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Best floorstanding speaker in the 2-3K range


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#1 of 58 Yogi

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Posted August 13 2003 - 03:43 AM

I am looking for a speaker in the 2-3K range with the following attributes:

1) Warm laid back musical tone. Will be used solely for music.
2) About 90db/w/m sensitivity and nominal 6-8 ohm impedance.
3) Should be bi-ampable.
4) Should have good bass down to at least 40Hz (-3db point), because I don't plan on using a sub.

I plan on biamping these speakers with a Conrad-Johnson MV-55 tube amp and a Proceed Amp2 hooked to a Conrad-Johnson PV14L tube preamp. The source would be a tube CD player that I havent yet decided on.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
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#2 of 58 Doug_B

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Posted August 13 2003 - 04:04 AM

Quote:
Best floorstanding speaker in the 2-3K range
Quote:
1) Warm laid back musical tone. Will be used solely for music.


Your first attribute eliminates the best category, planars Posted Image .

On a serious note, I do have a concern about your first attribute, given all the tube-based equipment in the signal path. Just wondering if there might be too much "warmth" if you get speakers with a warm tone, although I am not familiar with the equipment you mention and have little experience in tube-based equipment. If you have the opportunity to fool around with this equipment (assuming you haven't already), and with some speakers, you'll be in a great position to get what works best for you.

Quote:
4) Should have good bass down to at least 40Hz (-3db point), because I don't plan on using a sub.

My little soapbox: a worthwhile desire, as long as the bass response in your room from the position that mains are located is satisfactory. I was glad that I heavily weighted my main speaker selection on mid and high response, because I found out afterwards that bass response in my room sucks in this respect (at the listening position), which is why I cross over to a sub and use an equalizer.

I'm not going to leave this reply without a suggestion, though Posted Image . Since they get little press on this forum (and elsewhere), you may want to audition the Monitor Audio Gold series. I think the GR20 floorstanders retail for $3K (at least when I looked almost 2 years ago). I think they meet your criteria, except they may not go as low as you like. They are a bit on the warm side (at least compared to paradigm, B&W) but still detailed. You can also try the GR60s, which probably go down a bit lower (using an extra driver, I believe). Don't recall the list price, but street price could be in or near your range.

Edit: For a tube CDP suggestion, the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 with upsampler board add-on. I have a review here.

Happy hunting.

Doug

#3 of 58 John Garcia

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Posted August 13 2003 - 04:45 AM

I think these will fit your requirements rather well, and even with all the potential upgrades, will be under your budget:

http://www.gr-resear...rformer/av3.htm

The only thing you will not have is bi-amp capability. -3dB @ 40Hz, very musical, 91dB sensitivity...

I have heard the AV1s, and I have the AV2s on the way for audition, I have not heard the AV3s. They use a soft dome tweeter, so they are quite warm and smooth. Absolutely some of the best midrange I have ever heard. The clarity and natural sound is stunning. Pay no mind to price, these things sound amazing. The owner recommends tube amps with all of his speakers. For info, write or call them, the owner is very good about responding and extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#4 of 58 Jason.Soko

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Posted August 13 2003 - 05:00 AM

Totem Acoustics. Forests are everything you are looking for, except with a senstivity of around 87
Cambridge Audio D500SE
SimAudio Moon I-5
Totem Acoustics Forest

#5 of 58 Michael R Price

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Posted August 13 2003 - 05:41 AM

Yogi, please give consideration to custom/DIY type speakers. (I'm thinking of GR's design with the Eton woofers and the ribbon tweeter...)

How loud do you want them to go? That's probably an important consideration. And it might also point you towards a 3-way design.

You know, if you have all tubed equipment with "warm" sounding distortion, then a speaker with an intentionally rolled off response might sound a little dull. I would personally be looking for something with a reasonably neutral tone, and low distortion/high output capability so it doesn't sound bright when pushed.

#6 of 58 Yogi

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Posted August 13 2003 - 05:45 AM

The reason I didn't specify planars is because they might pose a difficult load for the tube amp. Also planars have a very narrow sweet spot, IMHO (although I must admit it is very sweet).

