Most impactful upgrade - L/R speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Most impactful upgrade - L/R speakers

I currently have KEF Q900 at this time and looking to upgrade this fall. I am looking for some suggestions on what would be a meaningful upgrade.

Current Setup - 5.2, Video/Music - 75%/25%
Yamaha AVR -> Monolith 200 wpc Amp powering L/R
2 x Monolith 12" Subs

Room - Large open living room which is open on 2 sides and large glass windows on the other 2 sides. Wood flooring. All in all it's pretty terrible from acoustics stand point but not much can be done to change it

Looking for
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K

Speakers under consideration at this time
- SVS Ultra Towers
- KEF R11
- Golden Ear Triton One.R

I may be able to demo GE Tritons at a local dealer but not sure if I'll able to live demo the KEFs.

Suggestions??

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Living Room - LG OLED 65" | Yamaha 2060 | Monolith 3x200 | KEF Q900 L/R | Paradigm Millenia 20 CC | Polk Surrounds | Monolith 12" Subs x 2
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I currently have KEF Q900 at this time and looking to upgrade this fall. I am looking for some suggestions on what would be a meaningful upgrade.

Current Setup - 5.2, Video/Music - 75%/25%
Yamaha AVR -> Monolith 200 wpc Amp powering L/R
2 x Monolith 12" Subs

Room - Large open living room which is open on 2 sides and large glass windows on the other 2 sides. Wood flooring. All in all it's pretty terrible from acoustics stand point but not much can be done to change it

Looking for
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K

Speakers under consideration at this time
- SVS Ultra Towers
- KEF R11
- Golden Ear Triton One.R

I may be able to demo GE Tritons at a local dealer but not sure if I'll able to live demo the KEFs.

Suggestions??
For $75 dollars in "risk" you can have these in your home for 60 days.

That is their flat return shipping fee on towers.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_265F20...ano-Black.html

Their measurements are nigh on perfect.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...nts&Itemid=153

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I currently have KEF Q900 at this time and looking to upgrade this fall. I am looking for some suggestions on what would be a meaningful upgrade.

Current Setup - 5.2, Video/Music - 75%/25%
Yamaha AVR -> Monolith 200 wpc Amp powering L/R
2 x Monolith 12" Subs

Room - Large open living room which is open on 2 sides and large glass windows on the other 2 sides. Wood flooring. All in all it's pretty terrible from acoustics stand point but not much can be done to change it

Looking for
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K

Speakers under consideration at this time
- SVS Ultra Towers
- KEF R11
- Golden Ear Triton One.R

I may be able to demo GE Tritons at a local dealer but not sure if I'll able to live demo the KEFs.

Suggestions??
Klipsch Forte III, Cornwall III. Don't write them off as being bright. Read or watch some reviews. Like the above poster said you can demo them in your own home (the only way to tell) for a quite reasonable return shipping charge.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K

Speakers under consideration at this time
- SVS Ultra Towers
- KEF R11
- Golden Ear Triton One.R

I may be able to demo GE Tritons at a local dealer but not sure if I'll able to live demo the KEFs.

Suggestions??
BTW, you can compare to the measurements of the KEF R11 and Golden Ears here.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140

Geoff A. J., California
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 02:52 PM
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Check out Revel, Wharfedale Reva, Dynaudio

Also contact Salk and see if they have people in St Louis who can demo their speakers
http://www.salksound.com/home.php
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-15-2019, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Looking for
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K
Suggestions??
I'd give something with a RAAL tweeter a spin.

Ascend Sierra 2EX if looking for bookshelves, or the Sierra Tower w/RAAL upgrade:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages.../spkrlist.html
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-16-2019, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I currently have KEF Q900 at this time and looking to upgrade this fall. I am looking for some suggestions on what would be a meaningful upgrade.

