Suggestions for speaker upgrade

RichardZE2

Active Member
Hi Folks,
After a bit of help with ideas as I do not have the luxury of being able to visit shops. My current kitchen setup is -

Yamaha A-S1100 amp
Marantz ND8006 CD/streamer
Dynaudio Audience 52SE bookshelf speakers

Looking to upgrade the speakers, was originally thinking to get the Dynaudio Special 40s but now thinking that the Kef R3 might be a better option. So any suggestions would be helpful. I was wondering if the Dynaudios might highlight shortfalls in the other components and equally, are the KEFs forgiving? I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes so any thoughts based on that also welcome. Need to be bookshelf/standmounts.

Thanks
Richard
 

sha66y

Active Member
Hi Folks,
After a bit of help with ideas as I do not have the luxury of being able to visit shops. My current kitchen setup is -

Yamaha A-S1100 amp
Marantz ND8006 CD/streamer
Dynaudio Audience 52SE bookshelf speakers

Looking to upgrade the speakers, was originally thinking to get the Dynaudio Special 40s but now thinking that the Kef R3 might be a better option. So any suggestions would be helpful. I was wondering if the Dynaudios might highlight shortfalls in the other components and equally, are the KEFs forgiving? I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes so any thoughts based on that also welcome. Need to be bookshelf/standmounts.

Thanks
Richard
Dynaudio emit m20’s just love Sepultura, Gojira and Raging Speedhorn if that helps….🤪
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you are auditioning then you might want to try the ATC SCM19. It is a sealed side sign which should give you a dynamic bass, may not dig as deep but will keep up with the bass on most thrash albums. If it is not enough for EDM then just add a sub.

Also add these to the list.

 
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hifinutt

Active Member
ah the very sought after 52se ... what a superb speaker . absolutely loved mine . well if you like that sound you need to VERY carefully listen to others before parting with them . about 2k for the special 40 ... and will they be better ? who knows . I really love them and i had the 72se too

personally i would massively upgrade your amp, you can get huge increase in performance from the 52se by doing that . maybe a sugden a21se or a norma 70b or a better yamaha
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Alternatively...

Sell the amp and speakers and connect a pair of these legends to the 'variable audio out' of the Marantz:

GAK (£2974/pair)
or
Event Electronics Opal active Studiomonitor (£2690/pair)
or
Dynaudio Core 7 (Dark Grey, Single) (£2718/pair)

Perfect for fast-paced music. By all accounts, the Events are known for their affinity with EDM. Other alternatives are available.

Your kitchen must have far better acoustics than mine to justify spending this much.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Hi Folks,
After a bit of help with ideas as I do not have the luxury of being able to visit shops. My current kitchen setup is -

Yamaha A-S1100 amp
Marantz ND8006 CD/streamer
Dynaudio Audience 52SE bookshelf speakers

Looking to upgrade the speakers, was originally thinking to get the Dynaudio Special 40s but now thinking that the Kef R3 might be a better option. So any suggestions would be helpful. I was wondering if the Dynaudios might highlight shortfalls in the other components and equally, are the KEFs forgiving? I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes so any thoughts based on that also welcome. Need to be bookshelf/standmounts.

Thanks
Richard
R3's have no issue with EDM, in fact I would say it suits them perfectly, as plenty of bass, but keeps everything nice and clean, with plenty of separation between different layers of sound, been listening to quite a bit of DnB recently on mine.
 

RichardZE2

Active Member
Hi and thanks for the suggestions. A few answers
ah the very sought after 52se ... what a superb speaker . absolutely loved mine . well if you like that sound you need to VERY carefully listen to others before parting with them
If you are auditioning then you might want to try the ATC SCM19.
No I cant audition anything, part of my nickname is my post code, ZE2, Shetland. I wont be anywhere near a city before October and need to get this sorted by July. The 52SE aren't leaving, just getting hooked up to a Linn Classik. I rarely get to audition anything so I know the risk.
Your kitchen must have far better acoustics than mine to justify spending this much.
Part of the reason for getting new speakers is we are ripping out the kitchen. As in, new floor, ceiling and walls. So I'm hoping the acoustics will be good but also need speakers and mounts with a high WAF as all things wooden are going (My AE 52SE's are cherry). If I can get something that is mainly white it'll tick boxes as the new kitchen is a blend of fairly neutral colours.

