Speaker recommendation


Hi everyone,

I need your advice in selecting new/used speakers to match my Peachtree Nova 125 + OPPO BD-103 + tablet/JRiver MC20.

The setup is in our living room, which is HUGE (L32 x W20 x H12 feet), opening into a large dining room on one side (L23 x W16 x H12 feet), and again, into a fairly large den on the other side (L20 x W16 x H12 feet)!!!

Since I reside in the remote island country of Madagascar, size is also an issue... as shipping very large/heavy speakers to Madagascar costs and arm and three legs.

I'm wondering if a combination of top notch standmount speakers with subwoofers would be acceptable... I already have subs (SVS SB12-NSD).

My listening habits range from jazz, pop/rock, classical, and world music.

I have a relatively modest CD/Vinyl collection ( couple of hundred in total) and thousands of songs/albums downloaded at various resolutions, and varying qualities...

I like my music fairly loud, but as I get older, tend to appreciate more and more, high quality sound.

Listening to high quality FLAC files from HDTracks through JRiver MC20 has proven to be a breakthrough for me, as I discover "better sound".

VoilĂ ! To make a long story short, I want to splurge in a pair of speakers that will match my eclectic musical tastes, last at least ten years, offer superior sound quality, and hopefully, come in a small enough package so that I don't have to spend too much $$ in shipping/import taxes.

By the way, my budget is $2000-$3000, (closer to $2000 being preferred...) which I figure, constitutes a minimum to really hope for a pair that will match my needs and last forever...

Oops, I almost forgot, I now use a combination of Magnepan MMGs + a pair of SVS SB-12NSD subs.

They are not loud enough for my taste (I have to turn the knob on the PTA Nova125 to 2 O'clock to get to a listening level I like), and the treble seems somewhat muffled... I need more "bang" if you catch my drift.

Granted, this setup is fairly new, I still have to tinker in order to get the best out of it... But I think I made a mistake in choosing the MMGs... I probably should have gone towards the Revel F12 - Monitor Audio RX6...

I am very curious about the Tekton Designs Pendragons... What do you think?

I know, I know... you're probably thinking: "didn't he write that he preferred a standmount + sub setup?"... I do, becaus it will cost me less in shipping + taxes, AND I already jave a pair of great sounding SVS subs... However, I can't help thinking that integrating subs properly in a stereo setup may be beyond my capacities... unless you can reassure me that I can easily mlearn how to!

In any case, thanks for your precious input, I will of course look for deals here at Agon!!

Cheers! jlr261
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128jlr261
Try a pair of used Aerial 5B speakers or Von Gaylord Audio VG-8 MK II Speakers.

Both of these speakers can play loud, sound great, go relatively low and are easier to mate with sub-woofers. They also should be cost effective to ship.

In addition, the Von Gaylord are very efficient and easy to drive. The Aerials sound good with nominal power - though they do sound their best with better electronics.

Kindest regards, TJF.
OK. You might not take this serious but here is what I have done. I run two channel with four speakers --- I have a my preamp run my main speakers through an amp and then feed signal to an integrated amp that feeds my back speakers. By having 4 speakers (two in front and 2 in back) you fill the room with music and, if done right, the imaging is much better than with just two speakers (as is palpable presence, richness and fullness). Your "it is not loud enough problem" will go away FAR better in such a room with this setup --- FAR better than will be the case with ANY two speakers you choose. Think about it. That said... your budget is really small.
As close as you are to nowhere, :-), I'd do some serious googling on European, Australian and Asian speaker makes. There's a plethora of makes out there that don't reach American shores and to just limit your choices to what we'd know would be doing yourself a big disservice.
Also, look into South African dealers here:http://www.audiourgency.co.za/dealers.html

All the best,
Nonoise
I can't recommend a speaker because we may like different things, and it would just be random guessing. But I may have a different solution for you. Given the size of the room and your equipment and budget, what you are looking to do is probably going to be very difficult. I'm not saying it can't be done or to not try, just that it won't be easy. It may be possible, and a lot cheaper, to try and do something with the room instead. If you were to put together some lightweight panels made out of fibreglass, that you could put them behind your listening chair in an attempt to make the room smaller. I'm assuming that building a real wall would not be something you can live with. At least with some lightweight panels, they would be easy to move around and wouldn't be permanent.
Cant go wrong with Tekton Designs Pendragons or Enzos
I would think that a pair of mmgs + pair of 12" powered subs would go as loud and clear as needed if teh crossover is done in a manner that offloads most of teh bass below 50-60 hz or so to the subs.

