Floor-standing speaker recommendation for first "vintage" setup?

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I'm really strictly 2 channel, mostly habit? Pre divorce I had built a listening room with dedicated power - that's probably the most amazing single difference I've made. Typically with well recorded material there was no boundary to the sound, you'd literally hear things off to the sides and behind you. I'm not sure I'll be able to achieve this again.
You will. I've achieved that in my living room and it's not the most ideal space for good sound. Just do the homework. Speaker position and toe in has a lot to do with the soundstage and imaging you indirectly reference in this quote. I really do think the TFEs would be nice speakers for you in a 2 channel setup. It's going to be very hard to beat them at that price. We'd probably have to add another zero to do it.
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
That's the thing. The TFEs are THAT good. I would put their bookshelf in the same league (or very close) as my Ultras. I'd say the same for the tower version too, but I highly doubt they could match the bass response of my towers.

*Edit: Didn't I recommend the TFEs to you as well and you decided against them to go the repair route instead with your current speakers? How'd that work out for you?
All it did was buy me time but the refoaming altered the sound at high volume levels, fine at moderate levels, I would try the TFE100 or TP260's but I don't like not having a 5 year warranty, the damaged TFE100's that multiple people reported made me hesitant, final straw was a friend ordered a TP260, FedEx ground was a joke, Ebay seller would only allow signed delivery, FedEx ground claimed they were there on the first attempt, never showed up, 2nd and 3rd attempts were at hours my friend could not be home because of work, no door tag left.

At least the Ebay seller recalled the delivery and gave a full refund, no issues there but whenever I order anything I make sure it is either UPS or that Fedex will waive the signature requirement, too much shoddy garbage from Fedex ground which uses 3rd party delivery people.

I was going to try the Infinity R253's on sale for $340 for the pair but they are sold out. From past history there seems to be many speaker sales up to Memorial Day, we'll see what happens.

An example, the Ascend CMT-340 SE's, probably $600 with taxes for the pair, in all of my reading it seems people rate these as one of the best under $1k, I'd rather go with these over the DCM Towers for $270 if they are indeed at a higher quality level.

On a bookshelf level, right now KEF Q150's on sale for $300 for the pair, I wonder if the KEF would provide a grander stage than the DCM TP160 bookshelf.
 
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Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
All it did was buy me time but the refoaming altered the sound at high volume levels, fine at moderate levels, I would try the TFE100 or TP260's but I don't like not having a 5 year warranty, the damaged TFE100's that multiple people reported made me hesitant, final straw was a friend ordered a TP260, FedEx ground was a joke, Ebay seller would only allow signed delivery, FedEx ground claimed they were there on the first attempt, never showed up, 2nd and 3rd attempts were at hours my friend could not be home because of work, no door tag left.

At least the Ebay seller recalled the delivery and gave a full refund, no issues there but whenever I order anything I make sure it is either UPS or that Fedex will waive the signature requirement, too much shoddy garbage from Fedex ground which uses 3rd party delivery people.

I was going to try the Infinity R253's on sale for $340 for the pair but they are sold out. From past history there seems to be many speaker sales up to Memorial Day, see what happens.
Well I didn't realize there were a bunch of reports of damaged product. Doesn't ebay have buyer protection as well tho? Their way might be a bit cumbersome but you won't be left in the cold, ripped off with no refund. When I received mine they were packed well, played flawlessly and looked and smelled like brand new. For me, the price/performance ratio is what makes them so attractive. I would recommend the TPs as a budget friendly option and the TFEs will get you to that next level where diminishing returns start becoming a major factor. They're not entry level or something to just tide you over...

I don't like taking half measures to solve a problem. Most of the time they don't work and you end up spending more money. Do the homework, ask questions and heed advice. Buy once, cry once. If you had bought the TFEs first, when they were even more deeply discounted you'd have legit good sound right now and wouldn't have gone through the expense and time of refoaming your current ones, which didnt work. You first posted here a few weeks ago, got a TON of good advice, dismissed most of it and you're still basically in the same boat!

As far as the warranty, that's a fair point but out of all the electronics in a hifi system speakers are probably the most durable. Taken care of, a good set of speakers can last for decades without problems. When I look for receivers and amps that's when a healthy warranty becomes a factor for me. If a speaker is good out of the box and nothing is wrong with it then chances are you will never have a problem unless you're reckless with your volume control.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
All it did was buy me time but the refoaming altered the sound at high volume levels, fine at moderate levels, I would try the TFE100 or TP260's but I don't like not having a 5 year warranty, the damaged TFE100's that multiple people reported made me hesitant, final straw was a friend ordered a TP260, FedEx ground was a joke, Ebay seller would only allow signed delivery, FedEx ground claimed they were there on the first attempt, never showed up, 2nd and 3rd attempts were at hours my friend could not be home because of work, no door tag left.

