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Best set up for full bodied mids and warmth?


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Hoping u folks can help. I’ve got choice paralysis. I’m searching for the best speakers/amp set up to fill a large room (7m x 10m with a 6m ceiling apex). 

 

I enjoy presence, clarity and full bodied mids and lows. My partner also has contracted bad tinnitus and makes me turn off anything with too much top end as it hurts her ears (this is the problem with my little studio monitors). I’m trying to find the best solution but the speakers I love are just out of reach (Lenard Audio Sarabande’s and Tannoy heritage speakers with a half decent amp) 

 

Any suggestions for good warm options to consider around $8,000 AUD? 

 

 

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One simple option may help. Tube preamp. A little warmth, depending on tubes, fab bass and sweet high treble.    The other is speakers which don’t use a tweeter. Something which uses a bass dri

Hmmm... I've noticed a few recommendations for standmount/bookshelf speakers. For what it's worth, I reckon they will struggle to deliver the desired 'full bodied mids and lows' in the OP's 10m x 7m r

Why not get the speakers you like and an amp with tone controls to turn down the top end when your partner is listening ( or do the same via DSP)?

6 minutes ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

Hoping u folks can help. I’ve got choice paralysis. I’m searching for the best speakers/amp set up to fill a large room (7m x 10m with a 6m ceiling apex). 

 

I enjoy presence, clarity and full bodied mids and lows. My partner also has contracted bad tinnitus and makes me turn off anything with too much top end as it hurts her ears (this is the problem with my little studio monitors). I’m trying to find the best solution but the speakers I love are just out of reach (Lenard Audio Sarabande’s and Tannoy heritage speakers with a half decent amp) 

 

Any suggestions for good warm options to consider around $8,000 AUD? 

 

 

One simple option may help. Tube preamp. A little warmth, depending on tubes, fab bass and sweet high treble. 
 

The other is speakers which don’t use a tweeter. Something which uses a bass driver and a full range or wide range driver. 

Edited by mwhouston
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Why not get the speakers you like and an amp with tone controls to turn down the top end when your partner is listening ( or do the same via DSP)?

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5 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

an amp with tone controls to turn down the top end when your partner is listening

Or add an equaliser so you can target the offending frequencies. Even if you’re running an integrated amp most have a pre out main in or otherwise described rca’s on the back to insert an equaliser. There are some nice vintage ones around. A 16 band unit should do it.

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Maybe consider integrating a  minidsp unit.  You can save multiple profiles and easily switch between them.  You could customise the curve on one of the slots for when your partner is around and roll off the top end to a point where she’s ok with it....

 

8k is a healthy budget and you have plenty of options.

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3 hours ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

Hoping u folks can help. I’ve got choice paralysis. I’m searching for the best speakers/amp set up to fill a large room (7m x 10m with a 6m ceiling apex). 

 

I enjoy presence, clarity and full bodied mids and lows. My partner also has contracted bad tinnitus and makes me turn off anything with too much top end as it hurts her ears (this is the problem with my little studio monitors). I’m trying to find the best solution but the speakers I love are just out of reach (Lenard Audio Sarabande’s and Tannoy heritage speakers with a half decent amp) 

 

Any suggestions for good warm options to consider around $8,000 AUD? 

 

 

Too much top end is certainly not my cup of tea either. It seems that we have similar taste in sound reproduction where my preference is always timbre and tone first and foremost. Would you mind going vintage? I have a mint pair of Tannoy HPD 385 with upgraded crossover which I am willing to sell if you're interested. You need to source the cabinets but it won't be hard because simple large bass reflex boxes are good enough for them and they are capable to fill your room.

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You should consult your wife’s audiologist on what frequencies or tonal balance is involved in order to attempt a speaker change Or see if that is even possible.

 

I doubt there is any speaker that will resolve the tinnitus issue and you will mostly be guessing what may address it and not be able to achieve much, except using an equalisation unit in the system. Try biggish new floorstanding speakers that have bigger bass to even out the tonal balance like Osborne, Golden Ear, Dali, Focal etc. less quality but large Cerwin Vega 215 may fill the room.

 

Adding a large subwoofer to the existing small speakers should do the same to balance the sound out as well.

 

Used budget will also make the money go about 2-3 times further and look for things like VAF I-93, B&W 802 & 801 older matrix, large Duntechs, Spendor S100 and newer versions, ATC 50 & 100, Tannoys, large Osbornes and others. Older style speakers with mid and treble control pots may help also like JBL.

Edited by Al.M
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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much everyone 

this is really helpful, great stuff. I think a tube pre amp is out tho - I have 2 x turntables through a Dj mixer that does that job (albeit not as well). I dont want to loose that functionality. 

But lots to think about here, especially consulting the audiologist and then setting up profiles (with a general eq or otherwise). There’s certainly some ideas and speaker types here i have not yet considered so more homework for sure. 
 

