Which speakers for a Yamaha A-S2000


Hello all -

I am undergoing an overhaul on my audio setup, and recently replaced a Yamaha CA-1000 with a (used) Yamaha A-S2000. The amp is paired with a set of (vintage) JBL L50s. I’m sure speaker technology has improved dramatically in the last 40 years, and I’m interested in entertaining something that would pair well with the new Yamaha. This system is audio-only (no movies), and is limited today to CD/streaming via a Yamaha CD-N301. I’ve picked up an Oppo BDP-105D for the SACDs and DVD/BRs I’ve managed to collect as well.

KEF R300s were recommended, and there’s a lot of talk about the KEF LS50s. But given their size, I don’t know if they’d be right for me. That may be coming from a ‘bigger is better’ bias, though. I haven’t heard them and can’t draw a conclusion one way or the other.

The budget here is maybe $900-1200/pair, used or new. The room size is about 15’x12’, with two large opening on two walls leading to other rooms. 

Music style is primarily early 70s prog/rock, so think Genesis, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, early Journey, Wishbone Ash, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, etc. Clarity is important to me; proper separation of sounds (not muddy sounding), punchy but not overwhelming bass. I like to be able to listen to the music as it was intended to be heard by the musician or the band, and not manipulated by cheap components.

Anyway, I appreciate any and all feedback, and understand that opinions are available all over the spectrum. If spending a little over budget is justified, that’s OK too.

Thanks in advance,
James
busterswt
A tad over your budget the Vandersteen 1Ci would be a nice fit!
 https://www.vandersteen.com/products/model-1ci
Thanks for recommendation. Do you own (or have owned) these particular speakers? I see there’s a dealer about 2.5-3 hours from me.
I have owned the 2c and the 3a. I think you should take a ride and give the ones a listen!
Monitor Audio silver series are going to work well for you, especially the towers.
Monitor Audio silver series are going to work well for you, especially the towers.

Something like the Silver 8 or Silver 300? Any preference?

I think the 8s are more rock and roll. :) But you should absolutely listen for yourself.
The MA Silver 8 is an excellent recommendation. I nearly went with those myself.

I'll recommend the one I went with; the Bowers and Wilkins 683 S2. A fantastic speaker as well.

Both the Silver 8 and the 683 S2 are some of the best value speakers out there. Good luck in your search.

Cheers,

Scott
I'll recommend the one I went with; the Bowers and Wilkins 683 S2. A fantastic speaker as well.

Are you supplementing with a subwoofer, or do the speakers handle bass to your liking? 


It sounds like you should stick with a new JBL!

Very tempting! The 4312se (aesthetics aside) and the 4307 might just fit the bill. 
In my large room W28'xL26xH12' the bass is very satisfying and I have enjoyed them for years without a sub but I may add a sub at some point. In your room I believe the bass from them would be able to load and fill the room very well.

Cheers,

Scott
The new KEF R3's seem to really like Yamaha amplification - the bottom end is respectable but they are still bookshelves though.  Definitely worth having a listen and a big step up from the LS50.
Klipsch Heresy IIIs, based on your music. They are a fun speaker. Enjoy ! MrD.
@mrdecibel  said,
"Klipsch Heresy IIIs, based on your music. They are a fun speaker. Enjoy ! MrD."

Not a bad suggestion at all.  I have been driving a pair of Klipsch RB-75s for about 4 years with a Yamaha A-S1000 and the combination is wonderful.  Tried the Yamaha with a pair of Heresy IIs and have the same opinion.  My "educated" guess says that the more refined A-S2000 with the more refined Heresy IIIs would sound at least as good or better.

Bill
Thanks for the recommendations so far, everyone. The speaker landscape is wide, so having recommendations from actual owners is great. Trying to do my research on them as they come in.

Klipsch Heresy IIIs, based on your music. They are a fun speaker. Enjoy ! MrD

From what I'm reading, they seem better suited to tube amps. Would you agree?

The new KEF R3's seem to really like Yamaha amplification - the bottom end is respectable but they are still bookshelves though.

