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Best Speakers Under $3000 Floor standing or Bookshelf


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2 hours ago, Hendoferson said:

 

 

I'm quite interested in how those q acoustics sound.  On paper they certainly are impressive!  What make and model is the black speaker mate ?

Focal Aria 926. 

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Word of advice. Disregard any Rating from What Hi-Fi. 

Have a look at the Wharfdale Linton Heritage.  You will be totally surprised 

https://www.sightandsoundgalleria.com.au/product/vienna-acoustics-beethoven-baby-grand-black/   If these havent gone- bargain 

Used floorstanders like VAF I-66, ATC 40, Dynaudio x33 or 44, Proacs, Focals, Jamo Concert 11, Ambience Ribbon hybrid, Martin Logan Ethos Electrostatic, Monitor Audio, or bookshelf  LS50w active and sell your amp, Jamo Concert 8, Proac Studio 100, Sonus Faber, B&W 805

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2 hours ago, Hendoferson said:

Your right sfdoodsy the link you provided is definitely going down the preverbial rabbit hole however the quest for perfection involves research!

It was an eye opener for me.

 

I've spent many many thousands over the past forty years chasing the perfect speaker only to realise in recent years (when I started building my own and paying attention to the science of audio) that the good speakers, ie those that aim for accuracy and reflect recent findings on the best way to achieve that, tend to sound more alike than not. 

 

Which is exactly what you'd expect if they share a common goal.

 

The speakers which sound different are the inaccurate idiosyncratic ones.

 

And some people love that sound.

 

My fave example is the Zu Audio Essence, which has possibly the worst measurements I've ever seen, and which when I heard them sounded as bad as you'd expect.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

 

But many on this very site adore them.  Many on this site swear by the emotion of objectively awful vintage speakers and objectively worse single driver speakers.

 

I think they are nuts,  but just because a speaker is bad at the main task of speaker (accurately recreating the sound of a recording) doesn't mean it is bad at the secondary task (making you love listening to music). And for some the latter is obviously more important.

 

You've been given heaps of suggestions already. Including 15 in one post! You can't possibly listen to them all, and you, alas, can't really tell by listening at a dealer either.

 

It needs to be in your home.

 

So I'd suggest you ignore my earlier rant about what you should do, and do what I actually do do.

 

Buy used, try them at home and then flip if they don't work. You should usually come close to breaking even.

 

And don't assume that the latest speakers are necessarily better than older models.

 

I recently bought a set of Revel M20s for about $600. They were about $4K when new in 2002. And they were every bit as good as the latest (very good) Revels. Likewise the current very expansive Harbeths and Spendors don't sound appreciably different from the 40 year old designs they are based on.

 

Your $3K budget could have recently bought a pair of VAF i66 signatures here with $1800 left over.

 

They are currently a $10K speaker.

 

If you have the space and either don't care about looks or find their looks cool (I do), there is a pair of B&W 801 Matrix that has been sitting on eBay for a while.  A much better speaker than the current $45K B&W 800. Many recording studios still use them.

 

Heck, since I am now spending your money, I'll save you money.

 

Buy these:

 

 

No current box speaker for $1.4K will come close to matching what they deliver.

 

With the $1.6K you have left over, buy these:

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wyoming/speakers/magneplanar-1-7-speakers/1255034237

 

Or the LRS I mentioned earlier.

 

Try them out at home and flip them if they don't work out.

 

Since I'm on a roll (bit of a pub night as you can probably guess :)), buy these:

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lyngdorf-DP-1-Floorstanding-Spks-BW-1-Subs-in-great-condition-Reduced-Price/263457590708?hash=item3d574bcdb4:g:A7wAAOSwdHNeaGiA&frcectupt=true

 

Fabulous system.

 

Or bargain hard on these:

 

 

Go crazy!

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5 hours ago, sfdoddsy said:

 

You've been given heaps of suggestions already. Including 15 in one post! You can't possibly listen to them all, and you, alas, can't really tell by listening at a dealer either.

 

It needs to be in your home.

 

+1 for the above statement...

