How much to spend on speakers?

Timbot

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2010
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Slightly hypothetical question at the moment (but I'm working on it...)

If one was to get a reasonable hi-fi set up (such as a Naim Nait 5i and a Naim CD5i at £850 and £975 respectively), what is an appropriate spend on a pair of speakers?

I know this is rather wooly as it's very non-specific (no mention of type of music liked or taste in sound) but just a ball park figure would be nice. Feel free to throw in a couple of suggestions too though!

Also, is there really that much difference between integrated and seperate pre / power amps?

Cheers,

Timbot
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
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I'd be looking at things like Neat Petites, PMC DB1i etc. The Naim 5i electronics are superb for the money and deserve capable speakers so budget for between £800 - £1200 IMO.

If you did want to buy some more affordable speakers and then upgrade at a later date, I'd suggest trying Rega RS1s - I've heard them sounding excellent with the 5i, although you won't be getting the very best out of the amp. I've heard that the EB Acoustics EB1s work well with the Nait too, though I haven't heard that combination myself.
 

shooter

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May 4, 2008
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If one was to get a reasonable hi-fi set up (such as a Naim Nait 5i and a Naim CD5i at £850 and £975 respectively), what is an appropriate spend on a pair of speakers?
Subjective indeed but in the end i think its down to you and how much you want to spend! If you had 1500 to spend and whatever speaker you auditioned regardless of cost was the pick of the bunch then why not! It could be speakers costing considerably less than your max budget would be the pick and you then saved yourself a few quid.

Do you have any speakers in mind?

Also, is there really that much difference between integrated and seperate pre / power amps?
You need to way up the costs over convenience of a one box solution, all the rage at the moment!

Seriously though pre/power will cost more than single box but they do have benefits if you think its worth it, each unit has its own power supply and should reduce noise floor. The biggest plus i would say though is that you can upgrade (or downgrade) each part as and when you feel. If you like the sound of the pre and you need more power then change it and similarly the other way round as the pre will give you the sound of your system tonally , so if you don't like it, likewise, change it.

A pre/power will cost you more but it really depends how you look at the purchase to see if its the right decision or not.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Timbot said:
Slightly hypothetical question at the moment (but I'm working on it...)

If one was to get a reasonable hi-fi set up (such as a Naim Nait 5i and a Naim CD5i at £850 and £975 respectively), what is an appropriate spend on a pair of speakers?

I know this is rather wooly as it's very non-specific (no mention of type of music liked or taste in sound) but just a ball park figure would be nice. Feel free to throw in a couple of suggestions too though!

Also, is there really that much difference between integrated and seperate pre / power amps?

Cheers,

Timbot
Ohh, this is a little tricky. As a minimum I'd look at Epos M12is to PMC DB1is to Neat Motive 3, but wouldn't go beyond Neat Momentums (£1800 approx).

I heard my Arcam A65 (ORRP £370)on some PMC GB1 (originals) and it sounded terrific, so the entry-level Naims should be able to cope with an £1800 speaker.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Funds allowing, between £1k and £2k. Choicewise, I agree with MP (something from Neat or PMC) - need more info before giving specific model advice.

As to seperates, all things being equal, there is a worthwhile improvement.......though a well sorted expensive integrated, can out perform cheaper seperates eg. Pathos Inpol/MF AMS35i etc

Cno
 

dannycanham

New member
May 5, 2009
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When it comes to speakers as much as you can.

There is a cross over point with integrateds and pre/power. At the lower end of the scale the cost of multiple boxes and power supplies takes up a sizeable percentage of the cost of the kit. So an integrated of similar cost may perform better as it doesn't have as bigger chunk going into those areas. That goes for all in one systems and active monitors as well.

It depends what you mean by that much difference too. It is an improvement further up the scale, but you are talking about a quality that can be balanced to its cost purely by your own mind.

Pre/Power is a better design and with like for like components it will produce better equipment. Simply having low power signals and high power signals with their respective power supplies sorting themselves out with less interference from each other is a big design boost. If I could afford it, I would be going down the pre/power route no doubt about it.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Timbot said:
Slightly hypothetical question at the moment (but I'm working on it...)

If one was to get a reasonable hi-fi set up (such as a Naim Nait 5i and a Naim CD5i at £850 and £975 respectively), what is an appropriate spend on a pair of speakers?

I know this is rather wooly as it's very non-specific (no mention of type of music liked or taste in sound) but just a ball park figure would be nice. Feel free to throw in a couple of suggestions too though!

Also, is there really that much difference between integrated and seperate pre / power amps?

