If you're 80% LPs and 20% CDs, you're not fully analog. Good luck with your speaker search. Listen to as many as you can, at home if possible.
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The Spendors would be on my short list, for their neutral balance, textured mid clarity, bass detail, and holographic soundstage. The fact that your in the EU just makes them more accessible, and likely more affordable. If your listening area isn't huge, better yet. It’s all very subjective, so let your ears guide you.
You mention a budget of $6,000. Are you looking at the used market as well? Likely you could look at speakers that retail at twice that price if you're willing to let someone else take the big hit for buying new. With all the people out there that just can't resist changing/upgrading their systems, there are alway fantastic bargains to be had. Just a thought.
The speakers don't care if you play vinyl or a cd or tape.. Try to be specific in what you want from the speakers. What kind of music do you mostly play? What is the room size? IOW if you have a large room you probably don't want monitor type. With your budget you will be able to get pretty good speakers, especially if you buy used. Obviously you want something probably no older than 10 yrs. Five is even better.
Speakers are pretty straight forward. Generally they work or they don't.. Spendors were quite impressive to me. But you must make the decision. Best of luck.
I would consider buying high efficiency >96db speakers which opens up a very large pool of amplifiers. Even if you’re not in the market for amps right now, imagine the options to choose <100 watts class A, A/B or SET type of amps or even the Integrated’s.
I am running my 96db speakers with Accuphase Integrated - 30W pure class A.
@adversam - I don't own Spendor speakers, but they've always impressed whenever I've heard them at shows or dealers, and know many people who feel the same way.
Harbeth and ATC would likely be on my audition list too. It's really about getting what you love, and what sounds best in your room on your system. Enjoy your search.
@adversam no matter how you slice it you have a large room with an amp that clips at 80 watts / 8 ohms. An excellent amp but you will best be served with more efficient speakers.
The Volti Razz is the best match according to your list in terms of sound quality, dynamics, frequency balance and efficiency.
@adversam I currently own models with refurbed cabinets. Ohm 5 series 3 which is last generation similar to current 5000s which are the largest with 12” driver but also most adjustable. Also Walsh 2 cabinets with 100 series 3 driver, 8” and closest to current 1000s or 2000s. Room size determines how large and how much. All models sound similar just a matter of how big of you want full extended bass.
I use Bel Canto ref1000m amps with a Audio Research sp16 tube preamp currently with them. That combo has been in place for ~10 years now.
I have a new model Rega planar 8 with the Apheta 3 cart but I have experience with the planar 6 and both the Ania and Ania Pro cartridges. My recommendation would be to skip the base Ania cart and step up to the Ania Pro since it has the finer stylus profile. The blunt stylus profile of the base Ania picks up more.surface noise compared to the finer stylus profiles. I don't have any experience with the exact but the more exotic stylus may very well be a positive.
I also.have a pair.of.Revel F208 towers that I am very fond of. It was a learning experience but they didn't really come alive until I paired them with my current Parasound JC5 amplifier. They definitely respond well to a healthy amount of power. I have heard much more expensive Linn and Sonus Faber systems and didn't feel like I was missing much so take that for what it is.
You did not mention a pre amp, are you planning to run your TT straight into the amp (I hope not?) Or, are you running an INT 25 not the XA25? The AX25 or INT version is actually a very capable amp, they push quite a few more watts than rated, almost double in fact. Your other “front end” components can have more impact potentially than the speakers. What preamp and phono amp are you running? Is your phono amp setup correctly, and is the cartridge setup perfectly? Both can have a huge impact on overall SQ.
@wolfie62 I grew up learning that in these contests there are not stupid questions but just stupid answers. Ever heard of speakers which are literally making unlistenable poor recorded records? Plenty of it... If my post is dumb you could bother your intellect investing time in anything better than replying to a dumb post, offending people that you do 't know.
Please don’t call records “vinyls”. Even if you are a millennial…….
You’ve mentioned some good choices. I am only familiar with two on your list, the Cornwall IV and the Kanta. I own the former and a friend owns the latter.
The Kanta 2 is a very detailed and easy to listen to speaker. I would call it refined, but not analytical like earlier Focal offerings. The CW IV is more about rich tonal colors, dynamics and the feeling of the performers in the room. It won’t be as detailed and “see through” as the Kanta, although it’s pretty good at those things. They are two very good speakers but very different.
