Looking for speaker recommendations that I can purchase on Amazon.com


Budget: under US$5000 and would prefer a price point of less than $3000/pair. The most expensive speakers I have owned so far are Polk RTi A7's, so this will be a big jump for me.

Purpose: music

Room: I tend to move every few years, so I don't want speakers that will work best only with very specific room conditions. Currently, I will be using these in a medium size room of about 22 feet x 18 feet. The room has carpet and window treatments.

Music sources: CD's, lossless music files stored on computer and MP3's when that's all I have available. I don't ahve any SACD's yet, but I plan on purchasing more high quality music once I have this system set up.

Music styles: acoustic, Indian classical (sitar, srangi, flute), alternative rock (Portugal. The Man, Sleeping with Sirens, etc.), older rock (e.g., Rush).

The speakers should sound good playing the Tanpura (aka Tambura). It is a classical Indian accompaniment instrument in the "drone" category. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanpura) Example of sound here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7tlqXix_eo
With bad equipment that sound is fatiguing to me. Live it is beautiful and relaxing. Hopefully I can find speakers that will do it justice.

Personal Preferences: I am looking for non-fatiguing, warm, musical qualities. In another discussion topic here on this forum, @mtrot and I agreed about "smooth, sweet, soft, silky treble" and "shimmery, airy cymbals" as goals.

Amplifier: Yamaha P5000S

DAC: to be determined, but probably something like the Teac NT-503

Finally, the speakers of choice must be sold on Amazon.com, Bestbuy.com (or possibly some other similar retail website). I have personal reasons for this limitation. It isn't always true that I will need to buy all my speakers or audio gear from one of these sites, but for the moment, it is a requirement. Please don't recommend anything that isn't available on one of these sites. Thanks.

lowoverdrive
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Tannoy XT 8F .  Dynaudio Excite X34 .  though not sure about the Tanpura
@jl35 thanks. Both of those look interesting. Neither had come up in my prior searches on Amazon.

Do you have links to any reviews of these speakers?

It helps that I find both to be attractive speakers. I should have mentioned this in my OP, but I do prefer floorstanding speakers and I prefer a lighter wood color, like both of these, in traditional styling.

I don't like black speakers and I am also not necessarily looking for crazy designs. If I saw an unusual design that I really liked, I would be open to it, but the fact is that the choices you mentioned are exactly what I had in mind in terms of styling. Thanks
X34 reviewed in Absolute Sound. Tannoy in What HiFi
Also a fan of Indian classical. I've seen Zakir Hussein live several times. Also, and you won't believe me but it's true: I shook Ravi Shankar's hand backstage after a show in MN, in 2003. His daughter was 1st set, and both 2nd set. Anyhoo my dad knows him, sort of. My pops was a tabla player.
Check out Tabla Beat Science - Live at Stern Grove.
Add the Sonus faber Chameleon T to your list
https://www.amazon.com/Sonus-faber-Chameleon-Floorstanding-Orange/dp/B01ARALQIW/ref=sr_1_3?s=aht&...

https://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/904-sonus-faber-chameleon-t-loudspeakers
Can you use other websites like AudioAdvisor and MusicDirect? If so, it may open you up to some other quality choices.

The Yamaha P5000S is described on the Yamaha Website as a 500 W/ch. "Club Series" amplifier. It's a Pro amp made to play really loud in a club environment. Smooth treble performance for acoustic and Indian Classical music may not be it's forte. Admittedly, I have never heard that amp. However, I personally would not be pairing that Yamaha amp with a pair of quality audiophile floor standing speakers. It may work and it may be great, but it may also be hard and fatiguing. 

BTW, I'm not making any judgement on the amp because I've never heard it. Just saying that the amp might not provide the type of sound you are hoping to achieve. How does it sound with your current speakers?

 Take a look at these  Mistral SAG-350 on ebay. I wondered if they sound like B&W speakers. They sure look like they should.

 
@reubent  The Yamaha P3500S was recommended to me on this forum. I recently purchased it. I picked the 5000 over the 3500 because the price was almost the same for either at the time I purchased.

