Best Bookshelf under 3k? - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 229 Old 08-21-2019, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RMW1982 View Post
I don’t think you’ll regret purchasing the S400s. There aren’t many other speakers at its size and in its price range that can match it. What color did you order?


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Black. The wood that was like $150 is really nice but id have to wait a month. I like the fact that they supposedly have a huge soundstage and are detailed but not "in your face" detailed. I might order the special 40s too
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post #152 of 229 Old 08-21-2019, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
Black. The wood that was like $150 is really nice but id have to wait a month. I like the fact that they supposedly have a huge soundstage and are detailed but not "in your face" detailed. I might order the special 40s too


They are extremely easy to listen even when you pump the volume to abnormal listening volumes like I sometimes do. I’m still most impressed with the bottom end. I’ve heard ported bookshelf speakers that can go as low and play as loud, but it seems like that typically comes with boominess, port noise, etc...not the S400. It’s the first passive radiator speaker I have owned and it makes me wonder why it’s not more common.


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Stereo: Buchardt S400, Van Alstine Vision SET 400 & Transcendence 10RB, Schiit Bifrost.
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post #153 of 229 Old 08-23-2019, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow..so while im waiting for my S400s , i signed up for tidal masters ( i had been streaming via apple music, so basically MP3/ALAC?). Well holy crap, its a pretty big jump in clarity. My Elacs no longer sound veiled at all. If i had done this before i probably wouldnt have been so eager to upgrade!!! I can only imagine how the buchhardts will sound. So most of the songs im listening to are noted as "hifi" rather than masters, I think hifh is cd quality? Anyway Tidal premium like going from HD to 4k tv.
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post #154 of 229 Old 08-23-2019, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
Wow..so while im waiting for my S400s , i signed up for tidal masters ( i had been streaming via apple music, so basically MP3/ALAC?). Well holy crap, its a pretty big jump in clarity. My Elacs no longer sound veiled at all. If i had done this before i probably wouldnt have been so eager to upgrade!!! I can only imagine how the buchhardts will sound. So most of the songs im listening to are noted as "hifi" rather than masters, I think hifh is cd quality? Anyway Tidal premium like going from HD to 4k tv.
well done .. we learn something new every day

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post #155 of 229 Old 08-26-2019, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
Wow..so while im waiting for my S400s , i signed up for tidal masters ( i had been streaming via apple music, so basically MP3/ALAC?). Well holy crap, its a pretty big jump in clarity. My Elacs no longer sound veiled at all. If i had done this before i probably wouldnt have been so eager to upgrade!!! I can only imagine how the buchhardts will sound. So most of the songs im listening to are noted as "hifi" rather than masters, I think hifh is cd quality? Anyway Tidal premium like going from HD to 4k tv.
To take this even further, many say the sound of their music files sound even better then Tidal. The music source does make a difference! Interested in hearing your feedback of the S400.

What electronics are you running?
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post #156 of 229 Old 08-26-2019, 10:00 AM
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Blind testing reveals that with a good mp3 encoder like LAME, at a bitrate of between 200-300 kbps we start to lose the ability to discern the difference between the compressed audio and the original. The chances of guessing which track you're listening to becomes 50/50.
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post #157 of 229 Old 08-26-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Blind testing reveals that with a good mp3 encoder like LAME, at a bitrate of between 200-300 kbps we start to lose the ability to discern the difference between the compressed audio and the original. The chances of guessing which track you're listening to becomes 50/50.
50/50 would be the point of "can't tell" statistically , in case anybody wants to know actual fact..

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post #158 of 229 Old 08-31-2019, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the buchardts are very impressive. And it is true as they say, you want to keep turning it up louder and louder because it sounds good. It is very balanced and is revealing without being anywhere close to bright. And powering it with an entry level 2 chan receiver. May try a decent one and see if it makes further improvements
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post #159 of 229 Old 08-31-2019, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
Blind testing reveals that with a good mp3 encoder like LAME, at a bitrate of between 200-300 kbps we start to lose the ability to discern the difference between the compressed audio and the original. The chances of guessing which track you're listening to becomes 50/50.
it is a crystal clear difference. Sound is more 3d, spacious, lively
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post #160 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
Really interesting in the Salk and Totem - salks have to be custom built and thus a lead time right?
They do usually have a few for sale on their audiocircle
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post #161 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
it is a crystal clear difference. Sound is more 3d, spacious, lively
You're probably hearing the result of encodings done by different encoders, by different people, and/or the result of other processing effects to make it sound "better".

