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Need advice for upgrading my speakers

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey guys

I curently own a pair of Prodipe Pro8 + Sub Pro10s. I used to make electronic music, that's why I have a pair of professionnal sound recording powered monitors and not Hi-Fi. (On a side note, these Prodipe are damn good speakers , unbeatable at that price IMHO, but I want to go better )

Now I hesitate between a new set of powered monitors + sub OR a pair of Hi-Fi speakers + Amp.

Purpose: listening to Rock / Dubstep / D&B / funk / jazz.

Basically,

- If I go powered speakers: I'd choose a pair of Adam A7x/A8X + Sub8/10 or a pair of KRK VXT8 + Sub10
- If I go Hi-Fi: B&W 683 or a pair of Klipsch RF-82 (amp is to be determined Yamaha A-S700, Cambridge Audio 650A, Nad C356BEE, if you have any ideas please let me know).

OK so more and more I think I'd choose the Adams if I go monitors and I think I'd choose B&W 683 if I go Hi-Fi... But I can still change my mind.

The main problem if I go Hi-fi is that I blow my budget with just the speakers and the amp, while if I go monitors, I also have a sub for nearly the same price- and since I listen to Rock and electro I need powerful bass response.

If anyone possess one of the devices listed here, please give me feedback.

Thank you.
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
OK no response so far... Should I post this in the OCN speaker club or another thread already opened? Please respond... Thanks.
post #3 of 17
I've always really liked B&W speakers, they are a lot of money but I have always liked their remarkable transparency. IMO they are some of the most "invisible" speakers you can buy at any price, which may or may not be to your liking. Based on the description of your listening habits, about the only time I think you would *really* appreciate the laid back composure of a B&W is while listening to jazz... for the rest, I think you'd be better off with something that can provide some better bottom end extension and more presence. Both the Klipch and B&W you have selected would probably satisfy most peoples listening demands and then some for bottom end.. I've heard some similar Klipch model units and when in a small bedroom, they can certainly punch reasonably hard, like most "tower style" units with a few small woofers, they will run out of steam if you put them in a big room and expect to have your teeth rattled a bit.

I don't suggest using a mono powered sub for Hi-Fi listening, IMO, they can really ruin the sound stage. Get your bass from the same place that the rest of the sound is coming from and you'll appreciate the system better....

What price range do you have for your speakers and amp? When you say amp, I'm assuming, based on the list of ideas you are having, that you are looking at integrated amps. I have owned and loved a Rotel RA-1070 now for nearly a decade. I bought mine used on consignment for ~$500-600. I honestly believe it to be one of the finest integrated amps you can buy at any price. It has a dampening factor that screams "snob" grade and is absolute bliss. You might see if you can find one used.

As for speakers, any of those amps you have in mind, or my suggestion, have more than enough on-board power to take care of your bass line. I suggest building your own speakers if it's an option. For critical stereo listening, I suggest the construction of a pair of "subs", to go below a pair of smaller bookshelf type 2-way units, and build a 3-way crossover. Bi-wire it so the lower frequency is on it's own copper. If you are interested in some guidance on that, it's been years since I've done a set but I can give you some ideas. The practicality of building your own speakers is really dependent on what tools you have available, figure on bare minimum a circular saw and a router and a very large straight edge, lots of clamps, power drill/drivers etc...

Eric
Edited by mdocod - 11/2/11 at 7:24pm
     
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. I still own an old pair of B&W, and I really loved the sound, my favorite speakers so far - I used them with an old Marantz amp that I sold. Now they are just too old and noisy.

I agree that if I buy towers I would really prefer to get the whole sound only from the pair of stereo speakers and that's it - no sub, no surround, etc.

