Advice needed - bookshelf speakers + amp for open plan room

darrenhaken

Active Member
I am considering buying a second system for my back room which is an open plan kitchen, diner and living room.
My wife and I spend a lot of time in the back room, especially when looking after our son (he's a newborn).

We plan to add a TV into the room (next year) and I started to think getting a set of bookshelf speakers and a stereo amp (with optical support) would be a good choice. I could then connect a Raspberry Pi streamer for music and the TV for audio.

The bookshelf speakers may be placed on a side cabinet instead of dedicated stands to avoid our son pushing them over (it also saves money).

I had narrowed it down to a few different options on the speakers and amp and I'm looking for some advice on it.

Speakers
  • Bowers and Wilkins 606 (not s2) - these can be picked up for about £320 on eBay
  • Monitor Audio Silver 100s - these can be picked up clearance for £480
Amp
  • Marantz PM6006/PM6007
  • Cambridge audio cxa60
  • I really liked the look of the Rega range but none of them come with optical
For context, my primary system in the living room is:
  • Dali Opticon 6 mk2
  • Dali Opticon Vokal Mk2
  • Denon AVR 3700H
  • Dali Oberon on-walls
Can anyone offer advice?
 

Hoku

Active Member
If you’re placing speakers on a cabinet, can I recommend ISO Acoustics products.

I use ISO Acoustics ISO-Puck Mini on my speaker stands and they really tightened up the bass. Before I’d got the new speaker stands I had them resting on cabinets and the puck minis helped tremendously. Alternative to the pucks are the ISO Acoustics Aperta series. Either way, these products really work and help the overall sound tremendously.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
If you’re placing speakers on a cabinet, can I recommend ISO Acoustics products.

I use ISO Acoustics ISO-Puck Mini on my speaker stands and they really tightened up the bass. Before I’d got the new speaker stands I had them resting on cabinets and the puck minis helped tremendously. Alternative to the pucks are the ISO Acoustics Aperta series. Either way, these products really work and help the overall sound tremendously.
How much of a difference did dedicated stands vs the pucks make to you?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
@Gasp3621 did you have an opinion of the MA Silver 100s vs the B&W 606?
Different voicing. MA has one 8 inch driver the other not.

MA sounds more flat in the midrange but is more fun to listen to.

B&W are neutral in their view. If you have space for the MA go for them.

I also recommend Linton 85.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
Different voicing. MA has one 8 inch driver the other not.

MA sounds more flat in the midrange but is more fun to listen to.

B&W are neutral in their view. If you have space for the MA go for them.

I also recommend Linton 85.
I can get a pair of Silvers for about £470 and B&W 606 (not S2) for about £330 off eBay.

Think the MA are worth the extra?

The space is 40m2 but that's including the kitchen and diner bit.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
Different voicing. MA has one 8 inch driver the other not.

MA sounds more flat in the midrange but is more fun to listen to.

B&W are neutral in their view. If you have space for the MA go for them.

I also recommend Linton 85.
Also, any recommendations on amps?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
How much of a difference did dedicated stands vs the pucks make to you?products he’s talking about but perhaps coupling the speakers from the speaker stands?
I’m not familiar with ISO. I guess he’s talking about coupling the speakers from the stands. If so normal ones from Amazon does the same thing. I use the adhesive kinds. Put four under each speakers. Use spikes under the speaker stands so you are decoupling then from the floor.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I think you are on right track regarding amplifiers. The speakers from B&W, MA are not terrible difficult to drive for any amplifier with strong power supply.

Still the MA has one 8 inch bass driver. I don’t remember in my head the specs on that particular speakers. Still I believe it is 88-90 dB-8ohm.

So the ones you are considering should be fine. Cambridge I have absolutely zero experience with though. So I would go for the Marantz. But it is difficult since everyone hears differently.
 
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darrenhaken

Active Member
I think you are on right track regarding amplifiers. The speakers from Dali, MA are not terrible difficult to drive for any amplifier with strong power supply.

