Question How to spend my money - Speaker upgrade.

RimBlock

Active Member
I will first prefix this with the fact that I am in no way an audiophile but I do enjoy listening to music and watching movies on the system I have. My environment is fairly noisy (busy main road, ceiling fan running & 4 kids :D ).

I am now in the position to spend a bit of money to upgrade and have been thinking of two options. Upgrade my HT amp or upgrade my front L/R speakers. The guys over in the HT section have given some great advice on the first option and it would be great to get some advice here for the second.

I am located in Singapore (hence the always on ceiling fan). Prices below are in Singapore $ (its around 1.75 quid to 1 S$ currently so if you double the UK price it will give a rough guide to Singapore pricing).

Budget is around S$1,000 --> S$1,500.

My current amp is a Yamaha AVR 667 which feeds a Rotel RB-1552 power amp which feeds a pair of Wharfedale Emerald 93 bookshelfs - 100w 8ohms (stand mounted). I have around 6" to the wall side and 1ft to the rear of the speaker positions space.

I also have a Wharfedale center and surrounds set of speakers plus a SVS 12" sub.

Two options I can see.

S$1k for speakers and boost the amp (for HT) with a 5 channel power amp (this will take the other S$500).

S$1.5k for the speakers. There is a nuclear option of S$2k for the speakers but I will probably regret it :rotfl:.

I am fine with used or new but getting from ebay etc is difficult here. Some items that have sparked some interest in the used market sites here include;

  • Monitor Audio Silver 8 Floorstanders @ S$650
  • Quad 21L @ S$500
  • Quad 22L Tower @ S$1,250
  • B&W 606 bookshelf @ S$1,000
  • B&W 705 bookshelf @ S$1,250
  • Dali ikon 6 mk1 @ S$1,050
  • Linn Ninka @ S$700
  • Castle Pembroke @ S$700
  • Quad L- Center speaker @S$300 (maybe for pairing with the Quad 21L's)
  • Focal chorus 726 floorstanding speakers @ S$2,000
Do any of the above look like they maybe worth taking a look at the price ?.

Any other suggestions in the three price brackets that maybe worth a look new ?.
S$1,000 (500 quid).
S$1,500 (750 quid).
S$2,000 (1,000 quid).

My problem is that I really do not know where the Wharfedale speakers I have sit price wise when looking at what to spend to step up. Most shops here just carry a couple of brands so it is hard to compare across a range especially if I have no starting point.

For anyone who likes hunting for bargins, the two sites of interest for used audio are carousel and xtremeplace (mods please remove if these links break any forums rules).
 
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Hixs

Distinguished Member
2k s$ is high for the 726. They retail around £1100 in the UK, occasionally dropping to £900 in the sales. Around €900-1100 in France where they are made.

Out of your used list, the Silver8 stand out as a bit of bargain. They'd need a better amp to make the most of them though.
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Great, just the sort of info I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time.

Would the Rotel power amp not be 'strong' enough to drive the MA's or is the concern more on the preamp stage ?.

I am actually a little concerned by that advert as the drivers in the speakers are not smooth as per the Silver 8 reviews but have central bumps.

Any other suggestion from others out there.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Ah they predate the silver8 and silver 500. These go for around £220 used going from a quick Google.
 

RimBlock

Active Member
So, just to close off this thread.

I ended up getting the Focal 726's.

I went to the main shopping center for all things HiFi in Singapore and listened to the QAcoustics 3050i's & Elac F6.2's in one retailer and as they had a output switch hooked up they could flick between the speakers as the track was playing which helped massively. Will do a separate post on my impressions.

I was offered the F6.2 & B6.2's for S$2k (around S$250 off list price here).

I then went to the Focal dealer and heard the Chorus 726's and instantly felt I wanted those. Problem is that new in Singapore these are S$2.6k... however the guy wanted to clear the demo set which has a bump on the top front edge (hidden by the grill) and a little wear and tear (bit of making on the focal label top plates etc) and he offered them for S$1.5k (yep 1.1k discount on the new set) and then offered to throw in the C700 center speaker also (after a bit of back and forth) at my limit of 2k all in.

So I took delivery of the Chorus 726's and C700 last weekend and have been trying them out ever since.

Very happy musically and fairly happy movie wise but need to get the sub dialed in yet.

Thanks for your responses @Hixs . Whilst it may not have provided a solution, it stopped a costly wrong turn with used items thinking they were a bargain and got me thinking in other directions.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Having reread your OP I noticed the currency conversion you did, missed that originally :blush:. So 2k s$ was actually a decent price given you have quite high import taxes there. So, you got yourself a proper bargain there.

They like power, so don't be afraid to give them some. I've noticed a massive difference in mine when running them with the avr then switching over to the Arcam. The Arcam delivers its power like a ferrari, whilst the Marantz delivers it like a 50cc scooter. :D
 

RimBlock

Active Member
They are running off the Rotel 1582 power amp so have a bit of welly behind them if needed (enough for the apartment I am in anyway). I do have to ramp the gain up bit more than with the Wharfedales on the AVR though.

Now just trying to get the SVS sub dialed in and working with the AVR as the plate amp went a while ago and was replaced (surprised it was actually pretty cheap at around 15% the overall sub price) but never got it tuned to the old speakers. This was mainly as I was not watching many movies.

Got my interest back with the new speakers and looking at high level outputs to the sub and REW (need to get a mic) and possibly a miniDSP device.

Oh I am once again falling down that rabbit hole :clap:.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Yeah I had considered miniDSP, but having removed the sub from music duties, I don't think I'll bother. The AVRs room correction does a good enough job for movies.
 

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