Thank you Jason, I'll check out Totems.

Keep the suggestions coming guys.

Also guys I think you are right that with all the tube gear in the chain warm speakers might be a little too dull. So please also suggest speakers in the neutral category.



Regards,
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#7 of 58 Brian Bunge

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Posted August 13 2003 - 06:24 AM

John,

The great thing about the GR speakers is that it's very easy to get 2 sets of binding posts if that's what you want. I just have to drill a couple of extra holes! Posted Image
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#8 of 58 JamesCB

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Posted August 13 2003 - 06:24 AM

The perfect speaker for you to consider:

Phase Technology PC 9.1

Phase Tech manufactures a very, very natural sounding and musical speaker. Many people who have heard these will agree. Never harsh. Non fatiguing. 91db sensitivity. -3db at 32hz. Biampable.

Smoothest bass I have ever had from a floorstander. Very detailed sound in all aspects. Many who have heard my system say how uncanny it is that each instrument is seperate from the other.

I implore you to check out their web site: www.phasetech.com and see if there is a dealer near you. You WILL NOT be dissapointed. Especially since your requirements will be filled by these perfectly. Definitely put these on your list to audition.

Just a note: this is the company that INVENTED the soft dome tweeter along with a few other notable designs.

#9 of 58 Shane Martin

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Posted August 13 2003 - 07:00 AM

Suggestions:

Soliloquy any model. 5.3 , 6.3 or 6.5. The 6.5's list for $7k but you can get a 2nd hand pair for $3k from what I can tell on Audiogon. They are VERY tube friendly.

Or

Vienna Acoustics Mozarts - 90db 6 ohms.
http://www.sumikoaudio.net/Mozart.htm

or

Sonus Faber Grand Piano's. list is $3,299.
http://www.sumikoaud.../grandpiano.htm

#10 of 58 John Garcia

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:15 AM

I was very impressed with the Motzarts. Somewhat small for a floorstander, but the sound is definitely not small. Wonderful midrange.

I have not heard the Grand Piano's, but I have always been a fan of Sonus.

I would also recommend giving any of these guys a listen:

http://www.thielaudio.com/index.html

Quote:
The great thing about the GR speakers is that it's very easy to get 2 sets of binding posts if that's what you want. I just have to drill a couple of extra holes!

Hahaha, I was going to suggest that he talk to Danny or yourself about that, if it was a must have.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#11 of 58 Charles Gurganus

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:24 AM

http://www.proac-lou...om/proacstu.htm

I listened to the 125's with tube gear and they are freaking amazing for about $1700.
Charles

#12 of 58 Yogi

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:52 AM

I have Mozarts in my main HT setup but the thing is I want something thats bi-ampable so I can use Proceed to power the bass driver so I can get the rock hard bass that I so much like along with the magical mid and upper range from the MV-55. I dont think Sonus Fabers are bi-ampable either.

I have to try auditioning Theils, Proac and Phase tech speakers.
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#13 of 58 Lew Crippen

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Posted August 13 2003 - 09:14 AM

deleted as my recommendation has an impedence of 4 ohms.
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#14 of 58 Michael R Price

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Posted August 13 2003 - 09:17 AM

Diluceo! That's the name I was looking for (GR's ribbon MTM). It's a pretty small ribbon so the sweet spot wouldn't be *that* bad.

Or, Yogi, you could get Adire HE12's, and use only the tube amp. The midrange probably isn't so "refined" (it is a 12 inch PA woofer, after all :B), but I bet it would sound great anyway. Saurav likes them.

Biamp setup costs more but it lets you get away with (somewhat) low efficiency. I personally would prefer a single small amp and high efficiency speakers, but I'm stuck with 281s.

