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SaviorSelf

Seeking Help Choosing Speakers...(PSB, Focal, Wharfedale)

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Okay so I am putting together a two channel system in my living room. Right now all I have is a denon dp-300f hooked up to two Samson 5A's ($200 active speakers i got from my job). I have pretty much made up my mind on the Yamaha AS-500 which is an integrated amp for 399.99. It just seems like the best deal for my money right now.

 

Now onto where I need your help....the speakers. Trying to stick to bookshelves as space is somewhat limited.

 

I have narrowed it down to a few models, if there are any others you'd like to recommend feel free, just know that I am trying to stay within $400-$600 range.

 

The models so far that have caught my eye:

 

1. Wharfedale 10.2 $449.00

2. Focal Chorus 706V ( I really like the look and the front port ) $499.99

3. PSB Image B6 $549.99

Also, a dark horse was the B&W 685's but they are a bit over my budget at $649 a pair and the price doesnt seem to justify the quality from what I've seen in reviews online, but I could be totally wrong here

 

 

I would appreciate and and all input, especially from owners/previous owners of these models.

 

I listen to alot of rock, indie and some hip hop so I would like some bass but not too boomy. I could always get a sub later down the road. For now, I just need something that would work well with my TV, PS3, and record player.  Now GO..... B)

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As much as I love the Diamond 10.1, the 10.2 model isn't that great. It costs more, has a bit more low end, but the overall tonal balance is off. I wouldn't recommend them honestly. The Chorus 706V are very good for the price, but I've never heard the PSBs.

 

The B&W 685 are way overpriced and far from what I consider a good speaker.

 

I see that musicdirect has Epos Epic 2 for 50% off retail:

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-57507-epos-epic-2-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

 

My advice: grab them and run, it's a steal.

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As much as I love the Diamond 10.1, the 10.2 model isn't that great. It costs more, has a bit more low end, but the overall tonal balance is off. I wouldn't recommend them honestly. The Chorus 706V are very good for the price, but I've never heard the PSBs.

 

The B&W 685 are way overpriced and far from what I consider a good speaker.

 

I see that musicdirect has Epos Epic 2 for 50% off retail:

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-57507-epos-epic-2-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

 

My advice: grab them and run, it's a steal.

 

 

Thanks for your input slinch. I'm definitely going to consider the Epos, those are some nice looking cabinets. Have you heard them before? And if so, do you think the Yamaha Integrated I am considering would be a good match? The reviews describe the amp as being neutral, maybe a tad bright, but I like detail in my music.

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Thanks for your input slinch. I'm definitely going to consider the Epos, those are some nice looking cabinets. Have you heard them before? And if so, do you think the Yamaha Integrated I am considering would be a good match? The reviews describe the amp as being neutral, maybe a tad bright, but I like detail in my music.

 

I've been to a presentation of the Epic range at a local hi-fi store over a year ago and it was a blast. Epos always made really good sounding speakers and this range is no exception. They were powered by Musical Fidelity integrateds, which have quite a bit more juice than the AS500, but the overall presentation is pretty similar (I am using a Musical Fidelity integrated for about 4 years now and did an extensive listening session with the Yamaha range of integrateds). Of course you won't get the full potential out of the Epic 2s with the AS500, but they should go well together. If the money allows it however jumping to the AS700 (or even better a used AS1000 if you manage to find one) would give you a dream combo. 

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I just got a new pair of speakers 2 months ago. I had my eye on the B&W 686/685, PSB Image B5/B6 and the Paradigm Mini Monitors all about the same price range you're looking for.

 

I started off with a bias towards the B&W's due to reviews. In person the smaller 686 sound awful compared to the larger 685's. Then I auditioned the B5/B6 and was blown away at how much cleaner the sound was. Although it was a little more money that I wanted to originally spend, the B6's sounded amazing. I auditioned the B&Ws and the PSBs at two different shops, so the setup wasn't identical, but it was enough to push me to the B6's after a few listens of each.

 

After a couple months of ownership I'm still very happy with the PSB's. The clarity is awesome, and it is definitely loud enough to fill my small bedroom. The only thing that's a little lacking is the bass, which you said isn't a huge issue. It definitely comes through in hip/hop and electronic, but not as much on indie/alternative. They're rear ported, so there is some room to play there, with the distance to the wall having an effect on the bass. Unfortunately the speakers are in a very fixed place in my room and I can't really experiment.

 

Hope this helps, and let me know if I can answer any questions specific to the Image's

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I just got a new pair of speakers 2 months ago. I had my eye on the B&W 686/685, PSB Image B5/B6 and the Paradigm Mini Monitors all about the same price range you're looking for.

 

I started off with a bias towards the B&W's due to reviews. In person the smaller 686 sound awful compared to the larger 685's. Then I auditioned the B5/B6 and was blown away at how much cleaner the sound was. Although it was a little more money that I wanted to originally spend, the B6's sounded amazing. I auditioned the B&Ws and the PSBs at two different shops, so the setup wasn't identical, but it was enough to push me to the B6's after a few listens of each.