Amazing! 

Edited by Rocking Rezbag
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10 hours ago, fell off the boat said:

Too much top end is certainly not my cup of tea either. It seems that we have similar taste in sound reproduction where my preference is always timbre and tone first and foremost. Would you mind going vintage? I have a mint pair of Tannoy HPD 385 with upgraded crossover which I am willing to sell if you're interested. You need to source the cabinets but it won't be hard because simple large bass reflex boxes are good enough for them and they are capable to fill your room.

Thanks so much for the offer but unfortunately I’m really not up to building anything. I just don’t have the knowledge or skills. Even if I outsourced the build, I wouldn’t know if I was getting ripped off or not. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Al.M said:

You should consult your wife’s audiologist on what frequencies or tonal balance is involved in order to attempt a speaker change Or see if that is even possible.

 

I doubt there is any speaker that will resolve the tinnitus issue and you will mostly be guessing what may address it and not be able to achieve much, except using an equalisation unit in the system. Try biggish new floorstanding speakers that have bigger bass to even out the tonal balance like Osborne, Golden Ear, Dali, Focal etc. less quality but large Cerwin Vega 215 may fill the room.

 

Adding a large subwoofer to the existing small speakers should do the same to balance the sound out as well.

 

Used budget will also make the money go about 2-3 times further and look for things like VAF I-93, B&W 802 & 801 older matrix, large Duntechs, Spendor S100 and newer versions, ATC 50 & 100, Tannoys, large Osbornes and others. Older style speakers with mid and treble control pots may help also like JBL.

Der!  You know I hadn’t thought of reaching out the her audiologist and it’s something so obvious. Thanks so much for your input. 

Edited by Rocking Rezbag
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10 hours ago, Al.M said:

You should consult your wife’s audiologist on what frequencies or tonal balance is involved in order to attempt a speaker change Or see if that is even possible.

 

I doubt there is any speaker that will resolve the tinnitus issue and you will mostly be guessing what may address it and not be able to achieve much, except using an equalisation unit in the system. Try biggish new floorstanding speakers that have bigger bass to even out the tonal balance like Osborne, Golden Ear, Dali, Focal etc. less quality but large Cerwin Vega 215 may fill the room.

 

Adding a large subwoofer to the existing small speakers should do the same to balance the sound out as well.

 

Used budget will also make the money go about 2-3 times further and look for things like VAF I-93, B&W 802 & 801 older matrix, large Duntechs, Spendor S100 and newer versions, ATC 50 & 100, Tannoys, large Osbornes and others. Older style speakers with mid and treble control pots may help also like JBL.

Hey thanks for contributing, I’m reading up on some of the items you suggested. I’d never heard of Osbornes, but they seem worth checking out. I’d been thinking about a drive to Melb (in a couple weeks when covid settles down) to listen to  some ProAC’s (you can’t get them here). I think now I definitely will take that trip now to check out the Osborne’s too. Thank you 

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Vintage Altec? OK they take up some real estate but you did say "best" and "warmth".

You probably mean best modern with some warmth (now I'm just scrvv ing with you, apologies...)

I have the Osborn Epitome which I like a lot but would not descibe them as warm, just faithful

reproduction...

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28 minutes ago, mbz said:

Vintage Altec? OK they take up some real estate but you did say "best" and "warmth".

You probably mean best modern with some warmth (now I'm just scrvv ing with you, apologies...)

I have the Osborn Epitome which I like a lot but would not descibe them as warm, just faithful

reproduction...

I’d stick with the speakers and I’m still suggesting tube preamp and SS power . 

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How about a second hand sonus faber concertino and the first gen Cambridge Audio CXA integrated amp that has bass and treble adjustment? 

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It’s worth considering some Aussie Lenehan ML2 stand mount speakers, glorious mid range, with plentiful bass, choose a quality amp and you won’t look back.

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I'd suggest getting a pair of Lii Audio F15 drivers and using in a simple open baffle configuration. They're quite mild in the treble and roll off around 12k. I'm yet to hear another pair of speakers pull off the realism of Lii Audio drivers. Absolutely unbeatable.

 

https://www.lii-audio.com/product/recommended-15-full-range-speaker-driver-for-music-loudspeaker-with-tube-amplifier-f-15-in-pair/

 

One word of advice though,  these are very revealing speakers so will sound like whatever you have in front of them. They're also extremely high efficiency so it opens up a whole range of quality low wattage amplification which you could never otherwise  contemplate. When I say you I'm really speaking of myself  ;)

Edited by MattyW
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39 minutes ago, MattyW said:

I'd suggest getting a pair of Lii Audio F15 drivers

That does look like a nice driver/decent attempt at a full range, will be filed for future use...