At least the Ebay seller recalled the delivery and gave a full refund, no issues there but whenever I order anything I make sure it is either UPS or that Fedex will waive the signature requirement, too much shoddy garbage from Fedex ground which uses 3rd party delivery people.

I was going to try the Infinity R253's on sale for $340 for the pair but they are sold out. From past history there seems to be many speaker sales up to Memorial Day, we'll see what happens.

An example, the Ascend CMT-340 SE's, probably $600 with taxes for the pair, in all of my reading it seems people rate these as one of the best under $1k, I'd rather go with these over the DCM Towers for $270 if they are indeed at a higher quality level.

On a bookshelf level, right now KEF Q150's on sale for $300 for the pair, I wonder if the KEF would provide a grander stage than the DCM TP160 bookshelf.
If you want a wide soundstage, look for speakers with a wide dispersion. Speakers that use KEF's Uni-Q drivers aren't really known for having an especially wide dispersion. The Infinity speakers very likely would have a wider dispersion.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
If you want a wide soundstage, look for speakers with a wide dispersion. Speakers that use KEF's Uni-Q drivers aren't really known for having an especially wide dispersion. The Infinity speakers very likely would have a wider dispersion.
I'm a fan of Infinity speakers too. I really like the pair that I own now.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I was going to try the Infinity R253's on sale
[Snip]
An example, the Ascend CMT-340 SE's, probably $600 with taxes for the pair, in all of my reading it seems people rate these as one of the best under $1k, I'd rather go with these over the DCM Towers for $270 if they are indeed at a higher quality level.
I would not expect any of the speakers that you just mentioned to greatly exceed theTFE series. I think you'll find them to be more alike than different and they cost hundreds more! That's my point!
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
Well I didn't realize there were a bunch of reports of damaged product. Doesn't ebay have buyer protection as well tho? Their way might be a bit cumbersome but you won't be left in the cold, ripped off with no refund. When I received mine they were packed well, played flawlessly and looked and smelled like brand new. For me, the price/performance ratio is what makes them so attractive. I would recommend the TPs as a budget friendly option and the TFEs will get you to that next level where diminishing returns start becoming a major factor. They're not entry level or something to just tide you over...

I don't like taking half measures to solve a problem. Most of the time they don't work and you end up spending more money. Do the homework, ask questions and heed advice. Buy once, cry once. If you had bought the TFEs first, when they were even more deeply discounted you'd have legit good sound right now and wouldn't have gone through the expense and time of refoaming your current ones, which didnt work. You first posted here a few weeks ago, got a TON of good advice, dismissed most of it and you're still basically in the same boat!

As far as the warranty, that's a fair point but out of all the electronics in a hifi system speakers are probably the most durable. Taken care of, a good set of speakers can last for decades without problems. When I look for receivers and amps that's when a healthy warranty becomes a factor for me. If a speaker is good out of the box and nothing is wrong with it then chances are you will never have a problem unless you're reckless with your volume control.
Pogre, I basically agree with most if not all of what you wrote, if you get the chance, go to the beginner's forum, I wrote a post admitting that TLS Guy and all of you were correct, if I had it to do all over again I would not have wasted my time and money refoaming them, thankfully it was not that much money, but remember:

1. Still a chance I might not have liked the TFE's.
2. There were so many reports of damaged TFE's that even the Audioholic pros were recommending not to buy them.
3. The Ebay seller was telling anyone who returned a damaged TFE, full refund but if we send you another one, no refund available if that one is damaged, now Ebay probably would refund the customer in that instance, but again, now you have to deal with returning two 45 pound speakers once or possibly twice, highly annoying.

And still, right now, I can listen to my speakers and enjoy them and bide my time, they just will no longer shine at cranked up levels, I can live with that until I find the sound signature I like.
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
EPIC RANT

See, this is what drives me nuts on how the current audio market has gone. I hate not being able to demo speakers in a proper environment. The SF Bay Area used to be covered with boutiques. I could call ahead and demo what I wanted in a nice room for an hour easy. I would make days of it. Now, the few remaining survivors have basically turned into installation houses, usually with no demo/showrooms at all. Magnolia/Best is a joke, and a 10 minute demo is useless.

