Add the merlin VSM-mxe to the list. Easy to drive, great gloss finish, right price range, not to obstructive. Maybe not full range bit close.
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Dear Hatari -- First of all, choose speakers in the 95dB /1m/1W range and no less than 92-93.
This should allow you undistorted peaks of 115dB spl, with the power rating of your (excellent) amps.
Of the spkrs you mention, I don;t know if any can be acceptably driven by your amps. In general,
*the Sarastro were not boomy, and the port allows you games with loading, if you wish. It's not a bad speaker
* the rockport is a serious speaker -- but can you drive it (they're very big)?
* Forget the other speakers: you can;t really drive them. Maybe the Amati could work and they look nice... but you'd really have to try them. I don't think Masekela is their pet musician (Rossini string quartets would be more the ticket).
Why don't you also consider the new Focal line -- the "Scala", a model just below the Rescue-Package-priced Grand Utopia. It's actually very good, similar sensitivity with the Amati.
Some excellent speakers in your list and I commend you on your music test of Hugh Masekela's Hope - what a great album. When a work colleague was looking for new speakers we auditioned the Avalon Indra several times with this album (amongst others) and it was brilliant. They are up there with the best speakers I've heard and I very much doubt you'll feel the need for more bass. We much preferred the Avalons to the Magico V3 and Rockport Mira Grands.
Verity speakers always did sound great with Shindo gear.IMO
There are some very good and quite an eye candy speakers in your price range. However, I wouldn't make my decision based on this thread alone.
You must audition your top choice speakers yourself and together with Shindo amp - at least.
Higher "db" speakers doesn't necessery mean synergistic match.
They sure would be easier to drive by your amplifier tho.
I owned Amati Homage for many years, was using BAT 75SE in a 14x18 room. I don't crave for bass, but I do play loud sometimes and 75 wpc was not enough for loud passage.
I assumed you are referring to Amati Anniversario which is about the same sensitivity but a bit easier on impedance. still, 70 wpc will be stretching it in your room.
I have heard Rockport Mira Grand, Avalon Indra, Magico V3, and Watt/Puppy 7 (or was it 8?) though in different locations. all are more difficult to drive than Amati Anniversario, but if you are willing to change amp I will put Amati and Magico on top.
you might also want to consider Guarneri Memento with 2 sub. I was going to sell my Guarneri Memento after receiving Aerial 20T, but I have grown to love them more than any of the 30+ speakers I have owned in the past 10+ years.
Some great ideas and feedback.
Gawdbless - yes, lol, clearly meant to be apologetic for all the right reasons
Scpetscott - but do you have a nice wood veneer with Italian lacquer? thanks - had a good laugh
Gregm: checked out the Scala on-line, read the instruction manual and it scared me to death. I thought Berylium was a marketing name, but it's the actual thing - toxic for inhalation if it comes undone. Not suggesting it would, but I had flashes of kids touching them... Your thoughts on sensitivity are appreciated, will keep it in mind as I browse.
Again, thanks all. Keep them coming.
As a fan of the Verity Parsifal Encore's too, I would recommend the Sarastro II for you.
Two other speakers that would tempt me, in your price range are the Silverline Grandeur II and the Dynaudio Evidence Master. Yes, both are boxier looking than the Sarastro II, but the Silverline's have a great reputation for playing well with tubes, and the Dynaudio's just sound great too (similar to the Verity's).
FWIW, I find that my PE's play very well with an 80 WPC tube amp. From your list, I've only heard the Wilson Puppy 7/8's, the Sophia 1/2, and the Avalon Indra/Eidolon. If you enjoy the musicality to the Verity speakers, neither of these will suit your tastes. They are more dynamic, but not as rich/sweet as the Verity speakers.
I had the Encores and upgraded to the Ovations and am very happy.
I beleave you can rotate the bass cabinet on the Verity Sarastro IIs as you can the Encores. I forward fire the bass cabinet on my Ovations. I feel they have better bass impact for the music I listen to, Rock. They also sound much more imediate and quicker with the bass firing forward for Jazz and Blues. I do like them firing backwards for classical music, Deeper soundstage and more open.
If you are happy with your Encores I would recommend the Sarastro IIs. I think they are easier to drive than the Encores also.
Let me know how you make out with the Shunyata Stratos.
I also ran Stealth Hybrid MLT to my Verity Parsifal Encore's with great success. I've also owned several Stealth Dream power cords, which are still the best I've heard in my system. I think the speed and resolution of Stealth is a good match for the warmth and liquidity of Verity speakers.
I can't say that I've heard the Shunyata Stratos (or the Stealth Dream speaker cables for that matter), though I did hear the earlier Orion cables. I actually preffered the Stealth Hybrid MLT's. I always thought the Hybrid MLT's were one of the best deals in speaker cables, when considering cost vs. performance.
John: will keep you posted on the experience of the Stratos. Which Orion did you try, the recent version. My understanding is that Shunyata has really made strides in their cables, but that's just hearsay. I will say that the Shunyata Orion I tried (in bi-wire) beat the Valhallas soundly, and the MLTs. I do agree that the MLTs are the best value out there that I've seen (particularly used).
I can't say for sure, as I bought them used about 18 months ago. I also thought the Orion sounded better than the Valhalla, but I actually thought the MLT sounded better than the Orion. All three cables had very good speed and resolution, the Vahalla was a bit thin sounding to me though. The Orion was not as thin as the Valhalla, but was a bit lightweight in the bass. The MLT had good speed/resolution, but was still musical and had good bass weight, IMHO. I wish I had the opportunity to hear the Dream speaker cables.
I have also heard that Shunyata has made great strides with their signal cables, but I cannot confirm this first hand. I hope that you enjoy them. I don't see playing with them anytime soon, as I started downsizing my rig about a year ago due to family/economic issues. I can't see myself playing at a higher level anytime soon. In fact, the speaker cables I'm using now retail for around $400........almost as good as the MLT's, but not quite.
John - I wanted to go up the Stealth line at first, but decided against it after a little bit of exploring. I'm generally going to all siltech and shindo ICs, using stock power cords on most, and shunyata for speaker cables. I am wondering what power cords would go well on my Levinson 390S CDP and the Weiss DAC2, but I'll explore that another day.
I'm selling my Hybrid MLTs soon (with custom jumper) so let me know if you decide to step back into stealth.
All the best.
Thanks for the offer, and I wish I could take you up on it, however, reality gets in the way. I have a feeling my high end audio days are done for good, and can only envision myself continuing to downsize. At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, no signs indicate any more financial expenses into this hobby.
Take care, and enjoy the music.