Floorstanding Speakers - Max £600

Matt52

Novice Member
Hi everyone,
first post here. :)
I would like to ask you for advice. I am about to move and, going to a new home, I want to buy a pair of floorstanding speakers, expecting a cost of no more than £600 (I don't live in UK, so it's an approximate cost).
Of course I will try to listen as much as possible before buying, but in the meantime I would like to have some advice given by your experience. And, if possible, some of you could help me understand the different "type of sound" of the various speakers.

This is a list of speakers I'm considering:
  • Dali Spektor 6;
  • Q Acoustic 3050i;
  • Elac Debut F5.2;
  • Monitor Audio Montior 300 (I am intrigued by this new Monitor Series, even if I did not understand very well the difference with the bronze ones);
  • Polk Audio (probably the S Series? S50 or S55);
  • Wharfedale 12.3;
  • JBL A190.

Important: I have a Marantz PM6007 amp, which I can't change at the moment. For sure I have to consider my amp before choosing speakers.

All advice welcome. And sorry for my English. :)
 
Last edited:

lindsayt

Active Member
Buy a pair of Fane 12 250TC full range drivers. Put them in an 18mm Baltic Birch sealed braced plywood cabinet. Or a 25mm flooring chipboard cabinet.

Or alternatively buy a pair of the Fane 15" full range drivers and put them in a sealed cabinet.

If you're not into DIY, get a friend or a cabinet maker to make the cabinets.

You will have change from £600. And you will have speakers that sound comfortably better than all the ones you listed.
You will find no pressing need to change your amplifier with speakers as efficient and as easy a load as the Fane full ranges.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Hi.
I'd say the same thing to anyone with a ~£600 budget. Buy stand mounts. Your money puts you in the next quality bracket up, whereas that money for floorstanders is still only enough for budget ranges.
One exception would be if you could stretch to £700 and get QA Concept 40's.
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
I’d also be going second hand :)

Maybe some last gen Dynaudio Emit?
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Amazon, via Peter Tyson and Home AV Direct, have a couple of pairs of Dali Oberon 5 for £639.

Amazon product

May or may not work for you being out side the UK.
 

Matt52

Novice Member
I understand the budget talk, but I've never had floorstanding speakers and taking advantage of the move, I wanted to buy them, even giving up something in terms of sound quality. I will not have a dedicated room for listening, I will use them in the living room.
Regarding second-hand products, I don't have enough experience, but I'm also looking at this in the various stores. Honestly, I would rather buy them new.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You have to consider the size of your room and where they can be positioned to get the best out of them. I have to agree with others though, for your budget you should be looking at the secondary market so that you can get more bangs for your buck.
 

gava

Well-known Member
I'm not sure I agree.

Of course used can be better value, but it's higher risk.

Of course you can go upscale on standmounts, but there are compromises too - usually you want a sub to go with them.

The speakers you have listed are all readily available for listening tests in most hifi shops and are all capable of quite respectable performance with your amp.

I would try to find some objective measurements for as many of them as you can and rule out ones that simply don't perform well - that can narrow your list to a smaller number, then go listen to the remaining ones in the shop. Take account of their sensitivity to go with your amplifier.

Also look out for special deals - open box, ex-demo, etc from dealers. Chances are if you can find a speaker that recently retailed for £1,000 for £600 then it's going to be a good buy.

KEF are doing a 20% discount at the moment in the UK (perhaps in Italy too?) for any trade in, so you could likely get the Q550 which are normally a bit out of your price bracket.

Also perhaps worth looking at the new JBL Stage series - A170/180/190 - depending on the price where you are. JBL frequency response is usually very clean, though I haven't seen any tests of these yet.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi,

Looking at your list, the Wharfedale 12.3 gives you a lot of speaker for your money (£499). They are rather large in person compared with some of the photos online and look more impressive than their price suggests. They produce pretty deep bass, although it isn't as tight or controlled as floor-standers for about £200 more (Bronze 200, Dali Oberon 5). The midrange is the star, although I found recordings of female vocals sometimes had sibilants...but only sometimes.

I haven't heard the Q Acoustics 3050i, but if they are anything like the 3030i, they will be great. I think they are going cheaper these days. If you can go up to £699, the QA Concept 40s are absolutely amazing. A bit old fashioned in their appearance, but the sound...soooo smooth.

I haven't heard the Monitor 300s. I have owned a few in the Bronze range and the Silver 200s, and they are great, but a little sharp in the treble for my taste.

I didn't like the Dali Spektor range myself...plus the Oberon 5s are going for around £650 now...I would probably go with that if you go with Dali. They were a little forward and bright for me, but I like a laid back speaker with just a hint of sparkle, so you may like that kind of sound.

Having a listen for yourself is best. The reviews, the opinions, are all subjective, sometimes even misleading (reviewers being paid for advertising or getting free trials of equipment leads to conflicts of interest). Try and find measurements, get some ideas from people on AVForums what may be good to try, have a listen for yourself, then decide. Good luck :)
 

Matt52

Novice Member
I'm not sure I agree.

Of course used can be better value, but it's higher risk.

Of course you can go upscale on standmounts, but there are compromises too - usually you want a sub to go with them.

The speakers you have listed are all readily available for listening tests in most hifi shops and are all capable of quite respectable performance with your amp.

I would try to find some objective measurements for as many of them as you can and rule out ones that simply don't perform well - that can narrow your list to a smaller number, then go listen to the remaining ones in the shop. Take account of their sensitivity to go with your amplifier.

Also look out for special deals - open box, ex-demo, etc from dealers. Chances are if you can find a speaker that recently retailed for £1,000 for £600 then it's going to be a good buy.

