Speaker Upgrade Advice

Luxman Amplifiers India

Lizard King

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The difficult question again. But in absence of audition this is the best I can think of.

I have a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 230 floor standers. Entertaining as they are, specially for the money, the are not very transparent. There is also significant treble roll off. The bass is ample, but not very agile or taut.
With the philosophy that you don't upgrade your speakers too often, I thought of taking a biggish leap.

My chain is..
1. Marantz 6005 CDP, to be changed to 8006 CDP/ streamer soon.
2. Denon DP400 TT, with AT VM540ML cartridge and Musical Fidelity LX2LPS phono stage
3. Marantz PM8006 amplifier.

Source.... about 200 CDs, 50 old but good condition vinyls, 150 new vinyls. Planning to add Spotify, but not as my primary. I listen to vinyls 70% of the time.

Listening area 16 X 24 ft. Speakers placed 9 ft apart, 1.5 ft from back wall. Listening seat 9 ft from speakers. Listening volume - neighbor friendly. Floor vitrified tiles with carpet between the speakers and listening area. Rows of sofa with cushions on both sides walls.

Musical taste...
* Classic Rock like Dire Sraits, PF, LZ, CCR, Clapton, Eagles, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Rainbow, Doors, Tull etc... 60%
* Jazz... Trane, Mingus, MD, Hancock, Brubeck etc... 20%
* Classical.... mostly chamber and strings unless you consider the occasional Mahler/ Beethoven Symphony... 10%

I have been suggested
Revel Concerta2 F36 by a few knowledgeable friends. But also considering...

Dynaudio excite x34 / x38
Monitor Audio Silver 300
Focal Aria 926
Dali Opticon 6 Mk2

Also open to SF, ML etc, as long as they are within the above price range.

It should be musical, resolving without being tiring, fast and tight bass, but no need to be earth shaking.

I'm tilted towards Revel Concerta2 F36 or Dynaudio excite x34/X38. Read everywhere that X38 is power hungry. Wondering if PM8006 at with 100 wpc at 4 ohms can drive them. Revel gets equally excellent reviews from professional/ ASR/ users. But will it be too transparent for many of the not so great recordings that I hear?

What is the opinion/ advice of the wise men and women of our forum?

Thanks.
 

Mayank Shah

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Considering our almost similar music tastes and having got Focals recently coming from Tannoys, Dynaudio and Focal would be my pick.

Sonus Faber does jazz and chamber with aplomb, but lacks in other genres imho. Focals might be a bit finnicky with Marantz.

For those genres, I would find the Focal 926 a bit underwhelming, especially at lower volumes, so look into the 936 minimum.

Haven't yet heard the Revel C, but glowing reviews all around.
 
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Yelamanchili manohar

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Considering our almost similar music tastes and having got Focals recently coming from Tannoys, Dynaudio and Focal would be my pick.

Sonus Faber does jazz and chamber with aplomb, but lacks in other genres imho. Focals might be a bit finnicky with Marantz.

For those genres, I would find the Focal 926 a bit underwhelming, especially at lower volumes, so look into the 936 minimum.

Haven't yet heard the Revel C, but glowing reviews all around.
+1 To what mayank said :)

@drkrack

Has heard tons of speakers, including many in the price bracket you are considering. And has finally got focals for himself. So Iam hoping he will chip in soon, as I've neither heard the focals or the revels.

Though some in the British forums say focals sound bright, since I haven't heard them. It would be wrong upon my part to comment. Fondly hope mayank and krithik ( Dr.krack ) can guide you here.
 