Forum member willemj justified his recommendation of this power amp in part by this review:
See here for a very favourable and rigorously scientific test of the latter model: http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/amplificateurs-de-puissance-haute-fidelite/mesures-ampli-yamaha-p...
The review is in French, which I don't read, so I took his word that the amp would be appropriate for my goals. He has heard the amp (his son owns one) and (I think) he knows what I want to achieve.

A couple other people recommended Yamaha amps in the same family, so, having no experience, I took the recommendations and that's how I ended up with this amp. I have not used it yet, but I have used the 801 and it seems to have a nice sound on first impression.

But I am throwing some challenging music at it currently with speakers that tend (I'm told) to be a bit bright (Polk RTI A7).

If I purchase new speakers on Amazon, returning them should not be a problem if the combination of my amp and my musical tastes are not a good match for the speakers.

Regarding AudioAdvisor and MusicDirect, it is unlikely that I can shop either site right now. I did send each one a few questions, but I'm almost certain I will need to stick to BestBuy or Amazon.
@lostbears " Take a look at these Mistral SAG-350 on ebay. "

ebay isn't an option. I'm limited to Amazon or BestBuy for this purchase.
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Lowoverdrive - 
+1 to Reubent's suggestion.
Curious why shopping Audio Advisor or Music Direct is not an option for you.  Both have return periods...30 days with AA and (45?) with MD.
Good luck in your search. 
How about Klipsch?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCI3RLT/ref=psdc_3236453011_t3_B000PT94V2

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Forte-III-Heritage-Loudspeakers/dp/B074WCH7KF/ref=sr_1_103?s=aht&...

Full range, easy to drive and classic.
@jond RE: Klipsch. I have considered the RF 7 II's which I have seen at a good price. However, I am concerned the the horn tweeter design isn't compatible with my desire for non-fatiguing, warm, musical qualities. When I mention "smooth, sweet, soft, silky treble" people here tend to say Klipsch is not the brand for me. Personally, I don't know either way.
Music Direct and Crutchfield have liberal return policies. I believe MD has a 60 day window. 

I would consider Vandersteen 2CE Signature IIs or the new Elac Adante series, both available from MD.
When you use the Amazon website, put in the specific names of speakers rather than doing a broad search. For example, you can get KEF, MartinLogan, Thiel, etc.
@imhififan RE: "Add the Sonus faber Chameleon T to your list"

That was a very impressive review on these speakers. I added them to my list. However, I am not a fan of the styling.

The Tannoy XT 8F and Dynaudio Excite X34 both have styling that appeals to me more. But sound is the bottom line.

That review* makes the Sonus Faber Chameleon T seem like they would rival or outshine the other choices (so far). Is that reviewer reputable? How do people here think these three speakers compare?

  1. Sonus Faber Chameleon T
  2. Tannoy XT 8F
  3. Dynaudio Excite X34
Which of these three would be best of acoustic music (especially classical Indian) while also being good with alternative rock?

* https://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/904-sonus-faber-chameleon-t-loudspeakers



@gsm18439 - "When you use the Amazon website, put in the specific names of speakers rather than doing a broad search. For example, you can get KEF, MartinLogan, Thiel, etc."

OK, noted. My real problem is that I don't know which speakers to search for there. That's why I'm seeking recommendations here.

I realize finding the best speakers for my budget and listening requirements on Amazon (or BestBuy) might not be the easiest thing to accomplish. Hoping I can continue getting good suggestions here. The three I have so far all look interesting.

@helomech - Are you a helicopter mechanic by any chance? Just guessing that might be what your username stands for.

Neither Vandersteen 2CE Signature IIs nor the new Elac Adante series appear to be available on Amazon or BestBuy, sadly.

Why doesn't Music Direct create some Amazon listings? (Nevermind, don't answer -- that's off topic.)

Really, it's a waste of everyone's time to recommend speakers not sold on Amazon or at BestBuy when the whole thread is about "Looking for speaker recommendations that I can purchase on Amazon.com" or BestBuy.

