Looking for Bookshelf Speaker recommendations (UK)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rissey, May 8, 2020.

  1. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Im about to purchase my first set of proper bookshelf speakers. Though by the standards of the audiophile community i don't have that much dough to spend. My budget is £500-600 (im in the UK). I already have an Amp - a Sugden Bijou Pre Amp and a Sugden Transimpedance Power Amplifier. I want them to sound great playing techno - Basic Channel, and basically anything from the hardwax label - as well as some baroque, choral and chamber classical as well as pop. Perhaps something that will sound great playing all this isn't possible at my budget, though maybe something will come to mind for a forum member - im no audiophile myself. I do want some 'fun' speakers, nothing too dry and music library orientated.
    Thanks
     
  2. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
  3. Mr.Sign

    Mr.Sign Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Germany
    Hallo rissey,
    Try to get KEF R300 used or demo, they do it all !
     
    rissey likes this.
  4. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Ive had a little look at the R300, they look great. Had been looking at the Klipsch RP600M and Kef Q350's, but the R300's seem a step up. It may be difficult getting them within my budget though. WIll keep an eye on ebay and gumtree. Do you know how they R300's may compare to the Q150's ( i mean the 150's won't be as good, but perhaps there are some interesting overlaps)? I read the Q150's are similar to the LS50's, but cheaper (whereas the q350's are their own thing altogether).
     
    Bananas&blow likes this.
  5. SMc

    SMc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX
  6. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    A friend brought over his Q150s a few months ago. We compared them to a couple other speakers, and in my view, they did very well. Although they don't have much going for them looks wise, they had a sound that beat the competition. The competition was Monitor Audio, Silverline, and PSB.
     
    rissey likes this.
  7. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    The main difference is Q350 has bigger woofers. If you're not running a sub, that is significant, especially if you want to be playing techno.
    KEF Q350 loudspeaker Measurements
    The LS50 you can see in the cutaway is just a totally more-built variation on the same Uni-Q theme (not sure if this Anniversary edition is much different, I didn't read the whole thing yet.
    KEF LS50 Anniversary Model loudspeaker Measurements
    Both have port tuning around 45 Hz, which is good, as size and physics conspire to tune may small speakers higher, meaning low bass bottoms them out more easily (again especially for techno fans).

    The KEFs have tended to really good reviews, though me and a buddy felt the LS50 well just didn't grab us much. This brings a key point: whatever you buy MUST be returnable easily and not too expensively. Even "Great" speakers may not please YOUR ears in YOUR room.

    The one thing I've heard myself lately in your price range is the Wharfedale Diamond 11.2, also ported to a low frequency. At Audio Element in Pasadena they sounded very pleasant throughout the whole shop (as opposed to the more expensive Evo towers which had a narrow sweet spot perhaps due to the ribbon tweeter.
    - ELAC have sounded very clear with strong (not boomy) bass, at the expense of a reputation for being power hungry. This is probably how they get a lot of bass for their size (search "Hofmann's Iron Law"*). Here's one I haven't heard personally yet Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 Speaker Review
    - Revel has consistently worked to make smooth, neutral speakers. A friend worked on some of their drive units, it's good stuff. Here is a positive review Revel M16 Speaker Review

    *An implication of which is that if you really want BASS, you should really get towers. To generate sound pressure is a function of cone area, so the more cone area the merrier. To extend the response requires a big cabinet, or the speakers become very power hungry. Or likely better, get a good subwoofer which at your budget would imply used, plus some kind of a highpass filter to your Sugden amp to reduce the load on the amp and main speakers.
     
    rissey likes this.
  8. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom

    Great response, lots of information. Thank you.

    I'd not considered the Elac DBR62's at all (i'd seen the 6.2's), but they indeed review really great, though the perennial issue with them (following Hofmann's Iron Law..thanks for this btw), is they require a lot of power. I'm a total novice when it comes to audio specs, so do you think my Sugden Prem-amp and Transimpedance Power Amplifier will have enough grunt for the Elacs? I was actually given these amplifiers, so know little about them, however i found this info of the Pre-Amp:

    The unit is equipped with three stereo input facilities, a parallel tape output, and a switched pre amplifier output. These facilities create a very flexible piece of equipment, which can operate as a stand alone dedicated headphone system or be combined as a high quality pre-amp in a total Audio system. The special design features of the amplifier circuitry have been incorporated to enhance headphone performance but also facilitate a very high quality pre-amplifier performance.

    The amplifier configuration is pure Class A constructed completely from discreet components. The application of the Class A circuit has been optimised to obtain its characteristic benefits of superb low level listening and low distortion. Particularly important to the use of headphones is the inherent avoidance with the Class A configuration of odd and high order harmonic distortion. The amplifier is wide bandwidth with a very neutral and transparent sound stage through the full musical spectrum and volume range.

    The inputs of the amplifier are selected through a logic operated relay circuit to keep the input signal paths as short as possible. The relays used are twin gold contact bifurcated crossbar types [not solid state] with a contact resistance of less than 0.05 ohms. These relays, which are used in all Sugden Hi-End pre amps, are chosen for their non-invasive handling of the incoming signals. The single ended phono connectors are all high quality individual, gold plated connectors with Teflon inserts.

