Speaker recommendations and auditioning advice for a complete newbie!..

admin_exported

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Aug 10, 2019
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Im taking my chances here hopefully not making a tit out of myself on a hi-fi forum straight out of the bag Im really into my music, and am thinking about splashing out a bit of money on some decent speakers.. I have a set of speakers which are about 15yrs old and pretty much knackered, so think I owe it to myself to upgrade them!.. I have an old Pioneer amp (SA-3000) which I love to bits, and am not getting rid of; it sounds amazing to me and does everything i need, I just want to spend some money on speakers and cable.. I don't know a thing about stereo's that my ears aren't telling me, and so I don't want to walk into a hi-fi shop next weekend and feel like a complete d*ck not knowing a damn thing.. I know what I like sound wise and will not be swayed by a salesman's opinions, so will listen to them and see which is best to my ears, but can anyone point me towards a manufacturer or a couple of manufacturers that I should consider/steer clear of?.. Also any recommendations of specific speakers would be great; i listen to a massive range of music genre's, but when Im actually sitting down listening to music (rather than doing the washing up or housework with music on in the background) I tend to listen to soul, jazz, trip-hop and acoustic stuff (yeah I know, weird mix). Im not some chav who wants phat bass and ear bleeding treble; i lust after decent mid-range, so bear that in mind ;) Finally is there any benefit in taking my amp with me to audition speakers or will people just laugh at my silver steam-powered contraption?!.. Not sure if its the done thing and again don't want to look like a **** walking into a shop with bertha under one arm About 1/2 of my music is digital and the other half on vinyl, no preference for floor standers/stand mounted, my budget is upto £300 for the speakers; I will purchase new cables as and when afterwards. I might go over that for some tasty looking speakers like the blueroom ones, but not sure if they're trading on looks over function?.. Hope someone can point me in the right direction or arm me with a bit of knowledge.. Ben PS.. near me I have Cymbiosis who are my first stop as they've sorted me out with headphones in the past and are very helpful. I also have a seven oaks hi-fi shop (who I have no experience of what so ever) and a richer sounds.. The richer sounds staff come across to me as heavily opinionated and leave me a bit cold, so would rather steer clear of them unless they have what I want on the cheap and I can just walk in, pick it up, pay and leave; I went to look at a new TV there, and it felt like they were trying hard to persuade me to buy what they like and not discussing options with me..
 
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Anonymous

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take your components with you as this is what your speakers will be paired with thats what they need to match try them with something else they may sound good and then find out when you get home it sounds rubbish with your amp, listen to your dealer and demo his suggestions but do not take everything he says seriously, it neeeds to be your decision as for speakers try out b and w 685's (380) also see if you can gt hold of the ultimate guide to hi-fi by whfs&v as this has lot's of speakers in it
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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Not sure which Sevenoaks it is, but I have always found them to be helpful. Important point - never be embarrassed about not knowing something - that's why dealers exist and any dealer who makes you feel stupid for not knowing what he's talking about is a bad dealer. After all, it's his job to know and tell you, not your job to know and ask him! If any dealer makes you feel like that, thank him politely for his time and walk out without buying anything.

If you're going to take your own equipment in, you need to phone the store beforehand and book a time when it's convenient for both of you to do the demo.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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[quote user="Ben Hanks"]I know what I like sound wise and will not be swayed by a salesman's opinions, so will listen to them and see which is best to my ears, but can anyone point me towards a manufacturer or a couple of manufacturers that I should consider/steer clear of?.. [/quote]

Are'nt you asking us to do exactly the same as you dont want a salesman to do?

[quote user="Ben Hanks"]Finally is there any benefit in taking my amp with me to audition speakers or will people just laugh at my silver steam-powered contraption?!.. [/quote]

Yes and nobody will (should) laugh.

[quote user="Ben Hanks"] I also have a seven oaks hi-fi shop (who I have no experience of what so ever) and a richer sounds.. The richer sounds staff come across to me as heavily opinionated and leave me a bit cold, so would rather steer clear of them unless they have what I want on the cheap and I can just walk in, pick it up, pay and leave;[/quote]

Sevenoaks are fine, helpful and knowledgeable in my experience.

£300 is a 'tricky' budget as just a little bit further up large improvements in both build and sound appear. If you really can't stretch another £100/200 You could consider MA's BR2's, which a lot of people seem to like but I'm not one of them. Personally I'd save a little bit more and start with the likes of Epos and Rega, both of which make fantastic value for money speakers that give you real pride of ownership and last a few component upgrades if that is something you will want to do in the future.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I don't think there is nothing to avoid per se, just personal tastes these days, what we got left these days are specialist audio companies and the cheap and nasty products have more or less gone, so it's just a case of taking along your amp and demoing speakers that fall into your budget and buying the ones you personally like best, try to block out reviews and other people suggestions and go with you own thoughts.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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[quote user="silly"]
I don't think there is nothing to avoid per se, just personal tastes these days, what we got left these days are specialist audio companies and the cheap and nasty products have more or less gone, so it's just a case of taking along your amp and demoing speakers that fall into your budget and buying the ones you personally like best, try to block out reviews and other people suggestions and go with you own thoughts.
[/quote]

... but REMEMBER the subliminal message I've implanted in your thoughts not long ago ... E P O S , R E G A , E P O S , R E G A
 

crusaderlord

New member
Apr 29, 2008
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I would agree with the Epos recommendation at the price range quoted.

I got a pair of Epos M5 speakers quite recently for £250. They have been upgraded now to the M5i hence the reduction in price on the previous model. I can recommend them highly and preferred them to Monitor Audio RS1's that i heard at the same time at Sevenoaks as a comparison. They are detailed and very good at timing. I found their bass was much improved though when i used a 100w per channel amplifier over a 50w one (note i did change my cables at the same time so it could be a combined improvement).

Ive never heard REGA - although i wanted to and was tempted with the Brio at one stage but have since gone with an Arcam system - partly because i like them but also because the FMJ price was very good at under £700.
 

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