If / when things change and I can shop for speakers sold other places, I'll start a new thread. That will keep things simple and focused. Thanks.



 I am a big fan of Sonus Faber  speakers. I own the Sonus Faber Elipsa SE. You mention you like acoustic music. Sonus Faber speakers can be haunting with this type of music, Singer songwriter, Jazz, classical. They have that in the room quality that is just magical.

 I have not heard the Chameleon T  but I am sure they have the Sonus Faber house sound. You might also consider one of the 
Venere models. I am sure they will both sound wonderful.


You can only go so far with reviews and recommendations from members here
Sonus Faber is a good option. I would also look at the B&W 700 series 702 at Best Buy.  Your local Best Buy makes have it in the show room. Or maybe you find a magnolia show room at Best Buy near you.
@nycjlee - I'll add B&W 700 series to my list. Thanks.

I think one person here (another thread) said these are the "best speakers at any price". I suppose that's not true, but it does seem like a lot of people like B&W speakers.

Over here, someone says the 705 is vastly better than the 702.

The 705 is vastly better in all sonic respects - including the bass, if you buy one of B&W's many subs. It even costs about the same or less. ... The 705 is really the star of the range & most reviewers are saying so.
Someone else said B&W's tend to be "warm". That might be a good thing for me. I'll have to listen and see.

Anyway, here's my list so far:

  • Sonus Faber Chameleon T (not finding any color I like...)
  • Tannoy XT 8F Mediun Oak
  • Dynaudio Excite X34 Rosewood
  • B&W 700 series Rosenut
BTW, my local BestBuy doesn't have a Magnolia show room, but if I can find the time to take a short trip I know of a Best Buy that does have a Magnolia show room.

Having never visited any audiophile show room, how valuable is it given that the speakers might sound entirely differently in my own listening room.  I was thinking just buy, try and return if I don't like. But return shipping can be costly and it also takes time.



I would have to agree with jl35. You need to listen to some of these speakers. We all hear a differently so buy the speakers that sound the best to you. Don’t worry about what other say or what you read in reviews.  Go and listen to as many speakers as you can.  Where are you located? I’m sure members can give you recommendations to audio store you can visit and audition. Don’t sell yourself short, you have a healthy budget, you can put together a great system. 
@nycjlee "You need to listen to some of these speakers."

In particular, I would like to listen to the MartinLogan - ElectroMotion ESL 8" because they are so different.

However, the recommendations here are very helpful. If I find a showroom where I can listen, I can go in with a list of speakers I'd like to audition. Or at least I will have greater familiarity with the brands, etc. Right now I know nothing. I need recommendations and then I need to read reviews of those.
@lowoverdrive, 

Yes, I used to work on UH-60s, Bells and Robinsons. 

Maybe you already explained the reason, but is something other than return policy keeping you from considering other sellers?

I've bought and returned numerous items with Music Direct and there was no hassle. They require the buyer to cover return shipping, but Amazon would too.

I've also had great experiences with Crutchfield. I once returned a 50lb amp and they charged only $10 dollars for return shipping. They also have a 60 day return window.

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"hi im just curious why do you only want to buy off amazon and best buy"

Multiple reasons. It's not just return policy.

I don't want to get into the details because that will only detract from my question. The whole discussion will go off topic.

My question was not "where should I buy speakers?" I asked, "Looking for speaker recommendations that I can purchase on Amazon.com" and I would simply like to stick to that.

If things change in the future and I can shop at other places, I'll post a new question. I appreciate everyone respecting the constraints built into my question. :-)
Added some new candidates to my list:

  • Yamaha NS-F901PN 3-Way Bass Reflex Floorstanding Speakers
  • Monitor Audio - Silver Series 8 Floorstanding Speaker-Rosenut
  • Monitor Audio - Silver Series bookshelf speakers
  • KEF LS50 Mini Monitor

Plus the previous recommendations:
  • Sonus Faber Chameleon T (not finding any color I like...)
  • Tannoy XT 8F Mediun Oak
  • Dynaudio Excite X34 Rosewood
  • B&W 700 series Rosenut
Check out Elac!
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_2?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A3236453011%2Ck%3Aelac+speakers&ke...
KEF Q950...I've heard them and they are very realistic with non-fatiguing highs and a huge soundstage...
https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q950-Floorstanding-Speaker-Black/dp/B071P6KRVS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid...

