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Question Any Recommeded Speakers Around The £3-4K Price Range Worth Auditioning?

Knight77

Novice Member
Hi Everyone!

I've pretty much settled on purchasing a new set of Dali Rubicon 8 speakers and I've made a separate thread in the relevant area about matching them with the correct Amplifier.

While I find a suitable amp, are there any other speakers worth considering around the price range of the Rubicon 8's?

There are a wide variety of stores I am lucky enough to visit and they carry a vast amount of speakers so would be nice to get some more suggestions!

Thanks!
 

Wall Of Sound

Active Member
Give the concept 500's a try
it's the tale end of your budget, but worth checking out.
 

droidlike

Active Member
Review Monitor Audio Gold 200 - Alpha-Audio

from google translator
------------------------
Conclusion:

What a wonderful speaker this is.
Not only is it a feast for the eyes, it also sounds incredibly good.
Also in somewhat more difficult spaces, since in our opinion they are not difficult to place.
The ribbon tweeter is fast, but lets you hear a rest.
Fortunately, because ribbons can be merciless.
Not with this nice Gold 200 from Monitor Audio.
Recommended!
------------------------

pair gold200 with a superb valve amp
like the air tight acoustic masterpiece am201h
and a marantz nd8006

and you are done ;)


if you only sligtly doubt
for just a nano-second
that the above suggested system
cannot sound good
then ask here on avforums
to who is running exactly that system

that is

@Basquelle !


he( or she?) suggested that configuration
and I'm personally running exactly that config at my home
and i'm still wondering how he(she) came out to that amazing wonderful solution ;)


edited:
=======
here is the am-201h reviews

Review: DeVore Fidelity O/96 loudspeakers | Part-Time Audiophile

(....less -than-stygian bass = less than down the hell bass )

+

Air Tight Acoustic Masterpiece AM-201H Tube Integrated Amplifier – Planet of Sound
5-stars:
Outstanding Integrated Tube Amplifier
"Without getting caught up in all the buzz words, I will simply say that the performance of the entire system is outstanding."


+


Review: HiFiMan Susvara headphones, assault on the state of the art | Part-Time Audiophile

Brace yourself
I wasn’t running out of ideas, not yet. I had this hidden audiophile secret called Air Tight Acoustic Masterpiece 201H integrated amplifier waiting for me. An eight el84 tube, push pull, Japan made little monster with a headphone section that draws straight from the output circuit without use of transformers. All this translates into a ton of power, and I am guessing hear as Air Tight won’t divulge much of nothing, a low-ish output impedance. Thing is, this was the best combo I had laid ears onto since ages, headphones wise that is. It was even better than the ASR Emitter driving the Susvara through the speaker output, connected with the HE adapter box. This little circuit was first introduced for the now legendary HE-6, a beast in terms of power demands with many headfiers ending up using power amps to properly drive it. Besides offering a painful sight to my wife, watching me use 85Kgr of amplification to push a pair of cans, the sound was not as full or harmonically balanced as with the Air Tight integrated. Since the cost is minimum the HE adapter could be a good if not excellent solution for those who don’t care about size and crave for the ultimate in driving a nice Krell KSA or a Pass Aleph wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

and am-201h video on youtube


music is from the chinese singer tan yan

 
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dollag

Well-known Member
What size room are the speakers going to be in?

Have you decided on an amplifier? if not whats the budget there?

The concept 500's are a great speaker and would defo put them on the audition list

Amphion 7LS
Kef Reference 1's
pmc twenty5 24
Kudos Cardea C20

Just a few models that have blown me away over the last 12 months but do not see much coverage on the web.

I heard the Kudos super 20a's on a Hegal h360 to my ears, was an amazing sounding system. The Dac in the hegal is on par with £1000+ stand alones and it's streaming capabilities make it an all in one solution for some. great piece of kit.
 

Knight77

Novice Member
What size room are the speakers going to be in?

Have you decided on an amplifier? if not whats the budget there?

The concept 500's are a great speaker and would defo put them on the audition list

Amphion 7LS
Kef Reference 1's
pmc twenty5 24
Kudos Cardea C20

Just a few models that have blown me away over the last 12 months but do not see much coverage on the web.

I heard the Kudos super 20a's on a Hegal h360 to my ears, was an amazing sounding system. The Dac in the hegal is on par with £1000+ stand alones and it's streaming capabilities make it an all in one solution for some. great piece of kit.

Room is 6x4m.

No decision on Amo yet and budget is currently £2K. Anymore and it would just mean a delayed purchase.

I will try and get some auditions of the speakers mentioned.

The B&W 700 range were also being recommend to me with the new speaker coming in at £3,300.

Not tried it yet but will also give that a go.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member

droidlike

Active Member
The Dac in the hegal is on par with £1000+ stand alones and it's streaming capabilities make it an all in one solution for some. great piece of kit.
here below is a test of
marantz nd8006 (dac ess sabre 9016) and
hegel h190 (dac AK4490) exactly the same used in hegel dac hd30 and power amp h360

...and the marantz nd8006 was the real winner !

