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Hunt for perfect musical floorstanders for Yamaha 673

HiFiManish

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
46
Points
8
Location
Bangalore
Hello Friends,

I had been running around for last 1 year in search of floor standing speakers with a budget of around 40 K. I am writing here my impression of different speakers obtained during auditions.

My reference points for comparison (RP) I am having DIY stereo speakers. I have written the making story in another thread in DIY section. AVR is Yamaha 673. Cables are company supplied Sony stereo cables.
My usage is more in favor of Music. My type of music is mostly fusion / trans / instrumental. The same I used for auditions along with dealer supplied CDs. I listen at low volumes and love to hear clear sound. With my future 5.1 in mind, I had wanted floorstanders only in a target space of roughly 225 sq. feet.
Auditions started around a year back with following speakers in chronological order:

Polk TSi 300: At HTStore. These were the first speakers I auditioned. AVR was Yamaha 673. Sound was open with good soundstage. With Karuneshs Ancient Secrets track, it was like sitting is Movie Theater. From music angel, clarity was lacking. With higher volume and slightly louder bass, overall sound was getting muddled. In last I did not find it very compelling as compared to RP.

Sonus 2504 and 2605: I auditioned them at Croma in Brigade Road. I tried with 320 kbps mp3 files and some CDs. 2504 was 1st one. Overall sound was good, however not very impressive compared to RP.
2605 was better of lot, with very open sound and better low frequency response compared to 2504. However I felt the bass response was slower and not with full energy, if I hear the same song at other setup! Staff was good to deal with they were too good in follow ups. Cant recall the amp now probably it was Sonodyne itself.

At end I did not find them too good compared to RP, and anyways I had a long list to go.

Magnat Floor standers (800) and bookshelves (100/200): at HTStore again. Started with floorstanders! To me they sounded as extension of Polk TSi, with more punchy bass. High end openness (sweetness as I call it) was better than TSi. However clarity was lacking enough to not choose it as upgrade, over my RP.

Bookshelves were having all the same qualities, except lesser bass.
I did try some combinations of 2.1, to see if can get over floorstanders but was not very convincing.

B&W 683: at Vector on Brigade Road. I visited to listen to Wharfedale 10.4, but it was not available for audition. Instead I got a chance to listen to B&W 683. Source of music set was same with Chris Rea CD. AVR was Yamaha 673. Staff was pleasure to deal with. Music was fantastic, soothing, neither bright not warm, perfectly balanced, except that I felt bass was little overwhelming (maybe I was exhausted, was on bike for 2 hours before reaching showroom and was slightly pre-occupied with some other thoughts at that moment). Anyways the price was far far away from my budget, so it did not make much difference!

Mission 34i and Tannoy v4: At Music Ranch. I was kind of sold to Tannoys when I had got my AVR. By the time of year I could reach at this audition v4 was already on its way out and v4i was announced but was not available with Music Ranch yet. V4 were available for audition. Music source was same along with Dire Strait CD with Yamaha 673. With already sold mindset audition started. I found good soundstage, open sound, adequate bass, sweet instrumentals and everything as expected, though not overwhelming / very exciting. However I had to wait for V4i, as v4 was not in stock.

Next was Mission 34i: with same input and amplification set. Earlier I had read, Mission were supposed to be one of the best possible matches for Yamaha AVRs, but it was disappointing. All frequencies were sounding artificially suppressed and music was not clear at all. Bass was something like very restricted space made up of thin plywood. In short, it was utter disappointment!

Tannoy v4i and Wharafedale 10.6: At HTStore. Lokesh (the owner) was as ever welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly. I was targeting v4i and 155 and Paradigm Monitor 7 here. However 155 and monitor 7 were not available, rather 10.6 was there. I had earlier checked with HTStore, they were not having 673/5, hence I carried my AVR for audition. We started with v4i. As expected it was in line and better with v4. Sound stage was simply amazing, all frequencies were detailed & clear and top end was sweet. The letdown was mid lower bass, it was not full and sort of knocking soundIt was not deep enough. Any time this range of frequencies would come in Karuneshs Ancient Secrets, Endless Skies or Dire Strait, it was just not cutting in, otherwise this is a very detailed sounding speaker!

Wiring for bi amping was not available, hence could not check the legendry performance of v4(i), so much written about on various forums!!!

Next was Wharafedale 10.6 in line.after listening to it, I understood, what is called a warm speaker! In fact it is very different kind of speaker. All lower frequencies were coming before and louder than lower-mid to top range. I did not find clarity as forte of 10.6. But it was soothingIt is more for background music where you have to concentrate on some other work or wandering thoughts. In future if would have a chance to have a lounge with bar in my own house, to loosen up, after a hard day in office10.6 would be my blind choice over there!!! ;-) However it was not in league for my current craving.

