Listening day

Amormusic

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LISTENING DAY 2

*********************************

I today listened to a few more speakers with my amp and streamer. 

Firstly was ProAc DB1 which I really enjoyed. A very musical speaker and paired beautifully with my amp. Very impressed with this one. Particularly if you close your eyes you'd have no idea you were listening to a small speaker. Where it falls short is that it cannot dig deep, purely due its limitations in size. If I had a smaller room I would likely buy these.

I then had another go with the ProAc D20R to double check as I was so sorely disappointed last time. They sounded much better today (different dealer and location), therefore I think the room was a big factor last week. However, still to bassy for my taste.

Then onto the ProAc DT8 which I thought was okay. Ten years ago I think I would have loved these. Thump thump from the bass. Way too much for me. Not as refined at the D20R's either, but a lower price point. My sumup of ProAc today was I loved the standmount but didn't like either floorstander. 

Then I heard ATC SCM40 which I thought were fantastic. Very impressive. However I'm not sure my amp is really getting the full potential from them. I gave these a long listen. Loved them.

Finally, in this dealer I tried the Q Acoustic Concept 500 . Whilst I thought these were good I had to listen to them in a smaller space than I think they were designed for and with the rear bung in. I don't think these would suit my living room. It'd be nice to hear these in their full glory one day in a big room though.

I then went back to same dealer as last week to hear the Audio Note ANK and have to say the finishing on these is amazing. The best looking pair I've seen. However, just not for me and wouldn't work tight up against my party wall.

Before these I re-tried the Harbeths from last week. Once again amazing and better than everything else from today. I've never heard such a complete set of speakers and they make the instruments sound like they are there in the room with you. Utterly magical.

I set out listening to speakers with the goal that I'd find a set that I could imagine me keeping indefinitely. This might be them. All other pairs I've heard so far do not measure up to these imo and have been now set aside from consideration.

I have one final pair to hear which are ProAc D2 which I'm hoping will have the same qualities as the DB1's but with a little more depth. These could be stunning if this is the case. The first dealer can get ahold of some, but I'm not sure how quickly.

So I'm down to the last two. I think.

Please feel free to suggest any others I should hear but have missed.

 
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ChemMan

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Your impressions mirror mine in some regards.  Too much bass for Proac.  NO bass, thin sounding PMC 23 and way overpriced better ones. Harbs meh. Except for the SHL5+, not terribly impressed at their various price points.  I've not heard this one.  It seems pricey when you could have a LS50 meta for less than half.

The SCM 40 is the best speaker on your list in my view.  I've not heard all those Proacs, and while I like the ribbon tweeter on the right model, they are voiced too warm for me. If the ATC was not so ugly with grills on, there would be no Spendor in this house.   I'd be interested to hear what you think about a Spendor 2/3 since you like the Harbs. The Concept 500 is a brilliant speaker for a big gigantic room.  I loved it and it would have been perfect in our old place.  The bass is so huge, I'd think prudence is the word of the day.

I vote for the ATC, and it would go so well with the Tube DAC some nice fellow sold you.

 

Rockchild

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Excellent stuff.. I think your bang on about the Proac DB1 and yes the D2 (non ribbon) should be as you say. Less fussy about positioning. 
The DT8’s drivers are of lesser quality and your results are as expected but to some, they probably sound the dogs.

ATC are just harder to drive. Nothing wrong with them but a mismatch for the Sugden. 
So…. Harbeth has continued to stick in your head? Those new C7XD’s are good. Hope you get to hear the D2’s tho. 
it’s a shame that Alchrist don’t do a home loan, easy to drive and a fraction of the costs above. 
I have a pair of these Falcon RAM 20’s on loan next week, no reason but it was offered. 

B83C32C4-5176-4D90-B15F-EFA3E764728A.jpeg

 

DomT

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LISTENING DAY 2

*********************************

I today listened to a few more speakers with my amp and streamer. 

Firstly was ProAc DB1 which I really enjoyed. A very musical speaker and paired beautifully with my amp. Very impressed with this one. Particularly if you close your eyes you'd have no idea you were listening to a small speaker. Where it falls short is that it cannot dig deep, purely due its limitations in size. If I had a smaller room I would likely buy these.

I then had another go with the ProAc D20R to double check as I was so sorely disappointed last time. They sounded much better today (different dealer and location), therefore I think the room was a big factor last week. However, still to bassy for my taste.

Then onto the ProAc DT8 which I thought was okay. Ten years ago I think I would have loved these. Thump thump from the bass. Way too much for me. Not as refined at the D20R's either, but a lower price point. My sumup of ProAc today was I loved the standmount but didn't like either floorstander. 

