Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wooguy, Sep 12, 2020.
Looks like many others like them as well. The web site says they’re sold out!
Tekton double impacts! Lol! They might look narrow and unobtrusive in a bus garage!
I’ll look into the JBL line. Darko seems to be enjoying his currently.
Here you go, an exceptional deal!
Thank you. That’s very helpful. I have enjoyed my 20s for the most part, but agree that occasionally, on some recordings, things can sound a bit, maybe, artificial.
Yes, the size of my room does limit the playback level certainly. 80+ dBs can start to make me reach for the volume knob.
In full orchestra pieces, do the Totems seem able to present a full ensemble without too much congestion? That’s certainly an area where my current speakers fall short.
Ah! Memories of my Polk 5Bs from the 80s. They were bookshelves, but loved their sound at the time and for several years. Stereophile just gave a favorable review of the L100s. Thank you! I’ll check them out.
Yes, I believe it would be the garage floor for me if any Tektons showed up. But would love to hear them
At anything below 80dB average, at listening positions between 5’-8’ from the front baffles, full orchestra, operatic ensembles, and (jazz) big bands sound great. Voices, instrument sections, soloists, and dynamics are correctly and identifiably placed in the soundstage, and imaging is well-retained except on some unusually hot sforzandi from a whole section and on some unusually fast ff crescendi. Those are relatively rare occurrences and don’t spoil anything because the momentary compression is well managed by the drivers. Louder sections of chorales are also well-handled, voice clarity being, IMO, a strength of the Sky Towers.
Thanks! They sound like a definite possibility.
I purchased a pair of floorstanding speakers earlier this year in the same price range as you. My musical preferences are pretty varied including jazz, classical, acoustic music, vocals, 90's rock and occasionally some electronic music. Good pace and the tonal quality of instruments/voices are what matter most to me. This is summary of the speakers I auditioned. If you are interested in more details about any of these speakers. I have more detailed notes as well.
In terms of my final choice, I was going to get the previous-gen Monitor Audio Gold 200s used from a store, but they literally sold an hour after I listened to them. So I got the Silver 300s and have been thrilled listening to them.
My revised ranking of speakers I auditioned:
1. Monitor Audio Gold 200 (previous-gen): These were a real WOW. All of the dynamics and musicality of the Silver 300s but with an additional level of detail and insight into my music. These made easy-to-reproduce music sound even better and difficult-to-reproduce music sound good in a way that my lower ranked speakers did not (all of the speakers ranked lower than the Audio Physic Spark).
2. Monitor Audio Silver 300: Though not inexpensive, it seems that quite a few publications are right on the mark when they describe this speaker as a great value. These have the clarity and quickness in the mid-range and treble that my Linn Index speakers had with the addition of a tuneful and rhythmic low end. These are a LOT of fun to listen to and can really boogie when presented with interesting rhythms in music.
3 (tied): Paradigm Prestige 95F: The tonal quality of these speakers is really pleasant to listen to. They are less clear in the midrange than both of the Monitor Audio speakers and the B&W 704 S2 and a little slower in pace than those speakers as well. The pace issue seems like it can be somewhat resolved by quicker sounding amplification.
3 (tied): Bowers & Wilkins 704 S2: Has a similar level of clarity, quickness, detail and smoothness as the Silver 300s. (Close enough that I need to hear the Monitor Audio speakers again to figure out which is better) But is $1000 more expensive than the Silver 300s. The Silver 300s also have a smoother top end while not yielding any clarity or quickness to this speaker.
5. Audio Physic Spark: Very musical sounding, but less low end punch than the Silver 300s.
6. Triangle Esprit Gaia EZ: These sounded fairly precise and had a nice fullness of tone, but was lacking in pace and timing compared to my higher ranked speakers.
7. Totem Sky Tower: These sounded quick and provided good definition to the leading edge of notes, but I would have difficulty listening to these for an extended period due to their aggressiveness in the high end.
8. Dynaudio X34 Excite: The sound felt a little loose and not so well controlled, but worked great for rock and metal.
9. Goldenear Audio Triton 5: This would probably be a better choice for a home theater speaker as they had a "big" sound though not as articulate for reproducing music.
10. Rega RX-3: It played music okay, but lacked precision.
11. Bowers & Wilkins 603: These speakers were a bit of mess. Their sound seems to be the result in trying to design a speaker that can play lower in the low end and higher in the high end without sorting out the fundamentals of how to play music first. Kind of boring to listen to since it fails to reproduce so much of the music captured in recordings and fails to play rhythms well.
