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Need advice on standmount speakers

cars1332

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
5
3
25
Hi - I’ve done a ton of reading on this so far but am still pretty lost when it comes to the new speakers that I want to get for my new flat.

The speakers will be powered through the Sonos AMP. I know what some of you might say but the convenience of it is paramount to me and I already own two Sonos Ones.

I want to use them in the living room, can set them about 2.0-2.5 metres apart and would also sit c. 2m away. The speakers will sit with c. 10-20cm distance to the back wall. My apartment is very open space and therefore a wide soundstage is important to me so that I can feel the music in other parts of the flat as well.
Music that I mainly listen to is Jazz/classical but also hard rock and house music. Quite a lot of podcasts. While I don’t own a TV, i plan to plan movies through these every once in a while (via Airplay), so I would also prefer a more pronounced bass without the need for a sub.

Given the size of the apartment I can only look for standmount speakers and have already narrowed this down to the following few.
— KEF LS 50
— B&W 606
— Wharfedale Evo 4.2
— Klipsch RP 600M

I’ve already read a lot of reviews about those speakers but some even seem contradictory and people tend to rave about all four of them. So it would be important to understand which of them places best with respect to my requirements on soundstaging, music preferences and bass. Also very open to other suggestions in the same pricing range as the above examples (up to c. £700/$900). Any thoughts?
 

Al ears

Moderator
The very fact opinions vary just goes to prove you are going to have to audition yourself,nobody here can tell you.
Yes,in the right circumstances, they are all speakers that will do a job. Whether or not they do it for you only you can decide.
I have heard several of them but not powered by your amp or in your listening room
 
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cars1332

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
5
3
25
The very fact opinions vary just goes to prove you are going to have to audition yourself,nobody here can tell you.
That would certainly be my preference as well, but testing in store is difficult from my location, in particular with covid still around. So best I'm hoping for now is to narrow the list down to 2 speakers before ordering and comparing (and then returning the runner-up).
 

Al ears

Moderator
That would certainly be my preference as well, but testing in store is difficult from my location, in particular with covid still around. So best I'm hoping for now is to narrow the list down to 2 speakers before ordering and comparing (and then returning the runner-up).
That's a good way to impress a dealer and lose him, and possibly yourself, money.
As you clearly have difficulty auditioning at the moment why the urge to change now.
 

cars1332

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
5
3
25
That's a good way to impress a dealer and lose him, and possibly yourself, money.
As you clearly have difficulty auditioning at the moment why the urge to change now.
Yea well, returns are part and parcel of ecommerce, so I am not concerned about that. The speakers are for my new apartment and I'd like to pull the trigger sooner than later. Do you have any view on the speakers above or other recommendation?
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
284
169
19,070
It‘s a pretty varied list -a bit like saying would you like water, orange juice, wine or a Scotch to drink!
The only ones from your four I’d consider to replace my rather larger and more costly ATCs are the KEF LS50s. Unfortunately they are at the same time probably the least suitable for your Sonos amp, as they need quite a bit of power.
I‘ve not heard the Anniversary B&Ws but they’d be my second choice, and should suit your amp better. They’re more sensitive.
The Klipsch are a completely different character, better for rock than classical imo. Very loud though.
The Wharfedale should be gold but I’ve not heard them, and have read mixed reviews from users. I’d be wary without a listen.
So, of your four, I’d get the 606, if you’re sticking with your present source. If you might upgrade, then the KEFs. Both really need more space from the wall however. Whatever you decide, budget for some good stands.
And, actually, save some cash and get some QA 3030i, as they’ll be ok closer to the wall, are nice and sensitive, easy on the ear, and come in a super range of finishes.
Please try to hear some though. Book a slot, wear a mask, and enjoy!
 
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RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
29
15
45
You should definitely audition the LS50s. The are a great choice for the money. I have a pair of them.

They are being deeply discounted becauseKEF has just come out with an improved version so you should be able to get them for the amount you have budgeted.

I haven heard any of the other three speakers you listed but, from what I have read, the Wharfdales may have a “warmer” sound.
 

cars1332

Active member
Oct 11, 2020
5
3
25
It‘s a pretty varied list -a bit like saying would you like water, orange juice, wine or a Scotch to drink!
The only ones from your four I’d consider to replace my rather larger and more costly ATCs are the KEF LS50s. Unfortunately they are at the same time probably the least suitable for your Sonos amp, as they need quite a bit of power.
I‘ve not heard the Anniversary B&Ws but they’d be my second choice, and should suit your amp better. They’re more sensitive.
The Klipsch are a completely different character, better for rock than classical imo. Very loud though.
The Wharfedale should be gold but I’ve not heard them, and have read mixed reviews from users. I’d be wary without a listen.
So, of your four, I’d get the 606, if you’re sticking with your present source. If you might upgrade, then the KEFs. Both really need more space from the wall however. Whatever you decide, budget for some good stands.
And, actually, save some cash and get some QA 3030i, as they’ll be ok closer to the wall, are nice and sensitive, easy in he ear, and come in a super range of finishes.
Please try to hear some though. Book a slot, wear a mask, and enjoy!
Actually the new Sonos amp has 125W, so should work well with the KEFs. They were my initial top pick as well but then I kept reading about the sound lacking bass. How does this compared to the 606 in your view?

