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Stand mount mega shootout


DomT
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Hello everyone

As some may know following my ATC specific thread I am seeking a stand mount speaker. I have just done a mega dealer shootout but no speaker won in every area and that’s the problem; picking a compromise.

The challenge was to find a very revealing yet musical speaker that was not fatiguing. I compared Harbeth P3ESR, M30.2 XD, Rogers LS5/9, Proac DB3, ATC SCM11, Dali Rubicon, Marten Duke 2. Streamer/DAC was Auralic Altair G1 and amp was Marantz PM10.

My favourites on the day were ATC SCM11, Proac DB3 and Harbeth M30.2 XD. The Proac had a slight edge for sounding detailed and open and slightly less fatiguing than the ATC. The ATC had most detail that resulted in some wonderful vocal and instrument renditions but was a little fatiguing. The M30,2 XD sounded great but had the most forward midrange, which was a real surprise, but had the best tone and the bass response was on par with the others. P3ESR sounded great but off the pace with detail.

The Rogers L5/9 were really disappointing with a slow and cumbersome bass. Do the Rogers bear any relation to the sound of a Harbeth M30.1? The Harbeth M30.1 were my default go to speaker.

But after about five hours of demo with only a short break my ears were shot.

I brought the Proacs home but in my more revealing system (ARC and Benchmark) and brighter room they don’t work so well (dealers room was well damped and smaller). I need a bigger speaker so maybe the D2R or indeed the M30 or SCM11. 

Any thoughts on which speaker gives the detail without the fatigue longer term? And agile bass is very important to me and so the Rogers L5/9 are completely out - but does that mean that the Harbeth M30.1 are also out?

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Have you tried Genelec actives?

Should be available from studio dealers easily enough,  can be moved on at low loss,  and are reliable and simple plus with some shaping available to tailor to your room.

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8 minutes ago, Jazid said:

Have you tried Genelec actives?

Should be available from studio dealers easily enough,  can be moved on at low loss,  and are reliable and simple plus with some shaping available to tailor to your room.

I have been a Neumann active user more several years. Not looking for actives thanks. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, DomT said:

I have been a Neumann active user more several years. Not looking for actives thanks. 

Dom, why didn’t you try the Proac DB1’s? They are way ahead of the 3’s and worth the extra outlay but there are deals to be had 

Edited by radiant red
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Hi,
Have you tried / thought about the Kef ls 50 ... Set up and partnered correctly sound amazing ... Although I've only had experience of the kefs with my current amp and DAC ...
Apologies, if you've already considered ....

Sent from my Mi Note 10 using Tapatalk

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3 minutes ago, Kubs said:

Hi,
Have you tried / thought about the Kef ls 50 ... Set up and partnered correctly sound amazing ... Although I've only had experience of the kefs with my current amp and DAC ...
Apologies, if you've already considered ....

Sent from my Mi Note 10 using Tapatalk
 

Yep already considered and dismissed but appreciate the thought. Owned them before. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, marko said:

Have you considered Audio Note speakers?

I love Audio Note speakers but have never been able to get Ed and Js to work in previous homes. The Ks would be the only one that would be the right size but getting a demo is tricky. And also its introducing yet another dealer into the mix. 

Edited by DomT
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22 minutes ago, radiant red said:

Dom, why didn’t you try the Proac DB1’s? They are way ahead of the 3’s and worth the extra outlay but there are deals to be had 

The DB3 are too small for my room and the DB1 are more or less the same size. I need a bigger box. 

Also I *might* be interested in an Accuphase or something similar and they have a less deep bass compared to Marantz and ARC - and so any ‘small’ speaker isn’t going to work. Have been listening to the Accuphase with DB3s and majority of music just sounds wrong due to lack of bass. Could be great though with a high efficiency bigger box.

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4 minutes ago, DomT said:

The DB3 are too small for my room and the DB1 are more or less the same size. I need a bigger box. 

Also I *might* be interested in an Accuphase or something similar and they have a less deep bass compared to Marantz and ARC - and so any ‘small’ speaker isn’t going to work. Have been listening to the Accuphase with DB3s and majority of music just sounds wrong due to lack of bass. Could be great though with a high efficiency bigger box.

There are always going to be compromises if your looking for a stand mount especially under 2k or so.  There are very few speakers on the market that can do what the DB1’s can at that price point. What is your maximum budget? 

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Posted (edited)

You did well to sit through that lot!  I’ve always limited myself to 3 or 4 at a sitting as a customer, though in my shop days we’d have entire ranges to check out.  
Somewhat rhetorically I’d ask, what have you ever owned or heard that meets your needs, ignoring size, cost etc for the purposes of the debate?  I don’t want to teach you to suck eggs, but listening to that many tends to highlight differences, whereas longer term we grasp the bigger picture, as it were.  

If you’re a bit light on bass you might like my Revel Concerta2 M16, which were a bit of a LS50 rival in some eyes, but I find them a very different balance, clearly aimed at larger US rooms. I’ve grown to like them very much, but it’s taken a bit of care to get them singing.    More info here…

Edited by Nopiano
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Just now, radiant red said:

There are always going to be compromises if your looking for a stand mount especially under 2k or so.  There are very few speakers on the market that can do what the DB1’s can at that price point. What is your maximum budget? 

Don’t really have one but would think that I should be able to get what I want for under £4K quite easily; but don’t honk that I need to spend that.

At the same dealer I heard £7k Marten’s but they needed more space. At same dealers I heard a pair of £6k Sonus Fabera sounding very bright and surprisingly horrible. 

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5 minutes ago, marko said:

Have you tried AN E’s or J’s in your current home? Not too sure whether K’s would satisfy in the bass department - not very much of it! 

J and E physically too big. My SHL5 are too big. 

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6 minutes ago, Nopiano said:

You did well to sit through that lot!  I’ve always limited myself to 3 or 4 at a sitting as a customer, though in my shop days we’d have entire ranges to check out.  
Somewhat rhetorically I’d ask, what have you ever owned or heard that meets your needs, ignoring size, cost etc for the purposes of the debate?  I don’t want to reach you to suck eggs, but listening to that many tends to highlight differences, whereas longer term we grasp the bigger picture, as it were.  

If you’re a bit light on bass you might like my Revel Concerta2 M16, which were a bit of a LS50 rival in some eyes, but I find them a very different balance, clearly aimed at larger US rooms. I’ve grown to like them very much, but it’s taken a bit of care to get them singing.    More info here…

The speakers need to be close to the wall and so it counts out your Revels.

Own Harbeth, Neumann, have owned WB Arcs and Curves and SF Electa Amator II. All have met differing needs. All have needed correct partnering. 

At the dealers the P3ESR, Martens, Dali’s and Rogers lasted less than ten minutes each because it was obvious that they were not right. Serious extended listening was with the three speakers outlined above.

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