Literally came in here to post Aria 936.
Although many will will come in recommending their own speakers they purchased and love, I actually don’t even own them, and have huge amounts of experience with other speakers in the price range. Nothing beats them in the price range for musicality, soundstage, holography, and the ability to have good detail without ever being bright or fatiguing.
Did you get a chance to listen to them?
Get something of high efficiency. The Focals have decent efficiency on paper, but not so much in practical use. Check out the Monitor Audio Silver 300s, they’re more efficient, less fatiguing and simply better speakers.
The aforementioned Vandersteen 2CE Sig IIs are another must audition in this price range but are not as efficient. Their 1Cis are efficient enough and competitive in the $3K class.
Is Hi-efficiency majoring on the minors?
Okay but be careful what you wish for Less fatiguing? nice but can also mean a pulled down in the midrange response later feeling bored with the music.
Many folks interpretation on efficiency with 90 db and above numbers are often mistaken with speakers actually ringing, achieving said numbers with hi efficiency specs, but in reality with blow back into the measuring microphone compounded with their unwanted baffle reflection distortions, box ringing, Ports howling with cows mooing so forth.
As they radiate these out of time artifacts and redirect it right back into the accumulated measured numbers folks say wow 94 DB yet when the brain takes this in many are left wondering why listening fatigue prevails.
Sad but true many quick to gaze at spec types may even dismiss a better sounding 86 db speaker with an easy impedance load for a receiver without a listen and rely on these 90 plus db ringing artifact numbers as something desirable or special.
When Vandersteen was asked the question ""when are you going to make a real high efficiency great sounding speaker?""
""if I could make an accurate honest high-efficiency speaker with my name on it successfully id already be retired floating in the Hawaiin islands somewhere counting my dollars.""
Could it be we are listening with our eyes instead
of seeing with our ears?
There are plenty of truly efficient speakers that don't result in audible ringing. However, I agree that plenty of ineffienct speakers sound excellent. I suggested he look toward higher efficiency speakers because Denon receivers often lack grunt IME. I suggested the 1Cis because my experience was that they're plenty efficient for modest power but they also trump many speakers in this price class. His particular receiver is supposedly capable of 140 watts into each channel, so maybe it would be just fine with more demanding speakers.
i agree the ones may be a great choice . One day we delivered a pair of Vandersteen 3 a sigs their full range ability Multi enclosure 86 DB SPl the fellow had an 80 watt Dennon
and I said man this is gonna suck
much to my surprise playing Enya
Watermark the sound was amazingly enjoyable and it killed my predjudece into always staying open minded.
thats why I invite folks in with their gear to try it for their confidence
its always better to see with your ears then
listen with your eyes
Have to ask what your goals are? Is your priority movies or 2-channel music listening? If the latter, what are the most important sound reproduction characteristics to you from a speaker perspective? At this price level for speakers I think you're outclassing your receiver and won't get the best out of what speakers at this level have to offer, unless your plan is to upgrade your upstream electonics fairly significantly in the future. Don't mean to be a buzzkill here, but without knowing the answers to these important questions it's really impossible to make an informed recommendation for your specific situation.
The aforementioned Vandersteen 2CE Sig IIs are another must audition in this price range but are not as efficient.I'd take it even farther, the 2Ce Sig II is a must-audition up $5K. I drove mine to satisfying SPLs with my Ayre AX-7 (60 W into 8 ohm, 120 into 4 ohm). I only heard clipping if I tried to reproduce The Who at concert levels. Anyhow, the 2Ce is superbly balanced in it's price category without any substantial weakness.
Ascend Acoustics Raal Towers. I purchased a set in 2015 @ 2800. I sold them last month. After listing them on another site, within 8 hours I had 6 buyers. It was strange trying to pick which one got them. They sound incredible for the price . I updated to a set of speakers costing 4 times the price of the Ascends. They spoiled me,and I just refused stepping backwards on my updates. Obviously they hold their resale. The reason being its really rare for them to become available on the used market .I originally had them with a Marantz 7500 @ 110 watts. They needed a sub to bring life to the rock and roll that I wanted to listen to. But most people think their fine with out one .Listeners choice .
Incase you live in California. Pretty good deal with the stands. I got mine for 3400 new tiger ebony. the cherry is about 200 less. The Harbeth will be great with your solid state receiver. Incredible detail with these speakers.
The Monitor Audios I have heard are very good, especially with the ribbon tweeters. I would also look into whichever Golden Ear speakers fit your budget.
