Recommendations for a standmount/monitor speaker (budget: $3-4k)

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konut

I own the SP Tech Minis and will never sell them. But if I were to do it all over again I would audition as many actives as possible and go with that, especially in the price range you are looking at.

mr_bill

dB,

I'm a fan of controlled directivity designs and as such my recommendations will side with those types of designs. In that vein, here are my recommendations:

JBL 708p/708i or their little brothers 508p/508i - you and the wife may not like the looks though.

ELAC Adante AC-61 (A good subjective review is here on this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2703993-elac-adante-ces-2017-a.html#post49658497). It's supposed to be out soon, is designed by Andrew Jones, and they look nice. I would look at these as a direct competitor to KEF in this price range (and I'm a fan of KEF too!).

If you find a decent woodworker or builder, AND if it passes your wife's inspection, you can try Linkwitz LX Mini, there are some prettier builds out there and the design does approach CD. However, you may not like the looks at all.

I've listened to various smaller stand mount speakers, all of them non-CD design including Fritz, Salk, Sonus Faber, Evoke, etc...and haven't been impressed. But the ones that impressed me are the Ryan Speakers R610 and various stand mount designs from Selah audio.

Best,
Anand.


For the life of me, I don't see a JBL 508p anywhere?

Armaegis

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For the life of me, I don't see a JBL 508p anywhere?

He probably meant the 308. However, there's also the 530 standmount, along with the 550/570/580 floorstanding models.

opnly bafld

"JBL 708p/708i or their little brothers 508p/508i"

705p/705i

http://www.jblpro.com/www/products/recording-broadcast/7-series#.WQ3r19IrJPY

fredgarvin

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The Fritz Carrera 7 you mentioned is a very good choice.  :thumb: I would want to hear the new Evoke Ruby as well. The Revel Performa3 M106 is another good candidate in your price range.

dB Cooper

A little hard to address the original question because who knows what will be around at the stipulated ~2020 time frame....

roscoe65

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A little hard to address the original question because who knows what will be around at the stipulated ~2020 time frame....

If it were my money, I would think about what is available new right now and then consider buying it second hand three years from now.

That being said, some things come to mind:

1.  A stand mount and a stand occupy the same floor space and height as a smaller floorstander, and would likely cost as much.  The difference is that a stand mount is smaller and lighter and more easily moved by one person.  That is becoming more important to me as I grow older.

2.  While powered monitors are a great integrated solution, I have had bas experiences in which one part of an integrated component fails and renders the rest unusable.  I am now firmly in the separates camp.

3.  There is a short list of stand-mount speakers that seem to work almost universally.  While I am a fan of high-efficiency speakers, Harbeth seems to be held in almost universal high regard.

Folsom

Directivity would be nice, but to get it from the midwoofer you'd need it to be 10-12", so it'd be once beefy stand mount. The tweeter you can get, like with the JBL. Personally I wouldn't be real worried about it since the midwoofer is what's going to actually allow the boundaries to change and there's nothing in that price range.

I haven't heard the Evoke Eddie, but maybe it's appealing? Seems like it would lean one step more towards clinical than musical, for those that like detail?

dburna

A little hard to address the original question because who knows what will be around at the stipulated ~2020 time frame....

Well, yes.......and no.  The timeframe may not allow specific suggestions that will be available in 2020-ish, but they definitely help me to keep certain companies on my radar that are targeting great sound in more modest living spaces.  Also, many of these models of today may be available for a song in the used market come 2020.  Also, depending on circumstances with aging parents and such, 2020 may get moved up a bit.  Hard to predict the future.

Thanks for all the suggestions, folks.  Keep 'em coming.  I've been very impressed by the breadth and creativity of the recommendations.  Will post some of my thoughts later.  I am somewhat logistically challenged today with lots of softball games and such, but I will get back to all these either later tonight or tomorrow.

Best regards,  -dB
« Last Edit: 7 May 2017, 10:26 pm by dburna »

dburna

http://omegaloudspeakers.com/superalnicomonit.html

Really interesting suggestion, Radar.  I might be even MORE tempted by these:  http://omegaloudspeakers.com/superalnicohigh1.html.

