I have been looking around a lot after my mini maggies thread to see if any speakers would be a better choice. Honestly, though I have no clue what to really look for in a speaker. So here I am hoping to get some ideas from the forum members. The room is mid/large (17 feet by 24 feet and its a rectangle with one corner chopped off). I have seen KEF LS50's, Peachtree D5, and Focal electra 1008 BE on the internet. Are any of these better then the mini maggies in a decently large room?
Lowrider57 - I would say max 5k for 2 speakers (my wife might strangle me if I go higher and I like breathing). They will be sitting on a desk next to my monitor (its a big L shape desk). I cant really go with floor standing because space is a premium for me and my wife wouldn't like speakers just sitting on the floor in front of my desk. I did plan on getting a sub woofer but my decent i choice didn't seem to go well with the Magnepans and I fear I wouldn't know which one to go with (I would like the sub to stay in the decent I price range).
Jim, a point that needs to be clarified further is where you will be listening FROM.
Will you be doing any serious or semi-serious listening from positions other than at the desk? In other words, does sound quality at positions elsewhere in the room matter? If so, what is the furthest distance you anticipate listening from? And does sound quality off axis matter (i.e., when you are positioned off to the side, relative to the direction at which the speakers are aimed)?
So... after a bunch of research I am really thinking the Anthony Gallo strada speakers might be the way to go. I know Al may give me noogies for asking(given the price difference). Would these work well with the audio research ref 150 amp and audio research 5se preamp? Or is there a reason it would not work well with the speakers I mentioned? Anyone know of a better match. I am also thinking of getting the mapleshade wood base. Anyone have any experience with them? Thanks again for all the feedback and help.
You'd need to get some really solid speaker stands. Think MapleShade? makes something for the Strada.
The Strada needs to be properly braced for the bass to come across. I found the desktop stands to be wholly inadequate for that purpose. Best if you can use the wall mount bracket which seems to give it enough rigidity for bass reproduction.
I know Al may give me noogies for asking (given the price difference).
The only way it would make any sense to spend $26K for pre + power amplification to drive $2K/pair speakers would be if you envision ultimately upgrading the speakers to much more expensive floorstanders, or expensive monitors + stands.
That said, although I have no particular familiarity with Gallo speakers, based on their description I suspect those ARC components would do reasonably well with them sonically. I'd be cautious, however, about mating the Strada with most other tube amplifiers.
Due in part to their unusual crossoverless design, the impedance of those speakers, as shown in the first graph here for the original Strada, varies very widely as a function of frequency, and reaches difficult combinations of low magnitudes and significantly capacitive phase angles at some frequencies in the bass region. Given my strong suspicion that the speakers are designed with the expectation that they are likely to be driven with solid state amplification, the relatively high output impedance of most tube amplifiers is likely to interact with those impedance variations such that unintended tonal balances would result. Those effects will be fairly minimal in the case of the Ref 150, though, because (as with some other ARC amps) it has significantly lower output impedance than many other tube amps.
My one other comment is that you'll almost certainly need a sub (or two) with those speakers, given that their frequency response is specified as "68Hz - 20Khz +/- 3dB (in room with boundary reinforcement, speakers within 1 foot of wall)."
It seems to me that an integrated amp with high power/current would serve your purpose. ARC separates are overkill for a small desktop listening area. Unless you're planning for the future and expanding your listening area. So many good integrateds out there.
Based upon the limited info you're providing your system doesn't make much sense. Matching the ARC preamp/amp with desktop speakers positioned as you indicated is something of a waste of performance. I don't understand how if space for floorstanding speakers is a problem how you could then justify the large area consumed by the ARC components? (In another thread didn't you have Brystons?)
If I were looking for a very high quality desk oriented system I would consider products from Magnepan, Gradient and Lipinski. I hesitate to recommend anything to you because I don't think you have a well developed sense of what you're doing.
Doggiehowser - yeah thinking mapleshade stands and I may do 1 woofer.
al- yeah I'm a goober and just thought separate amp and pre would be better performance wise. I also thought the arc 150 was the max wattage which I believe was the max on the speakers. I guess you don't match speakers and amps that way.
onhwy61 - yeah I'm kind of shooting in the dark even after lots of reading. I have space under my desk to sit the amps and 1 sub. Floor standing would sit in front of my desk and would annoy my wife that's why I really am avoiding them.
08-27-13: Jkman al- yeah I'm a goober and just thought separate amp and pre would be better performance wise. I also thought the arc 150 was the max wattage which I believe was the max on the speakers. I guess you don't match speakers and amps that way.
Jim, yes 150 watts is a reasonable power rating to be using with those speakers, although there are many other factors that are involved in matching amplifiers and speakers (some of which I touched upon in my previous post). But the price of those ARC components is absurd for use with the Gallo Strada's, unless as I said you envision ultimately upgrading the speakers.
Check out Modwright.com for some pre, power, and integrated amplifiers that would, at a very small fraction of the price of those ARC components, provide you with similar power ratings, and in combination with the Gallo speakers would undoubtedly provide you with sonics that are just as good, albeit probably a bit different. Even those components, though, might be overkill for use with the $2K Gallo speakers.
Its an l shaped desk with a wall behind me and to my right. The part where I sit is facing towards the room with nothing in front of it. The tv is too my left. So I face the family when they are watching.
Do you have any local brick and mortar hifi shops in your area? It sounds like you're trying to spend a boat load of money without ever listening to anything. You need to get out there and spend some time listening to some stuff. You're totally setting yourself up for failure and auditioning gear is so much fun.
Does your wife enjoy listening to music? I'm sure your kids do but it's not unreasonable that some people just don't like listening to music. I had a boss that told me he didn't like music. No big deal but it might help the forum guide you.
If you don't have any future upgrade plans, you should probably consider Al's suggestion of an integrated amp. There's some amazing choices out there for integrated amps. I get my newest one next week and its the best I've heard so far with my speakers. That's the deal though. I've heard it with my speakers and I loved it. That's when you break out the plastic or the checkbook.
donjr - don't worry I will defiantly go to a hifi shop. I am doing some ground work to know what to ask for. Otherwise I might hear something buy it and it just doesn't work well with my room or as the beginning of my mini Maggie thread pointed out complete overkill on parts. Thanks for your feedback.