Hello everyone, I am new to the forum, and the slippery slope of audiophile.
I have recently acquired an Uniti Star - it fitted my budget, and the fact that most of my source are from CDs, the occasional use with TV and listening to the radio, and I already have a NAS to rip to my heart’s content.
I am looking for some speakers to go with the Star. I have gone through the discussions on the forum and was wondering if I could get some specific advice, for my very specific requirements:
Room: 5m x 4m, high ceilings, with an attached room at the short side of the same size. The speakers will be firing from the middle of the 2 rooms into one of the rooms. Carpeted, well furnished.
Budget: up to around £2500 (although I did originally plan on spending £1000 but ended up spending substantially more acquiring the Star).
Desired sound characteristics: something with little or no colouration (is that what audiophiles call ‘flat’?). I want to hear where the instruments are coming from the orchestra (I think that is referred to ‘soundstage’?), and which anatomical part the singer is using to produce the sound. Something that would demonstration fidelity to the recordings (I have multiple editions and artists performing the same pieces of music, and I like appreciating the difference in their individual interpretation).
Intended length of use: I do not intend to upgrade my source or amp in the next 10 years. When I do, I want the speakers to retain some residual value so I could either keep them or re-sell to invest in the upgrade. i.e. I am looking for ‘keepers’.
Time scale: I am in no rush, and can happily wait until the ‘right’ ones turn up in flea bay or dealers.
There are the usual suspect: PMC twenty5:22/23, Neat SX1 etc. Someone recommended ProAc DB1. Has anyone tried the ProAc D2?
My dilemma so far:
Bookshelf vs floorstand - As the Star only punches out 70W, will I get more out of a set of good quality bookshelves than a similarly-priced floorstand? There is currently a pair or ProAc 20R on the bay for my budget - will they be wasted on me? My understanding is that you really need a proper set of amp to get the most of speakers of that league.
I would love to hear from people who experience in this and have a similar taste in music to me. Like I said, I am not bothered about buying the ‘latest’, so would also be interested in finding out if you have any recommendation for older, ‘discontinued’ models. After all, if it serves me well for 10-15 years, I am a happy bunny.
FWIW - I had a pair of ProAc D2 speakers with a Nait XS 2 (70w) and they were an excellent match. Not an exact match but it is Naim and 70w. Both the ProAc D2 and D20 have the same rating of 88.5 dB and I could go with the either one but would try the D20’s. If they are a good price and don’t work out you should be able to move them on without taking a huge loss.
I currently have the D30RS with my SuperNait 2 and that has turned out to be a fantastic combination. I find a lot of value in the ProAc Response line of speakers. That said, it is my room, my system and my ears.
Good luck with your decision and enjoy the journey…
HI @new_world99 and welcome.
I previously have owned a Star and had had them paired with Neat SX1’s, it’s a good match. Currently I have two Novas, one with PMC Twenty5 23’s and the other with Spendor A4’s. I also have experience of the ProAc 20R and DB1’s. Any of these speakers will be a good match for your Star.
Your taste in music is very different from mine and if I was to choose based on your music preference I would go with The ProAc’s or consider a set of Spendors, the PMC’s and Neat’s are very good speakers but perhaps don’t deliver in terms of “no colouration”.
There are lots of good speakers in the market at your price point, happy hunting.
Hi Seakayaker - thank you.
I know this is very basic but I am a newbie. To match amp with speakers, I have been looking at similar power (e.g. approximately max 120W for my 70W amp) and matched nominal impedance. What does sensitivity tell you about the speakers (what what sort of figures should I be looking out for to match the Star?)
I use Spendor A7 with uniti Star and it sounds great. (maybe a little over budget). I used Focal Aria 926 before and was very happy with the neutral sound and wide sound scene, but the Spendors are far better.
…my knowledge is limited but the lower the sensitivity the harder to drive the speakers.
My experience was with a 70W Naim integrated amp with ProAc speakers and they sounded fantastic. That is why I felt confident that they work with the Star. Of course the caveat is the old saying, “my room, my system, my ears,” and it is always best to demo if possible. Tough to do in today’s environment but would normally recommend you can find a Naim Dealer with ProAc speakers and give a listen.
You may want to do a search on the forum for ProAc speakers and see if anyone addresses the system configuration your looking at.
Interesting no one mentions Fyne on these pages. I think that may change as we get to know them. Very impressed with what I have heard. Also investigate the Totem range, both bookshelf and floor standing will be an excellent match to the Star.
Given your preference, I think you should have ATC speakers on your shortlist. For standmounts, the SCM11, although well under budget, might work, or the SCM19, which I reckon the Star would just about drive. Their floorstanders are probably going to need a bit more power.
My situation was not dissimilar. I have a Star which powered some “ mature” Dynaudio Conour 1.1’s. they require some muscle to control and I felt that the Star was not quite strong enough.
After a fair bit of research, I settled on Buchardt S 400 stand mounts bought direct from Denmark ( the only method as they don’t have a dealer network) they have a 30 day trial period after which they pick them up if you don’t plan to keep them… sort of extended home demo.
They are nearly run in and they are staying. Strong accurate bass that reproduce orchestral low notes musically as well as a sweet top end with plenty of detail but no brittleness and a seamless mid.
They for me have wonderful symmetry with the Star, look beautiful and are designed and made very well. Maybe one to consider.
What that room, I think you’ll want floor standing. Especially if you sometimes turn up the volume to have music in the “second” room.
I have the Star with B&W 702s2, also in a large room with high ceiling and “attached” room, so for your budget, you could audition the 703s2. I haven’t auditioned those myself BTW, just going by family/range with similar setup.
Another speakers I liked with the Star was the Revel F206, but for your budget you’re looking in a completely different range, so can’t comment on those.
With your choice of music you could also look at the Sonus Faber Sonetto if you can find them discounted, for me they weren’t allround enough.
Have you thought of adding ATC to your list? They fulfil all the characteristics you mention in your first post. My own listening is heavily biased towards classical and was at one time entirely classical. When choosing equipment, it’s the classical albums in my collection I ultimately use to make the choice and led me to pick ATC. For a Star, I would guess that ATC’s SCM11s would be the right model. My only concern would be whether they would work in your room. From your description of it, I suspect they would, but the only way to be sure is to try them at home. That probably means buying new from a dealer, but they’d still be well within your budget, even allowing for stands. Oh, and don’t be put off by the appearance of the grilles. Just leave them off; they’re designed to be listened to that way.
I have a CD collection with around 2000 albums ripped to a NAS. I listen to jazz, rock, folk, country, and international. I often pick up new ideas for artists from my favorite thread on this forum which is ’ What are you listening to in 2020 and WHY might anyone be interested?.’
I have used Spotify and Tidal in the past and currently use Qobuz to expand access to music from around the world. The ProAc speakers are sweet and do hope you have a chance to give them a demo with your ‘Uniti Star.’