Upgrade path from Celestion A Series?

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
Hello, many years ago I bought a Celestion A series speaker setup for my living room (6m x 5m, laminate over concrete floor).

It was a 5.1 setup as follows: Front / Stereo pair: A3, centre A4c, rear: A1 and a REL Stentor for a sub.

Whilst it was setup with movies in mind in practice I found myself listening to music 50% of the time.

I've been away from the audio scene for many years and am frankly very out of date with recent developments so I was wondering if anyone could help to identify what suitable replacements would be for these speakers would be?

I'd be looking for something that is good with both music and movies once more.

On the amplification front I'm having a rethink on that (long story) but it would most likely be an Arcam receiver because my previous amplification solution has gone to the audio store in the sky. If anyone has any suggestions on what to pair with their speaker recommendations amp wise I'd be delighted to hear. :)

Price wise I don't want to spend more than 5 grand on speakers (GBP) if I can help it. Are there speaker packages in this price band that would outperform the Celestions?

Finally I'm happy to consider both new and previously loved kit if your recommendation is now out of production.

Thanks for your help!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Choose the speakers and subwoofer separately as you have done earlier. I think you should put some models on paper which you can afford there in Czech Rebublic. I would look example: Kef R-serie, Monitor Audio Gold, Focal Aria, B&W 700, Revel (which fits budget), Dali Rubicon. These should satisfy the music side especially and no reason they wouldn´t do movies great aswell. For movies in mind the center channel is one of the most active speaker so when you see couple options example with B&W you should consider the larger 3-way HTM 71 S2 over smaller 72. Main speakers either standmount version with speaker stands or floorstanders. The latter is not that important for movies as you won´t be running them full range, you have powered subwoofer(s) with large driver taking care the low end. For surround sides if you are building 5.1 system you might not need largest standmount model especially if this is more of living room system with moderate listening levels. The main emphasis should be on the front three.

Sadly there is no easy answers regarding the speakers as in no one really knows which of those you would like best, so please make a list which you find intresting/possible and then hunt down dealers preferably those that carry many of these models so you can book demo time and listen them side by side using Arcam av-receiver (or Anthem/NAD if you buy those). Don`t put too much weight on peoples thoughts/reviews alone. You really need to hear yourself are they the step up you are hoping for. Don´t be afraid of not hearing differences, that is nonsense. Remember to bring your favourite music with you also. To make things harder you aren´t going to

Keep in mind that Arcam still has some bugs and issues with the machines if you read the owners thread here at receiver section, but if you are fine with that then proceed. The AVR20 model would be minium i would consider with these speakers. Anthem MRX-740 would be great alternative aswell as Nad T778.


As you live in EU, have a look example SVS PB2000 Pro/PB3000/PB4000 models for subwoofer. Or perhaps the sealed SB3000/SB4000/SB16U if you feel those ported boxes are too big. People have different tastes/requirements when it comes to bass. If you are looking to get the most physical impact for action/scifi/horror movies consider those PB models. They can be also ran as sealed plus all models have phone app control.

If you feel those won´t pass wifes eyes regarding finish and also otherwise another strong option would be Arendal subwoofers. The 1723 range has different models with 4 finishes. Example 1S=sealed cabinet, smaller box. 1V=vented/ported cabinet, larger box.


There is also cheaper 1961 range, no gloss finishes.
 

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
Hi Gasp3621, thank you for your reply which is awesome! I'm going to spend time over the weekend trying to shortlist some of the speakers you highlight above for auditioning!
 

DJNCOURT

Novice Member
Hi Gasp3621, thank you for your reply which is awesome! I'm going to spend time over the weekend trying to shortlist some of the speakers you highlight above for auditioning!
Hi,
wondering why you are looking to change the A3's, A1's.
I love my A1's and am about to build a new 5.1 system and am seriously considering finding some more A1's, matching it with a decent amp £3k~£4k and a pair of subs.
has something changed or do you just fancy an upgrade?

your thoughts would be appreciated

Dave
 

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the post. In the end I decided that I love my A3's just too much to change. I bi-amped them off an Arcam AVR and even though it's a receiver it sounds lovey to me :)
I did decommission my A1's though and replaced them with a pair of Dali Oberons driven by a Rega IO amp. The decision was practical since I now work from home full time I needed to free up desk space. I added a BK sub to compensate for the Oberon's lack of bass and hooked the whole thing up to an offboard DAC attached to one of my PC's. It might not satisfy some people but I'm really happy with it.
On the Celestion A series front I currently have spare: 2 * pairs A1, one pristine the other with cosmetic flaws (bought that way) and an A4C.
But cutting to the chase I agree with you the Celestion A series do sound great! :)
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Unless you're spending £10,000 on speakers don't bother you won't get better for the money
 

