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£200 floorstanders

Andy98765

Distinguished Member

Porthos

Standard Member
Point reluctantly taken! I do want them to look nice but I'd be foolish not to prioritise quality. It's gonna annoy me having to pay for stands though, I don't want them to bring me up to the price of floorstanders! Any recommendations on stands?
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
If you can increase your budget slightly then the Monitor Audio BR5's are being sold for silly money...

BR5 (Black) - Promotion - Save £150 [Pair] from SpeakerPoint

They can be found for Sub £300 if you look hard enough...but you'll need to be quick as they are running out old stock now as they have been replaced by the BX series

Infact Peter Tyson have them for £250 so within your budget...

Monitor Audio BR5

I'm hopefully going to be using these as the fronts in my new AV setup because they are such good value.

Neil
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'll second that Monitor Audio BR5 being and excellent speaker for only £250/pr.

I think it is still possible to get the Version 1 Acoustic Energy Neo 3 for roughly £250/pr too.

Here is an outstanding deal for £179/pr, the Infinity Beta 40 -

INFINITY BETA 40 (BETA 40) 3-Way Dual 6-1/2" Floorstanding Loudspeaker Featuring Patented... - www.hiwayhifi.com

Infinity is not well known in the UK, but they do make good speakers. Also, the typical selling price for these speakers is over £400/pr.

Another outstanding bargain is the very large Wharfedale Xarus 5000, which currently sell for about £150/pr -

Wharfedale XARUS5000-BLACK from Hughes Direct

This is also a speaker that typically sells for about £450/pr, and has a 8" midbass, and two 8" low bass speakers. This is a pretty large speaker, so keep that in mind.

Just a few additional suggestions.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Kathar

Standard Member
I've been looking to get myself some floorstanders too, also in the £200-250 range, but I'm just pretty confused as to which would be the best pair to get for my situation. Essentially, I'll be getting myself a Denon 1610 (or an AVR of a similar spec) and I want to get a couple of good floorstanders to pair with it. Unfortunately I don't really have the cash or space to accommodate a subwoofer (nor do I want to bother the neighbours really), so ideally the floorstanders I get would really need to be able to hold their own without one.

A subwoofer and surround speakers are definitely a possiblity for the future, but not for a few years so the floorstanders would have to sound good enough on their own for the time being. Bearing in mind though, I have been using some cheap-o PC speakers for TV/film watching for the past couple years and have been pretty content with them. So I'm not too difficult to please, and I know not having a subwoofer isn't ideal but I wouldn't be expecting perfection.

I really like the look of some of the speakers you guys have posted, but I'm just a bit lost when it comes to choosing which would be best for me and my requirements. So any help at all on this would truly be appreciated! (I don't mean to hijack, so apologies if it seems like I am.)
 

Porthos

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately, I want the speakers in beech which none of the suggestions are available in :( Is it more expensive to get it in beech or something?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Kathar -

"A subwoofer and surround speakers are definitely a possiblity for the future, but not for a few years so the floorstanders would have to sound good enough on their own for the time being.

Have you considered a Stereo amp?

People are tied of hearing me push this idea, but it is a good choice for some people in some situations.

At best, or I should say at minimum, you should have Front and Center speakers, and later matching rear speakers are not that expensive. So, shortly down the road, you could really have a full surround sound system.

However, if it is literally years until you can get the Center, Sub, and Rear, then I'm not so sure an AV amp is a good investment right now. As always, technology is advancing, and if you wait more than a year for fill out your system, you AV amps is going to be somewhat obsolete.

Though, let's not take the 'obsolete' idea too far, in two years time, your AV amp will still work and it will still get the job done. But, as mentioned, both amp and DVD/BluRay quality is advancing all the time.

For about £200 to £250 (more or less), you can get a pretty sweet stereo amps that will still do a good job for movies, though it won't have the room filling whooshing and zooming special effect. You will still hear the whooshing and zooming, it just won't be room filling in the same sense that surround sound is.

