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Looking for a 3rd option for 8" stand mount passive speakers (~$1500 us retail with stands)

Pareto Pragmatic

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I just don't know the market very well at this price point, and I really like to consider 3 options for this kind of purchase.

I am looking to add some stand mounts to our main room. These will be set up and taken down each use (use meaning 4-6+ hours). Initially, they will be driven by a Fosi v3, but I do plan on a total budget of $3000 for speakers, stands, and a new amp.

I would like to be able to use these without a sub, or with. I have a lot of room gain, so as long as they dig down into the 50s I should be good for both use cases.

Room, 13'x33'x9.5' tall, but open to another double of that volume in the rest of the house after the first 13" where the speakers will live. Speaker will be set up around 9 feet into that space, as that is a great spot for any speakers. They can, of course, be pulled out less if need be, but they will be pretty far out in the room most likely.

I don't think 6.5" drivers will do the trick. Not that I have found for the price of $1500. Certainly Kef R3 Meta would, but that's a much bigger (and 3 way) speaker than an Elac DBR62 (which won't play quite loud enough before distortion). More money too, but if I were to go with full 3k budget just for speakers and stands, Kef R3 meta and Sourcepoint 8s would be on my list. That's not likely, but I might go that route. I like the Fosi, I can live with it for a long time before an upgrade.

I have two options in mind right now. Wharfedale Lintons, 1500 (grills on, wish it were not the case) with stands. Monitor Silver 100s, which would be close to that. Of the two, the Lintons are a bit more attractive to me in terms of measurement and what people have said about the sound. They would also look like a smaller version of our current AV speakers, wood box on top of square stand, so they would fit the decor. But at 40+lbs, pretty heavy to lift up and down, and pretty big to tuck out of the way. The Silvers are half the weight, and easier to place out of sight when not in use. And they will see a lot of use, at least weekly, likely more like 2-3 times a week.

Measurement wise, I want to avoid any boost in the 80-130 region, and I would like something that is flat through the 1500-2000hz region. No horns please, I have horns, I like horns, I want something different this time. A bit of boosted high end is not a deal breaker, my room tends to eat treble.

So any advice on something with an 8" driver (2 way or 3) or even a 6.5 with a larger cabinet that will play at 96db at 1 meter without significant distortion problems are welcome. I believe that's the level that is commonly used in measurements on this site.

Also welcome, anyone who wants to suggest ways to spend the entire 3k on speakers, stands, and amp. Because I am not wedded to any given plan at this point. I'm just trying to plan.
 

bodhi

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Check the Arendal 1723 THX monitors. They are big, but build quality is excellent and with proper finish should fit in many rooms.

A bit more expensive, but the sure could play pretty loud. There is also the bookshelf model, but don't know about it's SPL capability, would assume it's "enough".
 

staticV3

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If it must be passive, then I would consider the Philharmonic BMR Monitor and Ascend's Sierra line as well:
https://philharmonicaudio.com/BMR.html
https://ascendacoustics.com/collections/sierra-series-pairs

However, do not underestimate active monitors. Perfect example:
The Swissonic A306 is way smaller than the Linton
(https://comparesizes.com/comparison/Swissonic-A306-vs-Wharfedale-Linton/1706278864066)
yet it plays about as deep:
Screenshot_20240126-152411_Chrome.png

with less harmonic distortion at 96dB SPL:
Thomann Swissonic A306 Harmonic Distortion (96dB @ 1m).png Wharfedale Linton 85 Harmonic Distortion (96dB @ 1m).png

and less compression:
Thomann Swissonic A306_Compression.png Wharfedale Linton 85 (Grille On)_Compression.png

Oh and it cost like 1/4 of the Linton when it was still available.

All that to say: going active has some serious advantages.
 

napilopez

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I know you said that you don't want a boost in the 80-130 region, but I do think the JBL L82 are another option to consider. At 28lb, they're at least more manageable than the lintons. They are probably my favorite sub-$3000 speakers I've listened to extensively, and they're probably the only speakers I've ever thought look better with the grilled on than off (also have minimal acoustic effect than can be mitigated by the HF knob on the unit). Of course, that is definitely subjective.

Edit: Forgot to ask whether you mind buying open box or used. They go for $2750 , but I often see them below $2,000 open box.

Here is harman's spinorama:
1706278861521.png


Here is my own quasi-anechoic one which at least confirms performance:

1706279158138.png


It seems you have a good idea of what bass works in your room, but I wouldn't dismiss these immediately because of the bass boost. My impression of them was actually as being a bit on the leaner side overall. Also, since you would be keeping the grilles on, you could simply consider plugging the port, which would lower that bump and increase sub-bass extension slightly.

More measurements and discussion in this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...l82-classic-spinorama-and-measurements.15466/
 
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mj30250

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Ascend Sierra LX doesn't have an 8" woofer but has impressive bass extension and power handling for its size class. It's also right at your budget per pair, sans stands.

