Studio/100 v.2s --> High End Bookshelves

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by AlanZ, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    My studio/100s and 20s were great in my house, but now that I'm heading toward a smaller living space I want to go back to a monitor. I also feel the need to get something really nice to help offset the pain of having to live in an apartment again lol.

    Anyway, I want to look at offerings from Joseph Audio (I'm really excited about hearing these), Dynaudio, and Totem. I am currently powering my studios with four M200 monoblocks from Outlaw Audio. Additionally, I have an Outlaw 950 pre/pro and a Denon 2900. My question is this: Am I likely going to have to upgrade my electronics if I venture into the 2k monitor range? I'm about 80/20 HT to music, so this set up has worked great with the studios. I'm just wondering if I would need to consider going up into something like a Bryston, Simaudio, Classe, etc. to get the most out of these speakers.

    Anyone?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Standmounters will take up the same floorpsace as before, so I fail to see the distinction if you already have studio 100s. I am a fan of monitors when buying, but you already have floorstanders, and either way you need the space for stands? Am I missing part of the story...?

    I think your electronics will suffice to power them just fine, though you may want to explore auditioning stuff to see if you hear improvements.
     
  3. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Chris:
    Yeah, I guess I did forget to leave out part of my rationale.....the 100's sounded great when they were in a larger room....now that things are a little more congested, I could tell something wasn't right. So I spent some time last week messing with them, repositioning, recalibrating, toeing in, etc., but they just don't sound as good to me. I took my 20's from the rear , put them up on some stands I had sitting around, and let them rip. I actually preferred their sound to the 100's in this room.....the imaging and soundstage were back, and they did a good job of disappearing. I just think the 100's are too cramped up in here. On top of that, I've always noticed a difference between the sound of a good pair of monitors plus sub compared to a floorstander. I only went to the 100s to begin with because of the large open area that needed to be filled at my house. But if given the choice, I'll take a solid monitor with a sub over a floorstander just about every time. It's just a personal preference.

    I love my 20's, so naturally any upgrade would have be a noticeable step up in performance for it to be worth it. I'll definitely take a listen to the signature line, but I'm pretty sure those will be driven more easily than something from, say, Dynaudio. I just want to make sure my other gear will match well with some of these higher end speakers.

    On top of that, when the wife decided she could get a better deal with another man, that freed up a lot of my disposable income.....so I'll be damned if I'm not going to splurge a little and make some upgrades to one of my favorite hobbies [​IMG]
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    My concern was not skimping on the power, and you've got plenty of power most likely. I'm driving 4ohm dynaudio 52SE with a measly marantz 5300 receiver, and I'm worried about running out of steam. You should not have the same concern, but rather, if I were you I might get settled in, then perhaps bring in some other electronics for a trial and see how things change (if at all). The signatures are very nice, but they $$. FYI, I think the contour 1.3SE was discontinued, you might find demos cheap on those, they are incredible, though this was a while ago, so they also might be all gone.

    Anyway, your reasoning makes great sense, I would start auditioning I guess, and not quite worry about running out of power, but rather the quality of the power, etc.
     
  5. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Chris:
    The 52SE is one of the Dynaudios I was most interested in, actually. The Outlaw amps put out 300 wpc into 4ohms, but I keep hearing that the preamp is crucial to the quality of the sound. My 950 excels with HT; for music I usually run the analog outputs from the Denon 2900 through the 'bypass' on the 950. This seems to sound better than using the DAC's in the 950. But if adding a preamp strictly for two channel listening would make that much of a difference, I'd be interested in that route, too.
     
  6. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I have the exact opposite problem. I just moved my 60s into a larger room, and they are now somewhat lost. I was wishing I had the 100s about now.

    Have you thought about just stepping down to the 60s so you can retain the benefits of a floorstander?
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Yep, I sure have thought about going to something like the 60s. In fact, that's the main reason I'm considering the Joseph Audio RM22 in addition to the RM7 [​IMG] I think the 60's would be a better match for this room (with my SVS sub, that is) than the 100s, yep. I just think that I want to venture a step further toward the high end side of things and move beyond the Paradigm studios.

    I haven't been able to actually demo the speakers I've added to my short list, and it still may be that they won't be so far beyond the studios that I can justify the leap. I guess I'll see once I start auditioning. The studios are a great value, and they are tough to beat in that regard.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, if 60s would be a good match, then 40s will be a good match as well, unless you are looking for more extension from the mains. They don't have the extension of the 60s, but they will fill most rooms quite well.

    IMO, the Studios don't even come close to the Josephs. The Signatures are in the same class as the Josephs, but still not quite as clean to my ears.
     
  9. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    John:
    Going back and re-reading some of your posts about Joseph Audio is literally what got me excited about them to begin with. I've just emailed them to find a local dealer in Atlanta, so hopefully I can take a listen in the next month or two. Based on what you and the pros say about their line (and in particular their crossover design), I feel confident that they are going to be a significant upgrade over the studios. I don't anticipate a huge difference in HT (though I may be wrong), but I notice my 2-channel listening time has been increasing lately, and I'm hoping to take another step upward with that especially.

    Do you think the 20s will be a good choice for surrounds with the Josephs up front? I do have a limited collection of DVD-A and SACD, but multi-channel audio doesn't take up a significant proportion of my library as of yet....so I'd really only need them to be a good match for HT for the time being.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    A friend has KEF Refs up front and uses 20s as surrounds, and while I can hear the brighter character of the 20s, it doesn't detract from the system. I think the 20s will work fine. I was in the same boat for a while, using relatively bright Titans as surrounds with my soft dome mains, and it didn't bother me, even on MC DVD-A/SACD. When I upgraded to matching surrounds, there was an improvement in overall quality and even sound, but that was to be expected. With movies, the difference was very subtle.

    At first, when I upgraded my mains, it was hard to tell with movies if the difference was there as well. I bought these speakers (GR Research A/V-2s & 1s) for their musical character, but after a while of use, I started to notice that movies also benefitted from the added depth and detail, particularly in dialogue clarity.

    I have not heard the center Joseph yet, though I'm sure it sounds great too, if you go that route.
     
  11. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure about the center yet....I got rid of my studio/cc last year and I've not missed it one bit. Even in the larger room I was running a phantom center and letting my mains handle it. I really don't know why, but I honestly prefer HT without it.

    When I went from Monitor 5's, and then 11's up to the studio line, I was told by the dealer I probably wouldn't notice that much of a difference with HT.....well that turned out to be totally wrong, cause I noticed a huge difference, particularly with dialoge/voices. I'm glad that you noticed a difference with your most recent upgrade; that makes me feel encouraged about the one I'm going to make, too.

    Just out of curiosity, what source are you using for DVD-A/SACD and CD?
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'm using a Sony 222ES for SACD and my Denon 2200 for DVD-A (stereo only most of the time, once in a while I switch). Most of the time I listen in 2ch with the 222 also. [​IMG] Looking to move to a Denon 3910 later this year, at which point the 222 will probably switch to stereo only or move to another room. I run my mains off Marantz MA500 monoblocks.
     

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