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Kannan

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Focal inverted dome tweeters have quite a wide dispersion, even off axis. They can tend to sound quite detailed and extended which can be a little fatiguing, so the pairing electronics will be critical.
I have heard the Revel Concerto which is at entry level, but has a balanced sound signature. Guess the elder sibling should be even better.
Also add the Kef Reference to the above.
Monitor Audio look at the Gold series
 
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Yelamanchili manohar

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Focal inverted dome tweeters have quite a wide dispersion, even off axis. They can tend to sound quite detailed and extended which can be a little fatiguing, so the pairing electronics will be critical.
I have heard the Revel Concerto which is at entry level, but has a balanced sound signature. Guess the elder sibling should be even better.
Also add the Kef Reference to the above.
Monitor Audio look at the Gold series
Not to contradict with the above...but I've heard that monitor audio have changed their sound signature quiet a bit in their newer models. As the original monitor audios were also susceptible to be provoked into brightness with the wrong pairing of amplification. But the newer models apparently are more balanced.

Focal inverted dome tweeters have quite a wide dispersion, even off axis. They can tend to sound quite detailed and extended which can be a little fatiguing, so the pairing electronics will be critical.
I have heard the Revel Concerto which is at entry level, but has a balanced sound signature. Guess the elder sibling should be even better.
Also add the Kef Reference to the above.
Monitor Audio look at the Gold series
Not to contradict with the above...but I've heard that monitor audio have changed their sound signature quiet a bit in their newer models. As the original monitor audios were also susceptible to be provoked into brightness with the wrong pairing of amplification. But the newer models apparently are more balanced.
 
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Mayank Shah

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+1 To what mayank said :)

@drkrack

Has heard tons of speakers, including many in the price bracket you are considering. And has finally got focals for himself. So Iam hoping he will chip in soon, as I've neither heard the focals or the revels.

Though some in the British forums say focals sound bright, since I haven't heard them. It would be wrong upon my part to comment. Fondly hope mayank and krithik ( Dr.krack ) can guide you here.
The OP has the wharfedales, so yes it will be quite a revelation so to speak. Probably the Brits got used to the warm laid back stuff or maybe it's some French-Brit thing. I was also quite sceptical about all this Focal brightness, but they are not bright. Very clear, detailed, transparent, musical, hefty.

Take Klipsch for example, especially their mid/low end gear, that's bright. Not the Aria series. I was grinning even when I heard them just out of the box.

I also have some not so old Monitor Audio gear in my HT. They are brilliant like the focals. Lots of similarities.
 
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arj

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The difficult question again. But in absence of audition this is the best I can think of.

I have a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 230 floor standers. Entertaining as they are, specially for the money, the are not very transparent. There is also significant treble roll off. The bass is ample, but not very agile or taut.
With the philosophy that you don't upgrade your speakers too often, I thought of taking a biggish leap.

My chain is..
1. Marantz 6005 CDP, to be changed to 8006 CDP/ streamer soon.
2. Denon DP400 TT, with AT VM540ML cartridge and Musical Fidelity LX2LPS phono stage
3. ~

Source.... about 200 CDs, 50 old but good condition vinyls, 150 new vinyls. Planning to add Spotify, but not as my primary. I listen to vinyls 70% of the time.

Listening area 16 X 24 ft. Speakers placed 9 ft apart, 1.5 ft from back wall. Listening seat 9 ft from speakers. Listening volume - neighbor friendly. Floor vitrified tiles with carpet between the speakers and listening area. Rows of sofa with cushions on both sides walls.

Musical taste...
* Classic Rock like Dire Sraits, PF, LZ, CCR, Clapton, Eagles, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Rainbow, Doors, Tull etc... 60%
* Jazz... Trane, Mingus, MD, Hancock, Brubeck etc... 20%
* Classical.... mostly chamber and strings unless you consider the occasional Mahler/ Beethoven Symphony... 10%

I have been suggested
Revel Concerta2 F36 by a few knowledgeable friends. But also considering...

Dynaudio excite x34 / x38
Monitor Audio Silver 300
Focal Aria 926
Dali Opticon 6 Mk2

Also open to SF, ML etc, as long as they are within the above price range.

It should be musical, resolving without being tiring, fast and tight bass, but no need to be earth shaking.

