Originally Posted by Mr. Horse
Totally agree. I really want to A/B the kefs with some paradigms, as well as other speakers in the same room. Having a tough time though finding a dealer where that can happen. The shop that had the R700 I begged them to let me take them home for a trial (offered to buy them with return policy). He wouldn't do it - he actually didn't think they were right for me. But I still want to hear them in my space; they sounded great, just ... small.
Never heard of these. I'd love to check them out but I just can't bring myself to buy a set of speakers that I've never listened to. The whole ship/return business is a real PITA in my mind.
Maybe so...but maybe not much harder than driving to a showroom, buying them, bringing them home, and having to drive them back. Just saying. Zero effort to get them TO your house. And maybe less effort to send them back than driving to a dealer/showroom. You'd be out return shipping but honestly, if your objective is an accurate, neutral, high efficiency speaker, good measurements will tell you that better than listening to a speaker in a showroom with all sorts of bias and unknown setup.
Check out the PSA website and pop into chat with Tom...he's one of the two owners...in addition to making a good product...they offer the best customer service you are likely to ever encounter.
Regardless, good luck with your search. You certainly have the budget for a great setup, will be interesting to see where you land.
I recently began researching speakers extensively after getting my subwoofer setup "perfect" for me. Realized my speakers and subs were orders of magnitude apart in terms of quality and capability. I wanted clean, accurate, low distortion, uncompressed output at any level I might ever listen to for both music and movies. After doing a little simple match using speaker efficiency, power, and distance, I realized that there are not many average efficiency retail speakers out there that could meet my objectives without either running into distortion, compression, being limited on power, clipping, or a combination of these. In my mind, the first step to good sound quality is being able to play back at ones desired levels without distortion, compression etc etc. And its a taller order than most people realize. This steered me towards higher efficiency speakers, and there just aren't many. Klipsch advertises it, but subtract 5 dB or more from any of their ratings. It rubs me the wrong way, I just can't purchase from a company with blatantly false advertising.
Here's what I took a look at:
Reference level requires 105 dB peaks from each of your main speakers.
Speaker sensitivity is rated at 1m distance(3 feet). Each doubling of distance reduces SPL(in theory) by 6 dB. In room might be closer to 4-5 dB. Lets say 4.5. So at 12 ft listening distance, SPL is reduced by 9 dB. So an 87 dB speaker will produce 78 dB at 12 ft with 1 watt.
To increase SPL, we must double power for every 3 dB increase in SPL, assuming the amp has the headroom, and the speaker can handle the power without distortion or compression, heating of voice coil, crossover components etc.
Lets assume we want to listen at -10MV, or 10 below reference. We need 95 dB peaks from our mains for this. We have to double power almost 6 times in order to hit the 95 dB peaks with the above example. So 2,4,8,16,32,64. So if the loudest you ever want to watch a movie is -10 MV, you only need 64 watts to the speaker. I'd be willing to bet that most speakers would be running fairly high distortion by this point. This makes things uncomfortably loud..not just because its loud, but because distortion, compression, and clipping are objectionable. A high efficiency speaker of 97 dB efficiency would achieve this SPL with only 6 watts, low distortion, clean, accurate. More listenable at the same volume. Most folks who switch to high efficiency speakers find that they can easily increase their listening level by 5dB or more, and listen more comfortably than they could with standard retail speakers.
Anyways, just some food for thought. And if your interested, the above math can easily be applied to your specific situation to see if the speakers you are interested in are capable of clean playback at your desired levels.
My speakers are rated at 88 dB efficiency and 250 watts RMS. Well, my 105 watt receiver has them hitting distortion levels too high for my tastes before 95 dB. It's no wonder its not comfortable to try to let an action movie rip at -10 MV...I'm already exceeding the clean output capabilities of my system.
My solution isn't for everyone, or probably even for many, but the only way for me to get the clean, accurate, uncompressed playback, excellent sound quality with stellar on and off axis performance, is to build my own. Sort of. Really just gluing together an expertly engineered design from DISYG.