And that's my main issue and problem with the Hi-Fi market now: the Hi-Fi market has been plagued by Home Theater. I absolutely hate it. When I see people spending so much on a centre speaker, worse, when I hear these people say "the centre speaker is the most important piece of audio upon which I base all my equipment" like I already heard, I get mad. Or when I see all these amps throwing out "THX" labels or "Dolby surround" "DTS, DDF, ***"... I hate it. Hard to find truly Hi-Fi, audiophile material now at reasonable prices. Music is to be listened on a good pair of stereo speakers and that's it. Now if the speakers are bookshelves ones, or powered monitors, instead of floorstanding, yes, I want a sub - but then again, it should be correctly filtered, with a good crossover, no redundancy, etc....

That's why I look at the studio monitors market. These speakers are designed for music recording, not home theater. The cables are XLR balanced. No noise. I know very good references. Seriously, I understand that you're an audiophile, have you already listened powered studio monitors? Good quality ones will surprise your ears... It's so detailed.. Also note they are bi-amplified, and power reserve is so much higher in those amps than in Hi-Fi market... Generally a good pair of powered monitors is 2x150 / 250W. Yes you might say "so what?" well, transducers are efficient enough so you can play them loud without any distortion. If you like audio and never listened to powered studio monitors I recommend you give it a try.

Problem is... 2 powered speakers + 1 sub = 3 plugs, it's a bit of a pain, where a pair of Hi-Fi towers only take one for the amp. Also there is a known port noise issue with Adam AX series, some units vibrate from 30 to 100Hz, some guys had to RMA twice their units before getting good ones! That is unforgivable. But they are by far the best speakers for their price range. Maybe they manage to do it by cutting costs on quality control...

Well building myself a pair of speakers is out of the questiuon. I already considered, but no. I know I will mess. I want to do this but I will do with pre-mounted cases where I throw 12" or 15" RCF transducers to get some Sono speakers - I won't risk my first build for Hi-Fi / studio material.

So if I go Hi-Fi, My only concern, is that ideally, I'd like a pair of floostanding speakers with at least one speaker of decent size - say 10" - to avoid a sub while getting deep bass, but I just can't find it in the Hi-Fi market, apart Cerwin -Vega towers - but nope thanks - or Klipsch Rf-7 - too expensive.

B&W 683 seem to get consistent reviews, especially in the bass department - all reviewers say they have sweet punchy yet really deep bass. So unless I find a killer deal for RF-7s, 683s are the Hi-Fi speaker to get for me.

Well yes the budget for an amp is $500-600 (450 Euros), not more. And I want power reserve, that's why I will choose a 2x90w Yamaha all the way over some 2x40w Marantz. Yerah I already heard some good about this Rotel you're speakng but it's too expensive. And when it comes to audio material, I buy Nothing used, except for sources. I'll never buy used amps or speakers. I know how this stuff can wear out, I know that this stuff will degrade over the years, I know that speakers have to be properly trained for the first 100-200hours and if not they will get crappy, I know that people can degrade amps if they crank it too quickly, etc..

Ah, still undecided.

Thanks for your input. I'll have a look at the Rotel amp. BTW may I ask you what is your audio system now?
post #5 of 17
I do like the straight forward presentation of most monitors, in fact, I'll even go so far as to say that I would happily own a pair of main speakers built using sound reinforcement woofers and horns. The sound reinforcement stuff, with it's high efficiency, means you can get by on a fraction of the power requirements to listen at loud levels while everything stays remarkably clean. The transient response of a sound reinforcement driver can really put the kick in a snare and the snare in a kick if you know what i mean.

As it turns out, right now, the Rotel is sitting un-used for the time being. I have a speaker project planned to pair up with the Rotel just haven't got around to it. I built some 4th order linkwitz crossovers from all poly caps and air inductors, with full impedance correction on both the woofer and tweeter sections. I have an MTM configuration planned using some 1-1/8" dayton silk domes and 6.5" woofers. For now I have some pretty ordinary nothing special poly woofers to use, see how they sound... Long term the woofers will be upgraded but I probably should worry more about building the boxes for now. I've had all the materials and the drivers and crossovers here on hand for a couple years and just have not got around to it.