 

After a couple months of ownership I'm still very happy with the PSB's. The clarity is awesome, and it is definitely loud enough to fill my small bedroom. The only thing that's a little lacking is the bass, which you said isn't a huge issue. It definitely comes through in hip/hop and electronic, but not as much on indie/alternative. They're rear ported, so there is some room to play there, with the distance to the wall having an effect on the bass. Unfortunately the speakers are in a very fixed place in my room and I can't really experiment.

 

Hope this helps, and let me know if I can answer any questions specific to the Image's

 

Yeah I really liked the look of those PSB's and I probably would have went with those had i not been made aware of the Epic 2's 50% off. But thats the great thing about ordering electronics, as long as you take care of them and pack them right, you can just return them for another pair.

 

I also committed to the AS500. Grabbed it off ebay open box with full warranty for $320, so I'm glad I saved a little money. Now I could use that saved cash towards a DAC or possibly a phono preamp if the yamaha is lacking. I just hope they arrive on the same day as its just ganna kill me to have new gear and not be able to tinker with it.

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So I just got a marantz integrated amp pm5004.

Im using with a pair of klipsch wb-14s. I would like to add a second pair of speakers. Should I stick with the same brand/wattage? How important is that? Any suggestions on a good match?

And it sounds great to me with the klipsch speakers. So much better than my old yamaha receiver. Even the wife agrees and she has no interest in sound quality.

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Wow, I was afraid you're gonna say that. Definitely the worst possible way of doing it.

 

The point of having two sets of speaker terminals on these entry level integrateds is to be able to run two "systems" in two different rooms. So you have the amplifier and a pair of speakers in one room and another pair hooked up to it in a different room. Of course you only use one pair at a time, never both.

 

First off, the amplifier is conservatively powered as it is, and it definitely cannot power two sets of speakers simultaneously both to the same volume as one pair. Doing this can only damage your equipment in the long run. Also, if you'd insist on doing this, it would have to be two exact same pairs of speakers. Adding a completely different speaker, with it's specific impedance, will wreak havok on your amp.

 

Secondly, doubling the entire setup (so two identical amplifiers and two identical sets of speakers) will not double the actual output volume. To perceive "twice the volume" you'd need an increase of 10dB, but adding another identical setup would result in a 3dB increase of SPL. So you'd actually need FOUR identical amplifiers and four sets of speakers to get twice the output.

 

Basically, there's only one way to effectively (and rationally) achieve what you're after: bigger speakers, bigger amp. Everything else will be either a waste of money or damage to your equipment.

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There's absolutely nothing wrong with it (in fact, that's the reason the amp has two sets of terminals), but only if you run one pair at a time. Running both pairs at the same time will damage your amp and might damage the speakers as well. Unless the volume is relatively low, like for background noise during dinner, and even this can have negative effects.

 

Trial and error is part of the fun, but not when it end up costing you $400 in repairs. ;)

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Haha yeah I pressed reply by mistake after the first sentence and edited in the rest :)

 

And yeah, it's definitely a big advantage that most of these integrateds have terminals for two pairs of speakers, having the ability to do a quick comparison between different speakers or just having speakers set up in more than one room without needing an extra amp is awesome.

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So I just got a marantz integrated amp pm5004.

Im using with a pair of klipsch wb-14s. I would like to add a second pair of speakers. Should I stick with the same brand/wattage? How important is that? Any suggestions on a good match?

And it sounds great to me with the klipsch speakers. So much better than my old yamaha receiver. Even the wife agrees and she has no interest in sound quality.

 

I was tempted to get the pm5004 as well. How are you liking it?

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Cool, let us know how the Epic 2's are. I'm also curious about the AS500 since a new amp is next on my list. The whathifi review says "The phono stage is perfectly usable, though there are loses in transparency and dynamics", so you probably shouldn't need a preamp.

 

Speakers will be here today and the amp will be here on tuesday.

 

Anticipation is killing me haha

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Cool, let us know how the Epic 2's are. I'm also curious about the AS500 since a new amp is next on my list. The whathifi review says "The phono stage is perfectly usable, though there are loses in transparency and dynamics", so you probably shouldn't need a preamp.

 

Yeah I read that but I feel like WhatHiFi is giving everything good reviews like they are scared to not be given anymore free/discounted gear lol. I usually check out amazon reviews and testfreaks

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Yeah I read that but I feel like WhatHiFi is giving everything good reviews like they are scared to not be given anymore free/discounted gear lol. I usually check out amazon reviews and testfreaks

 

WhatHiFi reviews are a total joke. Anyone that has read more than two issues of their magazin will know exactly what rating a certian product will receive simply by the brand stamped on it.

 

Testfreaks uses very few "sources" unfortunately. Amazon shouldn't even be taken into account. Those reviews are so often unsubstantiated and completely ignorant it's sad really.

 

Stereophile's reviews are decent. My favorite are those posted on 6moons though. Very in-depth and mostly very competent writers.

 

For lower end gear it's best to just read a lot of "review" topics on various audio forums. This provides the best overview of what to expect from a piece of equipment.

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Stereophile's reviews are decent. My favorite are those posted on 6moons though. Very in-depth and mostly very competent writers.

.

 

I was looking for some info on speaker positioning a while ago and came across an article on 6moons. It ended being something like a 15 page dissertation on sound dynamics, room-treatement, frequencies...Talk about in-depth!

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