What amplification are you using? What is your maximum budget? New or used? What size is your listening room?
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I have 3 amplifiers:
Class D Audio SDS-400C
I’m not using any tube gear, DAC/pre is Fostex HP-A3, only playing FLAC/MP3 files from computer
Budget will be roughly less than 2K. I’m thinking to try Dynaudio Exite X18 perhaps, need to check the price though, I'm ok with used item as long as the condition is good
Guys thanks for all the great recommendations:
Harbeth P3ESR - I heard only good thing about this speakers, but I just wonder how much improvement compare to the Wharfedale Denton I currently own, it can be just not much I get, especially in terms of bass, dynamic and power? The Malaysia price of this is enough to buy a larger monitor
ProAc SC1 or D2 - Actually I'm wainting someone to let go, but I just keep waiting, no news yet...
Omega, Fritz, Reference 3A, Speaker Art, Tekton speakers - I'm afraid I'm not able to audition these great speakers at Malaysia because simply N/A
KEF LS50 / R300 - The price is indeed very high at Malaysia here, they are really famous anywhere I've seen in shops, I feel a bit hesitate to audition KEF LS50 as I think the bass would be quite limited for orchestra music, physical driver size limitation just always happen to me when listening to smaller speakers, indeed I'm looking for medium size speakers, not too small not big like floorstander, something like 6.5inch woofer driver, with almost perfect tonal balance, KEF R300 would be a great option consider that, but then the price is shockingly high, almost absurd if it make sense to me
My best bet would be used item like Dynaudio Focus series, or ProAc D2 which very rare in sale, another option I'm eagerly waiting to audition is Sonus Faber Venere 1.5/2.0, the resell price is indeed very attractive, half of original sale price, but that would be curious to me why?
@chrisr Marantz PM6005 is a good but not a great match with Denton as I feel the bass a bit color from the amp, initially the Denton has enough bass already, I would say that the Yamaha a better cleaner amp in bass, the Yamaha can provide neutral sound, thus some standmount like Diamond 9.1 the bass will sound just as much as the 5in woofer size, nothing more nothing less
I take it that you haven't heard the Legacy Audio Studio HD's, I was in the market for some bookshelf speaker back in the summer and the "Boss" and I listened to every bookshelf speaker we could find (Revel M105 and Paradigm Signature S2 just to name a couple). We went to Cap Fest and found the Legacy speaker...Oh my word, they played so large, couldn't believe the bass (from a bookshelf) and the AMT tweeter was crystal clear. If I shut my eyes and just listened I felt like I was listening to a pair of towers, and at less than 2 grand for a pair in a premium Rosewood finish you have a speaker that looks great and sounds even better.
I now own two pair of Legacy speakers (Focus SE's and the Studio HD's) and they are definitely keepers.
If you can find a pair of Focal 706V or 806V, you will experience a 3D holographic sound unlike anything you will ever experience. I have a pair of 806V along with the Focal S700 stands, and these have been the best investment besides my network audio player I have in my system. These are definitely worth the price, and if you can find a pair lightly pre-owned, that would be even better.
KEF KS50 are a default choice. Surprisingly good bass response in a small room.
Triangle Titus 202, first version with metal bullet phase plug in the tweeter mouth. Great HF extension, whip sharp transient response, completely disappear in room, very easy to drive- even with low power amplifiers. Downside is no bass response in room below about 70hz.
I have had Spendors since they came out and still use them off and on despite having had many other more exotic ones over the years. They simply have an accurate sound that does not exaggerate any part of the music. What there is on there is what you hear. Harbeth is also great, the designers worked together at the BBC and the speakers are named for them and their wives. Spencer and Dorothy Huews and Beth Harwood. I was a dealer for them both years ago and still have Spendor SP1s SP2s, and S100s I quit being a dealer years ago but still listen to them and am getting ready to set up systems for my family members using them. Forgive my spelling
I may be late to the party here, but you should consider Wavetouch Audio's (Alex Yoon) Antero's. Not only gorgeous but a wonderful sound - they use the AMT (Air Motion Transformer) 2" tweeter .. .... three words come to mind: neutrality, transparancy and realism. Highs are so sweet, have a nice bass extension and very detailed mid range. And when they're broken in .... they disappear into the wood work~!
You should look at ATC and PMC. Your comments suggests that you really notice the true dynamics of music when playing Dynaudio. Some people are not very sensitive to this aspect but obviously you noticed it. Many suggestions above are good but they won't have that "awe" effect that you noticed with a pro-driver that does not compress as easily as home audio gear. Dynaudio make and use better drivers than the usual consumer stuff. Same for ATC and PMC.
@shadorne I'm eyeing on ATC SCM11 v2, price is not cheap but at least affordable, I read somewhere claimed that this is a redesigned for home users and more forgiving to listen compare higher end pro series like SCM20 and models beyond that, what do you think? My only concern would be the Yamaha A-S801 amp gear matching, not sure the total package include DAC works well with the ATC?