If using the same encoder, and only changing the bitrate, the point at which you start to have only a 50/50 chance of correctly determining (guessing) is somewhere around 250kbps.

With that said, I would like to try Tidal as they may have access to the best available recordings. That can certainly make a difference.

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post #162 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 04:05 PM
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How do RBH signature bookshelves stack up in this category?

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post #163 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbecue Tech Tips View Post
Here are my picks for the best below 3k currenty:

Elac Adante AS-61
Dynaudio special 40
Revel M106
Scansonic MB1
Kef R3

Removed the Ascend acoustic sierra 2 ex due to there being a Salk Silk pair on ebay which outperforms it.
While that may be true, I just wanted to point out that the Silk is over double the price of the Sierra 2EX, making the Sierra 2EX a good value.

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Are Salk Silks the best out of the bunch? I gotta check out these revels, ive seen that model pop up in a bunch of forums
This review:
seems to put the Scansonic MB1 on top as long as you're willing to add subs and tweak the system. If you just want to plop them down and have them sound the best he would choose the Salk Silk.

Honestly, every speaker on that list is really solid, along with your S400 it sounds like. At this point, it depends on the kind of person you are, if you're happy with your S400 and don't really care to have the absolute "best" speaker for you just enjoy them and don't worry about it. If you do want the absolute best then just start ordering more and have detailed comparisons and sell or send back the loser.
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post #164 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 05:53 PM
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No one talks about Scansonic on here. I'm not a fan of the small cabinet and woofer as that will reduce sensitivity and output. But, I think his analysis seems logical, so I've added them to the list (not just standmounts):

Under $2000
Buchardt S400
Ascend Sierra-2EX
Ascend Sierra Tower
Salk Sound BMR
KEF R3
Paradigm Premier 200B
Paradigm Premier 800F
Revel F36
Revel M106
Dynaudio Evoke 20
Ohm Walsh 1000
Spatial Audio M3
Tekton Impact Monitor
RBH Signature SV-61R
Klipsch RP-8000F
JBL Studio 590
Monitor Audio Gold 100
Monitor Audio Silver 300
HiVi Swans M803a
HiVi Swans M3
ELAC Adante AS-61
Focal Aria 906
Wharfedale LINTON Heritage

Under $3000
Scansonic MB-1
Klipsch Heresy III
Ascend Sierra Tower w/RAAL
Mistral BOW A-2
PMC twenty5.22
Dynaudio Special 40
Ohm Walsh 2000
JTR NOESIS 228HT
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post #165 of 229 Old 09-01-2019, 09:34 PM
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Special 40s? Are they also on the way? Given your description of the experience, I am surprised they aren't already there and broken in!

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #166 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 06:54 PM
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Special 40s? Are they also on the way? Given your description of the experience, I am surprised they aren't already there and broken in!
tempted but undecided. I would surely share my experience if I do...
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post #167 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMW1982 View Post
They are extremely easy to listen even when you pump the volume to abnormal listening volumes like I sometimes do. I’m still most impressed with the bottom end. I’ve heard ported bookshelf speakers that can go as low and play as loud, but it seems like that typically comes with boominess, port noise, etc...not the S400. It’s the first passive radiator speaker I have owned and it makes me wonder why it’s not more common.
Before seeing the above video, have you noticed the Sierra-2 sounding like 2 drivers or do they sound well-integrated? Which one sounds more like one sound source?

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post #168 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 07:42 PM
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Before seeing the above video, have you noticed the Sierra-2 sounding like 2 drivers or do they sound well-integrated? Which one sounds more like one sound source?
I have the Sierra 2EX, and they certainly don’t sound like two drivers to me. They blend and sound beautiful and cohesive, and are generally all-around incredible speakers that both sound great subjectively, and measure great objectively. Perhaps it depends on the room, but I can also say they work very well in the acoustically challenging room I bought them for (where most other tweeters sound harsh).

