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Speakers+amp recommendation

Fabian22

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Hello guys

I am seaching for a new stereo speakers+an amp.
I want to listen to music but also want to use the system for watching movies from time to time. The premises are this:

- listening room is about 60 squared meters (8x7.5) with a high ceiling of about 5m, and I'm listening from about 2.5-3 meters from both speakers
- budget is about 2000-2500$
- looking for some floorstanding speakers (don't have to look nice but to sound nice)
- bass as clean and as low as possible

Right now I own a pair of kef LSX and and B&W ASW610 for a small room of about 20 squared meters and it does the job just fine but I'm pretty sure that both the kefs and the sub will come short in a larger room.
I'm based in Europe and for the past 2 weeks, when my time allows me to I keep reading reviews and learning about some amps and spearkers.

I have come down so far to some options although if any of you know any other brands or models feel free to add it

- Wharfedale evo 4.4 (950$)
- Triangle borea br08(1000$) or br09 (1200$)
- Used Dali Oberon 7 (about 600$)
- Kef q950 (1100$)
- SVS Prime Tower (1200$)

For the amp I am still very much undecided. I liked the Bluesound Powernode because it's small but I won't say no to a bigger amp or an AV receiver like Denon x2800h (1000$).

So, if any of you listened to any of these, which one of them you think will suit me better

Forgot to tell you that I'm listening to all kinds of music from Rap, Hip Hop to Pop, Jazz and Classical.
 

Willem

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I would first of all add a second or even third sub (they do not have to be identical). Second, I would think about dsp room eq. A DSpeaker Antimode x2 is an easy option for a DAC as basic preamp with dead easy room.eq. If you want more ambitious room eq, look into Multi Sub Optimizer and a MiniDSP 2x4 HD plus Umik1.
 

Galliardist

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Europe's a big place. Care to be more specific? These questions often come down to "they aren't available in my country" which doesn't help.
 
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Fabian22

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I would first of all add a second or even third sub (they do not have to be identical). Second, I would think about dsp room eq. A DSpeaker Antimode x2 is an easy option for a DAC as basic preamp with dead easy room.eq. If you want more ambitious room eq, look into Multi Sub Optimizer and a MiniDSP 2x4 HD plus Umik1.
Moving my LSX is not an option so that's why first I'm searching for a pair of floorstanding spreakers and an amp to power them. In time I will add one or two subs, (thinking about SVS pb 2000 pro?) but until then the floorstanding speakers should break in.
Europe's a big place. Care to be more specific? These questions often come down to "they aren't available in my country" which doesn't help.
Yes, there is no secret, sorry about that. I live in Bucharest, Romania.
 

Gruesome

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I think it also depends a bit on how loud you want to listen. For example, to get 85 dB SPL (THX cinema reference level) out of a KEF R3 (currently on sale, since the Meta successor model came out, 86dB per W at 1m sensitivity) at 3m distance you need 9 (3m/1m)^2 Watt power. That leaves you a bit less than a factor 20 in power to the maximum 160 W the R3 can handle for the peaks in your music, or in other words, about 13 dB (same in power and sound pressure level). I don't know whether that is enough for you. I assume the subwoofer(s) take care of movie explosions etc..
 

Timcognito

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Gruesome

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Last edited:

radix

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I would second the extra subs. Don't underestimate how nice a big sub can sound. Two subs can help a lot filling in nulls caused by the physical geometry of the room.

As was also pointed out, you need to figure out what SPL level you want at 3m and how much dynamic range headroom you want from that average. That will really be the determining factor in amp power and speaker sensitivity.
 
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Fabian22

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I think it also depends a bit on how loud you want to listen. For example, to get 85 dB SPL (THX cinema reference level) out of a KEF R3 (currently on sale, since the Meta successor model came out, 86dB per W at 1m sensitivity) at 3m distance you need 9 (3m/1m)^2 Watt power. That leaves you a bit less than a factor 20 in power to the maximum 160 W the R3 can handle for the peaks in your music, or in other words, about 13 dB (same in power and sound pressure level). I don't know whether that is enough for you. I assume the subwoofer(s) take care of movie explosions etc..
From my calculations (I may be wrong though) at 3m I'm losing ~9.5db and for 80W of amplification (like the Powernode) I can gain a max of ~19 db.
With a 92db per W at 1m the Triangle Borea br09 are the most sensible speakers on my list and at 3m on max volume I will get about 9.5db (19db maximum for the 80W minus 9.5 for the 3m distance) so the loudest will be like 101.5db.
However, I only want to crank it up maybe couple times per year, the rest of the days will be listening at moderate volume so even the least sensible speaker on the list at 87 or 88db should be enough for daily use.
I would second the extra subs. Don't underestimate how nice a big sub can sound. Two subs can help a lot filling in nulls caused by the physical geometry of the room.

