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Musical Floorstanders for 1.5L

Wharfedale Linton Heritage Speakers

thedude

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Jan 5, 2019
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Hi Guys,

I'm Sree, an advanced amateur audiophile/photographer from Hyderabad. Very new to HiFiVision community. I need help/suggestions building a 5.1 setup that's great for music too.

Budget is about 1.5L (can stretch by another 20-30k). Down the line expand that to an Atmos setup. The budget of 1.5L is for speakers only. I'm looking at Pioneer LX59 for the AVR.

I have been to USK in Hyderabad and auditioned "Kef Q950+650C+50A+Sunfire SBS12" and "SVS Satellites+SVS 1000" and "Polk S55+S35+OWM3+Sunfire SBS12". The Kef and SVS setups are great for movies. Polk was pretty decent. Both Kef and SVS are outta budget. Polk is closer. But the issue is I'm more of a music guy than movies. I would say 65:35 for Music vs Movies. Polk and Kef were OK for music and the SVS sucked badly.

I plan to use the setup in the hall for now (22ft x 15ft) with large windows and 3 doors. But we are planning to add another floor above and convert the home to a duplex. So I'll be moving the HT to a lounge upstairs most probably or a dedicated HT room (nothing fancy. just a room with HT. but is a low priority). Will be adding a UST projector too after the move.

While I was at USK I auditioned the Kef LS50 Wireless (in an acoustic chamber) and these gave me ear orgasms. I really liked the sweet, mellow sound and the full soundstage. It was a lil bit bright for me, but not too much so didn't bother me at all. Mentioning this as I wanted to give you guys an idea of my taste.

I struggling with finding good floorstanders that are musical but will be decent for movies too. I'm almost tempted to ditch the HT, go wayyy over the budget and get the Polk LsiM 707 or 705. I really like the 707s for music.

Before someone suggests me to get a pair and just use is the bedroom (or hall) for example...please don't. It won't work for me. My whole family enjoys movies. So I need a HT setup that can be a great 2.0 or 2.1 music stereo too.

If need be I can ditch 5.1 for now and go with 2.1 of 2.0 for now and slowly build on that.

Hope I gave a decent idea of what I'm looking for. I'm really looking for to suggestions from the community.

Thanks so much in advance!
 

raghupb

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How many other speakers have you heard? And what AVR/amps were in play with the Polks and KEFs.

Reading your first impression of LS50W and the one of Q-series indicate that KEF or similar sounding boxes may interest you.
I will not talk of other brands here, but will tell you to go back and listen to KEF R series (the older version) as well.
They are discontinued by KEF in lieu of a newer version, so you may be able to get them at discount.
You may be pleasantly surprised of what they can do.

The real issue is your budget (or anyone else's) when applied to 2.0/2.1 vs 5.1 can dramatically alter what you get.
5.1 means the monies are spread across 6 speakers meaning there will be some compromise on SQ (as you experience it).
A staged approach (if possible) may simply mean you can audition more brands and try to get your music scene right.
Then you can plan for the movie scene.

Disclosure:
I own a pair of KEF R300s (and a really old pair of B&W 303s)
I have heard Polk RTi/LSi series, KEF Q series (older), B&W 6xx series (older)
Currently, I have a 3.1 (with an older Center and Sub); very soon to be a 5.1 with Monitor Audio R45 cubes
My listening space is much smaller that what you have 12x12; width is open on both sides; see link below
https://www.hifivision.com/threads/showcase-your-audio-video-setup-here.1167/post-807931

Cheers,
Raghu
 
Last edited:

thedude

New Member
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Jan 5, 2019
Messages
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Location
Hyderabad
How many other speakers have you heard? And what AVR/amps were in play with the Polks and KEFs.

Reading your first impression of LS50W and the one of Q-series indicate that KEF or similar sounding boxes may interest you.
I will not talk of other brands here, but will tell you to go back and listen to KEF R series (the older version) as well.
They are discontinued by KEF in lieu of a newer version, so you may be able to get them at discount.
You may be pleasantly surprised of what they can do.