As to which speakers are best for you, only your ears can tell you that. Of the speakers I suggested, there are no matching center and rears for the Wharfedale Xarus or the Infinity Beta speakers.

That leaves the Monitor Audio Bronze BR series which are on close out at deep discounts. But, being on close out, they are in limited supply. I suspect at some point in the future you could blend MA BX with MA BR, it wouldn't be a perfect match but I suspect it would be close.

In a sense, I'm asking you to sort out your priorities. If you are committed to surround sound, then it seems a waste to get an AV amp, and only put two speakers on it. Three would be workable, and really, adding rear/side speakers in the near future is not that expensive. So, that is a workable path to go down.

Lastly, to connect a stereo to a TV, there are some consideration. First, it works best if your TV has some sort of analog (meaning not digital) AUDIO OUT connectors. These could be a pair of Red and White Audio Out connectors, or it could be hidden in the SCART connector.

As a workable alternative, you could use the Headphone output of the TV, if your TV has one.

If none of these are available, they that means buying an external DAC (digital to analog converter) and that can add about £150 to £250 to your budget.

This last consideration is not necessary with a Surround Sound AV amp, that will have the inputs and DACs that you need.


To Porthos -

You budget is very lean for a pair of floorstanding speakers, low enough that to some extent you have to take what you can get. So, in brief, your choices are get the speakers in the finish you prefer and get half the speaker (mean smaller, lower quality), or compromise on the finish and get twice the speaker at a deep discount.

Example, the Monitor Audio BR5 are about £250 per pair. The new equivalent in the BX5 is about £450/pr and available in light finish -

MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE BX5 SPEAKERS (PAIR) at hifix.co.uk

Trimming your budget back, for £299/pr you ca get this -

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.3 SPEAKERS (PAIR) at hifix.co.uk

Smaller and fewer drivers. Also available in light finish.

Your alternative in a new current model speaker would be something like this -

WHARFEDALE VARDUS VR400 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK Visit http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/product_id/4207 for details

Good, but not in the same class as the other speakers being discussed, and in this case, doesn't appear to be available in a light finish.

Putting that one restriction on the finish really reduces the number and quality of speakers available to you. Restated, if you insist on that finish restriction, then your choices are for lesser quality and smaller sized speakers.

The decision is ultimately up to you, and you can get a nice workable system for your budget, but keep in mind the considerations I've listed.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Porthos

Standard Member
What a well thought out response. Thank you. I'll have a think. It's a toughie because they are such a big part of a room that I have to be happy with them but on the other hand I will be annoyed knowing I've got less speaker just for the finish. I'm surprised there aren't any beech out there, since beech doesn't appear to be a more expensive option.
 

Kathar

Standard Member
First of all, wow, thank you BlueWizard! I truly appreciate the time you've taken to help me out!

My situation is basically like this; I'm living at home for a few years until I finish Uni, which means I'm stuck with having the speakers in my bedroom (3m x 3.5m) until I move out. Surround sound wouldn't really be possible due to the seating positions and the Subwoofer is out just purely because I don't really want to annoy the family/neighbours. A centre speaker is an option for me though, I just never really considered one as I didnt think it could improve the sound so much? (Forgive my ignorance, I realise this is where demoing different speaker setups would really help, but it's difficult for me to get to a store where I can do this.) If a centre speaker really does add a lot to the sound though - enough to justify the £100-odd price at least - then I would certainly be up for getting one a month or two down the line.

I've not actually considered the stereo amp option before. The main reason I've been opting towards getting the Denon-1610 is because I've got the opportunity to get a like-new one for £130, which seems like a pretty good deal. However if I can get more from a stereo amp or perhaps a different AV receiver for a similar price range (up to around £200 I guess), then I am open to any and all suggestions really.

Overall I think I am leaning towards getting the Monitor Audio speakers, but now I'm just confused regarding the AVR and centre speaker options etc.