Do you know if that is how you have yours setup? Either the Peachtree or subs would have provide the crossover needed otherwise you would have to use an external one.

If you like the Maggie sound but just need more volume and impact I would check that first in any case. Switching to higher efficiency main speakers (Maggies are NOT efficient at all) might help but still not be the final solution. In msot any any case, in a large room, with a 3K max budget , letting the subs carry the bass load will put you in teh best place possible. The same crossover solution would work with any mains but the settings to blend in well will be different with different main speakers.
"Your "it is not loud enough problem" will go away FAR better in such a room with this setup --- FAR better than will be the case with ANY two speakers you choose. Think about it. That said... your budget is really small.
Robsker (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

I know your way is the best way, of course, but have you considered that when you use 4 speakers like that, you destroy the format? Maybe the OP doesn't want that, even if your way is best.
They are not loud enough for my taste
The MMG's sensitivity is 86db with 2.83v, and since it is 4 ohm, that is 2 watts. So with 1 watt, it would be 83db. You should be looking at speakers with a much higher sensitivity for this large room. Then you will not have to increase the volume knob on the amp as much. The Aerial 5B that is recommended is the same as the MMG, and would be no different with volume, but likely a different sound character.
It may be possible, and a lot cheaper, to try and do something with the room instead. If you were to put together some lightweight panels made out of fibreglass, that you could put them behind your listening chair in an attempt to make the room smaller. I'm assuming that building a real wall would not be something you can live with. At least with some lightweight panels, they would be easy to move around and wouldn't be permanent.

Room treatment is advisable to improve sound quality, however will do little to nothing for the volume issue in this large room.

You definitely need to be looking for speakers that have a sensitivity rating of at least 90db, and higher would would be even better.
"Room treatment is advisable to improve sound quality, however will do little to nothing for the volume issue in this large room."

Sorry if I wasn't clear. My idea was to but some panels together that are large enough to be a temp/movable wall. They wouldn't have to be a complete and perfect fit, but if you were to get 70 or 80% of a full size wall, it would probably go a long way in making the room "smaller" for the audio system.
it would probably go a long way in making the room "smaller" for the audio system.
Yes, smaller, visually, but how are fiberglass panels, that absorb sound waves, going to solve the volume problem?
I vote for the tektons because they can fill your room with quality sound with the amp you have. But they are big and heavy. shipping charges shouldnt change much from the usa vs asian locations.
Jlr261,
Given your needs and budget I believe the Tekton Pendragons is a very viable solution. A large room filling speaker that's also very efficient. Reviews and word of mouth say it has high sound quality as well.
Many years ago I helped someone in Madagascar get a pair of MMGs. The MMGs were only available direct from Magnepan, and Magnepan wouldn't ship to Madagascar, so I bought them from Magnepan and then shipped them on to Madagascar.

Imo in a large room, you want speakers that do two things well. The first is, "power response". The power response is the summed omnidirectional frequency response of the speaker system, so it includes all of the off-axis response. In a large room, unless you listen from very close to the speakers, by far most of the sound that reaches your ears will be reverberant field energy, and it is the power response that determines the spectral balance of the reverberant field. It just so happens that Maggies do an exceptionally good job in the reverberant field/power response department. You will be hard pressed to find a $2k-$3k box speaker that does as well, but it's not impossible.

By way of example, imo the wrong type of speaker for your room would be a something like a 6" woofer + 1" dome tweeter. The problem arises at the bottom end of the tweeter's range, in and just above the crossover region. The woofer's pattern will have narrowed due to "beaming", but the tweeter's pattern wants to be 360 degrees because it is so small in relation to the wavelengths. The baffle confines the pattern to 180 degrees, but that's still much wider than the woofer's pattern. So in the 2-4 kHz region or thereabouts (depending on exactly where the crossover is), you have a LOT more off-axis energy compared to most of the rest of the spectrum. And this happens to be right smack where the ear is most sensitive. So in a big room, where the reverberant energy is considerably stronger than the direct sound, you hear brightness and perhaps even harshness due to the tweeter's excess off-axis energy in that critical lower treble region. So beware of designs that have a big difference in cone/dome sizes, as you cannot have smooth on-axis and smooth off-axis sound at the same time from such a system, and in your big room, that really matters.

