Tower Speakers Under $750

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by Fastnbulbous, Apr 16, 2018 at 3:06 PM.

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Tower/Floorstanding Speakers < $750

  1. XTZ Spirit 11

    16.7%
  2. Ascend CMT-340 SE w/ stands

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. RBH R55Ti

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Dali Spektor 6

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Q Acoustics 3050

    16.7%
  6. Tannoy Mercury 7.4

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2

    16.7%
  8. NHT C 4

    16.7%
  9. Tekton Lore Reference

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Monitor Audio Bronze 5

    33.3%
  1. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    Why the $750 cut-off? There are are too many options right around the $1,000 mark to deal with and apparently the polls are limited to 10 choices, ugh. Personally I'm looking to replace some 14 year-old Wharfedale Evo 20 speakers in the bedroom that are driven by the modest little PS Audio Sprout. I generally play at low volume, so the larger more expensive models are not desirable for this purpose. And the less I spend the better.

    *THESE ARE NEW PRICES, NOT USED.*
    Though I do count lower-than-MSRP if the items appear permanently discounted on the market and easily available directly or shipped from a retailer. But used prices would result in chaos, you understand. Yes I will keep an eye out for used deals, but no, used B&Ws are not easily found in my area for affordable used prices.

    Why no bookshelves? Because I don't want to pay the $ for a subwoofer, and don't need full dynamic range, but why spend money on stands when I can just get towers? Please don't choose this thread to debate about it. Just vote for the favorites you have heard.

    Due to the limit to 10 options, I had to exclude these. Feel free to vote in comments too.

    Tannoy Eclipse Three
    Phase V626
    Polk Rti A7
    Martin Logan Motion 10
    Emotiva Airmotiv T1
    Wharfedale Diamond 230
    Klipsch Reference R-26F
    Paradigm Monitor 7 S.7
    Canton GLE 496
    JBL Arena 180
    Fluance Signature Series
    Tekton Mini Lore
  2. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    In the November 2017 issue of HiFi Choice, they did a blind Grouptest and ranked some towers. The winner, Mission LX-5 is not available in North America other than Canada, but nowhere I know of that ships to U.S. Runner-up Sweden's XTZ Spirit 11 has a site for U.S. customers and a 30% off sale. SVS Prime Tower was 3rd, but is $1K. They all beat out the Monitor Audio Silver 200, KEF Q550 and Quadral Rhodium 400.

    Would love to see more publications sponsor these blind tests more often.
  3. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Some observations:
    RBH R55Ti - no longer sold, replacement model is above your budget
    Dali Spektor 6 - very rare in US
    Q Acoustics 3050 - very rare in US
    Tannoy Mercury 7.4 - rare in US
    Tekton Lore Reference - not recommended due to some red flags like lack of 3rd party measurements
    Monitor Audio Bronze 5 - rare in US

    If you want better opinions of what available in Europe for your budget, you'd be better off seeking help here:
    https://www.avforums.com/forums/
  4. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    The RBH and Tannoy models are available at newaudiovideo.com. It's new to me but seems similar to accessories4less. Is it not legit?

    The Dali is available on Amazon US. Q Acoustics available direct at qacoustics.com with free shipping. Monitor seems widely popular in US, and is available at multiple dealers in my area, for example, Saturday Audio Exchange, where I auditioned them last weekend.

    I have grown more skeptical of Tekton due to the hype regarding their bogus patent. But some people swear by them so I left it in.
  5. shadyJ Audioholic Spartan

    shadyJ
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    If you like powerful bass, go for the Fluance Signature Towers, I doubt any of those others can match the Fluance speakers in that department. The Fluance are reasonably good in other aspects as well. But a lot of the speakers you listed should be solid, like Emotiva, Monitor, Dali, Klipsch, Tannoy, Ascend. I think you would be happy with any of those. If you are interested in deep bass skip the Ascend speakers.
  6. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    • Like Like x 1
  7. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Ok, I give you MA - they are US dealers have them on a stock. Dali and Q acoustics, despite being available, not very popular here.

