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Stereo speaker advice please

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by StooMonster, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    I am starting to look for some new L+R speakers; and would like some suggestions please.

    These speakers would ideally be 4 ohm and able to handle 300 watts of power, and cost somewhere between £800 and £1600 for the pair.

    I am also interested in second-hand suggestions too.

    Thanks in advance.

    StooMonster
     
  2. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    M&K S-150THX are £1600 pair, supposed to be very good. They're 4 Ohm, and can handle lots of power.
     
  3. Gambit

    Gambit
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    Totem Model One's are my favorite speaker at that price range, but I'm not sure about their impedance. Why is 4 ohms so important? I'm sure Dynaudio will do a Contour medal at that price range, Quan have the 22L floorstanders below that, B+W will do a couple of models around there, and more that others will suggest soon :) I wouldn't imagine too much power being an issue for any of them
     
  4. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far, about to go and check some of these out.

    Why 4Ohm? My amps are 100W at 8Ohm and 170W at 4Ohm -- therefore more bang for buck.

    Furthermore, I will bi-amp so at 4Ohm that's 340W ... err ... showing my bad maths before. :blush:

    Or indeed my complete lack of knowledge and therefore ignorance, if bi-amped will it be 170W or 340W? :eek:

    Also forgot to say these are both for CD stereo and L+R in movies.

    StooMonster
     
  5. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    I think you need to read about amp design. 4 Ohm speakers are harder to drive (compared to 8Ohm)

    What amp have you got?

    And biamping does not increase power. It eases the strain on the amps (less current draw), and I think it sounds better (than normal powering)
     
  6. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Now I'm looking even more daft and ignorant... :blush:

    Arcam FMJ amps, just got the manuals out and they say:

    170W 4ohms single channel
    110W 8ohms single channel

    150W 4ohms both channels
    100W 8ohms both channels

    I'm not taking the mick, but if it's harder to drive 4ohm speakers how does the above work? Isn't ohm measure of electrical resistance, so lower the ohm the easier to drive?

    I currently have 6ohm 100W speakers, bi-amped from the above. IMHO bi-amping definately sounds better; at least with my kit.

    I admit I didn't know if it effectively doubled up the watts too, thanks for clearing that up. Perhaps my new speakers don't need quite so much power handling -- until next upgrade time. ;)

    StooMonster
     
  7. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Ignore the single channel figures- pretty much useless.

    Basically because 4 Ohm speakers require more current, the amp requires more current from the power supply. If the power supply is up to the job, power into 4 Ohm should be higher than 8 Ohm.

    In a perfect amp, every half impedance drop - ie 8 to 4- output should double- ie 100W, 200W. Hardly any amps around can do this (Krell), so as long as it gives 50% more into a half impedance, then you know that amp is good quality.

    Although, there is "small print"

    I could quote a Technics amp at 1000W into 4 ohm. Sounds better than your Arcam doesn't it? However it will probably at 20% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) which will undoubtly fry your speakers/shut the amp off.

    And you have the 1Khz test rating, which is pants! Using this method a amp manu. can make itself look better. The standard is 20hz-20khz full sweep, into 8 Ohm, both channels driven, with no less than (approx) 0.05% THD.

    When a amp has both channels driven (and given less wattage) then possibly the power supply is not that great- it should have even output, regardless of one or two channels driven.

    Confused?:D
     
  8. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Oh yeah forgot about Bridging as well!

    Bridging channels (say bridging a 2 channel into a one channel poweramp) will increase power ouput, usually it'll triple it. (ie 100W to 300W)

    However low impedance current drive is reduced. It's better to use a high powered amp normally than a lower-powered amp bridged.

    I would never bridge a amp to drive a subwoofer.

    In use bass drivers (not just subwoofers) dip down to around very low impedance, that's why it's not recommended to bridge
     
  9. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
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    Getting back to speakers (not complaining, Mr. Squarepants! ;) ), I can definitely recommend the Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Mk. II (£1300) and ATC SCM-12 (£999), both absolutely *fantastic* speakers - arguably better than a lot of very expensive speakers. Also, both can handle a LOT of power (ATCs rated to 300W, not sure about the Dyns).