The real issue is your budget (or anyone else's) when applied to 2.0/2.1 vs 5.1 can dramatically alter what you get.
5.1 means the monies are spread across 6 speakers meaning there will be some compromise on SQ (as you experience it).
A staged approach (if possible) may simply mean you can audition more brands and try to get your music scene right.
Then you can plan for the movie scene.

Disclosure:
I own a pair of KEF R300s (and a really old pair of B&W 303s)
I have heard Polk RTi/LSi series, KEF Q series (older), B&W 6xx series (older)
Currently, I have a 3.1 (with an older Center and Sub); very soon to be a 5.1 with Monitor Audio R45 cubes
My listening space is much smaller that what you have 12x12; width is open on both sides; see link below
https://www.hifivision.com/threads/showcase-your-audio-video-setup-here.1167/post-807931

Cheers,
Raghu
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Raghu...the AVR was Denon AVRX - 1500H with both Kef and Polk.

I have heard Elac Debut 6.2 and Wharfedale Crystal 4.3...both are not bad for music...I liked the Wharfedale a bit more. My brother in US has Polk RTiA9 in an Atmos setup with a Marantz AVR. Great for movies and sort of OK for music.

You are right on the part that...(from the ones I have heard so far)....I'm leaning towards Kef.
I'll try to find Kef R series for an audition....might be tough to find one though.

If we keep the budget aside for a while...what is your opinion on LSi 707 and 705 for music and movies?
 

thedude

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is there a particular model you can suggest? do let me know if you know of any places in HYD where I can audition
 

raghupb

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If we keep the budget aside for a while...what is your opinion on LSi 707 and 705 for music and movies?
Let me give a brief background of how things came together for me. My step up was from 2-way B&W stand mounts.
When I was in hunt for speakers they were for music listening using an a stereo amp.
The intended use was primarily for 2 Ch which could eventually/potentially be decent L/R in a 5.1 setup.
I did listen to floor standers from Polk RTi, LSi and KEF Q series extensively at ProFx Bangalore.
The above, I did audition them as the dealer had set them up and with my stereo amp and pre-pwr combo.
Also auditioned PSB at Music Ranch and Monitor Audio at Audio Planet (showroom set up only)
The then 6xx from B&W was really out of budget for me.

Coming to Polks, bot RTi and LSi were really good for movie experience. This was with I think high end Denon AVRs.
For 2 Ch music, I felt them to be a bit rowdy and visceral.
Good low frequency extension, but at the same time they were a bit muddy playing fast paced music with lots of transitions.
I was not convinced about their mid-bass and vocals rendition too; this was very important for me.
They do a lot of things right; meaning they tick many check boxes.

You have a bigger space to work with and placement should not be so much of a challenge even for FS.
If you already have your AVR with you, take it along for audition. I have no personal knowledge of this AVR (I am in Marantz camp).
From the specs of AVR, the power output for 2 Ch FTC spec is not mentioned.
If I were to read the numbers, it may be under powered for Polk RTi and LSi. Polks love a beefed up amp.

BTW, most demo rooms cater to HT; so when auditioning carry your AVR (if you have it).
Definitely carry your music/movies. CDs/DVDs etc.
When listening to music, try the setup in 2 Ch only and turn off any AVR processing (source direct)
Then turn on sub to check if is to your liking.
My auditions with store demo AVRs were always 2.0, 2.1 for music and 3.0, 3.1, 5.0, 5.1 for movies.

My initial impressions on KEF R300 is here:
https://www.hifivision.com/threads/kef-r300-demo-unit.60593/

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

thedude

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The intended use was primarily for 2 Ch which could eventually/potentially be decent L/R in a 5.1 setup.
I did listen to floor standers from Polk RTi, LSi and KEF Q series extensively at ProFx Bangalore.
The above, I did audition them as the dealer had set them up and with my stereo amp and pre-pwr combo.
Also auditioned PSB at Music Ranch and Monitor Audio at Audio Planet (showroom set up only)
The then 6xx from B&W was really out of budget for me.