By chance I put myself in the same conundrum having a "scratch to itch" so to speak with regards to a speaker "upgrade' but something new and up to date rather than vintage or used. 

With the same budget as the op..( knowing there might be a good chance that will double!!) I short listed some models from the usual suspects latest and greatest within the budget area.

I'm prepared knowing that I might be going through a few models and manufacturers products but Hey!! its all fun to me which is what ANY hobby should be IMO...

 

So when Fathers Day came around so did the first speaker.....Wharfedale's EVO 4.3.

Picked them up...got them home...one speaker's dome faulty....:cry:...( only happens to me)...no problem though straight swap and sorted.

Out of the box SQ was awful...thin, no bass, muddled like WTF....

keep 'em running for a few days and the change was dramatic like is this the same speaker dramatic?? Nothing is mentioned about running in via the manual which I found strange by the palpable difference...indeed as the days and now few weeks have passed thigs have only gotten better.... 

So far I'm one pretty happy camper....

Enjoy..

 

Tase.

Edited by Tasebass
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9 hours ago, sfdoddsy said:

It was an eye opener for me.

 

I've spent many many thousands over the past forty years chasing the perfect speaker only to realise in recent years (when I started building my own and paying attention to the science of audio) that the good speakers, ie those that aim for accuracy and reflect recent findings on the best way to achieve that, tend to sound more alike than not. 

 

Which is exactly what you'd expect if they share a common goal.

 

The speakers which sound different are the inaccurate idiosyncratic ones.

 

And some people love that sound.

 

My fave example is the Zu Audio Essence, which has possibly the worst measurements I've ever seen, and which when I heard them sounded as bad as you'd expect.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

 

But many on this very site adore them.  Many on this site swear by the emotion of objectively awful vintage speakers and objectively worse single driver speakers.

 

I think they are nuts,  but just because a speaker is bad at the main task of speaker (accurately recreating the sound of a recording) doesn't mean it is bad at the secondary task (making you love listening to music). And for some the latter is obviously more important.

 

You've been given heaps of suggestions already. Including 15 in one post! You can't possibly listen to them all, and you, alas, can't really tell by listening at a dealer either.

 

It needs to be in your home.

 

So I'd suggest you ignore my earlier rant about what you should do, and do what I actually do do.

 

Buy used, try them at home and then flip if they don't work. You should usually come close to breaking even.

 

And don't assume that the latest speakers are necessarily better than older models.

 

I recently bought a set of Revel M20s for about $600. They were about $4K when new in 2002. And they were every bit as good as the latest (very good) Revels. Likewise the current very expansive Harbeths and Spendors don't sound appreciably different from the 40 year old designs they are based on.

 

Your $3K budget could have recently bought a pair of VAF i66 signatures here with $1800 left over.

 

They are currently a $10K speaker.

 

If you have the space and either don't care about looks or find their looks cool (I do), there is a pair of B&W 801 Matrix that has been sitting on eBay for a while.  A much better speaker than the current $45K B&W 800. Many recording studios still use them.

 

Heck, since I am now spending your money, I'll save you money.

 

Buy these:

 

 

No current box speaker for $1.4K will come close to matching what they deliver.

 

With the $1.6K you have left over, buy these:

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wyoming/speakers/magneplanar-1-7-speakers/1255034237

 

Or the LRS I mentioned earlier.

 

Try them out at home and flip them if they don't work out.

 

Since I'm on a roll (bit of a pub night as you can probably guess :)), buy these:

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lyngdorf-DP-1-Floorstanding-Spks-BW-1-Subs-in-great-condition-Reduced-Price/263457590708?hash=item3d574bcdb4:g:A7wAAOSwdHNeaGiA&frcectupt=true

 

Fabulous system.

 

Or bargain hard on these:

 

 

Go crazy!

Mate this is gold, I really appreciate the insight and experience passed on here sfdoodsy.  Your are correct about getting much more bang for buck in the second hand market and no better place to audition speakers than in your home.  I'm going to do this and there's plenty of recommendations here to keep an eye out for!  

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9 hours ago, sfdoddsy said:

It was an eye opener for me.

