Help ! Speaker advice for (mainly) rock, unto about £3k max

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
4
0
Hi,

I'm looking for some suggestions for new speakers for my 'evil lair'. I listen to mainly rock (AC/DC, Marillion, Metallica, Filter, The Cult etc) but with other bits and bobs too, such as Sting/The Police, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, Seal, The Prodigy and Faithless. My wife is into mainly modern pop such as Lady Gaga but also stuff like Bon Jovi...

My system at the moment is built around a computer and high quality and revealing DAC with a Plinius 9200 and so power isn't in short supply. Speakers I've had in the past have included Kef Reference 201/2 (nice but not enough punch), PMC FB1 and TB2's, B&W M1 AV stuff and, going further back, Acoustic Energy AE2's and Musical Fidelity MC2's a *long* way back.

I'm looking for a speaker that has excellent bass definition and depth with tight, fast dynamics and an expansive and deep sound-stage. It must be good at low and moderately high volume as it's not feasible for me to have music super-loud. Stand-mounts are preferable but floor-standers are ok too provided they're not massive.

I've tried a few speakers but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I've tried some Wilson Benesch Arc, B&W PM1 ( a stretch !), ATC SCM40's (on Cyrus amps - bitterly disapointing but may be ok with better amps), used Audio Physic Scorpio and some Dali stuff - none of which hit the mark.

The front-runners for audition at the moment include the following but I'd be interested in other suggestions. I don't mind second-hand or ex-demo either and so would be keen to get better bang-per-buck. Some of these may be a sideways step from the Kef's, which is ok provided it's not off a cliff.

- PMC Twenty.22

- PMC Twenty.24

- *maybe* PMC OB1i

- Tannoy DC8

- Tannoy DC8T (worried either Tannoy will be too big)

- Proac D18

- Proac D28

- ATC SCM20SL

- Dynaudio Contour S1.4

- Dynaudio Focus 260

Interested in your thoughts...

Scaramanga.
 

WinterRacer

New member
Jan 14, 2009
34
1
0
I was thinking of suggesting the speakers I've got, Monitor Audio PL100, great speakers with fast/tight bass and good soundstage.

However, seeing what you've already had, I doubt they'd give you what you're looking for - at least by themselves.

Have you thought about adding a sub to your Kefs (do you still have them)?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
See as you have lots of power, see if you can audition various Dynaudio speakers. They have some welly and punch driven well!
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
11
0
If you liked the 201/2s, but need more punch, what about Kef R700/900. Aside from that, probably PMC Twenty .24 / OB1i for the music you like.
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
27
1
0
busb said:
The newly revised Totem Hawks come in well under 3k£ - you won't need a sub!

Really? Do you happen to know when they've been revised and whether the entire range has been revived? I've heard the Forest which presumably have better bass than the Hawks.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
1
18,890
Your problem is Scaramanga, is that most of the speakers on your list won't have as neutral and revealing a midrange as the 201/2's. You'd have to be looking at the SCM20SL's, but being a sealed cabinet, their bass roll off is going to be greater than that of the 201/2's, and the only other ones I'd recommend purely because of their openness is the PMC Twenty's. Most of the others will be more of a downward step rather than a sidestep.

One thing that concerns me is that you didn't find the 201/2's punchy enough. They may not have the depth of an equivalently priced floorstander, but their overall balance is, and it's pretty accurate too due to very little cabinet resonance. My only thoughts on that are either placement (but having an upward firing port, placement isn't that much of an issue), or that the Plinius wasn't up to the job of driving them properly. I've never found them to lack punch on the likes of Bryston or Cyrus - I've only found that when the amp isn't doing its job properly.

From the list of qualities that you've mentioned you're after - which I think is a big ask - I'd say the PMC Twenty 22's or 24's. You may find the odd Reference 203/2 ex demo which will give you better depth and an extra bass driver, but if the Plinius can't make the 201/2's sound good, it's not likely to work with the 203/2's either.
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Hi. I was going to recommend Dynaudio but I see you already have them on your radar.

other option worth considering are semi active speakers. no passive speakers will give you bass definition and speed of an active bass (save maybe for planar speakers, but I'm concerned planars may not have the impact of dynamic speakers you may be looking for, seeing that you're into rock music). I heard Golden Ear Technology's Tritton2s on end of 12W Leben tube amp. for me it was unforgetable experience. bass was better (i.e. quicker and with better definition) than from B&W Diamond 802s driven by Classe.

