Budget? Musical interests? Preference towards a neutral / accurate sound or more warm / musical?
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A lot of money and buying unheard..
My guess could be these speakers driven by Allnic electronics with the help of Purist Audio Neptune cables.
Another possibility could be Kharma speakers.
Maggie 3.7i, 20.7 depending...
- drive them with a Benchmark AH2B amp (which can be returned!)
used ARC LS25 or 26 pre-amp
Benchmark DAC3 (or Schiit Yggy if Redbook only) (both can be returned!)
investigate an LPS for the Mac Mini (inexpensive)
isolation transformer for a few hundred $$
use the money I saved you on room treatments...
I like randy-11's system suggestion but I'd add the Swarm Distributed Bass System for good. natural and solid bass performance throughout your large space: www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/audiokinesis-swarm-subwoofer-system/
You can then setup the Magnepan 3.7i or 20.7 speakers for optimum mid-range, treble and sound stage performance at your chosen seated listening position. You'd still have plenty left for room treatments to dial things in . This could be a dream system that I'd love to hear.
I assembled a $20k tube/computer audio/TT sytem at the beginning of this year and could not be happier with the results. See my previous post for system details:
The reason I suggested the Harbeth M40.2 and not my personal favourites the Quad electrostats is that by the description this is for a very large room where the Quads would struggle.
For a review of the M40.2: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/harbeth-monitor-402-loudspeaker/
A lot of amplifier power would be a good idea in this case. Alan Shaw, Harbeth’s designer, recently demonstrated the M40.1 in the Netherlands and the power meters on the demo amp indicated more than 500 watt per channel. Fortunately watts do not have to cost much if you use pro audio amps rather than fancy overpriced high end hifi. A good example would be the Yamaha pxx00 series. See here for a test of the 2x350 watt rms P3500s that until recently sold for about $500 and performed better than some boutique amps costing ten times as much: http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/amplificateurs-de-puissance-haute-fidelite/mesures-ampli-yamaha-p... I bought the 2x250 watt P2500s for my son and the sound quality is perfect. Alan Shaw has long argued that Harbeth speakers will perform perfectly with any properly designed amplifier. He has also argued repeatedly that you do not need fancy expensive cables. If you think you need them, your system has a problem.
I would suggest if you have $20-25K to spend on a new stereo spend a bit of money traveling, either to Hifi shows or good dealers. Take some time and do some listening buy it once and buy it right if you can. We can recommend gear until the cows come home but ultimately your ears need to decide for you. Good luck!
re room treatment. I sympathise: we live in a modernist house that was designed for us, with enormous glass windows, a pretty minimalist interior and hard floors. If your situation is only a bit comparable, you will need to do something to dampen the reflections in the mid and high frequency range if you want to avoid listening fatigue. Fortunately, elegant and clean modern technical solutions do exist, perhaps to be combined with a large rug.
If you don't need the video you obviously save some money that you could use to get e.g a beefy Bryston power amplifier.
I think your room is a good fit for the Swarm Distributed Bass Array for a few reasons:
1. Having 4 medium-to-small subs strategically dispersed throughout your large room would provide throughout your entire large space.
2. There's no need for any microphones, room analyzing software, equalization, digital signal processing or room treatments whatsoever. A very good fit for your requirements.
I agree that the Audiokinesis Swarm system is a very interesting option. If I were living in the US I would certainly give it a very hard look, as it addresses precisely the biggest issue with the reproduction of low frequencies.
However, I am sure digital room equalization such as by the DSpeaker Antimode 8033 or their forthcoming X4 could add additional benefits.
As for room treatments, I think it is important to distinguish between two fundamentally different kinds. The first is to deal with room modes below the Schroeder frequency, and involves big and inelegant bass traps. The second is to deal with chaotic reflections above the Schroeder frequency and involves damping material of various kinds, rugs, book cases etc.
The Swarm system addresses the first kind, below the Schroeder frequency, but not the second. Given the hard floor of the OP's house, he may still have to do something about that.
Good points, I agree with everything you said. Since installing a Swarm 4 sub solution in my system, I've found exactly what you stated to be true: the Swarm takes care of the bass in the room without the need for large bass room treatments. I haven't found a need for room equalization or dsp but will reserve judgement on whether that may be of even further benefit until I give it a try. And, true, that just leaves the more predictable mid-range and treble frequencies above the Shroeder frequency to get right in the room via speaker positioning and strategic room treatments.
I now consider system installation as a 2-step process; 1st getting the bass right in the room and then getting everything above the bass right in the room.
I think mhsmith would find this approach very suitable in his large room, as well.
I would give Bob Crites in Little Rock a call. Have him plug you in, as it were, to "local" activities, groups and guys. I do not believe the Klipschorns will work in your room, but I could be wrong. Electrostatic Solutions in KC has vast experience with magneplanars and other electrostatics. Subwoofers will be needed for your room, as will some wall/corner treatments. A pair of HSU research subs should work well. Wife Approval Factor on treatment for high frequency reflections.
At the Capital Audio Show last month, speakers that were well received included Volti Quad 5, Tekton, and both the Quad-HiFi electrostatics and their box speakers.
so I have been reading about the monitor platinum 500 speakers and I like what I am reading. I will need to hear them prior to any purchase, but I am wondering about pairing those speakers with a tube preamp and amplifier in my large room. Any suggestions on the amp/pre-amplifier, and does anyone have experience with those speakers and how they do with tubes?