Speakers for musical enjoyment

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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #20 on: 18 Aug 2013, 06:46 pm »
I am only about 45 minutes from Buffalo, so I am considering using US Address again.  I used them when I ordered a couple of custom pool cues a few years back.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #21 on: 14 Oct 2013, 06:58 pm »
I keep searching, and have missed out on a few quick cheap deals, but have located a couple of interesting options I will try to hear this week.

LSA 0.5
ERA Design 4 (now the Peachtree D4)

Both around $300, and promising.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #22 on: 30 Oct 2013, 02:42 pm »
Found a set of Mission stand mounts I am interested in, way below my stated price.  We'll see how it works out.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #23 on: 30 Oct 2013, 04:13 pm »
I forgot to mention my OTHER speakers beside the Vandersteen 2CE Sig II that I like alot and get the most use. Magnepan MMG's are just great speakers for the money. The bass does not rock out, if you listen to party music and high volume. But if you like refinement and resolution, WOW they are great for the price. A good used pair could be found at your price. I would not get rid of mine, but would step up to the 1.7s if I could hide them from my wife...haha

I bought the Vandersteens and the Magnepans because I considered them to be the best budget hifi speakers around and they just surprise me...how good they are!


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #24 on: 10 Nov 2013, 03:16 pm »
A set of Maggies would be fun, but likely best suited to this room once the kids are in University.  I would not want to subject them to any surprise volume boosts by friends of theirs...

I found a set of B&W DM305 locally cheap.

I have decided that what I should do, is surf the local classifieds and pick up cheap speakers as they become available locally.  Part of the fun of this hobby is trying stuff out.

The 305's are in place now, running with the Pioneer VSX-1018.  As the 305's are a little laid back, they blend nicely with the slightly forward Pioneer.  I heard the 305's with a Celeste amp and Rega cd player in the former owners room.  It played well for entry level speakers.

We'll see what else pops up locally in my budget and I will play around with flipping affordable speakers along the way.


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #25 on: 13 Nov 2013, 05:33 pm »
I researched speakers for quite a number of years. I believe you will find the most honest reviews in "What Hi-FI" a british mag that is also online.
Go for the floorstanders for full range. After all they take up no more floor space than speakers on stands. With that I chose the Mordaunt-Short 914s
They were about $600/pr new and can be gound on ebay or Audiogon for a few hundred. Cabinet is vinyl covered although nicely done, in black, maple, cherry I think. It's a slightly laid back presentation, much like Spendors (also British but more expensive) and they received excellent reviews
in several places. Now I don't go just  by reviews. Take Vienna Acoustics, I heard them in the same audio store near Annapolis. Vastly more expensive, they sound terrible IMHO.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #26 on: 14 Nov 2013, 09:07 pm »
I enjoyed the B&W's, but found them too dark for my preference.  They sounded good in the sellers home, but his room was largely unfinished, and had hardwood.  My basement space has carpet.

I sold the B&W's, and am picking up a set of Paradigm Reference 20's tomorrow, with the Paradigm stands.

Should be a fun next chapter!

I know that floorstanders will often give a more full presentation, but the 20's have a good reputation, we will see.


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #27 on: 14 Nov 2013, 09:33 pm »
I had a set of Studio 20 v2's years ago (with the matching stands) and thought they were very nice, well built, and did everything well across the board. To sound their best they seemed to like a bit of juice.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #28 on: 16 Nov 2013, 01:51 pm »
Here is what the B&W DM305's looked like, floorstanding in the room.

Here are the Studio 20's (V2 by the way) in their rightful place.  My room is too big to allow the bass from these to fully load up, good bottom end considering 6 inch woofers in a 24x25x7 foot room. 

Overall, the 20's provide a nice window into the music, a much more satisfying presentation for me than the 305's did.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #29 on: 16 Nov 2013, 08:00 pm »
Do any woodwork? There are some great kits from Madisound. A friend of mine built some Fostex 126e's into the most basic ported box plan they have. He used 3/4 fancy plywood he had laying around, and some foam inside. They sounded very good after breaking in. Total cost under $200. If you got more $ you could really make something nice.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #30 on: 17 Nov 2013, 03:48 pm »
DIY can be a great way to get excellent sound at a price point, no doubt.

