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Are there any good ~$500 floor standers? - Page 3

post #31 of 63
PARADIGM is a great choice I believe there mid to high end Book shelves ar e around five anthe floors mught me 700-800.

Incredible. I own a PARADIGN subwoofer for my home theater.

http://www.paradigm.com/
post #32 of 63
nobody can help with my impedance question?

Quote:
So, i have an older onkyo receiver that outputs at 8ohms... and i understand using these speakers with this reciever can damage the reciever, does that mean that they WILL be damaged no matter what, or only if i am playing them at too high of volumes?
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiliman View Post
nobody can help with my impedance question?
The answer is no your receiver is not good enough. MMG's sensitivity, and impedance is too low. I am private messaging you for a better option.
post #34 of 63
Thread Starter 
UPDATE

Today I stopped in at Stereo Planet and listened to a bunch of various speakers.

First stop was the budget bookshelf array, aka my budget. I listened to the B&W DM303 first and liked their sound. They were "fuller" sounding than I thought they would be. Definitly not small sounding. Then the sales guy switched the reciever over to the Paradigm Focus (the last pair they have! oh no!) and oh wow! These things are crazy. I couldn't believe all this rich, deep sound that was coming out was JUST the bookshelves and there was no sub. The music enveloped me and just sounded right.

Next he switched to the lower set, which were a pair of B&W DM601's and Paradigm Titan Monitors. The DM601's impressed me, but they didn't sound as well rounded as the Focus'. When he switched to the Titan Monitors I was like , but not in a good way. The sound of these things were big, loud and in your face. It was almost like the music was coming out and assaulting my ears.

When the song ended, he asked me what I thought. I said the Titan Monitors were way more "in your face" than I liked, but the Focus' astounded me. He agreed, telling me that he didn't know what Paradigm was thinking with their new line. He told me that their pair of Focus' were the last they had and because of a small chip on the corner of one of the speakers, which he pointed out, that they would be $275. The little nick wasn't too bad so I was definitely interested. I then asked if I could listen to some stuff that was "way out of my budget." He said, "Oh, definitely. Let's go have some fun."

We walked into their main listening room that had a pair of B&W 800D's, a HTM1D center channel and two big Velodyne woofers. The first thing I thought was, "Dear God that center is gargantuan." It was. He played a different track off the CD I listened to before... and HOLY CRAP! I felt like I was at a concert. The sound was larger than life! And the BASS! I thought those woofers must be on, but he told me that the only speakers currently playing were the 800D's. This was bass like I'd never heard before (save for a movie theater), it was HUUUGE. I couldn't believe it was just the towers. I don't think I've actually been almost scared listening to music before. That was an experience. I asked what cost more, the 800Ds (at around $12,000 apparently) or all the really nice looking AV equipment on the wall (a processor, two amps, a CD player and some various other stuff). He said it was about the same. BTW, the processor and the amps were these huge, very tall, things with brushed metal fronts (which were curved back at the sides). The proc had a blue lcd screen on it and the amps had blue LEDs on the front. He said the proc was around $6000. Anyone know what they are?

Anyway, we walked around the place some more, looking at other various speakers. He said, "Those 800s are pretty nice, but let me show you my favorite speakers." We came to a setup of some rather unassuming maple boxes. They were the B&W CM7's. I listened and... he was right. These things just sounded so RIGHT. So transparent and yet so rich. The midrange was liquid and totally believable. They also had some truely impressive bass and again I couldn't believe there was no sub involved. Yes, I actually liked them more than the 800's tyrannosaurus-sized sound. "These are speakers I could live with the rest of my life" I thought. He switched over to the CM1 bookshelves and I immediately noticed a big difference. It was like someone had just taken out all those sweet sweet mids that the CM7 had. If I had $1800 on me, I would have bought those CM7s on the spot.

Lastly, I listened to a setup of Martin Logan Vistas, Stage center channel and B&W DM602s as surrounds with a 5.1 album. I think it was John Mayer. This was almost TOO good. It was so natural, so perfect in every way that I couldn't even think about the speakers anymore. The music just WAS. If only I liked John Mayer.

