11 responses Add your response
If you can get them cheap or free I’d get them ASAP and worry about the rest of the gear later. In the meantime I’d pull your 7Bs to the side and see how the 6Ts fair, as the smaller but newer model may still be preferred. I have a pair of 7Bs as well and I’d definitely compare them against the 6Ts first. Let us know how it works out.
Fortunately it is not a situation that requires me to get them in a hurry and will probably be a few months away at the earliest. Its one of those things that will either happen or not happen. Complicated but details not important.
But, I will definitely plug the 6Ts into the current system and see how they compare against the 7Bs.
Several weeks ago, a fellow audiophile friend and I spent about 3.5 hours in a shop doing some critical listening to several speakers I am considering for an upgrade for a 2 channel system. The 6T was one of them. First, we listened through a McIntosh MC275 tube amp (75 watts; probably more) and a MAC pre (can't remember model number). Then, we listened through a MAC MA5200 (100 watts; probably closer to 130). Source was an Oppo CD (can't remember model number). The 6T is a fantastic speaker! Sounded outstanding through both those amps! However, my friend and I both thought they sounded better, richer, fuller, more musical and less clinical through that MAC tube amp. They are still on my short list but only if I can get them as demos or a trade-in because $6,800.00 is above my set budget. Using them "mostly … for background and casual listening", in my opinion, would be very sad and a waste. These are outstanding speakers meant to be heard and enjoyed. If you love music and if you get these speakers I believe you will be doing a lot more than "casual listening" with them. They are an elegant looking slender speaker that, personally, I cannot imagine would run afoul of just about any room décor.
If I get them I’ll plug them into my current system and if they sound better than the 7Bs then they’ll stay with my main system. If not they will go in the living room if my wife will allow it. It is a formal traditional living room in a 100 year old house and it is pretty much her domain. They are piano black and while I agree that they are beautiful, they will look somewhat out of place in that room. And because they will be in that room and it is not my primary listening room then it is going to be mostly casual listening. It’s just the nature of the room.
If I keep the 6Ts in my listening room I know my wife will not want the 7Bs in the living room. (They are huge and monolithic). In that case I may put the 5Ts in the living room and sell the 7Bs.
Regardless of which speakers go in the living room, the integrated amp is going to need to be small and inconspicuous or she is not going to want it in there.
In a possible answer to my own question, a review of the 6Ts said they were very efficient and sounded good on 10, 22 and 300 watt amps.
This surprised me since the 7Bs that I own where said to be notably inefficient and needed serious horsepower behind them.
But if true, this is good news and opens up more options.
Going to look at the speakers and the system later this week.
Got a lotta time on my hands and reviewing old posts.
n80, have you pulled the trigger, yet, on your speaker quest?
I should have mentioned that the Aerial Acoustics, although relatively efficient, are a 4 ohm design. They sounded very nice with the MAC MA5200 but a lot better with that MAC stack I mentioned. That's because 4 ohm nominal load speakers, even relatively efficient ones, sound a heck of a lot better with more current. That's the juice these babies need. Current; not more watts, per se.
I think I gave an update in another thread but I did get the 6Ts. I was able to audition then with the Bryston 5 channel 140 watt amp they were originally paired with. Obviously they sounded amazing. But the Bryston required a pre-amp etc and that was simply a no-go for that room. And that’s not just a concession to my wife. I don’t want a big pile of audio gear in that room either. I also compared that set-up to an old 75 watt integrated and that too sounded quite good but it was also a massive chunk of equipment.
This will probably horrify the serious audiophiles here but I settled on the new Sonos Amp. 200 watts into 4 ohms. Class D. I was prepared to be disappointed but I was not. Quite pleasantly surprised in fact and compared well with the Bryston though obviously not the same.
This achieved a number of things: 1. The Sonos Amp is tiny. It sits under a side table on a little stand is essentially invisible from most positions in the room. 2. Nothing has to be switched on or activated. In other words, I don’t need to put my hands on it. 3. It integrates with the whole house Sonos system for absolute ease of use. 4. Because of that ease and integration my wife can and does use it. 5. We are now spending more time in that room listening to music. 6. It did not break the bank at around $700.
I do not have golden ears but I have a well matched high end system in my listening room and this setup compares favorably with it too. Very different of course but not so much of better vs worse. Just different.
With the Sonos’ "loudness’ feature these sound quite good even at low volume. Certain room compromises in terms of positioning were inevitable but they are well away from side walls and the sound stage is dead center and pleasing.
I know that many will scoff at a $700 amp driving $6000 4 ohm speakers. I would have been one of them if I had not tried it. Very happy with this arrangement.
I use a couple Sonos Amps, one in my Living Room and another in my three season porch. I too was surprised how well they performed in place of well regarded “audiophile” grade amplifiers. They integrate well with my main analog system in the basement via the tape outputs on the preamp which allows me to listen to vinyl in the above two room as well.