DJNCOURT

Novice Member
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the post. In the end I decided that I love my A3's just too much to change. I bi-amped them off an Arcam AVR and even though it's a receiver it sounds lovey to me :)
I did decommission my A1's though and replaced them with a pair of Dali Oberons driven by a Rega IO amp. The decision was practical since I now work from home full time I needed to free up desk space. I added a BK sub to compensate for the Oberon's lack of bass and hooked the whole thing up to an offboard DAC attached to one of my PC's. It might not satisfy some people but I'm really happy with it.
On the Celestion A series front I currently have spare: 2 * pairs A1, one pristine the other with cosmetic flaws (bought that way) and an A4C.
But cutting to the chase I agree with you the Celestion A series do sound great! :)

Thanks for the update on your project, I have been out of Hifi for a long time as well and didn't even realise Celestion no longer made home speakers!
I am looking for A1's no massive rush as I am building a house and the reason I am looking now is I want to put the wires in the walls, hope to be in for this Christmas but we will see.
your not in the UK are you?
Unless you're spending £10,000 on speakers don't bother you won't get better for the money

I guess you mean the A3's fancied some of those back in the day but still love my A1's :)
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Few A1 on eBay now
 

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
I took a look: found three pairs all for reasonable money!
If I didn't already have some I'd snag a pair! :)

@Dave, correct whilst I'm originally I'm from the UK but I've been living in CZ for 20+ years :)
Also just wanted to mention if you're putting cables in wall you might want to look at Mogami's 4 core cable. I just made up some cables with it and am very happy!
 

DJNCOURT

Novice Member
Cheers,
Keen to hear the A1's with a modern receiver vs new speakers and receiver.
I know I loved the A1's, they have been packed up for a couple of years while I build the house and I want to ensure I don't have a rose tinted memory of them
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
They're superb speakers I was using them for front in small room, then mains in a counter system now rears in home cinema
 

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
@rccarguy2 yep that's how I was using my first pair: rears in a 5.1 setup. Then I picked up a pair of A4R's and they sound unbelievable as well!

@DJNCOURT I agree with rrcarguy2 they are superb speakers you probably don't have rose tinted memories but rather accurate and amazing memories! ;-) Out of curiosity what amp /avr are you thinking of?
 

DJNCOURT

Novice Member
@GASP3261 suggested the NAD T778 in a separate thread, just watching some reviews now.
only after 5.1 / 5.2, so 5 off A1's, or a Pair of A2's or A3's if I can find some and a SVS PB16 Ultra, like the really low bass, with a 100m2 room its going to take some filling

Previously I used my A1's with a Cyrus 2 amp with PSX previously and it sounded great. At one point I was also using Cyrus 1 amps for the Mission rears and Mission centre speakers but although the sound was great especially from a DVD-audio it was a pain in the butt trying to get the volumes level!
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
@rccarguy2 yep that's how I was using my first pair: rears in a 5.1 setup. Then I picked up a pair of A4R's and they sound unbelievable as well!

@DJNCOURT I agree with rrcarguy2 they are superb speakers you probably don't have rose tinted memories but rather accurate and amazing memories! ;-) Out of curiosity what amp /avr are you thinking of?
Only issue wth a5r is they're dipoles whic might not be ideal. I'm using different brand bipoles, rather than finding matching a5r (or using my other brand dipoles)
 

hugemagicwand

Novice Member
@rccarguy2 "Only issue with a5r is they're dipoles which might not be ideal. I'm using different brand bipoles, rather than finding matching a5r (or using my other brand dipoles)"

For a short time I had the a5r's setup as a front stereo pair on my desk and they sounded absolutely brilliant!

But if you're not a fan of the di-pole configuration then maybe a pair of A1 Compact would work?

I'm using the A1 Compacts in my work flat and the sound lovely though in the interests of full disclosure it's a very little flat.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
@rccarguy2 "Only issue with a5r is they're dipoles which might not be ideal. I'm using different brand bipoles, rather than finding matching a5r (or using my other brand dipoles)"

For a short time I had the a5r's setup as a front stereo pair on my desk and they sounded absolutely brilliant!

But if you're not a fan of the di-pole configuration then maybe a pair of A1 Compact would work?

I'm using the A1 Compacts in my work flat and the sound lovely though in the interests of full disclosure it's a very little flat.

I own and have tried bipole and dipoles I think dipoles more suited to non discrete audio iecold school Dolby Pro logic
 

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