New speakers dilemma for vinyls... Heeelp! :)))


My dear hifi lovers,

In a while I'm going to pull the trigger for a pair of new speakers, in 6000$ range.
My new system will be focused on a Pass Labs XA25 and a Rega Planar 6, I'll have to test both Ania and Exact cartridges as I don't know yet what to choose.
I was looking on the web for recommendations related to vinyls for speakers in such a cost range but found literally nothing. My system will be fully analog, 80% lps, 20% cds. So far I auditioned the Klipsch Forte IV and Sonus Nova 3, very different but both amazing for different reasons. I slightly preferred the Nova as for me the bass is the most important thing. The Forte had a decent one but don't go deep enough, hope to hear the Cornwall IV soon and find that amount of low frequencies missing with the Forte. Unfortunately the dealer couldn't provide a turntable for the listening. This month I'm still auditioning:

Revel Performa3 F208
Focal Kanta 2
Cornwall IV
Spendor A7
Dynaudio Evoke 50

In a first moment I was also strongly considering the Tekton DI's and Volti Razz, they're both still on the list but unfortunately I can't test them because I'm in EU and in addition I'll have to pay tax duties (but this won't be a problem if these speakers are really the best choice).
Anyway even if for next auditionings there will probably be a turntable, It's always hard to get what's better sounding. I have 1000 records and can't test all of them, plus I can't know which one has a solid registration or not.
Does any of you have experience with speakers in a such cost range, using a turntable? And btw did any of you try also the Ania or the Exact?
Please feel also free to recommend any other speakers i didn't mention, I'm extremely flexible and open to any suggestion (excluding Dac).

Thanks!!!
adversam
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.
Sorry I should have specified that in the future I ll buy a cd player, but it's just an  idea... So basically yes, it will be probably 80-90% analog.
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.
I did not know there are speakers designed specifically for or 80% vinyl playback 😂
@bigtwin hi, could be also used, but i prefer new because it's easier both for testing and assistance
@lalitk ok let s say just vinyl then. 100% vinyl.
@knotscott thanks, I ll have an appointment soon in order to test the A7. Do you own a Spendor speaker? Any other models to recommend?
did you listen to those speakers with your amp?  the XA25 is not a powerhouse for bass.  Most of the speakers you mentioned are not a good match for your amplifier, especially if bass is your priority.  
Give the Volti Razz a listen, very good sensitivity, huge bass and an excellent match for your amp.  
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.
Ohm Walsh's for $4K will beat everything on your list! 3-D room-filling sound from any spot! A revolutionary design! I have a pair!
Yea have had Ohm Walsh in various forms for 30 years now. Many challengers past and present...still the musical champs. Held in ever higher esteem by more and more as the years pass. Totally unique and no flash in the pan here.  Nothing compares in the price range.
@mapman @jasonbourne52, thanks for the great recommendation. I m checking Ohm Walsh's page, which of the current models do you recommend? Beta? Tall 4000? Which amp do you use?
@avanti 1960 the Pass XA25 have a huge dumping factor and can produce at least 100W into 2ohm working in  A/B class. I don t listen at crazy volume, maximum h12. All the speakers I m testing have a very decent sensitivity, which ones in your opinion is not a good match for it?
OP,

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.
Forgot to mention my room is 27 X 16 X 7
@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.  

If you liked the Sonus faber Olympica Nova 3s - listen to the Sonettos Vs and VIIIs.  

I think you may enjoy the sound and value.
@avanti1960 thanks for your feedback... just a last question, the kanta's 2 have sensitivity at 91db... Do you think they could pair? If not what power amp do you like/suggest?
Vinyls? Um, they're called LP's. Or records. ANYTHING but vinyls, for gawd's sake.
@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. 
This is a dumb post. Good speakers don’t care what the source material is. 
Someone please explain to the OP that speakers don’t cater to “vinyls” or polycarbonate, or to Mylar-oxide streaming, or to anything else. They just reproduce what they’re fed.

Just dumb.
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.  Why do you slag off someone trying to understand?  You are the one who had simply dumb post.  
I would add Proac to your audition list or perhaps Monitor Audio Gold's/Platinum. Proac demos at hi-fi shows have always been impressive, and I have owned both brands over the years. Then there is KEF, I have had these too !!
@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.
@smandlej great recommendation, thanks!
@geof3 sorry for not mentionig, preamp is Don Sachs 6SN7
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.

Oz
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. 
I’ve owned many Spendors including stand mount and bookshelf types. I have never had a Spendor that I didn’t like!
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.

http://www.audiokinesis.com/the-swarm-subwoofer-system-1.html

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.  


Ohm Walsh’s for $4K will beat everything on your list! 3-D room-filling sound from any spot! A revolutionary design! I have a pair!

@jasonbourne52 I have serious doubts that you have heard everything on his list.

Just like @avanti1960 has more than likely not heard a Cornwall IV........

Oz
Since you are in the eu try a different cartridge in the rega instead of those a dynavector would be a much better choice for a p6. I would also look for a classic spendor or harbeth speaker for your system because they sound great on vinyl.
I don’t know whether Zingali has anything in your price range, but they might offer a European competitor to the Volti Razz and Tekton DI.

Duke
Adversam pardon some these baboon with unculture comment regard you language. Do you have Maggie in your country? I bring my Viking over to Mediterranean Sea next year you bring woman to my boat and we listen to vinyl drink wine party with ladies.
@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
@audiokinesis thanks, i didn t know this brand, i ll check for sure:)
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
Ilumnia Magister MK2 ! (  Ilumnia.be)
i am enjoying reading this thread more than most

great observations from @oldaudiophile  -- old in this case has also brought wisdom...
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:)