 

I've spent many many thousands over the past forty years chasing the perfect speaker only to realise in recent years (when I started building my own and paying attention to the science of audio) that the good speakers, ie those that aim for accuracy and reflect recent findings on the best way to achieve that, tend to sound more alike than not. 

 

Which is exactly what you'd expect if they share a common goal.

 

The speakers which sound different are the inaccurate idiosyncratic ones.

 

And some people love that sound.

 

My fave example is the Zu Audio Essence, which has possibly the worst measurements I've ever seen, and which when I heard them sounded as bad as you'd expect.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

 

But many on this very site adore them.  Many on this site swear by the emotion of objectively awful vintage speakers and objectively worse single driver speakers.

 

I think they are nuts,  but just because a speaker is bad at the main task of speaker (accurately recreating the sound of a recording) doesn't mean it is bad at the secondary task (making you love listening to music). And for some the latter is obviously more important.

 

You've been given heaps of suggestions already. Including 15 in one post! You can't possibly listen to them all, and you, alas, can't really tell by listening at a dealer either.

 

It needs to be in your home.

 

So I'd suggest you ignore my earlier rant about what you should do, and do what I actually do do.

 

Buy used, try them at home and then flip if they don't work. You should usually come close to breaking even.

 

And don't assume that the latest speakers are necessarily better than older models.

 

I recently bought a set of Revel M20s for about $600. They were about $4K when new in 2002. And they were every bit as good as the latest (very good) Revels. Likewise the current very expansive Harbeths and Spendors don't sound appreciably different from the 40 year old designs they are based on.

 

Your $3K budget could have recently bought a pair of VAF i66 signatures here with $1800 left over.

 

They are currently a $10K speaker.

 

If you have the space and either don't care about looks or find their looks cool (I do), there is a pair of B&W 801 Matrix that has been sitting on eBay for a while.  A much better speaker than the current $45K B&W 800. Many recording studios still use them.

 

Heck, since I am now spending your money, I'll save you money.

 

Buy these:

 

 

No current box speaker for $1.4K will come close to matching what they deliver.

 

With the $1.6K you have left over, buy these:

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wyoming/speakers/magneplanar-1-7-speakers/1255034237

 

Or the LRS I mentioned earlier.

 

Try them out at home and flip them if they don't work out.

 

Since I'm on a roll (bit of a pub night as you can probably guess :)), buy these:

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lyngdorf-DP-1-Floorstanding-Spks-BW-1-Subs-in-great-condition-Reduced-Price/263457590708?hash=item3d574bcdb4:g:A7wAAOSwdHNeaGiA&frcectupt=true

 

Fabulous system.

 

Or bargain hard on these:

 

 

Go crazy!

Wow these suggestion are great, I honestly wouldn't have known to search for these.  I shall start to go crazy and mate you have been ona role for sure!  🔥

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3 hours ago, Tasebass said:

+1 for the above statement...

By chance I put myself in the same conundrum having a "scratch to itch" so to speak with regards to a speaker "upgrade' but something new and up to date rather than vintage or used. 

With the same budget as the op..( knowing there might be a good chance that will double!!) I short listed some models from the usual suspects latest and greatest within the budget area.

I'm prepared knowing that I might be going through a few models and manufacturers products but Hey!! its all fun to me which is what ANY hobby should be IMO...

 

So when Fathers Day came around so did the first speaker.....Wharfedale's EVO 4.3.

Picked them up...got them home...one speaker's dome faulty....:cry:...( only happens to me)...no problem though straight swap and sorted.

Out of the box SQ was awful...thin, no bass, muddled like WTF....

keep 'em running for a few days and the change was dramatic like is this the same speaker dramatic?? Nothing is mentioned about running in via the manual which I found strange by the palpable difference...indeed as the days and now few weeks have passed thigs have only gotten better.... 

So far I'm one pretty happy camper....

Enjoy..

 

Tase.

I see the Evo's got 5 stars at whathifi.  Great to get your impressions on these babies.  Curious about these due to the rating.

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8 hours ago, Hendoferson said:

I see the Evo's got 5 stars at whathifi.  Great to get your impressions on these babies.  Curious about these due to the rating.