Thanks - will also have a look into the 3030i's
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
378
150
11,070
That's a good way to impress a dealer and lose him, and possibly yourself, money.
As you clearly have difficulty auditioning at the moment why the urge to change now.
Why would it upset the dealer especially if you contact the dealer first to le them know the situation im sure they will be just fine with it.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Why would it upset the dealer especially if you contact the dealer first to le them know the situation im sure they will be just fine with it.
It's a limiting way of doing things but guess it happens more and more. Dealers are unlikely to have a demo pair of everything you might want to audition and, in the current climate, I doubt they want to take too many financial hits by having to re-sell them at a loss.
Of course they will have to way this up against no sale at all.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
370
139
19,070
Hi. Both the Wharfedale and the B&W require some space between them and the back wall (30-40cm, maybe even more). If you can accommodate that, I'd go for the Wharfedales. If not, consider their smaller versions, and also add Quad S1 and, if you can stretch your budget or find an ex-dem or sh pair, Spendor A1 to your list.
 

Davywhizz

Active member
Sep 30, 2020
11
4
25
If I needed to put speakers close to a back wall I'd start with those with a front rather than rear port, or for which the reviews suggest they are not too fussy about positioning. But if you're able to try them at home it's not a big deal.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
284
169
19,070
Actually the new Sonos amp has 125W, so should work well with the KEFs. They were my initial top pick as well but then I kept reading about the sound lacking bass. How does this compared to the 606 in your view?

Thanks - will also have a look into the 3030i's
We are getting more into details that will be influenced by the room, positioning and how they respond to your amp. LS50s don’t exactly lack bass, as they’re judiciously balanced, in a skilful way to avoid sounding lightweight. But they’re still a mini-Monitor, for want of a better description. The bigger B&W are an easier ‘drive’ but with less ultimate capability in my opinion. The QA are even easier, and skilfully sound better than they’ve any right to.
My personal experience is that more modest speakers at their best can be more rewarding than supposedly better ones below optimum. But that’s hard to explain in words. It can mean less expenditure, however, hence my suggestion of the QA. (The 3030i is reviewed in the November edition of WHF, alongside its smaller siblings).
 
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CheshirePete

Active member
Oct 12, 2020
4
2
25
I owned the LS50's and one thing they can't do is rock, people love them ... but I was a bit underwhelmed and glad to get rid of them in the end.

If I were you I would order the Wharfedales from Amazon and keep them for several weeks on demo ... and if you don't like them you can return them. If you have prime they will actually collect them.
 
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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
861
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570
I owned the LS50's and one thing they can't do is rock, people love them ... but I was a bit underwhelmed and glad to get rid of them in the end.

If I were you I would order the Wharfedales from Amazon and keep them for several weeks on demo ... and if you don't like them you can return them. If you have prime they will actually collect them.
i had and disliked the ls50's too but...it may of been because i was using the wrong amp, wrong stands, wrong room positioning or all 3 !
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
306
105
19,070
Auditioning, as already indicated, is the best way to make this choice, but I understand the challenges in doing so and I've not always auditioned myself.

I'd strike the LS50s from your list. They have many qualities but you won't get anything like the best out of them with the Sonos, and they'll be quite exposing of the areas in which it lacks. As referred to above, the B&Ws are easier to drive, though they can be quite exposing. I have a pair of the original 606 and from reviews it seems the s2 version is even more exposing.

Q Acoustics would be a good lower-risk option. They don't particularly stand out at anything in my experience, but they're easy to drive and easy to listen to.

There's also the Monitor Audio Bronze 100s. I haven't heard those myself, but I'm very impressed with the floorstanding Bronze 200s, and I've enjoyed several MA models in the past. I currently have the 200s in prime place with my Wharfedale Linton 85s and B&W 606s on the sidelines.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
861
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570
or maybe you just disliked them ... a strange comment if you don't mind me saying.
not really. the amp i was using may not of suited them... the stands i was using were not mass loaded... the room positioning may of been all wrong as i was not able to experiment by moving them...
 

CheshirePete

Active member
Oct 12, 2020
4
2
25
not really. the amp i was using may not of suited them... the stands i was using were not mass loaded... the room positioning may of been all wrong as i was not able to experiment by moving them...
Fair enough, I retract my strange comment statement. They are a bit of a marmite speaker, I like an all rounder so they really didn't suit my taste ... each to their own though.
 
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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
861
145
570
Fair enough, I retract my strange comment statement. They are a bit of a marmite speaker, I like an all rounder so they really didn't suit my taste ... each to their own though.
i'm setting up a (possible) audition of the new ls50 meta's driven by a hegel h590 - all £9000 of it to really hear what these kefs can do...
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,636
83
19,770
Hi - I’ve done a ton of reading on this so far but am still pretty lost when it comes to the new speakers that I want to get for my new flat.

The speakers will be powered through the Sonos AMP. I know what some of you might say but the convenience of it is paramount to me and I already own two Sonos Ones.

I want to use them in the living room, can set them about 2.0-2.5 metres apart and would also sit c. 2m away. The speakers will sit with c. 10-20cm distance to the back wall. My apartment is very open space and therefore a wide soundstage is important to me so that I can feel the music in other parts of the flat as well.
Music that I mainly listen to is Jazz/classical but also hard rock and house music. Quite a lot of podcasts. While I don’t own a TV, i plan to plan movies through these every once in a while (via Airplay), so I would also prefer a more pronounced bass without the need for a sub.

Given the size of the apartment I can only look for standmount speakers and have already narrowed this down to the following few.
— KEF LS 50
— B&W 606
— Wharfedale Evo 4.2
— Klipsch RP 600M

I’ve already read a lot of reviews about those speakers but some even seem contradictory and people tend to rave about all four of them. So it would be important to understand which of them places best with respect to my requirements on soundstaging, music preferences and bass. Also very open to other suggestions in the same pricing range as the above examples (up to c. £700/$900). Any thoughts?
I know this sounds left field, but have you thought about active speakers? Most of the well-known brands produce an active range or two, and this'll mitigate any room and amp limitations. You could also use the Sonos as a preamp.
 
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