Till now v4i was the best, but now without compromises and blind faith of The Performance with bi amping.and I was in deep dilemma for spending good amount for not so great uplift from RP.

Dali Zensor 5 and Pioneer SP FS 52. At DNI: On very same day I visited DNI, with my AVR and converter as well. Staff was very friendly. We stated with Zensor 5. The detailed review by FM grunthos had set the expectations high The first thing I noticed was that for same loudness we had to go for +5 dB which was coming out at -20 dB at v4i. There it appeared it may be due to sensitivity of 88 dB against 91 dB of V4i. After reaching home from there I realized that may be my AVR was set at 8 Ohms, however it was not the case. Coming to performance, it was as good as v4i in all departments with slightly more clarity, which was much noticeable in Long nights in fast planes wma track. However to my surprise the letdown part of v4i was the letdown of Zensor 5 as well. The same unpleasant knock knock sound was also a part and parcel herelet it be mp3 or FLAC files. (I know this sound as my RPs cabinet is of economy level plywood and gives the same sound at higher volumes).

Next was Pioneer SP FS 52, with same inputs. Earlier I had read about this set on many forums, including 5 stars at CNET etc. In fact when Avenue Sound started dealing into them, I though once to take a blind shot, but didnt!....we started the audition, in the first song, I could hear only some bass thumps and when paid attention, heard some mid to top frequencies as well.I asked folks to stop the show within 20 seconds!!!

MA MR4 and BR5: at Audio Planet. I was targeting MR4, Aviano 6/8 and Cambridge Audio Aero 6. I carried my own AVR, converter and music files. Palini (the owner) told that Mordaunt Short is closed down, Avianos were all sold out. We auditioned MR4 first. Lower end bass was ok, however there was no clear distinction between mid-range to top end frequencies. In short MR4 was not reproducing clear music. Maybe it would had sounded great, if I had auditioned it as first speaker, however after listening so much, it was not the case. I was not impressed to consider it.

Next was BR5. You listen to it and you know what Forward or bright speaker is called. Mid notes were clear and top end was sounding similar to slight harsh sound of old telephones tring tring tone. In short it was sounding harsh. May be combination of 673 and BR5 is not meant for my ears!!! Mezzo was simply not in my budget.

Above 3 auditions happened in a single day!!! One thing became very clear that the performance I was looking for was not available in 40K range floorstanders. Now it was very tough choice between v4i and Zensor 5, and even before whether to make this choice at all... Thought about it for next 2 to 3 days n nights. Finally decided to leave it on chance and go for v4i as there was a promise of better performance with Bi Amping. I had almost booked it, but thought of just checking higher range products, just in case!!!

So I called Final Touch for PSB5 and Paradigm Monitor 7 and both were out or reach. Checked with Music Ranch for PSB 5, again it was out of budget. Called up IvoryEdge for Paradigm Monitor 7 and Dali Zensor 7, and again the same story. In last called up DNI for Zensor 7.and got an offer which might be considered. They also offered Focal 714 in the same range, so decided to give these two speakers a listen.

Zensor 7: Zensor 5 had set the platform in my earlier audition, so I knew what will be on plate, and what else I have to look for. I did not carry my AVR this time. Audition happened with Denon x1000. Set of music was same as all earlier auditions. Performance wise it clicked all right boxes, no unclear sound and no plywood sound feeling and punchier and bigger bassit was most pleasant & satisfying listening audition time I ever had!!!!!

Focal 714: Though Zensor 7 was final, but thought of listening to Focal as wellAVR was Denon as earlier audition. Looks wise, it was the best looking speaker till now. However performance was a real letdown. Vocals were suppressing everything else and were bright enough to be called harshMid to top was coming after / below midrange and mid to top range was not having enough clarity. Bass was lacking punch and is not the forte of this speaker, though it produces some bass!! I listen to two songs, and got the feeling of what would come out of my 673, and was a clear no go for me. I requested to stop the show within 2 to 3 minutes!!

So speakers were final, now finances were to be played around with. I requested DNI for some cables and to sweeten the deal further andit worked! :) Speakers were delivered to my home on the same day evening. Got it all setup at ease, relishing every step and now enjoying the perfect music (read as peace of mind). On lighter side, my better half is at more ease than me as I wont be eating, drinking and living speakers now!!! :-D

You know the MRP of all speakers. I was offered varying discount of 5% to 10% on different models. Also on some of above points you may be disagreeing, but this was only my experience!

Thanks Folks...!!!
 
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elangoas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
6,955
Points
113
Location
Madrasapattinam
Congrats... Very well written... Earlier it was FM grunthos who had written a detailed experience on his auditions....
 