Then I heard ATC SCM40 which I thought were fantastic. Very impressive. However I'm not sure my amp is really getting the full potential from them. I gave these a long listen. Loved them.

Finally, in this dealer I tried the Q Acoustic Concept 500 . Whilst I thought these were good I had to listen to them in a smaller space than I think they were designed for and with the rear bung in. I don't think these would suit my living room. It'd be nice to hear these in their full glory one day in a big room though.

I then went back to same dealer as last week to hear the Audio Note ANK and have to say the finishing on these is amazing. The best looking pair I've seen. However, just not for me and wouldn't work tight up against my party wall.

Before these I re-tried the Harbeths from last week. Once again amazing and better than everything else from today. I've never heard such a complete set of speakers and they make the instruments sound like they are there in the room with you. Utterly magical.

I set out listening to speakers with the goal that I'd find a set that I could imagine me keeping indefinitely. This might be them. All other pairs I've heard so far do not measure up to these imo and have been now set aside from consideration.

I have one final pair to hear which are ProAc D2 which I'm hoping will have the same qualities as the DB1's but with a little more depth. These could be stunning if this is the case. The first dealer can get ahold of some, but I'm not sure how quickly.

So I'm down to the last two. I think.

Please feel free to suggest any others I should hear but have missed.
Great write up. Listening to speakers is a very personal thing. You seem to know what you like and don’t like and this is key because it means that you can make a decision.

You seem to have more room than me as when I did my standmount mega shootout thread I needed a smaller speaker than you and so ones I quickly rejected might be ones for you. I liked Proac as a brand and the D2s are a bigger sounding speaker than the DB1. 

I didn’t get to hear a Graham Audio speaker and this may be an interesting contender to the Harbeth. I own two pairs of Harbeths and they do a lot right. I didn’t rate Rogers.  I would rule out ATC because if my Quad Artera Stereo 130w amp can’t drive the SCM11 well then forget about an SCM19 with your amp. Based on what you have liked and not liked I can’t think of anything else to recommend. 
 

 
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Amormusic

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Excellent stuff.. I think your bang on about the Proac DB1 and yes the D2 (non ribbon) should be as you say. Less fussy about positioning. 
The DT8’s drivers are of lesser quality and your results are as expected but to some, they probably sound the dogs.

ATC are just harder to drive. Nothing wrong with them but a mismatch for the Sugden. 
So…. Harbeth has continued to stick in your head? Those new C7XD’s are good. Hope you get to hear the D2’s tho. 
it’s a shame that Alchrist don’t do a home loan, easy to drive and a fraction of the costs above. 
I have a pair of these Falcon RAM 20’s on loan next week, no reason but it was offered. 
This.

I listened to them at the Audio show and liked them. They also look fantastic. I would certainly demo a set. But am reluctant to go in blind as although these are exceptional value this is my indefinite speaker upgrade and price is not the main driver - I want the very best matched pair possible for my setup, for the long-term. I want to spend once and get it right.

@ChemMan I'll see if I can get a listen of some Spendors. These had not factored into my thought process. So thank you.

@DomT yes, a home dem will be the final stage. I intend to have narrowed it to a shortlist of two, at the maximum. I'll then them get into my living room for a weekend of uninterrupted fun. Then if I am happy will pull the trigger. 

 
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Nopiano

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Then I heard ATC SCM40 which I thought were fantastic. Very impressive. However I'm not sure my amp is really getting the full potential from them. I gave these a long listen. Loved them.
That was me four years ago. I still love them!   Not quite sure why you’re doubting your amp if you actually used it to audition, but I agree it’s underpowered on paper. 

 

DomT

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That was me four years ago. I still love them!   Not quite sure why you’re doubting your amp if you actually used it to audition, but I agree it’s underpowered on paper. 
I think I know what he is saying. My ATCs sound fine using my Quad power amp until I use the Audio Research amp instead. Quite a difference in how the ATC performs. 

 
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Nopiano

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I think I know what he is saying. My ATCs sound fine using my Quad power amp until I use the Audio Research amp instead. Quite a difference in how the ATC performs. 
Yes, that’s a good point.  You’d have to try an alternative to be sure.  But it’s easy to rule out ATC if you’re wedded to a Sugden.

The Living Voice R25 Anniversary would be great I suspect, but probably too costly and where to hear?  Derbyshire I suppose.  https://www.livingvoice.co.uk/interview-kevin-scott-r25a.html  

 
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MartinC

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Then I heard ATC SCM40 which I thought were fantastic. Very impressive. However I'm not sure my amp is really getting the full potential from them. I gave these a long listen. Loved them.
If you loved them with your amp then I fail to see any problem? 

