Bookshelf / standmount speaker impressions

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by rlow, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    The room size is about 85 cubic meters (semi open plan, so size and space are complicated) and a listening distance of about 2.5 meters. For background listening I sit my current LSR305s next to the TV, but bring them out onto homemade stands when I'm totally engaging with the music. On the stands, they're about 1.5 meters from the rear wall and 1 meter from the side wall. Listening position is the apex of an equilateral triangle.

    I'll post a photo later as it will probably provide better info.

    Is it possible to boundary load by using a screen of some description behind the speaker? I could knock one up pretty cheaply using either MDF or ply and have some left over carpet to cover them with.
     
  2. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    7,945
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    What type of music do you listen to, and how loud do you like to listen? And what type of sound profile do you prefer? The ATCs are great, but IMO they are not a slam dunk for everyone. And I think there’s a very good chance you won’t like them with a cheap amp (they really need quality clean power imo or they’re going to sound very limp in the bottom end and maybe even harsh in the mids/highs- they’re super transparent and are on the analytical side)
     
  4. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    I listen to 50% classical/art music and a combination of classic rock, pop, prog rock, hard rock, electronica, jazz, acid jazz, fusion and whatever else takes my fancy. There's good stuff to be had in most genres. High quality to mediocre recordings. Mediocre recordings are often relegated to background music though.

    I prefer bass clarity and speed over bass extension
    I value clarity and transparency in all frequency ranges - analytical is fine
    I actively dislike harsh treble, but love sparkling treble, particularly in Renaissance choral music
    I love full and rich mids, but not at the expense of a balanced timbre
    Slam would be nice with deep orchestral percussion (see John Adam's Short Ride in a Fast Machine or Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man)
    Dynamic nuance please
    Imaging is more important than an expansive sound stage, but both would be nice
    Home alone during the day I listen at medium volume, but occasionally crank it up. When others are home or during the evening, on the softer side of moderate volume. Can't measure SPL sorry.

    Yep - Quite a shopping list. Thanks for taking the time to ponder this for me. I'll be auditioning the SCM11's, but can't audition the 19's.

    What would be an entry level amp for either the 11s or 19s? Would a Schiit Vidar cut the mustard?

    For laughs, here's Dall-e 2s recommendation on speaker placement:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
  5. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    7,945
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Actually the ATCs match your preferences pretty well. Good that you’ll have a chance to try the 11s. Vidar is a “good” pairing, but not a great one IMO. Something with a bit of a cleaner/smoother/sweeter top end goes better with the ATCs, at least IME. The upper mids/treble on the Vidar can be a touch on the edgy/etched side and tends to pair with speakers that are a bit more forgiving up top. What’s the preamp and/or DAC you plan to pair with the amp? I think you said maybe a passive pre?
     
  6. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    If I get the SCM11s I'll be left with enough for a Goldpoint 47 step passive pre and a single Vidar. Just using an old Audio-gd DAC I bought for $200. If I buy the SCM19s I'd need to save a couple of years for the Vidar and a passive, or sell most of my headphone rig and get them sooner.

    Alternatively, I could buy used. Would something like this be alright?

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hap...krell-kav300i-integrated-amplifier/1301984727

    It could be that everything's just a bit out of reach, and that's fine too. I'll go looking for alternatives. Maybe I won't like ATC's house sound at all, but from what I've read I think that's unlikely.

    btw, what would be an ideal amp? Anything new or used around $1,500K ?

    Edit: Another option that occurred to me would be to get the SCM11s and an ATC SIA2-100 integrated, which includes a DAC. It would come close to being within budget if I also sold my SPL Phonitor e, cheap old DAC and JBL speakers, using the headphone output of the SIA2 to drive my HD600s. Does it make sense, though, to spend $4.5K AUD on an amp for $3K AUD speakers?

    @Psalmanazar ? Have you heard this amp? What do you think of it in comparison to other amps at this pricepoint?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
  7. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,372
    Trophy Points:
    113
    man i'd be worried about the atc bass there. no harm in trying them if it won't cost you anything
     
  8. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    Just the sort of thing I want to know. If I can borrow your time a bit longer, here are another few questions:

    1. I can't test them at home before buying
    2. Having seen my room, being aware of my sonic preferences (post #104 above) and knowing my budget ($5K AUD or $3.5K USD for speakers and amp), is there another set of bookshelf/standmount speakers you could recommend?
    3. In the absence of anything better, could I boost bass response by placing a large foldable MDF screen behind the speakers to act as an artificial wall when they are on their stands?

