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Please Advise - Choosing between Elac DBR-62 and Polk Reserve A200

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I'm a relative newbie to this wondrous hobby. I want to expand beyond listening exclusively through headphones. I've been using D90SE and A90 with Aeon II Noires. I love detail. I love being awed by quality, not quantity.

I will interchangeably power whichever speakers with Aiyima A-07 and Topping PA-3s. I'm waiting on a Topping PA-7 or PA-9.

Someday, after fantasy future power amp is bought, I will wind up with Revel M106s.

I want my walk to be a stepped training journey up towards sonic heaven.

I now listen to AudioEngine 5+.

Masters: IYHO: which would make for a logical interim next step: the Polks or the Elacs? Both now sell for a retail price of about $700/pair.

Thank you - I'm serious about my gratitude as well as my journey!

Jonathan
 

ROOSKIE

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Howdy. I wasn't a huge fan of the DBR62's.
I have the Polk's here now and again not a huge fan.
Don't get me wrong both sets are very decent but neither really grabbed me.

Honestly I prefer my JBL 530's to both. Grab a set for under $300 on sale right now.
 

sdiver68

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You've picked 2 of the very best at that price point. Its not a quality decision, simply 1 of preference.

By the preference score numbers, the R200 scores higher...in fact right up there with some of the best studio monitors.

But preference score isn't everything.
 
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3125b

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I guess that kind of depends on your local prices, over here the Elac are 1/3 cheaper (500€ vs. 750€), in the US that might be very different.
Apart from that the Polks are probably the slightly better speakers and I prefer their look, but be aware that they are very deep and with the rear port will likely need to be placed a little further from the wall than the front ported Elac.
If they fit your needs you won't be going wrong with either, they are both well designed speakers.

Here is a size comparison: https://comparesizes.com/comparison...s-Audioengine-A5-active-speaker/1640590107717
 
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ROOSKIE

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To many people replying to you OP who have not heard or seen them in person.
I highly suggest that if this is now a hobby for you, you hobby up. Buy both sets and listen and return the ones you decide not to keep.
I would also again suggest trying a couple more speaker sets that again have a decent return policy.
There is more variation in speakers than you might think. Even if you look at only the data you can see how compared with an amp or DAC speakers vary wildly. Not to mention there are some characteristics that the data is not quite able to translate. I have found subjective experience of the speaker is also required. And as a newer listener you won't yet know what you like yet and what to look for in the data to find speakers that may have it.
Remember that data or score can bias you in ways just like any other "impressive" trait.

You've picked 2 of the very best at that price point. Its not a quality decision, simply 1 of preference.

By the preference score numbers, the R200 scores higher...in fact right up there with some of the best studio monitors.

But preference score isn't everything.

Yah that Harman score. It is an okay starting point but I think it is in need of something.
My current favorite commercial monitor speakers received a 3.7 and I have them tweaked just slightly via PEQ and so they'd score maybe 5.0.
They sound better to me than the R200 in every conceivable way, simply a better sounding experience. I deff enjoyed music enough on the R200 but in no way would I keep them over several other speakers I prefer. It is not really close between some of them.
I also just also compared them with the JBL 570, small floorstanders. Again no chance I'd take the R200's over those. None. I don't have any idea what the 570's would score.

Anyway OP, I do find the R200 to be generally nice sounding speakers. I no longer have the ELAC DBR's here but based off my memory of how I felt about them at the time I had them, choosing between these two sets might really come down to looks and price due to a fairly similar overall sound. If you can get a deal on one set vs the other.
 

Steve Dallas

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Buy the Revel M106s now and enjoy them until you can buy that fantasy amp. Trading up through speakers is a recipe for wasting money, although you do gain some useful experience that way.
 
OP
J
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It's 9:27AM PST in CA, USA - I've just completed reading each of the responsive posts placed by my fellow enthusiasts and am both humbled and grateful. Thank you all!
 

sdiver68

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To many people replying to you OP who have not heard or seen them in person.
I highly suggest that if this is now a hobby for you, you hobby up. Buy both sets and listen and return the ones you decide not to keep.
I would also again suggest trying a couple more speaker sets that again have a decent return policy.
There is more variation in speakers than you might think. Even if you look at only the data you can see how compared with an amp or DAC speakers vary wildly. Not to mention there are some characteristics that the data is not quite able to translate. I have found subjective experience of the speaker is also required. And as a newer listener you won't yet know what you like yet and what to look for in the data to find speakers that may have it.
Remember that data or score can bias you in ways just like any other "impressive" trait.