Cheers
Richard
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Quite a few active studio monitors available in white or light finish:

https://www.bax-shop.de/kali-audio-lp-6w-active-studio-monitor-white-single (unsure of availability in UK)

Hope the kitchen work goes to plan. Must say that you're unlikely to get good kitchen acoustics by chance - I think it needs to be 'designed in'. In kitchens, some softer surfaces (absorbers etc) usually need to be incorporated. And good speaker positioning is often a challenge. Doesn't mean it can't be done though.
 

Flobs

Active Member
I think the Dynaudios would be very good.
Othewise Spndor Classic 4/5
as an outside shout Davis Olympia One Master
Just because iy's thrashy doesn't mean it's trashy.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Alternatively...

Sell the amp and speakers and connect a pair of these legends to the 'variable audio out' of the Marantz:

GAK (£2974/pair)
or
Event Electronics Opal active Studiomonitor (£2690/pair)
or
Dynaudio Core 7 (Dark Grey, Single) (£2718/pair)

Perfect for fast-paced music. By all accounts, the Events are known for their affinity with EDM. Other alternatives are available.

Your kitchen must have far better acoustics than mine to justify spending this much.

Top class suggestion sir.

A world class hifi will result.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hi Folks,
After a bit of help with ideas as I do not have the luxury of being able to visit shops. My current kitchen setup is -

Yamaha A-S1100 amp
Marantz ND8006 CD/streamer
Dynaudio Audience 52SE bookshelf speakers

Looking to upgrade the speakers, was originally thinking to get the Dynaudio Special 40s but now thinking that the Kef R3 might be a better option. So any suggestions would be helpful. I was wondering if the Dynaudios might highlight shortfalls in the other components and equally, are the KEFs forgiving? I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes so any thoughts based on that also welcome. Need to be bookshelf/standmounts.

Thanks
Richard

Have you got a photo or a plan of your kitchen Richard?

The size and shape will help in selecting something suitable.
 

RichardZE2

Active Member
Quite a few active studio monitors available in white or light finish:

Thanks for all of those suggestions, I haven't really looked at active speakers though, probably because I didn't realise they were such a "thing" now, kind of assumed it was a niche for people without space - obviously I don't keep up to speed. Is there a reason they would all be better options than my amp with passives - is the amp that bad?
 

Flobs

Active Member
Thanks for all of those suggestions, I haven't really looked at active speakers though, probably because I didn't realise they were such a "thing" now, kind of assumed it was a niche for people without space - obviously I don't keep up to speed. Is there a reason they would all be better options than my amp with passives - is the amp that bad?
Your amp is fine as is your choice in speakers as is your taste in music.
That amp deserves better speakers and the Dynaudio's you were looking at would be a fine match imo.
The only question I would ask is would you consider small floor standers? (just that you could find something there with deeper and faster bass).
I would not go for the KEF's for your purpose or for amp (which deserves better).
 

RichardZE2

Active Member
The only question I would ask is would you consider small floor standers? (just that you could find something there with deeper and faster bass).
Hi, yes I would consider small floor standers but they'd need to be lookers. I want the tweeters at head height standing, I don't sit much which is why I like good audio in kitchen where I spend a lot of time cooking. So the speakers will be on a raised surface at about 37" I think, small floor standers would work just as well as stand mounts in practical terms, aesthetics more of a concern.
 

Jazzabana

Active Member
Hi Folks,
After a bit of help with ideas as I do not have the luxury of being able to visit shops. My current kitchen setup is -

Yamaha A-S1100 amp
Marantz ND8006 CD/streamer
Dynaudio Audience 52SE bookshelf speakers

Looking to upgrade the speakers, was originally thinking to get the Dynaudio Special 40s but now thinking that the Kef R3 might be a better option. So any suggestions would be helpful. I was wondering if the Dynaudios might highlight shortfalls in the other components and equally, are the KEFs forgiving? I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes so any thoughts based on that also welcome. Need to be bookshelf/standmounts.

