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Loudspeakers: Best under $5K


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Hi Everyone - I've been thinking about upgrading the loudspeakers in my home hifi.  I've got Elac UF5's and they sound great, especially for the $1K price for the pair.  But I can't help but wonder what SQ improvements might be available in the next step up in price range.  If I consider an upgrade, what should be on my audition list for speaker pair < $5K?

 

Current setup is Roon/Tidal -> microRendu -> Chord 2qute -> Arcam A29 -> Elac UF5s

Room has decent acoustic treatments.

 

Thanks for any advice!

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Well, I would think the new Elac Adante AF-61 which i read about in the LA Audio show reports which will be $5k a pair would be on your short list. :-) Check out  https://www.stereophile.com/content/elacs-andrew-jones-talks-loudspeakers I am not a ELAC dealer, but admire Andrews Jones other work I have heard (the big dollars TAD stuff he did).

 

Its a competitive price point, there is a bunch of stuff to consider from many other speaker companies.

---------------

Rich Brkich

Owner, Signature Sound

Liverpool, New York USA

Website: http://www.sigsound.com

FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Signature.Sound.HiFi

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Wow. There are so many good ones I dont even know where to begin. Pick up a copy of Absolute Sound and Stereophile for starters and see the best of what they have heard the last few years.  To be honest, there are many other Audio sites that might be better places to look for this kind of information. Here's a good place to look: http://www.dailyaudiophile.com/

 

Then the VERY next thing is for you to go and listen to some in the $3500 to $5000 range and hear for yourself what improvements are there as you move up in price. 

 

PS.  Remember there are NO rules when it comes to taste in speakers. Choose the ones that YOU like. 

David

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4 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Lots of choices but a very simple way to find what is acceptable.  

 

1. Buy a pair of Maggies and set them up properly

2. Listen.  If you hear loud, strident female vocals then tell her they are "room dividers."

3. If #2 did not work, take them back and buy something in a box.

4. If #3 did not work, take them back and buy little teeny mini-monitors and some "end tables"

+1. Try the maggies! 

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7 hours ago, atxkyle said:

Hi Everyone - I've been thinking about upgrading the loudspeakers in my home hifi.  I've got Elac UF5's and they sound great, especially for the $1K price for the pair.  But I can't help but wonder what SQ improvements might be available in the next step up in price range.  If I consider an upgrade, what should be on my audition list for speaker pair < $5K?

 

Current setup is Roon/Tidal -> microRendu -> Chord 2qute -> Arcam A29 -> Elac UF5s

Room has decent acoustic treatments.

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

I highly recommend the higher level ELAC speaker that Andrew designed. I don't think you'll get better sound for the money.

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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6 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

I have a 2Qute and I'm using the 2Qute to drive my highly efficient Omega Super 8XRS speakers with it.  Sounds great.  I was using Maggies before and am glad to make the move to a better low power system, just waiting on my Paul Hynes SR7 to complete my system removal from the direct AC grid.  Romaz (Roy) has a Chord DAVE and also uses the Omega speakers.  Check it out at https://omegaloudspeakers.com/

   visit the forum for more info if interested.  Louis the owner/builder does a great job and is easy to work with.

 

+1 for Omegas. I have a pair of Super Alnico High Output floorstanders and they are remarkable. They are also very efficient at 99db.


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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I would likely choose between Revel F208s at $5k/pr or Revel F206s at $3500/pr. 

 

Still speakers are the most important component, and where sound varies the most.  Hearing them yourself is more helpful than with any other component by far.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/revel-performa3-f208-loudspeaker

 

http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/766-revel-performa3-f206-loudspeakers

 

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/revel-performa3-f206-and-m106-loudspeakers/

 

 

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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1 hour ago, esldude said:

I would likely choose between Revel F208s at $5k/pr or Revel F206s at $3500/pr. 

 

Still speakers are the most important component, and where sound varies the most.  Hearing them yourself is more helpful than with any other component by far.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/revel-performa3-f208-loudspeaker

 

http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/766-revel-performa3-f206-loudspeakers

 

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/revel-performa3-f206-and-m106-loudspeakers/

 

 

 

I second the Revel suggestion and would also add PSB.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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If it was me, I'd be looking at the new Klipsch Forte llls.  I think they are sub $4k and as high sensitivity speakers I would  have thought a good candidate to be driven directly by the 2Qute if you wanted to, as suggested above (not something I've done myself).

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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!  I've got quite the list to check into now.  Wish there were a way to test all of them in a controlled environment. I think the hifi dealers in Austin carry 1-2 of these brands at most ... 

 

Also for the people who mentioned driving high sensitivity speakers directly with the Chord 2Qute - how would you control the volume in that situation? By using the volume control in Roon?

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, atxkyle said:

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!  I've got quite the list to check into now.  Wish there were a way to test all of them in a controlled environment. I think the hifi dealers in Austin carry 1-2 of these brands at most ... 

 

Also for the people who mentioned driving high sensitivity speakers directly with the Chord 2Qute - how would you control the volume in that situation? By using the volume control in Roon?

 

 

 

 

Yes, best by media player on your PC or portable.  I'm not familiar with Roon but would imagine it could work as JRiver does for me. I added an ISO Regen and it gave me even more of a boost on volume with the 2Qute.  More than enough for near field to mid size room.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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3 hours ago, atxkyle said:

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!  I've got quite the list to check into now.  Wish there were a way to test all of them in a controlled environment. I think the hifi dealers in Austin carry 1-2 of these brands at most ... 

 

Also for the people who mentioned driving high sensitivity speakers directly with the Chord 2Qute - how would you control the volume in that situation? By using the volume control in Roon?

 

 

 

 

I would not recommend driving the speakers directly with an inexpensive DAC like the 2Qute. I've only ever seen good results with VERY high end DAC's, and equally expensive amplifiers. 

 

JC

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I'll give another strong recommendation for the Revel F208.  I don't think you can touch its performance anywhere near that price point.  You should be able to pick up a fine used pair in the 3K range.  Although an audition would be great, this is a speaker you could buy blind and end up very happy.

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Trenner + Friedl has a small speaker named Art (https://www.trenner-friedl.com/index.php?menu=product&sprache=en&second=art)

 

It's the best speaker I heard up to (nearly) double the price (I was focussing on small speakers only). Well obviously, I didn't hear all speakers on the marked, but some well known brands here in Europe.

 

In the end, I bought the limited "Stone Art" for roughly 5k. Same size, better drivers and cabinet.

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