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Auditioning speakers in Toronto...expand my horizons please!


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#1 of 45 Drew_W

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Posted June 24 2004 - 05:47 PM

I want to upgrade my front soundstage (L/C/R). My budget is about $2000 but can probably be flexed somewhat if a purchase is worth the money ($ in Canadian). Criteria: must be bookshelves.

Possibilities I have already considered:

Paradigm Studio 40s ($1349) and CC470 ($675)

Dynaudio Audience 42 ($1150) and 42C ($725)
or Dynaudio Audience 52 ($1500) and 42C ($725)
or (really streching) Dynaudio Audience 52SE ($2000) and 42C ($725)

B&W DM602S3 ($900) and LCR60 ($525) or LCR600 ($750)

and I've also considered the following, but haven't had a chance to audition it (yet). These prices are for factory seconds, and I have no idea why A-stock of these cost so much...the comparable Paradigm models are priced at half the A-stock price (or at the B-stock price almost)

Energy Veritas 2.2i ($1400) and 2.0Ci ($600)

Also, Totem. At BBR. Not really too excited about that (the BBR part), and they aren't setup in a demo room...they're setup along the wall 15ft from the entranceway of the store. Nevertheless, 'm still considering them, even without a proper audition (BBR has some sort of return policy I think...).

Now, I want these speakers to last a long time, so I'd like suggestions of other speakers I should consider. I have to be able to audition them somewhere in Toronto. I've heard about Vienna Acoustics, Joseph Audio, etc etc, but in my wanderings around the city, I can't find any of these (and other dare I say "exotic", at least to me) brands.

I want to make the best informed decision possible, so any help in finding hidden jewels in Toronto (GTA, not necessarily Metro) would be much appreciated.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#2 of 45 Rick_Brown

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Posted June 25 2004 - 12:00 AM

KEF?

#3 of 45 kristopher p

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Posted June 25 2004 - 04:46 AM

PSB makes some pretty nice stuff. The bookshelves in the following link are a part of their stratus series which is some of their really nice stuff.

PSB Stratus BookShelve Speaker

#4 of 45 Ray Tsui

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Posted June 25 2004 - 06:25 AM

Yes, definitely consider the PSB's.

The Energy Veritas 2.2 are comparable to the Paradigm Reference Signature S2 monitors than the Studios. The Studio's won't hold up to the Veritas in overall midrange clarity. The Veritas represents the best the company knows how to make at any price, just like the Paradigm Signature which is also a no-holds barred product.

The B-stock is supposedly stuff they can't sell as new because of minor cosmetic flaws. Seems like a great price for a great speaker.

I'd definitely listen to some of the other Totem in a better environment. A completely different type of speaker, forward, but very transparent sounding otherwise, their presentation style may win you over.

#5 of 45 Lee Carbray

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Posted July 06 2004 - 01:52 AM

Hopefully I am not too late on this.

If you can make your way out to Oakville you can check out Oakville Audio . They cary B&W and Totem and others.

And since you would be in the area it would not hurt to walk over to The Audio Store.ca. Very friendly staff and a unique little shop. The web site does not do it justice.

Both are on Lakeshore. Exit the highway at Trafalgar and go south to Lakeshore. Take a right onto Lakeshore and go west a few blocks. Both shops are on the south side. Oakville audio in in the town square and a little hard to see from the road. The Audio Store is a few blocks down after the bridge, beside the TCBY/Subway.

Have fun.
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#6 of 45 PaulDA

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Posted July 06 2004 - 02:29 AM

You might want to consider the B&W CM2s w/accompanying centre, as well as Boston Acoustics VR-M60s with either the VR-MC or (save a few bucks like I did) the VRC. The Totems are also worth looking at.

Have fun.
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#7 of 45 Lee Distad

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Posted July 06 2004 - 02:58 AM

I just had a lengthy conversation with Vince Bruzzese when he was in our store yesterday (Holy Cow, am I a shameless namedropper, or what!?), so you'll have to forgive me if I seem a little stoked. What can I say, I'm a corporate ho.