KEF are neutral sounding, so don't know if the pro amp would be a good match.

Also the KEF R500 and R700; higher-end models.

@lowrider57 thanks for the recommendations. I added all thee to my list:

KEF R700
KEF R500
KEF Q950

@yogiboy I will also add Elac to my list. For example, this one seems like a good speaker (but I'd have to increase the budget significantly).

ELAC FS509VX Floor Standing Home Speaker (Walnut)

I've heard many Elacs tend to be bright, and that is something I am trying to avoid. But the FS509VX doesn't have that issue according to one review I just read.
When you buy a speaker on line without an audition it’s a crapshoot. You just keep your fingers crossed and hope you like them!
if you have the LS50 on your list you could add the LS50 W on there. By most accounts they are much better. Also you could ditch the pro amp. May sound ok, my bet is harsh and bright. 
+1 yogiboy and my guess is no one here has heard any of these speakers with your amp.  Not a common amp choice for these speakers.  But it might sound great...

That ELAC is an old model.

They recently introduced the ADANTE, at right around 5K, which has been getting very good reports from the electronics shows.  But it's not on Amazon...

"Personal Preferences: I am looking for non-fatiguing, warm, musical qualities. In another discussion topic here on this forum, @mtrot and I agreed about "smooth, sweet, soft, silky treble" and "shimmery, airy cymbals" as goals."

Sorry, but I don't think there are too many people here who'd read this and then recommend a "professional" grade amp.  Pro amps are generally made for durability, affordability, and overall power delivery capabilities -- not refinement.  Almost the polar opposite of what you're looking for.  The reason the 5000 was priced similarly to the 3500 is probably that the 3500 uses a transformer-based power supply and the 5000/7000 use a switching power supply -- probably for cost, efficiency, and weight savings, not sound quality.  I think you may be fighting an uphill battle reaching your goals with this amp.  I'd dump it and move on to a more synergistic amp/speaker pairing for your specific tastes and goals.  Sorry to be the bearer of negative news, and best of luck. 

From your list, the KEF R700s or R900s would be my choice, no question. IME, the standard LS50s spank many $3K speakers in midrange ^ performance. 
Have you looked at Emotiva speakers? Their Airmotiv T2 tower speakers are fantastic and fit your budget with room to buy much more. If you don’t know the company, don’t let the price fool you into thinking they are not high end quality. They sound amazing, especially with their XPA amps. Emotiva sells only online (no brick and mortar store in the middle which is part of their ability to keep prices low.) They do sell some through Amazon though I only see their T1 on there now. (I believe they have sold through Best Buy in the past but haven’t looked now.) I suspect they could still arrange for you to buy through Amazon whether you see what you want there or not. Just call them. Look at their DC1 DAC too. I LOVE mine. 
https://emotiva.com/product/airmotiv-t2/
@twoleftears Thanks for the info about the Elac af-61 Adante speakers. Looks like they just came out about 2-3 months ago. The reviews are indeed very positive. These seem like fantastic speakers. I will add them to my list. Maybe they will show up on Amazon (or BestBuy) soon. Being so new, maybe it will just take a little longer?

In the mean time I could order the KEF R900 and try them for 30 days... with free shipping both ways if I decide to send them back.
@caroleg RE: "Airmotiv T2 tower speakers"

Most of the speakers recommended here are fairly expensive (up to $10,000/pair). The Airmotiv T2 tower speakers, at $999 for a pair, may be the least expensive speakers mentioned so far.

If they are capable of matching a $5000/pair speaker like the KEF R900, or a $6000 pair like the Magnepan 3.7i, I'll certainly consider them. Why wouldn't I?

