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I debated with myself whether I should post this question, because I expect the answers to be as varied as the number replies. But, I decided it would be good to hear all the different viewpoints and I value your opinions. So here goes:

 

What would you recommend for speakers in the $3,000 to $5,000 a pair range? I certainly wouldn't mind spending less if you know of something you think performs beyond its price range.

 

My room is about 13' x 18' with the system set up along one of the shorter walls. The amplifier is also going to be upgraded and is as yet undetermined. I am toying with the idea of building a pair of Ncore 400 monoblocks; partly to save money and partly because I have read a lot of raves about them.

 

So, please chime in with your suggestions.

 

Mark

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Revel F208 speakers.

 

6moons audio reviews: Revel Performa F208

 

Revel F208 Floor-standing Speakers Review - HomeTheaterHiFi.com

 

Nothing wrong with your ncore idea. I would suggest a Wyred4sound ST500 amp. Very good, tons of power, and you don't have the hassle of building it yourself. Quiet, reasonably priced, powerful, excellent sounding amp.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Ohm Walsh 5s are a tad over your budget but there are two upgraded pairs on the website that are worth a look. I have had mine for 18 years now and have no urge to replace them.

 

Walsh 5 | Ohm Speakers | Custom Audiophile Speakers for Music & Home Theater

 

Look for 2 in stock @ $5,500 per pair.

Arcam, AKG, Audience, Ayre, Bel Canto, Beyer Dynamic, Black Sand, Boston, Carver, CIA, Denon, Headroom, JL Audio, Meier, Ohm, PSA, RBH, Senn

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All speakers sound the same, so just pick one or two that match your interior decorating scheme (and preferably each other).

 

(Seriously, the one thing that is keeping me from investing and building Ncore amps is that I think my speakers aren't worthy. Make sure you get ones that won't limit the Ncore's capabilities).

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What would you recommend for speakers in the $3,000 to $5,000 a pair range? I certainly wouldn't mind spending less if you know of something you think performs beyond its price range.

 

My room is about 13' x 18' with the system set up along one of the shorter walls. The amplifier is also going to be upgraded and is as yet undetermined. I am toying with the idea of building a pair of Ncore 400 monoblocks; partly to save money and partly because I have read a lot of raves about them.

Not sure of their US prices - but take a look (or more to the point a listen) at the PMC Twenty range.

 

(Seriously, the one thing that is keeping me from investing and building Ncore amps is that I think my speakers aren't worthy. Make sure you get ones that won't limit the Ncore's capabilities).

I think you'd be surprised what your B&W can perform like Bill.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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$4k to spend? I'd go for a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls. That's what I have in a very similar size room. Admittedly they are not going to melt into the background visually, but to paraphrase a saying from the mountain biking world: great price? great sound? unobtrusive? Pick two.

 

Might need to rethink your amps though. Mine partner a 27 watt ss amp beautifully.

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Golden Ear Triton speakers have garnered some excellent reviews for both sound quality and bang for your buck. The Triton One is at the top of your range and the Two at the bottom. Other models are available at lower prices. I haven't heard them myself.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Vandy 3A.png

 

Model 3A Signature | Vandersteen Audio

 

Vandersteen 3A Signature. Own them, love them. Owned the 2 series for 25 years before that. They will in no way limit whatever electronics you want to run them with, so plenty of room to upgrade the rest of the system in the future before you have to concern yourself with speakers again.

 

I just love these things, so don't expect objectivity from me about them. :)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Vandersteen 3A Signature. Own them, love them. Owned the 2 series for 25 years before that. They will in no way limit whatever electronics you want to run them with, so plenty of room to upgrade the rest of the system in the future before you have to concern yourself with speakers again.

 

I just love these things, so don't expect objectivity from me about them. :)

 

I think the 2Ce Sig IIs might work better in a 13 x 18' room, also they don't need quite as much power to boogie for whatever reason. Plus, you save $2K that can go to a better amp or source or music.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Revel F208 speakers.

 

6moons audio reviews: Revel Performa F208

 

Revel F208 Floor-standing Speakers Review - HomeTheaterHiFi.com

 

Nothing wrong with your ncore idea. I would suggest a Wyred4sound ST500 amp. Very good, tons of power, and you don't have the hassle of building it yourself. Quiet, reasonably priced, powerful, excellent sounding amp.