As was also pointed out, you need to figure out what SPL level you want at 3m and how much dynamic range headroom you want from that average. That will really be the determining factor in amp power and speaker sensitivity.
For the time being my budget does not allow buying another sub (I will move my ASW610 with the new speakers and amp) but in a couple of months I want to buy another one.
Do you think I should go with the most sensible speaker or the one that goes lowest in freq or this really does not matter as long as I have a sub because the crossover will be set at higher than most of the speakers go on the lower side.
Also on the amp side, you think an AVR from Marantz or Denon is a good choice?
Has anyone listened to any of the speakers? I want prefer a warm sound (I heard some speakers are very bright like the Klipsch)
 

radix

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From my calculations (I may be wrong though) at 3m I'm losing ~9.5db and for 80W of amplification (like the Powernode) I can gain a max of ~19 db.
With a 92db per W at 1m the Triangle Borea br09 are the most sensible speakers on my list and at 3m on max volume I will get about 9.5db (19db maximum for the 80W minus 9.5 for the 3m distance) so the loudest will be like 101.5db.
However, I only want to crank it up maybe couple times per year, the rest of the days will be listening at moderate volume so even the least sensible speaker on the list at 87 or 88db should be enough for daily use.

For the time being my budget does not allow buying another sub (I will move my ASW610 with the new speakers and amp) but in a couple of months I want to buy another one.
Do you think I should go with the most sensible speaker or the one that goes lowest in freq or this really does not matter as long as I have a sub because the crossover will be set at higher than most of the speakers go on the lower side.
Also on the amp side, you think an AVR from Marantz or Denon is a good choice?
Has anyone listened to any of the speakers? I want prefer a warm sound (I heard some speakers are very bright like the Klipsch)
True full range speakers are big and expensive and do not give you the flexibility of balancing your nulls by moving them around. Going with 40 hz - 60 hz mains is perfectly reasonable if you have a sub. Many people cross over at 80 Hz, so 40 to 60 hz mains is fine.

Integrating a sub is its own pleasure. You should try to get a UMIK-1 and REW or some other system (ARC genesis, DIRAC). The best place for the sub will depend on your room and what's in it and where the doors and passages are. You can try corners or middle of walls. you can try direct firing towards the room or putting it firing into a wall (some manufactures like this method). You also need to decide ported or sealed. Personally, for hifi, I go with sealed as they are usually smaller and do just fine with music. The advice I've heard is don't mix sealed and ported subs.

Another thing to consider is how you high-pass the speakers with the sub. If you have a minidsp or arc genesis unit, then it will cross over the mains and sub for you. Otherwise, you might need to do it yourself. Depending on your geometry and speakers, it might not be necessary to high pass them.
 

Ellebob

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From my calculations (I may be wrong though) at 3m I'm losing ~9.5db and for 80W of amplification (like the Powernode) I can gain a max of ~19 db.
With a 92db per W at 1m the Triangle Borea br09 are the most sensible speakers on my list and at 3m on max volume I will get about 9.5db (19db maximum for the 80W minus 9.5 for the 3m distance) so the loudest will be like 101.5db.
However, I only want to crank it up maybe couple times per year, the rest of the days will be listening at moderate volume so even the least sensible speaker on the list at 87 or 88db should be enough for daily use.
Your calculations are correct for outside. The -6db for every doubling of distance doesn't factor room gain. In a room you only lose 3-4db per doubling of distance, so you're closer to approximately 6db loss at your seating distance.
 

Gruesome

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Your calculations are correct for outside. The -6db for every doubling of distance doesn't factor room gain. In a room you only lose 3-4db per doubling of distance, so you're closer to approximately 6db loss at your seating distance.
Fabian already uses only -9.5dB for the 3m distance, not the 19dB corresponding to a factor 9 in free space.
 
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Fabian22

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Ok so after some extended reading the past couple of days I decided that I better buy an AVR to connect it to TV/PS5 and maybe after some time for music a cheap class D amp that has great value like Topping.
Should I go for an older Denon/Marantz that has the AK dac or even the newer models perform good enough to listen to music at moderate volume without really hearing any difference?
However I'm still undecided at the floorstanding speakers. Maybe someone can reccomend some at about 1500$ a pair max?
 
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