I'm tilted towards Revel Concerta2 F36 or Dynaudio excite x34/X38. Read everywhere that X38 is power hungry. Wondering if PM8006 at with 100 wpc at 4 ohms can drive them. Revel gets equally excellent reviews from professional/ ASR/ users. But will it be too transparent for many of the not so great recordings that I hear?

What is the opinion/ advice of the wise men and women of our forum?

Thanks.

Going by the principle of
1. planning speaker for your room ~400 sq ft
2. Having synergy with your amp ~70 W

Considering music you like you will do ok with any of the above ( although the power requirement by Monitor audio looks highest) in most rooms but considering yours is larger room amplifier power would be important and hence anything which is more sensitive and needed lower power may be helpful

While specs can be very misleading, going by how there were Revel/Dynaudio do need more power. and from specs so does the monitor audio hence unless you hear it in your room with your amp you will never be sure.

I have been reading quite a bit on the Fyne audio speakers and the warm/non fatiguing/ resolving sound they seem to produce..seem to have got something right. maybe thats something you could consider ?

The focal, Dali and Fyne seem like reasonable options.

It helps listening to you tube videos of these speakers playing with similarly powered amplifiers and rather than sound quality try to hear if they are able to reproduce scale and dynamics with the those amps..
 
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Smadhu

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Of the speakers shortlisted, I have listened to Focal 926 and Dali opticon 6. I preferred Focal and Dalis were equally good. So comes down to personal preference.

For a room size of 400 sqft, Focal recommendation is Aria 948. Please do bear in mind Focals need amp with good current. Marantz is good but you will definitely start looking for new amp. This probably holds good for all of the shortlisted speaker.

For the genres mentioned Focals would be my choice. In fact they sound good with most genres. Focals are pleasure to listen to, some do consider them to be bright, they are just detailed. Most Focal owners love tube in their chain.

I am sure @drkrack will provide more insights considering his plethora of experience.
 
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fLUX

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I am sensitive to bright sounds and dont feel the Aria 926 to be bright and have listened to the Aria for few hours at a stretch. I was quiet intrigued with the Revel too but no demo was possible and hence decided to skip it , with the Aria 926 there was an instant connect post a home audition at a FMs house

The PM8006 do drive them loud but the treble and instrument separation feel a little lacking with the PM8006, I had turned to PM8006 but then moved to a Power Amp because of the above reason.
 
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shyamv

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You all may laugh at this but I have a very off-kilter and very inexpensive suggestion.

Given your choice of music and partnering equipment, I would suggest that you look at JBL Stage A170 or A180 if you have room for the later. I have heard A180 for almost 10+ hours a few weeks back with same amp as yours in a slightly larger room and I was transported right into a live concert! If you are looking for a fun speaker that sounds great at low or high volumes with extended but not bright higher frequency with a solid musical foundation of upper bass and midrange, check this out. Soundstage is reasonably wide but not very deep. You will lose out on transparency, accuracy, imaging and resolution but will get boat-loads of musicality and FUN in exchange. For rock, big-band Jazz, prog-rock, fusion etc, these JBLs really are fantastic and phenomenal value for money.
 
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argho

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I upgraded last year from Wharfedal Diamond 230 floorstanders, to Dali Oberon 5s.

Upgraded my amp to Marantz PM7005N (I think sound signature very similar to PM8006).
Extremely happy with my new speakers. Music now sounds alive.
The speaker + amp combo works really well.

Hope this is of help.

But I guess you are looking at speakers at a much higher price point.
 
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Nagaraj S

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I had auditioned the Aria 926 and the Monitor Audio Silver 300. The Silver 300 simply outran the Aria in the bass department. Taut, agile, and weighty bass on the Silvers. The one on the Arias, I felt, were just enough.
Finally bought the Silver 500 (without auditioning) largely based on the bass handling of the Silver 300s, and haven’t felt the need to upgrade ever since. The Silvers need substantial amp power. Initially, they were powered by a Marantz AVR, but after pairing them with a Parasound A21, the Silvers took an altogether different avatar - bold, but composed with no listening fatigue.
 