 

Those Revels certainly have a lot of good reviews. In fact one reviewer bought his review speakers and another bought the F206s. According to the Revel web site there 5 local dealers, but they are all AV installers. I'll have to call them and see if they have a showroom or local stock.

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$4k to spend? I'd go for a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls. That's what I have in a very similar size room. Admittedly they are not going to melt into the background visually, but to paraphrase a saying from the mountain biking world: great price? great sound? unobtrusive? Pick two.

 

Might need to rethink your amps though. Mine partner a 27 watt ss amp beautifully.

 

Those Klipsch Cornwalls are kind of old school compared to what most other companies are doing. Don't take that the wrong way, I'm planning to check them out as there are numerous dealers in town. At only 27 watts I could drive them with a class A amp.

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I recommend the ATC SCM19 (the latest model) if you like accuracy or Harbeth c7es3 if you like musical sound.

 

I haven't found a local dealer for the ATC, but I did for the Harbeth. I'm not sure if they have that model. I'll look into it.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]18825[/ATTACH]

 

Model 3A Signature | Vandersteen Audio

 

Vandersteen 3A Signature. Own them, love them. Owned the 2 series for 25 years before that. They will in no way limit whatever electronics you want to run them with, so plenty of room to upgrade the rest of the system in the future before you have to concern yourself with speakers again.

 

I just love these things, so don't expect objectivity from me about them. :)

 

Unfortunately the nearest dealer is over 100 miles away. Maybe I can check them out next time I go up to Seattle.

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Golden Ear Triton speakers have garnered some excellent reviews for both sound quality and bang for your buck. The Triton One is at the top of your range and the Two at the bottom. Other models are available at lower prices. I haven't heard them myself.

 

I heard the Tritons the other day. I'm not sure if it was the One or Two. They didn't sound that great, but we determined there was a problem with the system they were hooked to. I didn't have time that day for them to correct the situation, but they offered to set them up with a different system. I've read some very favorable reviews so I may go back to give them another listen.

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Will you be integrating a sub? I've had Clayton Shaw's Spatial Audio M2 Turbos for about 8 months now. 100db sensitivity open baffle. I drive them with a flee watt single ended tube amp. Quite a revalation coming from box designs.

 

I have a sub, but wasn't necessarily planning on using it with my stereo system. It's part of my 5.1 surround system and would probably categorize it as mid-fi. I'll look into the Clayton Shaws.

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Is anyone familiar with Focal speakers? I heard some Focal Aria 936 speakers at a local dealer that sounded pretty good. They are very similar in appearance to the Revel F208, but not having heard the Revels yet I couldn't make any sound comparisons.

 

Mark

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I would give very serious consideration to a nice pair of used Magnepan 3.7 (and have them upgraded to 3.7i status), or even a pair of 3.7's could be had for about $42-4500. Incredible speakers and unlike anything you have ever heard. A pair of powerful NCore mono's would be perfect with them too. They were absolute Sounds product of the year in 2014, and have been called the greatest value in audio. At the very least, you should audition them.

 

Maggie 3.7 "best buy…(loudspeakers)…regardless of price". The Absolute Sound Magazine picks "Greatest Bargains" of 2012.

 

Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound —

Best Sound (cost-no-object): Magnepan 3.7i driven by Pass Labs and sourced by exaSound. The most natural and realistic sound at the show.

Most Coveted Product: Magnepan 3.7i.

(Note that Jonathon was covering speakers $20,000 and up and awarded the room with 3.7is “Best Sound (cost-no-object)”)

 

Julie Mullens of The Absolute Sound —

Best Sound (for the money): Paired with the upgraded exaSound e22 Mk. II DAC and Pass Labs’ X250.8 amps, the Maggie 3.7i’s stole the show. Simply put, they are priced at $5995, but sound like a million bucks.

 

Jim Hannon of The Absolute Sound —

Best Sound (for the money): The Magnepan 3.7i driven by Pass Labs X250.8 with an exaSound e12 DAC put many more costly systems to shame. It sounds more like the real thing than you’d imagine.

