Speaker suggestions for new turntable/amp (+first real hi fi system review)?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Blusmbl, May 15, 2019.

  1. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    Hi,

    New member from Detroit here. In my late 30's, I've had a vintage hi fi setup for about 15 years, tried getting into vinyl before the recent resurgence. My parents had piles of records and stereos, but they were usually whatever was cheap at Radio Shack or Sears at the time - lots of Realistic and Fisher gear!

    My system consisted of a Marantz 2270, a Pioneer PL-17D turntable with a Shure M97xE cart, a Marantz 8260 SACD player that works about 10% of the time, and Pioneer HPM-100 speakers. Have been happy with it forever, but recently wanted to upgrade turntables, and that snowballed into a new amp as well.

    Last week I picked up a Technics 1200G, a Mofi MasterTracker cartridge, and a McIntosh MA252 hybrid tube amp. Right now I'm still using the Pioneer HPM-100's for speakers and am really impressed so far. The turntable in particular feels like a precision mechanical instrument, while the amp looks like jewelry. Still have to find a permanent home for the setup as the amp is too deep for the entertainment center where my receiver sat.

    Have been listening to mostly rock and blues records, it really brought life to recordings like the Allman Brothers @ Fillmore East, Lou Reed's Transformer, Boston's self titled album, Blondie's Parallel Lines, and Bridge Over Troubled Water. I can't stop listening, keep dragging out another record just to see how they sound!

    Curiosity also got the best of me and I tried a/b comparing the 252 to my 2270 using the 1200G as the source. That is likely more a comparison of their phono stages than anything else, but the Marantz at flat EQ settings is a bit brighter, but also has slightly less detail and clarity than the McIntosh. Want to say the soundstage is better with the McIntosh as well. The differences are there, but not as noticeable as I was expecting. I'm not disappointed in the McIntosh by any means, but am pretty surprised at how well the Marantz held up, being 40 years old and never been serviced.

    So far I'm loving it through the HPM100's, but am likely going to buy new speakers as well so I can keep the vintage setup complete, moving it to a different room in the house. Have been eyeing the new JBL L100 Classic's, but after buying the turntable and amp without listening, I really should hear speakers in person before dropping a bunch of cash on them. Also considering different sets of Maggies or possibly something in the Klipsch heritage line.

    Any other suggestions of gear to buy or other similar suggestions for speakers? For lack of a better description, I like the presence of 12" or greater drivers vs. smaller main speakers with a subwoofer, at least for the music I listen to.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]IMG_6530 by Nick Parisi, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_6498 by Nick Parisi, on Flickr
     
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  2. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I think the speakers you are considering may just be a downgrade from the HPM100 set. That's a tight space that you have there. Maggie's won't work in that spot. You may actually be better off with a really good monitor and sub set if you could find a spot up front for the sub. Otherwise, there are a few options for speakers that fit that spot and your ideal of a big speaker. Nothing is going to be at its best against the wall, but it is what it is if that's the only workable location. Spendor, Harbeth, Tannoy, ATC, and Bryston come to mind as companies who may have offerings that you would like. I am sure there are a few others also. Hearing them may prove to be challenging though.
    -Bill
     
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  3. nwdavis1

    nwdavis1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
    I almost bought one of those 8260 SACD players before the issues it has became well known. I have an SA8003 that works perfectly.

    I definitely agree that you shouldn’t buy speakers without auditioning. There is a store in Royal Oak on Woodward, just south of 13 1/2 mile rd, that stocks Magnepan. The last time I was there they had 0.7, 1.7 and 20.something on display. They also have Vandersteen, Elac, and a few others. You should check them out. The owner is a cool guy. Check their hours before you go because they are not open every day.
     
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  4. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    Thank you both! Agree, the space isn't the greatest and is leading to some compromises. I can put them in the basement but it occasionally has water issues and I don't want the records to get moldy.

    I'll definitely have to check out the store on Woodward.
     
  5. nwdavis1

    nwdavis1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
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  6. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    Perfect, thank you. Will definitely stop in their store to listen. I think the MA252 with 100w @ 8 ohms is enough to drive maggies but it might be on the low end of the power scale.