Still the MA has one 8 inch bass driver. I don’t remember in my head the specs on that particular speakers. Still I believe it is 88-90 dB-8ohm.

So the ones you are considering should be fine. Cambridge I have absolutely zero experience with though. So I would go for the Marantz. But it is difficult since everyone hears differently.
And given the prices of the speakers which do you think is the better option?

Also, if you think I should be considering other speakers do say!
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
🤔. Didn’t read the tread correctly. So you have setup in the living room but are considering to also have one in the kitchen also.

With a newborn, stands are out of the questions. You haven’t considered going for simplicity, like Bluesound, Sonos?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
@Jester1066, what are your thought? Sonos, Bluesound surely are better. The MA are heavy speakers. Need decent wall brackets. Edit I see he can place them on cabinets.

If it were me I just buy Sonos wireless streaming speakers.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
@Jester1066, what are your thought? Sonos, Bluesound surely are better. The MA are heavy speakers. Need decent wall brackets. Edit I see he can place them on cabinets.

If it were me I just buy Sonos wireless streaming speakers.
I use a Sonos One at the moment but I have been fairly meh about the experience.

This wouldn't cut it connected to the TV of course!

Haha I've already been talking to @Jester1066
He's the cause of as many solutions as dilemmas
 

Hoku

Active Member
How much of a difference did dedicated stands vs the pucks make to you?
Initially I had the pucks on boxy cabinets. The pucks cleaned things up tremendously.

But once I’d introduced the speaker stands too, with the pucks ontop, it helped things move up a gear again. It was the free space around the speakers I think that helped reduce reflections.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Since you are considering the MA silver 100 which are large book shelves speakers in fairly large room with open space towards kitchen,living room. I would recommend the MA. The eight inch driver we’ll play louder, better then the smaller B&W ones.

And the Marantz is perfect for the MA speakers.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
@Jester1066, what are your thought? Sonos, Bluesound surely are better. The MA are heavy speakers. Need decent wall brackets. Edit I see he can place them on cabinets.
First off all thanks for the tag! 🙂....

My thoughts (and @darrenhaken knows some of this already!)....

On my recomendation, he already has a Bluesound Node 2i as part of his main system in the living room. He's already indicated that although he uses Sonos currently he feels "fairly meh" about it. Based on this I'd actually pair the Silver 100's with a Bluesound Powernode. The advantage here is 2 fold:

1. The Powernode has HDMI ARC - so easy connectivity to the TV.
2. He is familiar (and as far as I know?) Likes the streaming interface/software (BlueOS)

Bonus: The ability to (if he desires) add Bluesound standalone streaming speakers (eg Pulse/Flex etc) around the house to give a truly multiform experience). Bluesound term this their "Bluesound Ecosystem" similar to that of Sonos.

There's also the option of a NAD 368 with BlueOS module. Of course these suggestions may all be out of budget for him. But as he likes the Node/BlueOS, it's the route I'd go myself.

If it were me I just buy Sonos wireless streaming speakers.

See my "bonus" comment above. 😉👌

Haha I've already been talking to @Jester1066
He's the cause of as many solutions as dilemmas

I'll take this as a compliment 🤣🙊

As an aside. The Marantz will indeed pair well with the MA'S as suggested.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
@Jester1066, excellent advice! Why on earth didn’t I think of that.

Yes, indeed buy the Powernode Node (the new version) it we’ll sing with either speaker.

He does however have the Node2i, it could be worse buying more less a “clone” just with an amplifier. Perhaps sell the streamer? Or put in the attic.

But honestly this is the route I would chose. Or of course buy what he’s heart prefer.

. From my understanding it is quite large open space from the kitchen to
the living room.

So adding more speakers is good idea.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Initially I had the pucks on boxy cabinets. The pucks cleaned things up tremendously.

But once I’d introduced the speaker stands too, with the pucks ontop, it helped things move up a gear again. It was the free space around the speakers I think that helped reduce reflections.
Echo both these opinions. If you have the space a set of quality speaker stands & isolation pads will improve the sound.

