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
    Can you be more specific?
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  2. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I was hoping someone would try to get me to spend more money.
     
  3. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    You are a pretty discerning audio person from what I can tell. However the placement of those speakers seems off. Maybe I'm wrong?

    I can tell you this, the imaging in my room really improved when I added ASC tube traps in the corners. Of course budget is of a concern. But if you really want great sound, you have to spend more/save up. My room is smaller than yours and my speakers are bigger, and the imaging is phenomenal.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]Click For Full-Size Image.
     
  4. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Could you please describe the difference you hear between a ribbon tweeter and a traditional tweeter? Is it a wider soundstage or more narrow?

     
  5. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Very nice setup. What looks wrong about the placement of the speakers? I have fiddled with the placement for the 10 months I've had them and this was the only place I could get a good middle image. Any wider and it just sounded like 2 individual speakers. I actually have them towed in so far that the speaker is aimed at the opposite ear. So the crossover point of the speaker is in front of me. Again I only did this to get a good center in the image.

    The 803s are wonderful in accuracy, very revealing of any changes upstream and I particularly enjoy them for jazz. Terrific bass down to 35hz. But the image is narrower and shorter than with the small monitors I'm playing around with. These little guys the image sounds as big as the wall coming at me. And yet my monster floorstanders don't do that. It just struck me as a little disappointing.
     
  6. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    My room is smaller than that and I got my proacs to image really really well
    And my room…..sucks

    lol


    Pics of your setup?
     
  7. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco

    Pardon,

    didn’t see this until now.

    room seems great.

    prob could pull the speakers apart a bit more.

    how far away are you seated?
    What’s to the right ?

    thanks
     
    jonwoody likes this.
  8. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Well...I can't see the whole room so I can't tell you exactly where to put your speakers. They just seem a little to close together. I didn't get my speakers placed right until I had another very knowledgeable person help me place them. Two sets of ears are better than one. In other words, I'm no expert, but the guy who helped sets up speakers for a living. I think some room treatment would help the cause, as well.

    BTW, I like your Christmas tree.
     
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  9. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I would get a laser pointer and go to town.

    My suggestions.

    place the speakers in an isosceles triangle from your seating distance.
    So if you are sitting around 8 feet from the speakers , set them up at around 5.5 feet apart.
    Start with one speaker and put on that dumb ballad of the runaway horse song on and see how far from the front wall the bass sounds cleanest.
    Make sure it sounds right. Not weak and not too strong and boomy.
    You are looking to make the bass sound as clear as you can. This can be affected by super small increments btw. Like as in mm. keep that in mind.

    place the other speaker at the equal distance from your listening position using the laser pointer.

    Use this to hone in the center image as perfect as you can.
    It’s track no. 12 I’d I’m not mistaken.
    use it for toe in.

    [​IMG]

    make sure the rake angle is not super off. Too high or too low.

    see what happens fooling around with that for awhile.
     
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Tawaun A Williams likes this.
  11. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Agree on continuing efforts woth positioning to get the most out of them.

    if you do go uo maybe you can find a deal on some used Kef Reference 1. They image like crazy and are little more refined than my B&W 805 D3.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
    jonwoody, hi_watt and Bananas&blow like this.
  12. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Before you go chasing speakers - your preamp may be the culprit - it may have gone out of spec - Sonic Frontiers hasn't been around for years so I would have someone check it out.

    Imaging and soundstage are primarily a function of the recordings and should not sound one way. My speakers have been reviewed dozens of times over the years and the vocabulary used for soundstage and imaging has been polar opposite (as it should be if it is reproducing the recordings properly) from "panoramic stage" to "vague" to "excellent" to "small" to "shallow" to "deep." At shows, they have been mediocre to very good. Again depending on the front end gear, the room, the music. Indeed, a lower version of my speakers was reviewed by the editor (Steven Rochlin) of enjoythemusic.com and he awarded the AN E/Lx a whopping 95/100 for imaging, a 95/100 soundscape depth behind speakers, a 95/100 for all other soundstage aspects. And he has auditioned every major speaker maker for decades - owns a vast number of speakers including the AN J.