Your vinyl rig and especially phono pre will have more impact on how your vinyl sounds than your speaker selection. Forte IV and Cornwall were both on my short list recently; purchased the Forte as I didn't have room for the Cornwalls. Cornwalls had slightly better bass response, but a greater sense of weight and presence. If you like horns, go with the Cornwalls; the others on your list will have a much different presentation regardless of whether you are feeding them with vinyl or digital.
@ozzy62 hi ok, i ll switch to lp records... It's my italian bringing me to the term "vinyl", in Italy we just say vinile:) Did you have any occasion to match the Kanta with the Pass XA25? Yes, I m strongly oriented towards Cornwall or Kanta 2, I will audition the Cornwall IV as soon as my dealer receive them.
That’s a big room with a low ceiling, early floor and ceiling reflections, make sure you let people you contact about speakers know about that.
Bass is primary for you, and your amp is not huge. As well as efficient speakers, have you considered self-powered subs?
Does your pre-amp have pre-out/main in? any method of going line level to sub, line back from sub into preamp? Then you shift the job of low bass production out of your existing amp, AND you select mains that do everything except low bass that fit your space best.
2 Channel, I recommend a stereo pair of subs, front firing, no ports, adjacent to the mains, to preserve bass imaging by both the primary and overtone notes that give directionality. My mains are 15" woofers, like a pair of front firing subs, I assure you, bass is/can be directional.
Some here love ’Swarm’ arrangement of many subs, they might be your best friends for that space. I never heard a swarm, here’s a quick find.
If you start with a swarm concept, you can start with one or two, add others bit by bit as money is found, if the OEM will still be around.
First & foremost, there is no substitute for critical listening auditions under controlled conditions, especially when you're spending upwards of $6,000 (US). Unfortunately, controlled conditions, other than bringing speakers to your home, will very likely be virtually impossible, given your rather unique pre-amp and large home sound room. I'm assuming you know the Rega Ania is a MC cart and the Exact is a MM? Quite different sound signatures. A previous poster is absolutely correct with regard to your preamp having significant influence over what your TT & cart will sound like; not to mention the size and acoustics of your home sound room.
Secondly, speakers are, arguably, the most subjective sonic experience in audiophilia. Relying upon the impressions of others in this regard is a lot like asking someone if they like Asparagus more than Fiddleheads. Everyone who responds is very likely listening to components quite different from yours, in sound rooms different from yours, as well.
Thirdly, you say bass "is the most important thing" to you. Keep in mind there are speakers that can reach very low frequencies but cannot reproduce them very accurately. They will sound boommie and muddy in the lowest frequencies. YOUR EARS will have to decide how accurate or faithful to a live performance you want bass response to be. Have you considered the idea of a quality subwoofer?
Finally, I'm not familiar with your amp or preamp. However, 25 watts into 8 ohms, even in Class A, doesn't seem like a lot of power for a sound room as large as yours. Do you listen mostly at low volumes?
I've spent about 1.5 hours of serious seat-time with the Revel Performa3 F208, powered by a McIntosh MA5300, in a sound room smaller than yours. Even though the MAC MA5300 is rated at 100 watts into 8 ohms, it's probably more like 130 watts. MAC tends to be very conservative with their ratings. Under those circumstances, despite their rated sensitivity, I felt the F208 needed more juice & power to sound their best.
I've also spent about an hour of serious seat-time with the two-way design Spendor A7, powered by a 60 watt NAD integrated whose model number I can't remember, in a sound room smaller than yours. I think the NAD may have been a class D design but I'm not sure of that. I liked the Spendor but, again, felt they would perform better with more power & current.
I've also spent around 1 hour of serious seat-time with the Dynaudio Evoke 30, powered by a MAC MC275 & MAC preamp, in a sound room about the same size as yours. These 2.5 way 4 ohm design speakers sounded very nice, to me, and very accurate but had limited low bass reach. The Evoke 50 are rated to go about 5 Hz lower and probably do that very accurately, as well. Four ohm design speakers, generally speaking, are going to need more current to make them sound their best. I've always found, over the years, Dynaudio speakers to be very accurate. I think this is one of their hallmarks. However, here again, some ears like this and some don't.