KEF are doing a 20% discount at the moment in the UK (perhaps in Italy too?) for any trade in, so you could likely get the Q550 which are normally a bit out of your price bracket.

Also perhaps worth looking at the new JBL Stage series - A170/180/190 - depending on the price where you are. JBL frequency response is usually very clean, though I haven't seen any tests of these yet.
Thank you for your comment. I don't know about KEF discount in Italy, but I'll check.

I add the JBLs to the list, I just remembered that I had seen them and they were recommended to me.
Elac should be the one with the lowest sensitivity (86), but I have read that they are very easy to handle and have no problem being placed very close to a wall. :)
 

Matt52

Novice Member
Hi,

Looking at your list, the Wharfedale 12.3 gives you a lot of speaker for your money (£499). They are rather large in person compared with some of the photos online and look more impressive than their price suggests. They produce pretty deep bass, although it isn't as tight or controlled as floor-standers for about £200 more (Bronze 200, Dali Oberon 5). The midrange is the star, although I found recordings of female vocals sometimes had sibilants...but only sometimes.

I haven't heard the Q Acoustics 3050i, but if they are anything like the 3030i, they will be great. I think they are going cheaper these days. If you can go up to £699, the QA Concept 40s are absolutely amazing. A bit old fashioned in their appearance, but the sound...soooo smooth.

I haven't heard the Monitor 300s. I have owned a few in the Bronze range and the Silver 200s, and they are great, but a little sharp in the treble for my taste.

I didn't like the Dali Spektor range myself...plus the Oberon 5s are going for around £650 now...I would probably go with that if you go with Dali. They were a little forward and bright for me, but I like a laid back speaker with just a hint of sparkle, so you may like that kind of sound.

Having a listen for yourself is best. The reviews, the opinions, are all subjective, sometimes even misleading (reviewers being paid for advertising or getting free trials of equipment leads to conflicts of interest). Try and find measurements, get some ideas from people on AVForums what may be good to try, have a listen for yourself, then decide. Good luck :)
Thank you. I will listen as much as I can. I heard the same opinions you are saying about Wharfedale from a couple of shopkeepers as well.
I currently have a pair of Q Acoustic 3020 and I am fine with it. But I have to be honest: I haven't listened too much in my life, so I have to explore better.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Go for floor standing speakers. Either Oberon 5. Or if you are lucky getting the old Silver 300 series for 40 percent then original asking price.

The Marantz should have no problems driving either of this options.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I’ve owned the Oberon 5. Fine speakers with full bass. Can be to forward in upper midrange, making female voicing sounding thin.

Other then this they are fine budget speakers.

At the moment I have the Silver 300. They are so dynamic, smooth sounding you want regret it.

Bass is much deeper since this are 3 way speakers.

I use them with the Marantz PM8006.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Thank you. I will listen as much as I can. I heard the same opinions you are saying about Wharfedale from a couple of shopkeepers as well.
I currently have a pair of Q Acoustic 3020 and I am fine with it. But I have to be honest: I haven't listened too much in my life, so I have to explore better.
No worries. To be honest, if you like the 3020, the 3030i would be a nice, and affordable upgrade. The bass they put out is pretty impressive, not far off a floorstander. Nice imaging, smooth delivery, nice level of detail...I used to have the 3020s, and the 3030i are a good step up. Plus only £240 (UK price)...might be worth considering.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Polk Audio-can’t comment on how they sound. However I get the impression they aren’t mentioned so much by audiophiles when speakers are discussed.

The ones I’ve seen on the web, do not impress me. The design is ugly. Could of course sound amazing.

For me personally the design is important. The Oberon 5 don’t have magnetic grills, other then this they look real nice. It’s not real wood finish on them, just vinyl finish. So perhaps bit cheap finish for the asking price. Only you can decide.

But be very careful if you don’t want to have any scratches when removing grills.

As mentioned they look real nice, however the Wharfdale speakers look more robust then the Oberon 5. Better finish.

The Silver 300 may be to expensive if you can’t get them from nice hifi store who wants to sell the old generation, because the new ones are on the market.

If you can get them in the rosewood finish, you’ll love them. But black finish also fits modern homes with white walls.

Good luck. 👍
 

FootHealer

Active Member
As mentioned they look real nice, however the Wharfdale speakers look more robust then the Oberon 5. Better finish.
Hi,
I've owned both, and the Oberon 5 seemed to have a better finish and build quality to the Diamond 12.3s. But, they were priced at nearly a third more at full asking price. The Diamonds are still solid and heavy, but the Oberons have the edge on sound and build, as long as you like the Dali sound of course.
 

Matt52

Novice Member
Well, that's not my primary focus, but having to keep the speakers in the living room, design is part of the story. :)
 

gava

Well-known Member
Concept 40 from Q Acoustics every time.

Yes absolutely if you can find them within your budget in Italy. They are a very good deal in the UK but still around £700.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
If you like the 3020 you'll probably like the 3050s, however make sure you've room for them. They will need a bit of room or they'll be boomy. I like the marantz q acoustic sound, that's just a preference, but (from experience) I know if speakers are too big in a room it's not good
 

Matt52

Novice Member
If you like the 3020 you'll probably like the 3050s, however make sure you've room for them. They will need a bit of room or they'll be boomy. I like the marantz q acoustic sound, that's just a preference, but (from experience) I know if speakers are too big in a room it's not good
Do you mean space behind the speaker, such as distance from the wall, or a large enough room?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Do you mean space behind the speaker, such as distance from the wall, or a large enough room?
Around 50-60 cm from the walls, or the bass can get boomy. Still this is room independent.
 

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