Review: Marantz ND8006

==========================
We used Viard Audio Premium RCA cables to connect the Marantz ND8006 to a Hegel H190 network amplifier. For its part, the amplifier was connected to Tannoy Legacy Cheviot speakers with Viard Audio Silver HD12 cables.

Now back to our original question: why own an external player when an amplifier such as the Hegel H190 is itself equipped with a DAC and a streamer? It could be tempting to assume that the RCA cables connecting the ND8006 to the Hegel amplifier would degrade the signal and be, in all cases, inferior to the ultra-short link between the Hegel’s internal network controller and its DAC. However, our comparative listening experience with the same FLAC files streamed via a DLNA server proved the opposite to be true. Using the Marantz ND8006 as a source, high frequencies are totally transparent and suffer no harshness or excessive brightness. Moreover, the dynamic range is widened. There’s no doubt about it: a rigorously implemented DAC, accompanied by high-quality power and pre-amplification components, can outperform the DAC of a considerably more expensive amplifier.
==============================


and here below is where it's indicated that
the dac used in the hegel h190 (little brother less powerful than h360)
is exactly the same used in hegel dac hd30

https://www.hegel.com/images/reviews/H190hifinewsuk.pdf

=====================
This system

was developed in-house and is all part of

Hegel’s philosophy of controlling every

element of the signal path. In practice, the

H190’s DAC section is based around one of

Asahi Kasei’s Velvet Sound AK4490 DACs,

also used in Hegel’s HD30, and employs

the same novel upsampling regime

described in detail in PM’s Opinion page

from the same issue.

==========================

;)
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Although your budget is at the low end for electrostatics, there are entry level Martin Logan models at your price range, such as the Electromotion ESL. It would be a pity not to at least listen to some ESLs before committing,
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Room is 6x4m
IMO, some of the speakers suggested here are too large for your room and would likely give a warm (or very warm) tonal balance - perhaps that's what you're after?

Hopefully, at this elevated price point, you should be able to arrange a home demo.
I also agree with Mark.Yudkin (post#8) and would suggest systems other than convention passive moving coil design, such as the lower priced electrostatics and active speaker systems - not that there's anything wrong with sticking to traditional hifi gear it's just that you won't get the benefits of the amplifier matched to speaker drive units or the latest DSP built-in.

There are some cracking active speaker designs within your budget. I wouldn't even rule out the Event Opal at about half your budget because active speakers tend to give more sound-per-pound, IME. I don't know what your budget is for amp + cables etc but even these £9,000 beasts could be within budget, would fit well with room size (as would the Event Opals, IMO) and their appearance is quite acceptable for active monitors:
Kii Audio Three loudspeaker

Other possibilities might include Barefoot Sound Micromain 27 or 35 but there are many other active speaker options, whatever your budget.
 

Member 769353

Previously davidf
The Amphion Argon 7LS act more like a point source loudspeaker, more so than most speakers anyway, as their crossover point is 1600Hz - this means more of the sound you hear comes from a single point, and all using the waveguide which ensures a controlled and even dispersion throughout 360 degrees (vertically). This works amazingly well in reflective rooms, as you end up hearing more of the speaker and less of your room.

If you want something to use right up against the wall, the Larsen range have been designed for this. Unfortunately, their speakers sit either side of the price point you've stated, but worth looking at anyway if space is an issue - not everyone can have their speakers a metre or more into their living room.

I don't have them on the website yet, but the Ophidian Prophet range are made up of two models, one being a floorstander. The Prophet P2 is a nicely balanced speaker which involves some not so obvious technology. Ophidian's reflex ports are a little different in that they don't involve a lot of high velocity air flow, which can cause port noises. Even when pushing the speaker quite hard, you can put your hand over the port and hardly feel anything. This means they can be used closer to walls than some rear ported speakers.

The KEF R900s are also worth looking at, but I usually tend to recommend these for larger rooms.
 

Knight77

Novice Member
IMO, some of the speakers suggested here are too large for your room and would likely give a warm (or very warm) tonal balance - perhaps that's what you're after?

Hopefully, at this elevated price point, you should be able to arrange a home demo.
I also agree with Mark.Yudkin (post#8) and would suggest systems other than convention passive moving coil design, such as the lower priced electrostatics and active speaker systems - not that there's anything wrong with sticking to traditional hifi gear it's just that you won't get the benefits of the amplifier matched to speaker drive units or the latest DSP built-in.

There are some cracking active speaker designs within your budget. I wouldn't even rule out the Event Opal at about half your budget because active speakers tend to give more sound-per-pound, IME. I don't know what your budget is for amp + cables etc but even these £9,000 beasts could be within budget, would fit well with room size (as would the Event Opals, IMO) and their appearance is quite acceptable for active monitors:
Kii Audio Three loudspeaker

Other possibilities might include Barefoot Sound Micromain 27 or 35 but there are many other active speaker options, whatever your budget.

Thanks for the suggestions,

The demo room I tested the speakers are was really small, I didn’t notice any issues with this.

We were sat maybe a metre away from them and had them turned up pretty loud for demo purposes.

Maybe a home test would be best, any recommendations for anyone around the Manchester area?

I was looking at Active Speakers but what kind of quality can I get for about £4-6,000?