but I think that today my semi active speakers of choice would be Ancient Audio's Little Wing Speaker (you can check them up here on the bottom of the page). only 2-way design and the most important thing is that Raven ribbon driver crosses over with dynamic bass driver at 650Hz. it's preety low. it's always a good think for coherency of music reproduction.
 
the_scaramanga_nipple_trio said:
Hi,

I'm looking for some suggestions for new speakers for my 'evil lair'. I listen to mainly rock (AC/DC, Marillion, Metallica, Filter, The Cult etc) but with other bits and bobs too, such as Sting/The Police, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, Seal, The Prodigy and Faithless. My wife is into mainly modern pop such as Lady Gaga but also stuff like Bon Jovi...

My system at the moment is built around a computer and high quality and revealing DAC with a Plinius 9200 and so power isn't in short supply. Speakers I've had in the past have included Kef Reference 201/2 (nice but not enough punch), PMC FB1 and TB2's, B&W M1 AV stuff and, going further back, Acoustic Energy AE2's and Musical Fidelity MC2's a *long* way back.

I'm looking for a speaker that has excellent bass definition and depth with tight, fast dynamics and an expansive and deep sound-stage. It must be good at low and moderately high volume as it's not feasible for me to have music super-loud. Stand-mounts are preferable but floor-standers are ok too provided they're not massive.

I've tried a few speakers but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I've tried some Wilson Benesch Arc, B&W PM1 ( a stretch !), ATC SCM40's (on Cyrus amps - bitterly disapointing but may be ok with better amps), used Audio Physic Scorpio and some Dali stuff - none of which hit the mark.

The front-runners for audition at the moment include the following but I'd be interested in other suggestions. I don't mind second-hand or ex-demo either and so would be keen to get better bang-per-buck. Some of these may be a sideways step from the Kef's, which is ok provided it's not off a cliff.

- PMC Twenty.22

- PMC Twenty.24

- *maybe* PMC OB1i

- Tannoy DC8

- Tannoy DC8T (worried either Tannoy will be too big)

- Proac D18

- Proac D28

- ATC SCM20SL

- Dynaudio Contour S1.4

- Dynaudio Focus 260

Interested in your thoughts...

Scaramanga.

Hi Scaramanga

What DAC do you use?

The size of your room?

Apart from the Cyrus amps have you used your 9200 and any other amplification for auditioning? Btw, what were the Cyrus amps that were used with SCM40 monitors?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for all of the suggestions and feedback guys. The room is about 20' x 18' and the DAC is from Weiss.

Re: the Kef's and punch, I should really re-cast the issue as being lack of depth; they're quick enough but don't hit hard enough is perhaps a better description. I've tried them with a sub but can't get what I would consider a truly harmonious mix and I think that there's no substitute for having a box with a wider frequency range.

The bigger Kef reference sound interesting, just a question of whether I'd get some within budget and that begs the question of what they'd be up against. Does anyone know if they'd compare favourably with the PMC Twenty 24's? The -3db frequency response is a surprise on them as they appear to only go down to 55Hz.

Re: the ATC's, I heard them with ( I think ) a Cyrus 8XPD QX and I suspect that may have been the issue but there wasn't an opportunity to try anything else.

The ancient audio stuff sounds interesting, semi-active isn't something I've considered before.

Thanks,

Scaramanga
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
1
18,890
the_scaramanga_nipple_trio said:
Re: the Kef's and punch, I should really re-cast the issue as being lack of depth; they're quick enough but don't hit hard enough is perhaps a better description. I've tried them with a sub but can't get what I would consider a truly harmonious mix and I think that there's no substitute for having a box with a wider frequency range.
Sounds to me like the amp issue I mentioned earlier.

The bigger Kef reference sound interesting, just a question of whether I'd get some within budget and that begs the question of what they'd be up against. Does anyone know if they'd compare favourably with the PMC Twenty 24's? The -3db frequency response is a surprise on them as they appear to only go down to 55Hz.
Never try and guess what a speaker does by what it says on paper - I've been surprised many times before :)

Re: the ATC's, I heard them with ( I think ) a Cyrus 8XPD QX and I suspect that may have been the issue but there wasn't an opportunity to try anything else.
Some dealers need taking round the back and lining up in front of a firing squad.
 

