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I have some Totems that I think are very nice for what they do (very deep bass), but I would love to start lining up the next ex.

 

On the block are the following, in no particular order:

 

DeVore Silverback

Focus Audio FP90

Magnepan 20.1

 

I like the DeVore as they're really friendly to more modest amp offerings, meaning, I don't have to get the kilowatt amps that the Maggies really seem to enjoy. The Focus is more in the middle there, wrt amp offerings at least. I've only heard the latter-most, but I did quite like them, they're just so bloody big.

 

Budget? Well, under $15k. Preferably well under.

 

What I need: to be able to fill a deep room -- it's a basement, shaped like a stubby capital letter "T", where I sit in the upper-left of the crossbar, with the speaker against that 13' wall, firing lengthwise across the 40' crossbar. Ceiling is 7' 8.5" tall.

 

The front face of the Totems sit about 5' from the back wall and I sit 6' away from them in one of two positions -- directly between for critical listening and also off to the side at a desk while working -- so no "beaming" speakers. That is, I'd rather a bit of lateral dispersion and no narrow sweet spot, which pretty much knocks out electrostats and anything from Wilson Audio.

 

Lastly, I like bass. Doesn't have to be all about the bass, but it has to be there, so no stand mounts.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations? Warnings?

 

Thanks in advance ....

 

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Hi Scot,

 

I have a thought, but it’s not a speaker recommendation.

 

We have similar listening rooms, except I’m working with an “L” and not a “T.” After a lot of experimenting, I find that placing speakers on the long wall, as opposed to the short wall, makes a big difference.

 

If you haven’t already tried this approach, it may be worth testing. For me, positioning speakers on the long wall helps with imaging and soundstage.

 

My apologies in advance if this is unhelpful. I know you also have to consider the placement of your desk as a second listening position. Frankly, there may be a million reasons why this will not work for you.

 

Taking a chance that you’re interested, I’ve attached a quick rendering of the concept for your consideration.

 

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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Wish I could use that long wall like that. Unfortunately, its a bit of a no-go. There's some built-in furniture that can't be moved. Short-wall it is.

 

I like what I read about DeVore, but I've yet to actually hear his speakers. According to my local dealer, they're a hard sell. They do everything right, but nothing extraordinary, and thus customers audition the DeVores and like them, but rarely love them and tend to end up elsewhere. He's not a Silverback dealer, unfortunately, as DeVore limits those rather severely to a select few that can (paraphrasing a conversation I had with John D himself) "put together total systems whose value is in excess of $30k", which pretty much rules me out much as I might wish, plot, and scheme otherwise. Besides, at that price point (~$18k), and given my room, I'm looking for a full range speaker with great low end performance -- and the Silverbacks, while awesome, are not known for awesome bass. Good bass, yes. Not awesome bass. And besides, I'm not a fan of side-firing woofers in a room like this. Long wall, maybe. But then I'd be all over the Gallo Ref 3.5 for 1/3 the cash.

 

I heard some Wilson Sophias last week. Liked them so-so -- I thought they were lumpy and incoherent, in part no doubt to the crappy showcase room they were in (what?!? Yes, my local dealer has them stuffed into a terrible room), but as I mentioned earlier, they're rather beam-y, so not what I'm looking for regardless.

 

While at that same dealer, I auditioned some Avalon Indras. I liked these quite a bit more than the Sophia IIs, but for those looking in the same direction, for God's sake, make sure those bad boys are fully clothed before you hit play! With their grills off they were practically unlistenable; they were so tipped up in the treble it hurt. Grills on, they were better, but for those looking at these speakers, you're going to have to do a warm amp -- Bolder or Ayre will decidedly not do the trick. Just one man's audition speaking here, but seriously, caveat emptor.

 

Which left me with the Magnepans (hell, the 3.6R will probably do me fine, again, for about 1/2 to 1/3 the cash), the Focus and the DeVore, and I'm leaning away from the latter for the reasons mentioned above -- and the fact that I can't audition them locally, which is just wildly annoying.

 

Any other contenders?