Those are some sharp looking speakers. How would they compare to the R500/R700 (look like last generation)? Or why not the R11 for $500 more :D

I agree Klipsch Heresys are best with tube amplification.  
As someone who has a few sets of Heresy and other Klipsch Heritage models, a good, clean ss amp can sound excellent with them. I love good Klipsch horns ( I am a modifier of them ), and gave up on tubes a long time ago. Your Yamaha would be fine, if not excellent. Dynamics are their strong suit, but they are musical, coherent, fast, image as well as anything else with proper room set up, and make you forget you are listening to hifi. There are many professional reviews on the Heresy III. However, I always recommend auditioning any speakers you are considering, if at all possible. Enjoy ! MrD.
Thanks again for all the suggestions. I am taking them to heart.

I stopped by a local audio shop that looks to deal in B&W and Focal, primarily, along with Dynaudio. Now, I know none of these were on the list of recommendations here, but it was helpful to have some reference as to what to expect from a modern (good?) floor standing speaker. I would've checked out what you suggested but this was all they had that fit:

I listened to:

Focal Aria 936 (demo/clearance)
Dynaudio Excite 34 (soon to be discontinued)
Focal Chorus 716

The one take away listening to the Focals is that they would benefit greatly from a subwoofer for my tastes. The Chorus didn't really do it for me, but after listening to the Aria for a bit it grew on it. I have some 'go to' songs when trying things out, including King Crimson's "Easy Money", Bon Jovi's "Let it Rock, and Genesis' "The Cinema Show". I'll tell you, I don't know that I've ever heard "Easy Money" any better than that. With Genesis, the percussion was well represented and all voices heard. I could've done with more bass, though. Tuning the bass on the amp simply made it more "punchy" and not "boomy", if that makes sense. 

What *didn't* work well with the Focal 936's was Mountain's "Climbing". It sounded very muffled and muddy. That type of music represents nearly half my catalog, so they might not be a good fit long term. 

The Dynaudio Excite 34s made up for the lack of bass in the Focals, but didn't really do a great job (to me) in the mid-high end. Plus, everything sounded a bit... mixed. Less separation of instruments, especially the percussion. The cowbell in "Easy Money" sounded hidden, while guitar and bass were more at the forefront. As for Bon Jovi, the Dynaudio's were missing that "kick in the pants" feel. Underwhelming there, to say the least.

Anyway, I'll keep looking and appreciate the suggestions. I will say, that after getting home and connecting the JBL L-50s, there is certainly a LOT of room for improvement!
The larger Klipsch Heritage are definitely better with tubes but many, including myself, have found the Heresy models to not be too amplifier picky and as mentioned by @mrdecibel a good clean SS amp, like the Yamaha A-S2000, can pretty much bring out the best they can provide.

Bill
Hello all -

Found another local audio shop and was able to demo the following:

- Klipsch Heresy III
- Klipsch RF-7 III
- B&W 705s2
- Revel Performa2 M105

Let me just say that the B&W were impressive - I hadn't heard a bookshelf speaker of that - stature - put out that kind of sound. Their size was deceiving; the bass was better than expected. I don't know if I would be completely happy with a 2-way, though. But these could grow on me. A subwoofer would probably address my overall concerns here. The Revel's were OK, but not as good as the B&Ws (to me).

I really, really wanted to like the Heresy's, and I DID like them, but they felt like a newer, better version of what I already have. That is to say, miles above what I'm using now but in the same "family". The RF-7s were good, but man they're big! I didn't take good notes on them, but they weren't for me.

I keep coming back to the Focal Aria 936s, but may want to audition them in my own home before committing to them. I could say the same for most of them, actually. The Aria's "spoke to me" and I really enjoyed the instrument separation with these vs all of the others. 

We'll see! Thanks for all of the feedback.


Hello all -

Just wanted to update followers of the thread that I ended up buying a set of the Focal Aria 936s and signed for the delivery yesterday. Got them all set up and am happy to report that the concerns with lack of bass were unwarranted. In my room, they've got plenty of it. I've only put 1-2 hours of listening time on them, and look forward to really breaking them in over the next few weeks.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions!
Congrats!  I ran that amp with B&W’s for a few years and it was a great pairing!  Enjoy those aria’s!