Speaker quest (listening reviews included) - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 110 Old 01-13-08, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Speaker quest (listening reviews included)

I am looking for recommendations for some full range front speakers. I have several in mind, just curious to see what you guys come up with. Probably about 50% music & 50% Movies. Addition of a sub is not out of the question.

I listen to a very wide variety of music: I need a speaker that can render a double bass (stand-up) with depth and clarity, along with all the warmth and vibrance of Miles' trumpet. I want to hear the raw power in voices like Aretha Franklin, and the grittyness of John Lee Hooker. Something that can convey the enveloping atmosphere of bands like Portisehead, and Massive Attack, and the shear assault of the senses of bands like FuManchu and BlackSabbath. In more general terms I want crisp accurate detail in the upper range, smooth full mids, and DEEP, extended, tight bass.

Thanks for your help

Last edited by Funkmonkey; 02-18-08 at 04:16 PM.
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post #2 of 110 Old 01-13-08, 04:07 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

In that price range, I would check out the Vandersteen 3A Signature. You'll have to go used. I picked up a pair on AudiogoN a little more than a year ago, and have been very happy. Some people call them "laid back," and they may not be "in your face" at all times, but they can definitely ROCK. I've put a variety of music through them, from classical to metal, and they never disappoint. Bottom end is stated as 30Hz, and I would suspect I can get close in my room.

Anyway, my $0.02.

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post #3 of 110 Old 01-13-08, 05:03 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

"DEEP and extended" bass (by my definitions) is extremely rare in full range speakers under $2,000. Maybe something like the Def Tech models with powered subs in them might get you close to the bass you want, but I'm not sure what they run new.

If you could somehow work out a Martin Logan setup, I would not even think twice about it... Martin Logan Ascent i's... $1975



... but then you need a center and a sub. With the exception of the deep extended bass, you described these speakers very well and I can tell you I've not heard anything better in my lifetime. And I don't just say that because I now own them, I really mean it. My ML setup really does it all and someone needs to knock me clean between the eyes if I ever get rid of my ML speaker setup, other than to replace it with the same after it wears out.


Here's the Def Tech BP7002's for $1299...





Of course those are used.

In the new line you could look into the Paradigm line and probably pick up a very capable front stage for under $2000.

I was impressed with the Cambridge SoundWorks speakers...



You could get a very nice setup with them for your front stage and have money left over for a nice sub as well.


Another option is the Axiom line... we just picked them up as an affiliate. They are very well respected.




There are sooooo many really good options.
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post #4 of 110 Old 01-13-08, 10:23 PM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Vandersteen 2Ce Signature IIs are $2000/pair new and sound as good as loudspeakers costing twice or thrice the price. Frequency response is 29Hz to 29kHz +/- 3dB, definitely full range for music and pretty good for HT. They have been seen taken on AudiogoN for $1000.

I'd second the Vandersteen 3A Signatures (26Hz to 30kHz +/- 3dB) for $3550 new or as little as $1700 on AudiogoN.

Vandersteens are simply the best sounding loudspeaker for the money in my opinion, period. You owe it to yourself to audition them.

Affordable Home Theater in Riverside, Hi-Q Audio/Video Systems in Thousand Oaks, Brook Berdan in Monrovia, Gluskin's Audio Video in Stockton, Monarch Coast in San Clemente, and Stereo Unlimited in San Diego.
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post #5 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Sonnie wrote: View Post
"DEEP and extended" bass (by my definitions) is extremely rare in full range speakers under $2,000... ...There are sooooo many really good options.
I realize that, which is why I said that the addition of a sub would not be out of the question. I actually plan on adding a center, sub and surrounds to the fronts in the up coming months, but I really want something outstanding for 2 channel listening. Music is first and foremost for the main speakers for me.

thank you for your suggestions, so far. While the electro statics would be great, they are just too big, my wife would kill me if I replace the old towers with anything bigger.

please keep 'em comin'
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post #6 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
jackfish wrote: View Post
Vandersteen 2Ce Signature IIs are $2000/pair new and sound as good as loudspeakers costing twice or thrice the price. Frequency response is 29Hz to 29kHz +/- 3dB, definitely full range for music and pretty good for HT. They have been seen taken on AudiogoN for $1000.

I'd second the Vandersteen 3A Signatures (26Hz to 30kHz +/- 3dB) for $3550 new or as little as $1700 on AudiogoN.

Vandersteens are simply the best sounding loudspeaker for the money in my opinion, period. You owe it to yourself to audition them.

Affordable Home Theater in Riverside, Hi-Q Audio/Video Systems in Thousand Oaks, Brook Berdan in Monrovia, Gluskin's Audio Video in Stockton, Monarch Coast in San Clemente, and Stereo Unlimited in San Diego.
Thanks, I will head out to Thousand Oaks later this week to give the Vandersteens a listen. And see what else they have there...
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post #7 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

So far:
Axioms are on my not-so-short list,
along with Paradigm Studio series,
B&W 683's & CM7's,
Def-Tech mythos,
Totem,
Onix rpcket RS850,
Revel F-12,
Monitor Audio Silver RS-6/8,
and the SVS MTS-01...

Now vandersteen joins that group.
Any arguments for or against, and/or further additions to that list are welcome.
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post #8 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 02:28 AM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

I might throw Klipsch in there as well. I know people swear by them. It seems like most either lov'em or hat'em. At least worth an audition if you can work it out.
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post #9 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 07:54 AM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

Quote:
Funkmonkey wrote: View Post
So far:
Axioms are on my not-so-short list,
along with Paradigm Studio series,
B&W 683's & CM7's,
Def-Tech mythos,
Totem,
Onix rpcket RS850,
Revel F-12,
Monitor Audio Silver RS-6/8,
and the SVS MTS-01...
That's a decent sized list and it seems to cover all flavors. I think you should be able to find something among those to your liking.

I'm an equal opportunity fanboy. I love and currently own stuff from B&W, Paradigm, Dynaudio, Sony, SVS, Denon, Velodyne, Mirage, AKG, Headroom (all subject to change at any moment)
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post #10 of 110 Old 01-14-08, 08:39 AM
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Re: $1500-$2000 Fronts

You need to audition as many speakers as you can. Speaker preferences are very subjective and you need to find ones you like the for the budget you can afford. Just be prepared to spend more $$$ than you plan as you will find a set of speakers you cannot live without for the extra $$$ you did not want to spend. It never fails....
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