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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a pair of "black" (low sheen finish) floorstanding speakers that will be setup for two channel listening in my theater room. I will use them for music listening and then move them out of the way for theater viewing.

What I have decided to do is attempt to gather up several pairs of speakers to evaluate at the same time. Most of these will have a trial period, so coordinating delivery will be important if I want to give each pair a fair comparison to all the others. Some I will get as review units, while there may be a few that I may purchase with or without a trial period. My goal is to stay at $1,000 or less on my selection for the pair. They can be new or used in MINT condition only, but they cannot exceed $1,000 shipped.

I will be at the Capital Audiofest the weekend of July 27. So I won't say that it is not impossible that I may end up hearing some speakers that I would like to include in the evaluation, although it is not typical to find the lesser expensive speakers at the audio shows.

At this point I do not have an amplifier selected to power them and will use two channels from my Denon 4520 receiver. However, I will likely purchase a two channel tube amp between now and the time I secure all the speakers for evaluation. The source used for listening will be the OPPO BDP-105 that I recently purchased and is currently under review by Wardsweb here at HTS.

Here is the lineup thus far with the pricing:

MartinLogan Motion 12 - I have actually already purchased these BNIB from a fellow who use to work for a ML distributor. While the price is not as good at the Newegg deal a while back, it is still a good price... and I can probably get my money back through Audiogon if I decide not to keep them.

HTD Level THREE - I have always wanted to hear these. Jim was very impressed with the Level TWO speakers he reviewed.

Magnepan MG 12/QR - I was fortunate to get a pair of MINT MG 12's in all black from Alan at Audio Waves in Trinidad, CA., at a really good bargain. Alan was very easy to deal with and they carry a host of quality products there. He got these in on trade and says they are the cleanest he has ever seen used.

Klipsch RF-62 II - I have owned the Klipsch Forte's and heard La Scala's a while back, but I have not heard the RF line... and wanted to get a horn speaker in the mix.

Arx A5 $- Another speaker I have been wanting to hear since we reviewed the A1b's a while back.

Infinity Primus P363 - Maybe they seem out of place in this audition, but I have read so many good things about these speakers. I want to find out for myself how they stack up for pure music.

Monitor Audio Bronze BX-6 - Jim recommended a couple of posts below. Seems like they will be worthy of a listen. I had considered them, but did not realize anyone offered them with a 30 day trial.


There will be a few more... maybe.

If you have some other suggestions, please let me know... I may include another pair or two if it makes enough sense. Obviously I am going to be very limited in how many I can choose to evaluate, as well as I prefer to have a free trial period.

SPECIAL NOTE: After all the selections have been made... I will create a new official thread with a poll and allow members to vote on the pair of speakers I will end up keeping.
 

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Two more that might be worth looking into are the PSB Image T5 and the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-6. Personally I like the Silver series better but those are at least 50% more than the Bronze are.

Just one note on the Arx... they take a long time to fully break in, so plan accordingly. I suggest a minimum of 50 hours. No kidding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have previously owned the PSB Image 6T's and while I liked them, I don't think I will include them in this evaluation.

None of these are going to get a lot of break in time... maybe a few hours each and that is about it. They will have to impress within my time frame of listening or they will be boxed back up. I would be extremely surprised if I were able to hear the difference in break-in time anyway. I am having second thoughts about the Arx because they will cost me the most on the return if I decide I don't like them, so I may decide to take them out. I have to pay shipping to me and shipping back, whereas most of the others include shipping to me and/or the shipping is minimal.

I did add the Monitor Audio BX-6 speakers... and thought about them earlier, but did not realize anyone offered a free trial on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think all of those are over the $1,000 mark for a pair and/or do not come in non-sheen black.
 

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I wish you would reconside the Arx, I am very curious how those planer/ribbons sound. I may have to drive up & give a listen. Maybe the company could give you a break since they could be in the shootout?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe I should talk with Jon and see what he says.

It would be nice to have a couple of folks come visit during the evaluation.

I am trying to negotiate for a pair of Vandersteen 2Ce speakers. These are some that I have longed to hear, although they have been replaced by the 2Ce Signatures with some upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have spoken with Jon and feel comfortable that we will get a pair of A5's in for the evaluation.

The ML Motion 12's are here.

I have secured a pair of Magnepan MG12's in MINT condition. They should be here in a week or so. Again, I will be at the Capital Audio Fest show next weekend, Lord willing.

I believe I have worked it out to get a tube amp from Jolida. I spoke with Mike Allen today and they are very interested in becoming a sponsor... and will be at Capital Audio Fest as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If they made them with a satin or low sheen black, I would consider them, but they don't quite fit the qualifications.
 

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While likely not in the same class you are looking at, I once considered getting Bic Formula FH-6Ts for my 2 channel room. The are a narrower tower with a horn quality sound. The highs are something that I tend to focus on.
For my HT I auditioned several mains and was drawn to horn types. I sampled rf62-IIs, pl-76s, and energy cf-50s and two pairs of my older towers. Without an a,d,c type switch it is very hard to do a comparison as moving wires gets old. I did not have measuring equipment besides a friend and my own ears. No real clear winner in my own room even though there was noticeable difference between sets at my local HiFi store...
Ended up going with bic pl92s after borrowing pl-76s a friend has for awhile and use them in my ht. Very affordable setup, but I still need some room treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Acoustech PL-89 II model looks pretty interesting and I may add them since they are only $589/pair, but I need to wait and see what else I may add before committing, as I need to make sure I am not overloaded with too many. Once I find a pair I like, I may later bring in a few more pairs to compare to those.
 

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Just saw these on Amazon. Seems like they might be worth considering as well.
 

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I gotta say, the Bamberg Series 2 TM is pretty exciting for the money. The crossover work is really amazing and the sealed design mates well with subs (in fact, it is designed specifically to be used with subs) adding much to bass articulation.

The enclosure is a beautiful high gloss black, but the front baffle is satin black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jim, I think the Focal 716V would be more appropriate at $900/pair shipped... and it does appear that ListenUp has a 30 day return guarantee.

Dennis... unfortunately they would not fit the requirements of being a floorstanding speaker in non-sheen black. If I allowed them, then I have to open the door for several more bookshelf type speakers I would like to try. :huh:
 

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Not sure on price, but i am sure the KEF Q500 or Q700 could be had for less than $1000.00 for the pair.

Other speakers maybe from Emotiva, Paradigm and Axiom :)
 
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