Unless your room emphasizes bass, I don't think you are going to be happy with the speakers listed above for the kind of music you listen to. They are designed to be more neutral, which, IMO, does not lend itself well to home reproduction of rap and soul. Anyway that's my opinion.
You should check out the Klipsch RF7 or the Cerwin Vega speakers on Amazon, which I think are more suited to what you're doing. Also, look at Axiom speakers, available on the web direct. I think they're very nice and will work out better for you in the end.
Here is a list of speakers I researched here on the ’Gon 2nd which you can pick up around your price point..
Legacy Audio Focus HD asking $3350 -
(Excellent choice/bargain) Focal Mezzo Utopia $2850 -
(Punches above its weight) Vandersteen Model 3a Signature $2895 -
(Brilliant speakers) Living Voice OBX-R2 Ebony finish $3500 -
Harbeth 30.1 monitors $3395 -
I think the Focal Utopia, Vandys or Legacy Focus HD’s would be the best choice for your musical taste. If you’d mentioned classical or chamber music, I would have said the LV’s or Harbeths.
It sounds like the OP wants what sounds best at $3000 for others, then he'll decide among this short list developed using whatever factors he decides to use.
Trrevell, I have found that bang for buck is best with either used, or internet direct companies like your emotiva amp. An internet direct speaker company that floored me with its Sierra 2 model was Ascend Acoustics. This speaker simply does everything right with no weaknesses. The detail, accuracy and air is just splendid. The highs, with the Raal Ribbon tweeter, are never harsh but so real and detailed.
For you, I'd suggest looking into the floorstander model, the Sierra Tower, with the Raal Ribbon option. A 7 year warranty, 30 day in home trial, for 2800. Not sure about shipping though.
A factor you may want to consider in narrowing down the many possibilities that have been suggested is that I suspect the sonics of your amplifier are likely to be significantly better driving a speaker having a nominal impedance of 8 ohms (or more), compared to driving a nominally 4 ohm speaker.
The main reasons I say that are (a)the amp’s 4 ohm power rating is only 60% higher than its 8 ohm rating (240 watts vs. 150 watts), rather than the ideal which would be a doubling or close to it, and (b)its weight (which is often a useful indicator of power supply robustness) is only 31 pounds (light for a class AB two channel amplifier having such high power ratings).
Good luck. Regards,
The Zu line IMHO has a very distinct house sound that is more system dependent (or perhaps room dependent?) than most others. I've heard them sound great & terrible and everything in between.
The Zu guys seem so cool and there funky colorful designs are unique in many ways, but I'd tread carefully before buying. A demo with your own gear is even more recommended than it usually is. Cheers,
There's a pair of Joseph Audio RM25XLs for sale here a bit below your price target. I know you mentioned the SF Venere above, and having had them both in my system (Venere 2.5) I'd put the RM25XLs at a significantly higher level in terms of refinement, imaging/soundstage, linearity, and overall build quality. They also go a bit lower than the 2.5s and are likely an easier load for your amp as they don't dip below 6 Ohms. Just another option and best of luck.
For your about $2600 you can build the Linkwitz LX521, and then for about $400, score a used B&K AV1260 to drive 'em. There isn't a loudspeaker made, at any price, that exceeds what the LX521 can do.
Russ, how can you honestly make that statement. Sorry, but first off maybe for YOU it's the best, but have you ever heard Vandersteen 7 mkII? Have you heard the larger speakers from nearly anyone? Sorry, but there is no way that statement is true. I'd put my Treo's up against them any day of the week.
Whomever recommended the Living Voice speakers is spot on. For what you said is your amp and your listening preference, they should take care of things.
Truthfully, so could a pair of Reference 3A Grand Veenas or, rarer still, the Escalante Fremont.
FWIW, I own a pair of AZ Adagios, but have heard all the speakers listed above in my post, so no favorites here. The Adagios don’t have that juicy punch rap needs.
As said by a fellow Audiogon-er in another one of these threads:
"If you are not
willing to go out and listen to speakers that are in your price range then I
think that you should keep what you have and convince yourself that you just
bought them and they are wonderful.
bdp24 writes:"One problem with the LX521 is that it requires six channels of amplification---three stereo power amps. That nullifies it's low price."
Not at all. The LX521 calls for 8 to 10 channels at 60wpc. I run a 12 channel B&K AV1260 which meets that spec. It retails for about $1200. Linkwitz recommends an ATI amp that is also a 12 channel amp that retails at $1600 or so. I see the B&K AV1260 amps going for $500 and less on EBay all the time.
So no. The multi-amplification issue isn't a problem. You're welcome to use more expensive amps, but it isn't necessary.