Would they equally match a separate setup?

I was leaning towards getting:

Pre-Amp: Rotel RC-1590 (£1500)
Power Amp: Rotel RB-1590 (£2500)

And either the Dali Rubicon 8 or B&W 702 S2 (need to audition the B&Ws yet)

So that would be either £4,000 or £3,300.

But could I get a better setup for the money?

Active speakers are attractive because it’s all built in..

But i would like to spend the money once and keep this system for a good 10-20 years.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
What will your sources be, if they are only digital then you could get something like this -

Focal Trio 6 Be - three way actives with 450w per speaker - £4k ish
The just add a preamp or a dac with variable outputs something like the Cambridge Audio 851N - £1500 and you are sorted or push the boat out with a Naim NAC-N 272 which is closer to £3.5k. There are lots of options for a streamer and a dac plus volume control out there.

If you have a turntable or a mix of analogue and digital sources then a more traditional preamp will be required like the RC1590 you already identified.

And if you really need to boost the low end once you get it in the room then you can add a sub with what's left over.

But worth noting that active speakers are typically designed for use in recording studios (AKA Studio Monitors) and so have a typically flat frequency response which faithfully produces what is on the original (mastered) data/recording. Therefore it will be a warts and all type system where it will sound brilliant on good recordings but will show up any flaws in bad ones. Hifi oriented systems tend to have a less even frequency response which is where you get the "house sound" from people like Kef, B&W, Focal etc. which will design in some variance to give either a bit more bass, treble, mid etc.

Must admit I have been considering going the active route just using a dac plus a passive preamp (tisbury) into active speakers and a sub but still thinking/planning.
 
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Member 769353

Previously davidf
Thanks for the suggestions,

The demo room I tested the speakers are was really small, I didn’t notice any issues with this.

We were sat maybe a metre away from them and had them turned up pretty loud for demo purposes.
Unless your listening position is going to be a metre, this will have been a fairly useless test. At such a short distance, your seating height in relation to the speakers will have played a large part in how they would've sounded - move an inch or two up or down, and they'd have sound different. Only dual concentric speakers will have been more consistent (KEF/Tannoy etc).

Maybe a home test would be best, any recommendations for anyone around the Manchester area?

I was looking at Active Speakers but what kind of quality can I get for about £4-6,000?

Would they equally match a separate setup?
Active systems have certain benefits which passive systems can't match, but they won't have the flexibility of choosing partnering amplification/DAC/pre etc. The main ones that spring to mind would be the active ATC SCM40s.

I was leaning towards getting:

Pre-Amp: Rotel RC-1590 (£1500)
Power Amp: Rotel RB-1590 (£2500)

And either the Dali Rubicon 8 or B&W 702 S2 (need to audition the B&Ws yet)

So that would be either £4,000 or £3,300.

But could I get a better setup for the money?

Active speakers are attractive because it’s all built in..
As an alternative to the above, I'd also look at Hegel. The H190 (150wpc into 8ohms/250wpc into 4ohms) will be good enough for the speakers you're looking at, despite being cheaper, but if you want to spend that sort of budget on an amplifier, the H360 (250wpc into 8ohms/420wpc into 4ohms) will still fit the bill. Despite these being integrated amplifiers, they're immensely capable, with huge reserves of power and a great deal of control. As an example, I've used a Hegel Rost (£2200) with a pair of KEF Blades before, very successfully, more so than many other amplifiers at its price point.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I would look at a pair of KEF Reference 1s. Simply because I lust after them and I know they would perform well in my room. One can dream......:love:
 

droidlike

Active Member

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I was looking at Active Speakers but what kind of quality can I get for about £4-6,000?
Pretty special quality, I'd have thought. But just because you can afford it, don't be tempted to buy too large a speaker for your 24 sq.m. listening room or the room will be overwhelmed with bass. Some fine suggestions already mentioned in this thread to which I would add:

ADAM Audio S3V | (Maybe a bit too large for your room?)
HEDD Type 20 | (Domestic acceptability can be an issue with this physical format?)
Neumann KH310A | (A digital input version also available. Again, maybe physical form is not ideal?)
PSI Audio A17M & A21M | (The A21M would be better room match)
Dynaudio Lyd 48 | (Physical format issue?)
Barefoot MM35 Gen 2 | (Very high tech)
Genelec 8351A | (Even more high tech!)
Quested V2108 | (Old school design)

And I still wouldn't rule these out even though they're below budget:

Event Opal | (A modern classic and, IMO, just the right size for your room)
https://www.thomann.de/gb/genelec_1032_cpm.htm (A more conventional Genelec)

There are many more seriously high quality active studio monitors within your budget from other reputable manufacturers such as ATC, Eve Audio & Focal. You'll notice that few of them are 'lookers' - that's the trade off.

Would they equally match a separate setup?
IME, more than match. Opinions vary on whether active speakers (and I don't mean powered passives) are a superior technology that, generally speaking, audibly outperform equivalently priced amp + passive designs. My view is that they do - very much so - it's why quite a few of us on this forum use them in preference to passive designs (and most, if not all, of us current active users started off with passives, so we have experience of both types).

