Speakers choices for AR REF-5/75s


Hi Folks-

Upgraded to Audio Research equipment and am driving a pair of Audio Physic Sparks. They were perfect with my SF Power 1 /ARLS2BMKII set-up. 

The speakers still sound is good. I like the sound staging, and ability of the speakers and amp/preamp to recreate the acoustics of the place the music is recorded in. BUT I'm looking for something else/more. Not sure what. Perhaps a tad more life/edge, which is why I'm soliciting advice.

My room is 12' x 20', with my sofa about 8 feet from the speakers, which are a 4' from the wall.

New or used, my price range tops out at $4000.

Thanks in advance!
David
wharfy
crickets.......:-/
What is your source? Do you have room treatment? :)

Erik
Hi Erik-Using Ayre Codex DAC with an ARCAM CD player as transport.
Room treatments- Tapestry on back wall to lessen reflective noise.
Speakers are toed-in using the Audio Psychic positioning placement "secret formula."

Listening yesterday I realized I want bigger sound. If this makes sense, the equipment upstream wants to sound bigger, but the speakers won't let that happen.
What sort of music do you normally listen to and how loud? I probably don't have as wide of a hands-on ownership experience as some of the old timers here but all things equal when it comes to speakers in particular, I'm convinced that certain speakers sound best for certain types of music which sort of indirectly implies how loud they are played. I don't know if it has to do with how pressurized the room needs to get for certain speakers to come alive or something else. Not sure others agree.
You will probably enjoy a horn loaded/based speaker like the Avant Garde, Tannoy Canterburry or even the Zu Audio. They will sound much more lifelike and present.
Kalali-I listen to everything except what my 15 and 20 year olds listen to-dub and rap.

Pani-never considered horns. Like an irrational fear of clowns I guess. I will give them a listen.

What about hybrid electrostats like Martin-Logans? 


I have a pair of older Martin Logan Aerius i speakers driven by a yet older McIntosh MC2200 amplifier. Certainly not quite as refined as the ARs but I feel the speakers suck every ounce of (200wpc) power from the amp with the volume at moderately high levels. I think the 75wpc amp may be a little strained depending on your room size and listening habits. But amp aside, I personally find electrostatics sound an acquired taste. While they sound detailed and create a decent size soundstage, they have an extremely narrow listening sweet spot that can be annoying. Definitely try them first before you commit. With a solid foundation like the ARs, you have a lot of speaker options to choose from. I've heard your amp/preamp combo with a pair of larger and older stand mounted Aerials - not sure which model, maybe LR5, in a moderately sized room, and I was really (really) impressed. Definitely sweeter sounding than my set up.
Kalali- Appreciate your info. My current speakers have a narrow listening spot. It's a sweet spot but not everyone can sit their at the same time. 
So, after some research I purchased a pair of Audio Physic Virgo II.

A combination of what I think is an alloy tweeter and woofers located in the side of the cabinets is giving me the presence I wanted, without sacrificing staging.

Thanks for everyone's advice!

wharfy-

ARC plays well (no pun) w/ many, many brands of speakers.
The key is to get out to the dealers/retailers and listen, listen, listen.
Let your own ears guide you. Examples: Aerial, B&W, Focal/JM Labs,
Thiel and Wilson Audi.

Wilson Audio (gremlins).
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Wharfy ...

Here's two excellent speakers that go well with your ARC equipment. Very efficient at 94db. Your amp will just be coasting. Both are well within your budget on the used market. 

Here's the speaker I've used for years now.  I love 'em. 

http://legacyaudio.com/images/uploads/manuals/discontinued/signatureIII.pdf

Here's the big brother. Its more relaxed, but it might be too much for your room size. 

http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/104legacy/index.html#fJ1LvvwT5YXuiHd8.97

I'm using the ARC REF-75se and a REF-3.  

Frank
Using ARC Ref-75se with ProAc Respnse D30Rs and it's a great combo. The ProAc is voiced for tubes and I've read that ARC is an amp-maker they use in-house.
"Using ARC Ref-75se with ProAc Respnse D30Rs and it's a great combo. The ProAc is voiced for tubes and I've read that ARC is an amp-maker they use in-house."

I agree with you amaglioc.

Am updating to say that as much as I like the Virgo's, I had the chance to demo, and then purchase, ProAc Response D30Rs, and found they had everything, sound-wise.

Thanks everyone for the input. This is fun.