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Planning ahead... Speakers

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have decided to go with Cary as my front end. CD-303 and CAD-300SEI integrated. I'm undecided on turntable system (w/ good phono stage, I don't know if it would be reasonable to pay $1500 for the matching Cary phono stage) or cables (I'd like to keep interconnects and speaker cables matched). I should probably get some kind of power conditioning unit. Any recommendations? The BP-3 with ugpraded capacitors and outlets that jude reviewed is tempting. *Actually, I'm a lot more concerned about protection from power spikes, so would a brickwall be better? And yes I'll give power cables a try.

These are the three speakers I'm quite fond of, but can't decide on.

Hales Revelation Three (lush)
Infinity Renaissance 80 (neutral)
Vandersteen 3A (easy on the ears)

I've only heard them through high powered solid state amps, so I'm wondering if the tubed 15watt amp will be enough. I'm worried that the planars of the Infinity might blow from distortion due to lack of power. But I don't listen at loud volumes, so that shouldn't be a problem. I'm leaning on the Vandersteen as the Infinities will probably be impossible to find, and would be quite expensive, and their sound is so forgiving yet maintaining detail.

Also, the problem is, where the hell to buy them??? Any known sellers in NYC/Boston would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 17
Ummm, Vandys. I have been looking at the 3A's and the 2CE Signatures. I'm not sure how the 3A's will do with a 15watt tube amp. They are 6 Ohms nominal and 87 db efficient but they are pretty big for a small space so I don't know. You can find dealers on the Vandersteen website.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yea, they're huge! Lol. Hrm, not exactly efficient are they? At least it's not 4 ohm...
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Cool! There's a Vandersteen dealer in the next town over. I'm going over tomorrow to get a quote in person.
post #5 of 17
A&M, don't you think it's better to match the amp to the speaker, rather than the other way around? Speakers will have a much more profound influence on the system than any other component.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know, but I love all three speakers! The Cary amp will be practical, used both for headphone and speakers, how cool is that? I'll eventually switch to separate pre-amp and biamped tubed monoblocks (perhaps higher powered Cary), but for now, I think this is will be a great system for me.
post #7 of 17
If I were spending that sort of money i'd want home demos on the full system together before I spent a penny (or cent in your case). Matching top Stereophile Class A components on paper can seem like a good idea but the reality can be a nightmare.

Rule #1 of buying HiFi. Demo the stuff before plonking down the cash!

Personally, I'm probably gonna be going for a serious Transport/DAC rig in the next few weeks and I'll be doing some realy hard listening to the kit before I part with any of my money.

Sound As Ever
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well I'll have the amp and source with cables prior to purchasing speakers. What I'll do is once I find the right dealers with good prices, I'll arrange an in home audition, or bring my equipment over for a full week in-store demo.

I've demoed them all before, but with solid state amps and mega expensive transport + dac sources (my front end is single component).
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh come on, no one's heard these speakers? Looks like I'll have to post at Audio Asylum.
post #10 of 17
I have heard the Hales Revelation Three, and the Vandersteen 3A. To be honest I would choose solid-state amplification for both of these speakers. Both are on the musical side, and will definitely benefit from the solid-state grip, especially in the bass department.
And, be careful with the placement of the Revelation Three. It can sound very boxy if placed incorrectly.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's why I love them so much. I guess I should probably get tubed preamp and solid state power amp for them.

Hrm, when I heard the Vandys, it was in a rather small room, I was surprised the bass wasn't muddy, must have been super good placement.
post #12 of 17
I've heard the Vandy 3's at four different dealers now. All were using SS amplification. Even though the demo rooms were all very different, and were using 3 different sources (1 was the same, cambridge SE500), using my CD's they sounded very similar at all places. That is, a nice smooth top-end, semi-lush midrange and very taut bass. From this overall experience it seems that the Vandy's are not very sensitive to room placement or that they have multiple good placement options depending upon the room. My next go round at the shops will try to explore the placement details better as this is important to me because of WAF . Sorry, I haven't heard the Hales or Infinity's.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well after a trip down to the local dealer to refresh my memory, I'm heavily favoring the Vandys anyway. The Hales is colorless when compared to the Vandys (I love the 3As tone), and the Infinities are impoissble to find not to mention expensive, but too power hungry. Vandys are power hungry as well, but I don't run the risk of blowing overly sensitive thin planars due to lack of power now do I?

I think I'll do an in home test with the Vandys using the Cary SEI (assuming I'll be set in that those were THE speakers for me), and if they're not powerful enough to drive them, I'll go audition solid states with tubed pre amps...
post #14 of 17
Not sure about the Infinity, but both the Hales and the Vandys are going to sound crippled out of a 300B amp. Cary rates them as 15watt, but in reality they're closer to 8 or 9. With low sensitivity and flailing impedance curves, your setup will sound good only if you want background music for a dinner party. My suggestion? Try one of the Soliloquy monitors (5.0 or 2a3), maybe Silverline SR17 or Proac 1sc. The latter two are more expensive; all sound really good out of a 300B.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I absolutely love the Vandersteen 3A Signatures, chance of somebody talking me out of them is zero. I don't listen at loud volumes. The bass and dynamics might suffer, but that's not too important for me (midrange is top priority, then tone, then the rest). I have a good feeling the Cary will do just fine. If not, I'll biamp using solid states for the subwoofers. What's a 300B, tubes?
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