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

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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Thanks, yes, that seems to be the running theme on the forums and Reddit, that the Infinity speakers do have a wide soundstage.
Try to think of soundstage more as a behavior type than a brand characteristic. Lot of brands make these type of speakers. A way to look at this kind of behavior is in polar maps of dispersion. For example, look how much more off-axis energy this speaker has compared to this speaker. There are advantages to both approaches, but if you want a wide soundstage, look for wide dispersion measurements. This is not just my experience, this is backed by psychoacoustic science as well.
 
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AudioGekko

Junior Audioholic
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.



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.
That is the frustrating thing, to begin with your rant about the lack of places to listen is spot on, Best Buy around here stinks, they have some Klipsch, one Elac, and the rest in the 2 to 5k range, no variety.

And exactly on the KEF, I've read people rave about their soundstage, writing about how they disappear, right now the KEF Q150's on sale for $300 for the pair, I know they are not the 350's or the $800 LS50's but maybe the 150 can fill a small room, it would be awesome if I could get away with a bookshelf over a tower.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic Chief
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.



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.
I agree about KEF - I found the last two models I had, the Q750 and R500, to have incredibly wide dispersion - the widest I've ever experienced at home (especially the R500).
 
Hench4Life

Hench4Life

Enthusiast
I agree about KEF - I found the last two models I had, the Q750 and R500, to have incredibly wide dispersion - the widest I've ever experienced at home (especially the R500).
Again, I think it's so hugely dependent on the environment. Recently, at AudioScienceReview they measured the R3 (amazing) but the reviewer hated the sound compared to the M16 Revel. Later, unimpressed in a subsequent Revel floor stander review the guy had the sudden epiphany that the room might actually have something to do with the sound! [audience gasp]. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. So knowing and accounting for this, the R3 suddenly sounded good! He used Roon EQ to adjust of course, can't be moving stuff around or using diffusion/absorption methods. LOL. Whatever.

I think those of us who have had to fumble our way through this hobby - before the benefit of the internet or technology - found out that moving a speaker 2 inches one way or another could make a huge difference. That symmetry is not always optimal. That sometimes, having one speaker forward or backward from the other a bit sounded better, or even rotating everything a few degrees changed the reflections for the better. Of course, having a helpful friend helps a lot!

I actually (and still am) toying with the R500 just because they're almost free at A4L, or the R700. It was the R500's I heard before, and honestly was surprised at what those diminutive things could do. Too bad that shop is long gone. If the new R series is as improved as they say, no doubt I'd be impressed. That's why the R5/7's are on the short list. However, I didn't know what to listen for previously, I'd never heard a concentric speaker like that, save for the Tannoys which have a very different approach. Some people just don't like the concentric drivers, or the aluminum, or both.

And exactly on the KEF, I've read people rave about their soundstage, writing about how they disappear, right now the KEF Q150's on sale for $300 for the pair, I know they are not the 350's or the $800 LS50's but maybe the 150 can fill a small room, it would be awesome if I could get away with a bookshelf over a tower.
In my humble experience, I've found too large a speaker sounds a lot worse than a small one in a given space. One thing that seems to be agreed upon from what I've read is the concentric type speakers are great for near-field listening. Of course, one man's small room is another man's castle. I'm always amazed when I see somebody say small room, and it's bigger than my living room! I guess in CA you just get used to smaller spaces. My living room is a little over 12 x 16 x 10. But effectively, with one wall mostly open to the entry, which is open to the dining room, it's 16 x 32. Family room opens to everything but usable area roughly 16 x 18 x 20.

The living is setup for home theater, and with a surround it's less critical. I'm almost tempted to set up my 2 channel in a small upstairs bed (12 x 11 x 9) and use stand mounts. Very few floor standers I've heard have the ability to completely vanish like a good bookshelf.

The Q350 is $500/pr at A4L (refurb) 150 is $300 (refurb) or $600 new. If you can find new ones for the refurb price, I don't see how you can go wrong. I used to turn my nose up at KEF TBH. But, as I've gotten older, I've found the value in a Toyota over a Porsche. I've heard some great stories about customer support from KEF, rivaling (and sometimes exceeding) custom makers. About the only other speaker I've seen that has that kind of bang-for-the-buck is the 5 series JBL when it was half off recently.
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
It was really a conversation here on Cantons that got me to register. My somewhat limited exposure to Canton goes way back. A friend who bought everything German Leica, Zeiss, Porsche and Canton loved the things. Problem is, at least back then (and I still assume to this date) they had zero customer infrastructure in the states. And they just weren't screwed together all that great. He literally had a Canton graveyard, which made me leery of the product. I can't remember which ones I did hear, but was impressed as I could be given I thought very little of the Luxman stuff pushing them. Then again, I blew up my Infinity's and Centuries, and both companies basically just laughed, so there is that. :confused:

I'm certainly intrigued.
You should start a Canton thread. :)
 

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