Under the circumstances you are juggling, I would recommend you read Herb Reichert's 2-1-18 review of your amp in Stereophile and pay particular attention to the speakers he used for that review. You may find you don't need to spend anywhere near $6,000 (US) to accomplish your aim and, with your vinyl collection and budget, contemplate an ultrasonic record cleaning machine for your impressive LP collection, if you haven't already.
Buono Fortuna, amico mio!
@oldaudiophile thanks for your reply, found it very inspiring. I will check for sure Herb's review on PassXA25... I was suspecting that both models mentioned for Revel and Dynaudio are not the best match with my amp. If i decide for a cheaper speaker I ll definitely buy an ultrasonic record clearing machine, I repeat to myself each month "now it's time to get it"
Not a fan of the sound of the Focal Kanta and if you must McIntosh or Luxman Class A would be my amplifier of choice.
I like the Klipsch Forte and Cornwall but do not love them because they have too much cabinet coloration that mucks up midrange vocals. Also they like more power than the specs would presume, Hence the recommendation for the Volti which are truly efficient and have no cabinet coloration.
The Spendor’s would work but I believe they are too neutral for the XA25 which is exceedingly neutral sounding. A little warmth is needed.
@tubebuffer I'm definitely in! I'll bring also the wine:) just give me a date and a place...
regarding the Maggies we have it in Sweden... In Poland where I live, we have just used pairs, sooner or larer going for a trip to Warsaw to hear the 1.7
I'm curious to hear it even if everyone says that both dynamic and bass can't compete with horn speakers
Stereophile test of amplifier power output higher than specs:“…the amplifier exceeded its specified power output at the clipping point, which we define as when the THD+noise equals 1%. At that THD+N percentage the XA25 delivered 80Wpc into 8 ohms (19dBW) and 130Wpc into 4 ohms (18.1dBW)”
So more speaker options…just what the @adversam needs.
@knotscott thanks, I ll have an appointment soon in order to test the A7.@adversam - perhaps you can bring your amp and maybe preamp to the demo
Adversam, you don't need to spend a lot of money for an ultrasonic record cleaning machine. The hottest thing on the market today is the Degritter. However, they refuse to prove their claim of why using an ultrasonic frequency of 120 kHz/ 300 watts cleans better than other frequencies. I need more than sales & marketing talk before spending the kind of money they want for their machine. I've communicated with many manufacturers of ultrasonic cleaning machines used in the medical field and in the manufacture of semiconductors. All the responses I received indicate that 40 kHz would be sufficient for PVC or vinyl records without harming them. The cavitation produced at 120 kHz does, indeed, produce smaller bubbles than 40 kHz (a standard frequency). However, it's not the bubbles that do the cleaning. It's the power of their implosion (i.e. cavitation). Forty Hz would be sufficient, more powerful and will not harm your records, as long as you don't clean them more than necessary (i.e. once, as long as you practice other proper care & maintenance habits). Check out CleanerVinyl.com. You can put together a good, effective system for as little as several hundred dollars (US). A system like this is, admittedly, less convenient than Degritter, AUDIO Desk Systeme and other such systems. You'll have to do a little more work but it will save you lots of money. If and when Degritter can prove that 120 kHz is more or, at least, as effective as 40, 60 or 80 kHz or oscillating frequencies like these, I'll buy one.
@oldaudiophile thanks again for another wise recommendation...Just checked their website, I'm thinking of one of these kits... Any specific one to recommend that you personally bought? Also curious to know your opinion regarding the Pro-Ject VC S2 Alu. Today a guy from a shop I visited suggested it. We also listened to the Revel F208 but I honestly didn t like this speaker, so it s going to leave my starting list.
@jjss49 indeed, not such a bad thread, isn t it? Many good comments and wise suggestions. Plus it's remembering us that the Pass XA25 is not just a 25 Watts power amp. Just hoping to get more feedbacks regarding Volti's speakers. The Razz are on my shortlist, but if it's really worth it I could even wait more time, save more money and seriously consider the Rival's. That would be great to hear how the Rivals compare to the Razz and to the Cornwall IV for example. Hope someone will share some opinions:)