Speakers to mate with McIntosh gear


I have a 13 X 16 X 8.5' room that I use a McIntosh C2200 preamp and MC402 amp in. My source is an Esoteric DV-50S. The room doubles as a HT arrangement as well as 2 channel. Currently, I own the Dynaudio C1's and though a wonderful speaker for jazz and classical (and I do listen to these genres too) I find it too forward and thin sounding (partic. in bass) when listening to folk rock and rock. I'd like your opinions on a floorstander for my room that is a great all rounder in music and home theater and can dig a little deeper in the bass. Thanks all. Budget would be no more than 4500 USD.
I have been using Klipsch CF4 for years. Large floorstanding speakers with a sensitivity of 102 db, they sound very good with all types of music & have had Mcintosh gear on them with excellent results. They will also provide a very detailed exciting movie experience with great bass response. Can be had on the used market for around a $1,000.00. Because they are very efficient it will also open the door to tube set amps.
Klipsch Cornwall III one of the best all time speakers made and works well with McIntosh. MSRP is $3500 but can be found for less. Another option would be a used pair of Klipschorns.
I am using a MC352 with Khorns-excellent results.
Best of luck!
Thank you for your input. I was however looking at a more modern speaker and look. No offence, just not my taste in esthetics.
My vote goes to the JM Lab Electra 937 Be. It is sublime and McIntosh gear works great with all the JM Labs. You may want to try some Electrostatic hybrids like Martin Logan too. They work great with rock but the Electras will be more refined in the high frequencies. But there are many good choices. Good luck! Arthur
A speaker I've always liked myself, but aren't all that easy to find, in superb condition usually surpass their new cost, and would perhaps be a shipping nightmare- costly to ship, would be a JBL Pro Studio Monitor from the 4300 Series, such as the 4331, 4333, 4335.

These may not be the "imaging Champs" of all time, compared to more costly speakers, but as far as slam, clarity, power handling, bullet proof build, and the retaining of value-cost outlay, you probably wouldn't find a better speak ever built for the money.

The speakers that I mention above IMO will literally eat Klipsch Cornwalls for breakfast (And a lot of other multi-thousand dollar boutique speakers also).

Sure, many times, the 4300 line came either painted Blue, or even white, but they also did produce many with a nice walnut veneer. Guess many of these found their way into homes as much as Studios.

The Home of the Theater version many times were grey. Not much to look at I admit.
But akin to the old saying "Whattya want, good looks, or good sound"? lol

While the Cornwalls have a big-deep sound, and very high efficiency, so do the 4300 Series of Vintage JBL's, but the Klipsch Cornwall IMO lack the degree of articulation, detail, the ability to produce phenominal Mids, and tight clean Bass, dynamics, speed, and overall quality sound of the the large 4300's.
Ever see a Cornwall in a recording Studio?

Of course this is my opinion only, I've always been a big fan of the vintage JBL Lines, and others, or yourself may have different wants, and needs, so mileage may vary. Mark
I have been very happy using Thiels with my McIntosh gear... My theater includes a pair of 7.2's powered by a MC 602 a MCS 1 powered by a MC 501 and a pair of scs3 powered by a MC 602 for a sub I am using a Velodyne HGS 15, Good luck on your quest !!!
wait it out & find a pair of mcintosh xtr 22's,they work fantastic for home theater & for music they are really something special,the xrt 22's are nothing like the 4 ohm plastic woofer speakers that mcintosh now sells as high end.

bass down to 20hz,great mid's & the sweetest/cleanest high's you could ask for & well within your budget.

ive ran my xrt 22's with a c2200 preamp & a ton of different mac amp's including the mc402,the mc402 c2200 combo would be a match made in heaven.
For a Mac MC402, the Sonus Faber Cremona and Cremona Auditor are exceptionally synergistic. Also beautiful workmanship and visual design. The Cremonas are $8K per pair, and can be had used for your price range, and the smaller Cremona Auditors are right in your price slot with stands and will work beautifully in your space.