Sierra_LX_CEA-2034.png
'

index.php
 
OP
Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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Check the Arendal 1723 THX monitors. They are big, but build quality is excellent and with proper finish should fit in many rooms.

A bit more expensive, but the sure could play pretty loud. There is also the bookshelf model, but don't know about it's SPL capability, would assume it's "enough".

I was not considering MTM designs to be honest, I think they will always cause issues in my room. This speaker looks good, but you are right it is a bit more expensive than I was looking at. I have to consider more whether or not a new amp will be wanted, or deferred, that's for sure.

Looking at directivity issues in Amir's review, likely best for me to stay away from MTM designs given my ceiling situation.
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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If it must be passive, then I would consider the Philharmonic BMR Monitor and Ascend's Sierra line as well:
https://philharmonicaudio.com/BMR.html
https://ascendacoustics.com/collections/sierra-series-pairs

However, do not underestimate active monitors. Perfect example:
The Swissonic A306 is way smaller than the Linton
(https://comparesizes.com/comparison/Swissonic-A306-vs-Wharfedale-Linton/1706278864066)
yet it plays about as deep:
View attachment 345169

with less harmonic distortion at 96dB SPL:
View attachment 345165 View attachment 345168

and less compression:
View attachment 345166 View attachment 345167

Oh and it cost like 1/4 of the Linton when it was still available.

All that to say: going active has some serious advantages.
When I was looking with a lower budget, I briefly looked at both ascend and philharmonic, but not in depth. The ascend lx and the phil both look better to me than the Monitor Silver at first glance, and the Phils are beautiful. More research on those two is certainly in order!

I have nothing against active speakers, but I have decided to stay passive so I can hook these up to my two amp/two speaker switch easily, and not have to change my habits.

Thanks!
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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I know you said that you don't want a boost in the 80-130 region, but I do think the JBL L82 are another option to consider.
My wife would love those. They would likely sound like a cleaner version of what we have now for our AV speakers. But that bass boost is a deal breaker for me.
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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Ascend Sierra LX doesn't have an 8" woofer but has impressive bass extension and power handling for its size class. It's also right at your budget per pair, sans stands.

The stands from Ascend I don't like, and would likely go another direction for those. They look too hard to grab and move.

Definitely the LX, not the 2EX looks the way to go for me.
 

ZolaIII

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One way or the other you will get back to Linton's but remember cuple of things. They are back ported and deep under 4 Ohms but able to give 100 dB on 1 m (each), sensitivity is just average (86~87 dB per W) so you will need amplifier that is not load dependent and can give serious power regarding output. Ideal crossover is 80 Hz and preferably with plugged port and that way they can pass with one sub you already have. Do use or at least try equally loudness normalisation (preferably ISO 226 2003 or newer).
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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One way or the other you will get back to Linton's but remember cuple of things. They are back ported and deep under 4 Ohms but able to give 100 dB on 1 m (each), sensitivity is just average (86~87 dB per W) so you will need amplifier that is not load dependent and can give serious power regarding output. Ideal crossover is 80 Hz and preferably with plugged port and that way they can pass with one sub you already have. Do use or at least try equally loudness normalisation (preferably ISO 226 2003 or newer).
I think the fosi with a 48v supply will handle things for the time, whichever way I go, power wise.

Right now I am at the a>b>c>a point with preferences, so nothing is really bubbling up to the top. I have time to think, so eventually things will sort out.

Vienna: seems it has a strength of wide soundstage, which I don't need, but a bit less detail in some ways. So it kind of plays to the strengths I have in the room. Plus I would really want the nicer cabinets, then we are getting into the higher price category for sure.

Ascend Sierra LX: the only thing that gives me pause here is the size. The cabinet would be the smallest of the linton/monitor/ascend options. I am definitely not happy with the "presence" of speakers with 5.25 drivers. So I am wondering how that long throw 6" would affect things compared to a conventional 6"? More "presence"? Same?
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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Is sealing the port not an option for you?
I generally let the speaker designers decisions stand on that issue. Just like I would play the linton's with the grills on, because of the design, even though I prefer grills off for all my current and past speakers.
 