I asked if I could hook up my mp3 player (iAUDIO X5) to the Focus' and listen to some of my own stuff. After coming from those Martin Logans, the sound was noticeably smaller and less full and transparent but who cares. It's $275 vs. ... however much those MLs cost. A LOT more. Anyway, I listened to The Arcade Fire's "Intervention" of their new album, Neon Bible first. The big church organ in that song came through impressively and the kick drum hit with real authority, while everything remained clear and seperated. Next, to REALLY see what these things could do, I listened to "The Birth And Death Of The Day" by Explosions In The Sky. If you've heard this song... it was amazing. I then tried out some electronica with Mind.In.A.Box's "Change." Again I was impressed with the bass these things pumped out, while still being tight and clear.

So there you have it. I am pretty darn sold on the Paradigm Focus' now.
post #35 of 63
i've heard good things about those Paradigms. if you have a chance, try to visit one or two other hifi shops just to give a few things a listen.

i'm personally not a big fan of B&W. the 800D do sound nice, but i've found there's almost always something in the same price range of every B&W line which i like better... especially the 600 and 700 series.

if you can audition Wharfedale, Monitor Audio or Epos anywhere near you, i'd give those a listen. all have very good budget lines.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bundee1 View Post
Ive always wanted a used pair of JM Lab Chorus 710 speakers. They are the floorstanding version of the 706 speakers (...) the bass should be better than my standmounts because of the extra cabinet room.
When I bought my Opal 607s, I could have got the Opal 615s for practically the same price, but I went with the bookshelf models nevertheless - yes, the 615s produced more bass, but at the same time these sounded more mushy and a bit overblown to my ears. Imaging also seemed a tad better on the 607s. So I can only recommend to audition instead of automatically assuming the floorstanding models to be the better buy...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #37 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
i've heard good things about those Paradigms. if you have a chance, try to visit one or two other hifi shops just to give a few things a listen.

i'm personally not a big fan of B&W. the 800D do sound nice, but i've found there's almost always something in the same price range of every B&W line which i like better... especially the 600 and 700 series.

if you can audition Wharfedale, Monitor Audio or Epos anywhere near you, i'd give those a listen. all have very good budget lines.
Unfortunately, that place is the only hi-fi store where I live.

And yeah, the 800Ds impressed me with their HUGEness but honestly weren't as transparent or natural sounding as the CM7s I listened to later. Yes, I would rather have the $1,800 CMs in my room than the $12,000 800s. And the Martin Logans... if anything is more natural and perfect, let me know.
post #38 of 63
Thread Starter 
Okay. I did find another hi-fi place in my town.

I got to listen to the Energy C-200, 300 and 500, as well as the Athena AS-F1. To put it simply, I didn't like the Athena much. At first I was impressed with its bass and apparent clerity. However, as I listened more, it became clear that it was just really bright, and the bass was not very tight. When the music was switched over the C-200s, I thought "ah, much better." It was more relaxed in comparison, but it was far more natural and not fatiguing to listen to. Sounded richer as well.

Then I went into another room which had the C-300s (basically a floorstanding version of the C-200) and the C-500s. I began listening to the 300s and again liked their sound. It was a bit more reinforced in the low end compaired to the 200s, as it should be, and sounded very lively, but also very transparent. Then the song was switched to the C-500s. Oh MY! All of a sudden I was hearing things that weren't there before in the music. The midrange was much fuller and the music seemed to have real life and presence to it. When it was switched back to the 300s, it just didn't feel as real. It wasn't as alive. BTW the C-500 has an extra woofer for the mids which I guess explains the difference but I didn't expect it to be that drastic of an improvement.

