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Another "Help me decide which speakers to buy that I can't demo" thread...

Discussion in 'audio' started by Stereoasishead, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    I have a problem...

    I sold the speakers from our main system (Neat Motive 2s) at the start of the summer, at the same time we started building work on the room, and I agree that the new system would both be both hifi and 5.1 cinema setup (music for me, 5.1 for the wife). The rest of the system is Avondale NCC200 monos with NAC72 and RSL boards. I've bought a ARCAM ARV390 to handle the cinema channels and process the fronts. Sources are Bluesound Node 2i into Chord Hugo and Rega P6.

    Now onto the problem....I'm under pressure to have everything setup for Christmas but due to unforeseen health circumstances, I can't leave the house or allow anyone in to demo. This is likely to be the case for 6 months or so. This means I either have to find a dealer who will ship speakers for me to home trial (Expensive as I live in Northern Ireland) or more likely buy second hand, possible several speakers at once, and then sell on what I don't like. I've done this before when there were no local dealer options, but in those days the second hand market was a little more lively than today...

    I should also mention that we have a second system in the kitchen, Naim Nap250, Nac32.5 with Avondale cards and KEF LS50 speakers, that I love. I auditioned the new KEF r range earlier this year but wasn't convinced. I thought the r5 and r7 were a little dull, the R11 were better but still not for me, although the width of the soundstage was impressive.

    Budget is around 3k, with a little more if necessary. Room is roughly 3.5m by 5m with the speakers firing across the short length. We listen to a wide range of music, rock, rock and roll, female vocalists, and some pop. Overall vocals are probably most important to me, I like detail, pace and controlled base.

    Worth pointing out that I loved the Neat speakers, but my reason for starting this was that I have a problem with one of my ears and its over sensitive to harsh treble, and I found it got sore quickly listing to the Neats whereas with the LS50s I can go high volume and feel no pain...

    So to the shortlist...although I'm open to suggestions or comments on any of this..

    ATC SCM40 (or the active version if they can be found second hand)
    PMC Twenty5 24
    Monitor Audio Gold 200 5g

    THe MAs may seem a little left field, but I have a friend in France who thinks they would be perfect for my likes, and the boss likes how they look!

    I had an agreement to buy ex demo SCM40s a month or so ago, but sadly the dealer refunded me and sold them to someone local instead in the end....

    Sorry for the long post, look forward to the conversation!

  2. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    I should also mention that clearly whatever speakers I go for, they will need to have a matching centre.

  3. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Apologies @Stereoasishead, not read too much of your posts, but, personal experience here speaking, if you can scrounge-up the ££, even for just a few weeks, buy CAREFULLY, used and live with things for a while, then go from there.

    Pushed for time? You shouldn't be, or be convinced by others that you are.
  4. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    Fair point! I guess its just the wishes to have everything as back to normal as possible for Christmas. Nothings permanent though, I'd just like this stab in the dark to be well aimed!
  5. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    How about a nice set of Naim SL2s?
    alan967tiger likes this.
  6. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Wall mounted or stand mounted rears? Subwoofer?

    MA 200 are about £2.5K. The Centre £1K. The FX rears £1.1K. With a Sub I reckon you’re pushing £5K. The Silver would be more in line with budget.

    i’ve had a few AV setups and always liked MA, our current systems both have MA the older Gold Ref range.

    Martin Logan Motion stuff is on offer, worth checking out.

  7. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    Hi Gus,

    Sorry I should have said, the budgets for the fronts only, going to try and get them sorted first then add the rest. I’ve got some old stuff kicking about that will cover the rears for now. I’ll have a look at the Martin Logan stuff too.

    Hi Tiggers, I hadn’t considered Naim speakers, ill have a look and see what’s out there atm.

  8. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    Active ATC SCM40s are very good speakers, and very good value.
    Steve356 likes this.
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    I ran LS50 all round for a while, worked very well, seeing as you like them already you could get 3 of the new LS50 Meta versions for the front LCR.
  10. Alastair

    Alastair Member

    Tough decision!...I would try as Amber Audio suggests the existing LS50s in the main listening room. Having three identical ones might also look really nice? I know my preference would be for 3 identical fronts if I were starting out again. Good luck!
    Stereoasishead likes this.
  11. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    Life is so much simpler if you ignore the imperative to get stuff done by Christmas.
    Stereoasishead likes this.
  12. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    I too have a sensitive ear to harsh treble and although some folks may disagree, I would stay away from metal tweeters including berilium.
    On your list, my favorite would be the ATC.
    For the PMC, I would choose one with soft fabric tweeter if you want to go with that brand.
    I heard the Monitor Audio you mention and found the treble to be very detailed so very good on a perfect recording but might become fatiguing on long listening sessions with medium quality recordings IMO.
    If you want something very treble smooth, give a listen to some Vienna Acoustic.
  13. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    I do like the idea of three more LS50s, but unfortunately I’d need 5 more as the ones in the kitchen are well matched to the room, and they sound great! Plus, the room layout lends itself to a more traditional centre speaker. I’ll not rule it out though!
    Clive D likes this.
  14. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    Ive always wanted to hear Vienna Acoustic speakers, but never had the chance. They don’t seem to have much of a presence in the UK these days never mind NI.

    Funny you mention PMC tweeter, the last dealer I spoke to recommended I stay clear for that reason (and definitely not because he doesn’t sell them anyone!!!) Good point re the MA 5g golds too, I do like detail but I guess I’ll know know without trying if they will cause me anytime problems or not.
  15. Alan Brown

    Alan Brown Registered LUser

  16. bossjw

    bossjw pfm Member

    Another N Ireland barren land here so I appreciate your difficulties!
    Just to say I owned a pair of Vienna Acoustics Hayden Grand for a while. Probably as smooth a treble as I have had in any system. Only down side was I felt they lacked a wee bit of life elsewhere but always a very pleasant listen.
    Stereoasishead likes this.
  17. Robert Sinden

    Robert Sinden Trade: Gecko Home Cinema

    You'll get much better performance with compact speakers and a sub. Try small ATC/Harbeth/MK with a good sub and you'll get a true full range system.
    Stereoasishead likes this.
  18. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    Thanks everyone.

    looks like ATC should be top of my list, although I am tempted to try Revel...

    If anyone knows of someone selling scm40a second hand or ex demo please point them my way! Can’t justify the new price without hearing them first unfortunately...

    AndyU likes this.
  19. Stereoasishead

    Stereoasishead pfm Member

    Reviewed options with the boss...

    Seems ATC are a nose in front, although it seems 40s are like hens teeth on the second hand market, both passive and active, which could drive me in another direction, maybe even towards the 19s to see if I gel with the sound or not...

    AndyU likes this.
  20. GML

    GML pfm Member

    Falcon LS3/5A with suitable stands. Job done!
    Stereoasishead likes this.

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