I suspect one of the reasons for active speaker's generally superior audio quality is because, in an active speaker, each power amplifier is wired directly to a single drive unit. Each amplifier can therefore be designed specifically to match the drive unit to which it connects. Active speakers also use accurate active electronic crossovers to achieve frequency division rather than passive ones found in passive speakers that are less consistent/predictable in their operation.

There are many online articles on the subject of active vs passive speakers which I'm sure you'll investigate if you're sufficiently interested. One thing I would say about true active monitor speakers though is that they tend to offer a more accurate sound - if you're after a softer, cosy sound (i.e. something other than accurate), you're more likely to find a passive that suits.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Here are the DALI RUBICON 8 speakers - £3999/pr -

DALI Rubicon 8 Rosso Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

DALI Rubicon 8 Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Here are full specs on the Rubicon -

DALI Rubicon series - One step closer to the real thing

And here are specs specifically on the Rubicon 8 0

DALI RUBICON 8 - The flagship of the RUBICON series

These are DALI's second from the top of the line speakers, I would except VERY Good results from these.

I would expect those to be incredibly sweet speakers with very wide frequency response. The Bass is rated at 38hz at -3db, so best guess about 32hz at -6db.

All you have really asked us to do is list alternate speakers in that price range ...so... -

Acoustic Energy Reference 3 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Q Acoustics Concept 500 Gloss Black Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Monitor Audio Gold 300 Piano Ebony Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Monitor Audio Gold 300 Dark Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online


Nothing wrong with any of these speakers, but nothing wrong with the Dali Rubicon 8 either. If you heard the Rubicon 8 and liked what you heard, then that seems like a done deal.

But if you get a chance, you could give a listen to the Acoustic Energy Reference, the Q Acoustic Concept 500, or the Monitor Audio Gold 300. All very good speakers.

Just under your budget, the FOCAL ARIA 948 should be very good sounding speakers with 2x8" bass drivers at £2899/pr -

Focal Aria 948 Premium Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

I would expect the QUAD Z-4 to be stunning speakers at £3,199/pr -

Quad Z-4 Speakers (Pair)

The Klipsch Heritage Forte-III are stunning sounding speakers with very high efficiency and priced at £3,999/pr -

Klipsch Heritage Forte III Speakers (Pair)

However, these are more of an old-school big box speakers. And likely as the Reviewer indicates you would need to raise these speaker up 8" to 10" on some type of Stand, which you would like have to have custom built.



All good speakers, including the Rubicon 8. It is just a matter of which ones you have access to for audition. But, in the end, there is no wrong choice in any of these suggested speakers. It's all good man.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Knight77

Novice Member
Here are the DALI RUBICON 8 speakers - £3999/pr -

DALI Rubicon 8 Rosso Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

DALI Rubicon 8 Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Here are full specs on the Rubicon -

DALI Rubicon series - One step closer to the real thing

And here are specs specifically on the Rubicon 8 0

DALI RUBICON 8 - The flagship of the RUBICON series

These are DALI's second from the top of the line speakers, I would except VERY Good results from these.

I would expect those to be incredibly sweet speakers with very wide frequency response. The Bass is rated at 38hz at -3db, so best guess about 32hz at -6db.

All you have really asked us to do is list alternate speakers in that price range ...so... -

Acoustic Energy Reference 3 Speakers (Pair) - Superfi

Q Acoustics Concept 500 Gloss Black Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Monitor Audio Gold 300 Piano Ebony Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

Monitor Audio Gold 300 Dark Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online


Nothing wrong with any of these speakers, but nothing wrong with the Dali Rubicon 8 either. If you heard the Rubicon 8 and liked what you heard, then that seems like a done deal.

But if you get a chance, you could give a listen to the Acoustic Energy Reference, the Q Acoustic Concept 500, or the Monitor Audio Gold 300. All very good speakers.

Just under your budget, the FOCAL ARIA 948 should be very good sounding speakers with 2x8" bass drivers at £2899/pr -

Focal Aria 948 Premium Walnut Floorstanding Speakers (Pair) - Floorstanding Speakers - AudioVisual Online

I would expect the QUAD Z-4 to be stunning speakers at £3,199/pr -

Quad Z-4 Speakers (Pair)

The Klipsch Heritage Forte-III are stunning sounding speakers with very high efficiency and priced at £3,999/pr -

Klipsch Heritage Forte III Speakers (Pair)

However, these are more of an old-school big box speakers. And likely as the Reviewer indicates you would need to raise these speaker up 8" to 10" on some type of Stand, which you would like have to have custom built.



All good speakers, including the Rubicon 8. It is just a matter of which ones you have access to for audition. But, in the end, there is no wrong choice in any of these suggested speakers. It's all good man.

Steve/bluewizard

I’m simply overwhelmed by the choice and alternative options.

I don’t know why but the 702 S2 by B&W keep cropping up too.

I feel as if auditioning so many speakers now that they almost sound the same in demo rooms to me...

Also, I’ve been told by others, that a Pre and Powet Amp set up will be better for the Rubicon 8’s.

The Rotel have been suggested, the pre-amp being £1500 and the power amp @ 350w per channel at 2500.