Andre Jennings of The Absolute Sound--

 

 

 

JC

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Those Klipsch Cornwalls are kind of old school compared to what most other companies are doing. Don't take that the wrong way, I'm planning to check them out as there are numerous dealers in town. At only 27 watts I could drive them with a class A amp.

 

Absolutely old school, but a lot of the tech from other companies is simply there to get decent SQ from the constraints of what these days would be seen as a domestically acceptable speaker. But if you are happy to have high efficiency speakers that are 2' wide, with horn loaded tweeter and mid drivers and 15" bass drivers etc then arguably you don't need the tech in the first place.

 

I've had the Cornwalls for 6 months now. A couple of weeks ago I spent a morning at a local dealer comparing SACD players and came away thinking that one thing they could never sell me were the speakers from a v. well respected UK brand they were using for the demo. Compared to what I am now used to from the Cornwalls they sounded artificial and lacking in dynamics. I was even more surprised when I googled them back home and realised they retailed at £12k+..

 

If you hear the Cornwalls and like them you might want to also consider a pair of Cornscalas:

 

Cornscala? | Critesspeakers.com

 

 

I've never heard them, but are well regarded and look like an absolute bargain at under $2k.a pair, but even with the fully assembled option you will need to apply a finish and fit grills yourself.

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I debated with myself whether I should post this question, because I expect the answers to be as varied as the number replies. But, I decided it would be good to hear all the different viewpoints and I value your opinions. So here goes:

 

What would you recommend for speakers in the $3,000 to $5,000 a pair range? I certainly wouldn't mind spending less if you know of something you think performs beyond its price range.

 

My room is about 13' x 18' with the system set up along one of the shorter walls. The amplifier is also going to be upgraded and is as yet undetermined. I am toying with the idea of building a pair of Ncore 400 monoblocks; partly to save money and partly because I have read a lot of raves about them.

 

So, please chime in with your suggestions.

 

Mark

 

+1 on the Revel Performa F208, only concern is the metal drivers - some people hear it and others don't but rigid drivers tend to ring more than damped paper/pulp or fabric cones (this affects timbre noticeably for some people) on the flip side metal rigid drivers don't break up towards their upper operating range so they have advantages and you choose your poison. Note that the Revel are designed to get outstanding speaker performance and don't look at all easy to drive - they need a beefy muscle amp to handle those wild impedance swings.

 

If you are serious about sound quality then properly built active speakers will slightly out perform passive ones in terms of sound quality. ATC SCM40A or 25A. Tri-amped actively with no passive crossover. No need to buy an amp. Someone else mentioned PMC - they are extremely good in some models but like B&W they lack consistency across their range so be careful. If you go used then for $5000 you might find an older ATC SCM50A or even a 100 then you would be as happy as countless sound engineers that mix & produce your music, whatever the genre.

 

Anyway your taste is very important in this decision. There are those who appreciate pure accuracy and natural sound; and there are those who are looking for flavour, impressive and fun. Nobody is right except YOU. So get what YOU like.

Benchmark DAC2, Active speakers: ATC 150's, 100's, 20's, C6CA, C6 Subwoofer.

 

Headphones: Only for playing drums. I don't like sounds in my head. The best headphones suck. Nothing can replace good speakers played loudly. And nothing absolutely nothing is a substitute for live music!

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I think the 2Ce Sig IIs might work better in a 13 x 18' room, also they don't need quite as much power to boogie for whatever reason. Plus, you save $2K that can go to a better amp or source or music.

 

No objection to anything you've said. If the OP can get to a dealer, maybe he can hear both.

 

Though I haven't heard the Magnepans, I've often heard good things about them.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I would give very serious consideration to a nice pair of used Magnepan 3.7 (and have them upgraded to 3.7i status), or even a pair of 3.7's could be had for about $42-4500. Incredible speakers and unlike anything you have ever heard. A pair of powerful NCore mono's would be perfect with them too. They were absolute Sounds product of the year in 2014, and have been called the greatest value in audio. At the very least, you should audition them.

 

I saw those accolades and started considering both the Magnepans and an exaSound DAC. Unfortunately, my listening room is also my living room and the Magnepans would be hard to fit in. The "problem" with the exaSound is it only works with computers and I decided to go with an Aries. I should give the Magnepans a listen, though. There is a local dealer; they're just in an inconvenient part of town.

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