Word of advice. Disregard any Rating from What Hi-Fi. 

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I love my Fyne's. I haven't listened to many high end speakers though. I did have a good listening session at A2A Perth with their high end NAIM / Dynaudio bookshelf setup. I preferred my setup. The bass on the Fyne's are superb, goes down to 29 Hz in my room. Midrange is sweet, rich and detailed (especially with the Pass amp). Treble shines without being bright. As said on what Hifi treble can be provoked with bright equipment. Initially a Electroharmonix tube in Schiit Saga paired with NAD C 658 was a tad bright. After a few weeks, and also a NAD update which tuned the DAC (as others have noted on SNA), the tad brightness is gone and the setup is awesome. 

Edited by Mikahakk1
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4 minutes ago, Mikahakk1 said:

I love my Fyne's. I haven't listened to many high end speakers though. I did have a good listening session at A2D Perth with their high end NAIM / Dynaudio bookshelf setup. I preferred my setup. The bass on the Fyne's are superb, goes down to 29 Hz in my room. Midrange is sweet, rich and detailed (especially with the Pass amp). Treble shines without being bright. As said on what Hifi treble can be provoked with bright equipment. Initially a Electroharmonix tube in Schiit Saga paired with NAD C 658 was a tad bright. After a few weeks, and also a NAD update which tuned the DAC (as others have noted on SNA), the tad brightness is gone and the setup is awesome. 

Good to hear a review in the Fynes.  Which model did you end up going with Mikah?

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18 hours ago, sfdoddsy said:

It was an eye opener for me.

 

I've spent many many thousands over the past forty years chasing the perfect speaker only to realise in recent years (when I started building my own and paying attention to the science of audio) that the good speakers, ie those that aim for accuracy and reflect recent findings on the best way to achieve that, tend to sound more alike than not. 

 

Which is exactly what you'd expect if they share a common goal.

 

The speakers which sound different are the inaccurate idiosyncratic ones.

 

And some people love that sound.

 

My fave example is the Zu Audio Essence, which has possibly the worst measurements I've ever seen, and which when I heard them sounded as bad as you'd expect.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/zu-essence-loudspeaker-measurements

 

But many on this very site adore them.  Many on this site swear by the emotion of objectively awful vintage speakers and objectively worse single driver speakers.

 

I think they are nuts,  but just because a speaker is bad at the main task of speaker (accurately recreating the sound of a recording) doesn't mean it is bad at the secondary task (making you love listening to music). And for some the latter is obviously more important.

 

You've been given heaps of suggestions already. Including 15 in one post! You can't possibly listen to them all, and you, alas, can't really tell by listening at a dealer either.

 

It needs to be in your home.

 

So I'd suggest you ignore my earlier rant about what you should do, and do what I actually do do.

 

Buy used, try them at home and then flip if they don't work. You should usually come close to breaking even.

 

And don't assume that the latest speakers are necessarily better than older models.

 

I recently bought a set of Revel M20s for about $600. They were about $4K when new in 2002. And they were every bit as good as the latest (very good) Revels. Likewise the current very expansive Harbeths and Spendors don't sound appreciably different from the 40 year old designs they are based on.

 

Your $3K budget could have recently bought a pair of VAF i66 signatures here with $1800 left over.

 

They are currently a $10K speaker.

 

If you have the space and either don't care about looks or find their looks cool (I do), there is a pair of B&W 801 Matrix that has been sitting on eBay for a while.  A much better speaker than the current $45K B&W 800. Many recording studios still use them.

 

Heck, since I am now spending your money, I'll save you money.

 

Buy these:

 

 

No current box speaker for $1.4K will come close to matching what they deliver.

 

With the $1.6K you have left over, buy these:

 

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wyoming/speakers/magneplanar-1-7-speakers/1255034237

 

Or the LRS I mentioned earlier.

 

Try them out at home and flip them if they don't work out.

