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Best speakers for $500? - Page 4

post #46 of 77

The speaker has MUCH more to do with the quality of the sound than any amplifier of sufficient power ever could (amplifier distortion on any modern solid state amp is close enough to zero to be a non-issue). It makes zero sense to spend 2x the price of the speaker on amplifiers. Ever.  

 

 

 

Quote:
I personally think that if you wanna make the most out of a speaker, amplification should never be saved on

 

 

You can also get a LOT of amp for the dollar these days - either in vintage gear, or new. There is no reason to break the bank as a matter of course. Definitely get a good amp, but a good amp is not necessarily an expensive amp.  

post #47 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

The speaker has MUCH more to do with the quality of the sound than any amplifier of sufficient power ever could (amplifier distortion on any modern solid state amp is close enough to zero to be a non-issue). It makes zero sense to spend 2x the price of the speaker on amplifiers. Ever.  

 

 

 

 

 

You can also get a LOT of amp for the dollar these days - either in vintage gear, or new. There is no reason to break the bank as a matter of course. Definitely get a good amp, but a good amp is not necessarily an expensive amp.  

 

Of course, the speaker defines the sound. I agree with you and I will not argue anything since I suppose you are much more experienced. However, if you look at a lot of systems you will see that their amplification could be more expensive (maybe not 2x, but even that happens). 

This thing is bothering me big time to be honest. I spent hours searching for a suitable power amp for the B&W 685s (around 100 W/channel). Honestly 850 CHF (like 900 USD) is way way too much for a Rotel. If you have any suggestions, please. 

 

Oh, I just realized. To disprove your point that amps twice the price of the speaker is non-sense: take a look at MBL 101-X treme:

MBL Radialstrahler 101X-treme 1 pair - 250,000USD
MBL 9011 Power amplifiers 4 pc.
MBL 6010 Preamplifier
MBL 1611F D/A Converter
MBL 1621 CD-Transport

 

I know that in Europe the entire system costs, give or take, 700,000 EUR. That is equivalent to around 890,000 USD.

 

Ive read on American pages that the speakers "cost" around 250,000 usd.

 

So that means, everything (minus speakers) costs more than 2x the price of the speakers.

 

I had the opportunity to listen to the MBL 101 MKII  for about 30 mins, and I will tell you that they are easily the best speakers ive heard in my life EVER. They are RETARDED. Ive also know that the extrems take it to a whole new level.

post #48 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikiphile View Post

 

Of course, the speaker defines the sound. I agree with you and I will not argue anything since I suppose you are much more experienced. However, if you look at a lot of systems you will see that their amplification could be more expensive (maybe not 2x, but even that happens). 

This thing is bothering me big time to be honest. I spent hours searching for a suitable power amp for the B&W 685s (around 100 W/channel). Honestly 850 CHF (like 900 USD) is way way too much for a Rotel. If you have any suggestions, please. 

 

Oh, I just realized. To disprove your point that amps twice the price of the speaker is non-sense: take a look at MBL 101-X treme:

 

Just because there are people spending twice the amount of money on amplification, that doesn't mean that it's the best investment of your money in your budget range. There are a lot of people that buy $1000 DACs, too. Go over to AVS audio/video forum and talk to the home audio crowd. They'll pretty much tell you the same thing. The audio quality value for your money comes from investing more in speakers than amplification. 

 

There's no reason not to go with an integrated amp. They typically have pre-out/main in just in case you want to bypass the built in pre-amp. 

 

Are you sure that you need 100 watts/channel? The difference between 50 watts/channel and 100 watts//channel is only +3 db. Not as much as you might think. Just because the 685s are rated to 100 watts/channel, that doesn't mean that you have to (or will) run them that loud. 

post #49 of 77

The recommended amplification power for the 685 loudspeaker from B&W is 25w - 100w into 8Ω. 100w is not essential.

 

Destroysall.

post #50 of 77

I don't think I'd ever throw more than 40-50W through a pair of bookshelves. If I've got a room so big that I think I need that much noise to fill it, those are the wrong speakers. 

 

I've never really liked the B&W sound, so I cannot make a good recommendation except that the Sansui AU-999 (50W) should make them behave and up the clarity on B&W's overdamped mess. Usually run around $200 on the bay. It's "only" 50W, but it's a solid 50 (100 peak), and will fill all but the biggest rooms with speakers of that size and sensitivity. Bonus, it has a decent phonostage built in. 

