Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?
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  1. #1
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    Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Putting together a secondary system for the basement, and seeking some thoughts on full range tower speakers in the "$6k and under per pair" price range. At one time we thought this would end up being a true zillion-channel surround/theater setup, but we just don't watch enough movies to justify it. So this really becomes more of a lighter-budget music rig that can pull double duty. Would really like to have the option of a matching horizontal center channel, which definitely limits the options a bit. Electronics will still lean towards multi-channel, meaning that some kind of surround preamp will be in charge, and power will come from beefy solid state amps. Haven't settled on the electronics yet, but leading candidates for the processor include the Anthem AVM60, Marantz 8805, Acurus Muse, or Lexicon MC10. There will be sub(s) in this system for LFE, but I still prefer a main speaker that can dig reasonably deep on its own.

    Very much interested in the forum's suggestions on what to consider. My own personal short list includes things like the Revel Performa series, Sonus Faber Sonetto, and Focal Aria, mostly because they're reasonably popular lines that get media coverage. I've heard all three, can find fault with them all (particularly when comparing to my primary rig), and am left a bit uninspired. I suspect there are other/better choices in this price range if I look a little more towards the boutique brands, so fire away!
    Jeff

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    Streamer/Server: Aurender N100H; Disc Player: Oppo UDP-205; DAC: PS Audio Directstream Jr; Preamp: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2; Power Amp: ATI AT542NC; Speakers: Focal Sopra No. 3; Cables:
    Wireworld, Kimber, Cullin; Power: Ansuz Mainz8 X-TC, PS Audio Dectet, Furutech outlets

  2. #2
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Give Monitor Audio Gold series a listen and they would have a center.

    It may be helpful to know what you didn't like in the other speakers.

    I like the JBL L100's but not sure what would work for center. They did debut a new HDI series at CEDIA but I don't know anything about them yet.

    I'm not up on Dynaudio pricing but one of their series would certainly have towers with matching center, perhaps the Evoke.

    I've always liked Dynaudio. More of a Monitor Audio fan with their more recent models.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    I just heard the Usher - Dancer Mini 2 Diamonds last week and liked them.

    Mike has the new lineup of Fyne speakers that fit the bill.

    Dynaudio is also a good choice.
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  6. #4
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Fyne 502SP and you’ll have money left over.
    B&W 702S2 and you’ll have money left over.
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  8. #5
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    you won't have any $$ left over but with a good discount ......... Revel F226Be
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  9. #6
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post

    It may be helpful to know what you didn't like in the other speakers.
    Good point. Here are a few general thoughts on a few of the speakers I've heard so far. They were all generally driven by good 2-channel gear (Naim featured more than once).

    Revel F208: Generally quite good, and a real contender. Good extended frequency response, but not a whole lot of weight or impact on the bottom. A sub would fix this, of course. Maybe not quite as dynamic as some of the others, and certainly not as sensitive. I'd describe it as inoffensive, but not inspiring. The new F226Be looks interesting. The 228Be was just too expensive, so I hadn't considered that line until now. Not a fan of the white drivers, though. Hopefully the grills are optically opaque and acoustically transparent!

    Sonus Faber Sonnetto V: Good sound, but the soundstage was razor thin. Like move your head 2" from the sweet spot, and the other channel goes away. Maybe a setup problem, but I was assured they were set for a "wide" sound at the expense of perfect sweet spot resolution since they knew we'd be using them for a theater application. It was really hard to get over the soundstage issue and focus on the rest of the speaker.

    Focal Aria 948: The biggest challenge here is that I'm tempted to compare directly to my Sopra No 3's at home. With that yardstick, they fall short. A bit bright in the treble, and slightly muddy bass that doesn't dig super deep. Considered in a vacuum I suspect they're fine for the price point.

    I did get to hear the Monitor Audio Silver series recently (either the 200 or 300, don't recall which), and those were pretty good. The Gold series is probably worth a listen.

    Mike (and others), Fyne sounds interesting, but I'm not sure how to get an audition here in the middle of the country. If my travel plans take me towards Florida, I'll have to come in for a listen.
    Jeff

    My System
    Streamer/Server: Aurender N100H; Disc Player: Oppo UDP-205; DAC: PS Audio Directstream Jr; Preamp: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2; Power Amp: ATI AT542NC; Speakers: Focal Sopra No. 3; Cables:
    Wireworld, Kimber, Cullin; Power: Ansuz Mainz8 X-TC, PS Audio Dectet, Furutech outlets

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  11. #7
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    How about the Goldenear Triton R? I have no experience with them but they do get glowing reviews for what that's worth.
    Main System: Analog - Linn LP12, Origin Live DC motor and Controller, SME V arm, Benz Ruby H 2 cartridge, Wright Sound preamp. Digital - Intel NUC I-7, 16 gig ram, Jriver media center 24, Wyrd4 Sound 2V2 SE Dac, Fathom Hard Drives.
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  12. #8
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    how Big is the room? There’s used usher be20dmds on ag that really sing. Read the reviews for the meridian 7200. Lots of good options when you consider buying used.
    Meridian dsp8000 se upgrade, VA Beethovens, , Hegel h360, rega jupiter, roon nucleus, revox tuner.

  13. #9
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve59 View Post
    how Big is the room?
    The room is 23x30x8, with the speakers on the right-most 16ft of the 23ft wall. Seating ~12ft back from the wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike B. View Post
    How about the Goldenear Triton R?
    We heard the Triton Reference some time ago shortly after they hit the street, and were not impressed. Intolerably bright, almost to the same level as the Paradigm Persona 7 we heard the same day. This is not the reputation of the T-ref that I see in reviews, so I suspect a poor synergy with the connected McIntosh gear, much less break-in than we were led to believe they had, or some other setup issue. But perhaps more to the point, I don't particularly like the idea of a powered bass section. i'd rather have the flexibility to put dedicated subs where they "belong" in the room, which is often not the same place the main speakers should live.
    Jeff

    My System
    Streamer/Server: Aurender N100H; Disc Player: Oppo UDP-205; DAC: PS Audio Directstream Jr; Preamp: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2; Power Amp: ATI AT542NC; Speakers: Focal Sopra No. 3; Cables:
    Wireworld, Kimber, Cullin; Power: Ansuz Mainz8 X-TC, PS Audio Dectet, Furutech outlets

  14. #10
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    Re: Full range tower speakers, ~$6k and under?

    Jeff is this mostly a Video system where you're going to use LFE from the processor?
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Nuprime CDT-8, Auralic Aries G1, Aqua La Voce S3, PS Audio BHK preamp and 250 amp, Fritz Carrera Be, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC's , Triode Wire Lab PC's & SC's, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

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