 

Since I'm on a roll (bit of a pub night as you can probably guess :)), buy these:

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lyngdorf-DP-1-Floorstanding-Spks-BW-1-Subs-in-great-condition-Reduced-Price/263457590708?hash=item3d574bcdb4:g:A7wAAOSwdHNeaGiA&frcectupt=true

 

Fabulous system.

 

Or bargain hard on these:

 

 

Go crazy!

Great suggestions, since we are recommending vintage Kef 105, may as well mention the Yamaha NS1000 that come up for similar or a little more money, heck also the Spendor 1/2, S &. SP100, BC3; Proac EBS and Studio, Studio 200 and 250, Response 2, 2.5, 3, 3, 3.8 and B&W 801F and bunch of others if they come up.

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33 minutes ago, Al.M said:

may as well mention the Yamaha NS1000

I had the same thought, but as someone who has almost pulled the trigger on this option several times, it seems (from my position of relative ignorance) that the price is actually $2k for the speakers + $$$ for whatever uber tube amp people say is necessary to get the most out of them.

😛

 

I second the ProAc recommendation. The Response D2 are very nice if you can snag them second hand. 

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29 minutes ago, twofires said:

I had the same thought, but as someone who has almost pulled the trigger on this option several times, it seems (from my position of relative ignorance) that the price is actually $2k for the speakers + $$$ for whatever uber tube amp people say is necessary to get the most out of them.

😛

 

I second the ProAc recommendation. The Response D2 are very nice if you can snag them second hand. 

Yamaha NS1000 can work with non tube amps quite well, depends what sound balance one likes. Depending on who is selling, how quick one is but they can be found from $800-2000.

Edited by Al.M
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On 18/09/2020 at 5:15 PM, Bunno77 said:

Just be careful with that amp that you don't feel a bit underwhelmed when upgrading. Great amp as it is but does run out of steam with better speakers.

Does justify another upgrade though :)

Spot on about the amp's power, but then its time to upgrade the amp to beat the speakers. 

I have the older version of the Kef R3, R300, paired with the CA851A + Rel T9i in a 3.5x4M room, they goes very well together, clean, open and details. In the same setting with the Dynaudio Special 40, sounds darker, tighter and warmer yet not as accurate. 

 

Moving the speakers to a larger and opened room 4x5M with a Marantz Pm7004 , the Dynaudio is more balanced and relaxed, the Kef is still nice but lacking the punch and power. 

 

In a larger room 5 X 6M with a ML532H, the Dynaudio comes alive. 

 

Overall, I found the Kef goes better with the CA and Dynaudio demands a good control amp. Its all comes down to what you are chasing. 

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On 18/09/2020 at 4:29 PM, Sean Perth said:

These were the pair I was considering. Still wondering why I didn't choose them (the extra grand was it really) and am very surprised they're still available. A no-brainier if the O.P is in Victoria.

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How about these? https://www.sightandsoundgalleria.com.au/product/q-acoustics-concept-300-rosewood/
 

I was tossing up between these and the aforementioned VA Beethoven Baby Grand. Mainly because they seemed like great deals. They actually talked me out of the Concept 300, which has varied reviews. Andrew Robinson raves about them. I like the stands but reckon they'd make vacuuming a pita.

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On 18/09/2020 at 3:45 PM, Hendoferson said:

Hello Hifi Bretheren,

 

Looking to the sum of your knowledge for what you would consider the best bang for buck speaker under 3K. 

Floor-standing and Bookshelf recommendations considered.  Second hand is fine as well.

 

The short answer is no one can tell you what the best is from your point of view, only their's, and the two are often very different.

 

In an ideal world, where we all had limitless amounts of time and wonderfully obliging dealers, we would borrow many pairs and try them at home for a number of weeks before deciding. 

 

In reality we can listen in dealerships, which will only give you a vague idea of what they will sound like at home, or we can buy and try, preferably second hand so you don't loose much money when you move them on. 

 

Having said all that, if I was looking for some I'd want to try a pair of Harbeth P3's, a near new pair sold recently on the forum which were advertised at $3.5k with stands.

 

 

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I also have a pair of Elac FS208.2 which utlilze the Jet III tweeter, these are under 1k and would give the Focal's a go for less money.

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