Thanks
Richard

I recently started to put together a second system for the very purpose that you are. My chain is innuos streamer to vmv d1se dac to yamaha as2100 to dali rubicon 2s. While this sounds twice its price it doesn't allow me to enjoy trash metal and hard rock because the resolution and instrument seperation r so high that cymbals are constantly sticking out of the song and missing the rumble. So I jusy purchased Polk r200. Compared to dalis I can see that they r less resolved but cymbals aren't sparkling and sticking out. The punch is there. It kinda has the linton's big speaker boxy sound. I think you would enjoy ur edm and trash metal a lot with these speakers. The problem I have with kefs is that my ears always catch a metallic color to the sound and I absolutely hate it. Plus I think you are better with less resolution ( not that anything is missing maybe texture). Give it a try. And with dynaudio special 40's I think they are a bit too smooth and creamy for the genre you r talking about. I tell you you wont regret polk's soundstage and imaging is great as well. They have bigger speaker feel in a bookshelf. And turn on the bass on ur as1100 and polks grow muscles.
 
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Jazzabana

Active Member
Thanks for all of those suggestions, I haven't really looked at active speakers though, probably because I didn't realise they were such a "thing" now, kind of assumed it was a niche for people without space - obviously I don't keep up to speed. Is there a reason they would all be better options than my amp with passives - is the amp that bad?
Check out Kali IN5s. Bullseye!!!
 

Flobs

Active Member
Hi, yes I would consider small floor standers but they'd need to be lookers. I want the tweeters at head height standing, I don't sit much which is why I like good audio in kitchen where I spend a lot of time cooking. So the speakers will be on a raised surface at about 37" I think, small floor standers would work just as well as stand mounts in practical terms, aesthetics more of a concern.
Under those conditions I'd stick with standmounted speakers as you have more options in how to place them. Stands, stands ond something like custom wooden construction, wall mounts, on good solid kitchen surface ... whatever you can come up with.
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
Thanks for all of those suggestions, I haven't really looked at active speakers though, probably because I didn't realise they were such a "thing" now, kind of assumed it was a niche for people without space - obviously I don't keep up to speed. Is there a reason they would all be better options than my amp with passives - is the amp that bad?
Whether you opt for a traditional passive speaker-based system or an active speaker system, the speaker size should suit the room size, more or less (caveat: unless you employ sophisticated DSP room correction where you could probably get away with using a larger speaker than would normally suit).

It's tempting to stick with what we know - it feels comfortable, less risky - so I quite understand folks sticking with the familiar, and passive speakers have been the mainstay of hifi for decades. However, judging by the number of traditional hifi manufacturers now producing active speakers, this is slowly changing. Witness active designs from Q Acoustics, Acoustic Energy, Edifier, KEF, Dynaudio, ATC, Quad, PMC and others I've probably forgotten about.

It's not just about space saving either. True active speakers use a different type of technology that I would argue is fundamentally superior to passive speaker systems and, to my ears, usually gives better sound quality for similar outlay too (though there are also commercial and economic reasons for this). For the sake of balance, I should point out that not everyone would agree with that statement.

The three most common ways to power a speaker are:

Passive. The traditional hifi speaker. Power amplifier output is divided into frequency bands by a high-level passive crossover (usually within the speaker cabinet) then fed to individual drive units.

Powered passive. Same tech as passive but amps and crossover are incorporated into speaker cabinets. Some mistakenly describe powered passive speakers as active. Heresy!

Active. Frequency division is accomplished by an active line-level crossover prior to the power amps. Each frequency band is then fed to individual power amps where each amp is directly connected to an individual drive unit. Thus an active two-way speaker pair contains four separate power amplifiers.

