Advice on first system; GS10 / Kef IQ / ...

K

Kurt_16VM

Guest
Hi everyone,

Recently, we decided to invest in a stereo system (i.e. speakers + amp + cd player) with a budget around 2500 euro (about 1700 pounds). This will be our very first entry in the hifi world (current system is a very old pioneer combo).

Although we listen to all sorts of music, we do not have a large jazz or classical collection at the moment. It would be important for the system to handle guitar oriented music (rock/metal) well (e.g. dire straits, tool, moonspell, metallica, opeth, in flames, strapping young lad, nile, ...).
Our current living room measures 13 x 33 ft. However, the system will have to be setup around the television with the speakers facing the longest wall.

I would really appreciate your advice on amp / speaker combinations, within this price range.

For the record, here are some findings from the preliminary auditions we already did with the following equipment:
- Monitor Audio GS10 / RS6 on Arcam Solo
- Kef IQ7 / IQ9, B&W 603 and others on Cambridge Audio Azur 640, Arcam A80.

The Kefs sounded quite open and detailed, I found the IQ7s to be somewhat lacking in the bass department, the IQ9s improved but were less sparkling and clear compared to the IQ7s. The IQ9 bass would also become boomy at times (maybe this was attributable to the amp or smallish demo room?).
The B&Ws sounded very boxy to us and did not leave a good impression, although they did perform better then the Kefs for 'dance music' (basement jaxx). Does anybody on the forum have experience with IQ7/IQ9 for music?

We listened to the GS10s in another shop and found that they delivered more warmth compared to the Kefs. We preferred the GS10s over the RS6s on all fronts (except perhaps on the 'amount of bass delivered front', the GS10s lacked some bass on a number of recordings, could add a subwoofer later?).
Unfortunately we could not A/B the Kefs with the MA's.

Do you think the Arcam solo is up to driving the GS10s? Would the azur suffice?

Also, the shop owner said that it would not make a large difference if we placed the GS10s on our wooden TV table (next to a CRT television) instead of using stands (maybe deliver a bit more bass). Is this correct, or do you really need quality stands to do these speakers justice?

Apologies for the multitude of questions crammed into one thread and thanks a lot in advance for all of your input.

PS We live in Belgium, I guess this limits our brand options and possibilities in the 2nd hand market somewhat compared to the UK.

BTW the GS20s sounded very impressive on a A90 :), but this setup is out of our budget, maybe we could stretch for those speakers but I suspect the necessary amplification will be too costly.
 

GW43

Well-known Member
Kurt_16VM said:
Also, the shop owner said that it would not make a large difference if we placed the GS10s on our wooden TV table (next to a CRT television) instead of using stands (maybe deliver a bit more bass). Is this correct, or do you really need quality stands to do these speakers justice?

QUOTE]


I don't agree with that statement - to sound their best you'll need to get some heavy stands, and fill them with sand - something like the Atacama SE range.
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
yes, the GS10's need extremely heavy stands to sound at their best, but not just heavy, they work best with a column in each corner of the stand....then you'll be surprised just how much bass they can dish out!...

altho i would recommend something a bit more potent than a Arcam Solo to get the best out of them.......a Musical Fidelity A3.5 is perfect for the job in my opinion, i spent a lot time demoing various amps for my GR10 (the predecessors to the GS10's) and i found the MF's worked a treat...
 

Dynaudio Desire

Active Member
I have heard the GS10's many times, and they are wonderful sounding speakers beatiful detail and a nice bass. Yet beware they might get tiring after a whilst!! And GW43 is more than right in saying the shop sales guy is incorrect. You realy need good stands I would recomend Monitor Audio's dedicated GS10 stands. I particuly noticed the GS10's were good with rock music so they should be sutiable with you. I havnt yet heard the IQ7's though. But to be honest you realy arnt going to get the best out of your GS10's on a Solo. You should at least get something like an A90 to power them! And in a room your size I would strongly recomend floorstanders!!
 

GW43

Well-known Member
Dynaudio Desire said:
Yet beware they might get tiring after a whilst!!


I only get tired listening to mine (GR10) cos I stay up so late! "Just one more CD..."
 
K

Kurt_16VM

Guest
GW43 said:
I don't agree with that statement - to sound their best you'll need to get some heavy stands, and fill them with sand - something like the Atacama SE range.
Thanks a lot for the info.

GW43 said:
I only get tired listening to mine (GR10) cos I stay up so late! "Just one more CD..."
:), that sounds great, I hope going through the same process once I get my system together.

Knyght_byte said:
.......a Musical Fidelity A3.5 is perfect for the job in my opinion, i spent a lot time demoing various amps for my GR10 (the predecessors to the GS10's) and i found the MF's worked a treat...
Thanks for the suggestion, I found one store in Belgium selling those, unfortunately they don't have MA speakers to test them with... . Apparently MA also 'recommends' this brand (on their official site...).

In your opinion, would a Primare I21 also do the job?
Also, do you have more info on the required/recommended stereo amps for driving GS20s as I am getting quite curious on the total price of a GS20 based setup :rolleyes:. What's the minimum you would opt for on those (I won't be able to afford a KW500 or something along those lines for now...).
 

Knyght_byte

Distinguished Member
A Primare I21 would just barely be enough in my opinion.....as a match it would be ok, power wise only just tho......the MA Gold speakers do like a nice bit of power to perform properly....especially if you want to crank it up...heh

for the GS20's then an MF A5 would be fine......and you can always biamp it later if you really wanted to.....for the GS60's i'd definitely suggest the biamp tho......or a Primare I30 would likewise suit the GS20's fine......boen sonically and power wise.....

there will be other amps worth pursuing, altho in my opinion i wouldnt worry too hard about Arcams, they seem to want to temper the bass too much and make it all one tight sine wave.....doesnt work to my mind...but then you never know, each to their own....heh
 

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