The last set of speakers on the rotel were originally locally crafted here in colorado springs I'm guessing sometime back in the 80s by a local audio shop that I believe has long since gone out of business. I bought them from a neighbor many years ago. They are large floor standing units that employ a pair of 8" woofers, a 10" passive radiator, a silk dome mid and silk dome high. Kind of ahead of it's time in a lot of ways. The mid and high range drivers are mounted on an interesting assembly that sort of sticks off the top of the cabinet. The original passive and woofers were all rotted out so they now have Dayton heavy duty woofers and a long throw peerless passive. I also lined the interior with dampening. They are loaded down below 30hz and as such, have been relegated as the mains for home theater-in-living room- no sub required
     
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post #6 of 17
Goat, go oldskool. Forget about modern Klipsch, b&w, polk, infinity, paradigm, etc. They tend to sound ergh....empty, hollow, lacking. If you want truly balanced sound without a sub, go with the older design monitors. Something with a 10, 12, or 15" woofer, and mids/tweets that can handle more than 20 watts rms. I've built speaker systems for deep house using 3way designs that were so effecient, you didn't even need (nor could you even notice) a sub. If they are for a particular room, don't be afraid to do a little experimentation with speaker placement or design as it interacts with room accoustics. But don't think that you are going to get real bass out of a 6" driver. Well, ok, if it's a Sunfire true subwoofer, maybe, but unless you're ready to throw 2700 watts into it...
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post #7 of 17
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input mdocod.

When you're talking about sound reinfrocement, you're talking about sono material right?
I know I love some sound reinforcement material, mainly sono powered speakers. For me the best brand of transducers - e.v.e.r. - is RCF, an italian brand. For odd reasons it seems like they are not widely known in the US. I came across many forums where guys never heard of it. In Europe these are the absolute reference. Althugh some prefer Beyma.

RCF is mainly known for their woofers and subwoofer transducers, and also for their horns - undisputed best horn on the sono market is RCF H series.
They make amazing passive towers, and in fact, there was a pair of powered Mackie towers- SR1530 - more then ten years ago, their first models were mounted with RCF transducers. It was sound reinforcement powered speakers, 2x500W, yet sound was so good it was *studio quality*. A legend. Unfortunately Mackie quickly sold RCF (because they once bought the company for a few years) and then their SR1530s came mounted with crappy made in China Eminence transducers . The RCF-mounted ones lasted like two years and even if they're 10+ years old now, they are being sold used for very high prices since everyone wants them - Well, unless I find a real steal I won't buy them, 10 years is too old now.

But anyway, RCF continued to produce transducers and speakers, and they are known for their ART series, sound reinforcement powered speakers.

First series is ART 3, 12" and 15" 300 / 350W speakers with classic analog class A/B amp, like the ART315-A and they now reeleased a new ART 4 and ART 7 series with 400W or 750W amplifiers now in class D, well... I guess because they were pretty much forced to accomodate themselves to the market.

I'm quite in love with the Art 4 series and have considered a apir of Art 412-A or 415-A but the problem is they don't go below 50Hz (+/-3db...) . They have a Bass Boost switch to add oomph at low levels, but I don't know if this is sufficient to go deeper, rather I think it just adds punch at 50-120Hz and that's it, more than anything else. In fact, they are great satellites delivering a very detailed sound but they are designed to go with a sub for deep bass.

Alternative would be JBL EON 515XT, 39Hz (+/-10db) - 42Hz (+/-3db) amplified by Crown and with bass / treble EQ for playing at low volumes... I'm seriously contemplating them now... JBL EON series suffered from a rather not-so good reputation with their 300 series, 500 series have better reviews, and apparently the new XT version has very much improved over the "old" 500.

Yeah, I know, you will say these are made of plastic, etc... But I assure you they sound good.