Also, Zu Druids, but you won't need all that power. However, it can't hurt either.

They are a little out of your price range, but Paradigms signature s8's are my current ownership experience. They are fantastic, the s4's are good if you listen to nothing with big bass, but the single woofer is somewhat overloaded
There's a pair of Eggleston Rosa's for sale ($4,600) here on Audiogon that would be a good match. I'm very happy with my MacEgg combo in a similar size room.
I'm with you on the JBL's. There's just nothing like that effortless sense of impact with those Alnico 4" voicecoiled 15" jobs. What I have found very helpful in taming the JBL's is using a fairly high quality 5 band fully parametric eq like the Phase Linear or Technics of the late 70's.
I also have the Mcintosh MC-402 and I have a MX-119 for a preamp/processor. I am using the Vienna Acoustics Mahlers for the fronts, Waltzs for the rear surround and a Maestro for the center. I am using three bridged channels of a Mcintosh MC-7106 for the center and surrounds at 320 wpc.

I do most of my listening as two channel and with the MC-402. I love my Vienna Acoustic Mahlers. They retail for $10k, but I was able to buy a mint pair at $3900. There are deals out there especially on this website.

A long time ago I did own a pair of JBL 4343 speakers, I loved them, and they were very special to me. I foolishly sold them when I went back to school, but they were nice. They were a very different speaker than the VA Mahlers though!

My wife will tolerate the Mahlers, but just barely! (They also sound a lot better in many ways!)

The JBL speakers are great and if I was able to rock out and was single I might be look for a pair, but I am at a different stage in life and am seeking something with a little more refinement that can still kick ass (bust discreetly of course!)
Another possibility is Revel´s F32 or F50, which you could easily find on the gon for your budget, and which both offer the richer sound you are craving for.
I have a McIntosh MA-6500 SS int. amp and I use the new Sonus Farber Dolmus Concerto two-way floorstanders with Nordost Solar Wind non-bi-wire cables and I think they are just smashing together. The speakers take about 500 hours to fully break-in and the wires about 30. The speakers list at $3500 and the wires are about $400. (spkrs. are very good looking too!)
XieKitchen, Not to be disrespectful of the Cornwall Speaker, nor of anyone who owns, or likes them, as I do feel this speaker is a timless classic.

They're quite large too, not exactly a "bedroom" speaker, that's for sure.

In my life, I've heard a few pairs of these, and one pair quite extensively over the years (my best friend's), but I will say this in their defense, the equipment that he was driving these with weren't exactly state of the art, very dated, and I'm very sure an Amp like a Mac 402, would certainly sound multitudes better extracting the best that the Cornwall has to offer.

Still, I feel the 4300 Series by JBL was in a completely different league altogether, being a professional product, and one I feel that JBL has never really quite duplicated since.

As they say, hindsight always has 20/20 vision, and my regrets are that I didn't buy a couple-few pairs of these 4300 Series Speakers years ago when they first hit the market.

One company that I took a bit of interest in a couple of years ago, was a Speaker Company called Gold Sound in Colorado. This business makes monitors that are somewhat "clones" to the old 4300's, with custom Oak Cabinets, and usually a choice of either JBL Pro, or TAD Drivers.

I believe there are indeed still in business, do sell kits with assembled cabinets, and sell all the needed Drivers, x-overs, etc, and did sound like a reasonable value for what they were. I believe their largest enclosure was too large to ship though (With an 18"JBL Bass Driver) and for this model they only offered the Cabinet Plans.

I have no idea if Gold Sound sold the Enclosures seperately, but it might be a possibility, and would save some cost if one had the required JBL Pro Drivers lying around? Mark
CanuksO, I do feel offended. Your crying that your speakers don't sound good with all music and I offered you a viable alternative. Paul Klipsch himself uses the CF4s, check Audiogon to see how often these speakers are offered for sale & how fast they sell. Your too hung up on asthestics, which is precisley why you are not satisfied. By the way what is wrong with the asthetsics of Klipsch?
Happy wife, happy life.
Most home speakers don't look too offensive nowadays, but yes, there are some beautiful speakers that come to mind that would really set off a room, and no doubt become instant conversation starters when one walks into a room, take Advantgarde, a pair of $40,000 B+W Nautilus, the MBL Radialstrauler as a few.