My main speakers are in your price range - Ohm Walsh 2000s ($2800/pr). Although they do thrive on large reserves of power, they worked fine full range when I hooked up an old Onkyo surround AVR rated at 80 watts per channel. They are sold factory direct with a 120 day return option, but you will lose the round-trip shipping if you return them. In fact. for the last three months with my amp in the shop (ugh, don't ask), I have been running them off a $500 Pioneer AVR, and they sound great. Not as good as with my regular amp, but pretty darned good.
I am about 50/50 2-channel music and video myself. I have smaller Ohms for the center and surrounds, and Paradign Atoms for the rear channels. Although I am not as picky about my surround sound as I am for stereo listening, my system is more than adequate for film soundtracks. I have a Def Tech sub for the LFE channel and a pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subs for the left & right main channels.
There are better speakers, but there are few that I have heard in the sub-$3K price range that I would rather own than my 2000s. My complete review of these speakers is in the review section of A-gon.
Accessories 4 Less. I’m tempted to buy a set myself, but for my next purchase, I’m wanting a 4K TV!
You can build the Linkwitz LX521 for about $2800 in drivers, active crossover and pre-cut cabinet parts. You'd have a loudspeaker that nobody here would even come close to surpassing, at ANY price.
For $2k, I can heartily recommend the Silverline Minuet Grand. Easy to drive, dynamic, superbly coherent and naturally dense midrange. If you don't have a quality sub already, money saved could be applied there, or save up to upgrade amplification. I'll have a review coming out on my site soon. http://taww.co
I have to say that I too like the Vandersteen 2's with an integrated. I have heard them driven by NAD or Emotive or Rotel or Yamaha's and they always deliver. They will sound better and better with much more expensive gear adn to me, that's the sign of a great speaker. If you really want to have a speaker with great tonality, extension, able to move some air in teh room and not fatiguing, you owe it to yourself to bring your amp into a Vandy dealer and listen to your own music.
There is a reason it's been around since 78 and it's only gotten better and better. Still as good a value as there is in audio IMHO.
I vote for a pair of speakers hand crafted by Fritz Heiler. Why pay to support a large company's glitz and overhead when you could be using your purchasing power to get the same top of the line drivers used in the "big box" speakers, superior series crossovers, and hand made, expertly veneered cabinets for much less? Fritz is a one man army. He built me a custom pair with the same configuration as his Rev 7 model but with the 4 ohm 7" Scanspeak Revelator mid-bass driver instead of the 8 ohm, which adds more robust bass and quicker overall response. The teakwood boxes are flawless and look amazing. Fritz takes a personal interest in each customer and will help you choose the best model for your system. Check out the many reviews available online, most of which are linked to on his website.
I own the Aria 926 I think they come in around the $3.5K mark. I compared them in my house directly against the Sonus Faber in the same price range, The SF might have been even a few hundred $$ more. My setup is class D amplification, Tubed Pre, streaming and vinyl. The SF were the winner for strings and wood but I chose the Aria because I thought the covered the gamut of music I listen to just a little bit better. I think the Aria are sensitive to room configuration they need space.
speakerpeeper2 posts01-27-2018 11:47amI vote for a pair of speakers hand crafted by Fritz Heiler. Why pay to support a large company's glitz and overhead when you could be using your purchasing power to get the same top of the line drivers used in the "big box" speakers, superior series crossovers, and hand made, expertly veneered cabinets for much less? Fritz is a one man army. He built me a custom pair with the same configuration as his Rev 7 model but with the 4 ohm 7" Scanspeak Revelator mid-bass driver instead of the 8 ohm, which adds more robust bass and quicker overall response. The teakwood boxes are flawless and look amazing. Fritz takes a personal interest in each customer and will help you choose the best model for your system. Check out the many reviews available online, most of which are linked to on his website.
I haven't heard any of his speakers, but I hear folks say 'why support a large company' all the time. What is large to you? Most audio only companies are not large by any means. This is such a cottage industry so most companies never get that large. What you will get with a company that isn't under 5 people is more stability when you need help in the future. Many have been burned by companies that are 'small'. What a company does have if they produce enough is economy of scale. They also have much better R&D and most often can produce a better product as the same cost. I have purchased a lot of stuff from a one person company and will continue to do so, but I purchase with some risk also.
