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Newbie to high end speakers needs help

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Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby Jason Simpson » 11 Nov 2017 02:05

Hey guys,

Due to my old set of speakers finally quitting out on me I find myself in need of a new set of speakers. I'm relatively new to the world of high end audio so I was hoping that you guys could give me some advice and point me in the right direction.

I've never owned a pair of high end speakers before. My current set up includes a new Rega RP2 & Lehmann Audio Black Cube Phono Stage.

If I had to say I have a budget I'd prefer to keep it under $1000 Canadian but I realize that might be difficult to do. I'm pretty much at a loss here. I listen to quite a lot of classic rock, folk, country, blue grass & occasionally some heavy metal.

I've heard good things about companies like Bowers & Wilkins, JBL & Pardagrim but that's about the extent of my speaker knowledge. I have no idea if I should try to by used or new, what brands to be on the look for & what style of speaker to look for. I'm also guessing I'd have to buy a receiver of some sort to go along with the speakers and I'm at a bit of a loss there as well.

I know it's a lot to ask but any help or recommendations that you guys can offer would be really appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby tobyKenobi » 11 Nov 2017 09:00

Don't know if you have a friendly local hi-fi shop but when I bought my Castles I auditioned them at home for a few days. What speakers are best for you can depend on your room/listening area.
Rega Planar 3, RB300, Linn K9; Arcam 8SE CD; aged Sony amp; Rega Kytes; Castle Severn IIs
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby kb007 » 11 Nov 2017 14:26

Biggest question is what amp are you using? What part of the country are you in?

For a grand, look around and see if you can find a nice used pair of Totem Model 1s. Unless you're running low wattage SETs, you will enjoy.

You may also want to think ahead, are you vehemently opposed to a Sub, or are you OK with one if it helps give you better results?

Lastly, what type of music do you tend to listen to? Lot's of heavy metal or Norwegian death metal? or are you a jazz fan? or is Opera and symphonies your groove?
Main: JMLab Mezzo Utopias, Oracle Delphi Mk 1/6, SME309, Sumiko Celebration, AR CD3, Sutherland Insight, Moon P5, AR Ref-75 Sec: Rega P6/RB2K Lim Iso base, Acrylic skeletal plinth/braces, dbl pulley, gt sub, DV 17D3, Anthem AVM60, Krell 402e, , 2X Anthem MCA50, Acoustech PH-1, Totem Mani-2
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby TudorTurtle » 11 Nov 2017 15:25

I went to the NY Audio show yesterday. Along with all the exotics, I listened to the Cambridge Audio Aeromax speakers. They were amazing. IMO, the best bookshelf speakers at the show. They were $600 US/pair, and I listened to $11,000/pair that were much prettier and glossier but not better sounding.
The towers are $1,300 a pair, but I didn't get to hear them.
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby helomech » 11 Nov 2017 17:48

I normally don't care much for B&W, but they are good for rock. You'd be best off finding a lightly used pair of speakers. With $1000 budget, you can likely find a $2k retail pair in great condition. Check out listings on Canuck Audio Mart. There's a mind boggling number of brands out there. Nest thing you can do is try to audition some various models somewhere.

As for receivers, you'd be hard pressed to find something better than a Yamaha R-S500 or A-S500 if on a tight budget. They're versatile, can drive a wide range of speakers, and sound great. The A-S501 has a built-in DAC but is a little more expensive. I suggest checking out the Steve Hoffman forums as well, a lot of friendly advice there.
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby analogaudio » 11 Nov 2017 20:17

There is a maker of excellent speakers in Canada, PSB, their products should be on your shortlist http://www.psbspeakers.com/
Ted

Technics SL1600mk2, Ortofon VMS30, modified TEAC AH500 as a preamp, Bryston 4B ST amp, Harbeth M40 speakers, all making musical magic :-)
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby katana1100 » 12 Nov 2017 18:28

If you have ceilings that are 8’ or higher...for that much you can get a used set of acoustat 2+2 or better. Nothing
is like the sound of an electrostatic speaker. Imagine a moving diaphragm that weighs less than the air that it moves.
Very life like. I got mine for less than you want to spend.
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby reynolds617 » 13 Nov 2017 03:42

You may want to at least audition some Paradigms. Not sure what their lineup looks like nowadays, but I loved my setup I bought about 15 years ago for both music and movies. Good value for money.
Rega Planar 3 (2016), white belt
Hana EH cartridge
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KEF LS50 (white/blue) speakers
HIFIMAN HE-400i headphones
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Re: Newbie to high end speakers needs help

Postby jackie » 13 Nov 2017 19:02

When it comes to speakers you really must visit a proper hifi store and listen to as many as you can, if you can take some music with you that you know really well, we all have different ears and it is vital you audition first.
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