Speaker hunt continued!

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Further to my previous thread, I'm still considering my options regarding speakers for the Arcam A18. The choice out there is massive and I'm a bit confused now as to whether to go for floorstanders or keep things small and compact with some really good compact speakers. In terms of compact/standmounting speakers I've been looking at: Spendor S3/5R Pro-Ac Tablette Reference 8 Pro-Ac Studio 110 Acoustic Energy AE1 Classic ATC SCM7 Dali Ikon 1 Mk. 2 I am very tempted by this route as I suspect that it offers higher overall quality than equivalent floorstanders. Also imaging, both in width and depth, is very important to me and I generally feel that standmounts do this better. The other things that are very important to me are midrange performance with voices, and an avoidance of sibilance on percussion. I like to hear percussion clearly. However, how well do these small monitors handle rock and orchestral music? I'm not looking for any sort of false, over-blown bass, but I do want to hear some of the natural weight of the music. If I went for floorstanders I'd be looking at: B&W 684 Castle Knight 3 Monitor Audio RX6 KEF Q500 Rega RS3 These would bring the weight but would they veer on the over-heavy side? My room is slightly strange. The main listening area is approximately 3m x 3m but this is part of a much bigger room. The overall room is actually more like 3m x 10m. The speakers are on the 10m wall about 1.8m apart from each other, firing across the 3m stretch. I am aware that these options are all going to give very different results and I have arranged an audition of some floorstanders (and will try to hear some of the smaller speakers too), but I'd be grateful of any more pearls of wisdom anyone can provide as this is going to be my last speaker upgrade for a very long time.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Given the music you like I don't think the Spendors or ProAcs will give you the scale you're looking for. Don't know anything about AE acoustics and ATCs are iffy: firstly, they need an amp with pure current and/or high output, which the Arcam doesn't have. Secondly, they are sealed units which means you'll lose a little scale.

If you go floorstanding route I personally wouldn't exceed 90cms in height (my room is similar size to yours) and I'm straining the very limits of my room with floorstanders, only achieveable because the acoustics are immensely forgiving.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Hmmm. Thanks PP. I think this is going to take some time!!

Forgot to also mention the Tannoy Signature DC4 or DC6 standmounts. I've generally liked the Tannoys I've heard in the past but I'm not familiar with this model.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Sorry Matthew, I misread 10mt for 10'. Nevertheless, it'll take a home dem to decide. The main advantage of floorstanders are the bass extension - and you save money on stands...


Edit - Should've mentioned another brand for floorstanders. Have a listen to Focal 714Vs. Superb. Almost purchased a pair instead of my RS6s.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
It's not easy for sure picking the right boxes that tick the right boxes! Looking at your list, it seems a bit "all over the place" (no offence meant). I'm sure AEJim will roll his eyes, but I've always assumed - perhaps wrongly - that the AE1 Classics need something higher up the scale to really give of their best, based on comments over the years in various magazines, forums, etc. I'm not sure the Arcam has all of the required qualities for that. By the same token, see also the ATCs.

I'd still recommend you try out the AVI Nutrons, which work very well in small rooms and I think might have some of the natural appeal you're looking for from your music. The Dalis might, but watch out for the combination of the ribbon/mesh dome tweeter - no issues with metal tweeters from me, as you know, but see how they sit in the combination you have with the A18 and the 650C.

Not all floorstaders boom, far from it, they deliver a natural weight and dynamism that the naysayers often overlook (or ignore, depending on where your view sits) with better extension than you'd get from standmount speakers. Horses for courses.

Were it my cash, I'd check out the chat around the Quad 21L2, Rega RS3 and maybe the Acoustic Energy Neo v3; the latter might have the dimensions you're looking for for your room (diminutive by all accounts). I see some places have the last generation Mission 796 at £700 down from £1300. Accepted, I have already said that some of your choices are looking at higher end amplification and this probably falls into that category. My thoughts here are probably that you could seek to add a power amp at some time in the future to the A18, given you're liking for the amplifier. By the same token, you could do that with your standmount choices - they're all good speakers, no question - so this could be a way forward. If you're not looking to go down the power amp route just now though, I'd rein in some of the choices and have a rethink. Sorry if that just adds to your confusion.

One last thing, I used Mission 733i floorstanders in a tiny living room in one of Edinburgh's few "colony" flats in the early 2000s. Worked well for me there, but keep it sensible; don't stick a pair of Tannoy Yorkminsters in and you'll be fine...!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If you're aiming to take advantage of used prices then you can only research their general market value, buy, try, keep or sell on. If done carefully this approach can be fun. I'm tittering on the edge with a pair of used speakers right now.

If you buy new then you can audition, the risk-free approach.

Your requirement to do all types of music and be a good allrounder makes this a little more difficult in my mind. The ATC SCM7 would fit this bill well but I'm not sure if the A18 has enough juice for them.

Reference the room size and speaker size, it's about the sorts of resonant nodes that the room has and whether the speaker will excite them. Even a poorly placed stand mounter will boom if not set up well. Floorstanders may be fine but you need to be prepared to move them around a lot until you get the desired bass output. You're also going to sacrifice some speed and clarity for scale with floorstanders as they are more prone to box colourations than their little brothers.
 

SonofSun

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Mar 11, 2010
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Going down the used route is immense fun, as long as you buy the right makes at the right price you can always sell on. I can certainly vouch for the Rega RS3's.