I think if I stay with passive monitors, it'll probably come down to either these, Fritz Carrera 7, or one of several Selah offerings.

-dB

JLM

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That's a beefy stand mount to be moving around.  OTOH any single driver speaker is an active speaker by default.

dburna

That's a beefy stand mount to be moving around.  OTOH any single driver speaker is an active speaker by default.

Well, not impossibly heavy (38 lbs.), though with stand you are right it would take a little work to move about.  I could probably put some Herbie's sliders underneath so I don't have to actually lift anything, just slide.  What I like about this solution is what I like about my current (Horning Perikles Ultimate) floorstanders -- high efficiency.  I have always gravitated to high efficiency designs.  They come alive at low volumes and low wattage.  They seem particularly good at microdetails for voice, piano, strings, etc. 

However, there are always trade-offs.  I had Omegas from many generations ago that I felt were somewhat rolled-off at both frequency extremes, and as such weren't the ultimate solution for me.  I'd have to investigate these further to be sure that the driver state-of-the-art has advanced sufficiently to suit my needs.  From a WAF standpoint (multiple wood finishes) and mostly from a size standpoint -- although these are visually "smaller" than my current floorstanders -- these are a strong contender.  And I certainly like the idea of two drivers (with no crossover) better than a single driver.  I need to explore more, but I've never met a single driver yet that can "do it all" well.

-dB

sunnydaze


1.  A stand mount and a stand occupy the same floor space and height as a smaller floorstander, and would likely cost as much.  The difference is that a stand mount is smaller and lighter and more easily moved by one person.  That is becoming more important to me as I grow older.

Not necessarily true.  Plenty of smallish / lightish 2 or 3 way floorstanders that are just as light and easily maneuverable as a monitor on a hefty stand.

2.  While powered monitors are a great integrated solution, I have had bas experiences in which one part of an integrated component fails and renders the rest unusable.  I am now firmly in the separates camp.

Not to mention that a powered monitor eliminates the fun (?) of tweaking and voicing the sound with amp changes.

My 2 cents.....

Look at:  JM Reynaud stand mounts (ie. Offrande) and small floorstanders,  Vienna Acoustic Concert Grand Series,  Silverline Sonatina,  DeVore Gibbons 88 (and even discontinued models).

Also, some of the new 2 driver systems that Omega is introducing are very interesting and worth looking into.

All are easy to drive (VA need moderate power), emminently musical, and within your budget bought used.


roscoe65

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Well, not impossibly heavy (38 lbs.), though with stand you are right it would take a little work to move about.  I could probably put some Herbie's sliders underneath so I don't have to actually lift anything, just slide.  What I like about this solution is what I like about my current (Horning Perikles Ultimate) floorstanders -- high efficiency.  I have always gravitated to high efficiency designs.  They come alive at low volumes and low wattage.  They seem particularly good at microdetails for voice, piano, strings, etc. 

However, there are always trade-offs.  I had Omegas from many generations ago that I felt were somewhat rolled-off at both frequency extremes, and as such weren't the ultimate solution for me.  I'd have to investigate these further to be sure that the driver state-of-the-art has advanced sufficiently to suit my needs.  From a WAF standpoint (multiple wood finishes) and mostly from a size standpoint -- although these are visually "smaller" than my current floorstanders -- these are a strong contender.  And I certainly like the idea of two drivers (with no crossover) better than a single driver.  I need to explore more, but I've never met a single driver yet that can "do it all" well.

-dB

It is indeed hard to find a single driver that can do it all.  From my experience trying to get satisfying bass out of a wide range driver is where we start to encounter compromises.  Omega tries to address this by adding a helper driver in their 1.5 way models.  This is the logical step for a speaker manufacturer.  Others use active bass to provide the low end.  The Salk Exotica 3 uses the Rhythmik F8 active bass module to fill in below the high efficiency midbass driver.  I use a similar arrangement:  I own a pair of Super Alnico Monitors and use a pair of Rhythmik F8's as stands/bass modules.  The bass modules can cross over as high as 200hz, which fills in nicely as an active "bass adder".  As a side benefit, I now have what is effectively a modular floorstander that I can move around myself, albeit with some difficulty (the Omega's weigh 28 lbs but the Rhythmik F8's weigh 68 pounds).

