Help me pick a pair of speakers in the 3-4k range

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bananas&blow, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Hello everyone. I'm looking to switch up the speakers in my main system. The reason I'm doing so is I have concluded that my B&W 803s's are too large for my room. I can't get them to image correctly (possibly not a strength of this iteration of the 803's). I previously had a pair of B&W N804's and they were very good for my room but about the largest speaker my room can handle properly. They imaged ok. I love the refinement of the 800 series so I'm looking to keep that but I am looking for a different speaker that images and projects a 3D soundstage very well. I am leaning towards a standmount speaker. The KEF R300's that I own are VERY close to what I'm looking for but lack the refinement of the speakers I'm used to.

    Here is the current setup that will be powering the speakers:

    Oppo 105 for digital
    Rega P6 with Ania Cart
    Parasound JC3 Jr. phono pre
    Sonic Frontiers Line 2 preamp
    Parasound A-21

    I listen to mostly rock, funk soul. Some Jazz but its not my priority (if it was I'd keep the 803's).

    I've been curious to hear Harbeth but I do not have the room to place them properly and am concerned about the comments they don't do rock as well as some other genres. Don't think I have the room or amp for Klipsch.

    I prefer to buy used as I can get more speaker for the buck. I plan on selling the 803's and expect to get around $3500 or so. I think I can a good matching pair of speakers for my setup for that price. Id rather not change up my system as I happen to think it's excellent.

    Priorities for the speakers:

    1) I want bass down to 45 hz at +-3db. (or close to it)
    2) Soundstage and Imaging are hugely important.
    3) Refined sound
    4) I've had trouble integrating Subs into my system so I'd like the mains to handle the full range
    5) Accurate
    6) Don't want a speaker with one note bass (ala the B&W 805).

    Some I've considered:

    1) Focal 1008 BE II
    2) Sonus Faber Olympica I
    3) KEF Reference 1 (a little out of budget)
    4) KEF R3 (probably not different enough from my R300's)
    5) Not B&W as I've had them in my main systems for 20 years.

    Thanks for your time and suggestions,

    Pete
     
  2. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    whats the room size?
     
  3. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    About 14X20 with my listening position facing the 14' axis. Room plays smaller than that due to 2 kallax of records and bookshelfs. Two couches. Audio equipment etc.
     
    Classic Car Guy likes this.
  4. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
  5. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
  6. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
    vinnn, mur, Dan Steele and 2 others like this.
  7. Gi54

    Gi54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Try some Tannoy Eatons? - if soundstage and imaging is a priority these are just superb, with sweetspot thats as wide as the settee (and not a headclamp like my old floorstanders). Tone and drive also great and bass that doesn't start to fall off until below 40hz. Give em a go. Likely within your budget nearly new. Key is stand height to get centre of speaker aligned with ear listening level. Not particularly difficult positioning - in my long wall room 2.5ft from rear, 4ft from sides - and bass ports at front so could go further back. Not sure of synergies with your amp etc so interested to know how they sound if you get a trial. Good luck.
     
  8. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    You may not like the 803s but they sure aren’t too big for your room.
     
  9. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

  10. bever70

    bever70 It's not all about The Soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    My room is (only) slightly bigger than yours, I had a Parasound A21 before (have an A23 now) and I really like the pairing with Monitor Audio PL100II, which completely disappear. The ribbon tweeter projects voices in a very natural way into the room... couldn't live without my Rel sub though.
     
  11. StratDoc

    StratDoc Sapien

    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    I have monitor audio gold 200 - midsize floor stand speaker - with an A21+ amp. Beautiful image and superb mid-range and highs.
     
    Graham 12" Remix and bever70 like this.
  12. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Pete,
    As linked below. Have no fear about the rock factor, also ask @Glmoneydawg and @Ingenieur.
    1) I want bass down to 45 hz at +-3db. (or close to it) (CHECK)
    2) Soundstage and Imaging are hugely important. (CHECK)
    3) Refined sound (DOUBLE CHECK)
    4) I've had trouble integrating Subs into my system so I'd like the mains to handle the full range (CHECK)
    5) Accurate (DOUBLE CHECK)
    6) Don't want a speaker with one note bass (ala the B&W 805). (CHECK)

    Harbeth SHL5plus XD Loudspeaker
     
  13. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    A great big YEP!
     
    Dan Steele, Bananas&blow and jonwoody like this.
  14. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Go Padres!!

    Location:
    San Diego
    Asking price is $6,500 on your link though. OP's budget is $3-4k?
     
  15. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Go Padres!!

    Location:
    San Diego
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
  16. Tony C.

    Tony C. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Used HL5+
     
    Glmoneydawg likes this.
  17. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    7) Budget at $3500, oops
     
    jonwoody and Swordsandchains like this.
  18. Davey

    Davey NP: Olivia Tremor Control ~ Dusk at Cubist Castle

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, there are always a ton of Harbeth speakers for sale, over a pretty wide range of prices, it's mainly just a matter of wading through all the ads and finding the set you want, age, color, condition, seller, location, etc.
     
    jonwoody and timind like this.
  19. Go for the Golden Ear line. They're amazing. I started with the 7s and now own the Reference
     
    plastico and hi_watt like this.
  20. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Yeah those are out of budget. From what I've browsed of used Harbeth the compact 7ES-3 would be more realistic. But again I now have Kallax on each side of the speaker so even though the speakers will be at least 2 ft from the back wall, they really aren't getting the space from the back wall that is desirable for the Harbeth line.

    How do you think they will pair with my Parasound A21?
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  21. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Saw that but thought maybe he was adding in his proceeds from the sale of the B&W- reason being that the first (3) speakers on his list are:
    $5999 Retail
    $6500 Retail
    $7999 Retail "may be a little out of budget"
     
  22. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    2 feet is fine, I had my Harbeths with the a21+ for a while and the sound was excellent.
    Still confused at the retail price of the speakers you are considering.
     
  23. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I agree this may be a possibility but the 803s are bigger than i thought when I bought them. What made me think they may be too big are I recently replaced them with some mini-monitors, some NHT SuperOnes and the improvement in soundstage and depth made me think that perhaps a monitor would be better for my room. I didn't expect a $200 set up used speakers to best the 803's in any category, but they did. This looks ridiculous and this won't be my permanent setup, but these little monitors filled up my room no problem.

    [​IMG]
     
    Manimal, Swann36, Hanks3 and 8 others like this.
  24. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I only want to spend $3500 or so. I am not looking to invest more money in my system. I want the 803s to pay for the new ones or close to it.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  25. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Nice try.;) I don't think anyone should move down from where their system is presently. Instead of making trade offs, the OP should try and find speakers that are better in all aspects from the speakers he currently owns. Perhaps your recommendation is perfect for him.

    Save money and get something BETTER!
     

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