Current Setup - 5.2, Video/Music - 75%/25%
Yamaha AVR -> Monolith 200 wpc Amp powering L/R
2 x Monolith 12" Subs

Room - Large open living room which is open on 2 sides and large glass windows on the other 2 sides. Wood flooring. All in all it's pretty terrible from acoustics stand point but not much can be done to change it

Looking for
- Wide sound stage
- Decent looking
- Gloss/piano black finish to fit into rest of the system
- Neutral to Warm sound
- Budget 5-6K

Speakers under consideration at this time
- SVS Ultra Towers
- KEF R11
- Golden Ear Triton One.R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I'd give something with a RAAL tweeter a spin.

Ascend Sierra 2EX if looking for bookshelves, or the Sierra Tower w/RAAL upgrade:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages.../spkrlist.html
+1. Sierra Tower w/RAAL for under $3k.

Also, take a look at the JBL L100 Classic. Maybe the best sound for $4k...or more.

Revel M126Be comes in gloss black, but I doubt it keeps up with the JBLs. https://www.crutchfield.com/S-UBiGK2...oss-Black.html

I'm not sure if your other speakers under consideration are really much of an upgrade.

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Last edited by Soulburner; 08-16-2019 at 12:03 AM.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-16-2019, 01:14 PM
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-16-2019, 02:11 PM
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Revel Concert2 f36 would be a significant upgrade, the concerta3 ever more R11 are really nice as well

imo SVS ultra is a step down from Revel concerta2/performa3 or KEF R series

Speakers: KEF Q100, Q300, Q750, Q650C / Fluance Signature Series, SX6, XL5F/ Mirage M-190 / DCM TP160S-CH Subwoofers: Outlaw Ultra X12 (x2) / BIC H100-II
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-16-2019, 10:34 PM
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I'm in STL too and wish I could help you out. Yeah, the independent stores in this area have greatly dried up. Think I know where you could demo the Golden Ears, but beyond that, not many options. For grins and giggles, if you want to hear a full JBL Studio 5 series setup let me know. Not exactly in your price range, but maybe save a few bucks as they offer a wide sound stage. And, I would consider them on the more neutral side of things and as far as decent looking, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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post #11 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Klipsch Forte III, Cornwall III. Don't write them off as being bright. Read or watch some reviews. Like the above poster said you can demo them in your own home (the only way to tell) for a quite reasonable return shipping charge.
I have read only good reviews of the Klipsch but I don't think they come in Gloss black finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
BTW, you can compare to the measurements of the KEF R11 and Golden Ears here.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Check out Revel, Wharfedale Reva, Dynaudio

Also contact Salk and see if they have people in St Louis who can demo their speakers
http://www.salksound.com/home.php
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I'd give something with a RAAL tweeter a spin.

Ascend Sierra 2EX if looking for bookshelves, or the Sierra Tower w/RAAL upgrade:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages.../spkrlist.html
I have personally never listened to RAAL tweeter although have read good reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
+1. Sierra Tower w/RAAL for under $3k.

Also, take a look at the JBL L100 Classic. Maybe the best sound for $4k...or more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEAQi_vPstg

Revel M126Be comes in gloss black, but I doubt it keeps up with the JBLs. https://www.crutchfield.com/S-UBiGK2...oss-Black.html

I'm not sure if your other speakers under consideration are really much of an upgrade.
Looking at floorstanders only

Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Revel Concert2 f36 would be a significant upgrade, the concerta3 ever more R11 are really nice as well

imo SVS ultra is a step down from Revel concerta2/performa3 or KEF R series
I was under impression that SVS hit way above their budget but I may be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ_JonnyV View Post
I'm in STL too and wish I could help you out. Yeah, the independent stores in this area have greatly dried up. Think I know where you could demo the Golden Ears, but beyond that, not many options. For grins and giggles, if you want to hear a full JBL Studio 5 series setup let me know. Not exactly in your price range, but maybe save a few bucks as they offer a wide sound stage. And, I would consider them on the more neutral side of things and as far as decent looking, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I know. SoundRoom has Paradigm range for demo. I am going to check them out before I pull the trigger but other than that its slim pickings. Thanks for the offer!

