Monitor Audio BX2 or RX1 with Quad valve?

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I am a valve freak and had an ageing Quad 22/II combo into MA Bronze BR2s. I recently took advantage of a super offer to acquire a Quad QC24-II/Forty amp and would like to upgrade the speakers (I am limited to bookshelf). Is there an appreciable difference between the BR2s and the BX2s, are the RX1s worth the extra dough, and would the Quad be too soft for them? Any other suggestions gratefully accepted.
 

altruistic.lemon

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If I had your gear I wouldn't bother with the cheap Monitor Audios, they're strictly budget and sound that way. You need better speakers that are easy to drive, which include ones like Triangle, Focal and Dali.

Head down to your local store anyway and have a listen.
 

CnoEvil

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Welcome to the forum Pedrin.

I love your choice of amp. Provided the speaker is sensitive enough, you should get an improvement moving up the food chain. If you can find Kef XQ at sensible money also give them a listen. It's a bit bright with solid state, but with tubes it's great. Also look at both old IQ range (now price cut) and new Q range.

Cno
 

CnoEvil

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altruistic.lemon said:
If I had your gear I wouldn't bother with the cheap Monitor Audios, they're strictly budget and sound that way. You need better speakers that are easy to drive, which include ones like Triangle, Focal and Dali.

Head down to your local store anyway and have a listen.

Seconded, provided your budget is reasonably elastic. To that list, I would add ATC.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks for your suggestions, guys. Truth to tell I bought the Quad 24/40 combo here in Spain for well under ₤3 grand (brand-new , clearance), as a retirement present for myself. I know that for that kind of dough I could have got Naim 5i with Naim CD player too, and I was tempted, but the fact is I’m hooked on valves – they have a Je ne sais quoi (or Genesi kwa as the Major put it in Fawlty Towers) that trannies don’t seem to have. I bought the Quad 22/II 30-odd years ago after reading an article by John Peel on how to get a top-notch set-up by buying second-hand.

Re. speakers, some of the makes you mention I might have difficulty obtaining here in Spain, even allowing for exorbitant mark-ups (usually about 50% over UK prices, e.g. the ATC SMC-11s sell for about ₤1,300) One of the reasons for considering the Monitor Audio RX1s was their size and availability (I could even pop them in a suitcase on a trip back from the UK). However, your comments convince me that I should make the effort to move upmarket a bit and, although they’re a bit big for my location, I think the EB2s might suit. The write-ups are phenomenal, and the tight bass and sheer transparency would seem to complement the Quad perfectly and do it justice, and being mail-order they would represent much better value for money than buying locally.

System is the Quad QC24/II-Forty; Marantz CD-6003 and MA Bronze BR2s, Chord Crimson Plus from CD, Van den Hul Name pre-power amp and Chord Carnival Silver Screen (chunky and ugly), plus Grado 325i phones. Any ideas on a decent headphone amp? The Graham Slee Novo is reasonably priced and I can buy in the UK. Strangely, headphones seem to be relatively cheaper here in Spain, especially Grados, and I can get the Grado RA-1 amp for about ₤320 here. I’ll put this last question on the headphone site.

Once again, many thanks for all your (past and future) advice and helping me clarify things. Perhaps I should have entitled the piece The Last Great Upgrade – or is that just a chimera?
 

CnoEvil

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I've never heard the EB2, but from what I've read, they seem like a great VFM choice.

As a matter of interest, how is Sonus Faber priced? They should also sound fantastic on the end of the Quad (Italy is not that far away).
 
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Anonymous

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Here in Spain the Sonus Faber Toy is about ₤540, and the Monitors (with stand) a thousand quid more.
 

CnoEvil

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Pedrin said:
Here in Spain the Sonus Faber Toy is about ₤540, and the Monitors (with stand) a thousand quid more.

That's cheaper than here. They are more expensive than the EB2s, but if passion, musicality and emotional expression are a priority, they could be worth a listen. They would be top of my audition list. :rockout:

EDIT. Just had a thought, which is a bit of a long shot.

Audio Note have some AZ-1 small floorstanders (discontinued) available for £500 (were £800). They are only available in Cherry and are designed to work close to the wall and even in the corner. They are very efficient, decidedly musical and have been designed to work with AN's SET amps.

I believe that they would be perfect for what you are looking for. If placed near walls/corners the bass goes unfeasibly low. If this is of interest, let me know and I can give you contact details. Martin Grennall (of AN) is extremely helpful and should be able to work something out for you (most of ANs market is outside UK)
 

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