In addition Iirc the OP's room for the second system has a tiled floor, so (again to reduce reflections) I'd consider putting down a thick rug/carpet in front of/under the speakers.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
@Jester1066, excellent advice! Why on earth didn’t I think of that.

Yes, indeed buy the Powernode Node (the new version) it we’ll sing with either speaker.

He does however have the Node2i, it could be worse buying more less a “clone” just with an amplifier. Perhaps sell the streamer? Or put in the attic.

But honestly this is the route I would chose. Or of course buy what he’s heart prefer.

. From my understanding it is quite large open space from the kitchen to
the living room.

So adding more speakers is good idea.
I'm not actually fond of the Powernode, sorry to both of you!

It looks like a fantastic product but technology moves at an alarming rate. There's a good chance you'll be upgrading a streamer far far far more frequently than a stereo amp.

Spotify Connect updates, WiFi versions, processors, airplay, Chromecast etc...

I'd prefer to have a separate streamer and amp in order to avoid having to upgrade a more expensive item.

It's a shame as the combined unit would be neat
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
From my understanding it is quite large open space from the kitchen to
the living room.
I actually think the living room is completely seperate to the kitchen/back room area, but @darrenhaken can confirm this maybe?

I'd prefer to have a separate streamer and amp in order to avoid having to upgrade a more expensive item.

It's a shame as the combined unit would be neat
This is why I mentioned the NAD amp (with the BlueOS module) which turns it into a streamer/amp combined - Using the same Bluesound/BlueOS software you like:

 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
The technology moves in rapid pace, yes.

Still you don’t think Bluesound, Lyngdorf, NAD and many others don’t take this dilemma in account.

They resolve this matter simply by adding new firmwares. DAC’s today are more less the same, no difference between them.

I believe this is true for next 15 years also regarding DAC.

But the Marantz is also amazing. Go for that. Still you need two pair of speakers.

You don’t consider Wharfedale Evo 4.2. Real 3 way stand mountain speakers. Of course more expensive new. Sorry, my mistake about the model name of the speakers. Then you have Elac Reference in your price class new.
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
It looks like a fantastic product but technology moves at an alarming rate. There's a good chance you'll be upgrading a streamer far far far more frequently than a stereo amp.

Spotify Connect updates, WiFi versions, processors, airplay, Chromecast etc...
In addition- I actually disagree slightly here. Whilst it's true that you're likely to keep a good stereo amp for a fair while, the success of a streamer is often more about its software than hardware imo.

For example DTS Playfi (streaming) is found in many premium brand stereo amps (Arcam, Anthem). The amps themselves are great, both contain room correction etc. But I wouldn't buy either - because of DTS Playfi! Imo it's implementation is at best buggy, the software is horrid. Compare this to say BlueOS/Bluesound - which is a much slicker, nicer software.

The hardware changes between your node 2i vs the new node (and powernode) are an evolution, rather than revolution of the product. Its the software (ie BlueOS) that makes Bluesound gear popular imo and there's no reason why they won't keep updating the software moving forward.

However I appreciate that some prefer seperates, even using different DACS etc.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
I actually think the living room is completely seperate to the kitchen/back room area, but @darrenhaken can confirm this maybe?


This is why I mentioned the NAD amp (with the BlueOS module) which turns it into a streamer/amp combined - Using the same Bluesound/BlueOS software you like:

I'll look at the NAD now.

Yes, the living room is separate to the open plan room!
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
The technology moves in rapid pace, yes.

Still you don’t think Bluesound, Lyngdorf, NAD and many others don’t take this dilemma in account.

They resolve this matter simply by adding new firmwares. DAC’s today are more less the same, no difference between them.

I believe this is true for next 15 years also regarding DAC.

But the Marantz is also amazing. Go for that. Still you need two pair of speakers.

You don’t consider Wharfedale Evo 4.2. Real 3 way stand mountain speakers. Of course more expensive new. Sorry, my mistake about the model name of the speakers. Then you have Elac Reference in your price class new.
Why do I need two pairs of speakers?
 

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