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Stereo bookshelf speakers under Rs.15-30k

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

fusspot

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Yet Another Budget Bookshelf Quest (Rs.15-30k)

Yep, this is another shoestring budget BS speaker thread! However, as a bonus, it also includes some rather detailed bickering about my previous experiences with sound equipment.

Amplifier: Topping Amp TP20

Source: M-Audio Revolution soundcard

Budget: 15-30k. Prefer buying used equipment as it would offer more value for money. But, hard to spot a good deal in Bangalore.

Intended purpose: 100% Music

Musical preferences:
1) Acoustic, Folk, Jazz, Country, Classic Rock, Occasional Pop
2) I do NOT need my music to be loud.
3) I prefer my speakers to be non-fatiguing (allergic to high-frequency noises)
4) Warm, detailed and realistic.

Background:
Have been using a Creative Inspire 2.1 for the past 10 years. Quite nice, but have been craving for something better and failed so far in my quest for better equipment.

Got a Logitech Z5500 five years ago. The sound that was coming out felt like metallic noise to me. So, I upgraded to an M-Audio soundcard. Guess what? The speakers still sounded like crap and thus sold it within a few days. But, decided to keep the new soundcard as it sounded better on my good old creative speakers. Got an Edifier S730 earlier this year. I felt there was a hole somewhere in the mid-bass spectrum, disproportionate bass and sold it within a few days. I have lost quite a bit of money in these deals.

I also recently tried auditioning the Audioengine A5 for a short while; I found them to be a bit loud, a little brash and concluded that it was not my kinda sound. While auditioning at a dealer's place is better than buying with your eyes closed, it comes nowhere close to listening to music in my room for a substantial amount of time. That's when all the bickering, fuss and regrets start.

Although we pay more money for our equipment compared to other countries, no dealer here AFAIK offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This has been one major reason why I have kept away from going through the separate amplifier + Bookshelf route. I don't want to end up plonking 30-40k on amp+BS and stay sleepless until I sell it off for a fraction of the price.

However, psychotropic's experiments with the Topping TP20 Amp with Cambridge Audio S30 has given me new hope. So, I have placed an order for the aforesaid amp on ebay. Since Cambridge audio and creative are owned by the same group, I am hoping the sound will suit my preferences. I understand that Topping TP20 will need speakers with the following qualities:

1) Highly efficient (sensitivity>89db)
2) not too much of an impedance drop (shouldn't go below 4 ohms)

While I will audition the S30 this week, I am looking for alternatives. Based on online research (endless Google-ing) and my gut instinct (freewheeling, random notions devoid of real-world logic), I have shortlisted a few speakers:

1) Cambridge Audio S30 -10k (Audio Planet, Bangalore)
2) Axiom Audio M3 -31k (direct shipping from Canada with 30-day money back guarantee)
3) Usher S520 - 25k (ARN systems, Bangalore)
4) Focal/JM Labs Chorus 706V -25k (hopefully online used market)
5) Epos (used BS within my budget, just wishful thinking really)

What I really want more than an awesome pair of speakers is, NOT ending up with something I despise. If I don't like something, it has to be out of my house immediately. I'm fussy like that. :indifferent14:

Sorry about the long post, but someone please stop me from making yet another mistake!
 
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rraghuram

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hello Fusspot. Could you let us know how much it cost to order the amp incl. shipping to India? I am planning to order the same to pair it with my Wharfy Diamond 9.1 (86db). I have never ordered anything from ebay before so I am a little wary! And, can I pay for it using my cc? Thanks.
 

metalmickey

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Fussy contact hifipal4all he has an focal 706 bs on sale!you can get it for 24k if he's still got it!...and he is from bangalore too!
 
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fusspot

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Fussy contact hifipal4all he has an focal 706

WOW! Thanks metalmickey; I can hardly wait to audition them. I'll send him a message right away. But wait, how do I contact him? I can't seem to find a way to PM him on this forum.

@rraghuram: Stay away from Ebay.in for the Topping Amp. Go to ebay.co.uk and you'll find better deals there. I got it there for about $75 inclusive of shipping. FYI, I still have NOT received the item yet.