Russ, the problem really IS the amping. You're basically locked into that B&K amp which most folks don't own. If you need to buy a new amp for the speakers, then you are locked into things and have a product that has a very small used market when you want to get rid of them. Some, like you, will go for that, but 99% of audiophiles will never want to lock themselves into one or two amps especially when there are so many amps that are better on the market. Just makes no sense business wise to lock yourself into that. JMHO
I can't believe anyone mentioned Cerwin Vega in the same post as RF-7's. And any of you who think Klipsch speakers are a joke know nothing. RF-7's are very good speakers. Their Palladium line is as good as any speaker mentioned in this thread and their Heritage Line is outstanding.
I know it is popular now days to laugh at Klipsch because they produce speakers for nothing you can buy at Wal-Mart. But they also still make some of the best speakers in the world.
At that price point the Golden Ear Triton 2's deserve an audition. Very nice speakers and with powered subs have plenty of bottom end! Image very well also ... they hold a center image like crazy even with the speakers fairly far apart and create a very nice soundstage. The main problem with them is that most people audition them with receivers and never really hear what they are truly capable of.
A lot of responses here! I'll add one more: Snell Type B or C5. What is important to keep in mind is that you really need to work with the speakers to find out what they like. I spoke with one guy who said he took the speakers out of the box, didn't like what he heard, repacked them all in an hours time! Crazy. One good point about the Snells is they was off the shelf drivers. The Type B's are now 20 years old. I bid $2000.00 on a pair and got them for under $700.00 The midrange drivers needed replacing. They now sound great at under $1000.00 Joe
@ctsooner You are correct in the notion that it’s difficult to sell something like my 12 channel B&K amp. And you’re also precluded from using the many fine, better 2 channel amps out there (unless you want to buy 4 of ’em...). Getting into a Linkwitz system is a big commitment, but not as big as you might think.
I’ve heard the best of the best. I’m very fond of the big floor standing Avalon loudspeakers. But even the Eidolan model sells for $20,000 used, when you can find them. And of course you’re going to drive them with a power amp costing no less than $5000. Now you’re $25k into it and you haven’t even considered what speaker cable to use... That’s not a big commitment?!
Building a Linkwitz LX521 (which I consider to be equal to or better than the big Avalons) and even a new ATI 12 channel amp as Linkwitz suggests is less than $5000 total. You tell me which is a bigger commitment.
Heck. You could build 4 tubes4hifi ST-120, 60 wpc power amps for less than $5000 and have a total system cost under $8000 and still be $17,000 under the used Avalon system.
There are any number of choices for suitable amplification to support a Linkwitz design. When I first built my Orions, I ran four Hafler pro grade pancake amps at 50 wpc. I was able to score them for about $125 each. But one kept having problems and after 2 trips to the Hafler service tech, I decided it was time to do something else.
I saw the listing on EBay for a 12 channel B&K amp and I got it for $500, and it was from a local dealer, so I just drove over there and picked it up. I ran a 2 channel B&K ST-140 for almost 20 years and have always liked their sound. I find my B&K AV1260 to have a similar sonic character and one I’m quite happy with.
Linkwitz himself uses inexpensive class D amps.
So no. I don’t see how the multi-amp nature of Linkwitz designs really have to restrict anyone.
Sound is personal as we all know. I've built and have heard a lot of build it yourself speakers and I've just never heard a pair sound as good as higher end speakers from a larger/name brand company. That's just me, but I'd listen with open ears like I always do if there was a pair around. I get to Madison often as my step kids are there. Do they have a pair set up to listen to if I go visit them?
The problem with your thoughts for many of us is that the amps DO matter as much as the source and speakers etc... Even if the speakers are as good as you say, if you use an inferior amp or source to save money, then your sound can't be as good as the brand name speaker being fed a great signal. Just go listen at any dealer and have them put on a speaker you like and keep changing amps in every price range. I've owned B&K for years. I just sold my original ST140 that was heavily modified by the guys in Bristol, CT who used to do the mods working with the B&K engineers as they were very tight. They are nice amps for the price, but are not in the same league as Ayre and others that most of us use with our speakers. I thought my Ayre AX7e was a tremendous amp (I was switching from modified Quicksilver mono's), but once I got the Ayre AX5 i was in shock at what I was missing in my sound. Then I did the upgrade to the AX5/20 and WOW. A totally different league from the AX5. A great speaker will showcase what you feed it. If you are feeding a great speaker with B&K, Rotel, NAD or other amps in that range, then you are starving the speaker and not allowing it to shine.
I get out a LOT and listen at dealers all over the country and I am fortunate to get to hear a lot of gear and others on here have also. I have just never heard a pair of any 20k speakers sound great with amps in the range you are talking about compared to the same speaker with a really nice amp. Even if I don't like the speaker due to it running a bit hot on the high end or maybe the bass is a bit tubby or the speaker won't give me that leading or trailing edge properly, I can still hear said speaker sound much better with better amplification and or source. I'd love to hear others who have also done this test to post about their thoughts.