Good current set-up tailored for Bass music?

SamT97

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Mar 3, 2021
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I'm looking to upgrade my current set-up. I have a Logitech Z533 2.1 subwoofer and speaker set-up right now, and this has quite frankly been brilliant for my listening needs. I listen to a lot of music that is stronger in the lower frequency range (drum'n'bass, bass house, classic dubstep and dub), and these speakers, thanks to the sub, have never left me wanting more bass. I've never even had the subwoofer volume past the halfway mark cos there was never any need.

Now, that subwoofer is apparently unusual. It actually contains an amp inside it, which drives the two satellite speakers that came with it. The right channel has recently been acting up however, and plays sound a lot lower than the left channel (I know it's the channels and not the speakers as I've swapped and tested). I am reluctant to go for another set-up without a sub, however I have been advised on a separate post I made on this forum months ago that I'd be much better off buying a pair of Wharfedales, for example, than another similar 2.1 system to what I have now. I was told that the bass on the Wharfedales would likely be more powerful than anything my current sub could offer, although I have to admit I find that rather hard to believe... Just because this thing is insanely loud, and that's coming from someone who listens to music loud. I cannot even imagine needing to use thing thing on max power. But I'm no hi-fi audio expert, so I accept that I may well be wrong about this.

I'm now in a position where I am looking to make my purchases. My budget is around £300 for the speakers and £150 for the amp. So far, these have stood out to me:
- Wharfedale Diamond 12.2
-Q Acoustics 3020i
-Dali Spektor 2
-Mission LX2

Could someone with experience listening to these speakers offer some insight as to their bass performance? I'm no longer just focused on bass as I was as a teen who just discovered bass music, I do now appreciate a slightly more balanced sound. But I'd hate to throw money away on a really expensive pair of speakers if the set-up I had before meets my needs well enough anyway. That said, I've gone through two of those Z533s in 3 years so they're hardly well built and I would likely chose another similar model this time.

Anyone got any suggestions on what I should do? Would be much appreciated :D
 
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Florestander

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May 8, 2021
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With that level of budget, you may want to take a look at what is available online - some vintage transmission line speakers may do the job. Something like some Celestion 300's maybe, (they were well built), but they could prove a little difficult to find.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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Sorry I should have clarified, I'm looking for bookshelf speakers due to the dimensions/space of the room that they'll be used in. That said, speaker size set aside would I really be better off looking for older 'vintage' speakers as opposed to buying newer models? Especially for bass? I would have thought that the sound technology inside speaker systems would become more advanced with time?
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Going with vintage speakers isn't necessarily going to give you better/worse sound but different and most importantly value for money. Depreciation on such speakers will be minimal and if bought well they could appreciate in value.

As far as only advice that I'd be prepared to give is go to a hifi dealer and demo some speakers in your budget. Narrow the choice down to the ones you like and ask for a home demo. That's the only way you can guarantee you'll be happy. Anything else is a gamble. Going from your Logitech set to any of the speakers mentioned will be a large jump and there may be aspects you will like and other you don't.
 
D

Deleted member 116933

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Sorry I should have clarified, I'm looking for bookshelf speakers due to the dimensions/space of the room that they'll be used in. That said, speaker size set aside would I really be better off looking for older 'vintage' speakers as opposed to buying newer models? Especially for bass? I would have thought that the sound technology inside speaker systems would become more advanced with time?
Not really, not much has changed TBH, with cones them selfs, its a piston, what has changed is the understanding of sound waves and how the shape of the box gets the sound to your ear.

You're at odds with your request, in the same breath you want BASSSSS and then you say they need them to be small. It's not going to happen for the budget you're looking at even in the second-hand market you're not going to pick up speakers and sub. a decent sub will be still 200 quid on its own.

So let's concentrate on speakers that have bass from back in the day and that i have experiance with.

Mission 701's if you can fit floorstanders in 703 (no subwoofer required) or 702, newer is the M series so M72-74 and there's i versions as well (no sub needed here they do a solid 35hz in room). Tannoys sixes or Kef q series and if you can find good copies of them with no dented drivers B&W 603s2

Amp wise Rotel any from the 90's onwards, NAD C320bee or 370 would all id be looking at, large amounts of drive that will put a smile on your face

Though a really nice Marantz PM7200 would be great the class A switchable version. They also did a Ki sig version of this which is highly sort after and quite pricey. Pair this with a pair of M74i's, man you'll be rocking out and the bass is seismic. Mindfields on the fat of the land will shake the walls and funky Sh!t is chest-pounding. But its really good with everything in general.

BHF have some m74's for sale on eBay right now and look to be in good condition. They will take up no more space than stand mounts on stands. it will be whether your room can deal with the sound.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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Not really, not much has changed TBH, with cones them selfs, its a piston, what has changed is the understanding of sound waves and how the shape of the box gets the sound to your ear.

