Why not expensive speakers with a mid-price amp?

baldy38

New member
Oct 17, 2007
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I was wondering whether any of you can give me advice on the pros and cons of partnering a mid-price amp with significantly more expensive speakers.

What are the negatives of this idea? Will the amp not be able to drive the speakers (and if so, what does that mean)? Will the speakers sound worse than a lower-priced pair of speakers with the same amp because of their inherent incompatibility? And so on

I have arrived at this question because I have been doing a bit of research into replacing my current speakers. For reasons I won't go into here, I have ended up with a (brilliant) Rega Saturn CD player, Rega Brio 3 amp (the new one, with 49W a channel) and a pair of B&W 686s.

I like the 686s, but the fact I have a £1,200 CD player has left me feeling I could probably do better out of my speakers. So I have been to audition a few.

I have tried out the B&W CM1, Leema Xeros, KEF XK10 and, yesterday, Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6Ts (I actually wanted to try out the DC4 standmounter, but the shop screwed it up, and having lugged my amp into London I found they didn't have them in the shop).

Anyway, while they were all better than the 686s, I'm not sure any of them were better enough to justify the extra expenditure (although, to be fair to the Tannoys, they were the best of the lot and were straight out of the box, so were almost certainly not playing as well as they would do - not that I want floorstanders).

So all this made me wonder - if I'm in the region of, say, £600-800, why not buy a pair of second-hand B&W 805S on ebay?

Any thoughts?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="baldy38"]

I was wondering whether any of you can give me advice on the pros and cons of partnering a mid-price amp with significantly more expensive speakers.

What are the negatives of this idea? Will the amp not be able to drive the speakers (and if so, what does that mean)? Will the speakers sound worse than a lower-priced pair of speakers with the same amp because of their inherent incompatibility? And so on

I have arrived at this question because I have been doing a bit of research into replacing my current speakers. For reasons I won't go into here, I have ended up with a (brilliant) Rega Saturn CD player, Rega Brio 3 amp (the new one, with 49W a channel) and a pair of B&W 686s.

I like the 686s, but the fact I have a £1,200 CD player has left me feeling I could probably do better out of my speakers. So I have been to audition a few.

I have tried out the B&W CM1, Leema Xeros, KEF XK10 and, yesterday, Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6Ts (I actually wanted to try out the DC4 standmounter, but the shop screwed it up, and having lugged my amp into London I found they didn't have them in the shop).

Anyway, while they were all better than the 686s, I'm not sure any of them were better enough to justify the extra expenditure (although, to be fair to the Tannoys, they were the best of the lot and were straight out of the box, so were almost certainly not playing as well as they would do - not that I want floorstanders).

So all this made me wonder - if I'm in the region of, say, £600-800, why not buy a pair of second-hand B&W 805S on ebay?

Any thoughts?

[/quote]

It's a great idea. IMHO it's always a good idea to give speakers the lion's share of the budget and 49W a channel is fine.

Regards Ed
 

crusaderlord

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Apr 29, 2008
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I think its fine to mix a mid range amp with more expensive speakers - personally i doubt driving the speakers is a big issue for most speakers nowadays as 50w amps often have the power to push the harder speakers anyway. The best thing is that by stretching to better speakers now you can then focus in the future on just an amp upgrade....................I would be interested to know what you think of Leema Xero as i have Epos M5's and was considering them for an upgrade myself but have never found someone who has heard them.............I have tried the CM1's and they were good but not better than the Epos i had really.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You need to try them first really, as more revealing speakers can show up shortcomings in kit further up the chain. That said, BandW speakers aren't particularly revealing IMO. Nor particularly good...
 

baldy38

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Oct 17, 2007
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The Leema Xero was extremely impressive in many ways. It was clear, fast and precise and vocals - particularly Michael Stipe's on the new REM album - were absolutely stunning. Bass was better than I expected, too. Problem was, it had a strange treble sound that I couldn't quite out my finger on, but which got on my nerves. Perhaps a kind of sybillance, I'm not sure. And I don't think it was down to the kit - the shop wired them up to the new Naim 5i amp and CD player.
 

crusaderlord

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Apr 29, 2008
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Thanks - Leema Xero from the description sound similar to Epos which are also fast and precise and good with vocals - i will need to try and find a nearby stockist to try them (not easy to find so far) and see if they are worth an upgrade, i suspect maybe not to be honest given the Epos are really good for their price.............................My other consideration is Spendor SA1 which are beginning to get some classy reviews..............I am close to London myself which store did you visit for the demo ?
 