Right now, I have to drive about 90 minutes to SF for one of the few showrooms with a decent selection, and pay $50 to park (it's probably higher now come to think of it). Then, if I do find something I like, unless it's a standmount it sure as heck ain't gonna fit in my car. So, I have to borrow a way-too-large dual wheel pickup truck from my ex father in-law. Last time I did that it cost me $3k when I tried to turn the beast around and scraped a bollard I couldn't see, cracking the cheap @** fiberglass. At best, one of the kids has driven all the gas out of it, so I have to return it tanked up, which is a cool C note in these parts, plus whatever it took to drive 150 miles round trip (another 50%). Blood pressure going up thinking about it.

Another excellent shop is closer, dude has a tiny sampling, and would probably still have to custom-order something I didn't get a chance to hear. So, again it's a leap of faith listening to one model and then ordering something else hoping it's similar.

...FedEx ground was a joke, Ebay seller would only allow signed delivery, FedEx ground claimed they were there on the first attempt, never showed up, 2nd and 3rd attempts were at hours my friend could not be home because of work, no door tag left.

At least the Ebay seller recalled the delivery and gave a full refund, no issues there but whenever I order anything I make sure it is either UPS or that Fedex will waive the signature requirement, too much shoddy garbage from Fedex ground which uses 3rd party delivery people.
EBay, I just can't imagine that for something new, unless I was really sure of the product. But, I can totally get why the seller would only allow signed delivery. One of my addictions is custom knives. I'm in the "low to mid-fi", so about $1200-4000. My friends think nothing of dropping $4-15k on one. I'm not like a lot of guys who turn them over, but I do sell if it's not a match (I'm a southpaw). Even people I know and trust I always get a signature verification. Ok, we're talking little boxes, but still same results. The horror stories - like my buddy (maker) sent 5 ($30k) worth of knives to a reseller UPS. He's done this many times. This time, UPS decided to leave the package outside a car wash 3 blocks away. I kid you not. Luckily, an employee just happened to know the seller spotted the box sitting outside. Any bum could have walked by and picked it up. I sold one where even with sig required it got dropped off in front of the wrong apartment door. Again, luckily the neighbor knew the guy. YMMV.

BTW, if using PP G&S, you're pretty heavily protected. They always side with the buyer. Always. To the point that far too many scam artists use it to their advantage. I hate PP, and had quite a battle with them recently. They froze my account, luckily at that moment I only had $1900 in there. They can keep your funds for 6 months, at which point they may or may not give it back to you. Doesn't matter if that money was from a buyer, or not. At the time, I'd just sold a knife. The red flag for them was the word "knife" as I was selling at a friend's new website. They told me I was selling potentially hazardous materials. I contacted my buyer, told him what was happening. I refunded his money - the only thing PP lets you do when your account is frozen - and he mailed me a check. PP later reinstated my account, and eventually refunded the 3% they kept for doing nothing but making my life rough, and asking the buyer to go out of his way to help me out. I know some other guys that had accounts frozen with $10-20k in them. I used to keep my play money there. No longer!

But, I digress. Maybe I'm totally over thinking this, because speakers are so much better than they were 25 years ago. Lots of the places have great return policies, and the value offered by cutting out so many middlemen (like SVS and Buchardt) is pretty amazing. I don't know what/where I'm setting up, so once I have my Thiels back, that'll tell me if I've got too much speaker or too little (doubtful). A4L was a serendipitous find, I was first looking at the KEF's when I thought I was downsizing (before I sold my townhouse all of a sudden), and now the R7's look tempting. Then, I saw KEW talking about the Cantons. Other contenders are Ascend, RBH, Revel and Salk. I've at least heard the last 3, as well as knowing KEF fairly well. A 6 month wait for speakers to be built though - that's brutal.

I listen loud, but also listen very low. Not a lot of speakers can play quietly. While I was considering the downsize as I was sharing walls for the first time since the early 80's, I figured little stand mounts would be perfect. Then, the neighbors got a subwoofer for Xmas, loaded the shared wall and I was ready to move the Thiels in. They don't need no stinking subwoofer! (red is passive radiator) :cool:
thiel-chart.jpg

Maybe on reason I've lived with them for over 25 years! A lot of complaints about the speaker (bass hump, directionality, brightness) all cured by positioning, a tamable room and careful component matching. Unfortunately, all my new spaces are not as forgiving, all open, and not a lot of opportunity to have them 5-7' out into the room. They need space to breath. But again, these days perfectly flat curves and amazing dispersion. Once I get my gear and software back from the ex, I can start to figure out my next steps. But first I'll enjoy the music! (I hope!)

