$10,000 Two Channel Recommended System

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by admin, May 19, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    Are you an audiophile? Do you happen to have $10,000 laying around? Do you need a new two channel system? Even if you answered no to any of these questions, you'll want to check out our equipment choices for building a top of the line stereo system in the $10,000 price class. With a focus on achieving exceptional performance without sacrificing good looks, this is a system both you and your interior decorator can appreciate.
    [​IMG]

    Read our $10k Recommended Two-Channel Stereo System Guide

    Do you own any of this equipment? Share your experiences.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  2. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    I don't want to comment on equipment choices in the article, however this how I would spend 10k on stereo system if I had such money to "invest":

    Salk SoundScape 8 - $8k
    Onkyo A9070 Stereo Integrated Amplifier - around $1k
    Oppo BDP-105 around $1k

    (I do know last two retail prices are 1.2k each, but who pays retail?! :) )
  3. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    The Salks are nice speakers to be sure. In fact aesthetically they kill the Kef and RBH products.

    However I'm quite partial to the Scan Speak 9500 tweeter used in the RBH's and the dual mids of the MTM. Such a huge open soundstage with unlimited dynamics.

    I'd much prefer the Emotiva separates over the Onkyo you recommended.

    The OPPO Bdp-105 is a great option but it's assumed there won't be a tv in this system. Still I think its a great alternative option and will ask Steve M to add it. Thx.
    gene,
  4. Plexmulti9 Junior Audioholic

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    I have to totally disagree with the choice of the KEF R700. In the photo below you will see several pair of different speakers we just did in a shootout for a client who flew in from California (from another forum). In the picture are the following speakers & electronics....

    Revel M105
    Phase Technology PC 0.5
    Induction Dynamics S1.8
    KEF R700
    BG Radia SA-360 (In-wall & Installed in the cabinet)
    Phase Technology dARTS System (behind the AT screen)
    James Loudspeaker 63SA-7 (the little silver boxed speakers with a 3" opening meant to go in-ceiling)
    RBH SX-10 Subwoofer (used only with the bookshelf & in-ceiling models)

    Electronics:
    Sonos
    Parasound New Classic Model 2250 v.2
    Yamaha BD-A1020 BluRay/CD player

    Both myself, the visiting client, and (after the client left) 3 of our installers all listened to a wide variety of music.

    Low end extension aside, guess which one came in BY FAR dead last in terms of tonality, life-like presentation of sound, versatility on the types of music it played well, detail, and just about any other way I can describe quality of sound..... The KEF R700. It wasn't even close.

    I could see how someone might like this speaker if they value a cold sound, manufactured sound. The R700 sounds as if it were built by people who look at technical data all day rather than actually listen to music.

    Because we have them come in and out of our design center all the time I can absolutely vouch for the quality of the RBH SX-8300/R & the SX-6300/R. I would say those absolutely belong on a short list of speakers between $3-6K.

    PS: Before anyone gets all worked up: I'm not biased as we're dealers of all of these brands. And, NO, I did not leave them in those positions as we were demoing. We moved them around, on stands, etc. accordingly. :)

    photo1 (1).jpg
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  5. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

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    So, if the R700 was hands-down the worst, which was the best?
  6. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    Despise auditioning 100k Wilsons Audio and 24k B&W 800 Diamonds, nothing captured my ear as much as SS8's did on AH GTG '12. Their sound was breathtaking and absolutely amazing.

    How KEF and RBH stack against SS8s - I don't know :(

    BDP105 was chosen as one of the better CD/SACD/DVD-A optical transports I know of and it has a reference level dac as well. Not selected for BD capabilities.

    I know many would be upset to see Onkyo in this list, but I challenge you to find as capable int amp from D&M or Yamaha.
    It was not made at same level as lower series Onkyo AVRs so I don't expect same QA issues with it on the long run.

    Nothing wrong with swapping Onkyo for Emotiva separates, but added cost. In addition several Emotiva products were mentioned on these forums one time too many in the less than positive light and I would personally shy away from. YMMV
  7. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

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    Shy away from Emotiva, but cozy up next to Onkyo! :eek::D
  8. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    For me, probably 2 RBH SX-T2 + Denon X4000 + AT2004 + iPad to stream the music to the Denon. :D
  9. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    Hey My TX-SR805 is still going strong, plus of couse the extra benefit of additional home heating - it's very handly and cozy in these long north-eastern winters like last one
  10. ematthews Audioholic Chief

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    Word!!! RBH.....It is.:D
  11. Plexmulti9 Junior Audioholic

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    The BG SA-360 In-walls and the Induction Dynamics S1.8 were the top performers.

