I am currently contemplating a speaker upgrade. I do very
much like my current Shahinian Hawks and will most probably keep them in reserve,
as I can always use the bottoms as a pair of subs. But I have listening more
recently to a lot more Jazz and classic rock.
I initially considered trying the Klipsch Heresy III’s again
after owning the II’s years ago but from what I read they have not done away
with the fatiguing factor that drove me from them initially. Although my system
has changed dramatically since then also.
I am thinking of
keeping them used as you can usually end up with a speaker you can’t afford new
that way, perhaps they are older technology but that is the tradeoff. Wilson
Puppy could fit the bill, but condition is also a factor.
Listening room is dedicated, 15 x 25. Associated electronics,
ARC LS27, Levinson 333, PS Audio Direct Stream, PS Memory Player and a Magnum Dynalab
Budget, ideally around 5k but can go more for something
exceptional (max 10k)
Your room and budget can accommodate Cornwalls which are often cited as the best value in the Klipsch range.
It's best to go audition as many speakers as possible, even if it requires some road trips. The AXPONA show is coming up in a couple months, so try to make it out there if you're anywhere near Chicago.
You'll get dozens of recommendations for everyone's favorites here, but keep in mind that for every two fanboys of a given brand there's at least one hater. In the end, you need to choose with your own ears.
I have Klipsch Forte series I's and no fatigue at all. Yes there is a big difference from yours to mine. I also use Revel Performa3 F208 (not 206's). Love both of them and I listen to Jazz, contemporary roots country, 70's and 80's rock. Forte series 1's you can pick up @$700 or less.
For $5k the Vandersteen 3a are amazing! Or if you need the aesthetics and an upgrade in capability the Treo’s are out of this world for $7500, not have amazing sound stage and full range for whatever you may be listening to.
In your range you could get a used pair of Vandersteen Quattro Wood and have a few bucks left over new Treo CT, essentially same tweeter technology as the $62K flagship i fit the fanboy bill but with other girlfriends... i have a pair of Cornwalls nicely updated in the garage.... but you should go listen for sure there are some great dealers out there who carry a real mix of things just listen long enough to get past wow and hi-fi and into the mystic.... er i meant music...
I have new Forte III's and am very impressed. The best Klipsch speaker I have owned of 4 different pair. Never owned Heresy's but would like to some time. I agree, the Triton Series from GoldenEar are excellent and excel with jazz. Some find the ribbon tweeter a bit to diffuse, certainly not like a horn. I have owned both and prefer the dynamics of the horns I the newer Klipsch...
Your ARC and ML 333 are looking for a pair of B&W 802D's ... Find a well cared for used pair around $7-8k or better and never look back. Bi-wire them from the ML for an added kick. They(ML Amps and B&W 802's) were made for each other. Mine have been reborn using my PS Audio DAC and PWT and you can see if you like the DAC without the ARC Pre-Amp. ( I'm still deciding on that !??! )
The Charney Audio Companion
with the Omega RS7 driver ($5400.00)
will work in your space and mate well with your electronics. Don't let the the small size fool you. This is a serious music listeners horn speaker that delivers! The Companion is a very high efficiency speaker and you might want to forgo the powerful Levinson for a lower powered class A or digital amp. I own a pair of the Maestro RS7 and have listened to it with class A (First Watt), class A/B (Sony receiver), class D (Digital Amplifier Company), Class A/B push pull tube (tricked out Sherwood S-5000II), and class A SET (Audio Note Kits 8w 300b Interstage Mono Blocks). Although each amp sounded very good through the Companion RS7 I preferred the ANK 300b for tube and Digital Amplifier Company for solid state. http://charneyaudio.com/
I would like to thank everyone for their input, it has given
me a short list for auditions. Fortunately, being in NY I should have little
difficulty in finding dealers to spend some time listening to some of these
suggestions. With several suggesting looking back at the Klipsch line, the LA
Scala has always intrigued me although I have never heard them, just their BIG
brother, the Klipschorns of a friend that turned me onto hi-end audio many
years ago. My space will not allow anything that large.
So, other than the Klipsch, Vandersteen (another I heard
years ago), Ohm’s, B&W’s. Several I am not familiar with and will require
Another issue I seem to be up against, that the ML333 would not
be necessary as it appears to be overkill. I have a Bedini 100/100 that I use
at work as well as a Levinson 23.5 in my second system that can be pressed into
service if you think it would be warranted, as I recall horns are very
One speaker that has impressed me of late is the Avantgarde Duo.
They were by far the most detailed and most musical speakers I have heard - period.
The sense of "Air" was exemplary. Recordings in live venues were the most realistic I have ever heard.
They require very little power and they appear to provide a lot of latitude with respect to room size and placement - i.e. they actually sounded amazing in the store, where placement and surroundings were far from optimal.
