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Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

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bigblue235's picture
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Hi, folks.

I'm looking for a warm-ish pair of speakers to replace my RS6s. The reason for the warm-ish requirement is the fact that I live in an open-plan flat with lots of shiny, reflective things and minimal soft furnishings. Even the RS6s sound a bit bass-shy sometimes.

They'll be used with Arcam A85 and CD192, Apple TV (or Sonos if I can convince myself) and a DAC of some sort. They'd have to be black or walnut, or they won't get the nod from the gaffer. To be fair, the current oak MAs stick out like a sore thumb and part of the reason for the upgrade is to get them matching the rest of the house.

I've been looking at RX8s, XTZ 99.36, KEF Q900, B&W 683 and a few others. I'd also happily have standmount and sub, I don't mind subs at all. Would DB1s plus a BK XLS200 sound half-decent or would the BK be outclassed?

Any and all suggestions welcome, except for 'get rid of the Arcam stuff and buy Actives' Smile I might change the Arcam stuff, but I do like having boxes, so not going the Active route yet.

Ta!

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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

The new Wharfedale Dentons? I recall reading a review describing them as being warm...

ID.
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

I have the DB1i and use them with a sealed sub that retails for the equivalent of about 200 pounds. I think the sound signature is probable along the lines of what you are looking for, but definitely audition if possible.

To my ears, it sounds better than the RX8s and B&W 683s. I haven't compared it to any of the other speakers you are considering. I assume GB1i are a bit above your range, but what about the TB2i?

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Shanka's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

Hi,
If you keep an eye on ebay/store clearence sites you can find the likes of PMC GB1i, Proac Studio 140, B&W CM8 , Wharfedale Jade 5 and even spendor A6 within your budget ( personally not a cm8 fan).

Think they will give a warmer presentation than the likes of Rx 8, 683, presonally I prefer floorstanding to standmounts and a sub but that might be my age !
Did see some Proac studio 115 on clearance yesterday as well, this is providing you are willing not to only buy new.

Good Luck

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drummerman's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

bigblue235 wrote:

 

... Any and all suggestions welcome, except for 'get rid of the Arcam stuff and buy Actives' Smile I might change the Arcam stuff, but I do like having boxes, so not going the Active route yet. Ta!

Shame, Dynaudio's Focus 110A have that lovely, homely, heart warming and plummy feeling you may luster after.

You could still have little boxes next to it ...

regards

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Shanka's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?
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atkins4725's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

Caught a glimpe of a pair of 2month old CM9's on ebay for £1200 about a week ago, could still be there. I had both the CM8's & CM9's at home for audition and found the 9's to very heavy on the bass which was to much for my room and the complete opposite with the 8's, not heavy enough. The 8's did sound much more open with alot more detail (This is obviously down to my room though).  

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woollyjoe's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

Someone has mentioned the CM speakers already from B&W. These speakers for me have almost too much warmth and bass, which would be perfect for what you have described. They are also less forward in the sound, so it offers a smooth listen. I too share the same problem as yourself, and speaker cable and interconnects will help fine tune the sound, so suggest demo'ing in conjuction with those in mind.

 

Worth noting that the CM series speakers come in a very modern design too - magnetic grills etc.

BigColz's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

I've heard CM8's and didn't like them at all the bass is very thin prob not what you're after at all.. ProAc's are amazing speakers but I find the small tweeter can be a tad 'hissy' but that could be due to my speaker cable apparently.. 140's might be just right.. I'm after the same kind of thing but have to be standmounts.  I'm going to dem PMC's and kef R series.. Spendors have the presentation you describe apparently but can't speak from experience as i've not heard them. Might try them too  rockin out

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bigblue235's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

Thanks, folks. All good info, much appreciated!

I should have mentioned that I'd need to buy new, or at least from a dealer. I'm factoring in getting the VAT back, so looking to spend about £1000 ex-VAT. Also, dealers are usually a bit more competitive with the shipping.

ID: Which sub do you use with your DB1s? I wouldn't be be able to audition the DB1s with a BK sub, but maybe with another brand. I'd also looked at the TB2s, but I wouldn't be able to add the sub at that price.

drummerman: Is the 'normal' 110 somewhat different sonically? Again, with the price of those I wouldn't be able to add the sub, so I'm worried that I'd have similar problems as I'm having at the mo. The 110 might be a bit too small for the room.

All other suggestions noted for further research, thanks! I really like the look of the CMs, my girlfriend does too, but the CM9 is a bit out of reach unfortunately. Unless I scrap the DAC idea for a bit, or flog the CD player...

the record spot's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

BB, I haven't tried them so can't say, but if they're anything like the rest of the DC range, then the Tannoy Precisision 6.1 speaker might be worth at least checking out.  Roughly £900 all in, the dual concentric driver arrangement is detailed, but very musical and without harshness.  Might be worth a try at least.

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

I would be looking at PMC, which is a great match with Arcam, as well as Kef (R Series) and possibly Tannoy.

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steve_1979's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

Some Spendor speakers sound quite warm and you can get some great second hand bargins on Ebay.

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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

How would you get the vat back?

 

I think Spendor is a good suggestion. 

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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

This may sound like crazy talk ...... but you should try getting a demo of some Dali Zensor 5s with your amp cd combo.

They cost a 3rd of your budget but have a warm bassy sound that could fill a large room, they also have a discrete size and come in a dark finish, heard some the other week and was suprised by their sound. - a solid amp like yours I'm sure will yield good results. 

I recall audtioning an A 65 many years ago driving some Eltax 5s (richer sounds) it was so 3d and realistic sounding - but started clipping and cutting out when the amp was turned up put me off.

 

Anyway, try those Dalis

bigblue235's picture
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RE: Best warm-ish speakers for £1200 or so?

I get VAT off or refunded because I'm in Jersey, so non-UK or EU. We have a local equivalent, GST, which is 5% and I pay that when they arrive at the port here. So a £1200 speaker would cost me £1000 + £50 at Customs.

Those Tannoy's look very interesting, I wasn't even aware they existed. They'd need a sub, but I could get the BK within budget. I just don't know if it's of a decent standard?

The Kef R series I love, but at £1000 it would mean going a bit over budget to add a sub. Not sure the gaffer would be keen, £1000 is a bit of a pain barrier! The Dali's are a good shout, I was also wondering about the Zensor 7 and the Icon 6. Zensor are better looks wise.

I can't hear much round here, but will be in a London for a few days in a couple of weeks so I want to try and hear and possibly buy them then.