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Question Seeking advice re upgrading bookshelf speakers

nickdc

Active Member
Within the next few weeks I may be in the position to upgrade some of my kit, the speakers in the kitchen being, I think, the weakest link in a somewhat unusual 'daisy' chain. I'd be most grateful for advice and recommendations taking into account my specific situation:

In the main living/cinema room is an Arcam SR-250 which I've recently connected by cable to an Arcam A90 in a living room at the other end of the house. The A90 drives a pair of Linn Keosas in the same room. Because the Keosas are only 4Ω, I can't use the second set of speaker outputs on the Arcam (the manual warns against overheating), so to drive the speakers in the adjoining (with no connecting door) kitchen, I use a Teac AH-500i, fed by the Tape Out signal from the Arcam. It's possible that over the coming years I will upgrade the Keosas to something with 8Ω impedance, so I can dispense with the Teac, or I may upgrade/replace the Teac with a power amp, or upgrade the Arcam ... But these are decisions for the future. The kitchen speakers are KEF Cresta 1s (SP3320) and are audibly the least effective element currently and I'd be willing to spend a few hundred quid for either new or second-hand replacements that would be certain to produce a better sound from my present setup and be equal to future upgrades of other elements of that setup. One final but crucial detail: the positioning of the Crestas in the kitchen is not ideal but unlikely to change: they are on wall-mounted brackets on the shorter, end wall of a largish (very large by today's micro kitchen standards) rectangular room; they are not symmetrically placed and one is in the corner near the doorway and the other in a corner created by a large freestanding cupboard. Given these conditions, is it sensible to invest in something like KEF LS50s, one of the options I've considered? What would others do?

PS My personal circumstances are such that it is unrealistic to visit showrooms etc for listening tests. I realise speaker choice in particular is a very personal thing, but I'm not worried about the subtler nuances, I just want something that to anyone's ears will clearly produce a better sound.
 
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nickdc

Active Member
OK, I should have done more reading of similar threads before posting. Having done so I'm not particularly surprised to have had no response so far. But while waiting to see if someone might chip in, I've made some progress, starting with the thread started by EtheAv8r on 18th Feb. Even though my budget is much more modest I found the discussion very helpful and after further research and thought I've reached some conclusions which I'd be grateful for comment on:

1. Given the positioning of the speakers it would be silly to choose a pair in which positioning is more critical to performance. From what I've read, this rules out the KEF LS50s.
2. In any case, since this is not the main listening room, I shouldn't be looking to stretch my budget for top performance; versatility and "good enough" performance is more realistic.
3. So my final shortlist is between Q Acoustics Concept 20 and Dynaudio Emit M10. I favour the latter (slightly more compact but a lot less heavy - are the Q Acoustics really 12kg?? - and equal or better sound) but I'm asking myself if it's worth paying around an extra £200 given my situation.
What do others think?
 

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