@stevea11757...Charney Audio is in Somerset NJ, depending on where your at in the city 1/2 hour to hour away. Contact Brian and arrange for an audition. If you don't drive Brian might be able to arrange a pick up at a train station or ferry terminal. Well worth the listen if you have the time.
Magnepan 3.7i would be a great addition. Don't believe the nonsense about needing a great deal of power. With proper set up and at reasonable listening levels the Maggie's can take you to music nirvana. You have the room to make them sing. I'm not familiar with your amp. Is it solid state or tubes. I personally believe Maggie's sound best with tubes.
As you are in our neck of the woods we would welcome you to visit the Audio Doctor showrooms, in nearby Jersey City NJ, we have the widest selection of loudspeakers in that price range in the Tri state region.
We have Dali, Kef, Kef Reference, Elac Adante, ATC, Gradient, Paradigm Prestige, Paradigm Persona, Legacy Audio, and Rethem.
It will really come down to what you value and what your ear likes, we have some exceptional performers for the money, they range from the very high resolution sound of the hi tech Paradigm Personas 3F at $10k which are the only loudspeaker under $30k with a pure Beryilium midrange and a pure Beryillium tweeter.
The Paradigm Prestige are awesome and can challenge many $20k and above loudspeakers, the Legacy Focus and smaller Signature are golden examples of high performance, and very musical loudspeakers,. that are warm yet have good resolution with deep room filling bass, they are also easy to drive and efficient the Legacy speakers use a Heil AMT for the tweeter and midrange so they have excellent treble as well, priced at $7k to $10k
The new Elac Adantes are pretty amazing with the right gear for a $5k price point, the Adantes have a huge soundstage, very deep and tight bass, and a very clean detailed top end, and the Dali Rubicons are magical in balancing resolution with liquidity in a very compact floor stander at $6k a pair.
We even have a demo pair of $20k Dali Epicon 8 that we are selling for $10k due to having too many $25-35k sets of speakers on the floor.
If you like the wide band horn thing we picked up the excellent Rethem Bahaavas a $4,200.00 ful range that has some suprising sound as they do have a good top end and have excellent deep bass due to a built in isobarik subwoofer system, as they are a wide bander they are easy to drive at about 95db efficient.
The Kef R Series and the Pardigm Prestige series are both very good in the $4k to $5k price range.
Here is our showrooom tour of a few years ago, missing is the Legacy loudspeakers, ATC speakers, the Paradigm Persona, Rethem and Elac Adante lines, also missing is the T+A gear, the Innuous Servers,Mytek, and many of the newer products we have brought in over the last few years.
I am thoroughly enjoying my Heresy III, I have had many speakers over the years and these make music, they are like listening to live music rather than a "recording" for lack of a better word . Maybe I just needed a change from the small monitor /sub combos I've had. They are fun to listen to and I don't think they are one bit harsh driven with a c-j Classic 2 SE and 40 watt Quicksilver monos.
For their price and size they do a lot more right than they do wrong.... or maybe don't do, like deep bass. The bass is tight and has excellent pitch definition. Bass guitar and upright bass sound true.
Check them out if you can, they offer a lot of good sound for your dollar.
Your amp the Mark Levinson 333 is way over engineered and powered for the Klipsch's, this amp deserves to use it's
300w/ch @8 ohms; 600w/ch @4 ohms; 1,200w/ch @2 ohms. And 45amp continuous at 2ohms power into something more challenging than Klipsch. I suggest looking at something like used Wilson Watt/Puppy 6 or 7's for this amp to stretch it's legs into for Jazz and classic rock.
Before you drop 10K on a pair of speakers, see if you can find someone within driving distance who has a pair of Tekton Double Impacts, especially if they are well broken in. Not only are they fantastic speakers, but you can also use your choice of amps to drive them. I had speakers that were far more expensive, but sold them after I auditioned the Double Impacts.
I agree with the first responder to your post who said let your ears be the judge.
I have had two sets of Heresy's, have a set of Forte's I bought new in 1990 and have had Cornwall's as well. I now have a set of Salk Sound HT3's and they are just fantastic. If you can get a set used like I did, you can find them for $5k or less. They have several different speaker series available and all of them are very good. They are all hand made in the US and the veneer work on them is as good as any piece of furniture in your house. Go to the SalkSound web page and look for a link to Available now for the used speakers available. You won't regret it...
I'll chime in and agree with williewonka: Gershman. I've never heard the Sonogram but have an origional pair of Gershman Avant Garde RX-20s playing in my main system with a JOB INT - and don't feel the need for anything else. Bide your time, search the vintage market and find a Gershman product...