I've yet to hear any of the speakers that are one to three man shops sound better than a great pair of Vandersteen's. Not taking anything away from Fritz's speakers as I haven't heard them that I know of. I just don't feel that he is giving you better sound because he's a one man shop. Also, you mention personal interest with customers, you have a shop where you can audition speakers adn they take a personal interest for sure and love building life long relationships. Most companies I purchase from also will let you get in touch and care when you have questions your dealer can't help with. Heck, Richard Vandersteen even has a board on his site where he personally answers the questions and if you call there, you can most often get in touch with him. Lot's of great companies out here.
nitrobob..To bad you sold your Ascend Acoustics. You were using the wrong amplifier. The speaker is known for its killer bass and works best with gobs of power. You were using a Marantz 7500, a budget surround receiver with not enough power reserve to meet the demands of the Ascends. Don't be deceived by the price. They are designed on a level of the best studio and high end speakers on the market. The owner of the company,
David Fabrikant, is one of the finest acoustical engineers in the country who stays off the radar. Their word of mouth reputation makes up for a large cult following globally. David also is a speaker driver/designer. Their way ahead of the game, using a bamboo cabinet structure which is 500%
stronger than MDF capable of much higher resistance to cabinet resonance, distortion and internal turbulence. If you are into heavy metal, hard rock, the Nrt tweeter is better than the RAAL for that type of music. You would've been better off using a hefty 200 watts outboard amp that doubles at 4 ohms which would've transformed your Sierra Towers to a performance level you were not aware of. No wonder you got 6 buyers in eight hours.
The Arie 936 are a great speaker, especially for the money! We have the Arie 936’s and matching center and subs. Your Denon will be fine with the speakers, yes a better receiver and amp will perform better but if that is not in the budget, you will be o.k. Seriously! As for the speakers go, there are a lot of good speaker but when it come to value and performance the Arie are hard to beat! They look great as well, mine are in piano black and the contrast is wow! Speaker wires will go a long way and unfortunately another huge topic. I like making my own at this point. http://www.tempoelectric.com/cables.htm Are a great reference and insight on cables. It makes a noticeable difference! My wife also really liked the Arie 936’s because of the sound and you can easily incorporate the speakers into a home theatre setup. That was her deciding point and what we ended up doing. We were torn between Spendor D7’s but the Arie’s 936’s could expand. I can personally tell you that the Arie’s have not disappointed and absolutely puts a smile on everyone’s face! We did like the 948’s the top speaker in the Arie line but our room was better set up for the 936’s. We generally have it set about 10-11 feet away which is their wheel house, the soundstage, imagining, and Projection is outstanding! You also do not need as much room as other speaker due to fact that they fire forwards. I find myself or really my daughter and wife listening to a lot of music through the Arie’s. On that note speakers will last your av receiver will go out of date and should be considered a distant second, there is always new technology very little in speakers they last! I also run Anthem receiver and amps for the setup. I do have my own listening room, but that is strictly listening and that is for another time. Get the Arie’s you won’t regret it!
I'll take the Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers over Vandersteens any day of the week. In order to survive, Richard had to take on outside engineers to keep his company afloat during the past twenty years. Richard is not a acoustical engineer nor had an education in electrical engineering. He started out as a DIY guy building speakers in his garage in 1977. Their good speakers but over priced, and Ascend Acoustics designs superior drivers. The goofiest thing I ever came across years ago when Vandersteen updated their website, Is his article on " The truth about pistonic drivers"..when I shared the article with my high end friends they couldn't stop laughing. Great piece of hyperbole.
More than likely, Vandersteen is using "ghost writers" to answer your technical questions online. I mentioned in a recent thread I started under amps/preamps on the new Belles Virtuoso integrated of the very bad experience I had with Richard Vandersteen, having to deal with his explosive temper which he is known for. In the summer of 1998 I spoke to him on the phone and asked him a technical question regarding the 2CE,
wanting to know what the SPL/weighted db level the speaker could reach. He replied "What do you mean?" He had no clue what I was talking about and went dead quiet on the phone. I repeated the question and he yelled at the top of his lungs " I don't have time to answer technical questions" and slammed down the phone. Worst treatment I have ever experienced from an audio company in forty years.
Avoid retailers at all cost who troll around threads trying to hard sell you to lure you into their stores. Having owned a retail audio business just for two years, and a authorized Nuforce dealer at the time, here is how bracket wholesale buying works. The average wholesale discount a retailer gets for a pair of speakers is 40%. So if a retailer sells you a pair of speakers that cost $10K, he pockets a profit of $4K. The discount is higher, 45 to 50% if purchased in volume. This is why many speaker companies set their retail price very high since they have to sell their speakers at a high discount to retail stores, so you wind up buying an overpriced speaker. Factory direct is the better way to go. I have not bought from a retailer in 24 years.