    The housing for the electronics is creatively designed and precision engineered from high quality aluminium in our own manufacturing facility. The sculptured presentation as well as advancing pride of possession includes full practical and ergonomic considerations. Its mass is particularly relevant to headphone use and superb Audio performance.

    Together with all Sugden products the acoustic qualities are enhanced by many hours of listening and component testing with the most sonically compatible selected for use. By not compromising on quality and continuity of production by our own skilled workforce we guarantee years of musical pleasure.

    inputs: Three stereo pairs.
    Input Impedance: 50K
    Input sensitivity: 150mv in for 1volt output
    Outputs: Switched headphone socket / Attenuated Pre Amp out
    Tape-out
    Output Impedance: 4Ohms to 56kOhms
    Power output: 5.5volts at onset of clipping
    Bandwidth: -3dB points 10Hz & 270kHz
    Frequency response:
    relative to 1kHz 0dB, 20Hz -0.6dB, 30Hz -0.1dB 50Hz to 20kHz 0dB
    Signal to noise: > 90dB
    Dimensions: 230mm x 265mm x 82mm [wdh] weight 3.5kg


    I couldn't find info for the Transimpedance Amp ('Transimpedance' seems like a labyrinth of sound science to me) though here is a picture of the internals, if that helps IMG_8870.TIF

     
  9. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom

    also, if my Sugdens aren't appropriate, then which Amp would you recommend for $500-ish budget?
     
  10. Zos93

    Zos93 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London UK
    I have Spendor S3/5Rs which have that classic BBC monitor sound. All the speakers from that range, the 3/5, the SE, the R and the R2 all sound similar. I use mine with a Naim 5si but I'm sure they would work well with a Sugden. You should be able to get a nice second hand pair well within your budget.
     
    rissey likes this.
  11. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    People used to rave about the "bang for the buck" Pioneer bookshelf speakers designed by Andrew Jones. They're cheap enough to think about: https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG

    I'm a B&W guy myself, so I would look at the B&W 607. Being a UK company, there should be a place to hear them first.

    Someone earlier recommended Klipsch. Very good choice. I used to be a Klipsch guy but I found that the horns were very directional and sounded better at louder volumes, which was no longer my thing.
     
  12. Robsonschoice

    Robsonschoice Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    You really do need to go and listen when the shops open for business, create a list of recommendations and go listen ....your ears will tell you what's best. Mistakes cost money
     
    rissey likes this.
  13. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    This is very true.
     
  14. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom

    Thanks. Will check out the B&W 607's
     
  15. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Ive seen some S3E's onlin and in my budget. WIll see if i can find some review of it.
     
    Zos93 likes this.
  16. Zos93

    Zos93 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    London UK
    They are pretty neutral so may not ideal for Techno but I think they might surprise you. I would definetly reccommend a home demo though if you can.
     
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  17. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Yeah, I'm going to visit Richer Sounds and have a listen to all these when the lockdown eases up.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  18. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    There are no other markings on the amp? Here's their website https://www.sugdenaudio.com. The picture is of the amp? Because I see no big output devices nor binding posts, it looks more like a preamp.
     
    rissey likes this.
  19. These measure very, very badly:

    Klipsch RP-600M Speaker Review

    “Out of the box, the Klipsch RP-600M throws out the rule book, thinking that if you just sold boosted lows and highs and leaving mids behind is a good idea. It is not. Objective and subjective testing shows this to be a horrible choice ranking the speaker as one of the worst I have tested.“

    Amir notes that if you use digital EQ, you can fix the enormous midrange suckout in the frequency response.
     
    ls35a likes this.
  20. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    You should be spoiled for choice in the UK:

    B&W, KEF, QAcoustics, Wharfedale, Mission, Mordaunt-Short, Monitor Audio, Tannoy

    and that's before considering any brands from elsewhere!
     
    ls35a and Billy Budapest like this.
  21. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    You will do MUCH better on the second hand Market - Try to get yourself an ATC SCM 11

    ATC SCM 11 (2013) review | What Hi-Fi?

    They can take a pounding have been around long enough that you should be able to find second hand pairs in your price range and they're British made. They'll play the music you're after.

    i owned the KEF LS-50 for 4 years - nice speaker - but I would buy the ATC if I had to do it over.
     
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  22. Robsonschoice

    Robsonschoice Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    rissey likes this.
  23. JohnCarter17

    JohnCarter17 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Amir is a known Topping shill, pushing overpriced ChiFi which measures well, sounds bland, is poorly designed and is not particularly well made.
     
  24. rissey

    rissey Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I mean pricewise the Missions are incredibly competitive. They are £275 in the UK, whereas the Kef Q350's and the Klipsch RP-600M's are £599. The Kefs/Klipsch's can't be double as 'good' as the Missions, surely! Sounds like the Missions have been slept-on a bit. In your opinion would the Missions require a Subwoofer (and which one?) ? And in an ideal setup, what amp would you pair them with (in the £400-500 price bracket)?
     

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