I think the C60 is overlooked and with a new line coming out dealers are considering any reasonable offer. they’re tall with 2 9" woofers and I only got a half hour with them. My experience with the entire persona line is BASS, BASS and more BASS the higher the number the deeper the bass. The Contour’s didn’t carry me on a wave of bass, but presented it impressively. I’m currently enjoying some Usher Dancers that I got a sweet deal on and of your list nothing would replace them except maybe those A3’s with a sealed box might have the best bass of all of them.
I think with that size room you should try the Joseph Audio Pulsars instead of the Perspectives. I haven't heard the latest B&Ws, but my impression is that they're a step up over the Kevlar driver models of yore. I will say IMHO, there's nothing those older B&Ws did better than JA speakers. Anyway, by all means go hear the Pulsars if you can.
I own the PMC Twenty.24 model, and find they throw an excellent soundstage and dig good and deep for their size. But then, my room is extensively treated with GIK Acoustics products. Have you thought about that rather than shelling out $$$ for what in many cases would be a lateral move to speakers with slightly different presentations?
First of all those are badass amps you are running! The Metaxas industrial design is super cool! No comments on the speakers except to say looking at them in terms of drivers and specs if you truly want more bass slam that rules out the Joseph Audio and Vivid. Both good speakers but both look a bit bass shy compared to your PMC’s. B&W, Dynaudio, Magico, and Legacy all look like they will help in that department. Beyond that its up to the how they sound to you!
I own B&W 804D3s. Like Thiel, their bass is rather polite but tight and tuneful. They are particular about placement but when the sweet-spot is found, they are very rewarding. You will need stability platforms if any children, pets or clumsy adults are part of the picture (I use wooden amp stands from Timbernation $310 for two with cones. I drilled them myself).
If your having a bass slam issue with your current speakers then you have a room problem that changing speakers won't help. The transmission line PMC will go as low or lower than any speaker on your list. Two small subwoofers would probably solve your issues along with room treatments for a whole lot less money.
Goldenear Triton One or Goldenear Triton One Reference would provide orders of magnitude bass slam compared to where you are at currently.
If you are committed to a 2.0 system. A 2.1 system would give you much more flexibility to select the best speakers in your price range without stressing about bass. I run Focal Electra 1028 Be’s with an SVS PC-4000 sub driven by Schiit Vidar monoblocks. Like you, bass is very important to the sound signature that I like, but I find that true full range speakers with woofers large enough to really thump come with trade-offs elsewhere in this price range. I would never run the Electra’s without a subwoofer. The Goldenears would be a nice compromise as they have active subwoofers built into the speaker, giving you a 2.1 system without the footprint of a subwoofer. They sound great also!
The PMC Twenty5.26’s are very good speakers but their low sensitivity (86db)required much more power than your April Music Aura can give.I suspect there is nothing wrong with your speakers they just deserve better amplification with much more power this is why you are suffering from weak bass ,also maybe upgrade of your speakers' cables is needed too.
itzhak1969373 posts03-10-2019 10:59amThe PMC Twenty5.26’s are very good speakers but their low sensitivity (86db)required much more power than your April Music Aura can give.I suspect there is nothing wrong with your speakers they just deserve better amplification with much more power this is why you are suffering from weak bass ,also maybe upgrade of your speakers' cables is needed too@itzhak1969 I’m confused. Isn’t the Aura a CD player? CD players don’t t have “power”. But I do agree that 100 wpc monoblocks may not be enough for the PMCs, and probably not enough for the B&Ws either. Better amps may do the trick with the existing speakers.
I have a room that doesn't offer support in the bass so when I look at JA's or other measurements I know in my room the speakers will measure like they do WITHOUT adding the port response, so most speakers roll off steeply at 80 hz and only the heroic designs give me anything below 50hz. I'm beginning to think I have to go with a sealed box design since I never heard a sub I liked(for music). There's a pair of Revel Salon 2's on AG right now that if your room's like mine, would give you good bass to 40hz and I find the newer revel's actually sound better closer to walls. A couple 500 watt amps and you should be in heaven.
