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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have budgeted a maximum of $2000 (the lower the better
) for a pair of floor-standing speakers and a receiver/amplifier. I would rather invest in a higher fidelity amplifier than a receiver.


My primary purpose behind the purchase is to listen to music, not to build a home theater system. I heard a beautiful Vienna Acoustics Baby Beethoven setup driven by a McIntosh amp and would love to own the same but for the price
Would love suggestions for speakers and amps that can produce the same sound but within my budget.


Some speakers I have been mulling over

* Martin Logan Preface speakers

* Vienna Acoustics Schonberg

* Can I find similar sound in JBL, Polk, and other less expensive brands?


Amps - ???


Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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I personally find the Martin Logan and Vianna Acoustics to be quite different, although I'm not sure I've heard the ML Preface specifically.


My personal opinion is that the amp is going to make MUCH less of a difference in what you hear than the speakers will. I'd put the majority of my budget into the speakers.


Aperion have been said to sound similar to the VA's. They are an ID company that allow a risk free in home trial for 30 days, so you might want to check them out.


Salk Songtowers are also highly regarded for their detail and neutrality, but they are also an ID company. Perhaps you can find some owners in your area and go take a listen to either the Aperion or Salk, or both.


I don't think you'll get as good of sound out of $500 towers as you will $1500. Similar? Maybe, but definately not as good. The big thing you gain, IMO, in going to more expensive speakers is more detail and clarity. There are many other good choices in your price range, perhaps going out and listening to some more speakers would be the best thing at this point.
 

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I would suggest that you look for what is often called "Arcam on a budget" - Cambridge Audio 540R AVR. You can find 540R V2 online on clearout at half price ($400). This will give the best SQ at this price + allow you to pick whatever speakers you want without any concern about impedance and low efficiency issues.


For speakers, I would visit as many dealers as possible, bring along a couple of your favorite cds and listen, listen, listen.
 

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I bought a Denon 2309 for $599 and I am going to check out Axiom M80's at $1300. It's been said that they sound similar to Paradigm Studio 100's which cost more than double. I've heard and liked the Studio 60's which is the next lower in the Studio line. The Studio 60's were much more tham the M80's.


Axiom is another ID company that allows in home 30 day trial period.


edited to add: Check out this thread: http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubb...133#Post238133
 

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I'd say Swans 6.1 BCs, Emotiva RSP-2 preamp, and RPA-2 amp would be VERY tough to beat, and is just a couple hundred dollars above your $2k budget. Depending on the size of your room, you could probably even make due with a UPA-2 amplifier and come in a couple hundred under budget.
 

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Go to the Axiom site; in their Forum is an area where owners agree to let people come to their house for an audition. You should do it.


I agree with the earlier post, go out to high-end stores in your area and listen to a few options. We can give opinions, YOUR ears should make the choice.


Edit: The Denon is a nice receiver, but certainly doesn't fit the bill for what you were describing as your needs (wanting audiophile).


Re-edit: Oh yeah, I guess you would just use the Denon pre-outs.
 

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ebay polk lsi15 tower for 1k, lsi center for 500, and an emotiva amp 3x350w at 4ohm for 500.00. THAT SHOULD BE A PRETTY NICE SET UP AND WITHIN YOUR BUDGET IF YOU GOT A RECIEVER ALREADY.
 

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I haven't had the chance to audition any Vienna Acoustics so I don't know what it sounds like or compare to when it comes to ID speakers. Just be aware of the brands before you buy if you chose to go ID. For example, Axiom tend to be describe as foward and bright, while speakers like AV123 Rockets (another ID) are describe as more neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks a ton for all the input folks - a lot of food for thought for me.


"Filthy McNasty" - Cambridge Audio was an excellent suggestion (from what I read). They seem to have a new power amplifier Audio Azur 840A v2 [:sigh: cant post the URL yet] which seems to be very close to what I think I want. Might make me go a little over budget though I think... rick240 - I think I agree with your assessment here about an amp being a closer fit than a receiver for me.


Thanks for the speaker suggestions - I think I am going to test out the Salk, Aperion, VA, Axioms and the other suggestions. Based on the amp Im considering, Im guessing the new speaker budget is going to be ~$1500



Please keep the suggestions flowing in...
 

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If you like the Vienna's sound, check out a set of Haydn Grands. They are the bookshelf models in the Grand lineup. That would leave you enough money for a nice amp or 2-channel receiver like a HK 3490. The Schonbergs are $3k per pair.
 

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You can have pretty good luck buying used. I recently built ~$1,800 setup, which included used speakers and the CD player.
 

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Another opinion, I had a budget similar to yours (2k max) for speakers about a year ago and ended up going with the Axiom M80s. I'm happy with them and don't think you'll be disappointed. For the price, I didn't hear anything better....especially from B&M stores. They remind me of the B&W 703s (just my opinion....I'm sure people will disagree).


I also really liked the rocket 850's, which were around $1500 at the time. More forgiving in my opinion than the M80s.


Additionally, as an M80 owner, I don't understand frequent posts from those who say the m80 is too bright but always cite they have never actually heard the speaker. I don't find this to be true nor have I seen this mentioned in an actual professional review or actual joe-blow listener review. It seems to be a tall-tale of the ID speaker industry...ha.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonpoint /forum/post/0


Another opinion, I had a budget similar to yours (2k max) for speakers about a year ago and ended up going with the Axiom M80s. I'm happy with them and don't think you'll be disappointed. For the price, I didn't hear anything better....especially from B&M stores. They remind me of the B&W 703s (just my opinion....I'm sure people will disagree).

I also thought that they sounded similar to the 703 which I felt sounded a little better but not near enough to justify the price difference so I went with the M80s too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoB/335 /forum/post/15527964


hey rick240, who mentioned audiophile?

I guess $2000 for receiver and 2 speakers made me think that
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

yup - a wanting audiophile would be a good way to describe the situation.


Given the price and the rave reviews , Im half considering ordering the M80s and giving them a run before looking any further. Am currently looking for cheaper alternatives to the Cambridge Audio Azur 840A v2 amplifier - any suggestions there?
 

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So rick,


Just out of curiousity, what would you suggest?


"Edit: The Denon is a nice receiver, but certainly doesn't fit the bill for what you were describing as your needs (wanting audiophile)."


What receiver and speakers for $2000 would fit the bill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Does anyone have any opinions on the Paradigm Monitor 11? Especially in comparison to the Axiom M80s?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonpoint /forum/post/15525559


Another opinion, I had a budget similar to yours (2k max) for speakers about a year ago and ended up going with the Axiom M80s. I'm happy with them and don't think you'll be disappointed. For the price, I didn't hear anything better....especially from B&M stores. They remind me of the B&W 703s (just my opinion....I'm sure people will disagree).


I also really liked the rocket 850's, which were around $1500 at the time. More forgiving in my opinion than the M80s.


Additionally, as an M80 owner, I don't understand frequent posts from those who say the m80 is too bright but always cite they have never actually heard the speaker. I don't find this to be true nor have I seen this mentioned in an actual professional review or actual joe-blow listener review. It seems to be a tall-tale of the ID speaker industry...ha.

If you could, I'd love a more indepth review on how you find the speakers. Perhaps what your primary use for them is. I'm actually going with a 2k budget and if these can perform up to the level of B&M and do better than KEF, Polk Audio, Klipsch in that price range then I think I'll order a set.
 
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