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Requesting help choosing my first floor-standing speakers


Smaug1
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I'm just moving into my house. Finally, I can crank it without complaints.

My living/listening room is 18 x 12' (6x4 m), thick carpet, as shown.

My amp is an Onkyo 9050. Stereo, 75 W/ch. Nice & clean output, but not a ton of power. I don't want a sub again, but I'm satisfied with the bass from the current "bookshelf" speakers.

 

My current speakers are Klipsch RP-160M. ( I love them; they sound great. However, there are two reasons I think I'm ready to go to towers:

  1. When they're cranked up and a bass beat hits, the mids seem to be lost a bit. I listen to everything from 80s pop, to metal to classical.
  2. I'm at the point where I need to find some really BIG speaker stands for them, as the spare dining table chairs are just not going to cut it. Rather than dropping money on big speaker stands, I figured this is a good time to upgrade to towers, and either store the RP-160Ms or sell them and get spanked.

 

My amp is an Onkyo A-9050; 75 W/ch

I listen to mostly classical, rock and folk music. Source will be CD, phono and occasionally streamed through Bluetooth. (I know, I know)

This rig will only be for stereo music, not home theater

 

The ones I'm looking at so far are:

  • Klipsch RP-280F, but might be too big for my room, since it has to be placed 1-2' away from the wall, they would stick out and be in the way. They're also really stretching the budget, but I'm sure the bass would satisfy. (Treble is never a concern for Klipsch, I think.) One thing I liked about my current Klipsch speakers is they don't need to be cranked up to sound good, and these are even MORE sensitive.
  • Klipsch RP-4000F, but I'm a bit concerned about 4" woofers being up to the job. Will they sound smaller than my current bookshelf speakers with the 6-1/2" woofer? I don't want to lose any bass.
  • Elac Debut 2.0 F5.2. For this one, the reviews are just what I like to see, and I like the idea of the 3-way design so the mids don't get lost, but the woofers are only 5-1/4" and I'm a bit worried about the lower sensitivity (86 dB vs 98 in the Klipsch) Will my amp have enough power to drive them properly?
  • Polk Signature S55. I like the idea of the downward firing port with reverse horn, so they don't have to be pushed away from the wall. That will make a big difference, since my room has those protruding walls at the sides of the area where the speakers will go.

 

Others I should consider for $400 or less apiece?

 

Thoughts on my concerns?

 

Thanks!

 

-Jeremy

 

LivingRoom Setup.jpg

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I ordered the Polks. Amazon had them refurbed, which saved $140 and I had a Prime kickback I could apply too.

 

I read some more reviews, and there were several people who said the Klipsch RP-4000F needed a sub to have properly deep bass.

 

The Klipsch RP-280F are too big, as they would be sticking way out into the room if I position them like they say to. (at least 2 ft. from the wall)

 

If I find the mids lacking on the Polks, I may just return them and get the Elacs, but I think the Polks will hit harder.

 

My TV is going in the family room, and I'll have a simple setup there: TV, sound bar w/sub, Roku and BlueRay player on a small stand.

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You may not get any satisfaction until you replace the amp.. the quality of the design matters and there are a lot of inexpensive amps with no "toe tapping" engagement, even if you spend a lot on the speaker.

 

Consider a NAD C316BEE V2 if the Polk doesn't float your boat, pretty sure it can breath new life into the Klipsh you already have. Bought one for my son, worked well with both the KEF LS50's and my Magnepan 1.7's, not as solid in the bass as the Hafler I use but good mid range and sparkle in the treble.  And unlike the 1985 NAD 3020 I had, the buttons don't fire off into space.

 

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C316V2/NAD-C316BEE-V2.html?tp=34948

 

Low bass is expensive, requires watts and good drivers. If you like the Klipsch an active  REL subwoofer might be a more certain path.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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On 10/8/2021 at 11:37 PM, davide256 said:

You may not get any satisfaction until you replace the amp.. the quality of the design matters and there are a lot of inexpensive amps with no "toe tapping" engagement, even if you spend a lot on the speaker.

 

Consider a NAD C316BEE V2 if the Polk doesn't float your boat, pretty sure it can breath new life into the Klipsh you already have. Bought one for my son, worked well with both the KEF LS50's and my Magnepan 1.7's, not as solid in the bass as the Hafler I use but good mid range and sparkle in the treble.  And unlike the 1985 NAD 3020 I had, the buttons don't fire off into space.

 

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C316V2/NAD-C316BEE-V2.html?tp=34948

 

Low bass is expensive, requires watts and good drivers. If you like the Klipsch an active  REL subwoofer might be a more certain path.

 

Well, take a look at the specs on my Onkyo; I assure you, it's no slouch. It's not a mass market A/V receiver:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580A9050/Onkyo-A-9050.html

 

  • It has 0.08% THD vs. 0.03% on the NAD (NAD and Yamaha seem to be class-leading, here)
  • It has 110 dB signal:noise vs. 100 on the NAD
  • It's almost twice as powerful as the NAD

The speakers sound great. Plenty of bass; I need to turn it down sometimes from the "straight through" setting with certain types of music. I guess home theater guys want harder hits, but I don't need it, even with thumping bass music. 

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20 hours ago, Smaug1 said:

 

Well, take a look at the specs on my Onkyo; I assure you, it's no slouch. It's not a mass market A/V receiver:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580A9050/Onkyo-A-9050.html

 

  • It has 0.08% THD vs. 0.03% on the NAD (NAD and Yamaha seem to be class-leading, here)
  • It has 110 dB signal:noise vs. 100 on the NAD
  • It's almost twice as powerful as the NAD

The speakers sound great. Plenty of bass; I need to turn it down sometimes from the "straight through" setting with certain types of music. I guess home theater guys want harder hits, but I don't need it, even with thumping bass music. 

What you are saying reminds me of the naivete I had in the 70's and 80's buying Pioneer and Yamaha gear.

Amps drive real life loads and the quality of the design and speaker match  determines whether the sound is life like or just another "hifi" wannabe experience.

Reading some of the articles on Nelson Pass's site may give you some insight into the actual factors that come into play mating an amp to a speaker.

 

https://www.firstwatt.com/

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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