ZolaIII

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@Pareto Pragmatic I really don't want to explain physics to a professor of it.
It's about amplifier damping factor, load dependance and low impedance (high Amperage) loads not power W output per se. Future more you said you played a lot with DSP processing in the past and you will certainly need a lot of it in such room disreging how good speakers measure in quasy open field. Plugin ports with foam ain't the same thing as sealed box it just cut's off port cuff, doing so with cork plugs is more to it (getting close to 12 dB per octave slow rool off). That fixes difference between you and your lady preference with/without sub. Speaker designers try to pull out more from with what they have to work not best or most optimal. With sealed box you apply correction directly to woofer response so it translate better and direct with port you are not doing that on the bottom end, you don't get true tones and so on and on.
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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@Pareto Pragmatic I really don't want to explain physics to a professor of it.
It's about amplifier damping factor, load dependance and low impedance (high Amperage) loads not power W output per se. Future more you said you played a lot with DSP processing in the past and you will certainly need a lot of it in such room disreging how good speakers measure in quasy open field. Plugin ports with foam ain't the same thing as sealed box it just cut's off port cuff, doing so with cork plugs is more to it (getting close to 12 dB per octave slow rool off). That fixes difference between you and your lady preference with/without sub. Speaker designers try to pull out more from with what they have to work not best or most optimal. With sealed box you apply correction directly to woofer response so it translate better and direct with port you are not doing that on the bottom end, you don't get true tones and so on and on.
Not a physics professor, social sciences. Pareto optimization has a lot of social applications. The pragmatic part is philosophical pragmatism. As in I don't seek perfection, just good enough. I am often quite happy with spending 20% to get 80% of results, and hate to spend 80% to get the last 20% improvement. I'm a satisficer, not a maximizer.

But I was a physics major, and my HS physics teacher included acoustics as a unit for all 3 years. Which was mostly more and more complicated speaker placement problems. So I am no expert, but I can wade through things if I want. With audio, that is usually just a bit to understand the basics, but not pursuing the fine details. I am not very strong when it comes to electronics though, I know more about plasma physics. Which is rarely useful in audio.

One of my main reasons for adding stand mounts to the room is to get them easily placed in a spot where I don't need much correction, dsp or otherwise. And I won't, that I know about my room.

You did say I would come back to the lintons, and if these would be the only speakers in the room, I would not be asking about other speakers. I would love to move or even sell our current av speakers (vintage heresies, on stands and level, recapped, new drivers and modified mid horn) but my wife loves them. The lintons would be perfect replacements and upgrade, for sound and they would fit the decor perfectly.

I want the lintons, it's just that moving them 2-3 times a week is going to get old sooner or later. And finding a place for them when not in use might be hard, if I want to keep them near their playing position.

Right now I would go linton, but an hour ago it was Ascend, and a half hour ago it was Monitor. I think I need to mock up a linton sized cardboard box to see where they can fit when not in use, and do some lifting and moving of something boxy and 40lbs. That should help me clarify the "living with them" questions I have.
 

b7676

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Thought of the goldenear brx, the Q audio tensegrity stands (i don't understand their bookshelf lineup), and the kali santa monica which should have news on an 8 inch before spring.
 

napilopez

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I generally let the speaker designers decisions stand on that issue. Just like I would play the linton's with the grills on, because of the design, even though I prefer grills off for all my current and past speakers.

Fair enough, although I do think the Harman designers all understand that bass is extremely room dependent and merits experimentation! Anyway, the Lintons do see like an excellent choice. Best of luck with whatever you end up with!
 

ooheadsoo

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I thought I would prefer the Ascend 2EX but ended up preferring the LX by a wide margin. The LX sounded large in Ascend's demo room.
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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Thought of the goldenear brx, the Q audio tensegrity stands (i don't understand their bookshelf lineup), and the kali santa monica which should have news on an 8 inch before spring.
I looked at the goldenear, rejected it pretty quickly for some reason I don't remember.

The Q stands are VERY cool! Kind of pricey for me though. I had thought long and hard about the Concept 30, but it's a bit small. The 3030i was on my list when I was thinking lower price point.

So very on target suggestions, thanks!
 
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Pareto Pragmatic

Pareto Pragmatic

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I thought I would prefer the Ascend 2EX but ended up preferring the LX by a wide margin. The LX sounded large in Ascend's demo room.

I ended up looking for subjective impressions on this, and people generally do say the LX sounds big. As in, "I don't like small speakers, but this one..."

I've decided to toss the Linton off the list. It's definitely a great speaker and great deal, for a do everything well speaker. But once I realized I don't care about doing everything, I only care about one thing, that made things clear. All these have to do is play good recordings well for me sitting in one spot. They don't have to fill the house, they don't have to be able to be changed to get different types of sound (I do sometimes like a wall of sound and a soundstage blowing out the sidewalls), they don't have to play well with lesser recordings.

Plus after a quick box mock up, there really is no way for me to move the Lintons out of the way when not in use. They are just to big. And I am not moving them to another room between sessions, that's for sure.

So I am now 99% I'm going with the Sierra LX. It checks all the boxes. Maybe summer, maybe March, likely March.

Talking it through has been a big help in letting me figure out why I was stuck, and finding the right speaker for me this time around. So thanks to all who helped, even suggesting things I have already considered helped, in that I was able to review my wants for this particular speaker.
 
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