Plus the 4000 for the Rubicons and it’s SO MUCH money to me that I need to get the purchase right.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I’m simply overwhelmed by the choice and alternative options.
As I have often said, choosing speakers, or any equipment for that matter, is as much about you as is the equipment. One thing that is surely frustrating you search is that you are in a very high class of speakers. There are NO Bad speakers listed in this thread, only speakers that are more likely to match your specific wants and needs.

So, that brings us to the question - what is it you really WANT and NEED. Not just in generalities, but in specifics.

- How big (dimensions) is the room?
- Where will the Speakers be placed in the Room?
If the Speaker must be close to the wall, and I doubt it, then that dictated a different speaker than if you can give the Speakers some space.
- What other equipment will you be using or anticipate using?
- Are there any aspects of the Room that need to be taken into consideration?
Large Glass Windows or Doors? Fireplace? Odd Shape? Built in Cabinets or Bookshelves? Or any other factors?
- Room Acoustics - How are they now, and how far are you willing to go and how much are you willing to spend to improve them?
- What is your preference for Sound? Smooth and laid back? Forward and present? Room shaking bass? Clarity and presence in the Midrage? Other?
- Budget - Budget seems clear, but budget is always a limiting factor. You can get the Monitor Audio Gold 300 (£3000/pr), but you can not get the Monitor Audio Platinum 300 (£8000/pr). Even if by chance you can push yourself up into Platinum territory, you can't push yourself to the Platinum 500 (£10,000/pr). The point is, there is no best, only the best for you within the working price range. And even if you can push to the Platinum 500, you can not push yourself to the £16,000/pr FOCAL Sopra N3. There is always something better, if you have more money to spend.
- That looks cool! - Believe it or not, you are allowed to buy speakers simply because the look cool. Aesthetics is a real and valid consideration. Again, in the price class you are in, there are no bad speakers, only speakers you like more.

You, your person preferences and taste, combined with the circumstances will help narrow the field.

The question isn't what works, but rather what works for you?

I don’t know why but the 702 S2 by B&W keep cropping up too.
The Bowers-Wilkins 700 Series are indeed good speakers. Well worth considering, but remember that the DALI Rubicon are also good speakers, as are all the other speakers listed.

The B&W 702 (£3300/pr) are stunning with the outboard tweeter. Excellent Sound Stage, good detail, well balanced, good Mid/High presence without being bright.

I feel as if auditioning so many speakers now that they almost sound the same in demo rooms to me...
Indeed the choices are near infinite, but what do you want and what do you need? What compromises are dictated by your circumstances? What speakers will best fit your taste and your room?

Again, all the speaker mentioned are good speakers, and it is nearly impossible to go wrong. If we start with that premise, then it becomes a question of which speakers do you like?

Also, I’ve been told by others, that a Pre and Power Amp set up will be better for the Rubicon 8’s.

The Rotel have been suggested, the pre-amp being £1500 and the power amp @ 350w per channel at 2500.
Pre/Power isn't necessary, though certainly a valid option. There may be some circumstances where Pre/Power would be nice to have, but again, not really necessary except is special circumstances.

For examples, the Rotel RC-1572 Pre_Amp (£945) pretty much as the identical features compared to the Integrated Rotel RA-1572 (120w/ch, £1395). The nearest matching Rotel Power Amp would be the RB-1552MKII (130w/ch, £845). So Integrated is £1395, and Pre/Power is £1790 for pretty much the same thing.

The Integrated Rotel RA-1592 (£2095) has lots of features and 200w/ch.

I would suggest, if you consider Rotel, that you only consider Class-AB Power Amps, though ultimately that is your personal decision.

For example, the Rotel RB-1572 is 250w/ch Class D -

RB-1572

The Rotel RB_1582MKII is 200w/ch Class AB -

RB-1582 MkII

Again, that is a matter of preference, mine is to Class AB, but that's not mandatory.

Of course, while you have considerably greater cost in a Pre/Power, you have more flexibility. You can buy the Pre-Amp for the features, and by any Power Amp based on the quality. It is after all the Power Amp you hear. So, Pre/Power can be desirable, but it is not necessary.

The core question around Amps is the same as with Speakers - What do you want? What do you need?

Both the Rotel 1572 and 1592 have Tone Controls, DACs built in, Bluetooth, and Network Streaming. As an alternative you can find Amp/Pre-Amps that simply have a Source Select Switch and a Volume Control and that's it. Which of those do you want and need?

Plus the 4000 for the Rubicons and it’s SO MUCH money to me that I need to get the purchase right.
Again, in this class of speakers there is no wrong choice, that is, they are all good speakers. So, it simply becomes a matter of which one do you like.

Aesthetics are a real factor, if you keep the speakers long term, then you will have to look that them for many years, get speaker you like the look of.

There is nothing wrong with the original consideration of DALI Rubicon. They certainly do look lovely in the natural wood finished.



I would expect these to be exceptionally present and detailed speakers.

Perhaps a slight bit more on the mellow side, the B&W 702.



Though the aesthetics are different, I would expect stunning results from the very highly efficient Klipsch Forte-III.



Right now, because I like Old School Big-Box Speakers, the Forte-III would be high on my list to consider ... if I had the money.

