US vs. UK speaker quality / Price Performance

kevvyg

Standard Member
Hi All
Basically Im based overseas and can get speakers shipped from the US or taken back with me after Xmas from home (UK)

I have narrowed down the UK side to either
Wharfedale 10.5 or Tannoy V4 (moving towards V4 due to more within budget)

I have narrowed the US side down to
MartinLogan Motion 10, Infinity Primus P363, Polk Monitor 70

I know here is a UK based forum but if anyone has knowledge about the quality comparison between the US and UK, Id appreciate it very much.

Am upgrading from Sony F6000
Thanks
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Keep in mind that many US brands like Klipsch can be purchased in the UK. You need to weigh the cost of shipping them against the cost of what you can buy in the UK.

As an example, Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 are commonly £579 in the UK, by direct currency conversion, that is US$900. However, they are US$1299/pr from Music Direct in Chicago. That's a $400 difference.

I suspect, though I don't know for sure, if the speakers are used, the import tax and perhaps the VAT may be different than if they are new.

I'm a little confused by your selection of speakers. The Infinity are about US$329/EACH. The Polk Monitor 70 are about US$220/EACH. The Polk Monitor 70 are a discontinued model and as such, are being sold at a very deep discount. I personally didn't find the Martin Logan Motion speakers to be all that impressive, though this was right after auditioning some Focal 836 speakers. But they are running about $249/EACH.

Also note you can get the Monitor 70 directly from Polk Audio's Ebay site of only US$305/PAIR -

[PAIR] Monitor 70 CHERRY Tower Speakers Polk Audio | eBay

That is an outstanding bargain.

In UK speakers, the Wharfedale Diamond 10.5 are about £419/pr (US$654/pr) and the Tannoy Mercury V4 are about £329/pr (US$514/pr).

Now that we have all the models and prices laid out, we can get down to basics. Exactly what is it you plan to do? Are you in the USA and planning to buy speakers you can take back to the UK? Are you planning to buy speakers in the UK to take back to the USA?

Is this stereo or surround sound, and what other equipment do you have?

I think you have to just look at this as speakers, not UK speakers and US speakers. Buy something you like at a price you can afford. Then when it comes time to move back to the place you are currently not at, you can decide what to do with the speakers. Again, there are a lot of details you need to check into. I'm sure the tariffs on used equipment is different. So if you are in the USA, it might make sense to buy speakers there, and ship them back when you are ready to leave. But, I don't think it makes sense to visit the UK, buy UK speakers, and ship them back to the USA then have to eventually take them back to the UK again. I think you'll find unexpected expenses.

Or, given how cheap they are, you could get the Monitor 70's directly from Polk/Ebay, and sell them cheap when you are ready to leave. At $250 each, they might be worth taking with you, but at $300/pair, it is probably easier to sell them. Though they are something of a bargain, the USA Suggested Retail price on them is $919/pr. That's something to consider.

Monitor 70 Product Page : Floorstanding loudspeaker : Polk Audio

The Polk Audio Ebay site also has many other speakers worth considering -

polkaudio | eBay

Just a few thoughts for now.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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kevvyg

Standard Member
Thank you Mr. Dragon.
Thats a very detailed reply

To give a little more on my situation. I live in Tokyo (and will be for a long time) and with the Yens strength against the dollar, can buy a load more shopping on Amazon US than here. E.g. Bought an Onkyo 609 for 450USD delivered and customs paid. To buy this Japanese product in Japan would have cost 600-700 USD.

The set up is Onkyo609 Epson 8350 and am currently using SonyF6000 fronts C5000 center a crappy sub and 2 good Bose WER33 as surround. The usage is 70/30 Movies/music and the priority would be clarity at low levels over high volume. In an apartment so cant blast it out.

So now I need to upgrade the fronts and at a later date the center.

So like you said everything is down to pricing, as long as the quality is ok. It would be great to audition the speakers but it inst possible.

In Japan, I can get Tannoy V4 for 570USD
There are local brands but the focus here is on bookshelfs e.g. b&w685 for 600USD


In the US I can get Infinity Primus P363 Delivered for USD500, Polk Monitor 70 for about USD550 (now you have mentioned the ebay site, i will investigate), MartinLogan Motion 10 for USD600 (all pairs)

I go home for Xmas (London) and in the UK, there are the various options you know about, i could post them myself for an extra 50GBP on the base price

So I guess my main question is what is the best option considering all the possibilities. The easiest would be picking up the Tannoy V4 locally or maybe the best quality would be getting something delivered from the US with the slight worry of transportation damage. What do you think?

Decisions decisions

Thanks for your help

EDIT: Polk ebay wont ship internationally but i may be able to use a shipping company, there is also a pair of RTI8 for 399
 
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kevvyg

Standard Member
If anyone is interested i picked up klipsch rf52ii and rc52ii at best buy s closing down sale 40% off
After a 12 hour flight, no damage and sounds great.
 

scottthehat

Distinguished Member
thats nice to hear kev, enjoy them there a nice set.
 

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