 

The dealer I bought the Alpha from suggested I simply cannot find a full range speaker worth the money at the sub $15k price point, and FWIW, he seemed as annoyed by that as I was to hear it. He did suggest that I consider monitors with a pair of subs -- and the requisite equalizer to do crossover and delay synchronization. Something like the Usher Tiny Dancer with some Velodyne subs and a Bryston crossover. Seems kludgy to me, and likely to end up being just as expensive as a not-quite-full-range speaker in the $12k-$15k range.

 

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I've mostly heard the Nines, in the DeVore suite in Vegas, backed with pricey Nagra gear, but my god it's heavenly how good they sound. They would be my speaker of choice. If I could afford them or thought I'd have the right kind of room, the Silverbacks would be a shoo-in.

 

www.24XPS.com[br]

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I remember listening to a pair of Magneplanar 1.6 speakers a number of years ago. The dealer had them positioned well into the room; I’d estimate a healthy four or five feet from the rear wall.

 

Since your Totems already sit about 5' from the back wall, I can’t help but think that you may be an excellent candidate for Magneplanars. After listening to the 1.6s, I’ve never forgotten the experience. If I had a room that could accommodate speakers so far into the room, I’d own them.

 

I haven’t heard the new 1.7 model, but I’m optimistic. Of course, you could also go for the 3.6s. Given the width and height of your room, the 20.1s may be more than needed.

 

Given your bass requirements, you may prefer any of the Magneplanars paired with an accurate and musical sub. Since you have more than a generous budget, I’d get two…one for left and right channels. There is a particular sub that offers excellent value and performance: the SVS PB13-Ultra (Link: http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-pb13ultra.cfm). I own the smaller cousin.

 

Given your long room and lower ceiling height, low frequency room correction may also play an important role. The SVS AS-EQ1 sub EQ, developed in partnership with Audyssey, is worth considering. Importantly, the AS-EQ1 accommodates two subs for dual subwoofer processing (link: http://www.svsound.com/products-parts-subeq.cfm).

 

Opinions vary about the use of subs. Some feel that a full range speaker is the only correct approach. I respect this opinion. However, I like having the flexibility to adjust sub placement, gain settings, and crossover levels. One approach to consider is adding subs and room correction with your current Totems?

 

Personally, I’d love to see the Magneplanar 1.7 paired with two SVS PB13-Ultra subs and the AS-EQ1 sub EQ. This set-up would cost under $6,500. You may also wish to consider acoustical treatments on the ceiling and side walls. After you’re all said and done, you’d have a lot of performance...and a lot of money left over. I can’t help but think about all the music you could buy with the balance of your budget...

 

Best regards,

Chris

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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I think planars are cool, generally. The King speakers I learned about from a Midwest dealer who sells Lyngdorf -- I was calling about the RP-1, which has dual sub outs, a crossover, and a DSP for room correction, all in one box that sits between the pre and the amp. To all reports, it works well. I was looking at it because, interestingly enough, I had just got off the phone with SVS (from whom I bought a PB12/2 for my HT setup -- what a friggin' beast that thing is). I was calling them about the Audyssey sub equalizer, to see if it would work for me, but apparently that box still requires a head unit with room correction abilities as it isn't a stand-alone unit. I did learn that SVS is releasing a series of sealed-box subs which might be a better match for 2-channel systems than their ported-box units, including a capstone sub that'll sport a 16" woofer that'll retail for just under $3k. All this was announced at CES, so I'm not spilling anything here by posting this. Anyway, I'll be keeping an eye out for them for sure.

 

But getting back to the Kings ... I love 'stats. But they have this tendency to "beam" their sound, so wide-area sweet-spots tend to be troublesome. Might not be an issue with the Kings, but I'd be hard pressed to jump on them without an audition.

 

 

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Take a look at the Lorelei's from Odyssey Audio.

I just picked up a pair, very smooth natural sound, amazing bass.

Spawn from the Symphonic Line in Germany, pennies on the dollar here in the US.