Helmut80

New member
Jan 8, 2011
27
1
0
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
the_scaramanga_nipple_trio said:
Re: the Kef's and punch, I should really re-cast the issue as being lack of depth; they're quick enough but don't hit hard enough is perhaps a better description. I've tried them with a sub but can't get what I would consider a truly harmonious mix and I think that there's no substitute for having a box with a wider frequency range.
Sounds to me like the amp issue I mentioned earlier.

The bigger Kef reference sound interesting, just a question of whether I'd get some within budget and that begs the question of what they'd be up against. Does anyone know if they'd compare favourably with the PMC Twenty 24's? The -3db frequency response is a surprise on them as they appear to only go down to 55Hz.
Never try and guess what a speaker does by what it says on paper - I've been surprised many times before :)

Re: the ATC's, I heard them with ( I think ) a Cyrus 8XPD QX and I suspect that may have been the issue but there wasn't an opportunity to try anything else.
Some dealers need taking round the back and lining up in front of a firing squad.

Tell 'em why you're mad! :clap:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
:clap: I don't think it's the amp that's the issue, it's got more than enough drive for the Kefs.

The dealer who showed me the ATC with Cyrus was FH David!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Doh, that 'clapping' icon was an accident guys, the perils of mobile phones...
 

TheHomeCinemaCentre

New member
Oct 1, 2008
70
0
0
The DC8T is a contender for low volume listening with good bass but I dont think you will get the insight that the 201's deliver. I will try to hook them up to the Plinius today to see how they match. The OB1 vs 24 would be the demo for me though and as David mentions the 203s are the obvious step. I find that the KEF Ref / Plinius pairing works and am surprised you dont have that punch.

Do you still have the KEF's? How did you like teh FB1's?
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
1
18,890
Well me and Kevin wouldn't have demonstrated that - we both have the same views on what the 40's should be used with. If we were asked to by a customer we might have done it (we're not going to refuse to demo products a customer asks to hear), but would've made it clear why it wouldn't be a good match. For demos, I've only ever demonstrated SCM40's with Cyrus' pre/power amps.

The 8xpD might seem like it does an ok job with the 201/2's over a five minute period, but after half an hour it'll be left gasping for breath. Again, not a combo we'd recommend.

You did mention in your original post "Cyrus amps" - if it was a pre/power, then that could be more than possible :)
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
11
0
Scaramanga, I own the 205/2 and know exactly what you are on about, especially in a room of that size.....it's about scale, and the depth of bass that the speaker manages to dig out.

At the time I was really looking to buy the 203/2s, but the step up to the 205/2s was so big that I wouldn't have been happy with the lesser speaker. Now if the 203s needed more scale, the 201s would be less again (good though it is for a standmount).

I would also like to re-iterate the point about the amplification.....as this improves, the Refs also do (exponentially). Good as your Plinius is, it is (imo) the very bottom of what should be used to drive them.....to get an idea of what I'm talking about, try a Hiato, or tri-amped with some serious Bryston stuff.
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
the_scaramanga_nipple_trio said:
The ancient audio stuff sounds interesting, semi-active isn't something I've considered before.

what a treat! usually my ideas fade into abyss and most people go for what they can find in a store round the corner. but I think it's worth searching and researching on the web if you want to find true gems.

I pointed into direction of this Ancient Audio for a reason. well, two reasons. first; active bass. second; ribbon wide band driver. let me elaborate.

like I said, active bass is better than passive, unless you use some state of the art passive components in crossover network (ribbon coils and very accurate film capacitors). you rarely get state of the art passive components in commercial products. especially when aggressive price points come to the fore. also the woofer is made of Nomex. the same material Adam Audio is using for theirs.

but the true game changer here is the ribbon driver. I've got Magnepan MG12 speakers. they replaced Dynaudio Focus 110. MG12 are only a quasi ribbon design and yet I get tons of more resolution. some hidden sounds began to appear out of nowhere deeper in the soundstage. more reverberation echoes are heard. instruments' sounds got way better definition. also voices are much more clearer. I also noticed that bright edges disappeared from some very bright recordings. the recordings still sound bright but not any more fatiguing (for instance Florence's "Between two lungs"). so, all those good things with a quasi ribbon and true ribbons are even more delicate and offer even better resolution. this is due to the fact that ribbons are extremely light and they get sufficient damping from the air, no need for heavy damping solutions found in domes. therefore impulse response, rise time and fall time are much better than of dome tweeters (on average a few miliseconds compared to more than about 100 miliseconds for domes). ribbons are also natural line sources so there's little to no early floor and ceiling reflections. that means you hear your speakers less and more of the recording. soundstaging is improved. all ribbon drivers have very flat freq response in their band and very flat impedance load. and this particular ribbon has flat 8 Ohms all the way - a dream load for any amp. I could go on for a little longer but you get the idea - this speaker ought to be good. if it's within your budget (I don't know how much it costs) and if you could arrange to buy them with an option to send them back I'd go for them. you'd have nothing to loose and a lot to gain.