    I might be better off spending the money improving my headphone rig given the complications of balancing all the complex variables involved in getting a good sound from a pair of speakers!

    Thanks again
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  9. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,414
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    That space behind the speakers might actually be a good thing for soundstage depth etc. But any boundary reinforcement even if you put something behind it would be very little, for that you need an actual wall not some mdf that is going to reflect mids and up and just kill soundstage.

    What i'm thinking is a nearfield sub('s) and high pass on the mains, if you have room behind or besides the couch it could be a great spot. A properly integrated sub is not some boom box and should completely dissapear and you only notice it was there when you turn it off. Setting it up properly is not easy and has a learning curve but if you do it right and get a proper crossover it can be very rewarding.
    Something like the Sublime acoustics one or the DIY Xkitz version. I made the latter which came out to be cheaper but the Sublime has both XLR and rca and is easier to operate.

    Not sure what you're looking to improve but there a lot of options still with your current speakers.
     
  10. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,777
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Jackson, Mi
    Look at an SVS sub. Very affordable, easy to tune with Bluetooth app, and they go deeeeep. I have the SB-1000 pro and it sounds incredible with my Klipsch Cornwalls.
     
  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    7,945
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    I’m not familiar with the Krell amp sorry. You would need to read some reviews and determine if it seems like a good match. As I mentioned before, I would pair the ATCs with something pretty clean and smooth through the upper mids and treble personally or you may get into etch-land.

    As far as what you should spend and whether or not you should sell your headphone rig etc, that’s really your call man. Buying somewhat blind like you are though certainly comes with risks, especially if you’ve not had much of a chance to try different components and brands in your system - what seems like a good match on paper may not turn out that way. Focusing in one one choice and hoping and praying it works out is a big gamble. I don’t have much for Hi-Fi dealers in my area either, so how I mitigate that is to pretty much buy exclusively used. This way, I can try things out, and if they don’t work, resell for minimal loss (or maybe no loss). This has allowed me to find a great combo of gear that I love. But it also takes a lot of time and patience to wait for the right piece of gear to pop up used and then to turn around and sell it again for something else. For me, that’s part of the fun and what I like about this audio hobby, although at this point there are a few core pieces of gear I have no plans to sell, I still try out some other things. Or you may want to just make your big purchase and be done, and that’s cool too.

    If you end up buying the ATCs, I would definitely buy a used amp. Although the ATCs are somewhat picky, they’re not terribly so. A good A/B amp with at least 80-100w into 8ohms, that’s doesn’t lean toward that analytical or forward top end should work well. Honestly I’ve tried almost a dozen class A/B amps of similar power and they all sound pretty similar, about 5-10% different in most cases. Incidentally, Exposure amps I think have a good sound sig for the ATCs, but they’re kind of expensive for what they are. Hegel as well, but again kind of expensive especially for the ones with decent power.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  12. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    Would it be true to say that if I added a sub to the SCM11s or SCM19s I'd risk losing the clarity, accuracy, tightness and speed of bass I'm looking for? Anything wrong with EQing bass up a couple of dB?
     
  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,372
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don’t know man. Your ears, your room, your music. There’s always Proac 100 (more controversial frequency balance but more lows and less monitory sound), Dynaudio BM6a and BM15A but I have no idea where you are or what’s available or what you will think vs ATC
     
  14. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Home Page:
    All you guys going for new designs. Nothing wrong with that. I went backwards. I had (still have actually) a pair of B&W 600 S3’s that I just swapped out for vintage JBL L20T’s.

    54E912D0-2F8B-4E6D-AF52-22DE9F1000DF.jpeg

    Now, yes I am at desk monitoring. And I am against a wall and a corner. Sucks. But, I could have gone for something like the 305P’s or even the 530’s. But first I will discuss what I did not like about the 600 S3’s.

    To me, B&W has this pleasant sound that never evokes excitement to me. They just sound okay. Trust me, they make Polk’s sound like a blurry mess, but the 600 S3’s still had this plastic sound to them. No sparkle, very controlled, kind of stuffy. The Ragnarock amp really gave the low end depth, but they always felt like they were holding something back. And with a rear port against the wall, the lows bled into the low mids too much.