"The journey is the reward"
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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ProAc Studio 110's are now Studio 115's. Greatly improved, give them a try. There will shortly be a replacement for the Tablette models too. If the Studio improvements are anything to go by, that'll be one awesome little loudspeaker.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If you like soft rock, jazz or classical then I'd look no further than Chario. I heard some at the show last week and thought they were pretty special, so much so that I'm heading into darkest kymenlaakso next week to give them a decent audition.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just spotted some Proac 1SC in Ebony going for £700 on another forum. That's a lot of nice looking speaker for the money!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hello matthewpiano, I wish you the best in your search and it is interesting to follow your steps in the search.

I am searching too a pair of speakers, but I will not pay so much money for them. I would pay attention to the best relation with your Arcam. A warm sound?. Perhaps Spendor or ATC would compensate well that kind of sound to create a neutral one. Power and clarity.
 

Blackdawn

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May 7, 2010
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Hi. The first decision to make is standmount or flourstanders. So after having listened to many speakers you'll proabably have an idea of which you prefered. How many flourstanders have you used before? Just the Q Acoustics 130i? I would stick to what you know and go for a standmount as you must already have speaker stands any how. Then it's just as simple as crossing off all the speakers from your list (after auditioning where possible), except for one. Then just make sure you stick to your decision. Have you heard any of the standmount speakers on your list so far with the Arcam?
 

Messiah

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Jan 13, 2008
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I will again suggest you listen to the AVI ADM 9.1s. Great speakers and may be just what you need although I am not sure you are ever going to get the perfect sound you are after..
 

Blackdawn

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May 7, 2010
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Also adding to that - Why do you need to go for a compact standmount speaker? Why not go for a larger one and get the best of both the traits from flourstanders and standmount? EB2, Focal 807v, Dali Mentor 2, Castle knight 2 etc?

If you are going for small standmount how about Dali Mentor Menuet?

If you can stretch for it the Proac studio 115s look great on paper, with a large frequency response and being easy to drive for the Arcam.
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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Just as an FYI, if you were interested in the AE1 Classic's we now do them in Gloss Cherry for the same price as the "utility" black - a far nicer option in my opinion! They'll hit the UK shops reasonably soon, our export distributors have stolen the first batch
Will get some photography sorted next week and make an ad for the Feb issue of WHF
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What you need is the PMC speakers. I have found these are the only speakers that don't take too much power to make them sound good. This is because of the way they are designed. I use to work in a studio for Technicolor and there in one of our main listening room there was some PMC speakers Leema acoustic Sub running off a budget Sony amp from the lower E-line. I tell you what it sounded better then most system I have heard and I have heard plenty of systems. The main issue is the room it is going in. If the room is not acoustically sound you will find you will struggle to make alot of equipment sound good. The PMC speakers seem to get round this problem alot easier. Go and listen to the PMC GB1i. Also these Acoustic Energy AE22 will sound great in your system and you could end up saving a packet. The tweeter is rather special and there is a nice solid driver.
 

6th.replicant

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Oct 26, 2007
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FWIW, a few years back I demo'd B&W's 684 with an Arcam CD73 and A70 and found the combo rather peachy, especially with classical and jazz. Many would argue that's an B&W/Arcam trio that's just too laid-back, but your CDP might add the missing spark?

Or, any chance of finding some 2nd-hand/ex-demo Spendor A5s (S5s?) to fit your budget? Back in the summer, I demo'd the A5 with an Arcam CDP/amp and that setup sounded especially lovely IMHO.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Blackdawn:Matthew are you sticking with your 686's for the moment?

I am currently home auditioning something but I've decided not to discuss it at this stage because I want to make sure I make my own mind up rather than being swayed. I will report back in time, but I'm taking my time as it really is time to put all this to bed and get on with enjoying the music.
 

Gusboll

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Aug 22, 2008
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matthewpiano:Blackdawn:Matthew are you sticking with your 686's for the moment? I am currently home auditioning something but I've decided not to discuss it at this stage because I want to make sure I make my own mind up rather than being swayed. I will report back in time, but I'm taking my time as it really is time to put all this to bed and get on with enjoying the music.

Until the next time
 

Blackdawn

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May 7, 2010
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matthewpiano:Blackdawn:Matthew are you sticking with your 686's for the moment? I am currently home auditioning something but I've decided not to discuss it at this stage because I want to make sure I make my own mind up rather than being swayed. I will report back in time, but I'm taking my time as it really is time to put all this to bed and get on with enjoying the music.

Okay, best of luck and enjoy the music. Out of interest how much better do you find the 650c to your previous CA players and would you say my 340C connected to a Dacmagic would have a similar sound? Thought you'd be the best person to ask as you've had the 340C, Dacmagic and 650C. I feel my player maybe holding things back. Cheers :)
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Blackdawn:
matthewpiano:Blackdawn:Matthew are you sticking with your 686's for the moment? I am currently home auditioning something but I've decided not to discuss it at this stage because I want to make sure I make my own mind up rather than being swayed. I will report back in time, but I'm taking my time as it really is time to put all this to bed and get on with enjoying the music.

Okay, best of luck and enjoy the music. Out of interest how much better do you find the 650c to your previous CA players and would you say my 340C connected to a Dacmagic would have a similar sound? Thought you'd be the best person to ask as you've had the 340C, Dacmagic and 650C. I feel my player maybe holding things back. Cheers :)

Personally my feeling is that the 650C is better than the 340C + DacMagic, particularly if used with the slow filter setting (the 650C has two settings). However, I haven't been able to compare them directly because the 340C and DacMagic were sold some time ago.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I have listened to the RS3 and the 684, and would say that the Rega's were far mnore balanced bottom end. The 684s can be a bit overblown if the room is wrong, the Regas were much less position sensitive. Very nice speakers.
 
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Anonymous

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matthew, matthewpiano, you haver really hi-fi appeal!

More than 1000 visits to your post!.

Have a nice saturday afternoon!.
 

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