    Steve Hoffman also uses the AN E for pleasure and mastering. But again - they're not known for soundstage and imaging precisely because they SHOULD NOT BE. The speaker should present all kinds of stages. So let's say you are used to listening to 15 albums and they all have a big glorious stage and then you hear it on a speaker that is more truthful and you listen to ONE of your 15 albums and the soundstage is smaller - the knee-jerk reaction is that this new speaker is wrong because at home the stage is much bigger so bigger is right and smaller is wrong. Umm no. You may like it bigger but it doesn't mean it's better or correct. You didn't try album 15 which may be much bigger than your speaker at home can reproduce. So the new speaker is actually providing a far wider array of soundstage ability and you would know that if you listened to all 15 albums instead of 1 (or an unknown recording at an audio show).

    Narrow baffle speakers like the B&W are often touted for imaging and sound staging. If anything speakers like B&W have "gaps" in their staging and where they often present a left/right mismatch where I am hearing the left speaker acting independently of the right speakers. They advertise the heck out of their imaging and soundstaging but I usually find them out of step.

    No speaker is going to do it all so you need to be prepared for that and they certainly aren't going to do it all for $4k. $4k in today's money is about $1500-$2000 in 1990 money. And that's not counting the massive add-on due to the pandemic and worldwide shipping issues so $4k today may be more like $1k in 1990 dollars. And there weren't many good $1,000 speakers in 1990.

    Ideally, you want a speaker where you sit back and don't actually notice the imaging and soundstaging - I never go to a rock band and say - Gee isn't it awesome that the drummer is 12 feet behind the singer and that the bass player is 9 feet to the left. LOL - ridiculous. If you are sitting in your chair listening and caring about that - the system is probably doing something wrong.

    Try another preamp in your system if you can or borrow a newer integrated to check if your tube preamp has drifted (or requires new tubes) before you buy new speakers that may suffer the same problem. Or if you can't do that - go to a B&W dealer and try your music in their set-up to hear if they have the same problem. Granted, it's likely the speakers as that has been my experience with them but old preamps can go out of spec.
     
  13. Jazzabana

    Jazzabana Qobuz all the way

    Location:
    Istanbul
    Dali Epicons
     
  14. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Dan Steele and avanti1960 like this.
  15. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Spendor A4s. Small enough that the bass won’t overpower the room and image better than any Harbeth I’ve heard sans the M40.2s (yeah the biggest ones image best, not what you’d expect but it’s the same for Spendor Classics).

    Stirling Broadcast SB-88s check all your boxes but are also able to rock out and play loud, which can’t be said for some of their larger competition. They image with some of the best.
     
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  16. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
  17. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Tawaun A Williams and Whoopycat like this.
  18. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    This thread has gone on long enough now.

    Just buy the PMCs

    :winkgrin:
     
  19. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    This threads only a few hours old, expect it to last for years.
    @Bananas&blow will be on his third pair of speakers before we get this resolved.
     
  20. AKA-Chuck G

    AKA-Chuck G Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington NC
    Check out Proac Response DT8's. Right in your price range and worth a listen. Outstanding reviews!
     
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  21. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bay Area
    This.

    I absolutely love my Spendor D7 speakers. Amazing sound, handle any genre I throw at 'em. Powered by an LFD NCSE Mk2 and they sound divine.
     
  22. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Noted about continuing to play with placement. I will try them farther apart (I have tried this before but I'll be more diligent.) I have a feeling the speakers just don't have what I want but its worth trying before I go to the trouble of selling them.
     
  23. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Well there's a chance that could happen. Was hoping the 803's would be those speakers. Once I get the perfect speaker I will stop changing!
     
    Dan Steele and timind like this.
  24. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Cardboard Cowboy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I've read about the A series from Spendor but not sure they have the level of refinement I'm looking for. I would think the D series would have that. This is all based on what I've read.
     
  25. Mad shadows

    Mad shadows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Karlskrona- Sweden
    I recommend you to take a look at what ATC offers. The ATC smc 19 is slightly above yur price range (even better if you can find a pair of second hand smc 20). They are honest speakers with a realistic sound. I own two pairs, SMC35 and SMC20 mkI.
    The SMC20 mkI is a stunning speaker (holographic sound, realistic timbre and very dynamic). The downside is that they are inefficient (your amp is a very good match) and don't have much bas.
     

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