It's really hard to suggest loudspeakers to someone because there is a lot of personal preference to this buying decision. Find a speaker brand that you like then move down the line to see if the characteristics you like are still there in a lower price model. You will have more choices in the 3 grand per pair segment.
85 responses Add your response
I have seen several examples on this site and USAudiomart (as well as eBay) of ProAc, Totem, Spendor, and similar high-quality, smaller floorstanders (towers) that might fit in the $2,000.00, or so range. If you are seeking more bass, you either need a subwoofer with standmount/bookshelf speakers or else go with a floorstanding model. Condo living suggests you do not need a larger floorstander.
You may also want to consider these: https://www.jbl.com/speakers/STUDIO+590.html?dwvar_STUDIO%20590_color=Black-USA-Support&cgid=spe...
Fritz speakers look nice but are all bookshelf designs, I believe. You might not want a really low sensitivity (or 4 ohm load) speaker unless you have a powerful amp. The rest you just handle with the volume control.
91dB is just below my (admittedly arbitrary) cutoff of 92dB. In any case you definitely want higher. No idea why audiophiles don’t pay more attention to this. Every time I read one of these posts where the guy is searching for the "right amp to mate with blah blah blah" the first thing I do is search and after a while I am no longer surprised when sure enough it always turns out they are low sensitivity speakers.
So save yourself a whole lot of grief and look for ones around 95 and up. Do this one simple thing and you will find almost every amp 20 watts and up works just fine. And there are some mighty fine sounding amps in that range and very affordable too.
Recommending speakers used to be really hard because they are all so very different. Then engineering and design improved so much the lower end where all the crap was has elevated up a lot. Now as long as you avoid some of the old school offenders like B&W, Wilson, et al, it is pretty easy. Especially in your price range where Eric Alexander has that market nailed down. Search around Tekton, look for something in your price range, keep in mind whatever you select will be so much better than expected your only regret may be not stretching for even more, order and enjoy!
There are multitudes of terrific speakers with sensitivity at or below 91, so I suggest you ignore millercarbon's tired, pedantic, and self-admittedly arbitrary cutoff. Oh, and B&W and Wilson make some great speakers. He also relishes in pushing Tekton at every opportunity, so perhaps factor that into your calculus (as if anyone has a major slice of the market "nailed down," ... good grief). Nevertheless, Tekton does have many fans and some good critical reviews, so may be worth considering.
Ahh yes, the crime of being enthusiastic about that which is good, while helping others avoid that which is not. Oh, the humanity!
But wait- where did I say Tekton has a "major slice" of anything nailed down? If you cannot argue a point without distorting the other fellows position, that is more often than not indicative of having taken a weak position. Or weak reasoning skills. Or poor reading comprehension. Take your pick.
millercarbon, I will allow your ad hominem offensiveness to pass without further comment, but the remark about someone having a "market nailed down" seemed rather plainly to indicate what I inferred earlier, If not, my mistake, along with your implicit acknowledgment that there are other potentially worthy compeittors in that market.
There are scores of terrific speaker manufacturers out there. Depending on the model and one's inclinations or preferences, B&W is one of them. Magnepan is worthy, also, but, like Tektons, may not appeal to everyone for any number of legitimate reasons. My wont is to make affirmative suggestions to folks like the OP without directly or implicitly discouraging particular brands.
I'm a big Magnepan fan. I believe they have class leading loudspeakers in every price range. However I only recommend them to serious audiophiles because they demand you place them way out into the room and they may need mega power to really sing. I have two pairs right now but I also have two dedicated listening rooms.
High sensitivity speaker can have a VERY high floor noise, they pick up every issue and let you know about it.. 92-3 is very high. AND as high as I'll go..
It just leaves NO room for valve noise or a cable being just a little to close to a PS or PCs.
Try getting 105, quiet like older horns, older valve gear and so so cables.
It will make you want to change brands... QUICK...