However I would only call it moderate to high sensitivity at SPL 97dB. My Altecs are 106dB then there are the 130dB horn types driven by 2W valve amps and owners wondering why they bothered with the extra watt...

 

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3 hours ago, 2Dculture said:

How about a second hand sonus faber concertino and the first gen Cambridge Audio CXA integrated amp that has bass and treble adjustment? 

Noice

 

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2 hours ago, awayward said:

It’s worth considering some Aussie Lenehan ML2 stand mount speakers, glorious mid range, with plentiful bass, choose a quality amp and you won’t look back.

Thanks - I like the idea of something local, I’ll look into this

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Hmmm... I've noticed a few recommendations for standmount/bookshelf speakers. For what it's worth, I reckon they will struggle to deliver the desired 'full bodied mids and lows' in the OP's 10m x 7m room.

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I presently run a little 6WPC tube amp. I tend to be going down the relatively low wattage route....  Though not fleawatt. Seems to give better results than less efficient speakers and more powerful amps.

 

Having fun with a Chi-Fi version of a Pass ACA downstairs presently. Cheap and sounds great  :)

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8 hours ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

Thank you so much everyone 

this is really helpful, great stuff. I think a tube pre amp is out tho - I have 2 x turntables through a Dj mixer that does that job (albeit not as well). I dont want to loose that functionality. 

 

I noticed you mentioned that you currently have studio monitors, but they are effectively too bright. Noting that you are running DJ gear through these speakers, have you considered a more sophisticated studio monitor and subwoofer setup? 

 

As an example:

 

https://www.storedj.com.au/krk-rokit-rp103g4-pack-w-10-3-way-monitors-and-krk-12sho-high-output-12-sub

 

These have built-in DSP and adjustable equalisation. Tame the highs when your partner is around, and unleash the beast when she isn't ;)

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4 minutes ago, pete_mac said:

Hmmm... I've noticed a few recommendations for standmount/bookshelf speakers. For what it's worth, I reckon they will struggle to deliver the desired 'full bodied mids and lows' in the OP's 10m x 7m room.

I agree in some circumstances, but it depends on the decibels you like your music, and it’s not like the speakers are all the way at one end and the listening position at the other., usually somewhere in between. My room is 6 x 9m and stand mounts certainly fill the room, they might struggle at 100db but who listens at that volume all the time.

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Just now, awayward said:

I agree in some circumstances, but it depends on the decibels you like your music, and it’s not like the speakers are all the way at one end and the listening position at the other., usually somewhere in between. My room is 6 x 9m and stand mounts certainly fill the room, they might struggle at 100db but who listens at that volume all the time.

 

True. I guess there are a number of assumptions at play here, both in my scenario and yours.

 

It would be useful to better understand the OP's intended use, particularly given the mention of a DJ mixer and turntables which influenced my thoughts :)

 

 

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I t also depends on room treatment (too much reverb) and speaker placement (too much for in). 
 

amp without power may make sound too thin (you may think it’s too much too end). 
 

bad dac may have distortion so sounds harsh (again you may think too much too end). 
 

So you may need to consider a lot of things 🤨

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23 hours ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

I enjoy presence, clarity and full bodied mids and lows.

Get a system which includes EQ.

 

(Like the Lenard Audio Sarabande does)

 

 

Edited by davewantsmoore
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1 hour ago, pete_mac said:

 

I noticed you mentioned that you currently have studio monitors, but they are effectively too bright. Noting that you are running DJ gear through these speakers, have you considered a more sophisticated studio monitor and subwoofer setup? 

 

As an example:

 

https://www.storedj.com.au/krk-rokit-rp103g4-pack-w-10-3-way-monitors-and-krk-12sho-high-output-12-sub

 

These have built-in DSP and adjustable equalisation. Tame the highs when your partner is around, and unleash the beast when she isn't ;)

I have yes, but I plan to keep my studio monitors so I can still DJ privately in my office (or listen to tunes  while working) the larger setup I’m asking for advice on is for LP listening in the main area of the house (open plan lounge kitchen dining) and for BGM when entertaining.  I’ll use the booth out for the office monitors and the main out for the main room. Hope that makes sense. 

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35 minutes ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

I have yes, but I plan to keep my studio monitors so I can still DJ privately in my office (or listen to tunes  while working) the larger setup I’m asking for advice on is for LP listening in the main area of the house (open plan lounge kitchen dining) and for BGM when entertaining.  I’ll use the booth out for the office monitors and the main out for the main room. Hope that makes sense. 

 

Nice - that makes sense! I have a DJ setup in one corner of the media room which I often run in a similar configuration.

 

Thanks for the extra clarification. Very helpful indeed.

 

 

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Pair the F15 based speakers with an amp based around a Pass Amp Camp Amp (ACA) or John Lindsay Hood amp, and a decent DAC and you're done. Nothing listed that will break the bank here.

