Buy new equipment with the latest technology. Not the high end audiophile pieces on the market.
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Zav,I to am in the same situation as you(same sonic preferences /budget).I have for the past month been traveling to evaluate various speakers as a possible replacement for my Vandy 3A sigs.Here's what I've heard and my impressions.Pmc Eb1i(heard them twice,once were awesome ,second time shocked no bass maybe they were damaged).Newer Vandies with carbon tweeters (heard Quattro,Treo's,5's,7's.Much more detailed than mine but maybe too much so).Dynaudio Contour S5.4(very upfront detailed not bright though,not super low bass alot of boxiness in bass).Dynaudio Sapphire(beautiful appearence,smoother less forward than the S5.4 better bass too but still had a degree of bass boxiness).Some Audio Physic model which I didn't care for at all.Acoustic Zen Adagio( very nice smooth top and mids super imager limited bass extension.Wanted to hear the Crescendo not in stock this maybe my answer. JBL s3900,S4700(3900 had better/ lower bass than the 15" s4700,but was more upfront and rougher in the treble/ mids compared to the smoother S4700.Both lacked tradition horn colorations) Last model heard Tannoy Kensington.(wow very special.Smooth very coherent dual concentric design with excellent low bass extension.A quality piece of furniture as well.I liked these alot).My advice listen to as much as possible.Oh almost forgot,Heard Gershman Sonograms,Avant Guardes's.I liked these as well.(very smooth with excellent bass,reasonable prices and nice appearence).That's it for now,but I'm still out looking and listening.Best of luck to you in your search.
Harbeth SHL-5. It will work great with your integrated and has a full, big sound with well-balanced bass response. I also think the Totem Forest is worth looking at. The Totem Mani-2 is a very good speaker - a stand mount with excellent bass response, but it requires a LOT of power to realize its full potential.
This price point has a trove of wonderful alternatives. Without knowing what the rest of your system is, it is impossible to offer a meaningful reply.
System synergy matters .... Big time!
(1) Just because Brand X sounds good in one guy's system, it means zilch in expectation that it will sound good in the next guy's kit.
(2) Lofty price of new ad hoc gear components in isolation to a plan, is also no guarantee to meaningful or satisfying audio listening improvement.
Inserting by itself, a pair of $6K audiophile / " high-end" speakers still
driven by a $600 AV receiver and/or cheapo Home Depot zip cord subbing for speaker cables still won't lead one to much of an overall
listening improvement, much less closer to Oz
Regrettably w/o knowing those other system details, all you are going to
get here are just heavily biased personal and anecdotal opinions without any measure of likelihood in assistance to you.
"I rarely get imaging beyond my speakers, and I think it's highly dependent on the recording, if the lights are on, if I'm wearing my glasses and if I've had some wine/bourbon/scotch"
The electronics play a big part in that. Imaging beyond the speakers is not an easy trick to pull off. Every component has to be right, or it won't happen.
Have you listened to any of the more recent Revel models? Would seem a obvious choice to consider since you like your current ones. Or are you wanting to go in a different direction?
You said you've heard some speakers that were highly-regarded but "all detail." Do you recall which? I ask to get a sense of your boundaries relative to the Revels.
Interesting question as to what you can get now versus then for dollars spent. I have been looking a little for new speakers to replace my 15yo speakers which cost half as much as the F30s. Six grand will certainly not take you as close to the top these days in the relative sense. The ones I have heard in this price range are obvisously flawed in comparision to 10K plus speakers (of the same size) and are more "forgiving". I really like the Vandersteen Treos and Endeavor Audio E3. The E3 had flatter frequency balance while the Treos are better spatially.
I agree with Beewax. For instance I am another one very impressed with the engineering done by KEF on the LS50 as well as YG Acoustics on their entire range.
I used to own F30's in the early 2000's, and they are at the top of list of equipment I regret selling. Amazing performance for a reasonable list price of $3500 back in the day. Since I foolishly sold the F30's, it's been a revolving door of speakers in my system. Last fall, I finally tried the Studio 2 from Revel thinking it would be an "end game" speaker. The Studio 2 had the most amazing bass response I've ever experienced in my system but had a somewhat forward upper midrange/lower treble that gave the speaker an analytical quality that bothered me (and I didn't experience with the F30). Therefore, I did not keep the Studio 2 very long. One speaker that looks like a good value at $6K retail in today's market is the Paradigm Tribute, but I doubt it would play as deep as the F30. Another is Revel's own F208 for $5K.