I will say that the Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers are definitely better than the 2EX (not surprising for $3000 vs the $1500/pair price of the Sierra 2EX) in every way, but the Sierra 2EX are still incredible, and clearly better than every other speaker I have (except the Sierra Towers) by a large margin in terms of sound quality. However, that may not be saying much because all I have to directly compare to is the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 (not even close to neutral, which I bought a while ago from in store listening experience — perhaps not a good way to buy speakers), relatively cheap Mackie MR824 studio monitors (very flat, but sound quality doesn’t even touch any of the Ascends), and a few others.

To OP: Is there any reason you need bookshelf speakers for this budget? Are you open to considering towers in the same budget?

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + Ascend Horizon (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2

Last edited by echopraxia; 09-02-2019 at 07:46 PM.
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post #169 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 07:53 PM
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P.S. I have a suspicion about that review video that I could only confirm by asking the creator to answer the question: Did he go into the listening tests blind?

If he has a preconception about of how the varying horizontal vs vertical dispersion patterns might affect woofer-tweeter integration, and the comparison was sighted, it’s reasonably likely that his expectation biased his perception, at least a bit: We all know how unreliable sighted comparisons are, especially if you have strong technical or other opinions going in about how you expect a speaker to sound.

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + Ascend Horizon (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2
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post #170 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
I have the Sierra 2EX, and they certainly don’t sound like two drivers to me. They blend and sound beautiful and cohesive, and are generally all-around incredible speakers that both sound great subjectively, and measure great objectively. Perhaps it depends on the room, but I can also say they work very well in the acoustically challenging room I bought them for (where most other tweeters sound harsh).

I will say that the Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers are definitely better than the 2EX (not surprising for $3000 vs the $1500/pair price of the Sierra 2EX) in every way, but the Sierra 2EX are still incredible, and clearly better than every other speaker I have (except the Sierra Towers) by a large margin in terms of sound quality. However, that may not be saying much because all I have to directly compare to is the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 (not even close to neutral, which I bought a while ago from in store listening experience — perhaps not a good way to buy speakers), relatively cheap Mackie MR824 studio monitors (very flat, but sound quality doesn’t even touch any of the Ascends), and a few others.

To OP: Is there any reason you need bookshelf speakers for this budget? Are you open to considering towers in the same budget?
Are you saying the ex2 bookshelfs are better than 702s2? Is the sierra tower much better than 702? When you say they are colored, do you mean there is added "sparkle" in high frequencies? Because 702s sound damn good to me in my small sample size. How do the sierra tower compare if you dont mind?
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post #171 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by papashango61 View Post
Are you saying the ex2 bookshelfs are better than 702s2? Is the sierra tower much better than 702? When you say they are colored, do you mean there is added "sparkle" in high frequencies? Because 702s sound damn good to me in my small sample size. How do the sierra tower compare if you dont mind?
Yes. The Ascend Sierra 2EX bookshelves have significantly better sound quality (but not bass extension) than my Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 towers that cost 3x the price, and when paired with a subwoofer are better in every way (except perhaps max SPL capability, which I haven’t tested).

When I say colored, I’m mostly just trying to be polite. Any coloration that can be achieved by EQ is pointless to pay for in hardware, and anything you can’t do in EQ (i.e. bad off axis response, resonances, etc.) indicate significant flaws in its performance as a speaker that I was simply blind to until I heard speakers that did not have those flaws.

And as to the Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers: They are in yet another league of sound quality that can achieve indescribably beautiful and realistic music renditions beyond anything the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2 are even capable of, except for the most limited set of music that the 702’s like (which the Ascends still do better).

The Ascends (the 2EX or the towers) are significantly better in every way than the 702 S2, and I don’t just mean neutrality (I have very neutral Mackie studio monitors for example, but their sound quality can’t compete with the B&W even though their neutrality makes them better suited for some music). The realism, detail, transparency, etc. etc. (overall sound quality) is just so far beyond the B&W it’s shameful for B&W IMO due to the price they charge. And, the more I listen to either of them, the more I grow to love the Ascends even more and the B&W even less in comparison. For reference, I used to love those B&W’s, back when they were the best I had!