    Ranking them I would go:

    ID S1.8/BG SA-360
    Phase Tech PC 0.5/RevelM105/James 63SA-7 (These definitely sound different from one another, but it would come down to what the listener valued). To me, the PC 0.5 are the clear winner between the 3, but they are all good for different reasons. One thing really interesting is that the James speaker sounded great, but it is meant for in-ceiling duty and only has a 3" opening to play through. It throws out a very large, detailed sound for such a small enclosure and opening and that's very impressive, but clearly different from traditional bookshelves.
    R700
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
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  12. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    There is a ton of great setups you could do for $10k. I like the inclusion of two subs for a two channel system, that should be a more common. The systems listed are all very high on the WAF. If you didn't have to deal with WAF at all, just get a pair of JTR Noesis 215s; absolutely endless dynamic range and absolutely no need for a subwoofer. They do not need heavy duty amplification either. If you don't need infinite dynamic range and want something that looks a bit less intimidating, check out a pair of Soundfield Audio VSFT-3s. You won't really need a sub with those, because they have two powered subs in them each.

    If it were me, I might go for something like a couple JBL 6332s and maybe a couple Funk 18.0s or a bunch of Hsu ULS-15s. I would take the rest of the money and buy an old workhorse of a receiver and something to EQ the subs. Tons of dynamic range, extreme neutrality, very sharp sound quality. Bring on the tunes!
  13. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    Thanks for the insights. Not everyone is going to agree on choices. We put these systems together based on personal experience, reviews and ease of availability to our readers. They are not a biblical source. Personally the Kef 700s weren't my top choice speaker in this price range but some of our staff really took a liking to them. This is why my RBH alternative was added. As you found, very few speakers can compete with the RBH's at their price point. In any event, feel free to pick your favorites and go with that. The Salk SS8s were also a nice sounding speaker and some may ultimately chose those and spend less on the electronics to get there.
    gene,
  14. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    That's awesome. I didn't quite feel that with the SS8s but i really enjoyed the little prototype bookshelf speakers Jim brought. We will one day have to formally review a pair of the SS8s and give them a second, closer look.
    gene,
  15. Josuah Senior Audioholic

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    I haven't heard the KEF R700's but at that price point my favorite speakers are the Acoustic Zen Adagio Jr speakers. (Which is why I own them.) I agree with the Blue Jeans Cable recommendation and the Marantz player as a source, although I have different preferences for amplifier.

    One change I might make is to pick a better APC power unit.
  16. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    I do agree, these tiny prototype sounded much bigger than they had any right to, but still SS8's in a/b had a clear and very easily noticeable edge. The other towers Jim brought (I forgot which ones) we not bad at all, again ss8 we just a bit fuller and richer sound
  17. Cos Audioholic General

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    I actually Demo'd the SX-8300/R this past Saturday (1 Hour drive) and have to say I was very impressed with the speakers and it is on my short list for my HT build. I still have time and do want to at least hear the Triton 1s and a few others before I make my final decision
    Cos,
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  18. Hookedonc4 Audioholic

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    Very interesting that the James 63SA-7 stood tall with the selected speakers and they are Inceiling/inwall with such a small foot print.

    Good to know...

    I have not listened to these but have a pair of S33 bookshelfs and they pack a punch for such a small speaker. Actually going to use them as surrounds with SPL39LCR when I get time to move them to our sitting room.

    Great input on all post thanks everyone...
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  19. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    BTW this Onkyo looks pretty killer actually:
    Reference Hi-Fi | Audiophile | Premium Sound | A-9070 | Onkyo USA

    Too bad Onkyo completely ignores online AV sites as I am confident this would review and measure well. This looks nice and meaty like their old stuff.
    gene,
  20. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    Here's one online review, alas in German, but Google translate does pretty decent job - it's not exactly Goethe material :)

    https://translate.google.com/transl...dware/2012/onkyo_a9070_c7070.shtml&edit-text=

    Found linky here:
    Onkyo A-9070 review - AudioKarma.org Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums

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