/RANT

Stuff I got:
Balanced Audio Technology VK-220 (w/bat pak)
Balanced Audio Technology VK-3iX (w/bat pak & phono section)
Music Hall MMF-7.1 TT w/Sumiko Blue Point
Oppo BDP-105
PS Audio XStream Statement speaker/interconnects balanced & RCA/power
Thiel 2 2
Adcom GFA 555 II
Adcom GFP 555
Ariston Icon TT w/Grado Platinum 2
B+W DM14
Box full of various MIT Shotgun, Terminator II and Audioquest speaker/interconnects
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
I would not expect any of the speakers that you just mentioned to greatly exceed theTFE series. I think you'll find them to be more alike than different and they cost hundreds more! That's my point!
Yes but everyone has a certain sound they like, it is not so much what is better, just what sounds better to you. Based on what everybody writes, a Wharfedale and a Klipsch have a very different sound signature, ultimately I'd have to hear the TFE to know, anyway the TFE's will be toast soon, only one left and for $329 instead of $269.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Yes but everyone has a certain sound they like, it is not so much what is better, just what sounds better to you. Based on what everybody writes, a Wharfedale and a Klipsch have a very different sound signature, ultimately I'd have to hear the TFE to know, anyway the TFE's will be toast soon, one left and for $329 instead of $269.
Well... there's a chance you won't like any of the speakers discussed. Yes, speakers do tend to have their own signature and that's something you have to decide for yourself. What I meant was build quality, drivers and electronics would be on par with the ones you brought up for a couple hundred more. Good speaker is good speaker.

If you're wanting generous return policy so you can listen and return if you simply don't like them then yes, the TFEs are a gamble and I would avoid them. If you don't like 'em you're stuck with them. I for one find that highly unlikely knowing what you have right now, but you never know...

For a generous return policy I would recommend SVS first, but you're gonna want to spend a $1000 or more for similar quality. They do have one of the most generous return policies I know of tho. You can set up and listen at home for 45 days while you make up your mind. I knew after a day that they weren't going back.

I haven't seen any of our regs here advise against buying any of the DCM products (it wouldn't suprise me tho)... who was it?
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
If you want a wide soundstage, look for speakers with a wide dispersion. Speakers that use KEF's Uni-Q drivers aren't really known for having an especially wide dispersion. The Infinity speakers very likely would have a wider dispersion.
Thanks, yes, that seems to be the running theme on the forums and Reddit, that the Infinity speakers do have a wide soundstage.
Well... there's a chance you won't like any of the speakers discussed. Yes, speakers do tend to have their own signature and that's something you have to decide for yourself. What I meant was build quality, drivers and electronics would be on par with the ones you brought up for a couple hundred more. Good speaker is good speaker.

If you're wanting generous return policy so you can listen and return if you simply don't like them then yes, the TFEs are a gamble and I would avoid them. If you don't like 'em you're stuck with them. I for one find that highly unlikely knowing what you have right now, but you never know...

For a generous return policy I would recommend SVS first, but you're gonna want to spend a $1000 or more for similar quality. They do have one of the most generous return policies I know of tho. You can set up and listen at home for 45 days while you make up your mind. I knew after a day that they weren't going back.

I haven't seen any of our regs here advise against buying any of the DCM products (it wouldn't suprise me tho)... who was it?
Zieg for one, either in that thread I referred to or the general long standing budget thread that Zieg started, unless I am mistaking it for a thread on AVS but it is definitely the thread in which people were posting pictures of the TFE100 damage and the one poster who wrote about a soldering fix for the crossover problem.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic Chief
@AudioGekko Here is a wild and crazy idea (and forgive me if this was brought up on this or the other thread) but have you looked at Sony speakers to replace your ailing Sony speakers? Granted, I have never heard these and know nothing about them, but...

Everyone here wants you to have great sound. I do not know if Sony carried over a "house sound" from when you bought yours, but this seems like a pretty low risk possibility just to get your feet wet and see (hear) if you are headed in the right direction. Food for thought...
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks, yes, that seems to be the running theme on the forums and Reddit, that the Infinity speakers do have a wide soundstage.


Zieg for one, either in that thread I referred to or the general long standing budget thread that Zieg started, unless I am mistaking it for a thread on AVS but it is definitely the thread in which people were posting pictures of the TFE100 damage and the one poster who wrote about a soldering fix for the crossover problem.
You might have crossed your wires up a little. I'm pretty sure Zieg posted something positive about them in this very thread.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
@AudioGekko Here is a wild and crazy idea (and forgive me if this was brought up on this or the other thread) but have you looked at Sony speakers to replace your ailing Sony speakers? Granted, I have never heard these and know nothing about them, but...