Nagaraj S

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
74
Points
8
Location
Bangalore
Hello Friends,

I had been running around for last 1 year in search of floor standing speakers with a budget of around 40 K. I am writing here my impression of different speakers obtained during auditions.

My reference points for comparison (RP) I am having DIY stereo speakers. I have written the making story in another thread in DIY section. AVR is Yamaha 673. Cables are company supplied Sony stereo cables.
My usage is more in favor of Music. My type of music is mostly fusion / trans / instrumental. The same I used for auditions along with dealer supplied CDs. I listen at low volumes and love to hear clear sound. With my future 5.1 in mind, I had wanted floorstanders only in a target space of roughly 225 sq. feet.
Auditions started around a year back with following speakers in chronological order:

Polk TSi 300: At HTStore. These were the first speakers I auditioned. AVR was Yamaha 673. Sound was open with good soundstage. With Karuneshs Ancient Secrets track, it was like sitting is Movie Theater. From music angel, clarity was lacking. With higher volume and slightly louder bass, overall sound was getting muddled. In last I did not find it very compelling as compared to RP.

Sonus 2504 and 2605: I auditioned them at Croma in Brigade Road. I tried with 320 kbps mp3 files and some CDs. 2504 was 1st one. Overall sound was good, however not very impressive compared to RP.
2605 was better of lot, with very open sound and better low frequency response compared to 2504. However I felt the bass response was slower and not with full energy, if I hear the same song at other setup! Staff was good to deal with they were too good in follow ups. Cant recall the amp now probably it was Sonodyne itself.

At end I did not find them too good compared to RP, and anyways I had a long list to go.

Magnat Floor standers (800) and bookshelves (100/200): at HTStore again. Started with floorstanders! To me they sounded as extension of Polk TSi, with more punchy bass. High end openness (sweetness as I call it) was better than TSi. However clarity was lacking enough to not choose it as upgrade, over my RP.

Bookshelves were having all the same qualities, except lesser bass.
I did try some combinations of 2.1, to see if can get over floorstanders but was not very convincing.

B&W 683: at Vector on Brigade Road. I visited to listen to Wharfedale 10.4, but it was not available for audition. Instead I got a chance to listen to B&W 683. Source of music set was same with Chris Rea CD. AVR was Yamaha 673. Staff was pleasure to deal with. Music was fantastic, soothing, neither bright not warm, perfectly balanced, except that I felt bass was little overwhelming (maybe I was exhausted, was on bike for 2 hours before reaching showroom and was slightly pre-occupied with some other thoughts at that moment). Anyways the price was far far away from my budget, so it did not make much difference!

Mission 34i and Tannoy v4: At Music Ranch. I was kind of sold to Tannoys when I had got my AVR. By the time of year I could reach at this audition v4 was already on its way out and v4i was announced but was not available with Music Ranch yet. V4 were available for audition. Music source was same along with Dire Strait CD with Yamaha 673. With already sold mindset audition started. I found good soundstage, open sound, adequate bass, sweet instrumentals and everything as expected, though not overwhelming / very exciting. However I had to wait for V4i, as v4 was not in stock.

Next was Mission 34i: with same input and amplification set. Earlier I had read, Mission were supposed to be one of the best possible matches for Yamaha AVRs, but it was disappointing. All frequencies were sounding artificially suppressed and music was not clear at all. Bass was something like very restricted space made up of thin plywood. In short, it was utter disappointment!

Tannoy v4i and Wharafedale 10.6: At HTStore. Lokesh (the owner) was as ever welcoming, knowledgeable and friendly. I was targeting v4i and 155 and Paradigm Monitor 7 here. However 155 and monitor 7 were not available, rather 10.6 was there. I had earlier checked with HTStore, they were not having 673/5, hence I carried my AVR for audition. We started with v4i. As expected it was in line and better with v4. Sound stage was simply amazing, all frequencies were detailed & clear and top end was sweet. The letdown was mid lower bass, it was not full and sort of knocking soundIt was not deep enough. Any time this range of frequencies would come in Karuneshs Ancient Secrets, Endless Skies or Dire Strait, it was just not cutting in, otherwise this is a very detailed sounding speaker!

Wiring for bi amping was not available, hence could not check the legendry performance of v4(i), so much written about on various forums!!!

Next was Wharafedale 10.6 in line.after listening to it, I understood, what is called a warm speaker! In fact it is very different kind of speaker. All lower frequencies were coming before and louder than lower-mid to top range. I did not find clarity as forte of 10.6. But it was soothingIt is more for background music where you have to concentrate on some other work or wandering thoughts. In future if would have a chance to have a lounge with bar in my own house, to loosen up, after a hard day in office10.6 would be my blind choice over there!!! ;-) However it was not in league for my current craving.