Thanks again for all your help so far, cheers!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Kathar -

For £130, that is a hard deal to pass up. Keep in mind with 5 or 7 amps, and only two speakers, you could bi-amp the speakers. That is, you could use the rear channels to drive the tweeters and the front channels to drive the woofers. That might make better use of the amp.

But, consider this illustration that I'm fond of making. The numbers are purely for illustration. If we take a £500 stereo amp, and figure the price per amp channel, we have £250. Now take that per channel price and expand it to the 7 amps in a typical AV receiver; £250 x 7 = £1750.

For purposes of illustration, that is how much money it takes to buy an AV amp that equals a good stereo amp.

Even if the stereo amps is only £100 per amp channel, that still means you need a £700 AV amp to equal it.

Again, this simply serves to put AV amps into perspective. You simply can not compare a £500 AV amp to a £500 stereo amp. It is like apples and oranges.

If your space is tight, and seems it is going to stay that way for a few years, then I think a stereo might be a better bet, especially if your budget is lean. Again, the Denon for £130 is unusual, and makes evaluating the possibilities a little more difficult.

For that low amount, you can probably make the Denon work for you, but I suspect when you are ready to move out on your own, the Denon is going to be old hat, and in need of replacing. Though, you are getting it cheap enough so, that's not such a big problem.

But, using the Denon as a stereo is not such a terrible thing, especially if you are not loading all the channels. As mentioned, if the amp has Zone-2 or bi-amping capability, then the bi-amping options might be a good idea.

As to speakers, it is pretty hard to pass up the Monitor Audio BR5 for only £250. Though I think only Peter Tyson still has them at that price -

Monitor Audio BR5

Sight and Sound has them for £279 -

Monitor Audio Bronze BR5 :: Floor Speakers :: Speakers :: Sight and Sound UK

Both places only have limited colors though. Keep in mind that these speakers have been on close-out for a while now and I suspect stocks are getting low.

The well regarded Acoustic Energy Neo 3 Version 1 is available from a couple of sources for about £250 -

Acoustic Energy Neo 3 Three Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) at Audioaffair

https://www.forumhifivisual.co.uk/S...E_NEO_3_NEO3_FLOOR_STANDING_SPEAKER_1555.html

The Neo can easily be expanded out into a full surround system in the future.

Both the Neo and the Bronze/BR are speakers that you could keep through several amp upgrades. So, they are worthy investment.

The Denon, while it simplifies the digital connections, is simply a get by for now amp. But the price is amazingly low, if you can be sure that it is in good condition. That makes it hard to pass up.

Still, I would personally, and actually have, go for a stereo amp, but that is going to cost you more money. This amp is on close-out for £249, and typically sells for £349, so you are getting a good deal.

As to the Center speaker, the BR Center might be hard to come by, worth checking though. The Neo Center should be easy to come by, but likely it will be the more expensive Neo V2.

As to whether you should go for front and center, or front and side/rear, that is difficult. The Center really cleans up the voices in movies, but the side/rear really fill the room with sound. It is a tough call. Both are going to be definite improvements, but it is a difficult call to make.

One of the links above ForumHiFiVisual has the Neo V1 Center for about £100 -

https://www.forumhifivisual.co.uk/S...C_ENERGY_NEO_CENTRE_CHANNEL_SPEAKER_1563.html

And, for those interested, they do appear to have both the front/Neo-3 and the Neo Center available in light Oak.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Porthos

Standard Member
Turns out what they call cherry looks like beech to me (the colour I wanted) so I've ordered the BR5's. Thank you for your help everyone. :thumbsup:

Can anyone recommend what amp, cables etc. to get with this? I'm a complete n00b. I've put the order through with petertyson but put a note on the order asking them to hold it as I may add an amp etc to it. Any suggestions gratefully accepted guys?
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Well done on the purcahse Porthos :)

Let me know when they arrive would be interested on your opinions :)

What sort of budget & amp do you want (AV or Stereo)

Cable Wise then again it depends on what you want to spend but in my experience you could do a lot worse then some QED XT Evolution.
My friend runs some with his old school Arcam system (Alpha 7 Amp & 7 SE CD Player) with TDL RTL 3 Floor standers & they sound suitably clear & well controlled considering the bass these things can pump out it's not too pricey either at about £6 per metre

But if you can it's well worth letting your ears do the listening.