There are many articles online that explain the different systems and give pro's and con's. I think you'll find the number of articles favouring the active approach to speaker design far outnumber those favouring the passive approach when audio quality is the main consideration.

Is your amp bad? No, I doubt it. Yamaha don't make bad amps. It's just that your amp will power a speaker with a passive crossover and, IMO, having that 'electrical sponge' between amp and drive unit is usually the weak link. I suspect the magic happens when an amp is directly coupled to a drive unit, as in actives. Even a rare few two-way passive designs manage to directly couple the amp to the bass/mid driver (i.e. the bass/mid driver has no preceding crossover), such as the venerable, and very well reviewed, Epos ES14 speaker.
 

Flobs

Active Member
Let's not forget what the OP asked. It's evident he has identified the 'weak' point in his system. Ok some more info might be of help however if he has a budget of 3000 euros, say, from what he's already got his best solution is still and always will be a new pair of 'classic' 8Ohm solid cabinets with 2 decent drive units in them requiring a crossover and filters. Unless he goes for a broadband like the Davis MV One Master though that's well outside his budget and wouldn't be a prime choice for the type of music he has stated he listens to.
He's certainly not going to get the same quality buying 3000 euros worth of active speakers and certainly not ones described as studio monitors for the type of music he likes. 1200 euros wouldn't even give him what he's already got!
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I'm musically eclectic but like EDM and Thrash Metal at big volumes

He's certainly not going to get the same quality buying 3000 euros worth of active speakers and certainly not ones described as studio monitors for the type of music he likes.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree, Flobs. IME, active studio monitors are perfect for EDM, very fast paced music and high volumes because a well-chosen active has better bass performance and tighter dynamics than equivalent passive designs - probably due to the direct coupled power amps providing optimum drive unit damping.

Not only that but the electronic stability of an active crossover (compared with a passive Xover) ensures a consistent performance under all operating conditions so when pushed hard, the audio quality tends to remain intact. It's no surprise that actives usually play louder and cleaner than passives so the user, if they desire, can often get away with a slightly smaller active speaker.

He's certainly not going to get the same quality buying 3000 euros worth of active speakers and certainly not ones described as studio monitors

Really? The sense of value-for-money we gained from experience with traditional hifi products, needs to be reset when considering active studio monitors. 3000 Euros will buy a cracking pair of active studio monitors, a small selection of which I've already linked. A review of the Event Opal by Tony Faulkner and Martin Colloms from Hifi Critic June 2012 made the point:

"I kept forgetting that it [Event Opal] cost just £2,500/pair, including the four onboard
power amps, finding myself reminded of £15,000 amp/speaker combinations in the way it recreates
dynamic contrasts and atmosphere – and then some."


Even What Hifi got in on the act:


But reviews of active studio monitors are as rare as hens teeth in hifi mags., perhaps something to do with advertising revenue from traditional hifi manufacturers?

Whilst I haven't listened to many actives in a direct A vs B comparison with equivalent passives, I've heard enough to know that actives are generally the best option for any type of music but especially music that's dynamic, fast and detailed and relies on accurate bass.

As I mentioned in post#5, an active speaker setup is simply an alternative approach to system building. It won't suit everyone. Connectivity and volume control need to be considered and the appearance of studio actives are often industrial. Those who enjoy warm. lush, smooth sound - maybe those using a turntable feeding valve amplification, may recoil in horror at the sound of a quality active monitor. It's horses for courses.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Guess we'll have to agree to disagree, Flobs. IME, active studio monitors are perfect for EDM, very fast paced music and high volumes because a well-chosen active has better bass performance and tighter dynamics than equivalent passive designs - probably due to the direct coupled power amps providing optimum drive unit damping.

Not only that but the electronic stability of an active crossover (compared with a passive Xover) ensures a consistent performance under all operating conditions so when pushed hard, the audio quality tends to remain intact. It's no surprise that actives usually play louder and cleaner than passives so the user, if they desire, can often get away with a slightly smaller active speaker.