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Living Room - LG OLED 65" | Yamaha 2060 | Monolith 3x200 | KEF Q900 L/R | Paradigm Millenia 20 CC | Polk Surrounds | Monolith 12" Subs x 2
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for your input.

I am surprised to see no recommendation for Golden Ears. All professional reviews of Triton Reference and One.R are glowing but I surprisingly don't see much love love for them on the AVSForum.

My Build Thread
HT - Seymour Centerstage XD 2.39:1 133" W| JVC X790R | Denon AVR | QSC DPA 4.2 | ATI AT528NC | Procella P8/P5V | Revel C763L | Rythmik FV15HP x2
Living Room - LG OLED 65" | Yamaha 2060 | Monolith 3x200 | KEF Q900 L/R | Paradigm Millenia 20 CC | Polk Surrounds | Monolith 12" Subs x 2
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I have personally never listened to RAAL tweeter although have read good reviews.
You really ought to. For some of us, they can produce a "no going back to domes" moment. But some people just shrug.

Other flat tweeters like AMTs do come close though, if you prefer to get 90% of the performance for 25% of the price.

No substitute for hearing them for yourself.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I am surprised to see no recommendation for Golden Ears. All professional reviews of Triton Reference and One.R are glowing but I surprisingly don't see much love love for them on the AVSForum.
That's because many AVS members (myself included) have a strong preference towards miraculously high price-to-performance ratios, hence the popularity of Ascend, Chane, Emotiva, etc.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 08:56 AM
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Hi nonstopdoc1,

Go and listen to as many different speakers as you can. Search for showrooms within driving distance. Sound preference is so very personal, and can only be determined by each individual. Kind of why there are so many different speaker designs and builds. If we like flat response, then there would be a small handful of choices. Go demo every kind and type of speaker you can. One or two that get your attention will rise to the top.

I don't know if you have ever heard Panel Speakers before, but they can very very wide open sounding and unlike most box speakers. I know Best Buy might have some Martin Logan Electrostatics (ESL-X's) on display and demo. Give them a try while you are there.

Good luck and enjoy the journey. The process of discovery can be a rewarding process.

You probably already know this, but I recommend you take along some of your known and favorite recordings for the Demos. It can be quite revealing in comparison to Demo Speaker sets using the same music content.
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post
Hi nonstopdoc1,

Go and listen to as many different speakers as you can. Search for showrooms within driving distance. Sound preference is so very personal, and can only be determined by each individual. Kind of why there are so many different speaker designs and builds. If we like flat response, then there would be a small handful of choices. Go demo every kind and type of speaker you can. One or two that get your attention will rise to the top.
I'm all for listening to lots of speakers - that's part of the hobby. The problem with making purchasing decisions based on this, is that all of the rooms you visit will be different. On top of that, you don't have a way to get all of the speakers together in the same room and have someone else switch them.

I think sound is also a personal choice, but within a certain (narrow) range. Most people prefer uncolored sound, so once we spend time with several speakers, we tend to gravitate towards those that are more neutral to the source.

Further complicating matters is that speakers with more bass tend to be preferred over those that have less, even if they have major flaws in their midrange and treble. This makes it next to impossible to do comparisons, unless you can run them with your subwoofers enabled.

But all is not hopeless. Narrow down your choices to those that have good measurements available, showing mostly flat and smooth output on and off axis. The more deviations you see, the more colored the sound will be compared to the original recording.
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post #17 of 18 Old 08-18-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Thanks guys for your input.

I am surprised to see no recommendation for Golden Ears. All professional reviews of Triton Reference and One.R are glowing but I surprisingly don't see much love love for them on the AVSForum.
Limited distribution network, only so so reviews of their stand mount speakers, poor return policy as they indicate you can only return unused speakers which seems to imply no in home trials.

Maybe if you have a dealer nearby they'll let you take a pair of floor models home to test but I have a feeling that is not part of their weird business model either.

https://shop.goldenear.com/home/poli....0.1.1#Returns

Geoff A. J., California
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-19-2019, 10:44 AM
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I would add an area rug, curtains, whatever soft furnishings you can, along with Dirac before buying new speakers.
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