Till now v4i was the best, but now without compromises and blind faith of The Performance with bi amping.and I was in deep dilemma for spending good amount for not so great uplift from RP.

Dali Zensor 5 and Pioneer SP FS 52. At DNI: On very same day I visited DNI, with my AVR and converter as well. Staff was very friendly. We stated with Zensor 5. The detailed review by FM grunthos had set the expectations high The first thing I noticed was that for same loudness we had to go for +5 dB which was coming out at -20 dB at v4i. There it appeared it may be due to sensitivity of 88 dB against 91 dB of V4i. After reaching home from there I realized that may be my AVR was set at 8 Ohms, however it was not the case. Coming to performance, it was as good as v4i in all departments with slightly more clarity, which was much noticeable in Long nights in fast planes wma track. However to my surprise the letdown part of v4i was the letdown of Zensor 5 as well. The same unpleasant knock knock sound was also a part and parcel herelet it be mp3 or FLAC files. (I know this sound as my RPs cabinet is of economy level plywood and gives the same sound at higher volumes).

Next was Pioneer SP FS 52, with same inputs. Earlier I had read about this set on many forums, including 5 stars at CNET etc. In fact when Avenue Sound started dealing into them, I though once to take a blind shot, but didnt!....we started the audition, in the first song, I could hear only some bass thumps and when paid attention, heard some mid to top frequencies as well.I asked folks to stop the show within 20 seconds!!!

MA MR4 and BR5: at Audio Planet. I was targeting MR4, Aviano 6/8 and Cambridge Audio Aero 6. I carried my own AVR, converter and music files. Palini (the owner) told that Mordaunt Short is closed down, Avianos were all sold out. We auditioned MR4 first. Lower end bass was ok, however there was no clear distinction between mid-range to top end frequencies. In short MR4 was not reproducing clear music. Maybe it would had sounded great, if I had auditioned it as first speaker, however after listening so much, it was not the case. I was not impressed to consider it.

Next was BR5. You listen to it and you know what Forward or bright speaker is called. Mid notes were clear and top end was sounding similar to slight harsh sound of old telephones tring tring tone. In short it was sounding harsh. May be combination of 673 and BR5 is not meant for my ears!!! Mezzo was simply not in my budget.

Above 3 auditions happened in a single day!!! One thing became very clear that the performance I was looking for was not available in 40K range floorstanders. Now it was very tough choice between v4i and Zensor 5, and even before whether to make this choice at all... Thought about it for next 2 to 3 days n nights. Finally decided to leave it on chance and go for v4i as there was a promise of better performance with Bi Amping. I had almost booked it, but thought of just checking higher range products, just in case!!!

So I called Final Touch for PSB5 and Paradigm Monitor 7 and both were out or reach. Checked with Music Ranch for PSB 5, again it was out of budget. Called up IvoryEdge for Paradigm Monitor 7 and Dali Zensor 7, and again the same story. In last called up DNI for Zensor 7.and got an offer which might be considered. They also offered Focal 714 in the same range, so decided to give these two speakers a listen.

Zensor 7: Zensor 5 had set the platform in my earlier audition, so I knew what will be on plate, and what else I have to look for. I did not carry my AVR this time. Audition happened with Denon x1000. Set of music was same as all earlier auditions. Performance wise it clicked all right boxes, no unclear sound and no plywood sound feeling and punchier and bigger bassit was most pleasant & satisfying listening audition time I ever had!!!!!

Focal 714: Though Zensor 7 was final, but thought of listening to Focal as wellAVR was Denon as earlier audition. Looks wise, it was the best looking speaker till now. However performance was a real letdown. Vocals were suppressing everything else and were bright enough to be called harshMid to top was coming after / below midrange and mid to top range was not having enough clarity. Bass was lacking punch and is not the forte of this speaker, though it produces some bass!! I listen to two songs, and got the feeling of what would come out of my 673, and was a clear no go for me. I requested to stop the show within 2 to 3 minutes!!

So speakers were final, now finances were to be played around with. I requested DNI for some cables and to sweeten the deal further andit worked! :) Speakers were delivered to my home on the same day evening. Got it all setup at ease, relishing every step and now enjoying the perfect music (read as peace of mind). On lighter side, my better half is at more ease than me as I wont be eating, drinking and living speakers now!!! :-D

You know the MRP of all speakers. I was offered varying discount of 5% to 10% on different models. Also on some of above points you may be disagreeing, but this was only my experience!

Thanks Folks...!!!
I am seriously considering Dali 7. Thank you for your review. It does help lot of fellow FMs to make better av purchases.
 
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