Monitor Audio Silver 300s: Great speaker for stepping up from affordable to high end audio equipment
Though not inexpensive, it seems that quite a few publications are right on the mark when they describe this speaker as a great value. The Silver 300s have the clarity and quickness in the mid-range and treble at the level of a lot of standmount monitor speakers with a tuneful and rhythmic low end. These are a LOT of fun to listen to and can really boogie when presented with interesting rhythms in music. They convey music with a lot of finesse, but also have a well defined low end conveyed with a surprising amount of force. Also, the high end sounded notably smooth.
With a Sensitivity (1W@1M) of 90 db and a fairly even impedance over the frequency range, the Silver 300s are fairly easy to drive. Recommended amplifier power is 80–200W, but I finding the Silver 300 to sound great with a Creek amp with 35 watts per channel. Lower powered amplifiers that put out a good amount of current would work well.
I've compared the Silver 300s to the similarly positioned (but $1000 more expensive) Bowers & Wilkins 704 S2 speakers. The 704 S2 has a similar level of clarity, quickness, detail and smoothness as the Silver 300s, I found that the Silver 300s have a smoother top end while not yielding any clarity or quickness to the 704 S2. The 704 S2 sounded a bit leaner and slightly more analytical than the Silver 300s.
Due to the Silver 300's ability to sound good with reasonably priced equipment while being able to reveal improvements in gained from higher quality amplification, I would suggest that they are a GREAT speaker for someone looking to step up from affordable equipment to the next level of sound quality.
They can run very well off low powered amps. I had 580s for awhile and really enjoyed them. I was also in a smaller room, and a smaller house and even at 10 watts those JBLs could shake the room quite a bit. I personally felt over time the bass became a little one note and overwhelming, but I also had less than ideal placement. I had demoed the 590s before buying, and I knew they would be fun, but way too much in my room at the time. It’s not so much about driver side, but also integration.
The Studio 500 line packed a very solid bunch in the floor standers, and if you don’t have the space those 590s just build up too much. They need room to breath in my opinion, unless you prefer solid punch over detail in the low end.
The other thing those speakers do exceptionally well is throw a very very wide soundstage. I think that was their single best attribute, and it carries across the line.
I will go off the beaten path and suggest that you not buy new and to definitely buy used when it comes to loudspeakers as you can do a lot better second hand in terms of value for your money.
I will suggest a few lesser known speakers that are worth your time over more of the typical mainstream brands that get suggested.
The reality is that there isn't a helluva lot of REAL innovation in modern speakers - it is mostly about miniaturization and a whole lot of advertising hype. I have a fair bit of listening time on Paradigm and the models that followed the V2 and V3 series sounded worse if anything.
I am not a big fan of narrow baffle speakers but there are a few that have stood out. One was the Reference 3a Grand Veena which I have seen listed under $3,000 (they were over $8,000 new and actually sounded like they were worth $8,000). And the older ones sounded better. I recently auditioned the Reference 3a MM Midi Master from the late 1980s and I was pleased that it was in mint shape and would easily hang with anything I have heard today for $3K-$5k and can be had used for $900. Because Reference 3a is not a huge seller or a particularly well known speaker, even in the audiophile community, the second hand prices are a little lower than some well known, and IMO far inferior sounding, speakers.
The Grand Veena is pretty much full range and easy to drive (8 watts is enough).
Next is the Ross Fiorentino Certaldo floorstanders These were $5,000 a pair new (I could not find a good picture but they're really nicely finished - Italian so they look quite nice - like Sonus Faber but they sound better IMO)
Gershman Acoustics X-1 and SW-1 which were around $10,000 new can be had for $2,000. Like Reference 3a - not a big name so their second hand value is probably lower than they should be. Like Reference 3a made in Canada (older Reference 3a are French).
And of course the Audio Note AZ Three which will easily fall under budget. These are around 94dB sensitive and reach into the mid 20hz range. They are a horn transmission line speaker using an 8 inch hemp woofer.
Studio Electric T3 - MIGHT be had for $2,500 but of the ones on this list would likely be hardest to find used as the company I believe makes them to order at $9k new. Still they have been around for over a decade so you may seem some crop up. They are quite nice indeed. That is, if the looks are not too oddball for you. They are the slimmest of the lot.
