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The Hypothetical Speaker Upgrade-AudioNote az-2?

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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Dear all,

having posted a question about which dac I should upgrade to, I realised that a dac upgrade wouldn't be as great as spending a 1000pound on a new pair of speakers. My Mordaunt Shorts are doing a great job and as much as I love them I need more power, scale and detail. My tube amp is relatively low powered at 45 watts/channel so I am looking for very efficient speakers. I don't want to sacrifice sound quality for efficiency though. I was looking at the Audio note az-2, but can I spend a bit more and justify it with my amp as it deserves a good source?
 

hoopsontoast

New member
Oct 1, 2011
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I think any speaker that is an easy load on the amp (impedence dips above 6Ohms) should be fine regardless of senstivity. I used a variety of low powered amps including a 2WPC SET, 8wpc T-Amp and 15wpc Chip amp with two 80dB speakers, and it was fine as they are both benign loads and not used in a large room.

The Cayin with 45wpc should be more than enough for most speakers.

How big is your room?
 

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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the rooms is about 15x14 feet in size, the speakers are placed against the 14 feet wall
 

hoopsontoast

New member
Oct 1, 2011
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The AZ-2 should do well on the scale and bass side, but may be a bit too much up against a rear wall as they have a transmission line vent to the rear iirc.

They also may be a little big for that sized room, can you get a demo?
 

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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I don't think thats a problem I can shove them right up the wall or move them a feet forward if required as I have a fairly felxible setup. I'm thinking whether I'll get better resolution out of them as most speakers designed for low powered amplification seem to skip on details.
 

philipjohnwright

New member
Jun 26, 2009
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With that sort of budget I would suggest going the used / ex-dem approach, as £1,000 will buy you some seriously good equipment. In my case I'm using Harbet Compact 7's (mark 2's) that cost me £800 a few years back (and still command that sort of price, so depreciation hasn't been an issue). I reckon I'd need to spend £3-4k to get better quality, and even then it might be swings and roundabouts (I downsized to the Harbeths from a pair of B&W Nautilus 802's, so know what the high end can deliver).

Not suggesting you go the Harbeth route per se, if nothing else they are quite rare used, and they are a bit of a Marmite choice (superb with acoustic, jazz, classical, less so with rock). But there are plenty of other quality brands available; think Proac, Kef, and the like. Unless ex-dem you won't be able to try beforehand, but buy wisely and you can always sell on without losing money if things don't work out.

nb rest of my kit is an Ayre AX-7e and an Arcam rDac. So expensive amp, lower cost DAC. Works really well, so I think your plans to spend money on the speakers is the right approach
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Don't think I'll be able to get a demo...in the pictures it doesn't look any bigger than the Mezzos....and I think the bigger the better :dance:
 

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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I don't have much access to the second hand market where I live but the idea of Harbeths is interesting. I do need speakers which are good with everything as my listening taste is fairly varied. I have heard great things from Pro ac although I'm looking for good volume levels and dynamic headroom which I don't think I'll get from them at 45 watts/channel. I am not a KEF person for hifi----might sound rediculous but they just don't appeal to me :silenced:
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Audio Note make lovely sounding speakers that are open and musical. Most of the range are designed to work in the corners and close to the wall.

If you need any further information, contact Martin Grennall (martin.grennall@audionote.co.uk), who is very helpful and knowledgeable.

A while back they had some AZ-1s reduced from £800 to £500 (Cherry only) as they've been discontinued.

I think it is worth pursuing this line of thought.
 

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
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Thanks for the email address Cno, I'll contact him and see what he recommends....my only concern is that detail levels or soundstage will not be what I am used to with the Mezzos
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
77
0
18,540
If you're looking for scale and detail, you wouldn't be disappointed with Harbeth... particularly if you could lay your hands on the SHL5.

Cheers

Mac
 

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