From what you've posted so far I'd be inclined to try to arrange a home demo of both the Harbeths you like and these ATCs.

 

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I'm on a similar journey of speaker searching. 

I have to agree with conclusion of the ProAc D20R. Also found them way too bassy in my room. Only had a listen to some Harbeth speakers long time ago. Listened also to some Spendor classics and found them very satisfying, only in hifi demo shop environment.

I never liked ATCS, nothing against them just found the upper-mids a bit to clean.  One thing I can say about the atcscm40s, they always seem to be consistent with my conclusion about them on 3 different occasions in different locations.

I've also tried :

Audio physics Avanti 35s

Totem Tribe towers

Acoustic Energy AE 509s

Currently got a pair of Spendor's D7.2. The best tweeters I've heard so far from any speaker, clean precise with no nasties. Bass very clean and one of the few that has worked well in my room. The only problem is they do seem to have a horn speaker like quality to the mid-range. The D7.2 are not shouty but after a while you start to notice it about them.

 Over the period of searching for right speaker, I've found out Its a very personal thing.  So @Amormusic you surely on the right path doing your thing.

Bass punch articulation and definition was best from the Totem tribe towers, but was let dwn by rolled off top end.

If I had a bigger room I would've settled for the acoustic Energy AE509s. Even tho the bass was clean it over powered my room.

Currently the Spendor's D7.2 are the best behaved speakers in my room. 

Oh, the active ATC 40s was much better but still had a little of that clean upper mids. 

May be KLH Model 5s?

 

Amormusic

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If you loved them with your amp then I fail to see any problem? 

From what you've posted so far I'd be inclined to try to arrange a home demo of both the Harbeths you like and these ATCs.
Subject to how the listening goes with the ProAc D2's, then this would be my intention. The D2's dealer also has the ATC's in store so I'll have a re-listen when I go back. But I don't feel the ATC equaled the Harbeth's yesterday - however neither speaker was in my room.

I am quietly excited about hearing the D2's as I thought the little DB1's  partnered so well on the end of my amp and sounded so good.

I've started reading @DomT speaker shootout thread for some inspiration. Wow! 29 pages, I'm about half way through.

Although they were mentioned in passing only (or at least as far as I've got with reading) I think I'll also hear some Klipsch too.

 
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Amormusic

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I'm on a similar journey of speaker searching. 

I have to agree with conclusion of the ProAc D20R. Also found them way too bassy in my room. Only had a listen to some Harbeth speakers long time ago. Listened also to some Spendor classics and found them very satisfying, only in hifi demo shop environment.

I never liked ATCS, nothing against them just found the upper-mids a bit to clean.  One thing I can say about the atcscm40s, they always seem to be consistent with my conclusion about them on 3 different occasions in different locations.

I've also tried :

Audio physics Avanti 35s

Totem Tribe towers

Acoustic Energy AE 509s

Currently got a pair of Spendor's D7.2. The best tweeters I've heard so far from any speaker, clean precise with no nasties. Bass very clean and one of the few that has worked well in my room. The only problem is they do seem to have a horn speaker like quality to the mid-range. The D7.2 are not shouty but after a while you start to notice it about them.

 Over the period of searching for right speaker, I've found out Its a very personal thing.  So @Amormusic you surely on the right path doing your thing.

Bass punch articulation and definition was best from the Totem tribe towers, but was let dwn by rolled off top end.

If I had a bigger room I would've settled for the acoustic Energy AE509s. Even tho the bass was clean it over powered my room.

Currently the Spendor's D7.2 are the best behaved speakers in my room. 

Oh, the active ATC 40s was much better but still had a little of that clean upper mids. 

May be KLH Model 5s?
A few mentioned here I've not heard yet.

Spendor has already been added to the "must listen" list.

Totems and AE's also I've not heard - would these match my 23W of class A amp? If so, I'll try and get a listen.

They did stock ATC Actives, but at £11k, so beyond what I'll spend (plus it would be a complete system overhaul which I don't want to do) - I purposely didn't listen to these as this is not a route I will go down. 

Edit: I've just remembered the Amphion standmounts from the recent audio show on the end of a Hegel (obvs a very different amp to mine) which were the standout at the show for me. Not sure how a set of Amphions would sound, but I think I'd like to get a listen to some on the end of my amp. The plot thickens 

 
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Amormusic

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That's me done for now. There will be a listening day three at some point.

 

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If you need to place the speakers close to the wall behind them then I don't think the Harbeths will work well.

Maybe give the ATC SCM19s (or SCM19As) a go, and while you're at it I'd try the Kef R3s too. Maybe some Spendor standmounts.

 
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