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Thread: Speaker Upgrade

  1. #1

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    Default Speaker Upgrade

    I thought the bug died, but he didn't, and he's biting hard, harder than ever.

    Didn't mean for that to sound mildly sexual but I'm thinking about upgrading my speakers. I've spent over a year now with my little Totem Hawks and they truly are a phenomenal speaker. They do everything so damn well, but I'd just like a little more in certain areas.

    What I love about them:

    -They disappear. And I mean, close your eyes, and they're gone.
    -Imaging, of course. If they're disappearing they're imaging really well IMO.
    -Off axis listening. This is a pretty damn big deal to me. I need to be able to move out of the sweet spot and hear magic too. Maggies are OUT.

    What I could use more of:
    -Low end slam and definition. This is where the Hawks fall short IMO.
    -Volume. The Hawks start to compress when I start pushing and I don't like that.

    Now that's saying a whole lot about how good the Hawks are that I only have two things I'd like to improve upon. I thought about moving up the line but where's the fun in that? There are a pair of Forests on the gon but I'd like to move on.

    I'd like to stay under $2K. Again, this is something I'm still thinking about. The Hawks might easily convince me to keep them.

    I'm kind of interested in Usher, Martin Logan, & Salk right now. All of these guys make beautiful speakers and it's weird but aesthetics are starting to matter more to me as I'm moving into my thirties.

    Here are some speakers I've already owned or own:

    PSB Synchrony Ones (Damn fine speakers)
    Magnepan 1.7's
    Magnepan MG12
    Magnepan MG10 (own em')
    SDA-CRS+ (modded and own em')
    SDA-2B (moved em down the road)
    Dynaudio (forget the model)
    AV123 Strata Mini's (blah)
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Paradigm Signature S2

    Here are rumors I've heard about each of the speakers I'm interested in. Usher: heard they're forward up top and thats scary. Have heard the Salks are musical but the models in my price range are shy on bass. Have heard the ML's aren't involving and are sterile. Rumos are like buttholes though.

    Interested to hear your thoughts and recommendations!

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    Well, lets address your complaints, low end slam and high volume compression.

    1. Low end slam- could not a subwoofer handle that ?

    2. High volume compression- what kind of power are you feeding them ? May also play into the lack of slam to some degree. Totems suck up a lot of juice.

    Also, how big a room are we talkin' here ?

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    The Totem sound is more forward than Usher is. In fact, right now I'm getting a little bit too much warmth for my tastes and am going to have to play around with some things. What I've found with my 6311 is they're much more responsive to changes in the chain than any other speaker I've owned. Usher will cure the issues you want to fix. I did do a review on the 6311 vs. the Totem Forest vs. the Magnepan SMGa... its around here somewhere.

    Tony makes a great point about power. Totem needs some power behind them. I'm not sure what you're using, but you might not be opening them up like they are capable of.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    I'd also look at the rest of the electronics/cables.

    Pushing something past it's limits are never a good thing. How loud are you pushing ? That Parasound 750 may be too lightweight, the B&k Mono's are more suited for the task.

    Plenty of speakers to wet your appetite, but don't be so quick to kick to the curb without some other upgrades in your front end.

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    Speakers that are inefficient, especially small two way speakers, are more susceptible to power compression.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Well, lets address your complaints, low end slam and high volume compression.

    1. Low end slam- could not a subwoofer handle that ?

    2. High volume compression- what kind of power are you feeding them ? May also play into the lack of slam to some degree. Totems suck up a lot of juice.

    Also, how big a room are we talkin' here ?
    Thanks for the responses guys. Wise council for sure.

    1. It totally could. Maybe I just don't want it to :P I'd like for my towers to have good bass which is why I bought towers.
    2. They're being fed by the B&K mono's that are 200wpc into 8ohms and double for 400wpc at 4 ohms. The Hawks are 6ohm speakers so they're getting plenty.
    3. The room is fairly large. I'll get some measurements done later.