Anyways, find a salesman who will let you listen to some Totems in a surround matrix. And then ponder the following:

Rainmaker $1200/pair.
MiteTC center $650.00

Pricing is retail for new. Given their dynamic range and point source imaging, they should be in contention.

I don't recall what AVR you have Drew, but quite frankly anything above the POS Quest 5.1 AVR that Future Shop sells for $149 will drive them quite nicely Posted Image

#8 of 45 AaronMg

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Posted July 06 2004 - 04:30 AM

Oakville audio is a good store with a friendly staff. I bought my B&W 601's and LCR600 from them.

I would also suggest that you check out Fairview Hifi on the corner of Fairview St. and Brant St. in Burlington. They carry JMlabs, Paradigm, KEF and Martin Logan to name a few.

#9 of 45 Dave Simpson

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Posted July 06 2004 - 05:42 AM

Drew,

How about Monitor Audio Gold Reference 10? You may audition at Musonic on Kingston Raod, east of Morningside. Good service, and no hard sell here. You may also want to pay a visit to Audio Excellence at Bayview and Hwy 7. Great selection in a very comfortable store. Cheers.

DS.

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#10 of 45 paul clipsel

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Posted July 06 2004 - 05:54 AM

A good subwoofer with the Monitor Audio speakers is a good combo from my listening, although Paradigm is probably better value in Canada. The Dynaudios Audience range are an aquired taste and like any speaker need to be listened to so you can find your preference.

PC

#11 of 45 PaulT

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Posted July 06 2004 - 08:15 AM

Drew, I'm biased as I have the Paradigm 40v3 and 570CC.

If you do go for the 'digms, listen to the 470 and 570 and see if you can swing the extra couple of hundred for the 570. IMHO it is worth the price difference. Be aware the 570 is a very large CC.

Good luck listening and let us know what you went for.
BTW I paid 1050 for the 40v3 with Magneshield (in the spring before the price increase) and 900 for the 570 after the recent increase.
"One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work--supposing you're trying to find out how a cat works--you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you've got in your hands is a non-working cat." -- Douglas Adams

#12 of 45 Kevin. W

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Posted July 06 2004 - 03:49 PM

Drew I have to agree with PaulT in recommending the Paradigm Studio v3. When they first came out I picked up a 40/20/470 setup for $3100CDN($1400/1050/650) tax in. The dealer also threw in $240 worth of Premier audio stands for free. A couple of months later I replaced the 470 with the 570 for $800CDN +tx, selling my 470 for what I paid for it. If you can make your way down to Hamilton checkout EHR on Barton St. I can give you a contact at the store to see if he could swing a similar deal to what I got.

Kevin

#13 of 45 PaulKoss

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Posted July 06 2004 - 10:06 PM

Avoid downtown Toronto unless you are going to arrive in a Porsche. Otherwise consoder yourself lucky if they deign to acknowledge your presence. Did you say you wanted an at-home trial? Excuse me while I tell the boys in the back about this one...

#14 of 45 Scott Oliver

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Posted July 08 2004 - 04:45 AM

I would recommend you definately check out the Totem speaker line-up. Good stuff all around. The Dynaudio is also a good lineup to check out, but I think you will find yourself yearning for the 52SE, with its much better tweeter. The Dynaudio Audience series from my listening experience with them have been quite nice on most occassions, but the Audience line bugs me because the cabinet quality is poor compared to some other competitors at the same price level.

Another Canadian speaker company that I would recommend you checking out (Scott_N of MO would be proud) is Tetra. They have been making some nice stuff at pretty good price points for 10 years now. They do not have a dealer in Toronto, but they will do a 60 day in home listening session with your risk being only to pay return shipping for those cases where there is no a dealer within 100 miles.
The Manhattan 105s is what I would suggest you check out (uesd to be known as the Bullit).
http://www.audiophil...ware/bullit.htm

#15 of 45 Owen Bartley

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Posted July 08 2004 - 11:20 AM

Paul might be right, (especially concerning Bay Bloor)but one store to check out for sure if you haven't is Brack Home Entertainment (44 Wellington Street East). I've been in a few times and the salespeople have been pretty good to me, whether I was wearing a suit after work, or kicks and a T-shirt. They cary some nice stuff there.

