Speaker Suggestions Please

Agreed !

I just bought some S20’s and they are spectacular.

I think they are unsuitable for your sources.

I use NDS/555PSDR/252/SCDR and superlumina cables so that’s where they need to be as a minimum really

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Hi Nick, I would very much agree with your observation re the S20s. What’s the size of your room, can you get new speakers well off the wall and how furnished is your room? ATB Peter

PS. Mr Biggles above might be on to something :+1:t3:

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Thanks I will shortlist them and try to demo

Ah , the elephant in the room.

Acoustically it is not a great room . It is a beautiful orangery with ceramic tiles , lots of glass plenty of plants and rugs.

Yeah I know its not ideal but the preservation of my marraige is far more important than the location of the hifi.

On the plus side I have a wonderful view whilst listening.

The room is about 20 ft x 30 ft

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Well Nick, doesn’t sound the best place for an already bright sounding speaker. Whatever speaker you decide on just make sure they are in synergy with your level of electronics and reflective space. ATB Peter

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Sounds just the sort of room that would more suit the D7.2. (Disclaimer, I went looking for them but ended up with the D9.2 on my tiled floor).

Oh I accept that accoustically the room is far from ideal.

However the sound with the system with the Arcs is very good , I just feel it can be improved.

Admitedly I have very little to benchmark the sound against as none of my friends have a top quality system and can only compare with absolutely perfect listening conditions in hi fi shops and even then my system sounds good.

so what I am trying to achieve is an improvement that I thought could be achieved by a speaker upgrade.

Naturally I take on board all the expert comments re source and power supplies.

I don’t play a great deal of vinyl and the p10 ia aestetically unacceptable ( sorry to anyone whose got one ) so the p6 is a decent compromise.

However a power supply with the CDX 2 is a possibility .

Should I consider a XP5 XS ?

I can get a pre loved one quite reasonably but given that its much cheaper than an XPS I’m guessing significantly inferior.

There is a very similar thread started a few days ago - it is probably worth looking at it

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Hmmm very interesting.

Based purely on reviews they are top of my list

I notice you put tonal accuracy as a priority , I totally agree with the comment about an RP6 to an RP10 - if you don’t have the best sound going in, you won’t get the best sound out.

However , it could just be that the RP6 is there for occasional usage .

May I suggest that you try a different decision process ? Instead of brand X or Y, think about a brand with a Professional studio background, where speaker accuracy is the target - i.e a true reflection of what is on your media of choice, that’s brands like PMC, Harbeth even Amphion or I think Yamaha still have a toe in those waters

By the WB Arcs were in one the best systems I ever heard, WB Arcs with a dual mono Cyrus Power Amps …


I’d definitely recommend getting a more refined output from your CDX2 by putting a power supply on it before changing speakers. A pre-loved XPS -DR or non-DR555PS shouldn’t cost the earth…


If you want to avoid brightness or hot treble, I recommend the Harbeth C7 XD. I have them paired with a SN2. They sound wonderful and are never harsh. They would sound even better with your amplification.


An XPS2 would be cheaper. The CDX2 predates DR tech so may be a better match but I don’t speak from experience.


I bought a pair of C20s several years ago and they were my biggest mistake in speaker purchasing. The characteristics you mention in your OP are a good description of what I heard. In the end, I found I was not listening to a substantial part of my collection, so I moved them on.

I’ve only heard 505s and 606s at shows, but they seemed to have a very different and more accommodating presentation than the C20s. I might have gone that way had I not heard ATC SCM40s which just did it for me and are in budget for you. You might want to put PMC’s 25.23s on the audition list, too.


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It’s nice to see a few Harbeth folks here. I have a pair of Monitor 30.1s with a Supernait 3 an, ND5XS2 and Rega Planar 6. Love the sound I get.


Many will just recommend speakers they own or have owned so getting a good recommendation for your ears is very difficult. I won’t even mention my speaker preference. However, I find the shortlist is often made for you if you consider the following:

  • Your budget.
  • Speakers carried by dealers with traveling distance that can demo them properly.

Generally those two hard realities will give you a short manageable shortlist and you can then decide for yourself. Obviously if you are isolated and reduced to buying on a punt (most of the world actually isn’t with decent dealer access so this may be unavoudable) then respected reviews and opinions are your only tool.

I’d agree with everyone who suggested upping the sources first.


Given its environment I think you’re lucky to find any speaker that works well in it, so maybe the Arcs should stay.

The CDX2 can be a good source, though it’s sensitive to what it sits on (see below), but your system is screaming out for a better turntable, not necessarily Rega, though it’s an easy choice if you want as close to plug and play as a turntable can get. There are other options however and if auditioning a few try and include a Well Tempered Simplex or Versalex among the candidates.

My CDX2 is now relegated to my second system, which is also a 282/hicap/250. I’ve used a target rack (which made it bright), Fraim lite and full Fraim over the years and currently that system is on Fraim Lite except for the CDX2 which really likes a full Fraim shelf. Somehow I doubt you’ll take this on board though and quadraspire isn’t a bad choice, but it’s not Fraim. (A Versalex isn’t a great fit on Fraim though.)


The most valuable post so far Imo.

If you can’t demo speakers at home, you’ll be entering the realm of Russian Roulette as their is no way of knowing how a speaker will perform in your room & setup. Or compared to the Arcs.

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Vivid S12…see Stereophile review.


Two things. Firstly, what’s wrong with the Quadraspire rack? I have an SV Bamboo one and it’s excellent. Very simple design with nothing to fiddle with and nothing to drift off over time and upset the performance. Unlike Fraim, which although it undoubtedly performs better (at a price), is a real pain.

Secondly. I think the source first mantra can be taken too far. Yes some speakers will mercilessly expose every shortcoming in the chain. The classic Linn and Naim speakers of old were renowned for this. Some speakers are however a lot more forgiving of what is driving them and will perform superbly with less than top class sources. OK they will sound better with better sources, but that’s not really the point. Everything will.

I would say that the OP’s sources are actually pretty good and if a better pair of speakers is desired then that’s perfectly feasible with careful choice.

Interestingly at my dealers in the 1980’s I once heard a system playing and thought it sounded really superb. Turned out to be a Naim 42/110 and Kans driven by a Rega Planar 3 that he had just fitted a new cartridge to for a customer. Conventional wisdom was that this shouldn’t have worked - only an LP12 should have been good enough. But work it did, and very well indeed.