If fact, there last three (with photos) would all be very high on my list of desirable speakers. I would have a hard time choosing between them, though no matter the ultimate choice, you really can't go wrong, they are all fantastic speakers, just in slightly different ways.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
As an alternative for high featured Pre/Pwr and Integrated, consider the highly rated Parasound -

The Parasound P5 Pre-Amp (£1400) has a DAC and Bass Management build it. The Bass Management is handy if you ever decide to integrate a Sub into the system.

Parasound HALO P5 Pre Amplifier

The matching Power Amps are the -

Parasound A23 (125w/ch) - £1300 -


Parasound HALO A23

Parasound A21 (250w/ch) - £3200 -


Parasound HALO A23

Or the Parasound Halo Integrated 2.1 Amp (160w/ch) - £3000 -

Parasound Halo Integrated 2.1 Channel Integrated Amplifier

The Parasound Integrated has upgraded DSD Capable DACs. No Networking though. To add Network Streaming to a system would cost between £500 and £1500.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Knight77

Novice Member
As I have often said, choosing speakers, or any equipment for that matter, is as much about you as is the equipment. One thing that is surely frustrating you search is that you are in a very high class of speakers. There are NO Bad speakers listed in this thread, only speakers that are more likely to match your specific wants and needs.

So, that brings us to the question - what is it you really WANT and NEED. Not just in generalities, but in specifics.

- How big (dimensions) is the room?
- Where will the Speakers be placed in the Room?
If the Speaker must be close to the wall, and I doubt it, then that dictated a different speaker than if you can give the Speakers some space.
- What other equipment will you be using or anticipate using?
- Are there any aspects of the Room that need to be taken into consideration?
Large Glass Windows or Doors? Fireplace? Odd Shape? Built in Cabinets or Bookshelves? Or any other factors?
- Room Acoustics - How are they now, and how far are you willing to go and how much are you willing to spend to improve them?
- What is your preference for Sound? Smooth and laid back? Forward and present? Room shaking bass? Clarity and presence in the Midrage? Other?
- Budget - Budget seems clear, but budget is always a limiting factor. You can get the Monitor Audio Gold 300 (£3000/pr), but you can not get the Monitor Audio Platinum 300 (£8000/pr). Even if by chance you can push yourself up into Platinum territory, you can't push yourself to the Platinum 500 (£10,000/pr). The point is, there is no best, only the best for you within the working price range. And even if you can push to the Platinum 500, you can not push yourself to the £16,000/pr FOCAL Sopra N3. There is always something better, if you have more money to spend.
- That looks cool! - Believe it or not, you are allowed to buy speakers simply because the look cool. Aesthetics is a real and valid consideration. Again, in the price class you are in, there are no bad speakers, only speakers you like more.

You, your person preferences and taste, combined with the circumstances will help narrow the field.

The question isn't what works, but rather what works for you?



The Bowers-Wilkins 700 Series are indeed good speakers. Well worth considering, but remember that the DALI Rubicon are also good speakers, as are all the other speakers listed.

The B&W 702 (£3300/pr) are stunning with the outboard tweeter. Excellent Sound Stage, good detail, well balanced, good Mid/High presence without being bright.



Indeed the choices are near infinite, but what do you want and what do you need? What compromises are dictated by your circumstances? What speakers will best fit your taste and your room?

Again, all the speaker mentioned are good speakers, and it is nearly impossible to go wrong. If we start with that premise, then it becomes a question of which speakers do you like?



Pre/Power isn't necessary, though certainly a valid option. There may be some circumstances where Pre/Power would be nice to have, but again, not really necessary except is special circumstances.

For examples, the Rotel RC-1572 Pre_Amp (£945) pretty much as the identical features compared to the Integrated Rotel RA-1572 (120w/ch, £1395). The nearest matching Rotel Power Amp would be the RB-1552MKII (130w/ch, £845). So Integrated is £1395, and Pre/Power is £1790 for pretty much the same thing.

The Integrated Rotel RA-1592 (£2095) has lots of features and 200w/ch.

I would suggest, if you consider Rotel, that you only consider Class-AB Power Amps, though ultimately that is your personal decision.

For example, the Rotel RB-1572 is 250w/ch Class D -

RB-1572

The Rotel RB_1582MKII is 200w/ch Class AB -

RB-1582 MkII

Again, that is a matter of preference, mine is to Class AB, but that's not mandatory.

Of course, while you have considerably greater cost in a Pre/Power, you have more flexibility. You can buy the Pre-Amp for the features, and by any Power Amp based on the quality. It is after all the Power Amp you hear. So, Pre/Power can be desirable, but it is not necessary.

The core question around Amps is the same as with Speakers - What do you want? What do you need?

Both the Rotel 1572 and 1592 have Tone Controls, DACs built in, Bluetooth, and Network Streaming. As an alternative you can find Amp/Pre-Amps that simply have a Source Select Switch and a Volume Control and that's it. Which of those do you want and need?



Again, in this class of speakers there is no wrong choice, that is, they are all good speakers. So, it simply becomes a matter of which one do you like.

