New speakers, Really need some feedback - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #21 of 25 Old 10-08-12, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Re: New speakers, Really need some feedback

chashint wrote: View Post
I may have missed it but what is your budget for 5 speakers and a sub ?
$1500-2000 I think, for one fair of front speakers. I will start there and work my way up. I aleady know which speaker is going to be my surround. And I already have a subwoofer.
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post #22 of 25 Old 10-12-12, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 38
Re: New speakers, Really need some feedback

Well, thought I owed you guys a report with all the help I got.

Again, these are only our (my wife and me) opinions.

We listened to all the speakers on a Marantz SR7007 (we have a 6006 at home, closest we got) and mainlu two songs:
* Melody Gardot - If the stars were mine (
* Svenska Akademien - Vakna (a swedish ragga/hiphop band) (

The latter of which resembles my taste in music, and the first more of hers. These were, if you didn't guess it already, listened to through Spotify which is our main source of music at home.

So, let's get down to it.

We listened to a crapload of speakers at different price ranges:
* HECO Celan XT701
* System Audio Aura 50
* JBL Studio 190
* JBL Sutdio 580
* JBL Studio 590
* Wharfedale EVO-50
* KEF Q700
* Acoustic Energy Radiance 3
* Dynaudio Excite X32
* ELAC 182

HECO Celan XT701
Now I had high hopes for this one. I have to say though, I got disappointed. Not because they were bad in any way, but they just didn't pop compared to the other speakers, and we felt like they were abit bland. No real strengths but maybe abit enclosed.

System Audio Aura 50
No. Just no, for us. The upper frequencies felt like needles in our ears and my wife got a headache after just a little while.

JBL Studio 190
Way below our initial budget, but they were worth a listen. I was actually abit surprised - although it ofcourse lacked the detail that the more expensive speakers had, it still sounded pretty decent! They had a soft-ish, quite pleasant sound with a tight bass. Good mid-range and tweeter when considering stereo perspective. For the price, one of the better I've heard, but no match for the more expensive contenders.

JBL Sudio 580
Hornloaded tweeter, two quite big woofers and a coffin-like look. I was prepared to be hit with the "forwardness" and in your face that Klipsch has. None of that. It was very open but still not in your face all the time. GREAT bass, but might have lacked some in the mid-range. But it was as they say about the speaker, it almost felt like being at a live concert. Cool. But as I said, maybe some lack in the mid-range detailing.

JBL Studio 590
Had everything that 580, although alot more bass. Alot. And they are huge, like, REALLY huge. If you buy these, you seriously have a coffin for your funeral. We have a saying in Sweden - "Greaser bass". Hard to translate, but it was more emphasis on the bass than on anything else really. Great party speaker, but maybe not for fine listening a calm saturday evening.

Wharfedale EVO-50
This one was the least impressive. Felt really enclosed and uptight. Boring mid-range but nice bass and okay tweeter.

KEF Q700
Quite innovative with their UniQ tweeter/mid-range. And this one really hit the spot, well, as close as we could get that day. Very open, clean, crisp sound with good bass (it really only has one woofer, the other two are slaves instead of a bassreflex port. Had almost a dreamy feeling, especially with the Melody Gardot song. However, it played with a more "crisp" sound rather than a rich, heavy feel. That is ofcourse just a matter of preferences. Our previous B&W-speakers were very bassheavy and rich sound. It did however balanced just at the edge of being too sharp in the higher frequencys.

Acoustic Energy Radiance 3
One of two our of budget speakers. But , it was great. It did however LOOK aweful. I'm gonna quote my wife - "They look like a little english gentleman, who had become The Terminator".
Great detail, rich, deep bass but still with an openess to it. Very fine speaker indeed, although abit over budget (but we could probably stretch it).

Dynaudio Excite X32
Such small speakers. But let me tell you, they didn't sound anything but big. It was abit coloured - a slight warm soundstage with a welcoming cozy feeling. The only thing I can say is that it might get abit boring after you've had it for a while.

ELAC 182
Way to sharp. No.

So there we have it. We've pondered and pondered over which speaker to go for. At first, we felt like the JBL 580 was the way to go, but relative lack of detail bothered me. Then, we were going to get the Dynaudio Excite second hand. But. But then I came a cross a KEF Q700 that had only been demoed at a local home theatre butique with about 30% off the price. There were never any hesitation. We went for the Q700 and are now waiting to get it delivered home.

I'm really happy with our choice concidering our budget.

There you have it, my 2, maybe 3, cents!
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post #23 of 25 Old 10-12-12, 07:15 PM
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Re: New speakers, Really need some feedback

That is a fantastic writeup. Personally, I would choose the Dynaudio of the speakers listed. As I am guessing you are in Europe, I would also try to check out Focal and Triangle. However, Dynaudio makes excellent speakers and think they make some of the finest Tweeters out there. I could not agree more about Wharfedale in comparison to the others.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
Gaming Consoles: Sony PS4, Xbox 360 S (250 gb)
Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
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post #24 of 25 Old 10-12-12, 10:06 PM
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Re: New speakers, Really need some feedback

Good move to only listen with two very different songs, allows you to listen for specifics over and over.
Nice little write up for each speaker.
The only ones on your list that I have heard are the KEF, I liked them.
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post #25 of 25 Old 10-15-12, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: New speakers, Really need some feedback

I have the Kef Q900 for fronts and Q300 rears. Center channel is the Kef Q600c. It took a week of letting the speaker just play to break them in. They are powered by a Onkyo 708. I have Auralex bass traps, and made some absorption panels meant to tame mid and high frequencies.
I listen to the new B&W and was able to do a side by side and the KEF's were much better.
I also have some B&W 602 that are very good sounding but the KEF's are better.
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