... in my main system - I'm listening to vintage Gershman Avant Garde RX-20s (circa late 1990s) powered by a JOB INT - and I have no want or need to look further. The speakers are stellar performers... I'd suggest you open up a forum and investigate further about Gershman speakers - I think you'd be pleasantly surprised at what you hear from others who have Gershmans... BUT if I were looking to replace the standmount JBL L25s in my 2nd system - I'd seriously consider new Revision 2 Stiff Breeze speakers by Vapor Audio...
I second the Harbeths, ATC, and Tannoys ... Just dont know if your ARC and Levsin are SS or tube or hybrid.
I had a pair of Klipsch, and i had the same issues with "horn burnout" from the higher pitches and higher frequencies bouncing off walls. I agree the Klipschorns are majestic in their own right, but large, so large...
Personally, i run Dali Helicon 400s with ribbon tweeter, these are made for tubes. great jazz, rock, but know that the bottom end is full, which would fit your room size perfectly (I used them in a 15x23 room). the bottom end will "fill the room" with sound. but I dont recommend SS only set up. the ribbon tweeters need some tube in the pre or amp, and the bottom end can be too plump with SS.
I also run Spatial M3 Triode Masters: they are12-16 ohm, but DO require power to get the best performance. In my experiments, they sound best with a tube pre and a ss amp. soundstage is wide. response is very linear, and gives a "big sound" that again, would fit well in your room size.
I also run Dynaudio Contour S3.4s, best with high amperage with a SS amp, but can use tube or SS preamp. Dynaudio's reputation speaks for itself.
Last, I went to CAS last year and listened to Pure Voice speakers, or AudioVox, or something. they are Big speakers, like3 feet wide and 4-5 feet tall, more wide and flat than deep. I see these used for ridiculously low prices. I thought they provide the best speaker "value" of the entire show.
The ARC is a tube pre and the ML is ss, while I do not see any changes to these base components, with the possible exception of a Pass Amp sometime in the future..
I have put the
Dali Epicon 8, Wilson Pup 7, a revisit to some of the Klipsh line,
La Scala II,
Harbeth seem very interesting and several others that have been suggested to have a listen to.
You can still buy a pair of new Heresy IIIs for around 1500 bucks with a return policy (I did this a few months ago…a Ebay seller in Nevada someplace…free shipping) and I would challenge anybody to find something close to this level of efficiency (99db) and general build quality for that price. In a 3 way speaker. Ha. I laugh when people recommend an "under $4,000 speaker" to compete with these, and can only assume they haven’t heard ’em in a well sorted system. I immediately took my pair apart (I always do this with new gear…a habit that has paid off with finding disconnected caps in amps, etc., but really out of simple curiosity) and found that these things have a beautifully executed build quality with nice thick "serious" wire (surprisingly…no tiny speaker wires in these things), and a very cleanly finished no nonsense "built like a tank" feel. Designed to stay in some grandpa’s hifi system for decades (!). Regarding the sound, it seems that the inelegant adage "garbage in, garbage out" fits as I’ve been really enjoying these things with my 2 REL subs (I think you really should use subs with these…and since I like my RELs…), and a 12 watt per side single ended tube amp. If you experience "horn burnout" from these they’re likely simply revealing a system issue. They’re certainly not fatiguing (the titanium horns are clear and clean even when I tested them with my clinical sounding Mosfet SS amp) unless you prefer distorted and screechy death metal bowed on a saw…no judgment...as they have a sweetness and coherence that really surprises me, and the fact they’re assembled and designed by hillbillies in Arkansas (actually, having talked to some of these people I’ve found they’re extremely professional and knowledgeable hillbillies) is pretty cool. Regarding revealing, I roll tubes here and there in my preamp and amp and these speakers immediately reveal the differences between tube designs, as a premium speaker should.
You could sell all your stuff except de CD-player but including all your cables and buy a pair of Kii's. You would make your wife very happy and yourself too. http://www.gracedesign.com/Kii/Kii.html Kii Audio appearances in 2018:
NAMM Show- 25.-28. January 2018 - Anaheim Convention Center · Anaheim, CA - Booth 16323
AXPONA- 13. - 15. April 2018 - Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center - Schaumburg, IL - USA
CEDIA- 6.-8 .September 2018 - San Diego Convention Center - San Diego, CA 92101- USA
145nd AES Convention/ AES NY 2018 - 17.-19. October 2018 - Javits Center - NY, New York - USA
a lot of good suggestions, only several were indicating a tube amp would work better. Was not really thinking about that, in fact if anything I could see a Pass in my future. Went with the ARC pre to smooth the ss amp, if it needed, which with the ML was unessary (I think).
Currently dragged out a pair of KG4's I had in storage to check them out for a bit. First impression was pretty good with my current gear. Ended up ugrading the tweeter and crossovers to get a better feel for the Klispch 'sound'. Need to do some extended listening to make sure the fatigue factor is no longer present.
Still looking for a pair of Watt Puppies 6/7 to check out...and the adventure continues..