You're at odds with your request, in the same breath you want BASSSSS and then you say they need them to be small. It's not going to happen for the budget you're looking at even in the second-hand market you're not going to pick up speakers and sub. a decent sub will be still 200 quid on its own.
Wow thanks a lot for your really detailed advice, this is going to give me a great starting point for my research!

As for the bass, I should probably have clarified that yeah, I'm not expecting to get proper powerful bass. I know where my budget lies in the 'budget spectrum'; it's relatively pretty low. But as I have never delved into the real hi-fi world of speakers like this, I don't have the greatest knowledge of speakers and amp pairings, hence me making this post where people who do know their stuff lol.

I know my options are limited, I just wasn't sure about which ones in my reach will perform better for bass music. Perhaps the Wharfedales are well-known to be tailored for acoustic or instrumental music, for example, but these are the things I don't know about yet lol.

Amp-wise I've been looking at Arcam A65 or the Sony STRDH190.CEK, although it seems much cheaper on Amazon than other similar amps which makes me wonder if I'm missing something. I also see so many £80-£120 amps with a good amount of wattage, like even up to 100W, but I cannot figure out why these are so much cheaper than the typically recommended ones with less power I've seen on forums... You can probably tell how new to this world I am lol. Either way, your advice is really appreciated (y)
 
D

Deleted member 116933

Guest
Wow thanks a lot for your really detailed advice, this is going to give me a great starting point for my research!

As for the bass, I should probably have clarified that yeah, I'm not expecting to get proper powerful bass. I know where my budget lies in the 'budget spectrum'; it's relatively pretty low. But as I have never delved into the real hi-fi world of speakers like this, I don't have the greatest knowledge of speakers and amp pairings, hence me making this post where people who do know their stuff lol.

I know my options are limited, I just wasn't sure about which ones in my reach will perform better for bass music. Perhaps the Wharfedales are well-known to be tailored for acoustic or instrumental music, for example, but these are the things I don't know about yet lol.

Amp-wise I've been looking at Arcam A65 or the Sony STRDH190.CEK, although it seems much cheaper on Amazon than other similar amps which makes me wonder if I'm missing something. I also see so many £80-£120 amps with a good amount of wattage, like even up to 100W, but I cannot figure out why these are so much cheaper than the typically recommended ones with less power I've seen on forums... You can probably tell how new to this world I am lol. Either way, your advice is really appreciated (y)
No No don't take my advice as to dimension your experiance when it comes to second hand and vintage gear you really need a person with experiance of the products to give you the info as its not easy to hear this stuff first. everything I have listed are products i have owned and still own or are still within the family. and more importantly, still, work without fault.

It's not really a budget thing its a size thing (always is, am I right). The bigger they are the more bass/more sound they will make. It's not really about money per say.

The Arcam is a good shout, you have to bear in mind the A65 is nearly 20 years old and mid-high end hifi. It was a nice amp back in the day, to buy new to today you'd easily be looking at 1k. You will certainly be spoilt with that.

Wattage don't worry about it 40-50 will be more than enough for 99% of people The NAD 320BEE i mentioned is 50 watts a channel and it can easily fill my room with loud clear and detailed music. If you want a new equivalent today NAD 316bee is it closest replacement. Look out for the 320bee really is very special and i could happily live with it today. Though the prices go up and down you can if you're lucky pick one up for around 100 quid.

In regard to wattage and differences, it boils down to a mixture of things, better current, better dynamic power AKA bass, better power supply you need to experiance it to really understand the differeances. As ive already stated look for quality, not quantity the NAD above really sounds like 100watts, not 50.

Can't comment on the sony never heard one. In general, though its a brand that's well known, they very rarely in my opinion sound that great, they do have a few gems, in general, i'd stay away. Leave them to tv's and PS5's it's what they're really good at.

Wharfedale have never been my cuppa but dimonds are pretty good.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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It's not really a budget thing its a size thing (always is, am I right). The bigger they are the more bass/more sound they will make. It's not really about money per say.
Indeed that sounds about right :ROFLMAO: Which makes me feel as though it's such a shame that I can't combine my current sub with whatever set of speakers I do end up going for...

I think I'm starting to lean towards the Q 3030i's that someone recommended earlier, along with the NAD 320BEE amp that you suggested. Having had a look on eBay I can see its going to be roughly £150 which is fine for me. Seems as though this paring should meet my needs of bookshelf-size speakers with a slightly heaver focus on bass.

Thanks for all the advice you've given, it's definitely left me in a better position than I was in when I started this thread yesterday!
 