I've owned the Contour 60's, and drove them with good power (pass 250.8)
Good speaker, plenty of bass. No sub needed in most rooms. I did however find the soundstage small, good imaging and instrument placement, but smaller soundstage.
Tried all sorts of things with my room, but never could solve it. So, off they went.
I demo'd the Legacy's several times, I like the Focus SE a lot. But I had a pair of OLD Ohm Walsh Pro 200's, beat to heck. But there was something I always liked about them. (and they put out a lot of good bass for their size).
Took a bit of a flyer on some Ohm Walsh 5000's - I really, really like them. HUGE soundstage, tons of bass if you want it. But they are also adjustable with essentially a 4 band EQ. Not a whole lot about the speaker makes sense. But I really, really like them. You want a room where you can take advantage of reflections with them which is a bit backwards thinking also.
They are very natural sounding, all of the detail is there. If you like to listen loud, they do that really well without getting bright or compressing. My room is very similar in size to yours. (13x17 9 ft ceiling). You could get by with a smaller one, but the adjustability is nice.
They respond very nicely to power also.
I found the Persona's in particular to be too bright and the 3's bass doesn't punch very well.
That said, of the speakers you listed - the contour 60's and Legacy Signatures would be the first two I would look at if you like bass, not even a question.
Golden Ear Tritons, pick your flavor, they do bass well but are powered.
I like bass also, and while I have a nice sub, I prefer to not use it in 2 channel. NON issue with my OHM 5000's.
"weaknesses" of the OHM's.
Funky design and look. Solid but not a spectacular build quality.
Not the be all end all on top end resolution, they are good. (persona's do that resolution thing on every little sparkle well, as do the Joseph's)
Soundstage is huge, pretty deep. Instruments are placed well, but aren't that absolute perfect placement in space.
One other speaker I would look at if I were you - the new Salk SS 9.5. They will play deep and be very accurate bass. I don't think they will energize a room quite like the Dyn's, Legacy, OHM's or GE's.
I am surprised someone mentioned the B&W's. I listened to a pair of the 804's and still wondered where's the bass. I would definitely stay away from the Focal Arias. Even the 948 is weak in the bass extension. The SALK Song3 Encore's priced at $6,000/pair are just incredible. Jim Salk uses very expensive high quality drivers and his cabinet build quality is superb. The Song3's get down to 24 Hz and you will not need a subwoofer.
From my original post:
"I own B&W 804D3s. Like Thiel, their bass is rather polite but tight and tuneful."
I forgot to mention that I'm using a modest B&W ASW650 subwoofer which is a perfect match for 804D3s. Think of the 804s bass drivers as "mid-bass" although close to a wall they do wake up but you loose a lot in the imaging dept. Mated with a subwoofer (I'm planning to upgrade to a Paradigm X12) these are totally full range dynamos.
There's A pair of Revel salon 2's for under $10k and while they need watts seriously 500 per side to come alive and then careful placement. I think the stereophile reviewer had them 7' out and 5' apart! going by memory here, but while they're not plug and play they are a great speaker for the price if you have a dedicated room with little to no risk on the used market.
II am a month into a new pair of B&W 804D3’s and couldn’t be happier. Upgraded from 805S and the difference is astonishing. To be fair, I also upgraded amp and sources, so the whole rig is substantially better than what I had before. I have not heard the others in your list of candidates, but the people at my dealer sell Magico and told me that the A3 is a great speaker but felt the 804 is more natural in its presentation. The guys who delivered and installed everything told me that the 804 is their favorite in the B&W 800 series. The install and listen to lots of very expensive and well reviewed stuff so I give their opinion a lot of credence.
However, just like wine, everyone tastes something different out of the bottle, so go “tasting” to find your match.
Frankly I’m a bit surprised that you picked the B&W’s over the Paradigm Persona 3F’s? They’re extremely revealing of everything in front of them so I’m curious what the associated equipment was that you heard them demoed with? They have a minimum 300 hour break in period as well and am curious about the amount of time that was on them?
In the Vivid Audio range (which I own and highly recommend), I think you’d get more bass and performance in your room with the new Kaya range. I owned the K1s, which had excellent tight bass, amazing lively, musical, disappearing-act performance, but apparently the Kaya’s are a notch better on all counts.
