Question Suggest non fatiguing speakers

benz0

Novice Member
Hi all,

I'm moving house and will be buying a new audio setup for my living room.

I generally find that i am sensitive to treble and find some speakers fatiguing.

Currently i have a pair of b&w dm303s and the treble irritates my ears; some have suggested this is due to their metal tweeters.

In my new house im looking for floorstanders that will be ok being no more than 20cm from the wall, and that will have as smooth and non-fatiguing treble as possible.

The reviews of wharfedale dentons appeal but bookshelves are a no-no as i have kids running around so i dont want speaker stands, unless it's bookshelves on a tv unit.

I will get out to some hifi shops to do some listening in due course but recommendations are appreciated.

Budget is up to eur 1k but ideally less.
 

dazed&confused

Well-known Member
You may well find that your current speakers sound very different in a new room, with different dimensions, perhaps placed differently relative to your listening position, and perhaps with a different listening position relative to the rear wall.

What's the concern about the kids running around in the proximity of stand-mount speakers? Is it that the kids would be more likely to hurt themselves by banging their head or other body part against solid steel? Or do you think floor-standing speakers are less likely to get damaged, because stand-mount speakers are more likely to be knocked off their stands? If it's for the latter reason then I'm not sure it's a very convincing theory.

It shouldn't be hard to find speakers that are not fatiguing, and I imagine there could be tens of choices if not a hundred choices for up to 1K. On the other hand I don't think a fatiguing effect is necessarily just due to the material of the tweeters though. For example, some people can find very detailed, forward speakers quite fatiguing.

I think 20cm to the wall is very close. This may be your biggest issue, and the factor that's most likely to influence people's recommendations. For example speakers that are not rear ported.

It may help if you say a bit more about what aspects of the sound are most important to you. For example do you like plenty of bass; quite a forward sound, with the singer up-front as if you're right up against the stage; or a more recessed sound with plenty of depth to the 3-D soundstage; lots of detail and a high level of accuracy, rather like studio monitors; or something that has a real 'musical', foot-taping feel, etc.? Do you tend to listen to any particular styles of music?

Would you be willing to purchase second-hand, which could really open up the level of sound quality that's available to you?

Another thing that comes to my mind is do or anyone else in the house you care about aesthetics and, if so, then do you know what the decor and furnishing is going to look like? In the past I've ended up having to change speakers to match furniture. Maybe it would pay to live in the place for a while before you decide what you want the speakers to look like.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

I'm moving house and will be buying a new audio setup for my living room.

I generally find that i am sensitive to treble and find some speakers fatiguing.

Currently i have a pair of b&w dm303s and the treble irritates my ears; some have suggested this is due to their metal tweeters.

I would like to see your room. B&W are not generally considered bright speakers, and the fact that you find them bright and irritating, makes me think there is something wrong with the Room, not the speakers.

If you can not give us a photo, then describe the room? Carpets? Rugs? Curtains? Soft Furnishings? Lots of clutter? Bare minimalist? Fireplace? Glass walls and/or doors? And so on.

In my new house im looking for floorstanders that will be ok being no more than 20cm from the wall, and that will have as smooth and non-fatiguing treble as possible.

And I want to haul cargo freight in a Mini-Cooper. You can want anything, but that doesn't mean that is is possible. 20cm is about 8", that's going to be marginal. My speakers are about 12" (300mm) forward of the wall, but they are also even with the front of my equipment stand so the whole system presents a uniform face to the room.

In my experience, the excess bass from close placement does not show up as excess bass, rather it shows up as the Midrange become more recessed and muddy. Not a good sound.

You do what you must, but makes sure you REALLY must. With that close placement, you need smaller speakers. Perhaps 2x5". At the absolute most 2x6" to 2x6.5" each. The bigger the speaker, the more room it needs around it.

The reviews of wharfedale dentons appeal but bookshelves are a no-no as i have kids running around so i dont want speaker stands, unless it's bookshelves on a tv unit.

Kid can be trained. If you let them run wild they are going to run wild, and if you put the fear of God in them over going near daddy's stereo, then they will have the fear of God in them. Lots of people have kids and stereo, and the two seem to coexist just fine.

As to Stand Mounts speakers, they are no more fragile or unstable than floor mount speakers. Most people will fasten the speakers to the stands with Blue-Tak which is a variation of Post Putty. While Bostic Blue-Tack is commonly used, the equivalent comes in many brands. This is a removable glue putty that glues the speaker to the stand, but when necessary, the bond can be broken.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=blu+tack

Also, many people Sand (or other filler) Fill their Speaker Stands to add mass to them. This makes the less resonant, but also more stable and harder to knock over.

Between Sand and Blu-Tack, likely the Stand mount will be more stable than floorstanding.

I will get out to some hifi shops to do some listening in due course but recommendations are appreciated.

Budget is up to eur 1k but ideally less.

If find Wharfedale (9.6) to very laid back and low fatigue. Excellent for music, and for those with hearing that hasn't felt the ravages of time, good for movies.

I would expect the New Diamond Series and the somewhat New REVA Series to be very close to what you are looking for.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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benz0

Novice Member
Old house not ideal, and it exaggerates the harsheness for sure, but I've used them in different environments, one fully carpeted with heavy curtains and a big sofa and never liked the sound. And I've used e.g. a sonos speaker in that room and an ipod dock and not found them irritating.

I've read plenty of comments from people online finding those particular speakers to have a grating treble.

Re "kids can be trained"... Bluewizard, do you have any yourself? I have a crawling baby that likes to grab things and try to pull herself up. She also adores pulling wires.

This means that there is a serious risk of her knocking a bookshelf speaker off a stand and on to her head, which could be a life ending accident. With floorstanders, i can at least find a means of securing or tethering them until she is bigger. And with kids, you can teach them as much as you like, but when they have friends round or other people's kids, then you're back to having a dangerous situation on your hands.

Re .Wall placement, again I'm familiar with the recommendation to have a bigger space between them and the wall, but also that some models are front or base ported meaning that this is less critical. Hence I'm looking for recommendations along these lines.

Normally i would be open to second hand gear but i don't have the time to faff about driving around the country to listen to speakers i may or may not want to buy.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
May be worth seeing if you can audition a pair of Neat Iota Alpha, on sale at Creative Audio.

Neat IOTA ALPHA speakers (very slight cosmetic seconds)

Nice and compact so not easy to pull over, downward firing bass and fairly resilient to placing and a ribbon tweeter that may suit your ears.
 

dazed&confused

Well-known Member
In my experience it's important to have the speakers positioned so they are not sat further back from protruding TV / Hi-fi units, etc. This, and getting the speakers far enough apart, can be just as important if not more important than distance from the wall.

I think the Neat IOTA could be a clever, practical solution. Because of their compact size I think it would be easy enough to have them tucked up close to the wall when they are not in use or for casual listening when busy doing something else in the house, and then move them forward and outward for more critical listening.

I've heard them and I found them exceptionally pleasant and musical. Maybe they were not the most accurate and transparent of speakers, but that didn't detract from the way they seemed to be designed to sound.
 

benz0

Novice Member
Update: i ordered a pair of wharfedale reva 4's as they were heavily discounted.

They sound great and i don't find them irritating like the b&w's. Detailed and open sounding whilst smooth and relaxing to listen to.

However, i'm probably going to send them back. They're just a little too large and look a bit silly imo. Will probably replace with reva 3 which should be about bang on.

Only slight disappointment is that the bass is not that deep for what is quite a big cabinet. If i get the reva 3's instead i might add a sub..
 

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