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12 hours ago, pete_mac said:

 

True. I guess there are a number of assumptions at play here, both in my scenario and yours.

 

It would be useful to better understand the OP's intended use, particularly given the mention of a DJ mixer and turntables which influenced my thoughts :)

 

 

Use for these will primarily be BGM and just joy of music. I’ll run the records from my DJ rig sure, but these  speakers will be in another room, I will use my local monitors for DJing. The reality is, as a DJ I’m well retired, 12 years in clubs and festivals is enough for anyone. I might spin on the odd occasion just to listen to some tracks I love (I have some amazing soulful house and bootlegs not on streaming platforms) but mainly I just want to listen and enjoy. 

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I have a fairly big room and I think any good floorstander with a decent (Marantz, Rega etc amp) would do the trick. If the speakers are bi or triwired you could just experiment with a few 5 or 10 watt resistors on the tweeter (say 1 ohm to start with on the positive link) until you get the right tonal balance without sacrificing too much detail, also wall and corner treatment and speaker placement can have a dramatic improvement especially on those high frequencies bouncing around the room.

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14 minutes ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

Use for these will primarily be BGM and just joy of music. I’ll run the records from my DJ rig sure, but these  speakers will be in another room, I will use my local monitors for DJing. The reality is, as a DJ I’m well retired, 12 years in clubs and festivals is enough for anyone. I might spin on the odd occasion just to listen to some tracks I love (I have some amazing soulful house and bootlegs not on streaming platforms) but mainly I just want to listen and enjoy. 

 

Sorry to hear that you've hung up the headphones Renae - if I'm joining the dots correctly, I may have seen you out and about at some stage. I've been playing on and off for 18 years or so (not quite at your level though!) so I understand reaching that point where you just want to hear the music you love through a nice system. Best of luck! :)

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5 hours ago, pete_mac said:

 

Sorry to hear that you've hung up the headphones Renae - if I'm joining the dots correctly, I may have seen you out and about at some stage. I've been playing on and off for 18 years or so (not quite at your level though!) so I understand reaching that point where you just want to hear the music you love through a nice system. Best of luck! :)

I’d say 100% you are joining the dots properly and we’ve crossed paths. Sydney is a small scene. It’s nice to be remembered!  Sometimes I miss it but after my best friend died the lifestyle just wasn’t fun anymore. Totally looking forward to getting back into the music though (and collecting records again) my stuff has been packed up for years. You still playing? 

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59 minutes ago, Rocking Rezbag said:

I’d say 100% you are joining the dots properly and we’ve crossed paths. Sydney is a small scene. It’s nice to be remembered!  Sometimes I miss it but after my best friend died the lifestyle just wasn’t fun anymore. Totally looking forward to getting back into the music though (and collecting records again) my stuff has been packed up for years. You still playing? 

 Good music and talent is always remembered ;)

 

Ah, so sorry for your loss! Yes, that would kinda take the shine off things and put life into perspective.

 

I haven't played out since 2011 or thereabouts, but still collect music and have my gear permanently set up for the occasional mix.

 

During COVID-19 isolation I started streaming the occasional live set for close friends which went down a treat and was lots of fun - especially back when the restrictions were tight and nobody could visit family or friends, let alone go out and party. The entertainment industry is no doubt feeling the pinch right now!

 

 

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Another thought worth considering is KEF LS50W.

 

Whilst KEF is generally not considered a to have a ‘warm’ house sound the advantage of the active KEFs is that they come with a very simple to use app for controlling the onboard DSP and the treble trim function works very effectively.

 

You could pick up a set of LS50W, plus the matching Performance Stands for circa $4.5k, add one or two quality subs from the likes of KEF, REL, SVS etc and have change from your 8k budget!

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3 hours ago, pete_mac said:

 Good music and talent is always remembered ;)

 

Ah, so sorry for your loss! Yes, that would kinda take the shine off things and put life into perspective.

 

I haven't played out since 2011 or thereabouts, but still collect music and have my gear permanently set up for the occasional mix.

 

During COVID-19 isolation I started streaming the occasional live set for close friends which went down a treat and was lots of fun - especially back when the restrictions were tight and nobody could visit family or friends, let alone go out and party. The entertainment industry is no doubt feeling the pinch right now!

 

 

Yep that’s true, lots of Facebook live these days. Dj mates keep asking me to go play Facebook live with them for a bit of fun but I can’t even listen to their weekly FB sets, the live stream audio sounds so crap! Still I might -  just for fun. 

 

Happy spinning. 

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Hi you have a really decent sound room . A lot of people I think underestimate what it can take to drive a big space  10mx7mx6m - the large Cerwin Vega 215 mentioned earlier would shine in that room and are quite sensitive not fake sensitive like several brands that overstate this parameter. They can take punishment as well and thrive at "party ,club levels " . They actually have that  warm character that you desire . They are not badly priced neither 

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