Opinions on Floorstanding Speakers - Budget $4K

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheVinylAddict, May 6, 2018.

  1. 808_state

    808_state Fearless Yamahanian LP/CD

    Well the next big trip I'll probably take is to good ol' Tokyo, Japan so it's a matter of asking ahead, asking around and even going to talk to "you know who" in person. There are also many hifi shops there that are off the radar. Plus I doubt anyone here has a pair of NS-1000x's like mine. They are about as mint as you can find them.
     
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  2. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
  3. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A trip to Tokyo sounds cool... enjoy that! I will send you my shopping list :)

    Let's put it this way - if a nice set of NS-2000's was presented to me for $3K, or shipped to my door step for less than $4k I would be interested. Ya know, like the chance I had a couple of months ago, but passed on them!

    But even if I bought them, I would probably still buy a pair to audition against them. It would be fun to compare a 35 year old set of NS-2000's side by side with something like a Focal Aria 948.

    There are sure a lot of interesting choices in this price range. Good thing I am not in a hurry, I don't think I could choose yet.... it'll be easier when I actually hear more. So far I have tried 6 or 7 different brands... some good, some better.
     
  4. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I am going to LA in a couple of weeks on biz, and thinking of stopping by Upscale Audio to audition a few speakers.

    One question - the Focal Aria's keep coming back to my short list ---- how much more bang for the buck does the Aria 948 give over the 936? Anyone hear them side by side?

    The 948 has two 8" woofers, the 936 has 3 6.5" woofers.... both have the same size mid and tweeter. The 948 has a larger cabinet, and 15 lbs heavier....
     
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  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    One thing about Focal Aria that surprises me - the lack of online reviews, both pro and user reviews. There are a couple of discussions and comparisons, but most are 3-4 years old.

    With all the buzz on Focal Aria, I was hoping to find a lot more testimonials from users... they are widely distributed on Crutchfiled, Amazon, Upscale ---- but not reviewed. Seems like many like them, but not enough to write a review.
     
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  6. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA

    Focal Aria 936 was compared to the Sierra Raal Tower in a very detailed and comprehensive review by someone over at Audioholics I believe. The Ascend Raal Tower is considered a fantastic speaker by everyone who hears it. Do a search and there are no shortage of end user reviews on it. The Focal Aria came close to the sound produced by the Sierra Raal. They are very close in price. I wonder how far you will be from Ascend's building on your trip. If I were you I would absolutely make it a point to call Dave over at Ascend and arrange a listening session.
     
  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks Mike. Good info. That probably could be arranged.

    One question -- Have you ever personally heard the Aria (especially the 948)? I can't recall if in our past exchanges you said you did or not.
     
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  8. 808_state

    808_state Fearless Yamahanian LP/CD

    In my experience big woofers simply give better overall bass. That is my only issue with the Yamaha Soavo series (Soavo 1, NS-F901 towers). I wish maybe they had put a large woofer/radiator on the sides of them. Otherwise I love them.
     
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  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Can you tell me the width measurement of the actual cabinet for the 936? The width measurement online is for the base, which is only one dimension I care about.

    For instance, the Focal 948 - even though the width is quoted as 14 5/8" the actual cabinet is 11" wide. Is the 936 like, what, 8-9 inches wide? Just curious.
     
  10. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Probably in most people's experience :)
     
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  11. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Monitor Audio has been putting out some pretty amazing speakers in their Platinum series, both the old and the newer Platinum II series, very highly engineered. They are way outside your price range new, but the first series has the PL200 (dual 6.5" woofer) and sometimes even the PL300 (dual 8" woofer) dipping down into that $4000 to $5000 range. I've been trying to score a good deal on the old PL200 series I with ribbon tweeter (similar to the RAAL mentioned above) for a few months now, probably will at some point, but most of the available deals have been outside the US and I don't want to deal with that potential hassle. To be completely honest with myself, though, even my Monitor Audio Gold 100 speakers are sounding incredible now, they are standmounts with a Gold subwoofer turned way down, but the Gold 300 floorstanders would be pretty easily available lightly used in your price range, definitely one for a listen if you get the chance. The ribbon tweeter is really incredible.

    Right now on ebay, HighEndAudioAuctions has a set of the new series PL300 II up for auction, be interesting to see what they sell for, could be an incredible deal for someone looking for a modern and very high end full range speaker on the used circuit ...

    Monitor Audio Platinum PL300 II Floor Standing Speakers - Ebony $15,000 MSRP! | eBay

     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  12. My recommendations for Floorstanding speakers under $4k

    Sonus Faber Chameleon T - $2k
    Monitor Audio Silver 300 - $2k

    To stretch your budget a little bit
    Focal Aria 948 - $4.995 k
     
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  13. mike catucci

    mike catucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
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  14. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I agree - they sound very similar to my Ultima Studios and I love their sound.

    You can p/u a pair of used Ultima Studios V1 for about 3K and they will blow your socks off.
     
  15. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well, you certainly are consistent! Speaker shopping with $3000 budget - what have you heard? Opinions?