    Also, for the 8260... I bought it used for relatively cheap on ebay, not knowing any better. After it started acting up I took it apart and mine already had the repair mods to it. At least it's a nice paperweight!
     
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  7. nwdavis1

    nwdavis1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
    100W is plenty. Remember that Mac rates them conservatively so they can claim lower distortion numbers. Your integrated can put out more during brief peaks in the music.
     
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  8. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    You can't place Maggies against the wall with good results. Listen to some Vandersteen and Elac while you are there. They might have something else interesting for that space also, who knows?
    -Bill
     
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  9. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    Thank you. Knowing that I really need to consider relocating everything to the basement... or adding a room or two onto the house! I should be able to make it up to Audio Dimensions next week over the long weekend.
     
  10. swvahokie

    swvahokie Forum Resident

    Vandies won't work against the wall either. I used to own some Vandy 2's. Way too much bass output. They need serious space, almost as much as Maggies.
     
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  11. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    For the love of god, Montresor, don't do that!
    Some old speakers like those HPMs can have a certain kind of honesty to the sound that is not always present in newer materials. However, due to the lack of simulation tools crossovers tended to be much cruder. I think you should try those JBLs (and maybe ELACs? Not sure they have quite that form factor. Maybe Spendor and such? Maybe start a "suggest me big bookshelf speakers" thread with the picture of where you have them and relevant dimensions.
    Also be aware you could upgrade those HPM100s if you end up preferring their basic sound:
    - Add internal cross-bracing (1x1 or dowel probably sufficient)
    - Add stuffing, maybe this "Acousta-Stuf Polyfill 5 lb. Bag Speaker Cabinet Damping Material" from www.parts-express.com! . or type 700 fiberglass sheets.
    - Add some kind of anti-vibration coating Vibration Damping Materials For Commerical And Residential Applications
    - More extremely, find some friendly folks to measure your speakers and rework the crossovers, maybe here Multi-Way - diyAudio
     
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  12. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Good point. Nothing is going to sound great there, but we also really don't know any more about the space.
    -Bill
     
  13. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    I've been meaning to mod the crossovers in the HPM100's anyway... this may be a good time to do it. I had the left speaker apart earlier today anyway, the terminal area was coming loose so I had to pull the backing plate out with the crossover on it. Back to even sound on the LH and RH channels now.

    Better pics to give an idea of the room- it's ~14' deep from wall to wall and maybe 20' wide? It's about 7' apart on the entertainment center. No easy way to reconfigure it for anything else though with multiple openings to the kitchen, dining room and hallway. The brick isn't ideal either, can try putting up some type of acoustic treatment too. (edit: all of the gold animals are the girlfriend's....)

    [​IMG]Untitled by Nick Parisi, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Nick Parisi, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Nick Parisi, on Flickr
     
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  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I heard your amp (affectionately known as the stove top) playing through some Klipsch Forte III speakers and the pairing was an excellent match! I mean really excellent, a hit among $$$$$ systems at a recent audio show. Looks like you may be pressed for wall space though- still worth the effort to rearrange.
     
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  15. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I’ve never heard the HPM100, but I highly doubt the new L100 would be a downgrade. I may be biased because I own them, but they certainly beat just about every speaker I’ve had in my room hands down.
     
  16. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    They are both OK speakers if you like that style of speaker. I don't care too much for that style of sound any longer. I have heard both of the original designs as well as quite a few other similar JBL designs. I preferred the HPM-100 (the originals). Funny thing is that the same guy designed both the L100 and the HPM100: Bart N. Locanthi - Wikipedia
    -Bill
     
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  17. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    I have a 2230 that holds its own against my main rig as well. Never sell it and I like your idea of keeping a second all vintage system. I'd give some Klipsch Forte's an audition, especially given @avanti1960's recommendation of synergy with your amp. Can Forte's be placed against the wall?
     
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  18. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    But have you heard the new ones?
     
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  19. Blusmbl

    Blusmbl Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Plymouth, MI
    Thanks everybody. Definitely will try finding some Klipsch's to listen to based on that glowing review, and I certainly need to give more thought to rearranging the room.

    Keeping the HPM-100's around with the Marantz seems like the smart move as well, I was definitely happy with that combination for many years.
     

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