 

 

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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To be fair I have not heard the silverbacks. Having said that, I love my Devore 7.1's and have never heard anything but praise going up the line, especially for the silverbacks. Also, I'd second the idea of putting some thought into a subwoofer. I really think they've come into their own in recent years for use in 2ch systems. FWIW I personally would look at getting one or even two smaller JL Audio Fathom subs, possibly with an external crossover such as the Bryston 10B-sub. Happy hunting.

 

PS Audio Quintet > Powerbook (iphone with apple remote app) > HRT Streamer II > Kingrex Pre-amp > Kingrex QS-01 > Devore Fidelity Gibbon 7.1\'s

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I should add that the sound in Odyssey room was one of my favorites at RMAF regardless of price.

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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No, almost everything is in bounds at this point. In all honesty, I don't have a ton of money nor any rush, so I'm taking my time and doing research when I get a chance.

 

I actually own a pair of Merlin VSM-MMe speakers. They're very nice, actually. As you'd expect from a 2-way, they image really well, with a wide, deep soundstage that doesn't seem limited to their size or the size of the room they're in. The complaint I have is with bass. Even with the new (-ish) Super BAM module, they're not room-filling with their bass -- again, they're a two-way, so that would be something of a feat if they'd been able to pull it off. Anyway, in my "old" home office, a 13x11 room with 2 walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, the bass totally overloaded the room. In my "new" office (I've been banished to the basement), the bass simply gets lost. Of course, the basement is very open and about 5 times the size of the old office, so again, not a surprise.

 

So, my thought was to do one of to things. First, replace my speakers. I was leaning toward the Maggies -- love the sound -- but after "further review", I'm no longer convinced I have space for them to open up, at least, I can't see how the 20.1s will work. With the 3.6Rs, I can pull them 5' off the back wall, but I only have 13' to work with side-to-side, which would leave the speakers 2' from the sides and only 5' apart, edge to edge. Sure, they'll fit, but that's not a whole lot of room for fidgeting. Anyway, I haven't ruled them out, but I'm no longer as convinced.

 

As for the EP speakers, well, I've been a customer of Walter's for 2+ years now, and that entire time he's been selling me on the EPs. What's holding me back? Dunno. The one "pro" review out there says that the CS2 (not the 2.3) is "great for the price", which means what, exactly? There's something about the reports I read -- there's only so many of these things out in the world (Walter has sold, what, 40 of them in the last year and he's now it when it comes to dealers as he now owns the company), and of that 40, I can find 15 "reviews" that are less than thrilled with them or damn them with faint praise. They require bi-amping, which is annoying but not fatal. They require an outboard crossover, but use one that limited to 24/96 A-D/D-A, and is either noisy or unrefined depending on whether you mod it. The room correction features either work very well, or they don't -- and based on my understanding of what they're using to set the DSP cross-over to do, there are lots of more elegant (and seamless) solutions out there. The design is continually being revised -- the difference between the CS2 and the CS2.3 looks revolutionary not evolutionary, and there's a new tweeter and new crossover for the 2.3 that's been "coming" now for about 6 months -- which makes me think there's a CS2.5 right around the corner. And that the CS2.5 will be $7k+. And I just can't shake the feeling that the whole solution is only partially baked and now the primary designer is now off playing with computer audio-based cross-overs and digital room correction. And to to top it all off, I've never heard them -- and can't, unless I want to do a buy-to-try, which essentially costs me $500 for the privilege as Walter offers discounts if you're willing to waive the 30 day trial period. Anyway, none of this is confidence inspiring.

 

So, here's my current thinking: get a pair of Velodyne DD-12s and run a separate run of cables off the binding posts on my Ars Sonum EL-34 based integrated into the subs' high-level ins. Should I, at some point in the future, decide to upgrade to a pair of Maggies, I can shoot for the 3.6R and use the subs to round out their bottom end. Like I said, that's the current thinking. It'll at least be cheaer than the EPs!