Also I like Kromer Radio (420 Bathurst Street) because the salespeople will talk to you and let you audition stuff without pushing you. We spent about half an hour listening to everything, even checking out the plasmas and big screens before my friend bought a little pair of Boston Acoustic bookshelves.

The other store i've had good experiences with it Trutone Electronics (980 Dundas Street East) though I don't think they carry much really high end stuff.

I'd be very interested to know what other good hi-fi stores are in the area, compiling a list would be great. Maybe I'll run into some of you browsing one day! Posted Image

#16 of 45 Lee Carbray

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Posted July 09 2004 - 08:13 AM

A list is not a bad idea. I put a quick one together with the places mentioned in this thread and the shop I got my speakers at. It is definitely a work in progress so any format suggestion would be great. I figured the list would not be any more usefull then the phone book without some kind of comment or evaluation of the store so I have included a small statement about the place. I also started a list of places to avoid.

http://home.cogeco.c......ers List.xls



So let me know what you think, and send me more recomendations and evaluations.

Cheers
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer." Frank Zappa

Dealer listing for Toronto & Area

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#17 of 45 Kevin. W

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Posted July 09 2004 - 01:07 PM

Another one in the Burlington and Hamilton area is:

Hills TV and Audio
683 Plains Road
West of the Ikea Store
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
905-632-1110

They also have a location in Hamilton but I advise you stay away. The salesmen in that store are dumb as bricks. One time I went in to look at DVD players and was told that Panasonic was the best because its made in Japan. When I was looking for speakers, I asked them about Paradigm and they said they didn't carry that brand because its lower end. I've had better conversations with the salesman at the Burlington Store.

Kevin

#18 of 45 Larry Hoffman

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Posted July 09 2004 - 02:58 PM

Bracks is an excellent store and they have a location on Yonge St. in Thornhill as well. (a few blocks north of Steeles on the west side). Audio Excellence is equally as good. I've known the owner for years and recommend them highly. Another very good store is American Sound of Canada on Yonge St. just south of 16th Ave. It is just a few minutes north of the Bracks Thornhill store, also on the west side of Yonge St. One other is on Eglinton Ave. a few blocks east of Yonge on the north side. I'll probably remember the name the minute I finish this post, but right now it alludes me. It has been there for years and among other brands carrys the PSB line.

Larry

#19 of 45 Drew_W

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Posted July 09 2004 - 03:02 PM

That's Great Metropolitan Sound. Nothing there really.

The sales manager at the Brack Thornhill was a total ass to myself and my friend who came in there to listen to some stuff. He basically told us he had to be downtown in half an hour and that we didn't have time to listen to more than one system (but there was enough time, and this is the first time I've felt like I've been kicked out of an audio store because they're closing).

I guess he doesn't want my business.

I'll just keep dealing with the downtown location. MUCH nicer people.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#20 of 45 Owen Bartley

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Posted July 11 2004 - 07:34 AM

Actually I was just in Great Metropolitan on Saturday. Not a bad store, I was going to check out the PSB platinums, but had the GF with me so I just browsed and kept on walking. Its not a bad store, lots of PSB, KEF, Marantz, and NAD stuff.

Funny thing is I had an experience similar to Drew's but at Great Met. The first time I went to go in, (a month or 2 ago), it was about 5 minutes to closing and I thought I'd just pop in and take a look at what they had. The door was open, so I walked in, but before I got 2 steps the guy said "sorry, we're closed." Might have just been a long day, who knows.

Lee, I made some additions to your chart (Brack, Kromer, and Bay Bloor) can I email it to you, or would you rather get them another way?