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New Member keen for an impressive Speaker setup


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G'day,

I don't know much about speaker setups, currently have a pair of Sennheiser HD800S's which are amazing, been interested in a decent set of speakers for a while. I'd love something that impresses me like my HD800S does. I may prefer monitors. Buying used, budget is over $500, less then ~11k, I think what matters most to me right now is resale value (I guess for upgrading/change of mind). I'll also need an amp... Most music will be played via a laptop (plus a DAC I guess).

Yamaha NS line stand out to me, as do higher end JBL's. I don't know much about Electrostatic Speakers, but a small amount of research says I probably should of jumped on these:

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/289535-sold-nakamichi-dragon-electrostatic-speakers

 

I have a few questions:
What speaker parts wear out over time? and whats the general maintenance cost over time?
Any brand and model recommendations?

I find it hard determining the value of 2nd hand speakers, I suppose that comes with time though... Any insights appreciated

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Maintenance is trivial, you may need to replace the foam around the drive units on some speakers, but not all. If necessary it'll be perhaps every 10 years. Crossovers, if fitted, my need new capacitors every 25 years maaaybe. Aside from that, Mr Sheen is probably the only friend you'll need!

 

There are so many speakers in your price category it'll be impossible to provide any form of qualified recommendation without some details on your room size, music preferences, amplification etc etc

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Welcome stereonetuser. Will need some more information. Size of Room, how big you can go with Speakers, how far out into the  Room you can position them? The type of Music you listen to? Do you prefer a more "Musical, live type", warmer presentation or a more"Detailed, Studio, analytical" type presentation, in between etc.? Laid back, refined, attacking Sounds etc?. You have a wide Budget, unless you meant 5k-11k.

 

If suited the Nakamichi Dragons would have been a Great Buy, as being fully Active you save on Amps. With some mod's they are excellent. Which Yamaha NS series? If  the NS1000M's take into account their Age. Personally you can do a lot better, they do have a cult following. Personally I'd avoid most JBL's unless you prefer a "Boom Box" type Sound.

 

Go to some stores and audition some Speakers. and get an idea of the Sound You Prefer.  Keep an eye on the Classified's and try and Audition.

 

Also don't cheap out on Amps, Cables etc. Speakers are only part of the equation.

 

Good Luck.

 

 

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Welcome @stereonetuser

 

spekers vary more more than any other component.  The best thing you can do is listen to as many as you can before you spend the cash.  That does waste time but It’s the only way to find the right set.  If you tried a few and told us what speaker you liked and what speaker you didn’t like we could then suggest alternatives similar to your preference.  Also you should choose you speakers before your amps as some speakers may need lots of power while others may not.  The Hi-Fi show is not far away... a great place to get a rough idea of what is possible in one day.

 

 

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G'day,
I don't know much about speaker setups, currently have a pair of Sennheiser HD800S's which are amazing, been interested in a decent set of speakers for a while. I'd love something that impresses me like my HD800S does. I may prefer monitors. Buying used, budget is over $500, less then ~11k, I think what matters most to me right now is resale value (I guess for upgrading/change of mind). I'll also need an amp... Most music will be played via a laptop (plus a DAC I guess).
Yamaha NS line stand out to me, as do higher end JBL's. I don't know much about Electrostatic Speakers, but a small amount of research says I probably should of jumped on these:
https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/289535-sold-nakamichi-dragon-electrostatic-speakers
 
I have a few questions:
What speaker parts wear out over time? and whats the general maintenance cost over time?
Any brand and model recommendations?
I find it hard determining the value of 2nd hand speakers, I suppose that comes with time though... Any insights appreciated
I would be careful with the Nakamichi Dragons, as they are from a company that build up a name with electronics and not speakers, and doesn't seem to exist anymore. The panels are AU made, but I would double check if servicing is still possible.

If you are looking at resale value, than you might want to avoid ESL speakers as people tend to avoid them based upon stigma.