    Re: Emotiva speakers - they are intentionally designed pigs to power, without a very competent amp (like ones Emotiva sells) they would be VERY hard to power to any decently loud volumes.
    You'd need 2-4 ohm stable amp and REAL 100wpc at the least, preferably 200wpc

    As for NewAudioVideo site, never heard about it and it's a bad sign. Also, it's really hard to get BBB C score:
    https://www.bbb.org/losangelessilic...ronics/newaudiovideo-in-los-angeles-ca-353948
    https://www.resellerratings.com/store/newaudiovideo
    https://www.ripoffreport.com/report...mplete-scam-newaudiovideocom-internet-1129106

    Honestly, the absolute best speakers you could hope to get on this budget (or near it) is DIY:
    https://meniscusaudio.com/product/er18mtm-ribbon-bare-bones-pair/

    The rest would be full of compromises one way or another.
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  8. Dennis Murphy Audioholic General

    Dennis Murphy
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    Thanks for the referral, although you don't get cabinets for that price, and they would be a bear to build.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

    BoredSysAdmin
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    Well, XTZ Spirit 11 seems like a steal for $630/pr and has good reviews. XTZ has a reputation for solid designs and high-quality drivers.

    Edit: Can't argue with the Author. ER18s boxes are bears to build :)
  10. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    True, the list I came up with is what I've seen the most consistently good feedback on over the past couple years. And since I'm just replacing the bedroom speakers for around 600-something dollars, not "forever" speakers for several grand, I'm willing to take a chance on something I may not be able to audition like XTZ, Dali or Q Acoustics. Sometimes it's fun to take a chance, but still, it's nice to hear feedback from a community that's been a good source of knowledge for the past 11+ years.

    Another forum has a thread on NewAudioVideo and while most of the people said they got what they ordered, one guy in Australia was ripped off for $10K! I certainly wouldn't want to support a business that would do that to someone, so I think RBH and Tannoy are out. Also their site has been down all day, not a good sign.

    The Canton does look like a great deal, half the MSRP. I just haven't seen much feedback on forums from enthusiastic owners at all. Is it just because it's a somewhat lesser known German brand?

    I always get the suggestion to DIY, but it's not for me. I'm not great at woodworking and don't enjoy it. I have friends who would be interested in it, but their budget is more like $300, and so far I haven't seen any recommended kit that low.

    I'm well aware of the compromises of speakers in this range, having owned the Rega R3 and Wharfedale Evo 20 for well over a decade. As long as there's a slight improvement from the Evo's midrange, I'll be happy. And uh, this may be silly but while in a fairly high off the ground captain's bed, I'd like them to be a bit taller than the Evo (889 mm) so at least the tweeter is at ear level. I believe the ones in the poll all fit the requirement, measuring between 914 and 1143mm (Ascend with the stands).
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 12:34 AM
  11. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    Canton is the largest speaker company in Germany and they are big -- and they make their own stuff -- their products are not OEM. They are a popular company, but not well known on this forum. I own a set of their speakers, and KEW another forum member owns a couple sets of their speakers. I have also owned a couple sets of Q Acoustics speakers and they are pretty good, just not well known on this forum -- however with that said, I will clearly take a set of Canton speakers over them.

    You have some decent options (brands) to select from, and in the end it is not about how popular a speaker is -- in the end it is about what will float your boat.
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  12. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    Yes, I think the initial response to this was regarding the fact that not many people will have experience with them to offer feedback, which seems to be the case. Thanks for your feedback though!
  13. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    Have you heard this for yourself or you going off the spec (45Hz)? It does have a similar 6.5" x 2 bass driver setup as many of the others. Q Acoustics 4050 is only rated at 44Hz. It seems the frequency response ratings are all over the place (Tannoy rated at 32Hz, XTZ 34Hz, Fluance 35Hz) and unreliable as they depend on the room and treatments and such. OTOH both my Wharfedale Evo and Rega are rated at only 50Hz, and their bass was just fine for me.
  14. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    Anyone seen more blind grouptest shootouts like this?