I can understand, somthing like a pair of old JBL Voice of the Theaters with a 23" sectional Horn bolted on top of a nasty painted Bass Cab won't have much of a WAF! (wife acceptance factor) no matter how killer hey sound. (great speakers though, if you have a listening room the size of a Gymnasium)

One speaker that I've always admired for their striking beauty, beautiful wood veneers, and reputed build, and sound quality are the Legacy brand. Downside, is I don't believe they have much of a dealer network to see, and here these in person, unless you live close to where they're made. mark
Mcintosh is Crap!!!! Just kidding, I think any mac stuff works real nice with a lot of speakers in general, they even help fix some issues of certain designs, magic dust or something. But really listen to some designs of varying values in speakers, mcintosh seems to be pretty smooth and really never offends on anything I have heard them paired too, almost the safest audio investment both sound and value wise seems to be mcintosh, now I am not saying some stuff is not better in given situations, but.....Just take a listen to some different designs, horns, straight dynamic speakers whatever, they will all be a bit different, but if you want big attack, speed, and volume horns and some full range drive stuff will be the ticket.
CanucksO, I'm not really offended, I just opted for a temporary loss of sanity, to each his own, were good to go!
As far As McIntosh goes, I'm certain I would be correct, that you won't find the most expensive state of the art cutting edge componentry inside of them, but McIntosh seems to be a brand that was at least highly recognized for long lasting equipment. Probably one reason that they always held their value well. (At least the old stuff did, take the MC-240-MC75-MC-275 for example)

Some used to say, just buy a Mac Amp, and you're good to go for 20 years, then after 20 years, just buy another.

I myself have owned two MC-2105's that I bought new 32 years ago, and they have never had a need for servicing. Mucho equipment came, and went, the Macs hung in there, and there must be countless 10's of 1000's of hours of operation on them.

Whether the newer Mac gear will follow suit, I reckon only time will tell. Mark
I don't know what your speaker sound preference is, but if you enjoy dynamics and speakers that will really get you involved in the music, I would suggest you see if you can give a listen to some vintage Altec 604 duplex studio monitors. What you will hear is the reason Altecs were the speaker of choice in recording studio's for many many years. They excel with accoustic and vocals. They are also great with Jazz and can really rock if called upon.

The big Altecs may not have WAF, but that is not what they were made for, they were made to make beautiful top tappin music. I have recently listened to some JMLabs speakers and while they sounded good, they were extremely polite. I prefer my old ALtecs for the boogie factor.

I didn't get into this hobby to make my wife happy. I do it because I enjoy the music. I have been happily married for 27 years and I don't see a wife leaving her husband over a pair of speakers, so I say get what sounds good to you. If she loves you, she will get used to it.

BTW, I power my Altecs with MC40 mono tube amps, and the combination WOW's me on a nightly basis.
Now your talkin Www! I remember, and have heard the Altec 604's. They were a Coax with the sectional horn mounted in the center of the driver, correct? (God, I'm really starting to show my age now!) lol

Now if we could only convice Altec, and JBL to go back to the good old days! Paragons, Hartfield, Voice of the Theaters, 4300 Series! mark
THank you everyone for your kind input. I was looking for input on a pair of medium floorstanders to mate with the current Macintosh design and that are secondly, not obtrusive and modern looking. Yes, some of your suggestions above certainly work lovely, but I was hoping for some suggestions like Totem, Sonus Faber, Merlin, PMC, Dynaudio, Usher, etc. and perhaps your direct experience with the new C2200 preamp, MC402 amp, Esoteric DV-50S source and Purist Audio cabling. Thanks all and have a good weekend. Dave
Try the B&W line of speakers