I then got to listen to their top of the line stuff which consisted of a pair of Anthony Gallo Nucleus Reference 3.1 (weird looking things), and Mirage OMD-28s. The Gallos sounded HUGE for their small size and really impressed me. The Mirages sounded a bit more natural with a bit stronger bass, but the soundstage on those things is the crazy part. The speakers themselves seem to totally dissapear and it sounded like I was hearing things infront of and far behind the towers. Incredibly deep soundstage. I guess that's Mirage's crazy omniguide technology. They've got the upper frequency cone and the tweeter facing straight up and the soundwaves are bounced off these saucer shaped things.

Anywho, I really really liked the Energy C-500s, but they are $700. I think I could save up for them though, as I could see those lasting me a very long time.

Hmm, this is tough. Get a pair of bookshelves around $300 and save up for a good sub or just save up for some nice floorstanders like those C-500s? Argh.
post #39 of 63
I would decide on floorstanding vs bookshelf speakers based on the size of the room that you plan on using them in. You don't really need floor standers in a small room - it could actually sound pretty bad (i.e., bass boomy).
post #40 of 63
Thread Starter 
Ok, thread necromancy.

I've been listening to the new Paradigm Monitor 9s at my local hi-fi place and the more I do, the more I like the sound. They're pretty up-front, but are actually pretty natual sounding and really put you into the performance. I only wish they went a bit lower in the bass. Of course, these are out of my price range, so I'm also looking at the Monitor 7s (which use 5.5" woofers instead of 6.5" on the 9s) but they're all out right now so I haven't heard them.

Does anyone know how the older model Monitors sounded? Like the v.3s? I know they have bigger woofers and are front ported, so would they be bassier? I've seen some good prices online for older Monitor 9s so I was wondering.

I've also found some good deals online for some Energy speakers (the previous Connoisseur line) like the C-7 and C-9. How would those compare?

Also looking at the PSB Image T55 again, which looks nice.

My big factor here is whether I can get a REAL full sound from these without a woofer. Like I said the new Monitors don't quite go down as deep as I would like so if you've heard them maybe you know of some that do.
post #41 of 63
Thread Starter 
Ok. I'm trying to get the C-9s right now, they end today. IF I lose the auction, my next picks are the C-5 and PSB T55.

How do these compare? They're both on audiogon right now and the T55 is $100 more. Is it just better, or might it come down to more personal taste in the sound?

Please let me know if you've heard these!

edit: If I end up scoring cheaper used towers, I'm thinking about using the money I save and getting a good sub to fill out the extreme bottom end. I'm looking at the HSU STF-2 right now. Anything else worth looking at the in the $300 - $350 category?
post #42 of 63
Thread Starter 
Oh jeez. My hands are shaking. I WON the Energy C-9s!!! Winning bid of $584.

Finally, I'm getting new speakers. Thanks thread.

Oh, I also won a Denon PRA 1500 preamp ($180). It looks quite nice.

I'm looking for power amps to buy. I'm watching a Rotel RB-980BX, RB-981, and a Yamaha MX-630. What would be the one to go for?
post #43 of 63
I have not heard the Yamaha amp so I can't comment on that. But of the two Rotel amps, the RB-981 is the one to get. Many years ago when I was buying my main system, I was researching low cost but good sounding amps and auditioned several in the price range of the RB-981. I also read reviews of the 981 and they all said that it bettered the older rotel amps. As you can see from my signature, I have the RB-981 in my system. I've had it for 9 years now and no complaints about it at all.
post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Oh jeez. My hands are shaking. I WON the Energy C-9s!!! Winning bid of $584.

Finally, I'm getting new speakers. Thanks thread.

Oh, I also won a Denon PRA 1500 preamp ($180). It looks quite nice.

I'm looking for power amps to buy. I'm watching a Rotel RB-980BX, RB-981, and a Yamaha MX-630. What would be the one to go for?
Look for a used Denon POA-2800.
post #45 of 63
im still not sure why people spend almost as much on the pre-amp and amp as they do the speakers. I have Monitor audio RS-6s running off a $200 receiver (onkyo tx sr603x), still sounds freaking amazing even though i cant turn the volume up past 75 decibels without some distortion (which i almost NEVER do because then im pretty sure the neighbors can hear it loud and clear)
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