I wholeheartedly commend you on your tenacity. I cannot abide demoing speakers. It’s just awful, and they sound totally different at home. The only advice I can give is to ensure those you are trying are fully run in, and once you’ve narrowed down your favourites, try them at home for a good few days. A good dealer is worth their weight in gold, even if it means passing up on potential speaker candidates. You can’t listen to them all!
Absolutely this. I had a pair of PMC twenty5.22 on home demo and loved them so much I bought them. The ones I ordered were a different finish to the ones I had on home demo so were brand new out of the box. Had I listened to those I probably wouldn’t have bought them as they sounded very different to the pair I had on demo. My dealer said they needed a good 100+ hours on them to sound their best and he wasn’t wrong. Once run in they were like the demo pair and I was very relieved!
I extensively auditioned the Sonus Faber Sonetto V. We so wanted to like them, I practically went in to the store just to buy them, the audition being a token exercise. But in the we just couldn’t get on with them.
We loved them more than any other speaker we auditioned on instrumental pieces but something in their high or upper mid frequency made anything but the lowest male voices sound extremely dull. Just wanted to mention this not knowing exactly what you’ve auditioned with.
Very helpful summary of your demo day, I pick up SN3/NDX2 next week- and then need to start the speaker demo process - will be trialled at home
I would suggest these two from Harbeth. There are some happy users on the Forum and they always get extremely good reviews in the press.
Harbeth Monitor 30.2 XD.
Harbeth C7ES-3 XD
Congrats, it is a great pairing! I thought I would share my experiences as I have learnt so much from others on this forum, but as has been said many times before, trust your ears!
Thanks, but too wide for my little old house!
Great write up, thanks for the info.
Would be interesting to know the dimensions of your room and current speaker and listening positioning.
When I was shopping for speakers for my SN2, I listened to the ATC SCM19, Harbeth 30.1 and Totem Tribe Towers. The Totems were easily the best of the three. They are very small and can be placed close to a wall.
How big is your little old room? Maybe you should be looking at small speakers?
The room is about 17’6’ by 12’1 split up with some beams; the listening area accounting for about 11’6" with speakers firing across the 12’1 width and are set up in an almost perfect triangle with a little tow in. We have low ceilings, so large speakers look a little out of place. My current Audiophysics are just 17cm wide, 24 cm deep and 108 cm tall, sound great as well as being size proportionate. They are about 25 cm from the rear wall hence preferring downward, forward or sealed designs.
Hi there - I really enjoyed them powered by a Supernait 3 in the demo. What speakers did you go for in the end if I may ask?
Thanks Daniel - keen to hear these and the Forests/Forest Sig so just waiting for a dealer to come back to me on what they can show me/send me.
What’s wrong or missing do you feel with those classic 10s that you want to upgrade ?
As mentioned, I really enjoyed them apart from the issue I mentioned. They’re also a pleasure to look at (as speakers go).
I went with the Bowers & Wilkins 702 s2 in the end. We have quite a broad taste and found they did all our music very well, even if some, like the SF, were better with specific styles.
Another speaker I think is worth looking at is the Revel F206.
Nothing wrong with them at all, but the system I have deserves better and after hearing the more open and engaging A7s (midrange was lovely), my current speakers don’t quite relay that or the controlled deeper bass and atmosphere of others.
The latest upgrade journey began when my Nd5xs decided to develop a fault. I then was curious to hear the new Nd5xs2 and of course the NDX2 (which is now on order!). The speakers we listened to were the A7s and I fell in love instantly hence the current speaker search.
Not hear B&W in ages but the 702s look nice although the rear ported design may be an issue in my lounge. The Revel look very similar to the SF Sonata actually (after googling as I have never heard of them!)
Further list whittled down a bit due to availability of dealers within an hour or so of me to the following -
Acoustic Energy AE520
ProAcs pending availability
Totem and Kudos pending availability
The UK Audio Physic distributors have been kind enough to send me a pair of Avanti 35s for home demo next week so looking forward to hearing them!
Thanks for all the input and recommendations!
Thanks - not heard of Driade and can’t find a UK distributor after a quick scan on Google.
Audio Physic speakers are pretty much unknown here in the UK but I love my Classic 10s and have done for the last few years. Actually, I do have some reference line speakers coming for home demo next week so fingers crossed for the Avanti 35s!