I have built DIY designs including the use of the WR126 and FR126 from Creative Sound Solutions in Canada.  I have also experimented with OB DIY designs, and built complete ground up 2 ways with a friend of mine (Vifa metal domes, Morel 6.5 woofers in a floor standing speaker).

For $400 including the stands, I could not come up with anything I wanted more, and the added bonus of instant gratification puts the 20's in a good position.

In time I have no doubt I will play around with DIY again, but for the moment these are keepers.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #31 on: 19 Aug 2014, 11:58 am »
I have moved to sell the 20's and am on the hunt again for something different.

It's a little odd, since the 20's did so much right and little wrong, but I want something with more soul.

I guess some folks like different wine, I like to try different speakers.

We will see what pops up for sale locally.  I will make it work with my Paradigm center channel and surrounds, as music trumps HT for me.


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #32 on: 19 Aug 2014, 01:52 pm »
Mark, I'll make another pitch for the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE:


They are very musical (and could replace your A/V front left/front right speakers).  I've successfully used them in both applications.  They have very high content value on the guts, not the "fat" shape or veneer.  While their site emphasizes vocals, they do it all (down to F3). 

(BTW the quote from Jeff M. on the above web page is mine for the original CBM-170s with the old mid/woofer.)


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #33 on: 19 Aug 2014, 03:23 pm »
Try a pair of Hsu's.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #34 on: 19 Aug 2014, 10:10 pm »
Appreciate the ideas guys.

I have to admit that I am going to invest more $ this time, and am moving beyond the $500 budget I was working with last year.

I have a line on some Totem Sttaf I need to get my ears on.  I recall my Totem Rokk's fondly, so I will be interested to see what one of the smaller Totem floor speakers can do. 


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #35 on: 19 Aug 2014, 10:31 pm »
If you don't mind a little DIY... DIY Sound Group offers this and other kits at very reasonable prices.

and the cabinet flatpack.


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #36 on: 19 Aug 2014, 10:51 pm »
Good advice, appreciate it.

I have only heard the OB7 speakers from GR.  I am betting the room did not help them, they sounded too tipped up for me there.  I have not heard the XLS, but I fear the rear port would hamper placement for me.

I will continue to wait for the moment, nothing compelling has come up yet to tempt me at, or even slightly above the budget.

I'll let the fund brew, and I check the local classifieds daily, so I am sure in the coming 6 months something will tempt me.

Of what is around, the original PSB Stratus Mini's are the most interesting for $400.

I would love to try on a set of those cheapie Pioneers, but none are available anywhere near the price's y'all are seeing in the US...

If I were not going the Magnepan or Vandersteen route, I would look at GR research or Salk. I think GR are less expensive, and I like the open baffle design. Sometimes you can find some used Snell E series for a nice price, very good speakers. I had the E-5 tower, and it was very, very good. The Snell, the Magnepan and the Vandersteen's sounded better than the Totems I auditioned.

Also the Monitor Audio silver series are very good. They are priced very well.


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #37 on: 20 Aug 2014, 09:43 pm »
Good deals for Boston Reflection series speakers - and new in the box - they are sold each

RS334 tower speakers - and they will have good bass

RS260 bookshelf speakers - the dimple dome tweeter is good


Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #38 on: 22 Aug 2014, 02:26 pm »
Pulled the trigger on the Totems.

Will start a thread elsewhere, since the $ value is over the target for this Circle, but thanks to all for the valid ideas and pointers.


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Re: Speakers for musical enjoyment
« Reply #39 on: 23 Aug 2014, 01:34 am »
Arros? Congrats! 

Dreamcatchers actually make a fantastic companion center + sides, even if the tweeter is different (metal vs silk dome).  What I use.  The center channel is particularly good - really excellent vocal clarity w/out the usual nasality  The dreamcatchers are a bit hi-fiy, but very good for surrounds if you like it directional.  There really good as bookshelves as well, so good I ended up taking em down and using in my bedroom & using cheap old Energy's for the side surrounds. 

Ebay has the whole set in matching mahogany :


$700 is a good price.  I think I paid a bit more.