Do you have any links to audiophile reviews on these speakers that you think are authoritative? Thanks
Amazon has free return shipping for large speakers? That's news to me.
@helomech - yes, I received an assurance today in writing in this case.
Regarding KEF R900. I've been reading some reviews. Very interested in these speakers. But this comment raises some questions:

KEF Reference 201/2 vs KEF R 900 | What Hi-Fi? https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/kef-reference-2012-vs-kef-r-900
I was reading elsewhere about the 201/2 and some one made a remark that the R900s price falls close to 201/2 that it is better to upgrade to 201/2
Do you all tend to agree with that?
I believe that Reference speaker is discontinued. The posting is from 2012.
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Somebody here questioned the Yamaha P5000S amplifier. The link that I posted to the smaller P3500S showed that that is a perfectly neutral amplifier that measured exceptionally well. Frequency response is perfectly flat, even well above the range of human hearing, and distortion was vanishingly low, even at levels below 1 watt. I bought the 2x250 watt P2500S for my son, and I can testify that it sounds fine: completely neutral and not a tinge of hardness. The more powerful P5000S admittedly has one difference: it has a switch mode power supply to reduce weight and volume. I think that was a perfectly rational decision on the part of Yamaha. I know there are plenty of audiophiles who believe that switch mode power supplies are evil, but I am truly convinced they are just imagining things (do they have measurements to back up their claims, or controlled listening tests?). Big companies like Yamaha, with their huge engineering staffs, know what they are doing, and so do their pro audio customers.
On a more general note, I think those interested in high end audio would do well to stop worrying about electronics, and focus on what really matters: speakers and the room.
@willemj thanks for your reply. Given that I don't need the extra power of the P5000S, is there any advantage to the P3500S? For a couple more weeks, I can still return the one I have and get the P3500S if that would be advantageous. However, I assume from your message that there is no reason to do this.

Also, is there any reason to consider the newer Yamaha PX3 or PX5 power amplifiers instead of the one I have?

In regard to my personal experience with this amp, here is what I wrote over in the thread where the amp was recommended to me:

I have been reading a lot of reviews and thinking about distortion, clarity, detail, sound stage, etc. To my (somewhat inexperienced) ears, this setup with the Yamaha power amp and the Polk RTi A7 speakers, lets me experience a very satisfying level of all the things I have been reading about that come with the best speakers and the best components. With my current system, the sound stage is surprisingly expansive. The detail and clarity are amazing. The harshness in the higher frequencies is gone. I am beyond happy with this amp.
I'm still shopping for speakers in the price range of $5000/pair. But now I am able to enjoy my current system without any complaints.
What you are describing are precisely the benefits of big power. As you Americans say about car engines: there is nothing that beats cubic inches. Just imagine the amount of physical energy produced by a symphony orchestra. The speakers have to reproduce that, with an efficiency of perhaps 1 % (a proper calculation is beyond me at this time of the day). Even with such by audiophile standards relatively massive amplifier power, you can only hope to reproduce such a symphony orchestra at little more than postage stamp size (a domestic room will not allow anything more anyway). As you discovered, watts fortunately do not cost that much anymore.
As for thePX3 and PX5  successors of this amp, apparently their fans do not switch off completely, so they are less suitable for domestic use.
KEF LS50s are not bright at all. In fact, I was surprised to find they're warmer than all other speakers I've had in my system. I have Spendor 2/3s (often described as "pipe and slipper" speakers) hooked up to the same Yamaha amp as the LS50s. I can do an A/B comparison with the flick of a switch. The KEFs are no brighter than the Spendors. They're actually a tad warmer.
 

A pair of KEF LS50 sound exceptional for their price.   Quality stands are required for their proper performance and this additional purchase must be calculated into the purchase cost (got my KEF branded stands off Amazon as well as the extra dampening stand fill).  The LS50w self powered is another path to consider and would remove any amplifier issue (return the Yamaha).  You would have a system that would not disappoint in its musicality.  I have a set of the standard LS50 that when placed into my main system always amaze me with their performance.