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Tower Speakers for ~$1100? (1 Viewer)

Evan:R

Agent
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
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25
I have found myself helping yet another person with their audio questions. This time instead of a dance studio, a friend of mine is interested in a pair of tower speakers for a stereo setup. With a budget of roughly $1000-1200 what would y'all suggest? Oh yes, aesthetics are very important for her. Think of it as a WAF, only she's the one that must approve them, hah!

She's quite partial to the NHT ST-4 for obvious aesthetic reasons. In researching them, I've heard about a 800 Hz peak in their response, and a metallic characteristic as well. Supposedly this can be remedied by facing the speakers straight forward with the grill off, or toed in with the grill on. My main concern with these speakers was the side firing 8" woofer. Will this pose the same problem that a Def Tech powered woofer would? From what I've read here, it seems like multiple bass sources will give you peaks/nulls and are very hard to setup correctly. They appear to have a low sensitivity, would an HK225 be enough to drive them?

I own a pair of Axiom towers, so of course my first suggestion was the M80ti's. A LOT of speaker for the money, but how does it stack up against the NHTs? While it's not quite as snazzy looking as the piano black finish, I really enjoy the look of my M50ti's with the grills off.

I also suggested the Rocket 550s. SVS and Axiom have made me a huge internet-direct fan, so the Rockets had to be included in the running as well. Though I have not heard nearly as much praise for the smaller 550 as I have for the 750.

Then there are the other regulars, Energy and Paradigm. From the Energy line, she is considering the Connoisseur C9s. What would be roughly equivalent from Paradigm? Any fans of the B&W 604 towers?? Any other suggestions out there?

Oh yes, she would be driving the speakers with an AV receiver, specifically the Harman Kardon 225. I know this is not the receiver forum, but maybe she would be better off selling that and getting an integrated amplifier. What do you think?

Edit: oh yes, I forgot to mention that we will definitely be auditioning speakers!! Either some time this weekend or next. I just want some opinions. After auditioning speakers on my own last summer, I ended up buying the Axioms due to this forum :).
 

AustinS

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 1, 2004
Messages
5
tweeter has a line called sapphire that i'm about to buy.
www()sapphireaudio()com

my wife thinks they are beautiful, they have a glass top that made her smile.

we are going for the st2's(msrp is 800ish, we got them to 700), but they also have st3's with a greater freq response(20-20k) and they go for about 1100(you might have to talk them down to it, but there is enough profit in them to make it neg)

they have a bright/crisp sound, but i like it, so listen carefully

just a thought
 

Chris Cash

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 4, 2003
Messages
67
Mirage OM9's. They are what i'm changing out to. They sound awsome. Hi-Fi-Buys has them for $1200 a pair.

~C.C.~
 

Andrew Pratt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 8, 1998
Messages
3,806
The above recomendations on speakers are all solid but to address you're question about the receiver yes IMO if stereo is her only use you'd be far better off with an integrated amp then the HK receiver...esp if she ends up with something like the NHTs that crave power. If it were me I'd be looking at the Totems, Rockets or Maggies as my first choice...also is she limited to towers or could a sub/sat system work as well for her?
 

Frank USP

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
4
Well, I'll help address some of those questions with my opinions. I would recommend trying to listen to some of those speakers back to back to get a feel for what they sound like, but here are my (not audiophile) opinions. The B&W 600 series left me very disappointed. I found them to be too warm and not really crisp in the high notes (but the 800 series in a quick listen sounded awesome, so it's nothing against B&W). I just got through breaking in some Axioms and brought them to my local Energy retailer to do a head to head controlled by the store (so I had no bias). They were in the same room (different cables) and in slightly different positions (about 2 feet apart). The winner hands down was the Energy series. While the Axioms did sound good, the Energys had a MUCH better soundstage and really did wonders with the music. The instruments were much more defined, as were the individual notes on the instruments. Also, the vocals were much more defined and you could really hear a difference in the quality of the vocals, they sounded much more lifelike.
 

Frank USP

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
4
I didn't mention receivers, but my two cents (again) would be based on budget. I was basically deciding between a Denon 3805 and the 5805. By time I walked out of the store I would up with a Rotel processor and amplifier. Why? When music was played through the same speakers on the Rotel the music exploded. The soundstage widened significantly, the clarity was like regular TV to HDTV, and the music simply sounded like it was there in your room vs behind some blanket. I know a preamp and amp set-up is more costly, but in my opinion, if you're willing to drop a couple of grand on some speakers, do yourself the favor and spend on the amp set-up (it even made my crappy Yamaha speakers sound good!!)
 

Scott_N

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
425
I think the Totem Arro is a great speaker in this price range. Pair it with a good integrated like an Arcam or Creek and she would have a very nice 2-channel system.
 

Shane Martin

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 1999
Messages
6,017
I bought the Phase Tech Velocity V12's after extensively auditioning various speakers:

I was able to negotiate 15% off since I bought 7 total speakers from him not including the sub so I ended up paying $850 a pair.

I've heard the various internet direct speakers and they trumped them all. Of those I preferred the Rockets but not over these. They do offer a 10 yr warranty and built compltely in the US. 100% US made. The "Maple" finish I got is not typical maple. It's a darker oak style "Sun Maple".


Here is a nice deal on a set of STF4's from Audio Advisor. They are awesome to deal with if she wants those.

If you get their magazine they are offering the Mirage OM7 or 9's I can't remember at a bargain price. They are nice too.

Also, don't assume the Rockets will pass WAF. They didn't pass mine.
 

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