Best speaker brand for classical/orchestral?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Nick-N, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi,

    I've recently arrived in the US from the UK, and am looking to start off with a nice pair of stereo speakers for my mid-size living room.

    So many of the brands are different to the UK, that I really don't have a clue about the best performing brands here.

    My main purpose initially is to get good stereo sound for primarily classical/orchestral type music. This requires a very warm, rich sound. I listened to some speakers at Ultimate Electronics, and the KEF speakers sounded the best on orchestral music to me.

    I'm looking to spend roughly $500 on the pair - so can anyone recommend any good deals on speakers that are great for orchestral music?

    Thanks,
    Nick
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try ascend.com, their speakers are supposed to be awesome in the mids and highs, which are what you'll be hearing with your type of music.

    I'm planning on buying some myself soon, I figure with the 30 day money back policy there's nothing to lose.
     
  3. Nigel Hooper

    Nigel Hooper Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Monitor Audio....you'll feel right at home.
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Give the Boston Acoustics VRBs an audition. They are close to my VR-M60s and I especially like classical music through my speakers. Monitor Audio B4s are also pretty good, as well as the Paradigm Monitor 5s.

    Have fun and welcome to this side of the pond.
     
  5. Craig Chase

    Craig Chase Gear Guru
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Real Name:
    Craig
    Nick N ... If you visit AVS, and so a search for Sethwas (a frequent poster there) ... in his signature he has a LARGE list of various loudspeakers .... subwoofers, under $500 speakers ... etc... In each there are a list of the company's websites... WELL worth checking out for your research.
     
  6. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How about some Onix Ref's from av123.com
    I have the cheaper Rocket models but folks are raving about the refs for true music listening. Sorry don't think I am pushing you just another option to check out.
     
  7. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Acoustic Energy Evo One retails for $299 and it's a very good speaker for the money. You might try the used route and speakers from Triangle, Quad, Opera, JMLab, and Totem might be had. Good luck with whatever you buy.
     
  8. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jack,

    Holy smokes, those are some RADICAL-looking speakers!!!

    But the website seems to imply that this MMG is their entry level model at $550/pr. and not carried by local retailers, do I understand that correctly?

    And how do these speakers handle jazz, rock, and HT when used with a subwoofer?
     
  9. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies everyone [​IMG]

    I've looked into all the speakers mentioned, and at first I was pretty sold on the Ascends.

    But that was before someone mentioned the Magnepans! Thank you so much for pointing me to those, you've pretty much sold me on them!

    Can you recommend a good companion stereo amp for the MMGs for around $300-400? At the moment I want to get a Cambridge Azur 540A, which is what I used to have in the UK and I loved. It is a very warm sounding amp that was lovely for classical- will pairing it with speakers that do well with classical too make the sound *too* warm, or will they enhance each other?
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    The Azur should be fine. In your stated budget, the only other integrated that you can really look at is from NAD (unless you go used).
     
  11. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would also recommend checking out the MMGs. They are hard to compete with for the price.

    The price is a bit deceptive though as you need a lot of power to get them running properly. So the money you save on the speakers will have to be spent powering them. Recently AlanZ tested a pair of MMG's the link is here

    A buddy of mine has a pair of old maggies powered with a HK7000. They sound pretty amazing but you can tell they are craving more juice. AlanZ was running plenty of power for his review.

    If you go with the MMG's powering them for 300-400 bucks is going to be the trick. I would spend a lot of time demoing them with different amps/recievers if you can. As soon as you hear them you are going to be in love, they are awesome!

    Oh yeah, you'll need a room with enough space to work with them. This is the main reason why people don't buy these speakers. They need a lot of space, are hard to drive, and come with the worst WAF of any speaker!
     
  12. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What does WAF stand for?

    Good God Almighty, the HK7000's 100wpc was NOT enough?

    Thanks for the info, guess I'll just have to settle for the Paradigms or Ascends with my wimpy 90wpc Marantz.
     
  13. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "guess I'll just have to settle for the Paradigms or Ascends with my wimpy 90wpc Marantz."

    You'll be happy with either speaker, Eddie. Placement is so important with the Maggies while the Ascends will allow for less than perfect placement without a noticable compromise in performance. That's the best thing about my 340's. My wife requires that the speakers be in a less than ideal location (there is a massive home entertainment center between them) yet the resulting soundstage still meets my requirements for accurate sound reproduction. And your "wimpy" Marantz will drive them effortlessly.

    David
     
  14. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i'd recommend sticking with a conventional speaker.
     
  15. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Aaron, a couple of questions about the MMGs:

    Would the Cambridge Audio Azur 540A be powerful enough for them at 80 wpc at 4 ohms? (Though I've read that the Azurs perform beyond their power rating). Or would it be better to go for something like the H/K 3480, which has nearly double the power at 150 wpc at 4 ohms (and is also $50 cheaper)?

    And would you say my room, which is about 14' x 16', is big enough for them?
     
  16. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    wife Acceptance Factor. Spouse can be substatuted for Wife. (SAF). I t is a subjective measure of how much your wife will tolerate in the living/family room. Those of us with man-caves in the basement do not worry about this.
     
  17. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hmmm.. WAF may be a factor for me, I hadn't considered that. She doesn't "get" my audio obsession at all, so I doubt "But they sound the best!" is going to cut much ice if she thinks they're ugly. [​IMG]
     
  18. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Nick, I'm not familiar with the Cambridge Audio gear so maybe someone else could chime in.

    My buddies rig sounded fine off an HK7000 at 115wpc, it was enough. He did want to add more power though to get even more response with certain instruments. For example, to really reproduce the crack of the snare drum or get lots of volume he needed more juice. AlanZ was running 300watt monoblocks and said that was plenty (I would hope so!).

    For sure your room is big enough. Its more that you need room within the room to position them. You have to be able to get them away from everything else. But if you are flexible, no problem.

    I would really recommend you listen to them first of course. If you want the big soundstage of classical music that is really open and detailed you'll like the maggies. If you are into the dynamics and power of classical music you may want to look at other options. If I liked rock music I would not buy magnepans! If I liked violin then nothing much can touch them.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Nick-N

    Nick-N Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Aaron, that is helpful [​IMG]

    When you say I need room within the room, what sort of spacing will I need between the speakers and the walls/cupboards/TV etc? The way my room is set up, the TV is currently pretty near to the door. So I was thinking I'd need to have the speakers pretty close in to my TV tray. Do the maggies work best at larger or smaller separations?
     

Share This Page