Cheers,

Timbot
For the money you're looking at spending, do consider some active speakers which will give you some other options. Adam and Genelec are two of the better ones. AVI do a pair too. Prices start from £800 and as far up as you like to around £5k (and probably more). Apart from AVI and to a lesser extent, Genelec, the appearance is less given to a domestic setting than to a recording studio, but can work well. See also Acoustic Energy's wonderful AE22 Actives at £800. You'll need a pre-amp and a DAC in some cases, but others not. Best to do some research, but the results can be startlingly good.
 

Timbot

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2010
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Wow! Thanks for all the responses- can't belive how quickly they've come in.

I've run the CD/Amp prices past the OH / Hi-Fi Police (seems so common on here!) and that kind of price range is deemed acceptable. Have discussed speakers in passing and thought about the £1k mark would be about right. Doesn't sound like I was too far off the pace but may have under-estimated slightly.

I've always liked Naim as a friend of mine has a pre/power Naim setup and I really like the sound and we tend to listen to similar music a fair bit of the time. Would certainly be open to other manufacturers though so I'll have to get my ears tuned up! Never really thought about a pre with active speakers but would be open to this suggestion too. Quite a bit to ponder!
 

Rethep

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
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I think 1000,- would be about the money to spend. Could very well be: Epos M12i, or Epos Epic 2. Or secondhand M15 or M16. Older Epos's (ES-11, 12 or 14) have been known for matching to Naim. The Epics sound like old ES's they say, so maybe 2ndhand. Non of these seakers will disappoint you unless you are a dance or hardrockfan.
 

Timbot

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2010
81
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18,545
Not really a dance or hard rock fan so no worries there!

I tend to listen to a bit of all sorts from Dire Straights to Mr Scruff and St Germain to Shostakovic. But nothing excessively hard.

In the past I've tended to prefer a slightly warmish sound but that's probably because I couldn't afford anything decent!
 

Singslinger

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Jul 31, 2010
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If it's a bookshelf speaker you're after, my recommendations would be the PMC DB1i and the Harbeth P3ESR.

The latter would occupy the upper limit of around 1,200 quid which I would spend if I had your electronics (remember to add a bit more for quality stands). Both work well with Naim electronics, the Harbeth being slightly warmer than the PMC.

Good luck and happy listening!
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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£500 is all you need to spend to get a pair of really good speakers.

£500 can get you a pair of: Bozak Symphony or Quad ESL 57's or 63's or a scruffy pair of EV Sentry III's. If you want something smaller, Goodmans Magisters can be had for £200. Altec Model 19's are also good - you might be able to find a pair for less than the usual £1500 asking price.

With modern slimline ported boxes, you gain WAF whilst losing sound quality when compared to more purist designs. Speaker choice can be a very personal one, as it depends on the best compromise for you between WAF and sound quality.

Price and sound quality are largely independent of each other in speakers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
lindsayt said:
£500 can get you a pair of: ...Quad ESL 57's
Indeed it can, although you'll probably end up paying a whole lot more to bring them up to new condition but you might get lucky. The is a point to lindsayt's post though...second hand you can get an absolute bargain if you know what you're looking for! The older EPOS speakers (ES series) go for a song on fleabay, just gotta keep an eye out...
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Dr Lodge said:
lindsayt said:
£500 can get you a pair of: ...Quad ESL 57's
Indeed it can, although you'll probably end up paying a whole lot more to bring them up to new condition but you might get lucky. The is a point to lindsayt's post though...second hand you can get an absolute bargain if you know what you're looking for! The older EPOS speakers (ES series) go for a song on fleabay, just gotta keep an eye out...
Even if you bought a pair of well below par ESL 57's, they'd still be good sounding speakers compared to typical modern slimline WAF boxes. You can find Quad ESL's that have been refurbished in the last few years for about £500 if you're patient enough.

Completely agree on the Epos speakers. If you're only interested in tiny speakers - for whatever reason - the Epos ES14's are about as good a choice as any. They cost about £200.
 

Timbot

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2010
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Interesting that the 2nd hand option seems popular. I guess there are some great speakers which are no longer produced which can only be had 2nd hand and could be a bit of a bargain. I'd pobably be happier spending a bit more and getting some new speakers though for peace of mind. Knowing my luck, they'd probably spontaneously combust and burn my house down!

WRT shooter69's question about "any speakers in mind", I really know very little about speakers and indeed speaker manufacturers in the non-entry-level area of Hi-Fi. Doesn't sound like my 2001 Kef Q35.2s are going to cut the mustard as well as some higher end speakers (which I was pretty certain they wouldn't).

Space / neatness is not really an issue so floorstanders or bookshelf speakers on stands are both fine. I guess it'll just be a case of arranging a demo and taking a good sized wallett of CDs with me!

Thanks for all the help so far and sorry for my distinct lack of knowledge in this area- have certaily learnt a lot from the posts!
 

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