I'd reaaaly prefer to buy myself some good transducers, crossovers, filters, cabinets and do my speakers, but I'm too lazy and I'm really no good at all when it comes to manual work. I'm this nerdy kind of guy, you know.

Jayce1971, Thanks for your input too, I perfectly get your advice to go oldschool... And boy I'd like to... I'm so in love with vintage equipment, old Marnatz amps and old JBL monitors... But I cannot buy material 30+ years old... And I cannot - I definitely know I cannot - mount my speakers myself so...Do you have any advice? What do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayce1971 View Post
If you want truly balanced sound without a sub, go with the older design monitors. Something with a 10, 12, or 15" woofer, and mids/tweets that can handle more than 20 watts rms.
But that's exaclty what I'm seeking... But where are these speakers?
Edited by DaGoat - 11/5/11 at 7:16am
post #9 of 17
Hi DaGoat,

I've never heard this term "sono" or "soono" before so I can't comment on that, but I believe we are talking about the same thing. A google search for soono brings up this thread at the top, so?

Anyways, I'll sit around for hours and ogle at various drivers on partsexpress and be tinkering in a box design program and sort of dreaming They carry the RCF line you spoke of and seem to come highly regarded (and with plenty spendy price points as well). While I have never knowingly heard a set RCFs I have heard a handful of the nice JBL drivers and must agree that they really do a great job in the pro segment. Plastic boxes or not. The 18" driver brother to the JBL that you linked to has an ideal set of characteristics that makes it very 6th-order bandpass friendly and I have seen them implemented as such in large venues stacked all the way across the front below the stage. I was surprised at the transients even behind the "mask" of a bandpass configuration. Very impressive drivers.

Your comment about the imminence surprised me. I had always been under the impression that they were USA made and of reasonable quality. Especially their woofer line.


Just to give you something to drool about for a minute.. Imagine building a 3-way speaker system using the following:

A stereo pair of these: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=294-895
8-12 cu-ft vented enclosure tuned to 25hz. (will provide plenty useful extension to 20hz).

Then maybe a couple of these per side: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=294-828

Then maybe pick your favorite horn

Crossovers ~300hz and ~1800hz. Probably best to bi-amp the setup with an active crossover for the 300hz point.

Eric
     
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi mdocod.

Yes "sono". I mean "sonorisation", as of systems used in concerts / parties / etc. to play loud at a very long distance, with very wide dispersion, high SPLs, etc.. it goes from "sound reinforcement" powered speakers like 1kw + 2kw subs to 10000 Kw for say a Jay-Z concert.

As opposed to Hi-Fi / studio material, more precise, more detailed in the sound reproduction. Basically car speakers are very cheap sono speakers. A 15" sono woofer can go from $20 to $2,000+. Usually good ones are $200 / 400.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod;15568700 
Just to give you something to drool about for a minute.. Imagine building a 3-way speaker system using the following:

Don't worry I already thought about it rolleyes.gif. For a very long time now. Sorry to insist (?)but I repeat, I can't. I know I can't. I will cut my fingers and end up throwing everything out of the window after one afternoon.

Oh, there is this french pro audio seller who's also artisan makng cabinets, he's one of the most reputed here, uses RCF, B&C and Beyma transducers, and makes each filter himself sur mesure. Here are his speakers. Look at the CG7-500x. (the last one, at the bottom). THis cabinet is unbelievable, reviews are jaw-dropping.

This is some pro Audio material, some use it with a 10w tube amp and it sounds fantastic, others use it with Rotel / Marantz / etc transistor amps and they're excellent in Hi-Fi, many use it as studio monitor as well with proper amplification, and others just throw a good 1000W Crown amp and throw concerts with a pair of them. Complete package. Reviews say it all (you can translate into english using Google I assume).

OK so if I understand you well, you think of these JBLs to be good material? The woofer is a JBL 265F-1... Good one?
Edited by DaGoat - 11/3/13 at 7:14am
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