Aesthetics are a real factor, if you keep the speakers long term, then you will have to look that them for many years, get speaker you like the look of.

There is nothing wrong with the original consideration of DALI Rubicon. They certainly do look lovely in the natural wood finished.



I would expect these to be exceptionally present and detailed speakers.

Perhaps a slight bit more on the mellow side, the B&W 702.



Though the aesthetics are different, I would expect stunning results from the very highly efficient Klipsch Forte-III.



Right now, because I like Old School Big-Box Speakers, the Forte-III would be high on my list to consider ... if I had the money.

If fact, there last three (with photos) would all be very high on my list of desirable speakers. I would have a hard time choosing between them, though no matter the ultimate choice, you really can't go wrong, they are all fantastic speakers, just in slightly different ways.

Steve/bluewizard

The main thing I would want the speaker to do is have a solid soundstage - something that’s dramatic - so when watching movies, it brings them to life.

Fine detail and clarity is massively important with just the right amount of bass - I don’t really want bass heavy but enough for to recreate the desired effect.

Same for the music - the detail is important and for the music to feel like it’s enveloped the whole room without distorting and without it becoming a loud mess if you turn up the volume a little.

Although they all perform well with music it’s the movies side I want to make sure I get correct.

I may only watch 1-2 4K Bly-Rays per month as apposed to many more hours of music but I still want the speaker to be able to handle movies well because of course they contain dialogue that needs to be sharp, punch and accurate as well as the sound effects and the music within movies too.

I do some causal gaming too - mainly story based games that can range from very quiet environments where again fine detail is important or very loud games where a lot is happening.

I would want a speaker to excel here too.

I do want to have a speaker that can project the sound so it feels like the sound is coming from around you - something the Dali’s I felt did well in the two demo rooms I tried them in so far - but are there better for this?

I’ve been told the B&Ws are more neutral?

I would want the speakers to rise to a sense of occasion - so when I eventually watch Avengers - Infinity War in 4K - it again delivers a worthy audio performance too.

I did read the Dali’s are impressive for movies too and this is what initially brought me to those but are there any other speakers aimed at this?

Visually speaking I will only really purchase a set of “Black” speakers that are the traditional look.

I have very much so invested a lot of time look through all the recommendations and reading about them.

However the ones that look different to the traditional look I don’t think I could visually have in my living room for the next 10-15 years!

I much prefer the Dali Rubicon 8s and B&W 702 S2 in their respective Black colour options with the grille on.

I think for your Amp advice I will accept that ok perhaps I don’t need a pre/power then.

The shop assistant made it out as if I wouldn’t be able to get the best out of them with just the Rotel-1592 Intergrated Amplifier so I was reconsidering this.

But if it is more than enough to run them than I prefer the single solution - again in black.

Finally - I do appreciate your replies to, along with everyone who has tried to help, your write ups are fantastic.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
...

Fine detail and clarity is massively important with just the right amount of bass...
...

Although they all perform well with music it’s the movies side I want to make sure I get correct.
In my opinion ... speakers that perform well for Music will also preform well for Movies, but not necessarily the reverse. Speakers that perform well for Movies do not ...necessarily... perform well for Music. Of course there are a lot of variable so consider in that statement.

I have Diamond 9.6 speakers, that are smooth and mellow for music, just the way I like them. But for movies, I would prefer a speaker with more Mid/High presence to emphasize dialog more.

The B&W 702-S2 are a very smooth speaker, but they are not lacking in Mid/High presence, it is just a very smooth Mid/High presence. If you can get a chance to listen to these speakers absolutely do so, they are very nice.

The DALI Rubicon have a Tweeter/Super-Tweeter arrangement, so they are not lacking in Mid/High presence. I would expect very good results from these speakers. Music will not be overly bright (though that's a matter of opinion), and Movie will have good vocal presence.

Though not a modern traditional speaker, the Klipsch Forte-III are very efficient. They also have good Mid/High presences and good sound stage. The efficiency means that every minute detail of the sound is heard. There is a video on line, that, through demo, directly compares the Forte-III to the Klipsh RF-7-III (2x10"). The RF-7 have good Mid, but they are also clearly more V-Shaped. That is emphasis on the Bass and Treble. But when compared side-by-side, the Midrange detail on the Forte-III is very clear and present.

Let me see if I can find that video -


Listen closely you can hear the Mid Stand out on the Forte-III. Use headphones if you can.



I may only watch 1-2 4K Bly-Rays per month ...

I do some causal gaming too - ...

I do want to have a speaker that can project the sound so it feels like the sound is coming from around you - something the Dali’s I felt did well in the two demo rooms I tried them in so far - but are there better for this?

....

Visually speaking I will only really purchase a set of “Black” speakers that are the traditional look.
Natural woodgrain would be the traditional look, BLACK is the modern trendy look. Black are good in a Home Cinema room where you want the speakers and amp to disappear, but in a lounge or living room, woodgrain are going to be so much nicer when the lights are on.

Still, that is your personal choice. I suspect most speaker are available in Black today. And, though it may not appeal to you, many speakers are also available in WHITE.



I think for your Amp advice I will accept that ok perhaps I don’t need a pre/power then.