    If you'd consider selling your power amps, have a listen to ATC's active range. I have their Active 10s at £1260, and they're absolutely fabulous - the active crossover/amplification design improves dynamics and phase coherence, and leads to superb sound quality and unburstable power (250 real watts per channel in this case). They've also just recently released the new model of Active 20s, at just over £2000 I believe, that should sound stunning as well, and you should be able to afford them if you flog your power amps. :)

    Another possibility is the B&W Nautilus 805 (£1400), though I didn't find it as realistic, dynamic, or controlled in the bass region as either the ATC or Dyn.

    Cheers,

    Dunc
     
  10. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Thanks for the detailed reply, very easy to follow.


    Okay, so my amps although not perfect they give 50% more into a half impedance; so are good quality. :)

    Is this what my local hi-fi dealer refers to as Japanese Watts versus British Watts when he's talking to punters? :clown:

    You are correct, the manuals have the "pants" rating of 100W 8Ohms @ 1kHz = 0.02% Harmonic Distortion.

    By single channel, it means bridged channels. Wonder why these amps only go from 100W to 110W when bridged at 8 ohms and not tripple power? Perhaps it is the power supply.

    Not at all, your explaination is very clear. Thanks!

    StooMonster
     
  11. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    That's a couple of recommendations of Dynaudio Contour -- anyone know of anywhere in Kent or London where I could audition them or ATC? ATC active range does sound interesting.

    I have checked out B&W Nautilus at my local hi-fi dealer, but it's so easy to go for B&W (my mates have their speakers) I'm interested in checking a wider range.

    Also considered the M&K S-150THX which would go nicely with my M&K sub-woofer.

    More research needed. Thanks for your help!

    StooMonster
     
  12. nathan_silly

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    I wish all amps use the standard, as using a 1khz test tone, then getting the THD/output figures is fake. Do you listen to a 1 Khz tone for music? No, music covers the full freq.

    Arcam amps are pretty good current ability, one of the better makes.

    No, just because you use one channel does not mean it's bridged. To Bridge a amp, usually there's a switch in the inside/back. I don't think Arcam amps are brideable.
     
  13. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    There's a hardwire "link" that you plug in to make them single channel; same on all Arcam amps. Is this not bridging them?

    StooMonster
     
  14. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    No. (I used to have a Arcam 8P) What it does it duplicates the signal from one channel into the other channel. So when fitted,y ou have a dual-mono 2 channel poweramp. It's useful for biamping a centre speaker.

    It's a bit like them Y adaptors if you think about it.
     
  15. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Ah ha.

    I've actually got a spare Arcam power amp that I plan to sell on eBay; perhaps I'll give it a go as my centre dual-mono two channel poweramp.

    nathan_silly thanks for all the replies, great help and very interesting.

    Back to speaker research...

    StooMonster
     
  16. avanzato

    avanzato
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    The speakers I most regret selling were some Triangle Titus.

    Triangle are well worth a listen (if you have a local dealer), high efficiency, with IMO a great sound but not very 'British'.

    The biggest problem at the mo. is they are a French manufacturer.:rolleyes:

    My current speakers are from Norh your price range would get some of their solid marble range.

    Anyway thought I'd make a change from the usual recommendations. :D
     
  17. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Thanks for both those suggestions, the Norh look really interesting -- even wife freindly -- how do they sound?

    Cheers, my research will expand even further. :D

    StooMonster
     
  18. Iancity

    Iancity
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    Could I just throw in some ProAcs here. they are wonderfull stereo speakers for music, and can be found for bargain prices if you shop around (think Musical Images have a pair for about £650). ProAc Response 1sc, very hi-end monitors, £1400 new.
     
  19. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    My recommendation (soooo predicably) for audition would be a pair of Kef 201's @ 2000gbp you might be able to squeeze a 10/15% discount somewhere.
    Thought they were super, infact i have had a pair "on loan" for about 6 weeks now and for a moment considered changing my 203's for them.


    Steve.
     

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