The Fritz do get down to 36hz +/-3db, which is pretty impressive, especially for a standmount. Here is something else to ponder: https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649702072-spendor-s5e-floorstanders/. There is also a set of Spendor 2/3s on the Canuck Mart site for just under $3,000 CAD, but with the currency exchange rate and perhaps an entertained offer, who know what one might get them for. If I did not just get a set of Harbeths, I already would have bought those.
@tomic601 a Lyra Delos. Thanks - it already sounds awesome
@oldhvymec will keep sensitivity in mind.
@russ69 I’m learning - every effects everything else
@howaboutthat41 I’ll have a look at the Fritz
@millercarbon - I apprecviate your input
to the magnepan recommendations, they are gorgeous! but 3’ feet into the room is just not going to happen.
Besides my daughter just said: DAD! Enough! LOL
Anyone for Focal floor standing?
Thanks everyone -
My first thought while reading your post was how far your speakers are from the front wall; a small adjustment in distance can make a big difference in bass response - you've probably already done this but I thought I would mention it.
You don't mention which Schiit DAC.
Consider your DAC and streamer selections.
You said, "At times the highs are glaringly high and when I expect there to be gobs of bass, there just isn't any to speak of."
Glare is an issue I've had with a few DACs and I had to spend more on a better DAC to get the results I wanted. Since you indicated the DAC and streamer were "placeholders," perhaps that may be the best place to spend that $2000. (Or part of it, anyway.)
I would try to audition a few DACS in your system. You may be pleased with the results both at the high end with less glare and by the better bass response.
"Especially in your price range where Eric Alexander (of Tekton) has that market nailed down. "......... now that is some funny stuff......and not even for the statement’s absurdity but rather how transparent and, almost, strident the Tekton "shilling" is....and then the Miller guy gets angry and hurls insults when someone tries to keep it real and offer some genuine speaker advice for the questioner......sheesh....
You would definitely want a subwoofer with any remotely affordable Magnepan. The LRS, LRS, being the smallest is no exception.
Maggies are great speakers. I’m on my 3rd set. In any price range thet are stand-outs.
But... you’ll need a good high-current amp and lots of space. They want to be 3-5 feet from the wall and they can be very tricky to get positioned correctly.
If you have the room, the watts & amps and the patience, they’ll reward you.
They are very "fast", accurate and musical so don’t pair them with some slow, boomy subwoofer. Get a fast, accurate sub, like a REL.
The LRS comes with the cheapest, worst stands. If you look at all Magnepans above the LRS, you’ll notice that they all stand upright...not tilted back 15° like the LRS. There’s a reason for that. There are a few companies that make excellent after-market stands that will hold the LRS closer to vertical. "MyStands" is one such manufacturer.
I downsized and have a room that is technically too small for my Magnepan 1.7’s. With some room treatments they still sound incredible and are making it very difficult to get smaller speakers. I’ve tested some Keff and B&Ws. They sounded very nice, until I went back to the Maggies and heard everything that was missing from the others.
Enjoy your journey!
Why does anybody listen or read Miller carbon’s posts and waste bits and bytes to reply. If you want cheap stuff, go the Miller way. 92db speakers? If his tektons were 85db, he would state you need 85db speakers. Get the speakers that you like, and then get the amp that compliments or fits the speakers. Or if you like a specific amp, then get speakers that will work with the amp. You won’t want a 5 watt SET amp with 86db totems, nor would you need the 1200 watt monoblocks if you had 104db avant garde speakers.
B&W speakers have been paired with Classe and McIntosh amps for over 10 years because those amps are on the warmer side and compliments B&W speakers.