Coming to Polks, bot RTi and LSi were really good for movie experience. This was with I think high end Denon AVRs.
For 2 Ch music, I felt them to be a bit rowdy and visceral.
Good low frequency extension, but at the same time they were a bit muddy playing fast paced music with lots of transitions.
I was not convinced about their mid-bass and vocals rendition too; this was very important for me.
They do a lot of things right; meaning they tick many check boxes.
Thanks, Raghu! This helps a lot!! I'm in the same boat as you are...music is the priority...so wanted to get the 2ch first and then expand from there...

I travel to US every year...so can get the center and surrounds from there...and keep the budget to a reasonable amount...

I'll definitely visit the dealer nx week with my stuff....I dont have an AVR yet. Will experiment at the store with different models...
 

raghupb

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Yes. If you can source from US/UK you will get better deals.
Speakers are passive components, so the risk of something going wrong is very low.
But the thing is you need to hear them out (or a related series) to be satisfied and convinced.
Many of my buys have been "blind"; meaning I have not heard them before buying.
But I work with what I buy and what I have.

A note of caution:
If you start seriously on a 2-Ch hunt, be prepared to be disappointed with many AVRs
At dealers, have them hook up the speakers under audition to an integrated amplifier and give them a listen.
It will reveal a bit more about their capabilities vis-a-vis powered by and AVR.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

raghupb

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@thedude
On a separate note:
Consult with local FMs in Hyd. There are quite a few knowledgeable people there.
Listen to their home rigs (if they are willing) and explore possibilities.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

thedude

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A note of caution:

If you start seriously on a 2-Ch hunt, be prepared to be disappointed with many AVRs
At dealers, have them hook up the speakers under audition to an integrated amplifier and give them a listen.
It will reveal a bit more about their capabilities vis-a-vis powered by and AVR.

Cheers,
Raghu
I'll definitely try and listen wherever possible. Another receiver I'm looking at is Pioneer LX303...plz let me know ur thoughts on this one:

  • 100 W/ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, THD 0.08 %, 2ch Driven, FTC)
  • 200 W/ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 10 %, 1ch Driven)
https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Elite+Receivers/VSX-LX303
 

raghupb

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100Wpc FTC is a decent spec. Maybe FMs familiar with Pioneer offerings can chime in.
BTW, Pioneer LX59 has all channel pre-out; Pioneer LX303 doesn't.
In this sense, LX59 is future proof, because you can add power amps for important channels (say L/C/R) whenever you want.
AVR wise, make sure you choose based on core features, such as sound formats (you can implement in your home), power, and calibration SW.
These days, AVR features are so many that it can get very confusing (I get very confused)

Cheers,
Raghu
 

thedude

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100Wpc FTC is a decent spec. Maybe FMs familiar with Pioneer offerings can chime in.
BTW, Pioneer LX59 has all channel pre-out; Pioneer LX303 doesn't.
In this sense, LX59 is future proof, because you can add power amps for important channels (say L/C/R) whenever you want.
AVR wise, make sure you choose based on core features, such as sound formats (you can implement in your home), power, and calibration SW.
These days, AVR features are so many that it can get very confusing (I get very confused)

Cheers,
Raghu
I get confused with em too :)

its true the LX59 has pre outs for all channels....but no HDR 10 and Dolby Vision...the LX303 has HDR and Dolby Vision but no pre outs....have to decide...

in case u know of another model that does both please do suggest...if its not too far from the price of around 70 to 80k
 

raghupb

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I am dumb when it comes to HDR/Dolby Vision and sound formats.
Other FMs please suggest on AVR.

The TV I have supports DV and some type of HDR. Connected HDMI cable via ARC port to AVR.
Sometimes on NetFlix/Prime it says DV or HDR; and it looks better. NetFlix/Prime/YouTube are native to TV.
AVR does not do Atmos; not that I miss it; can't implement overhead speakers in my living room.
Only a couple of months ago I made it a 3.1 using older center/sub; now you know how far behind the curve I am.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

tuff

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I get confused with em too :)

its true the LX59 has pre outs for all channels....but no HDR 10 and Dolby Vision...the LX303 has HDR and Dolby Vision but no pre outs....have to decide...

in case u know of another model that does both please do suggest...if its not too far from the price of around 70 to 80k
you may get a HDMI splitter and get the AVR with pre-outs.
 
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