Being an ML ESL user myself, I can only speak wonders of them. Soundstage is grand and absolutely fantastic, but they need a bit of room to work their best. The woofer integration is good, but they are not the best in class compared to conventional speakers.

Often complaints are a narrow sweet spot, but that is with all kind of speakers. A sweet spot is a sweet spot after all.

Their impedance can drop below 1ohm in the upper frequency range which sounds scarrier than it is. It all depends on how much energy there is and for how long, and our hearing capability.

ESL panels have a limited life expectancy of roughly 10 years, based upon online research. Some reach up to 15 years or more and some do less. UV, humidity and cleaning, seem to be the factors influencing life time. I think a set of replacement panels go for around $1500 AUD per set.

If you're in the Melbourne area I could send you an invite for a GTG at my place.
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3 hours ago, Primare Knob said:

I would be careful with the Nakamichi Dragons, as they are from a company that build up a name with electronics and not speakers, and doesn't seem to exist anymore. The panels are AU made, but I would double check if servicing is still possible.

If you are looking at resale value, than you might want to avoid ESL speakers as people tend to avoid them based upon stigma.

Being an ML ESL user myself, I can only speak wonders of them. Soundstage is grand and absolutely fantastic, but they need a bit of room to work their best. The woofer integration is good, but they are not the best in class compared to conventional speakers.

Often complaints are a narrow sweet spot, but that is with all kind of speakers. A sweet spot is a sweet spot after all.

Their impedance can drop below 1ohm in the upper frequency range which sounds scarrier than it is. It all depends on how much energy there is and for how long, and our hearing capability.

ESL panels have a limited life expectancy of roughly 10 years, based upon online research. Some reach up to 15 years or more and some do less. UV, humidity and cleaning, seem to be the factors influencing life time. I think a set of replacement panels go for around $1500 AUD per set.

If you're in the Melbourne area I could send you an invite for a GTG at my place.

Really! And where did you dig up that information from? That's just terrible advice to give a Newcomer to Audio. FYI the designers of the Nakamichi Dragons, Charlie Van D. & Rob McKinley are the equal or better than any 'Stat designer in the World, with an absolute wealth of experience. Stock standard the Nak. Dragons compete with 12-15k. of ML's. Upgraded/modded as mine, are they easily compete with 20 k + of ML's. Charlie Van D. did the upgrades/mod's for me, so servicing is definitely still possible. 

 

Considering these are fully Active, an absolute No-Brainer if available for 4k., providing Room is suitabilie etc..

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Really! And where did you dig up that information from? That's just terrible advice to give a Newcomer to Audio. FYI the designers of the Nakamichi Dragons, Charlie Van D. & Rob McKinley are the equal or better than any 'Stat designer in the World, with an absolute wealth of experience. Stock standard the Nak. Dragons compete with 12-15k. of ML's. Upgraded/modded as mine, are they easily compete with 20 k + of ML's. Charlie Van D. did the upgrades/mod's for me, so servicing is definitely still possible. 
 
Considering these are fully Active, an absolute No-Brainer if available for 4k., providing Room is suitabilie etc..
How is that terrible advise? Just giving advice to do a bit of research about after sales service and parts. One of his request is about resale value.

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/44690-this-speaker-deserves-fame-and-fortune-nakamichi-dragon-electrostatic/
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5 hours ago, Primare Knob said:

I would be careful with the Nakamichi Dragons, as they are from a company that build up a name with electronics and not speakers, and doesn't seem to exist anymore. The panels are AU made, but I would double check if servicing is still possible.

If you are looking at resale value, than you might want to avoid ESL speakers as people tend to avoid them based upon stigma.

Being an ML ESL user myself, I can only speak wonders of them. Soundstage is grand and absolutely fantastic, but they need a bit of room to work their best. The woofer integration is good, but they are not the best in class compared to conventional speakers.

Often complaints are a narrow sweet spot, but that is with all kind of speakers. A sweet spot is a sweet spot after all.

Their impedance can drop below 1ohm in the upper frequency range which sounds scarrier than it is. It all depends on how much energy there is and for how long, and our hearing capability.