baldy38

New member
Oct 17, 2007
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I listened to the Leemas at Oxford Audio Consultants, which is where I heard the KEFs as well. They're on the web.
 

fr0g

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Jan 7, 2008
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[quote user="BigGuads"]You need to try them first really, as more revealing speakers can show up shortcomings in kit further up the chain. That said, BandW speakers aren't particularly revealing IMO. Nor particularly good...[/quote]

The 805S are excellent speakers. You cant tar the whole range by listening to a couple of budget speakers.
I had a listen to some 802D a while back too, and they were rather awesome.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="baldy38"]
I was wondering whether any of you can give me advice on the pros and cons of partnering a mid-price amp with significantly more expensive speakers.

What are the negatives of this idea? Will the amp not be able to drive the speakers (and if so, what does that mean)? Will the speakers sound worse than a lower-priced pair of speakers with the same amp because of their inherent incompatibility? And so on

I have arrived at this question because I have been doing a bit of research into replacing my current speakers. For reasons I won't go into here, I have ended up with a (brilliant) Rega Saturn CD player, Rega Brio 3 amp (the new one, with 49W a channel) and a pair of B&W 686s.

I like the 686s, but the fact I have a £1,200 CD player has left me feeling I could probably do better out of my speakers. So I have been to audition a few.

I have tried out the B&W CM1, Leema Xeros, KEF XK10 and, yesterday, Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6Ts (I actually wanted to try out the DC4 standmounter, but the shop screwed it up, and having lugged my amp into London I found they didn't have them in the shop).

Anyway, while they were all better than the 686s, I'm not sure any of them were better enough to justify the extra expenditure (although, to be fair to the Tannoys, they were the best of the lot and were straight out of the box, so were almost certainly not playing as well as they would do - not that I want floorstanders).

So all this made me wonder - if I'm in the region of, say, £600-800, why not buy a pair of second-hand B&W 805S on ebay?

Any thoughts?
[/quote]

Might be worth looking into the Rega R5's. Should have good synergy with the rest of your kit.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
[quote user="baldy38"]
I was wondering whether any of you can give me advice on the pros and cons of partnering a mid-price amp with significantly more expensive speakers.

What are the negatives of this idea? Will the amp not be able to drive the speakers (and if so, what does that mean)? Will the speakers sound worse than a lower-priced pair of speakers with the same amp because of their inherent incompatibility? And so on

I have arrived at this question because I have been doing a bit of research into replacing my current speakers. For reasons I won't go into here, I have ended up with a (brilliant) Rega Saturn CD player, Rega Brio 3 amp (the new one, with 49W a channel) and a pair of B&W 686s.

I like the 686s, but the fact I have a £1,200 CD player has left me feeling I could probably do better out of my speakers. So I have been to audition a few.

I have tried out the B&W CM1, Leema Xeros, KEF XK10 and, yesterday, Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6Ts (I actually wanted to try out the DC4 standmounter, but the shop screwed it up, and having lugged my amp into London I found they didn't have them in the shop).

Anyway, while they were all better than the 686s, I'm not sure any of them were better enough to justify the extra expenditure (although, to be fair to the Tannoys, they were the best of the lot and were straight out of the box, so were almost certainly not playing as well as they would do - not that I want floorstanders).

So all this made me wonder - if I'm in the region of, say, £600-800, why not buy a pair of second-hand B&W 805S on ebay?

Any thoughts?
[/quote] I don't necessarlly think that 49w per channel is an issue but I don't think the Brio 3 is good enough at all. I believe there are much better (under £500) amps out there that would do justice to decent speakers. Everyone will say the second hand route is the best option and you can't argue - I got my amp for £480 (rrp £750) and it had been used for less than 20 hours and in immaculate condition. However, brand new amps like the Creek Evo would better the Brio easily - in fact I sold my Evo to someone who had bought the Brio on the back of past Rega efforts only to send it straight back.
 

baldy38

New member
Oct 17, 2007
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0
In my opinion, you're underestimating the Brio. I think it's really good - and the guys in the shop I demoed the Tannoys in, who had not heard it before, were very impressed.

Anyway, while I value your opinion, I'm not in the market for a new amp for a few years - I want to focus on the speakers for now.

Does that change anything for anyone?
 

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