Speaker for NAD C320BEE

Dear Audiogoners,
I have recently come to the hobby. My setup now is,

NAD C320BEE integrated amp (50 wpc)
NAD C521BEE CD player
Acoustic Energy Aegis 1 monitor speakers
Velodyne powered sub (80 watts?--it was $300 at the mall in 2000)

I'm looking to spend no more than $600 (new or used) to upgrade speakers. I would like a good all-around speaker--jazz, folk, rock, classical. The Aegis 1s are very good for some things (folk-rock, jazz), but not so kind to thicker music (e.g., Soundgarden). I am just starting to look around. So far have considering PSB (new, maybe Alpha T) or maybe Totem (used Rainmaker). Any suggestions greatly appreciated. In particular,
-Can I get new for $600 better than what I have now?
-monitor versus floorstanding given budget and amp?
-Is my sub worthy of pairing with good (c. $1,000 new) monitors?

psb is a good match with nad electronics. totem makes a fine product but is more power hungry than psb.
Are you using a high pass filter on the Aegis 1 monitor? You didn't state what model of sub you are using.

The Aegis Evo sub will integrate properly with the Aegis 1 monitor and your NAD integrated. You'd run cables from the preamp out of the NAD to the Evo sub and then back to the amp in of the NAD. This will enable biamping with the sub and high pass the Aegis 1 monitors.

That's where I'd spend the money.
Bob, thanks for your reply. The sub is a Velodyne CT80; I am using the sub's crossover, set at about 80Hz.

To make sure I understand, you suggest I unhitch the preamp from amp section, and run RCA cables to an Aegis sub, and then back? And with a Aegis sub this will get me sound significantly better than what I have now? Even if the bass were better (and better integrated) wouldn't the whole upper range be the same?--Alex

If you looking at PSB, then id suggest you check out the Stratus Mini. I owned a pair and i felt their greatest strength was rock music. They are forgiving of lesser electronics ( I used an Onkyo stereo amp and a cheeeeeap Kenwood CDP with good results) they also have good bass for their size. If you are in a larger room then maybe the Bronze or Silver would be a better choice. I sold my Stratus Mini's on this site for $460 so they are within your budget.
tell you what if you want PSB check out dmc-electronics web site - they are in California - I bought a pair of Image 6Ts - they have most of the newer models, - new for about half price - authorized dealer - factory sealed but with supposed blemish on cabinet - yet to see it - I listen to rock and jazz and they sound great either way - no hassel seller
I agree about DMC electronics, I bought a pair of Image 2b's there a few years back. They are the cheapest place for PSB Iv'e seen. I live in Buena Park so they were rather close to be.
I am using a pair of Dynaudio Audience 42's with a NAD c320bee and c542 cd player. It is a very good match. I found the 42's here on Audiogon for $450 last summer. Your room size is important to consider.
I purchased a used pair of Spendor S3/5's here for $650. My older NAD just died recently and I replaced it with C320BEE. Sounds great together.
Alex, can you explain how you have the sub connected? I did not see a manual for the CT-80 on the Velodyne web site, so I'm not sure whether or not it provides a high pass filter for the monitors.

My first stereo system was very similar to yours -- Rotel integrated amp, B&W 601 monitors and CT-100 sub. I found the CT-100 to be very slow compared the the B&W monitors and the experience turned me away from subs for a long time. I'm guessing you are experiencing a similar situation.

I think you'll have a better chance at building a full range speaker system by using the sub that was designed for your monitors.

Assuming you are running the sub in parallel with the monitors, you are having the NADC320 amplify a full range signal and the monitors are trying to reproduce a full range signal. Neither situation is optimal -- bass frequencies require a lot of power and the monitor will produce more distortion trying to reproduce bass frequencies.

Yes, you are correct in how to wire up the Evo sub. Remove the jumpers from the back of the C320; connect RCA cables from preamp out to the sub's line input; connect RCA cables from the sub's line output to the preamp's amp input.

Your question about only the bass being improved is a good one (and very logical), but yes I believe you will hear an improvement over the entire audio band. With less load on both the amp and the monitors everything will be working easier with less distortion. Place the sub tightly into a corner and the harmonics of the bass frequencies will come from the monitors.

If you decide to go this route, I recommend the sub cable from Blue Jeans cable http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/subwoofer/index.htm. I like the Belden 1505F for its smaller size and flexibility.


As Facten pointed out, https://dmc-electronics.com/Default.htm sells PSB blems. They offer very good deals. About 6 years ago a friend bought a pair of Image 5Ts and it was difficult locating the blemish. He has been very happy with them. So, an Image T55 would be good choice. It can't compete with a good sat/sub system though.

Hope some of this helps,
The AR.com kit speaker designed by Ed Frias and sold through Madisound is superb.Even if you paid a tech to wire in the crossover these would come in well under $600 and they sound more like $2000 Spendors or Proacs[very coherent and refined].They sound nothing like a budget speaker.
If you're looking new, agree on the PSB recs.

I use JM Reynaud Twins with my bee and a Sony 9000es sacd/dvd player in my second system. Very, very pleased with this setup, does everything very well. Used should be well within your budget, but you'd need 28" stands. Don't think you'd be disappointed, and if you upgraded the amp, say to a tube int, the Twins sure won't embarass themselves. Used them for four years with a Rogue Tempest int.
I put together a bedroom system for a friend using the same NAD gear and paired it with a pair of the newer little EPOS.. What a great match. The system sounds better than that it has a right to at the cost.. Good luck..

The best setup I heard with your NAD was with Klipsch Herresey vintage speaker. They're sold used for arround $400. With sub you'll have sub-state of the art setup I assume.

The JMR Twins would also be another consideration. Iv'e read tons of good stuff about them and would love to hear them myself. If you get a chance to audition these please do and post your findings.
Thank you all very much for your comments! It will take me some time to run down all these suggestions, but it should be fun. Bob, in response to your last post, I run the speaker wires to the subwoofer, then from the sub out to the monitors. There is a single crossover dial on the back of the sub, which I have been setting to about 80Hz. So the monitors are not trying to produce bass, unless the sub is off. But I am intrigued by your suggestion--to scoop out the bass before the signal even gets to the amp section of the integrated--and I plan to try it this weekend. I notice now that the sub has RCA in and out jacks; the out jacks are labeled "80Hz high-pass output." So I guess Velodyne thought of this too. Thanks again for your very thorough comments--Alex
Vandersteen 1c
I'm using a pair of Quad 11L's and really like what I'm hearing (secondary system).
I agree. I have a NAD C320BEE working with a pair of Triangle Antal ESW and is like a match made in heaven. I have tried it also with a pair of Triangle Titus speakers with the same results.