And yes, I paid through credit card, as you do not have to give your card info to the seller directly. Ebay/Paypal receives the payment on behalf of the seller and makes a handsome cut before passing it on to the seller. As long as your computer is clean, it should be alright shopping on Ebay from a financial information security point of view. However, you need to keep an eye out for "too-good-to-be-true" deals on Ebay.

@spirovious: My whole purchase decision of the Topping amp was based psychotropic's PlayItClear blog entry. However, I am trying to explore if there are better matching options for the Amp, besides CA S30.
 
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varunjh

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i think that the s30s pair brilliantly with the topping.
after reading what you've said i think that the s30s+topping will be the best match for you. you can refer to my sig for my setup and i am very happy with it. and would recommend it to anyone who listens to 60s pop/rock, acoustic stuff and jazz.

the only thing to keep in mind is that these are not very big speakers they're on the smaller side, so the soundstage will not be that big say..for example when compared to a bigger speaker like the wharf9.1s. its not small but its not big either.
but the sound is sweet and i would say that the mids are killer!

oh and i havent heard the focals so cant say how they compare.....
 
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metalmickey

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Not able to pm you?! and dont know whethr its safe to pass numbers here!anyway its :p(i will erase the number asap)so if you are lucky enough:p note down the number soon!.
 
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koushik

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Focal 706 is a good speaker with excellent mids and highs. Had a short audition at ProFx in Kolkata.
Also try to get a B&W. I think you will get a used 601 within your range. But for you have to think way way beyond Topping Amp.
 

aashish351

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Topping TP20 is a nice, neutral amp. It needs 90dB+ senstivity, 8-ohm impedance to really shine. A full range driver with a high senstivity would be the ideal way to go ahead. Unfortunately, the only budget option in that is DIY, which may not be everyone's cup of tea. However, if you willing to extend your budget, I can imagine Lyrita Speakers to go perfectly well with flee powered amps. Being full range, these offer a smooth and rolled off high frequencies. I don't know if Audire, coimbatore has any solution in budget range either.
 

rraghuram

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Topping TP20 is a nice, neutral amp. It needs 90dB+ senstivity, 8-ohm impedance to really shine.

Hi Aashish & others, any idea how the wharfedale diamond 9.1 (86db; 6ohms) will fare with the Topping TP20? Could someone provide a definitive answer to this? If it is not a good pairing, I will flip for other amps. Thanks.
 

fusspot

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Thanks to everyone for the responses. HFV sure is an active community.

@varunjh: I too am keeping my fingers crossed hoping CA S30 is the one for me.

@metalmickey: I saw his ad on quikr last week and called him up, only to find out that the speakers were sold out. So, pls do take down the number.

@koushik: sure thing man, if I come across a B&W 601, but I am not sure if the sensitivity is adequate for a topping. Anyhow only a real world test will reveal that.

@aashish351: Full-range speakers huh? I have not thought of that approach thus far, but I have a feeling I might end up liking it. The Lyrita Harmony on the forum is sold out.

Once I have listened to enough speakers, I think would be able to understand what kinda driver will offer the sound that romances me and I believe that knowledge would lay the foundation for an ideal DIY setup. Anyhow, what type of drivers are available for DIY?

@ Hari Iyer: Pardon my noobness, but what does TL stand for? However, going by your description, it might pair well with a Topping Amp. So, any idea on where can I audition them in Bangalore?
 
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Kittu

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One of our forum member Soundsgreat builds speakers (BS and FS). If you have time do check out his speakers. I will pm you his number.
 

jaudere

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I will be launching my TL BS speakers next week and you can consider them too along with the Topping amp. Being TL its impedance curve is quite flat and allows better power transfer between amp & speaker in comparison to a conventional design. Please view the forum for a formal announcement and purchase through hifimart.com.

So , will hifimart be the dealer for your speakers? Great news!
 

fusspot

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@kittu and Hari Iyer: I am neither able to send or receive PMs. Not sure why! Is there something I should do to active private messaging?
 

musicbee

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TL stands for Transmission Line. Its an enclosure technology which is different from an sealed and vented enclosures. Its the closest approximation to an open baffle enclsoure. You can find some details about this technology in our website. Please PM me for more details as i am unable to PM you.

URL for the website? Cannot find details...
 

Kittu

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@kittu and Hari Iyer: I am neither able to send or receive PMs. Not sure why! Is there something I should do to active private messaging?

Write your secondary email id here , so we can send you the contacts. :)
 
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