The only possible exception to the Ascend’s total dominance is bass quantity and extension (but not quality): The 702 S2 have more and larger bass drivers. IMO all speakers that aren’t flat to 20hz need subwoofers, but this is especially true of the Ascend’s (they were designed this way intentionally).

Without a subwoofer, there are still many songs that will sound better on the 702 S2 just because of their greater bass extension. With a subwoofer integrated well with both though, I have been able to find nothing that the B&W 702 S2 does better, with only a few technical exceptions where some manual equalization was required to fix a badly mastered song (where after EQ, the Ascends still sound better).

I have an EQ preset configured which makes my Ascends sound more like the 702 S2 if/when I want, and in the very rare case during my comparisons where I found a song that sounded better on the 702 S2’s, after turning on the equalizer for the Ascend, suddenly the Ascend’s easily beat the 702 S2’s on those songs too.

I could tell you all about it in as much depth as you want, as I’ve compared side by side in the same room with the same inputs swapped back and forth for hours, and it’s all pretty clear: The $1500 Ascend Sierra 2EX + subwoofer are a league beyond the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2, and the $3000 Ascend Sierra RAAL Towers are yet another significant step up (again, when paired with a sub).

In a way it feels bad to have wasted $4500 on the Bowers and Wilkins, but I didn’t know better at the time and was hesitant and suspicious to try the internet direct options. But my journey for subwoofers ironically lead me to Rythmik which outperformed brick and mortar store subs costing many times, which then lead me to give Ascend a shot.

I’m so glad I did. While it may feel bad to have wasted money in the B&W, it feels even better when listening to the Ascends. They’re truly amazing. I’ve bought the towers, the 2EX (for another room), and plan to buy more to complete a 5.1 setup with the towers.

I feel really spoiled to say this, but I can barely even listen to the B&W any more, in comparison they sound so much worse. And, I’m a little upset at how specialized the B&W are because it was dramatically limiting my range of music I listen to at home: they’re good for a subset of things (where the Ascend still beats them, to be clear), and worse are many others where the Ascends continue to blow me away.

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + Ascend Horizon (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2

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post #172 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by echopraxia View Post
P.S. I have a suspicion about that review video that I could only confirm by asking the creator to answer the uestion: Did he go into the listening tests blind?

If he has a preconception about of how the varying horizontal vs vertical dispersion patterns might affect woofer-tweeter integration, and the comparison was sighted, it’s reasonably likely that his expectation biased his perception, at least a bit: We all know how unreliable sighted comparisons are, especially if you have strong technical or other opinions going in about how you expect a speaker to sound.
I doubt that was the case here - I've experienced this effect and it's pretty obvious.

My question would be at what distance was he listening. Nearfield vs farfield.

HT: Samsung PN64H5000 (recommended settings) | NAD T758 V3 | Buchardt S400 (2) | Emotiva E2 (2) | Rythmik Audio F12 (2)
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post #173 of 229 Old 09-02-2019, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
I doubt that was the case here - I've experienced this effect and it's pretty obvious.

My question would be at what distance was he listening. Nearfield vs farfield.
If it’s pretty obvious, then it should be pretty easy to define a test I can perform to detect it. I’d be happy to run such an experiment with either myself or a blind listener. What would such an experiment look like / what should I test for, specifically?

I also have some Mackie MR824 near field monitors I can use as a “control”, which if nothing else should at least be quite different in the ways we’d be comparing here.