The RBH SX-8300/R retails for just under $6K but can be had for less and should be considered seriously if you have the means to demo them. I came very close to buying them before deciding to go with the Revel F208's. I auditioned both speakers but unfortunately not at the same time. I guess what steered me away from RBH was that the bass was just a tad too boomy for my tastes but I'm guessing RBH owners would strongly disagree. Perhaps if I had a chance to demo both speakers in the same environment I might have felt differently. What also steered me away was that the matching center speaker in the same line was way out of my price range so I decided to go with the F208's & C208.
Im not in the market for speakers, but wonder what $6000 would buy these days. My priorities are full range and neutral to warm. No mini monitors for me. I like a good soundstage but am not obsessed by it. I rarely get imaging beyond my speakers, and I think it's highly dependent on the recording, if the lights are on, if I'm wearing my glasses and if I've had some wine/bourbon/scotch
My dislikes are hyper detail at the expense of tonality. I've heard too many highly regarded speakers that were all detail.
I happen to like my Revel F30's quite a bit but after 14 years of wining them, I'm curious.
Yes this sounds more like a system issue than a speaker issue. Try a different preamp would be my suggestion. Most of the attributes you mention are controlled by the preamp equation of your system.
Try to audition Teac ai-1000, 2000 or even 3000. They can be had on ebay for 40% off. They have parts found on much much more expensive receivers, and sound like it too.
I was really impressed with the pleasant hifi from Teac of all the makers - you wouldn't normally expect hifi from mass company like them, but this is exception.
Sometimes companies like Sony, Denon, Marantz can come up with affordable hifi gears that are good value...
Concerning speakers, you should really audition them your self - they are so personal and subjective...
I like JBL L-300, Paradigm Studio, Usher, etc. but I am into Opera and my speakers won't do for other type of music, and vice versa...
pardon my ego driven exuberence but here goes... having owned and heard all sorts of stereo gear over yrs i recently found myself in the realm of single driver full range hi eff. drivers powered by tiny tube amp. i posted a thread on this a mos. ago and now speakers are fully broken in. so, i have never heard anything so purely musical in all my life. from a simple oppo cd player and well recorded cd's the realness and presence of the music is stunning. i here vocals from my favorites being revealed so purely that i feel like i am hearing them for the first time. it is that good. research it a bit and have someone build cabinets, not horn loaded, for you. the cost is ridiculously small and tube rolling tiny tubes is cheap. i will never change the multi driver big amp culture that sprang up decades ago but i feel like i should at least give it a shot with my fellow audiophiles. btw, fostex in the cain and abbey is not really as good as you can find, sort of the budweiser in the world of full range drivers... imo. not to demean cain owners out there as they are still great speakers. get back to the music and not the hype, you do not need huge power supplies and thousand dollar cables and complex crossovers and internal speaker engineering to get realistic musical reproduction.
after 30 yrs chasing the demon i have found the answer...for myself anyway. i am now a firm believer in full range hi eff. single driver vented, not horn loaded, speakers powered by inespensive tiny set amps. with a good recording and a simple oppo cdp i get sound i never ever thought possible. it is an uphill battle to convince the masses of this simple cheap approach but i thought i might share this with fellow audiophiles. voices are so incredibally honest and real it is like hearing your favorite singers for the first time. for the $$$ you save you could buy hundreds of well recorded cds and quit trying to create some bs synergy thaat always leaves you doubting. i posted a thread a month back..maybe you might read it. with 6K you could quickly assemble the most misiacally honest reproduction system nearly equal to a live performance. and yes, it is THAT good! i am no newbie and live with a profesional pianist and attend many live events so i know live sound. true a symphony hall is never going to be recreated but man you are gonna be as close as you can get to a jazz club with ella or oscar in the room with you. you do not need 200 watt monoblecks, 1000$ cables and multi driver huge speakers with complex parts etc. it is all a marketing gimmick and thats why the industry does not promote this path. no profit in it for them. and yes i ride a recumbent bike which makes traditional diamond bike design look and feel midevil.
are you pokin fun at me? i am too dry to notice sometimes. but yes, actually i really think most of it is snake oil and it gets worse the higher up you go in this business. sure you could get incredible results for huge investments but 95% of us will never have that amount of dough and room to spend on a system to recreate a live performance. maybe i am a blasphemer for saying this on this site. luckily audiophiles are not a vengeful and violent breed.