    Your post from back in Oct '17 actually had me already looking at the PL-200 a while ---- clearly it's elusive though and will probably still be out of my price range when I do find it. Plus, once found it looks like they will be in a price war with you also!

    Looks like a great speaker though.
     
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  16. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, I do tend to be a one trick pony. It's a good trick, but have to be careful I don't overdo it :)

    The PL200 might not be quite full range enough for your room, but I do like your idea of the vintage Yamahas too, that would be fun. I haven't actually ever heard them, and kinda have the feel from the past that they aren't quite in my preference zone, but then again neither was Monitor Audio. I used to design and build some speakers, and generally fell into the high dispersion camp, with minimal crossovers tailored for best phase response between the drivers. Last of my DIY designs did use Focal drivers in a 3-way configuration, kevlar sandwich cone woofer and midrange, with the titanium oxide inverted dome tweeter, each in it's own cylindrical enclosure. Pretty amazing speakers, but I was still getting too much energy transmitted through the enclosures, always a big problem. But huge soundstage, lots of fun.

    In any case, still have them, but they aren't too living room friendly, hence the current Monitor Audio speakers. Some of the same ideals, but ribbon tweeter and relatively large midrange/bass driver require a pretty steep crossover. Still sound great, true ribbon tweeters with tube amplifiers and moving coil cartridges have some real magic, especially without all the harshness and resonance modes of electrolytic capacitors in the path. And the thick, curved cabinet walls help to avoid panel resonances, along with the back wall driver mounting system, very well designed speakers.

    Lots of ways to go, fun time to shop for speakers, so many directions, so many really nice ones out there in recent years, maybe still hard to get exactly what you want, but also hard to go very wrong.
     
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  17. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Now, that was most definitely not my implication ---! :)

    I am very curious what those Yammy's sound like too - I've heard the NS-1000's of course, but to my knowledge, at least knowingly have I ever heard the NS-2000. Only heard the legend, but still not the speaker.

    I am probably going to buy a set of NS-2000's when the next GOOD one presents itself (and it will, it might take time though), even if only to get another good pair stateside to share.... and even if I end up selling them longer term. I don't think I will take a loss on them from what I see on resale.

    Who knows, THEY (the 2000's) might end up being the keeper! My ears are open. The mystique of the NS-2000 is undeniable, once you try and pigeonhole it to a certain level of quality, it pops up in unexpected places and conversations.

    Very true. When I was shopping phono stages, I always felt like the short list at any price point was, well, short, but with speakers there are literally ten good choices I have right now where $4K would get me a very nice set up. Not being in a hurry does work to my advantage... as always. A better deal always comes along if you are patient.
     
  18. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    While on the subject, pictures are always fun, they've been banged around some in the garage, which to the chagrin of my spouse has become my museum of past projects, big and small, but here's one for the scrapbook with the Focal drivers, 8" woofers ...


    [​IMG]

    :)

    More recently, was using some smaller DynAudio speakers before moving to my current Monitor Audio set.
     
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  19. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    I had a very extensive audition with some 936s driven with a Parasound Halo Integrated. They were decent overall but I preferred a few others that were about half the price, the MA Silver 8s, Magnepan 1.7is, and Revel Concerta F36s just to name a few.

    As for 3-way towers in the $4K range, I found the Revel Performa F206s were much better speakers all around.

    I also wouldn't pay anywhere near $4K for the Aria 936s. One of my local dealers was selling a demo pair for $2000, and even at that price, I didn't feel they were a good value.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  20. Vinyl23

    Vinyl23 Active Member

    Location:
    Midwest US
    In that budget I would seriously consider the Salk Supercharged SongTowers or for a couple hundred over your budget the Salk HT2-TL's dig a little deeper. Both are dynamic, detailed and the RAAL tweeters are so smooth. Plus you can't beat the aesthetics of Salk speakers: Salk Sound
     
  21. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    With Aria being the top rec of a few, that is a pretty strong statement against! :) Thanks though, I know it is easier to take the high road and I appreciate the candid feedback. Just shows why there are so many different recommendations - everyone's ears / tastes are different!

    Which Halo Integrated were you running out of curiosity?
     
  22. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    I've got a pair of PMC Twenty5 24s at home for a trial just now. Very sweet sounding speakers.
     
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  23. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Cool! What did you have before? Are you comparing them to anything currently, or just running the one set?? :)
     
  24. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    I have Cyrus CLS 70s. The PMCs are better. I have tried Audio Physic Avantis this week. The Avantis are very revealing but my room is smallish with plaster walls and I was getting a bit of resonance on acoustic numbers with deeper male vocals, they were great with all other music though. The PMCs are warmer, and have a totally different bass system, overall they are easy to listen to.
     
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  25. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    Parasound only makes one Halo Integrated - the 2.1.

    I also auditioned the Arias and Maggie's with some $30K worth of Devialet monoblocks. I still preferred the Maggies in that shootout. Aside from bass extension, the 1.7s were simply the better speaker, and IMO, even those are only competitive up to about the $3K mark.

    The Aria line certainly looks and feels like a high end speaker, I will give them that. I sort of suspect that's the real reason so many like them. I think people often hear with their eyes instead of their ears.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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