Everyone here wants you to have great sound. I do not know if Sony carried over a "house sound" from when you bought yours, but this seems like a pretty low risk possibility just to get your feet wet and see (hear) if you are headed in the right direction. Food for thought...
There's a good chance a pair of those wouldn't too hard to find for a demo either, I would think.
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
You might have crossed your wires up a little. I'm pretty sure Zieg posted something positive about them in this very thread.
The TFE100's not the TFE60, he might not have been as strong as the others who specifically wrote, "I can no longer recommend anyone to buy the TFE100's based on the numerous damaged ones being shipped, stick to the TP line or the TFE60's".

I could be wrong but I remember Zieg writing that he thought that was good advice, go to AVS forum, do a search for TFE100 damage and you'll find it.

Update: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3106076-dcm-tfe100-floorstanders-very-good-sound-dirt-cheap-right-now-6.html


From Zieg: I am going to hold on the TFE100 for a while, and yes it is a little frustrating as it seems to depend on which batch run you get with the TFE100 -- but I am still going to recommend all the other DCM speakers.
 
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A

AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
@AudioGekko Here is a wild and crazy idea (and forgive me if this was brought up on this or the other thread) but have you looked at Sony speakers to replace your ailing Sony speakers? Granted, I have never heard these and know nothing about them, but...

Everyone here wants you to have great sound. I do not know if Sony carried over a "house sound" from when you bought yours, but this seems like a pretty low risk possibility just to get your feet wet and see (hear) if you are headed in the right direction. Food for thought...
Possibly but I tried the bookshelf Core 5's, they were good up until you raised the volume at semi loud levels, then the sound became constrained and boxy, if the Tower 3's eliminate that drop off as you raise the volume then they are a possibility.
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
Yes but everyone has a certain sound they like, it is not so much what is better, just what sounds better to you. Based on what everybody writes, a Wharfedale and a Klipsch have a very different sound signature, ultimately I'd have to hear the TFE to know, anyway the TFE's will be toast soon, one left and for $329 instead of $269.
What makes it tough buying sight unseen is the speakers can have very different sonic signatures, yet measure very similar. Everybody is using a different measuring stick for the sound they like. I've never been a fan of the classic horn type speaker, never liked Klipsch. I'd probably do myself a favor by trying out the modern versions. My Maggies did some things incredibly well, and fell flat for others. I guess that's the compromise part.

If you want a wide soundstage, look for speakers with a wide dispersion. Speakers that use KEF's Uni-Q drivers aren't really known for having an especially wide dispersion. The Infinity speakers very likely would have a wider dispersion.
That's pretty much exactly what I haven't found with the KEF Uni-Q. Properly set up, the soundstage is boundless. At least that was my impressions with an older R series, as well as a brief listen to the Jone's Elac Uni-Fi, which seemed to have no particular care in setup.

My Thiels are certainly directional, but once they were correctly set up, you didn't have to have your head in a vice and the soundstage was up to 360°. Again, to me the room is 1/2 the equation as long as you've got the flexibility of setup. I swear 90% of the rigs I see pics of on reddit for instance - the speakers are right up against the wall, with a rack in the middle and a nice, reflective TV set behind them. Usually the TT inches from the speaker, if not on the same #$%& surface! I honestly have no idea what my Thiels would sound like even 2-3' from the wall, much less >12". But I don't think it would be good.

I know that Revel for instance designs their speakers to have flexibility in setup, and it shows. KEF on the other hand probably doesn't. I think their setup guide is worse-case scenerio. I can't imagine not having them at least 3' from the wall. And, that's what I'm looking at now on how to set things up, as all my rooms stink in that regard. I find the new KEF series tempting, but the Uni-Q in general has other tradeoffs I'm not so sure about. I tend to revert back to the simpler the better, keeping things separate.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
The TFE100's not the TFE60, he might not have been as strong as the others who specifically wrote, "I can no longer recommend anyone to buy the TFE100's based on the numerous damaged ones being shipped, stick to the TP line or the TFE60's".

I could be wrong but I remember Zieg writing that he thought that was good advice, go to AVS forum, do a search for TFE100 damage and you'll find it.

Update: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3106076-dcm-tfe100-floorstanders-very-good-sound-dirt-cheap-right-now-6.html


From Zieg: I am going to hold on the TFE100 for a while, and yes it is a little frustrating as it seems to depend on which batch run you get with the TFE100 -- but I am still going to recommend all the other DCM speakers.
That's new info for me, thank you for sharing. I might have a little bit of reading to do now...
 

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