I also have the option of converting the Super Alnico Monitor to a HO model by adding a helper driver and inductor (per Louis as Omega).  The Omega drivers work in a lot of different cabinet volumes.  This is a much more manageable size than the stock HO monitor.

poseidonsvoice

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For the life of me, I don't see a JBL 508p anywhere?

My apologies...I meant 705i and 705p in addition to the 708i and 708p mentioned numerous times on this thread.

Best,
Anand.

JLM

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How about the Reference 3A MM DE CAPO BE monitor? 

Specifications:  40-40,000 Hz, 92 dB/w/m, 8 ohms, 150 watts maximum input, 15" x 11" x 13", 27 pounds

Features: no crossover (twitter is cap protected - therefore it essentially functions as an active speaker), sloped front baffle, hand built drivers (carbon fiber woofer, beryllium tweeter), unfortunately a dull grey finish

Reported attributes:  dynamic, good bass output, big soundstage, hearty/rich sounding, transparent/honest, refined/fast
« Last Edit: 7 May 2017, 11:06 am by JLM »

Russell Dawkins

Kef Active LS-50 (includes built in amps). Active speakers are better than passives, period. There are other choices if you don't like Kef.
There is an interesting comparison of the Vandersteen VLR with the LS-50s in the review cited in reply #1 above.

Note: the page is 57 or 114, depending on whether you view one or two pages at a time.

sunnydaze

How about the Reference 3A MM DE CAPO BE monitor? 

Specifications:  40-40,000 Hz, 92 dB/w/m, 8 ohms, 150 watts maximum input, 15" x 11" x 13", 27 pounds

Features: no crossover (twitter is cap protected), sloped front baffle, hand built drivers (carbon fiber woofer, beryllium tweeter), unfortunately a dull grey finish

Reported attributes:  dynamic, good bass output, big soundstage, hearty/rich sounding, transparent/honest, refined/fast

Owned an older version (not the BE), sold them.   IMO a bit lean, forward and shrill in the upper mids, even with sweet SET tube amps.

Loved by most, my opinion is in the minority.  But if you dig, you will find others that make the same comments about them.

poseidonsvoice

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How about the Reference 3A MM DE CAPO BE monitor? 

Specifications:  40-40,000 Hz, 92 dB/w/m, 8 ohms, 150 watts maximum input, 15" x 11" x 13", 27 pounds

Features: no crossover (twitter is cap protected), sloped front baffle, hand built drivers (carbon fiber woofer, beryllium tweeter), unfortunately a dull grey finish

Reported attributes:  dynamic, good bass output, big soundstage, hearty/rich sounding, transparent/honest, refined/fast

JLM,

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1150:nrc-measurements-reference-3a-mm-de-capo-be&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

http://www.stereophile.com/content/reference-mm-de-capo-i-loudspeaker-measurements#fct6CiFovPbWPe7b.97

Measurements don't lie. I wouldn't give that speaker a second of my time. Atrocious performance. I'm not surprised by sunnydaze's comments.

Best,
Anand.

Russell Dawkins

JLM,

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1150:nrc-measurements-reference-3a-mm-de-capo-be&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

http://www.stereophile.com/content/reference-mm-de-capo-i-loudspeaker-measurements#fct6CiFovPbWPe7b.97

Measurements don't lie. I wouldn't give that speaker a second of my time. Atrocious performance. I'm not surprised by sunnydaze's comments.

Best,
Anand.
The original version sounded to me the way those measurements suggest. One of the least accurate midrange tonalities I have heard in any speaker with any serious 'street cred'. One other 2 way speaker of that era where the bass/mid driver was directly connected—the Epos ES11—had the same iffy tonality to my ears. The Ref 3 A had massive bass capabilties for its size and could play loud, but the tonality was a bad joke. I'd like to think later versions were better, but I don't know.
It's quite a trick to get high performance bass and quality mids from the same driver without going active with quality DSP and AD/DA, it would seem.My father bought a pair back in the day, but the honeymoon was one evening long; they were returned the next day and exchanged for a pair of Clements RT7s. A little better but still wrong—but with amazing deep bass.