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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I originally joined this forum because of the measuring software that I would like to use to calibrate my homestudio, but I have also recently decided to upgrade my livingroom stereo setup, and this is where I could use some advice...

I am currently using JBL TLX5000 speakers, powered by a Yamaha AX-396 amp. I bought the JBL's because my old B&W's where stolen in a burglary (together with a brand-new Marantz SE amp and CD player :hissyfit:), and I was in a hurry to get some new gear and at the same time apprehensive about spending a lot of cash on equipment again. Who knows how long I could enjoy it this time, you know...

Anyway, I am looking to upgrade my speakers first, because while the JBL's definitely aren't bad, they're pretty coloured. I guess they sound sort of "American" with a lot of emphasis on treble and bass and somewhat neglected mids. I listen to a wide range of music, from classical to metal (but not a lot of really heavy sub-bass stuff), and before I visit my local hifi store I would like to narrow down my options. I've been looking at both standmounted and floorstanding speakers, but I cannot figure out what would be better suited for me. I realise trusting my ears is the best advice, but is there like a general rule of thumb that would apply here? I've read here and there that British speakers tend to emphasize the mids a bit more, so would that be a good starting point?

So, enough rambling for now... Not bad for my second post eh :bigsmile:
Hope someone can offer some advice. Oh by the way: my budget is about € 300 to € 400 a piece.

Thanks!

Reinder
 

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Well, the B&Ws are a good place to start. I really like the 600 series but these may be a little bit out of you price range.
Another choice is Mission speakers I have the 76x series from the 90's and love the sound they produce. They are very warm and full sounding.
 

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I'm hesitant to make a suggestion because I don't know where you are (I know it's not Australia, NZ, USA or Canada). I don't know what's available in the stores near you. Maybe you could give us a list of possibilities.

I'd recommend some Internet Direct companies, but I don't know if they can ship speakers to you at a reasonable cost.

If they are available where you live, you might want to listen to some PSB speakers. They're nice sounding and pretty neutral.
BTW, welcome to the forum!
Doug
 

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I'm hesitant to make a suggestion because I don't know where you are (I know it's not Australia, NZ, USA or Canada). I don't know what's available in the stores near you. Maybe you could give us a list of possibilities.
OK, I have edited my profile, so now you know! As far as availability, pretty much everything is available in one hifi-store or another, although buying from a store is usually more expensive then ordering online. BUT since I really need to listen before I buy it will have to be available in my area. I have been considering B&W 685, KEF IQ5SE, Q acoustics 150i and Wharfedales, but Mission and Dali also look promising. Would these be good bets for a clear, solid, neutral sound?
 

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I can see on the Mission website that they sell locally in Holland so you should have no issue auditioning some of them. Mission does not sell much here in North America any more so you are fortunate as they are British made and easily available to you. I find Mission to be very clear natural sounding (warm) I find they need a little boost in the highs but I like my highs crisp but that could also be my room acoustics affecting them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah thanks Tony. Definitely a brand to consider. I see in your signature that you have yours paired with a Yamaha amp as well, so that's a big plus. I read on different forums that KEF and Yamaha don't team up very well...
 

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Yamaha tends to be more on the so called warm side so that may be part of the reason the highs need a little boosting My Yamaha is a little bit long in the tooth as it was made just before they implemented YAPO so there is no internal EQ just the treble and bass knobs on the front with level adjustments for each channel along with a "large" and "small" setting for speaker size. Im only using that system as two channel setup.

My Missions that I run with the Onkyo on the Theater system sound fantastic.
My web page link in my signature has photos of both systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well to be honest I'm not such a big fan of using EQ in any setup. I allways use the direct link function on my amp to allow for the shortest signal path. I guess I'm looking for speakers that sound right to me without any tweaking. I found an M74 and an M64i in a local shop, so I'll definitely evaluate those!
 

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I just wanted to let you all know about the outcome, so here it is! I went to a local hifi shop and was in for a few surprises...

I listened to KEF iQ7, Mission m34i and Mordaunt-Short (Avant 914i and 916i) and JBL's which were similar to my current speakers as a reference. Both the KEF and the Mission had very clear shortcomings, the KEFs being too forward in the upper mids, and the Mission transferring way too little detail. The Mordaunt-Shorts sounded pretty good for their relatively small size, and the smaller 914i surprisingly beat it's bigger brother. However, because of the rather unattractive (imo ofcourse) looks of these, I browsed a bit more (also looked at Dali's but they were really beyond my budget) and stumbled upon a pair of Wharfedale EVO2-40's. I decided to audition them as well (why not, eh!) and was pretty much blown away by their performance!!! This was the sound I was looking for: smooth highs, clear mids were all information is transferred - without getting "out there" like the KEFs - and controlled, tight bass. An added bonus for me was that the bass reflex ports are situated on the front, so the speakers can be placed fairly close to the wall. They also look pretty good if you ask me, and are quite a bargain at 300 euro a piece. I listened to some Steely Dan, Mahler and heavy guitar rock and everything sounded very good with no obvious colouring going on.

So in conlusion, in this pricerange there might be no such thing as the perfect speaker, but I feel that these babies are going to let me enjoy my music collection for years to come, so I am content...
 

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Good for you! In the end thats why we tell people to let there own ears tell them what they like. Auditioning is the best way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sure thing Tony, thanks!

Following up on my choice I would like to get some decent speaker cable to replace the basic copper wire I've used in the past. It seems that silver wire like the QED Silver Anniversary-XT emphasises the treble, which might not be a bad thing considering both Yamaha and Wharfedale lean towards a warm sound.

Would an upgrade to the aforementioned cable be a sensible upgrade for me, or are there beter alternatives (within the same pricerange)?
 

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Dont waist your $$ standard speaker wire will do just as good a job just make sure that you use at least 14 awg wire nothing smaller. There is many discussions about the difference between the pricey speaker wire made by Monster and the likes and the general consensus is that there is no audible difference at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting... There are plenty of myths in hifiland to be sure, and I always wonder when a user is passionately advertising the use of a certain wire, spike, etc, and claiming it makes a HUGE difference in sound, if it isn't just what they WANT to hear after spending that much cash... Still seems strange to me that there is such a wide variety of this stuff available (at all pricepoints) when the effect is negligable!
 
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