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + Ascend Horizon (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2

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post #174 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I demo'd the special 40s and contour 20s today..and evoke 30s. The special 40s had serious bass (serious!) and better soundstage depth/seperation than the s400s. Thats where they stand out, but they didnt strike me as clearcut "better" than the s400s. But I am also listening to them in different spaces, and just gave them about 15 min audition. The contours were definitely overall more impressive than the 40s, bigger soundstage, the mids and highs were more clear, detailed, and forward, but still felt very neutral. It did seem like they were the kind of speaker that wanted to be turned up and not played at low volumes. Now these (contour) I would have to cough up an EXTRA 3 Gs after returning buchardts for maybe a 30% improvement. 2k vs 5k....If something blows me away im willing to do something stupid with my wallet but the s400 seem so far like a great sweetspot at 2k. They also sound great playing all kinds of music, old rock songs, non audiophile stuff. They are easygoing, engaging, but also do well when you play delicate detailed music. The zeos review kind of nails it, these have "it" and it left the kef r3s looking boring and uninspiring. I feel like i would have to do a home demo before settling on the Contours and be really impressed int hat demo. But also at that price, i could get incredible floor standers. Speaking of floorstanders, i listened to the evok 30s last, which have smaller drivers and lesser twtter than the other two. I loved the bigger sound stage and full sound that floorstanders provide. I think I would like them if they were the only speakers I had heard. But they were clearly less detailed than the standmounts i heard, like they had a little veil over them. This leads me to a few options at this point:


A) keep buchhardts and enjoy them.

B) spend a disgusting amount of money and get the contour 20, or a possibly better competitor in the same form factor, 805d3 etc?

C) Get a floorstander like the Focal Aria 935 ($2600 refurbed), or Ascend Sierra Tower RAAL at 3k like the poster above is raving about

Last edited by Del Boca Vista; 09-03-2019 at 06:43 PM.
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post #175 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 06:56 PM
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^

D) Keep the Buchardt S400s and add a quality sub or two

I suggest Rythmik first, HSU second if you need to save a few $ (doesn't sound like that's a concern).

HT: Samsung PN64H5000 (recommended settings) | NAD T758 V3 | Buchardt S400 (2) | Emotiva E2 (2) | Rythmik Audio F12 (2)
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post #176 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulburner View Post
^

D) Keep the Buchardt S400s and add a quality sub or two

I suggest Rythmik first, HSU second if you need to save a few $ (doesn't sound like that's a concern).
x2...
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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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post #177 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista View Post
I demo'd the special 40s and contour 20s today..and evoke 30s. The special 40s had serious bass (serious!) and better soundstage depth/seperation than the s400s. Thats where they stand out, but they didnt strike me as clearcut "better" than the s400s. But I am also listening to them in different spaces, and just gave them about 15 min audition. The contours were definitely overall more impressive than the 40s, bigger soundstage, the mids and highs were more clear, detailed, and forward, but still felt very neutral. It did seem like they were the kind of speaker that wanted to be turned up and not played at low volumes. Now these (contour) I would have to cough up an EXTRA 3 Gs after returning buchardts for maybe a 30% improvement. 2k vs 5k....If something blows me away im willing to do something stupid with my wallet but the s400 seem so far like a great sweetspot at 2k. They also sound great playing all kinds of music, old rock songs, non audiophile stuff. They are easygoing, engaging, but also do well when you play delicate detailed music. The zeos review kind of nails it, these have "it" and it left the kef r3s looking boring and uninspiring. I feel like i would have to do a home demo before settling on the Contours and be really impressed int hat demo. But also at that price, i could get incredible floor standers. Speaking of floorstanders, i listened to the evok 30s last, which have smaller drivers and lesser twtter than the other two. I loved the bigger sound stage and full sound that floorstanders provide. I think I would like them if they were the only speakers I had heard. But they were clearly less detailed than the standmounts i heard, like they had a little veil over them. This leads me to a few options at this point:


A) keep buchhardts and enjoy them.

B) spend a disgusting amount of money and get the contour 20, or a possibly better competitor in the same form factor, 805d3 etc?

C) Get a floorstander like the Focal Aria 935 ($2600 refurbed), or Ascend Sierra Tower RAAL at 3k like the poster above is raving about

Advice from someone (me) that has owned A LOT of speakers and ended up spending lots of money buying and selling trying to find “end game” speakers...be sure you know what you’re trying to improve upon before trying to find something better than what you have. If you are happy with the Buchardts, liked them better than the R3s and almost as much as the much more expensive Dyns, why not just keep them and enjoy the music?