Yah that Harman score. It is an okay starting point but I think it is in need of something.
My current favorite commercial monitor speakers received a 3.7 and I have them tweaked just slightly via PEQ and so they'd score maybe 5.0.
They sound better to me than the R200 in every conceivable way, simply a better sounding experience. I deff enjoyed music enough on the R200 but in no way would I keep them over several other speakers I prefer. It is not really close between some of them.
I also just also compared them with the JBL 570, small floorstanders. Again no chance I'd take the R200's over those. None. I don't have any idea what the 570's would score.

Anyway OP, I do find the R200 to be generally nice sounding speakers. I no longer have the ELAC DBR's here but based off my memory of how I felt about them at the time I had them, choosing between these two sets might really come down to looks and price due to a fairly similar overall sound. If you can get a deal on one set vs the other.

Truth in many ways.

Good floorstanders will almost always sound better than monitors without a sub. So add ~$500 to the cost of monitors for a decent active sub but potentially subtract from amplification needs.
 

Prana Ferox

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For what it's worth, I was a bit concerned reading through the DBR62 thread and seeing people complain of QA issues that audibly affected the sound. I felt more confident of Polk's QA and bought a pair of R200s instead. That may or may not be a concern for you.
 

More Dynamics Please

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I also just also compared them with the JBL 570, small floorstanders. Again no chance I'd take the R200's over those. None. I don't have any idea what the 570's would score.
You've mentioned a couple of times now that you've tried the Studio 570 but haven't really said anything about how it compares to the 530. Knowing how much you like the 530 it would be interesting to get your impressions of how the 570 compares. Is there enough performance gain from the second 5.25" woofer, larger cabinet and beefier compression driver to make the 570 worth twice the cost of the 530?
 

ROOSKIE

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You've mentioned a couple of times now that you've tried the Studio 570 but haven't really said anything about how it compares to the 530. Knowing how much you like the 530 it would be interesting to get your impressions of how the 570 compares. Is there enough performance gain from the second 5.25" woofer, larger cabinet and beefier compression driver to make the 570 worth twice the cost of the 530?
Howdy, yah I have not yet truly compared those two, mostly comparing them to other stuff but not yet to each other.
It is on my list to spend at least one full evening really diving into what the benefits of the extra size and extra woofer really are and do a lot of switching back and forth between the 530 and 570.
I am still going through a bunch of comparing speakers and developing some ideas about what I really value first and foremost and what I am less interested in.
Based on what I know right now the 570 is deff able to play a bit louder without strain vs the 530, and does have more bass impact. It easily has more bass and impact vs the R200 or really just about any stand mount speaker I've heard. It sounds like a much more powerful speaker. I do prefer both the 530 and 570 to the R200, both just sound bigger and more to my taste so since both cost less than the very nice Polk then both are a very good deal. I think the R200 is a very nice speaker but I just can't see quite why it is getting all the 5star subjective press and mind blown reviews. I do understand that it has measured well as well, never the less I just find it is a speaker that basically sounds good but not grippingly good, of course different folks are going to feel differently from me.

The listening room size is a factor as well as whether subs will be involved. I think both the 570 and 530 benefit from sub reinforcement especially as the HP frees the woofers from heavy hitting duty.

In any case I will report back more on a 530 vs 570 head to head once I do a proper one. I will also be testing them with subs and without.

Yes, it is almost double for the 570. The speaker is physically so much bigger that producing it and shipping it around add up. That said at this point the prices are so low for both that I can easily recommend them both. $400 a pair for the 570 is a steal. While I likely never would have paid full price in the beginning, I now would be willing to. Really. Same goes for the 530 which I originally had as a fluke. As of right now I have to recommend both of these speakers to anyone in the market as long as the look works.
I should say that for me it is one thing if a $400 speaker costs double a $200 vs a $10,000 speaker costing double a $5000 one. I know there are folks with budgets to consider but a $200 difference is so much different vs a $5000 one.
 

Walter

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Also consider the Revel M16. It can be purchased at many dealers for about $700.
 
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