Budget Loudspeakers maxed out ?

ANADROL-50

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Has anybody attended a demonstration where entry level loudspeakers, e.g stand mounts at £500 a pair, have been partnered with £50k+ worth of electronics just to show what they are actually capable of doing ?
 

Brown Bottle

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Slightly more expensive Spendor A7s on the end of over £100Ks worth of Boulder and Nagra equipment that was set up to demo some £40k speakers. The A7s sounded superb but as it’s the only time I’ve heard them I have no reference.

Cheers BB
 

hearhere

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Has anybody attended a demonstration where entry level loudspeakers, e.g stand mounts at £500 a pair, have been partnered with £50k+ worth of electronics just to show what they are actually capable of doing ?
That would be enlightening, but I suspect better sound would come from £500 worth of electronics partnered with £50K speakers.
 

ANADROL-50

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That would be enlightening, but I suspect better sound would come from £500 worth of electronics partnered with £50K speakers.
Would that be because "diminishing returns" sets in earlier with electronics rather than with loudspeakers ?
 

PeteVid

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Would that be because "diminishing returns" sets in earlier with electronics rather than with loudspeakers ?
Without getting into the 'all correctly designed amps, DACS, CD spinners, streamers working within their design limitations sound the same' debate, I believe yes. Speakers and room acoustics is where the major differences lie in my experience.
 

simon g

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This kind of approach was very popular back in the 'flat earth' era. Very high spec/cost Linn/Naim systems in to Linn Kans, for example. 'Source first' was the mantra. Paying attention to the sour e is certainly important, but all parts of the chain have their parts to play. No rights or wrongs.
 

rdale

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That would be enlightening, but I suspect better sound would come from £500 worth of electronics partnered with £50K speakers.
I suspect most 50k speakers are going to be quite difficult to drive, and a 500 pound amp would be likely to do a pretty poor job at driving them. A fancy amp and cheap speakers might not be particularly cost effective, but I think it would usually work, unlike the other way round.
 

lordsound

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Slightly more expensive Spendor A7s on the end of over £100Ks worth of Boulder and Nagra equipment that was set up to demo some £40k speakers. The A7s sounded superb but as it’s the only time I’ve heard them I have no reference.

Cheers BB
That's some mouth watering price ;)
 

lazycat

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This kind of approach was very popular back in the 'flat earth' era. Very high spec/cost Linn/Naim systems in to Linn Kans, for example. 'Source first' was the mantra. Paying attention to the sour e is certainly important, but all parts of the chain have their parts to play. No rights or wrongs.
Hehe. I was about to say I heard Kans driven by 135s when the amps first came out.

Bit special that - and not in a needy way.

Briks were better tho'. ;)
 
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hearhere

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I suspect most 50k speakers are going to be quite difficult to drive, and a 500 pound amp would be likely to do a pretty poor job at driving them.
That's a different arguement - a similar one to suggesting that a £50K amp that happens to be a tube SET delivering a handful of watts would be unable to drive an insensitive £500 speaker.

If my own £35K speakers (18 ohm, 107 dB) were fed by £500 electronics, both the speakers and amp would be happy and the sound would be pretty good.
 

dhansak

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Has anybody attended a demonstration where entry level loudspeakers, e.g stand mounts at £500 a pair, have been partnered with £50k+ worth of electronics just to show what they are actually capable of doing ?
I have done this a couple of times for fun. I once set up the most miniature Spendor stand mounts with a £40k Meridian Digital system, and it sounded pretty incredible - I recall being quite astounded by the sound that could come from such a small speaker when listening to Back in Black!

I also recently put the budget Monitor Audio 200s into my home system - they sounded pretty good, but the system lost a lot of refinement - it was lovely to go back to the Special Forty after that.

Maybe there's something in this? How to appreciate what you already have. A lesson we could all do with learning, myself included! Haha.
 

Sotosound

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Driving £500 speakers with a £50,000 amplifier will normally bring the best out of them. It won't, however, turn them into £50,000 speakers.

Instead, and assuming that you have also listened to £50,000 speakers driven by the same amplifier, it might reveal their limitations.

I've been borrowing a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40 speakers and driving them with my tweaked Croft pre/power combo, and I have to say that the Concept 40s sound lovely. They have so many laudable qualities.

Having said that, however, when I plug my Russell K Red 150s back in, I can hear what the Concept 40s don't do quite as well as some more expensive speakers.

Having said that :), if the Concept 40s had been on sale when I was replacing by B&W DM602s twenty years ago, I'd probably have bought them instead of my old Monitor Audio S8s and might still own them now.
 

uzzy

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I suspect most 50k speakers are going to be quite difficult to drive,
Well the problem with assumptions is it makes an ASS of U and ME.

Efficiency of speakers has not a lot to do with size. Art Alinico silver signtures and the Dram silver signatures are over £30k a pair and are over 90db efficient .. the Focal Grand Utopia (over £100k) are 94db efficient.

On the other hand Dynaudio Emit 20 (2 way compact stand mount) is only 86db efficent.

Unfortunately the flaw in the original posting is the assumption that a £50k amp will perform better but price is no guarantee of sound quality and or performance specs.

With an efficient set of speakers the little Sugden A21 or even the veritable old Leak Stereo 20 valve amps (and many more) will hold their own against other amps costing many many thousands of pounds and in many cases actually sound much better.
 

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Has anybody attended a demonstration where entry level loudspeakers, e.g stand mounts at £500 a pair, have been partnered with £50k+ worth of electronics just to show what they are actually capable of doing ?
I used a £200 pair of QAcoustics speakers last year with £10k (Retail) worth of amps and streamer and DAC. The speakers were just a placeholder but actually sounded great. Several years ago I bought a pair of £400 Audio Note AX speakers from a guy who used them with £60k worth of Audio Note gear as he preferred to work from the source working towards the speakers.
 

hearhere

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I think a more helpful test would be for 50K speakers to be matched with 5K electronics and vice versa. This is still a massive 10:1 price ratio and I suspect results would still be hugely better with the more costly speakers, rather than the costly amp. Or even 2K vs 20K.

My own system is about 8:1 in favour of the speakers, but I’m planning to probably (subject to convincing home trials) getting to more like 4 or 5:1.
 
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Rockchild

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To add to this from earlier. What amazes me is how far speakers have evolved in the budget sector.
Q Acoustics deserve their success and despite them being built a far, they are an excellent designed and conceived speaker from a 14 year old Uk company that many other brands can only dream of the success Q Acoustics have had.
 

Bodgit

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I recently acquired a pair of Q3050s from here, they're £400 speakers retail that I got for just £150. I hooked them up to my main hifi in place of the SCM40s. So > 10 to 1 price ratio difference; the amps driving them are the MUSE 300s, now upgraded to over 500W so will drive anything.

The sound from these 3050s was quite amazing, sure I could tell they didn't quite deliver everything that the SCM40s do, but I could have happily lived with these Q3050s. They delivered 95% of what the SCM40s do.

An interesting experiment to see what these cheap speakers were capable of and I would suggest anyone wanting a good pair of speakers hooks their demo speakers to a great front end to see just what they are capable of, what they can deliver and to what extent they will respond to upgrades at the front end - if you think its the speakers holding back the sound you yearn for, try them with a great front end before replacing them.
 

PeteVid

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Had a similar experience when I owned both Concept 20s and Harbeth P3ESRs. With the £1000 price difference the sound quality difference was small enough to be happy to live with the Concept 20s.
 

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