 

Marantz 1060 would be similar but at 30W - should run you about $200. 

 

If you can find a Rotel 820 that would be another route - should be less than US $400 - very clean and BIG 30W. 

 

If you really feel like you need the power - A Mid 70s Luxman L-100 (100W) or L-309 (75W) - will blow you through the back wall. Should be under $400.

 

 

 

Don't feel like buying vintage/used? NAD 318 - 40W clean power. 

 

-

 

I don't doubt that people spend way more than 2x the price of their speakers - even 100K plus speakers, and every single one of them, I'd be likely to shrug my shoulders at and walk away from. Sonically, there is reason to do it. But then, people buy a lot of overpriced, useless crap in the hunt for their silver bullet... at least amps have the possibility to affect sound - better than some things. Still ridiculous. 


Edited by liamstrain - 11/16/12 at 9:34pm
post #51 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I don't think I'd ever throw more than 40-50W through a pair of bookshelves. If I've got a room so big that I think I need that much noise to fill it, those are the wrong speakers. 

 

I've never really liked the B&W sound, so I cannot make a good recommendation except that the Sansui AU-999 (50W) should make them behave and up the clarity on B&W's overdamped mess. Usually run around $200 on the bay. It's "only" 50W, but it's a solid 50 (100 peak), and will fill all but the biggest rooms with speakers of that size and sensitivity. Bonus, it has a decent phonostage built in. 

 

Marantz 1060 would be similar but at 30W - should run you about $200. 

 

If you can find a Rotel 820 that would be another route - should be less than US $400 - very clean and BIG 30W. 

 

If you really feel like you need the power - A Mid 70s Luxman L-100 (100W) or L-309 (75W) - will blow you through the back wall. Should be under $400.

 

 

 

Don't feel like buying vintage/used? NAD 318 - 40W clean power. 

 

-

 

I don't doubt that people spend way more than 2x the price of their speakers - even 100K plus speakers, and every single one of them, I'd be likely to shrug my shoulders at and walk away from. Sonically, there is reason to do it. But then, people buy a lot of overpriced, useless crap in the hunt for their silver bullet... at least amps have the possibility to affect sound - better than some things. Still ridiculous. 

 

Having grown up with vintage AR and JBL, im venturing into B&W is just by chance. My dad is a major B&W hater tongue.gif. One of the reasons I am considering them is that I would be able to hear them. It is hard to find some descent audio stores in Switzerland (have no idea why). I was also looking at the focal chorus (also could hear them). 


One of my college professors (a serious audiophile) recommended Proac Tablette bookshelves (vintage) but the problem with those is finding them for auditioning. The ProAc Tablette Anniversary (the new ones) are also quite expensive.

 

The problem with speakers (unlike with headphones) is that they will sound differently in different circumstances. It is impossible to base your decision on online reviews (especially for vintage) and opinions. One of the reasons why (apart from different amplification) is that they will sound differently depending on room size and acoustics. Even if you listen to them in the store in ideal conditions, chances are they won't sound like that at your place.

 

Thanks for the amp recommendations, im having a look now.

 

Mike

post #52 of 77

I would look for PSB or KEF speakers in the same class - you should be easily able to manage better sound for less money. 

 

And sorry - meant NAD 316(EE) for the current production integrated amp


Edited by liamstrain - 11/17/12 at 11:56am
post #53 of 77
Thread Starter 
Phono preamp for $100?
post #54 of 77

The Rega Fono Mini should be about $150, and NAD PP2i only slightly more than that. I'd recommend saving up for either of those.

 

Behringer makes a $20 phono pre-amp (PP400), but it's not really worth it, imo.

post #55 of 77
Thread Starter 
Will the better the phono preamp make a huge difference? Also, I have next to no clue in how to hook up anything. I'll be getting Music Hall Marimbas, A Rega RP1, and a Rega Fono Mini and I have a Yamaha RX-V420 receiver. Any ideas on how to guys?
post #56 of 77

Sounds like a sweet little set up to me, wolfetan44. 

post #57 of 77
Thread Starter 
Have you heard of the marimbas? I'm calling AudioHigh tomorrow to order!
post #58 of 77

I've never heard them in person, but have heard they are pretty good performers. 

post #59 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

I've never heard them in person, but have heard they are pretty good performers. 
Do you know if their passive or active?
post #60 of 77

They are passives (both passive crossover and un-powered). 

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