    I love vintage JBL’s, especially from the 70’s and 80’s. These L20T’s popped up on Reverb for a good price so I snagged them. They need some work, but already showing those punchy JBL lows, the fast sparkle highs that are not too sizzly from the 35Ti tweeter, and just classic JBL sound. The mids are a bit recessed and a bit hazy, but I think that can be addressed with new tweeter foam and new caps in the crossover. They are front ported, so not quite as much low mid bass buildup l, even with the bigger woofer than the 600 S3’s.

    To me, they sound close to what studio monitors or bookshelf speakers should sound like. Clean, lively, dynamic, and precision without felling like there is a sock stuffed in the box. They kind of remind me of the old Dyneaudio BM5A studio monitors without the sizzle. Although the BM5A probably did have somewhat cleaner lows with that super stiff woofer.

    Side Note: I also considered L20T3’s and L1’s. The L20T3’s do have a better crossover, but are rear ported. L1’s have an even bigger driver and slanted front for better time alignment - and are real sleepers apparently, however, all rear ported. I also wanted the 4406’s, which is the pro monitor version of the L20T with an even better crossover, front port, and built in L-pad for the tweeter.
     
  15. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2022
    Likes Received:
    988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern NSW, Australia
    The picture below shows all the standmount/bookshelf speakers in stock at the store I'm visiting next week. Which ones are worth auditioning? I only have an hour and want to make the most of my time. The brands are Lenahan, Kii, GrandiNote, Fyne, Meridian, KEF, Jern and ATC.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,789
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Krells are solid amps, and that 300i is a classic.

    Ooh the Kii3 is interesting. I think Psalm hates them, but other reviews online are positive.

    For what it's worth, I used to have ATC SCM20's powered with a Benchmark AHB2. I sold them off during a period of pandemic unemployment and still kinda regret it.

    If there's any speaker shown above that should be easy to find on the used market, it's the KEF LS50. Those are to the "high end" bookshelf market what the Audio Technica M50 is to the headphone world. Always recommended, most people have tried it, and easy to find used or recycle for other gear. There are also newer wireless models.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Epic Epic x 1
    • List
  17. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    14,553
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    India
    I've heard the KEF. A long time ago, when I used to go to audio meets here. The most notable thing about it is how pretty it is! From that standpoint, it would please my eye on the desktop. This was around the same time as I was hearing the Genelecs. If I had been able to take one home, it would have been the Genelecs. But if someone had given me a pair of KEFS, I guess I'd still be listening to them. And my preference for Genelec might also have a lot to do with my biases. And I like their curves too.

    I don't know. I don't think KEF sell them as studio monitor speakers? I think they come under the heading of purely domestic hifi. Which means if you like this flavour, buy. As I understand it, studio monitors are supposed to at at least make some attempt at a neutral sound.
     
  18. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    7,084
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Home Page:
    I believe KEF was the company that made the early LS3/5a speakers, which were designed from the start as monitors for TV remote broadcasting for the BBC. Although, yes, the KEF home speakers are a bit more downward tilted and typical sleepy laid back Brit-fi.

    I too like Genelecs. They just have a pleasing and detailed sound that is not very fatiguing. They were all the rage in the studios in the early 2000’s until Focal somehow stole the show because they are much more flashy looking than a sandy gray metal box. And the previous series of JBL LSR series before the 305 (LSR 28, 6328, 4326) were more like the Genelec sound rather than the vintage JBL sound. I have a pair of LSR32’s from this era that I got for a steal because they are real sleepers. The shielded versions of the LSR32’s, the LSR6332, sat in Harman’s International Listening Rooms until about 2015 or so. But those are much bigger speakers, although they still have a low end roll-off at 54Hz.
     
  19. Garns

    Garns Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,490
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sydney, AUS
    I'd definitely spend a few minutes with the Lenahan if you are after accuracy and clarity. Think those are the ML2 which are beyond your budget but you might be able to swing a base model ML1.
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,333
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    Is anyone here familiar with Microphase Audio?


    [​IMG]

    Was curious about them being plywood but also quite expensive. While researching they have a bit of history first released in 1984 and were popular in Europe and Scandinavian countries as well as quite a few studios. Seems like the euro equivalent of the Ls3/5a

    Originally made in France but since then the creator moved to Australia and they are manufactured there
     

Share This Page