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Knows Nothing of Speakers; Has $1500-$2000 to Spend on Them Anyway

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

This is true: I bought RS-1s because I couldn't afford a decent set of speakers. Grados, I thought, were the closest thing to matching them (in terms of raw musical energy). But now I have a bulge in my wallet that needs de-bulging. I'm looking for some kind of 2 channel set-up with a sound-signature similar to RS-1s', if such a thing even exists, for around $1500. 

 

Problem is: I don't know speakers. Don't know whether I want floor-standers or bookshelf units. Have no idea which brands to shy away from; which are worth looking into. And that's why, dear speaker-gods of Head-Fi, I humbly ask for your assistance. Any chance you might be willing to point me in some helpful direction?

 

Best regards,

Nick

post #2 of 10

Deciding between floorstanders and bookshelf speakers should mainly depend on the size of your room. You have to keep in mind though that generally small 2-way speakers will outperform large 3-way floorstanders in the same price range.

 

If you need both speakers and amplification, a great idea is to look into some active speakers. One of my favourites in your budget:

 

http://www.avihifi.co.uk/adm9.html

 

or something like this:

 

http://www.kh120.neumann.com/index.htm

 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the links. I should clarify a few things: I have all the necessary complimentary equipment. Power-amps, pre-amps, interconnects -- I've got 'em. So unless there's a sonic benefit to a fully-enclosed system, I'm not worried about shopping for plain-old speakers themselves.

 

Another side-note: my room is pretty small. Not small, exactly -- but there's lots of junk (boxes, camera equipment, and so on) lined along the walls to make it feel small. I don't know if that affects anything acoustically.

post #4 of 10

Some good choices

Paradigm (Studio 10s or 20's and sub) http://www.paradigm.com/index.php?option=com_mtree&task=listcats&cat_id=138&Itemid=2

Bowers and Wilkins (CM1's or CM5's and a sub) http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/CM_Series

Salk (Songbird and sub) http://www.salksound.com/songbird%20home.htm

 

The list goes on and on. Also try

http://www.audioholics.com/buying-guides/system-buying-guides/

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've heard that B&W speakers are a bit overrated in terms of sound-quality. Any truth to that rumor?

post #6 of 10

Best I've heard in that price range. Never read one bad review about them. I own these and have $10K floor standers and still enjoy these every bit as much.

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/harbeth3/3.html

 

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/harbeth_p3esr_loudspeaker/index.html

 

810harb.1.jpgHarbeth-HLP-3ES2-Loudspeaker-0.jpg

 

 

Speakersetup.jpg?t=1295823333

post #7 of 10
The Harbeths are very nice speakers.

If you can go with floorstanders, buy them. Also, always buy used if at all possible. Audiogon will have plenty of wonderful speakers.

My tastes run towards planars and dipoles - I love my Quads. They do well in smaller rooms, so take a look. You could find a nice used pair in your budget. If I had to do it all over, I might have bought just the HD-600 and ESL-63s, then check out of the audio world to enjoy great music.

Currently, I'm running my ProAc Response 2.5 clones in my modest apartment. You can DIY them nicely for $1,000, but used ones also turn up in your budget. Though not dipoles, the 2.5 images nicely and you'll be surprised at the bass that comes from a 6.5" woofer. Check the Stereophile review, I find it describes these speakers well. This is one of the best two-way box designs out there.

If DIY interests you, take a look at the Linkwitz Pluto. They're easier to build than most DIY speakers since they mostly use PVC piping. Anyone can build them with a minimum of tools or experience. They work in smaller spaces, too. In a couple of paychecks, I'm thinking about picking up the drivers (about $200) and ordering the rest of the parts. A pair would do nicely in my bedroom.
post #8 of 10

Fritz carbon 7's are in that price range and are nice. Only problem is you cant hear them in a store. I have never heard the Harbeths, but I have always heard good things about them.

         bjles

post #9 of 10

Those Harbeths are pretty solid, and if you like going the DIY route, Linkwitz Plutos that Uncle Erik suggested are a really good option. If you're willing to buy something used, I'd strongly suggest looking for some Mark & Daniel monitors from the Maximus range. Just incredible performance.

 

I don't know what the cost in US is to build a pair of Linkwitz Orions, but if it's within your budget, you should definitely consider them. Probably the last pair of speakers I would ever own (had I the budget or the DIY skills).

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Some good choices

Paradigm (Studio 10s or 20's and sub) http://www.paradigm.com/index.php?option=com_mtree&task=listcats&cat_id=138&Itemid=2

Bowers and Wilkins (CM1's or CM5's and a sub) http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/CM_Series

Salk (Songbird and sub) http://www.salksound.com/songbird%20home.htm

 

The list goes on and on. Also try

http://www.audioholics.com/buying-guides/system-buying-guides/

 

I would second Jerry's advice, especially as you're in the States. 

 

Audioholics is a great site full of bs-free information, mostly written by engineers who routinely take speakers apart as part of their review process.  Check out their speaker shootout reviews.

 

Furthermore, you will get insane value by researching internet-direct companies (Salk, Axiom, Ascend Acoustics, RBH Sound and others).  These guys really are craftsmen, with superb customer service and aftercare, Salk particularly.

 

Good luck!
 


 

 

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