ESL panels have a limited life expectancy of roughly 10 years, based upon online research. Some reach up to 15 years or more and some do less. UV, humidity and cleaning, seem to be the factors influencing life time. I think a set of replacement panels go for around $1500 AUD per set.

If you're in the Melbourne area I could send you an invite for a GTG at my place.

Are you for real? Have another re-read of what you wrote. The 2 designers have a wealth of experience in ESlL design. Have another try to weasel out of it.

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On 14/08/2019 at 12:54 PM, stereonetuser said:

, I think what matters most to me right now is resale value (I guess for upgrading/change of mind).

This is probably obvious but worth saying anyway ... If you buy second hand you will lose a lot less on resale 

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Your budget of $500 to $11k used is very broad. The cheapest used speaker that could do that is a Spendor BC1 $700 or Yamaha Ns1000 for around $1500 or Linn Kan monitor with subwoofer $1k, if lucky  find an Acoustat ESL 30 year old model with robust panels that last nearly for ever, panel speakers like Magnepan ribbons, Ambience hybrid ribbons for $1200, and still good condition MLs are worth considering. 

 

Otherwise lookout for any of these coming up used, some $30k may come down to $10k

 

 

 

Edited by Al.M
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Sorry for the latish reply and Thanks for taking the time to help.

Yes its a broad price range.

No dedicated room yet, one day, they would likely be moved around a little. Couldn't imagine a setup too big that I couldn't accommodate.

I think I ideally want something analytical (this is how i hear my HD800S's described). I feel like when you start looking for speakers/headphones that play certain genres better then others you loose out on other genres. I listen to all sorts of music, detailed electronic mostly.

I might try and get to the Hi-Fi show, and thanks for the listening offer Primare

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I have heard here and there that Harbeth (and perhaps other British made brands) speakers perform well in resale value. They have a few models that fit into your budget. They are also exquisite in every regard, and would easily give you the same jaw-dropping luxurious sound as high-end Sennheiser cans.

 

They are also potentially more tolerant of room positioning than electrostatics, and amp options are diverse.

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If you want maximum resale, buy second hand, and buy whatever the flavour of the month speaker brand is. People will always buy flavour of the month components over rarer, exotic (even if better) components.

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  • 1 month later...

Given a few things in your OP, you listen to hd800's, & "may prefer monitors", will need an amp, will play from a laptop and wanting something impressive for less than 11k. 

 

After some consideration I reckon the Devialet Phantoms would impress you.

gold34_right.png

https://www.devialet.com/en-au/buy-gold-phantom/

 

A pair of gold Phantoms otta do the trick. You wont need to buy an amp or a dac with these as those components are built in.

 

Edited by warweary
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  • 2 weeks later...

@stereonetuser, listen to different types of speakers and get a feel for what you like, and what will suit your room. Then you could see what comes up here in the classifieds and/or post a WTB.

What do you use as a source for your headphones? I love listening through headphones these days.

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Guest jakeyb77

There is an amazingly good pair of Osborn Epitome in the classifieds. 
*shameless plug. But do take note of the good responses from long standing members ?

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5 hours ago, jakeyb77 said:

There is an amazingly good pair of Osborn Epitome in the classifieds. 
*shameless plug. But do take note of the good responses from long standing members ?

.....and I have a set that I may part with without the bass bins if that should suit your space better?  Even more shameful plug Jakeyb......!

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It might be worth checking out new Osborn EOS Reference Elite speakers at $4200. Throw in one of his T16 subs and you get change out of 7k or get the Eclipse Reference floorstanders for similar money. Then you can grab a Yamaha AS2100, the Redgum Black series or maybe some of the Cambridge Audio 851 series components. People get quite interested in 2nd hand Osborns from what I see but I'm not sure on the amplifiers. That builds a system I'd like to listen to but it's near the top end of your budget and new instead of used so you take the biggest hit for depreciation. You'd have to trawl the forums for individual pieces otherwise, quickly read reviews and hope to beat the other people looking to score a bargain on good 2nd hand gear.

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