 

For the "eventual solution" of a full range speaker, I'm liking the Vandy 5A right now, even though it's ugly as sin and I can't figure out how to audition them -- no local dealer -- and ditto that for the DeVore Silverbacks. The big Maggies are pretty much out for space reasons, but I'm still considering the 3.6Rs (are they going to rev them soon, I wonder). The Focus Audio seem interesting, but I'm not seriously considering them as, again, I have no way to audition them.

 

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Does anyone have experience with assembled speakers by Selah Audio? Designs include floorstanding loudspeakers, bookshelf speakers and line arrays.

 

Here is a link to the line array section at Selah Audio: http://www.selahaudio.com/id73.html

 

Scot,

 

Given your general requirements and deep 40’ room, I’m thinking that line arrays may be worth looking into.

 

Below are two links that explore the line array approach:

http://www.roger-russell.com/columns/columns.htm (by Roger Russell, formerly Director of Acoustic Research at McIntosh); and,

http://www.meyersound.com/support/papers/line_array_theory.htm

 

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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I am on a speaker hunt too. Along the way, stuff i've heard (all above my budget) and been impressed by were

 

AvantGarde Uno nano

Rockport Mira

PMC Eb1i - very nice low end

 

I heard Sonus Fabers a long time ago - they made me sit and listen for quite a while I remember. And they look amazing......unlike Audio Note An-Es which i hope to audition one of these weekends

 

 

 

[br]Mac Mini > Lio-8 > Graaf Gm-20 > Stax ESL-F83x[br]Ipod / Wadia Dock / Wadia 830 > ULN-2 > Krell KAV400xi > B&W 805

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Scot, have you heard any of the Mark & Daniel line? Since it's another line that Walter sells I'm wondering if you've ever discussed these with him. 6moons has positive things to say about a number of their models.

 

Best,

 

Bob

 

BPT 3.5 Ultra/Reference 3A Reflectors/MSB Technology S201 Amplifier/MSB Technology Analog DAC/MSB Technology Network Renderer/Audirvana +

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I think their monitors won a blue moon award for 2009?

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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I have heard a lot of the speakers you are talking about here:

 

Focus FP-90: I love the Focus speakers, the FP-90s would probably fit the bill for you, they are high resolution while still being well balanced (not bright) and with good bass response. They will work best with 150-250 watts of clean solid state amp.

Avalon Indras: a superb, but demanding speaker. BTW, the Indras are designed to always be listened to with the grills on-these speakers are at the expensive end of your list, and are a little bass shy in most installations-IMO to get the best performance out of the Indras would require at least one really good sub, and one cannot get away with a mediocre sub with the Indras. The Indras definately need to be well away from any walls, the more space they get, the better the soundstaging (properly set up they are staging and imaging champs). Indras also prefer solid state power, 150 watts is enough, as the long as the amp is capable of high current output (must achieve 300 watts into 4 ohms). This is a very revealing speaker ( a little higher resolution than the Focus FP-90) and it will tell you everything about the associated components. I would not call the Indra bright though, as long as the connected gear is up to the task the Indra is a great speaker.

Sophia II: Another speaker I love in a good set up, well balanced, with lots of bass, and high resolution. Sophias seem to do well a little closer to the sidewalls, with lots of toe in (kind of the opposite position to the Indras with respect to the sidewalls). The Sophia II was my favorite Wilson, but now the Sasha brings Sophia qualities to the Watt/Puppy level. If you cannot live with the dispersion of the Sophia II then it is not the speaker for you. No need for a sub with the S II.

Maggies: Well, these are amazing at what they do well, high resolution, true timbre, and dynamic expression. For me they fall down at high volumes, and they are not among the best for image palpability. I like rock/jazz/classical and world music, and I like it loud, so the Maggies are not for me-but like I said, they are amazing at what they do well. They do like power and current drive, and have been known to kill lesser amps.

Of all the speakers mentioned, the Indras are the most likely to amaze, but only in a near perfect system, and to get deep bass you really need to add at least one, very good, sub. For less money, and great balance with all kinds of music, the Focus FP-90 is a great speaker.

Ultimately, unfortunately, I think you are asking a lot to get true "full range" performance around $15K. You can get very good speakers that have real response (in room) to about 30-35 Hz. at this price.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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