Personally if you’re in an environment you can't play loud... if that’s a priority you may want to lead with that. You may not be looking for base extension if that's the case. But then you brought up a subwoofer so I’m not sure now. Maybe you feel you can turn it up after all? I was going to suggest the monitor audio line. For 2G you can look into the silver line of floor standers. They don’t have high sensitivity but honestly I’m only bringing it up since it’s been the trend to in this thread. Sensitivity doesn’t make a great or bad speaker. At the heart of it.... it dictates how loud your amp can drive the speaker. So again if you’re in a condo and worried about playing at high volumes... sensitivity may not matter at all. Perhaps you should also consider only getting bookshelf speakers. These will be a smaller cabinet enclosure and typically would be decoupled from the floor since you have to buy a floor stand for it. Bookshelves also do not have as deep bass extension as floor standers (generally speaking). If you get something like the monitor audio silvers and find you want a sub... their matching subwoofer is well reviewed.
smaarch 1 ;
I do have a B&W powered sub and I usually use it with the maggies only it seems to kind of muddy up the sound due to the relatively slow physics of the dynamic sub driver compared to the ribbons in the maggies. But without the sub the maggies are somewhat lacking in the deep bass.
Also the maggies require a good high-current amp with at least (IMO) 200 wpc. It's a low impedance speaker (at some frequencies the impedance dips down below 3 ohms) and it draws a LOT of current so many amplifiers just can't cut it. I bought a Schiit Vidar amp which has been working really well with them but if I crank the volume to high the amp sometimes shuts down. But it's OK since this amp has excellent protection circuitry just turn it off for a minute then back on and it's good to go. You can prevent this by putting your hand on the amp. If it's hot come down on the volume a little.
You eliminate lots and lots of wonderful speakers by sticking to some arbitrary made up sensitivity numbers....my wharfedale 225’s are only 87db, my tannoy legacy eatons, only 89db. They both sound wonderful. Amps are the Marantz pm14s1 @ 90 watts, and Sugden Signature A21se @ 30 watts (single ended pure class A). The marantz is/was used with the above 225’s when they were set up. The Sugden is currently used to drive the tannoys with wonderful results. Amazing how powerful only 30 watts can sound. Yes, at 87db, I’m sure the 225’s may not sound their best, but they sure responded to the 90 watt Marantz, which is a terrific integrated. It is in fact the last of the class a/b reference amps made by Marantz, as they have seemingly adopted class D for their topology on current designs (the ruby, the pm10, and the new model 30).
Buy the speaker you like, then buy the amp to match/drive said speaker. There are only a handful of 95db and above available, if you like the looks of teckton (i do not). The klipsch are ok, although some say too bright/fatiguing after long listening.....the zu line of speakers also offer high sensitivity, as well as devore.
For a killer system, I would recommend you buy a pair of wharfedale lintons @90 db, and a Rogue Sphinx v3 integrated @ 100 watts class D/tubed hybrid. About $3000 for both the amp and speakers, and that includes the stands! Most likely the best bang for the buck set up i can think of.
Rogue Sphinx v3 $1595
Wharfedale heritage lintons $1499 per pair (with stands) $1199 w/o stands.
Read the review of the lintons at Tone Audio, they love tubes!
LOL too funny - now I'm thinking of moving.
Great responses and I'm taking a step back.I agree with getting the front end settled first, room treatment and getting the speakers located on the short wall. I just don't know how yet - this wall is glass and opens to a balcony overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades.
I haven't been able to find B&W spikes so yesterday I went to the hardware store and bought some M6 bolts and decoupled the speakers from the floor - BIG difference.
Yes the speakers have been moved off the front wall - inching forward
The other thing I am considering is my coffee table. Silly me... It consists of two flat files, filled with drawings and it weighs a ton. I have to believe this is soaking up a lot of sound.
And to Tom's point about the DAC - it is one of the cheaper Schitt DAC's, a Modi 2 and I have every intention of replacing it.
@inna I think the Ear phono stage will tell me a lot and I can hardly wait for it to arrive - The Nottingham is sort of like having a Ferrari parked in the driveway and not knowing where the keys are.....
All said - this has been a great journey. Thanks everyone.
Everything mwinkc said about Magnepans is true and millercarbons rant against speakers below 92 db is pathetic. Yes, you need power to drive Magnepans, but when you have it, few speakers image or do dynamics as well. You'll also want a sub to enhance the bass. But just as important, if you care about money, is that Maggies sound better than any other speakers in the same price range. They are definitely considered a bargain. I bought a pair of Magnepan 20.1s on Audiogon (originally $12,000) for $5,500 and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.