those Triton IIs speakers I was referring to in my previous post are great too (and probably cheaper). like I mentioned earlier I got a chance to hear them and they are very good indeed. they put my Dynaudios to shame in many respects. much due to the fact that they use a wonderful Heil A.V.T. type tweeter. it's a ribbon type tweeter as well but different and probably even superior technology compared to a conventional ribbon. the reason I ruled Tritons out is that they use dynamic drivers for midrange and inevitable passive crossover. still, they sound great and if you're interested you could take a look at a recent review in Stereophile, or there are many links to other reviews on Golden Ear Technology web site.

you could also consider Adam Audio. They make active speakers and offer semi active options too. and they use Heil A.V.T. drivers for mids and highs too (they call those drivers X-ART). but Adam Audio Tensor range is very expensive and that's where you'll find semi active versions of active speakers.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
11
0
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
CnoEvil said:
...or tri-amped with some serious Bryston stuff.

Tri-amplifiered with Bryston? You crazy man! Even I'm not that excessive!! :rofl:

I thought that might raise an eyebrow.....don't tell me you've never tried it! :twisted:

I was being partly serious, as I've heard the Refs tri-amped with an Arcam P777, and thought if you wanted to hammer home a point, why not use a wrecking ball. >)
 

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
77
3
18,545
Helmut80 said:
busb said:
The newly revised Totem Hawks come in well under 3k£ - you won't need a sub!

Really? Do you happen to know when they've been revised and whether the entire range has been revived? I've heard the Forest which presumably have better bass than the Hawks.

The thing about the Totem range is that many people seem to prefer one model over another, regardless of price: some prefer the Arros to the Sttafs & the Hawks to the Forests. I've not heard the Forests but love the Arros I have & also heard the Sttafs in Eton recently. They sounded great - they sell to people who listen without knowing that much about the brand. The Hawks I heard in Reading last week sounded ordinary at lowish volume playing poor quality vinyl so I didn't hear them at their best depite being well run-in. I'd still advise hearing the Hawks though.
 
Hi Scaramanga

Thanks for your reply.

"I'm looking for a speaker that has excellent bass definition and depth with tight, fast dynamics and an expansive and deep sound-stage. It must be good at low and moderately high volume as it's not feasible for me to have music super-loud. Stand-mounts are preferable but floor-standers are ok too provided they're not massive"

If you're happy to consider used/discontinued speakers then i think you more or less described the performance of KEF's excellent Reference Model 3.2's :) Even though the 3.2's speakers are on the big side i think you'll be fine with the size of your room and with the ability of the Plinius 9200 to swing high peak currents. Fwiw, the first time i heard a Plinius amp was with my Model 3.2's and this combination worked a treat.

Btw, i just want to be clear that i don't deal with used compomnents.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Thaiman

New member
Jul 28, 2007
360
1
0
Which Weiss DAC?

Anyway, the best i had for rock (and not too expensive) was when I had a Chapter Audio pre/power amp and Audio Physic Scorpio 2 speakers with Mark Lavenson 390s front end. The details was amazing for that price point and start-stop, slam...you name it! Guitar soar very similar to a good tube amp (later on I have mastersound 845, now that's a proper rock amp). i remember I had 8 people in a room, press play (Master of Puppet) and watch people jump off thir seat :rockout:

The downer was when play too loud and the Scorpio II's tweeter will become a bit hot (bright), not too bad this side of 90 dB though.
 

Jumping Jack

New member
Apr 18, 2012
3
0
0
Interesting search!

@Scaramanga: since you had both the FB1 and the Ref. 201/2, how would you compare these two? I have the FB1i Signature Edition but I just love the looks of the Ref. 201/2. I have a Naim SuperUniti, so I wonder if that could work...
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts