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B&W 805

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#1
I had a listen to these since they are supposed to be state of the art but found them too bright and just poor sound overall. What are the best two way monitors currently? How does the Sb acoustics ara compare with these high end standmounts?
 

andreasmaaan

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#3
Not surprising they sound a little bright given the measurements.

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I can't find measurements of the Ara, so it's hard to say how they would compare. The drivers are high-quality but the enclosure and crossover are more important. SB is a reputable brand so you'd expect them to be well-designed, but without measurements there are no guarantees.
 

617

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#4
Measurements here:
http://www.sbacoustics.com/index.php/download_file/-/view/1666/

Measurements taken in room are very good for a speaker of this kind. I would expect this speaker to best the B&W in every way. A time aligned two way with a shallow, second order crossover at 3K will have very smooth off axis response. The woofer is what makes this possible - the Satori woofers are unique in how well they play at high frequencies.
 

andreasmaaan

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#5
One thing to keep in mind with a 2nd order crossover that high in frequency is that the vertical listening axis will be critical. So I wouldn't recommend these speakers if you don't have them set up so that your ears are bang on the tweeter axis, or if they are supposed to accommodate listeners at a range of different heights.

I would probably favour active monitors in this size/price range. What's your budget, listening room, and musical taste?
 

Ron Texas

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#6
At such a lofty price range, and weird high frequency bump, it shouldn't be hard to do better. No recommendations as I haven't been shopping for speakers for $6k, especially stand mounts.
 

daftcombo

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#7
Not surprising they sound a little bright given the measurements.

View attachment 25885 View attachment 25886

I can't find measurements of the Ara, so it's hard to say how they would compare. The drivers are high-quality but the enclosure and crossover are more important. SB is a reputable brand so you'd expect them to be well-designed, but without measurements there are no guarantees.
Is this is on-axis response, you could expect to tame brighness a bit though, by not toeing them and firing straight down the room.
 
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#8
At such a lofty price range, and weird high frequency bump, it shouldn't be hard to do better. No recommendations as I haven't been shopping for speakers for $6k, especially stand mounts.
Perhaps you should? nothing wrong with standmounts.
 

Ron Texas

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#9
Further thoughts: I can't imagine spending $1300 on a kit, unless building speakers from kits was a passion in itself. One might want to audition the Kef R3. It's only $2k for a pair and is sold at Magnolia in Best Buy, so you can find it even in Hi-Fi deserts like Houston. They are 3 way, but the size of 2 way stand mounts. Also look at Genelec for powered speakers, unless you already own first class electronics.
 
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#10
One thing to keep in mind with a 2nd order crossover that high in frequency is that the vertical listening axis will be critical. So I wouldn't recommend these speakers if you don't have them set up so that your ears are bang on the tweeter axis, or if they are supposed to accommodate listeners at a range of different heights.

I would probably favour active monitors in this size/price range. What's your budget, listening room, and musical taste?
Actives are in theory good but maybe not in practice. I heard psi audio active monitors that did not sound very nice. My musical taste is mainly modern pop and electronic. The budget could be $6k but I'm slightly dubious about spending so much.
 
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#13
I feel at that price range floor standing speakers offer better sound. With your musical tastes low bass is important and stand mounts don't have it without adding a sub.
I know that but its actually the higher frequencies above 2khz that I'm finding objectionable in most of the standmount speakers I've heard lately.
 

Ron Texas

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#14
The problem is, I heard the reference ones and they weren't good enough so I doubt the cheaper R3 would be.
That's fine, there are lots of possibilities. Look at Stereophile's list of recommended components under Class A limited low frequency and see what interests you.
 

Ron Texas

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#15
I know that but its actually the higher frequencies above 2khz that I'm finding objectionable in most of the standmount speakers I've heard lately.
If you don't like the highs in a floor standing speaker, it's likely you will not like stand mounts in the same product line.
 
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#16
That's fine, there are lots of possibilities. Look at Stereophile's list of recommended components under Class A limited low frequency and see what interests you.
the 805's were listed there despite lofty price range, and weird high frequency bump. Why?
 

invaderzim

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#17
Further thoughts: I can't imagine spending $1300 on a kit, unless building speakers from kits was a passion in itself.
I really enjoy building amps and speakers but the downside is you can't typically audition them before you 'buy' and the resale value is often nil. Granted with the Ara the cabinets and crossovers are pre-built so they may hold much better resale value.
 

Ron Texas

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#18
the 805's were listed there despite lofty price range, and weird high frequency bump. Why?
There is no accounting for taste. I just gave that list as a starting point. The LS50's (I have them) is there and are relatively cheap. The LS50 is bass shy and some people think they are too bright. They are now widely available from Magnolia. The only other one on the list I have heard is the Dynaudio. It isn't 4 times better than the LS50 and is large for a stand mount. Depending on where you live there is going to be a lot of choices to audition or not much more than Magnolia. Music Direct has a liberal return policy.
 

Ron Texas

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#19
I really enjoy building amps and speakers but the downside is you can't typically audition them before you 'buy' and the resale value is often nil. Granted with the Ara the cabinets and crossovers are pre-built so they may hold much better resale value.
One of the members around here who trades a lot told me speakers have very low resale value. Stuff has to have major name recognition like Mac, Audio Research or Levinson.
 

617

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#20
That's fine, there are lots of possibilities. Look at Stereophile's list of recommended components under Class A limited low frequency and see what interests you.
Yes, and on that list is the B&W speaker mentioned here, which has treble 5db elevated above the midrange. I'd imagine a lot of these speakers sound good but Stereophile is not a great resource if you want to get a lot of performance for your money.

The drivers in the SB kit are about as good as it gets, and the design, from what I can glean, integrates the drivers in a way which complements their unique performance characteristics.

Have a look at the Salk BMR Monitor.
 
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