Your Name - Simple
Look at the end climactic scene of Enter The Dragon, maybe you could set up reflective mirrors from a funhouse to make those Tektons look slim. Or slip special contact lenses into your spouse's eyes whilst sleeping.
Or take @Calvin_and_Hobbes great suggestion (and great avatar) of Monitor Audio Silver 300s at $2k. I've noted elsewhere I spent several hours with them at Upscale Audio and they were great with anything. Even cranked out live Motorhead without flinching and let me tell you that is RARE.
But the most important factor is decor. Show said spouse pictures-Wharfedale Lintons with matching stand being one to try as they also sound really open and nice and fun. Not slim but retro cool, see how the spouse feels. I'll agree with @Litejazz53 (and so would @SandAndGlass) those Polks are really nice if you can find them BUT they are hardly diminutive. Here are some gorgeous looking speakers from Aurum Cantus, and I can tell you the
M102SE PU / pair $ 2,385.00 not only had a lovely finish, they sounded really smooth and open as well.
A friend was obsessed with slim speakers and yeah those Totems are about as slim as it gets for a tower. Well Spendor too but those are $pendy past your budget. Or DIY if you are open to that. Maybe ELAC Uni-Fi towers would be fairly slim for towers.
That is a stupid good deal. There are virtually none of the LSiM speakers available new today.
Amazon has only two.
This is a speaker that will compete with others costing into the thousands of dollars.
You are not even going to come close to a 705 for under $1k!
If you can find the Fyne F502's for a decent price, I'd buy those. I heard those and they really stood out to me. The imaging that can be created with those if properly set up is incredible.
Before Peachtree Audio started making amplifiers, they made compact speakers for the home that were designed by Michael Kelly of Aerial Acoustics.
They made two beautiful compact tower speakers, the D11 and the larger D14, which came in Cherry or Rosewood.
The D14 is 38 ½ tall X 13 deep X 7 wide and weighs almost 72 lbs each!
The D11 was a little smaller.
For compact tower speakers that dound and look excellent these rank with the best. WAF is 100% and small and nice enough for a bedroom.
Unfortunately, they have not been made for many years now and occasionally pop up on the used market.
Pity that other manufacturer's don't make speakers like these.
Here is a dark horse for you....Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower. Slim and unobtrusive. Quality SEAS drivers. Bamboo cabinetry. Good warranty. Lovely sound in the $2200 -$3000 range depending on drivers.
That is a beautiful design, very nice indeed.
The price is for a single. So $1500. You could get a pair of Audio Note AZ three speakers slightly used for that. And then you can run SET amplifiers - and IMO better sound quality if a bit ugly in comparison. 3 month old pair on sale now Audio Note AZ Three Hemp (51781663) | Second-hand device | Standing Speaker | Offer on audio-markt.de
This is excellent advice. I haven't heard all of these, but the ones I have so blow away a lot of other speakers, especially new ones under $2K. I personally adore Rosso Fiorentino speakers, and hope to move to those soon.
These brands might require a little more patience and work to find used, but your patience will be rewarded.
Elac Fs 407 used
^^^^^. THIS @Richard Austen !!!
As a proud owner of Paradigm Studio 100 v2's, since they were first introduced and I can promise all of you, that I have tried and tried to find a better speaker for the past ten or so years with absolutely no luck, including most Paradigm models since the v2's and even their new $15,000 model! The closest I have come to what my Studio 100 v2's provide me, are easily nearing the $10,000 plus mark (Sonus Faber Olympia III and Legacy Audio Focus SE). In all honesty of all the speakers that I have auditioned from Audio Note UK to Vandersteen's, the ONLY unbelievable speaker that I have heard that speaks volumes for the most unknown reasons and will be the speaker that I recommend to the OP of this thread, outside of a used pair of Studio 100 v2's, is Vandersteen 1's. My friend owns a pair of these speakers and he runs them on a newer model Marantz 45 watt receiver and those old original 1's (no 1c, 1ci or whatever other 1 options Richard has offered, just the plain old "1") and they are truly amazing sounding speakers in the right room!
Thanks for your detailed notes regarding these speakers. Friend has a several years old pair of Silver 8s that he loves, and Monitor speakers are always well reviewed in Stereophile. I'll look into the 300s.
Thank you - yes, it seems that Paradigm changed course at one point, and went more for a total home theatre/audio package sound.
Thank you for your suggestions - I'll see what I can find out about those models!
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