    tower-1k-shootout.PNG
  15. KEW Audioholic Spartan

    KEW
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    My take on the Cantons is they are a good well designed speaker at a competitive price. If you can get them at a 50% or better discount, you won't regret buying them!
    They are very well built, and I like that Canton is honest enough to specify 4 to 8 Ohms instead of just calling it 8 (or 6) Ohms the way many other companies do. To me that means the engineering department is respected, and not getting over-ruled by the marketing guys (as you might expect a German company to recognize the engineering as what really makes their product...as opposed to Bose's current home audio speakers, for example).
    Only you can decide if they are specifically your best speaker for the budget, but the Cantons I have are comfortably in the middle of the spectrum - neither overly bright nor laid-back.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 12:31 PM
    KEW,
  16. KEW Audioholic Spartan

    KEW
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    As long as they are on sale, it'd almost seem a crime to buy a pair of Klipsch R-26f when you can get a pair of powered R-26PF's including amplification, BT, and R/C for $500!
    https://www.adorama.com/kp1064478.html?emailprice=t&utm_source=rflaid912524
    KEW,
  17. Swerd Audioholic Spartan

    Swerd
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    That Author (Dennis Murphy, among the best loudspeaker designers around), readily admits to flunking wood shop in 7th grade :D. So, I feel compelled to slightly modify Dennis's comment "those (ER18 MTM) cabinets would be a bear to build" to "those cabinets would be a bear to build if you don't have enough woodworking experience."

    This is a mute point because the OP is not interested in DIY.

    Its really too bad that Photobucket caused most of those ER18 MTM build photos to vanish :mad:.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. shadyJ Audioholic Spartan

    shadyJ
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    Never heard one, but the physics prohibit it from having bass that is comparable to an actual tower speaker. A larger cabinet is needed for deeper tuning. The CMT-340 is pretty much just a large bookshelf speaker and can't really be tuned very low, at least without some real drawbacks. I am not trying to knock the speaker, on the contrary I think it would be quite good, but it should be used with a subwoofer, unless the content you enjoy is bass shy. Check out the response knee on the CMT-340:
    [​IMG]

    If you are interested in bass and are going without a sub, get the Fluance speakers. They have the cabinet, bass drivers, and proper tuning that they can get by without a sub very easily, and I have verified those with quasi-anechoic testing. They are bound to have the most powerful bass of that bunch. That 35 Hz spec is real and is not inflated.
  19. speakerman39 Audioholic Warlord

    speakerman39
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    I think that you meant Q Acoustics 3050's and not the 3040's, no? Found a near new set of the 3050's in Walnut for ONLY $400! Here is a link:


    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis8hh63-q-acoustics-3050-tower-speakers-full-range


    Just thought that I would post this just in case you were leaning towards the QA's. Best wishes in making your decision.:):):)



    Cheers,

    Phil
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 9:41 PM
  20. Fastnbulbous Audioholic

    Fastnbulbous
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    Thanks for the Audiogon find, much to consider. Funny that the seller thinks they're too large for his room. I'd think they'd be fine for a modest bedroom.

    I've been thinking about this a lot. It seems like bookshelves are fairly popular in two channel systems that have no subwoofer. I imagine because most two channel pre/pros and receivers don't accommodate subwoofers. I guess they'd have to find ones that you connect the L/R speakers to the subwoofer and manually adjust the crossover?

    In the Absolute Sound Illustrated History loudspeaker book, Revel's Kevin Voecks said, "Multiple subwoofers, physically separated from the main speakers, are the best way to configure a purist two-channel audio system. Sadly, the audiophile world hasn't yet accepted this truth. But most serious audiophiles have never heard a system with proper subwoofer integration, so they really can't be blamed for having come to an incorrect conclusion about subwoofers in a serious system." He went on to talk about their multichannel listening lab which sounds fascinating.

    That said, I don't need the lowest bass frequencies in the bedroom. Though a subwoofer is something I may have to consider in the future in my listening cave.

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