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Stereo: Buchardt S400, Van Alstine Vision SET 400 & Transcendence 10RB, Schiit Bifrost.
Home Theater: Ascend Sierra 2 EX for LRC, Sierra Luna’s for rear, HTM-200s for front and top Atmos. Dual PSA 15S subs. Denon X6400 with Parasound HCA-1500A driving mains.
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post #178 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RMW1982 View Post
Advice from someone (me) that has owned A LOT of speakers and ended up spending lots of money buying and selling trying to find “end game” speakers...be sure you know what you’re trying to improve upon before trying to find something better than what you have. If you are happy with the Buchardts, liked them better than the R3s and almost as much as the much more expensive Dyns, why not just keep them and enjoy the music?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Excellent point as are the last few suggestions. One thing I did like about the floorstanders was taller soundstage. Even though i was getting less detail and transparency with the Evokes, the I felt it more viscerally, which is an appeal of floor standers
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post #179 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 09:23 PM
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I also agree with the subwoofer idea: If there’s nothing you’re particularly displeased about with your current speakers (and you don’t currently have a subwoofer), the best “return on investment” for your next upgrade will be adding the best subwoofer your budget affords (I also am a huge Rythmik fan, and I’ve heard a lot of other high end brands before I found Rythmik).

You would not believe the sound quality boost from a good subwoofer that extends very deep very cleanly. Even without an instrument playing deep notes, there’s so much environmental information in the low end of a recording, it’s a shame many audiophiles think it’s “good enough” or something to simply omit these frequencies.

But you would be surprised how many natural instruments reach extremely deep, too. Just this weekend, for example, I stumbled onto this album with some recent and incredibly well recorded orchestral music (https://tidal.com/track/116097844), and noticed my dual 18” Rythmik subwoofers would reach surprisingly high exclusion for some quick impulses from the bass drum hits. I measured it with my decibel meter and it would reach almost 100db (C weighted) while the rest of the music would be playing around 80db.

But just overall, the tactile feel and “bigness” and “vastness” you get from subwoofers is just incredible, and I wish everyone gets a chance some day to experience it. My Rythmik’s + Ascend towers together render this orchestral album with realism on a level I’ve never before heard from speakers (a lot of this is due to the recording of course: I don’t often listen to orchestral music on speakers, but I’ve been to orchestral performances in real life, and this album really stands out to me). Yet if I turn off the subwoofer, it’s so clear that so much is missing (but you wouldn’t know what you’re missing until you experience it).

P.S. While my review of the Ascend (and especially the towers) is definitely glowingly positive, I would say that from what I’ve read and from what I see in measurements, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Buchhardts are very competitive with the Ascend Sierra 2EX. My glowing reviews of the Ascends are in part so extreme because of how they sound in contrast to the Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2, which I’ve come to realize just aren’t nearly as good as they should be *for the price*. I wouldn’t be surprised if your Buchhardts also beat the B&W 702 S2 in the same way. I only wrote that big post about the 702 S2 because a fellow owner of them asked me my thoughts of them in more detail.

P.S. You mentioned Focal. Before you buy them, make sure you listen to them first, or have a return policy. Some people (myself included) find their beryllium dome tweeters to be hard on the ears. They’re detailed, but difficult for me to listen to, to my ears. Honestly I liked the B&W 702 S2 better if only for their less harsh tweeter (I compared side by side), and the B&W themselves are ear piercingly painful in comparison to the silky smooth (yet simultaneously more detailed and resolving) sound of the Ascend’s RAAL tweeter. I can’t compare to other beryllium dome tweeters, but I can just comment that Focal’s fatigue my ears very quickly.

Ascend Sierra Towers (RAAL) + Ascend Horizon (RAAL) + 2x Rythmik F18 | Ascend Sierra 2EX + JL Audio E112 | [Selling:] Bowers and Wilkins 702 S2

Last edited by echopraxia; 09-03-2019 at 09:39 PM.
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post #180 of 229 Old 09-03-2019, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for the link. I noticed some of the tracks are from Star Wars - I rate The Force Awakens very high as far as soundtracks go. This rendition is a bit different, but good.

HT: Samsung PN64H5000 (recommended settings) | NAD T758 V3 | Buchardt S400 (2) | Emotiva E2 (2) | Rythmik Audio F12 (2)
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