Florestander

Well-known member
May 8, 2021
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Sorry I should have clarified, I'm looking for bookshelf speakers due to the dimensions/space of the room that they'll be used in. That said, speaker size set aside would I really be better off looking for older 'vintage' speakers as opposed to buying newer models? Especially for bass? I would have thought that the sound technology inside speaker systems would become more advanced with time?
The Celestions are not bookshelf speakers as you correctly surmise. with bookshelf speakers, placed on bookshelves as opposed to dedicated stands, you are already starting to ,compromise' on sound. This may or not be an issue for you. It is certainly worth talking to dealers to find out what you can buy within your budgets and obtain advice as to suggested pairings with the components of your system. That being said, since returning to hi-fi ,(after along lay off pursuing life instead of hobbies), I have been totally surprised by he massive jump in retail values of speakers etc. That is the sole reason for suggesting looking online too, where you may find you will get 'more bang for your buck' .
Some of the more 'vintage' varieties may well surprise you. If they have been looked after, you will more than likely find that (as technological changes have not been dramatic, in a relative context), that a well looked after set of reference models, or similar, could surprise you. Years ago, these would have been at the mid or even higher end of budgets, with the quality of build to match, (which is why they are still around). Some of these are now ridiculously cheap in what they offer versus what is available in the modern marketplace, bought as new and may work well, especially if partnered with a sub-woofer, if your system supports it. And taking this route, you may even have enough left in your budget for a decent contribution to such a sub-woofer too.
Please note that anything I say on this board is merely suggestion and is not to be taken as advice, in any context. I do not consider myself to be expert in any way shape or form ,(at least as far as Hi-Fi goes in any event). For me as many, the fun is in discovery, as I hope it will for you too. Enjoy!
 

amormusic

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Feb 24, 2016
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My thoughts as follows:

- Stick with the Arcam A65 (there's a plus version for 160 on eBay now).
- Add to this an unmessed with (i.e., nice tweeters that's not dinked at all) set of B&W 602s2 or s3.
-Buy some Atacama speaker stands (60cm height) and half fill them with sand.
- Buy 'pure' brand interconnects and hi-strand OFC speaker wire.
- Buy a Google Chromecast audio, if you have enough budget left, or when you can afford it.

This is a fully kick ass budget system is what my mum ran for years, however she used a different Arcam amp, a Solo Mini. Arcam and B&W match very well.

These speakers will definitely give you the BASS you want!!! Proper chest rattling bass, far beyond anything you will be used to with a Logitech setup.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
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This is a fully kick ass budget system is what my mum ran for years, however she used a different Arcam amp, a Solo Mini. Arcam and B&W match very well.

These speakers will definitely give you the BASS you want!!! Proper chest rattling bass, far beyond anything you will be used to with a Logitech setup.
Thanks for your advice! I actually believe you were the guy who told me to ditch the Logitech sub in a post I made here a few months ago, when I was trying to figure out if I could hold onto that sub and combine it with a pair of Hi-Fi speakers. Indeed you were right, there is no point combining them; if anything that would probably reduce the sound quality.

In the end, I went for the Q acoustics 3030i paired with a Sony STR-DH190 Receiver. The 3030i's have a deep, deep cabinet, and according to many online sources the bass on these is pretty impressive as a result. I probably could have gotten better value if I had gone second hand but, I do quite like the idea of building my own set-up from scratch with components that I know are well looked after. I'm just waiting on the receiver and speaker cables to arrive and then I'll get to test them out :D

Thanks to you and everyone else who offered some advice and opinions, it was all a great help in my decision making process! I'll update the thread when I've tested them out, in case anyone looking for a bass-tailored set-up comes across this thread.
 

Florestander

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May 8, 2021
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It always comes down to personal taste and experience. No one person can tell you what sounds best to you. as mentioned in my earlier post, the fun to be had is in the voyage of discovery. Before you know it you are hooked!

Enjoy your purchases and the experience!
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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Thanks for your advice! I actually believe you were the guy who told me to ditch the Logitech sub in a post I made here a few months ago, when I was trying to figure out if I could hold onto that sub and combine it with a pair of Hi-Fi speakers. Indeed you were right, there is no point combining them; if anything that would probably reduce the sound quality.

In the end, I went for the Q acoustics 3030i paired with a Sony STR-DH190 Receiver. The 3030i's have a deep, deep cabinet, and according to many online sources the bass on these is pretty impressive as a result. I probably could have gotten better value if I had gone second hand but, I do quite like the idea of building my own set-up from scratch with components that I know are well looked after. I'm just waiting on the receiver and speaker cables to arrive and then I'll get to test them out :D

Thanks to you and everyone else who offered some advice and opinions, it was all a great help in my decision making process! I'll update the thread when I've tested them out, in case anyone looking for a bass-tailored set-up comes across this thread.
Congrats then and enjoy your kit!

Make sure that you put the speakers on proper stands. There is no such thing as a bookshelf speaker. It is mis-named. Also, have a really good play with positioning to make sure they are in optimal position for the sound. Finally, allow a good amount of run in time, as the speakers will continue to sound better as the drivers loosen up from new.
 

SamT97

Active member
Mar 3, 2021
12
4
25
It always comes down to personal taste and experience. No one person can tell you what sounds best to you. as mentioned in my earlier post, the fun to be had is in the voyage of discovery. Before you know it you are hooked!

Enjoy your purchases and the experience!
I have a feeling you're very right about this... I become obsessed when it comes to choosing the right headphones so I can imagine that will translate over to Hi-Fi speakers as well!
 

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