The shop assistant made it out as if I wouldn’t be able to get the best out of them with just the Rotel-1592 Integrated Amplifier so I was reconsidering this.

But if it is more than enough to run them than I prefer the single solution - again in black.

Finally - I do appreciate your replies to, along with everyone who has tried to help, your write ups are fantastic.
The Rotel 1592 has 200w/ch as well as many additional features. It is nuts to think they would not be sufficient for any of those speakers. But, more power is always a good thing. especially if it is good clean low-noise power. I recently watch a review of Z-Reviews new Home Theater Amps .... 1550w/ch. He has two Crown Amps (XLS2502) that can be bridged into mono amps with an 8 ohm power of 1550w. His previous amps had 350w/ch.

But unless you have money to burn and you want very high powered amps, I think in the 150w/ch to 250w/ch is something of the sweet spot, though you are going to pay dearly for those watts. But not as dearly as if you want 500w/ch to 1000w/ch.

The Rubicon 8 have a Sensitivity of 90.5db, but they are nominally rated at 4 ohms. The 4 ohms means not that you need a lot of Amp Watts to drive them, but that you need a lot of Watts in the POWER SUPPLY.

The Rotel RA-1592 have amps rated at 200w/ch, but it also has a 500w Power Supply, and is rated as a 4 ohm capable amp.

With the Rubicon rated at 90.5db, you can exceed standard Reference Levels with ONE Watt of power. You can reach Peak Reference Levels (105db) with 32 watts.

The Klipsch Forte-II are rated at 99dB, meaning they can reason Peak Reference Levels with FOUR watts (105db).

The Bowers-Wilkins 702-S2 is also rated at 90dB, so again, 32 watt to reach the Peak Reference Level of 105db.

Though not cheap, the Parasound A21 250w/ch Power Amp has a bank of 100,000µF Capacitors to absorb transient demand for current, and has a 60 amp per channel peak current capability. Just for purposes of illustration, if we push 60 amps into 8 ohms, the resulting power is 28,800 WATTS. Of course that's not a realistic situation, but it illustrates that his amp has massive power reserves

Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

The question is, how far do you want (and can afford) to take it?

You can mix and match. For example, the Rotel RC-1572 Pre-Amp has all the feature of the Rotel RA-1572/1592 Integrated amps, but is about £400 less than the Parasound P5 Pre-Amp which has Bass Management but no Network Streaming. The Parasound A21 Power Amp is a very considerable £3200. But using Rotel Pre and Parasound Power still saves you £400. Which you choose will depend on the features you want. Whether Streaming is more important than Bass Management.

£_945 = Rotel RC-1572
£3200 = Parasound A21, 250w/ch Power Amp
--------------------------
£4145 = Total


To do the same thing in all Rotel would be

£_945 = Rotel RC-1572 Pre-Amp
£1345 = Rotel RB-1582 MKII (200w/ch)
--------------------------
£2290 = Total


Rotel - RC-1572 Pre-Amp

Rotel - RB-1582 MkII 200w/ch Power Amp

If you want Power, as in the Power Supply that backs up the amps, then it is going to cost you.

I suspect in the end ... YOUR WALLET... is the limiting factor.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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meduk1

Active Member
Really like the look of the Klipsch Forte III. I think the older style big boxes look really good.

What other companies are doing speakers such as those? I'm aware of Harbeth and Spendor, anything else?
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I only have USA links to the following speaker, though they are available world wide -

4429 - JBL Synthesis

JBL - 4429 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)

https://www.musicdirect.com/Search?searchterm=JBL 4429&sort=popularity|DESC&page=1&pagesize=24&c1=tab-products&c2=grid

ATC made old-school big-box speakers, but these are NOT going to be cheap -

SCM20 | ATC Loudspeakers

SCM20ASLT | ATC Loudspeakers

Yamaha's Flagship NS-5000 Speaker - again NOT cheap - is a similar design -

NS-5000 - Overview - Speaker Systems - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha - UK and Ireland


Steve/bluewizard
 

nomore landings

Standard Member
Hi Knight77,

IMHO the Rubicons are excellent speakers and like you I bought my 6s with a view to lifetime ownership. After 16 months I find them very difficult to fault with a wide range of music and are also more forgiving of poor recordings than most. I have previously owned top of the range MAs, KEF refs(1995) and various B&Ws. I auditioned PMCs, Focals, Spendor D7 using my amp/cd and a few others.
davidf makes a good point - your ear height is critical for the ribbons and the 8s are tall speakers (great lateral dispersion but limited vertical) I can change the sonic balance by reclining the listening chair! My room is 4.5m sq and I think the extra bass of the 8s would be a little OTT - the 6s are not shy in bass - mine are 80cms from the rear wall with bass traps in the rear corners. They sit on GAIA 3 feet, which I highly recommend for clean, fast bass which also opens up the mid range. (all of above room dependant) As this is first post on here not sure if equipment shows up below, but have Opticon 6s and Ikon 6s in AV setup and are excellent to my ears. As others have said, if the music sounds right, then AV will too.
HiFi Marantz SA & PM 14S1se which are a great match for Dali Rubicons IMHO.
 
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