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fLUX

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I had auditioned the Aria 926 and the Monitor Audio Silver 300. The Silver 300 simply outran the Aria in the bass department. Taut, agile, and weighty bass on the Silvers. The one on the Arias, I felt, were just enough.
Finally bought the Silver 500 (without auditioning) largely based on the bass handling of the Silver 300s, and haven’t felt the need to upgrade ever since. The Silvers need substantial amp power. Initially, they were powered by a Marantz AVR, but after pairing them with a Parasound A21, the Silvers took an altogether different avatar - bold, but composed with no listening fatigue.

Fair point , for a large room the Aria 926 will not be sufficient for bass. A 946 would be the ideal and 936 would also probably work, the bass on Aria 926 is good for medium rooms or small. Mine comes in a small category with a 15 by 11 room & I find the bass opening up really nicely after an initial lean period for the first 100 odd hours. Not sure on how it compares to the Monitor Audio as I did not hear one till date.
 
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Lizard King

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Really overwhelmed by your well thought out responses. I'm trying to reply to all of you

You all may laugh at this but I have a very off-kilter and very inexpensive suggestion.

Given your choice of music and partnering equipment, I would suggest that you look at JBL Stage A170 or A180 if you have room for the later. I have heard A180 for almost 10+ hours a few weeks back with same amp as yours in a slightly larger room and I was transported right into a live concert! If you are looking for a fun speaker that sounds great at low or high volumes with extended but not bright higher frequency with a solid musical foundation of upper bass and midrange, check this out. Soundstage is reasonably wide but not very deep. You will lose out on transparency, accuracy, imaging and resolution but will get boat-loads of musicality and FUN in exchange. For rock, big-band Jazz, prog-rock, fusion etc, these JBLs really are fantastic and phenomenal value for money.
I get your point. My Wharfedale is just as you described. It may lack finesse but has enthusiasm by the bucketloads. One can party with it all night. Surprisingly when I went from 6005 to 8006, it started behaving a bit restrained and civil. Heck, I can still live and party with that sound for years.
But as I am getting old, I often yearn for slightly different sound. These days I listen to jazz and classical more often. My kids play piano and violin. They often ask for a sound that goes with Bach rather than bacchanalia.
Hence this is where I am :)
 
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prem

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Lizard King, look up the Rethms that Naturelover has for sale. Also the Tekton which AVM had put up for sale. Both should work for the genres that you listen and change in sound that you are looking for. If you go with either you may want to relook at the Marantz amp at some time. I have heard a few of the other models mentioned in this thread. None of them will hold a candle to either the Rethm or the Tekton DI SE.
 
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Lizard King

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I upgraded last year from Wharfedal Diamond 230 floorstanders, to Dali Oberon 5s.

Upgraded my amp to Marantz PM7005N (I think sound signature very similar to PM8006).
Extremely happy with my new speakers. Music now sounds alive.
The speaker + amp combo works really well.

Hope this is of help.

But I guess you are looking at speakers at a much higher price point.
I follow your acquisitions and your posts regularly. Yours is a great combo. As is your collection of books :cool:
I've heard both the Marantz's in question. They are more alike than different. 8006 has more authority and 7000n is more lively.
Dali is on my list. But long back I auditioned the Zensor5, which was too lean for rock. The Dali that I have in mind is Opticon 6 or above. Not only for the larger bass drivers and soundstage, but for the hybrid ribbon tweeter. But not much availability right now.
 
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SEANDSILVA

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Fair point , for a large room the Aria 926 will not be sufficient for bass. A 946 would be the ideal and 936 would also probably work, the bass on Aria 926 is good for medium rooms or small. Mine comes in a small category with a 15 by 11 room & I find the bass opening up really nicely after an initial lean period for the first 100 odd hours. Not sure on how it compares to the Monitor Audio as I did not hear one till date.
Couldn't find A946 online. Did you mean Electra 946 or Aria 948.
 
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