Any time a company is purchased by a conglomerate that is more interested in profit than sound the quality suffers
B&W is no exception
Years ago all Sonus Faber speakers were built by hand In Italy not any more
That is why companies like Pass Labs and PS Audio build to a higher standards because it’s about quality of the sound
some people believe this is what happened to MAC as well.
As far as whats on your list I would go for the Magico A3. I believe they would work well with Metaxas Solitaire given the Bandwidth.
These may be outside of your budget, but definitely worth checking out
DeVore Fidelity gibbon X -Neutral, clean bass great detail. Much better than the B&W s and a great alternative if you find the Magico sterile.
For those who care:
SONUS FABER ACQUIRED BY QUADRIVIO
Quadrivio sells Fine Sounds to LBO France and Yarpa
McIntosh Sold Again in Management Buyout of Fine Sounds
In terms of transparency (hearing the music, not your speakers), Vivid Audio is most likely the best on that list. I would say that adding subwoofers and room treatment would also be heavily worthwhile; dual Rythmik F12’s would be very good; GIK and Acoustimac are good options for room treatment (if US based).
A bit of an update... I had my dealer come to my house to see my space. He said that the speakers I have listed are too big for my room. That was the problem with the PMC's. I wasn't maximizing their potential. He suggested some good standmounts would work much better. I am now looking at :
Joseph Audio Pulsars and the Focal Diablo Utopia III'S.
Anybody have any experience with these speakers? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
If you want to get serious with a stand mount speaker, pick up a set of the JWM Acoustics Alyson AML II. I have heard them at multiple audio shows, and have not heard any stand mount to compare to them.
@darrenmc posted something very specific:
"I am looking for a greater soundstage and bottom end slam while maintaining the clarity of the PMC’s."
Within the context of his 15 x 12 foot room, I’d like to explore what might result in a "greater soundstage" (while "maintaining the clarity of the PMC’s").
In my opinion, early reflections are a primary issue in relatively small rooms. The detrimental effects of early reflections are under-appreciated because they aren’t something we are even aware of, and when we hear their effects, it’s not obvious that’s what we’re hearing.
Early reflections tend to degrade clarity. Recording studios go to great lengths to minimize detrimental early reflections, while still preserving as many beneficial later reflections as they reasonably can.
Early reflections also degrade soundstage depth. They super-impose a characteristic "small room signature" on top of the soundstage on the recording. This is another reason why recording studios manage reflections as described above: They don’t want the control room super-imposing a "small room signature" on top of the natural ambience they just captured in the live room.
We can’t afford to build our home listening rooms to studio standards, but we can use speakers that don’t work against us in a small room. The secret is, the radiation pattern.
Briefly, we want a radiation pattern that effectively minimizes early reflections off of the side walls, and it would be nice if we can minimize the floor and ceiling bounces as well.
So imagine we have speakers with a radiation pattern that is only about 90 degrees wide (-6 dB at 45 degrees to either side of the main axis), and we toe these speakers in by 45 degrees. Now neither speaker generates a significant reflection off of the near side wall. The first sidewall reflections of the left speaker is the long, across-the-room bounce off of the right-hand side wall. And vice-versa. This significantly reduces the amount of energy in those undesirable early reflections and helps set the stage for improved soundstaging.
Now one of the things that makes a good big room sound so nice is, a greater proportion of the reflections are fairly late-arriving and therefore beneficial (assuming they’re spectrally correct or close to it). The ear/brain system judges the size of a room by the time delay between the first-arrival sound and the "center of gravity" of the reflections. We can trick the ear/brain system into thinking the room is bigger than it actually is by adding a bit more late-onset reverberant energy. This results in less "small room signature" being super-imposed on the recording, so we hear more of the recording’s soundstage and less of the room.
I realize much of this is counter-intuitive; the standard recommendation is small speakers for a small room. But few small speakers have the sort of pattern control that addresses the problem of too many early reflections, which becomes correspondingly worse as room size decreases.
Not that this is the only thing that matters, but if one is serious about creating a realistic illusion in a small room, ime the radiation pattern matters a lot.