My Speaker Shopping Experience

J

JAB11

Enthusiast
I was happy with my home theater sound but "uninspired" with the music coming out of my home theater system (Denon x1600H and F/R Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 speakers and a ProMonitor 2000 center). Was sure I wanted bookshelves to keep it reasonable looking in size, was thinking $1-2k would be a reasonable spend for two quality speakers. Read reviews incessantly and listened at Best Buy and a couple of other hifi stores in town to an array of B&W/Kef/Def Tek/Focal speakers to name a few. I knew my favorites from Best Buy, and I knew my favorites in Store A and Store B, but I couldn't pick a favorite between Best Buy/Store A/Store B because you can't hear them all together in the same room coming off the same amp with the same song.

What I learned after all of this: 1) Nearly every speaker review I read praises the speaker you're reading about, 2) every speaker I listened to in stores sounded completely different but they all sound really good, 3) towers do sound different than bookshelfs and they take up no more space than a bookshelf on a stand, 4) probably best not to buy something you never heard because the praises in a review have little to do with what wins in your ears. So you finally have to throw down the gauntlet and make a decision, you know it's going to sound good, and you'll never know if it was the absolute best decision. One day the Dali Opticon 6 caught my attention, had never heard of Dali, loved the look and the sound, wasn't keen on buying a tower from a brand I never heard of, looked and listened around for a couple more weeks to other speakers, listened to the Dali Opticon 6 again and said "wrap 'em up". The entire family is incredibly impressed with their sound and gorgeous look and it really has upgraded the sound of my music and home theater. Added the Dali Opticon Vokal and upgraded to Marantz 7013 AVR. Big, rich, clear sound all around, I forgot music was supposed to sound like that. Quite an upgrade.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
So none of the vendors offered an in-home trial/return policy? Something some of the internet direct guys offer. I don't live near any stores so I've gone ID the last several times using groups/fora comments for background research along with measurements (I generally disregard the subjective comments in reviews). Haven't sent any back as they've all been good speakers....and sound different to an extent.

So true about reviews generally. I finally moved to towers in my main setup as I finally had a large enough room to somewhat justify, but have bookshelves working quite well in various other (smaller) rooms. I always wanted to check out Dali but never have even seen one in the stores when I did have such to shop at as far as I know.

Congrats on your new setup!
 

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