and you're looking for visceral impact of action movies you can both hear and feel, then subs are most definitely a prerequisite - preferably having at least one sub placed nearfield (immediately behind) your main seating position. If this is the route you want to go, then I wouldn't spend extra $$ just on large L/R monitors trying to get ULF and good tactile response with any kind of authority. That's where capable well-placed subs excel. If OTOH your priorities are mostly music, then a pair of full-range speakers may be all you need.
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post #30 of 58 Old 03-15-2018, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by darrellh44 View Post
You didn't mention if you already have subs, or if you had budget above $10k to add new subs. If your listening priorities are weighted 50% or more movies, and you're looking for visceral impact of action movies you can both hear and feel, then subs are most definitely a prerequisite - preferably having at least one sub placed nearfield (immediately behind) your main seating position. If this is the route you want to go, then I wouldn't spend extra $$ just on large L/R monitors trying to get ULF and good tactile response with any kind of authority. That's where capable well-placed subs excel. If OTOH your priorities are mostly music, then a pair of full-range speakers may be all you need.
i tried to bring that up earlier .. if this is for 50/50 or HT, the towers are a bit of a waste... great subs and bookshelf/ monitors will crush towers alone ..
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YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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