    Dskip, I really don't mind a more laid back speaker as long as the bass is good. Sounds like the Usher is a must try speaker for me.

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    here's the southern cal. distributor for usher. http://www.katli.com/
    Main system
    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...pin&1162599347 Freelance reviewer for StereoMojo

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    Given a large room, could be as simple as too small a speaker in too large a room. Which in turn causes you to crank the volume to get some low end in a large space, thus the congestion.

    Find yourself a used pair of Legacy Focus 20/20's....you'll never have to worry about low end...ever, or filling a large room with sound.

    If you bought towers for good bass, then you'd need towers with larger radiating surfaces, bigger drivers in other words. Or multiple smaller ones. Still, as we like to say...there's no replacement for displacement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    Sounds like the Usher is a must try speaker for me.
    Do yourself a favor and find a pair to listen to. You might like the Hawks better, but you should at least take a listen. I don't think you'll be wanting for more in the low end.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden

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    Or a transmission line...
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    Revel Performa3 have great imaging, soundstaging, off-axis response and the R&D behind it to prove it all. Low end bass is very impressive even on the bookshelves which come in below 2k.
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Given a large room, could be as simple as too small a speaker in too large a room. Which in turn causes you to crank the volume to get some low end in a large space, thus the congestion.

    Find yourself a used pair of Legacy Focus 20/20's....you'll never have to worry about low end...ever, or filling a large room with sound.

    If you bought towers for good bass, then you'd need towers with larger radiating surfaces, bigger drivers in other words. Or multiple smaller ones. Still, as we like to say...there's no replacement for displacement.
    I think you're right. I spent a good hour with the Hawks and feel like I'm doing them a disservice in not pairing them with a sub just to see what happens. I can cross them over at around 70hz so the Hawks aren't straining and let the sub do the rest. I might be able to get a lot more volume out of em' that way.

    Speaking of Legacy, I might be going to audition this set tomorrow. Honest opinions on this deal?

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/ele/4453456140.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboroth00 View Post
    Revel Performa3 have great imaging, soundstaging, off-axis response and the R&D behind it to prove it all. Low end bass is very impressive even on the bookshelves which come in below 2k.
    Will look into these, thanks!

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    Few polkies have moved on to Mirage OMD-28's.

    Boston A400,VR950, DefTech BP10,, Klipsch Forte,KSP-400,KSF-C5,RF3,RC3.
    JBL L20t,L80t3, EPI 20+,T/E 280, Polk 4,4.5,7C, KEF Coda III, Yamaha NS-690, Genesis 3+.
    SUB:Deftech PF15TL+, DCM TB1010, Velodyne VA08BVX10. Pre: HK AP2500. Amps: BB175, Adcom GFA-535,555II, Rotel RB-990BX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    Will look into these, thanks!
    Stereo unlimited over on rosecrans/sports arena carries the bookshelves. only revel dealer that demos in pretty much all of socal/san diego unless you go to la.
    2Ch Tube Audio Convert

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiocr381ve View Post
    I think you're right. I spent a good hour with the Hawks and feel like I'm doing them a disservice in not pairing them with a sub just to see what happens. I can cross them over at around 70hz so the Hawks aren't straining and let the sub do the rest. I might be able to get a lot more volume out of em' that way.

    Speaking of Legacy, I might be going to audition this set tomorrow. Honest opinions on this deal?

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/ele/4453456140.html
    Fairly old....but I remember when the Focus line came out Bill created a surround speaker using the top portion of the Focus speaker. Wish I had grabbed them then as they are hard to come by. Those sats look surprisingly similar. I might be inclined to pass though as his newer designs I'm sure would sound better....but, for the right price ?

    The Revels suggested, also one of my favs and don't think you can go wrong there either. The Revels can sound too hot on top with cheap electronics so just make sure your front end is up to snuff.

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