#15 of 58 Jason_Me

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Posted August 13 2003 - 11:15 AM

The VMPS RM2 would be a pretty good choice.

http://www.vmpseurope.com/e/p-rm.htm (scroll down to bottom)

neo ribbon mids and spiral ribbon tweeters (91 db), and a bi-ampable 12" woofer (22hz).
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#16 of 58 John Garcia

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Posted August 13 2003 - 12:04 PM

Diluceo is not a floorstander, and it's -3 is 55Hz. It is also 4 Ohms.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#17 of 58 Scott Oliver

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Posted August 13 2003 - 12:26 PM

I think the ProAc suggestion would be an excellent match with your system. Studio 125, D15 or Response 2.5 would all be very nice, not sure if 2.5 falls in budget range new however.

Another speaker possibility would be the Totem Forest, although personally I would favor ProAc over Totem. The Forest is known to like power however, whereas the ProAc's are very happy with tubes. Nevermind just noticed the Forest's were already mentioned

Another great choice would be the Living Voice Auditorium loudspeaker. This one mught be the most intriguing as I have never heard anything but the highest praise for their speakers.

Von-Schweikert VR-2's would be another good possibility.

And lastly I have to throw out the JM Reynaud range. His speakers are 4 ohm loads, but extremely easy to drive because the impedance stays very flat. Here is a quote on the Audiogon forum where someone asks for spakers with great depth layering abilities.
Quote:
Reynaud Trentes. I owned Maggie 1.6s for a few years and the Trentes are clearly better at revealing subtle audio cues in very fine gradations front to back, they go deeper with finer precision.

Oh and here is another juicy mini-comparison from the same owner.
Quote:
Well guys I thought about the Harbeths but saw a good deal on some Reynaud Trentes and replaced my 1.6s with them. I am very happy as they are quite a bit more detailed and have better tone. I do not even think about the box vs planar thing as these throw an amazing soundstage, quite a bit deeper than the Maggies and with finer placement of instruments etc. But where these really are better is in the midrange - the tones are beautiful and integrate with the bass and high end really well. The bass is very articulate and again the tone is great. The high end is extremely detailed and has a beautiful 'shimmer' to cymbols etc. I think the Listener review is right about the feeling there is a person in the room playing the music, you forget about the stereo - no kidding these are the real McCoys. I think the only areas where the Maggies beat the Reynauds are they play louder and the bass goes lower and they have a bigger image.


Anyhow, all of these speakers have plenty of online reviews and written word of mouth to research them before trying to find a place to hear them.

Good luck!

#18 of 58 Jason Brent

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Posted August 13 2003 - 01:51 PM

Also, check these out:

http://www.meadowlar....com/osprey.htm

They are supposed to be amazing speakers. They look good to. Sensitivity is only 88 dB/w/m, though.

#19 of 58 Jon_Welker

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Posted August 13 2003 - 02:49 PM

Everybody's throwing out these fancy speaker brands, so let me open up a can of worms with some good, old, NHT T5's. For $2500, you get some very detailed, neautral sounding speakers, which might fit well with your already warm equip. Also, you get 2 12" subs to boot, and separate hardware (amp/crossover) to run the subs. These work very well for music and you can adjust the sub action however you like (to fit your room, music, etc.). Heck, the M5's by themselves would fit your needs. Here's a link:

http://www.nhthifi.c....p?ProductID=44
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#20 of 58 Michael R Price

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Posted August 14 2003 - 12:18 AM

John, that is true; however, it is a custom built speaker so it should not be a problem to make it floorstanding and lower the bass cutoff. Additionally, Yogi will be bi-amping so the impedance and efficiency of the bass driver is less important. The ribbon tweeter is an 8 ohm resistive load and has 95db efficiency - perhaps the "padding down" in the crossover could be reduced so it would be even better for a tube amp. The designer did not publish the crossover design so I don't know if this is possible without changing the tone otherwise. (I'm also under the impression that it uses a serious tweeter, although a couple people think it sounded too dull, much to the disagreement of the designer who paid $300 apiece for them.)

Then there's always the option of saying "screw it" and buying Klipsch RF-7s. Posted Image (I haven't heard them -only a lower model - but I'm pretty confident that they are very good if you don't feed them distorted crap.)


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