The key to good power response is good radiation pattern uniformity. There's more ways than one to get there, so for now, let's look at the other requirement because that will guide us towards the best approach to radiation pattern control for this application.

The other thing you need, obviously, is sufficient sound pressure level capability. Your 125 watt amp is a good start, but as you discovered, your sweet-sounding Maggies just aren't efficient enough.

Unfortunately high efficiency + deep bass = large box, and (usually) a high price tag. BUT, you have that problem solved already! Your pair of SVS subs frees you up to pursue high efficiency satellite speakers that have good radiation pattern control.

By the way, kudos for getting two subs instead of just one bigger sub. That greatly improves the in-room smoothness in the bass region. I manufacture a four-piece subwoofer system called the Swarm, but in a big room like yours, two subs is probably all you need for smooth response through the modal region.

Over in the prosound world, they long ago figured out how to do high efficiency and good radiation pattern control. Where the high-end audio world can improve on that is, sound quality. We can do a speaker that uses carefully selected prosound drivers and techniques to get good efficiency and good pattern control, and give it the high-end treatment in the crossover. Prosound woofers often don't go low enough for high-end home audio, but your pair of SVS subs makes that a non-issue.

The design approach I would take for a room like yours is, to use a fairly large-diameter high quality prosound midbass driver and cross it over to a 90-degree-pattern constant-directivity low-coloration horn at the frequency where the woofer's radiation pattern has narrowed to 90 degrees. I'm not the only one embracing this paradigm; I learned it from Earl Geddes (GedLee) and Wayne Parham (PiSpeakers), and JBL did it in their classic Model 4430 studio monitor 35 years ago.

One further advantage of this approach is, the prosound midbass driver can have enough power handling (both thermal and mechanical) that you don't have to protect it with a high-pass filter, so you won't need that source of possible coloration in the signal chain.

Best of luck with your quest.

Duke
dealer/manufacturer
My friend who is a reviewer and very devoted audiophile was just knocked out by the Wharfedale Jade 3 at a whopping $1500 in the USA. He has had dozens of speakers through his reviewer capacity. He felt it was easily as good or better than most speakers $5000 and up. They do bass and dynamics with wonderful musicality. With the stand and high gloss black I think it runs $2000 which is exactly what you want to spend. Good luck on your audio adventure. There has never been a time that you can get so much sound out of speakers for so little money.
My brother-in-law just received the LSA package from Underwood HiFi and he tells me he is floored by the sound quality. John Tucker of Exemplar Audio has helped with QC and development so you know that says a lot.

The Wharfedale Jade 3 is another speaker that has a 86db sensitivity rating. So again, this will have the same volume problem in a large room like the MMG's.
Keep the subs and get a pair of Bose 901 VI. Suspend the 901s from the ceiling and fill your room with all the sound you could ask for.

I did this in a large cavernous room when I was stationed on the island of Crete. Man I could play those babies loud without distortion.
Scansonic mb1
Jlr261;

I agree with those saying that with your existing amp you would be better off with more efficient speakers, and that it's going to be very difficult to get good sound and volume in a space that large. However, it is certainly possible to make an improvement over what you currently have.

Good choice on the subs, btw.
How about the Focal Chorus line? That should provide more bang and zing than the Maggies.
Another vote for Tekton. Depending on model Bass down to 30hz, 95-98db
efficient with nominal 8 ohm impedance, won Blue Note Awards,
Stereomojo, etc., great value The Lore is $1,000. Pendragon $2,500. They
will play loud without distortion. Google Tekton speakers. I own this fine
speaker.
Find a used pair of GoldenEar Triton 2s, sell the sub, sit back, and relax :-)
Extremely efficient speakers with integrated subs that will fill your large room with ease offering superior sound quality for the money. Packaging is relatively small compared to all other floor standing speakers. Tons of reviews out there!