Neil
 

Porthos

Standard Member
I just want to order the stuff and get it delivered in one go. I'll let you know how they are when they're set up but I'm not an audiophile so I think I'll be easily pleased.

It will be years before I can upgrade this to a cinema setup so I guess I want a stereo amp? My budget is up to £200 tops. I don't know what this bi-amping malarky is, do I need to concern myself with that?
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
I just want to order the stuff and get it delivered in one go. I'll let you know how they are when they're set up but I'm not an audiophile so I think I'll be easily pleased.

It will be years before I can upgrade this to a cinema setup so I guess I want a stereo amp? My budget is up to £200 tops. I don't know what this bi-amping malarky is, do I need to concern myself with that?

Not really.

The benefit of bi-amping is having one amp powering each speaker (1 on tweeter for the highs & 1 on the mids for the lows) it does help the sound but if your not an audiophile then it's not a huge issue & if you buy the right amp now you can upgrade later anyway.

I knwo you were looking at going all from Peter Tyson but if I were you I'd look second hand for an amp & with your budget you could get a fantastic amp if you got a bit older.

For example one of my dream amps the Cyrus III can be had for around the £200 mark...

Cyrus III Amplifier plus cables on eBay (end time 23-Nov-10 21:13:17 GMT)
cyrus 3 amplifer on eBay (end time 25-Nov-10 10:37:48 GMT)

Or you could look at Rega's awesome Brio 3 for £250...

Rega Brio 3 in Black on eBay (end time 19-Dec-10 11:05:54 GMT)

But there is a lot of choice around that price bracket just need to decide if new is a must or if you don't mind pre-owned.

Neil
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Nothing major.

Just make sure they have been well looked after & you'll be fine.

I just recently sold a NAD 310 amplifier that I had owned since 1994 & it still worked perfectly, they are built to last ;)

If possible then I'd look for a seller nearby just so you can check everything for yourself before parting with the cash or aim for a seller on here so you at least know that it's been well looked after.

Neil
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Good choice I loved my old NAD sounded great & did me well for many many years ;)

Right you will need some of the following cables to hook everything up...

RCA's to connect DVD Player & TV to the amp so I'd consider 1 or 2 pairs of these...

QED Performance Audio 1

Unfortunately they dont carry a huge stock & your are very limited on ther selection with most being VERY pricey but if you search for Phono Cable then have a peek & you can choose for yourself.

Speaker cable I'd aim for a few metre runs of these...

QED Evolution XT

As I said before it's pretty good stuff.

But again if you want cheap then anything here will do the job in the meantime while you save for better then just search for Speaker Cable & the worlds your oyster on there ;) lol

That should be more or less everything & you'll be good to go :)

Happy listening :)

Neil
 
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Porthos

Standard Member
Thanks man. Is that how speaker cables plug in now? The QED Evolutions look like a very clean RCA style input rather than what I'm used to (strands of copper wire).

Do I need to add two of those QED speaker cables btw?

How come the phonos cost so much compared to speaker cable?
 
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Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Sorry Porthos popped off to bed last night so didnt get to time to have a peek at other things.

Unfortunately that's not how Speaker cable is terminated...it comes as plain wire that you have to strip yourself.
You can add banana plug terminations but they cost extra & IMO don't matter that much unless you want things looking neat & tidy.

As for RCA Phono Interconnects they can be pretty pricey but if you don't need to buy them from Peter Tyson then definitely shop around for cheaper options.

For example Richer Sounds sell Cambridge Audio ones for £10...
Cambridge Audio AUD100 1M | Interconnect | Richer Sounds

In fact if you aren't fussy I might even have a spare 1 metre Cambridge Audio interconnect you can have if you want??

Neil
 

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