Really? The sense of value-for-money we gained from experience with traditional hifi products, needs to be reset when considering active studio monitors. 3000 Euros will buy a cracking pair of active studio monitors, a small selection of which I've already linked. A review of the Event Opal by Tony Faulkner and Martin Colloms from Hifi Critic June 2012 made the point:

"I kept forgetting that it [Event Opal] cost just £2,500/pair, including the four onboard
power amps, finding myself reminded of £15,000 amp/speaker combinations in the way it recreates
dynamic contrasts and atmosphere – and then some."


Even What Hifi got in on the act:


But reviews of active studio monitors are as rare as hens teeth in hifi mags., perhaps something to do with advertising revenue from traditional hifi manufacturers?

Whilst I haven't listened to many actives in a direct A vs B comparison with equivalent passives, I've heard enough to know that actives are generally the best option for any type of music but especially music that's dynamic, fast and detailed and relies on accurate bass.

As I mentioned in post#5, an active speaker setup is simply an alternative approach to system building. It won't suit everyone. Connectivity and volume control need to be considered and the appearance of studio actives are often industrial. Those who enjoy warm. lush, smooth sound - maybe those using a turntable feeding valve amplification, may recoil in horror at the sound of a quality active monitor. It's horses for courses.

Excellently expressed and Nuff said 👍
 
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RichardZE2

Active Member
Folks,
You gave me a lot of food for thought so I've done a fair bit of googling and reading over the past week. I think the main point that stuck with me is the kitchen acoustics and the fact that I'm usually active in the kitchen. So I decided to look at a smaller budget for the speaker and concentrate on stands more too.

I'm going with passives for a couple of reasons. Ignorance is one reason, investment in amplifier the other. What Jazzabana said really resonated as I'd been looking at the Dali's previously but the Polk's hadn't crossed my radar.
I recently started to put together a second system for the very purpose that you are. My chain is innuos streamer to vmv d1se dac to yamaha as2100 to dali rubicon 2s. While this sounds twice its price it doesn't allow me to enjoy trash metal and hard rock because the resolution and instrument seperation r so high that cymbals are constantly sticking out of the song and missing the rumble. So I jusy purchased Polk r200.

I'm thinking the Polk's are probably more suited to my ears and kitchen so now I need to find a stand that suits. I'm was zeroing in on the Atacama Moseco XL 500 with weighted bases. My unknowns in this were that I've never used mounts so am unsure what's appropriate.

The specs for the Atacama's are here. They should bear the weight easily but the top plate is 7.9 x 10.9 and the Polk is 7.5 x 13.9. So the base would protrude on the sides by .2" which kind of rules them out. Any suggestions for a similar style of mount that would fit, I've spent hours looking at mounts and contacting dealers/manufacturers and am struggling to find something elegant but suitable. Lastly - do people genuinely just sit the speakers on the stands with blu tack on the corners?

Kind Regards
Richard
 

Flobs

Active Member
I need to find a stand that suits
I'd find stands that you can varie the height of to start off with (as your by the sound off it on your feet moving around) so as to find the height that best suits your needs. The Atacama's at a guess would be far too low.
 

RichardZE2

Active Member
I'd find stands that you can varie the height of to start off with (as your by the sound off it on your feet moving around) so as to find the height that best suits your needs. The Atacama's at a guess would be far too low.

They would be on a raised surface that's, off the top of my head, 1060 mm so the top plate would be at around 1500 mm from floor. I'm 1800 mm tall so the tweeters should be about right on the Atacamas. If only they were narrower...
 

Flobs

Active Member
They would be on a raised surface that's, off the top of my head, 1060 mm so the top plate would be at around 1500 mm from floor. I'm 1800 mm tall so the tweeters should be about right on the Atacamas. If only they were narrower...
Ok, height sounds ok.
Don't forget 'isolation' you'll probably need something between the base or spikes and the surface. Maybe blutac will be enough I can not say. If spikes blutac and coins?
More elaborate solutions might raise it another 2 to 4 cm even so the height is still in the ball park.
 

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