$600 +/- Bookshelfs w/ Holographic Soundstage


Hello all,

Thank you all for your time & dedication to Audio :-)
This site has been a wonderful find for me (and a constant source of amusement for my wife watching me! LOL!)

I have been reading a bunch of the articles - trying not to clog up the forum with yet another speaker advice column - but have learned that it is the specifics of each individual situation that makes this such an exciting topic. So ...

I am looking to upgrade my bookshelf speakers - and would love input on my situation:

Right now I have a pair of B&W DM.601 s1 - that I am enjoying, but I feel their holographic soundstage is a bit limited.

This is my #1 priority - I love 'seeing' the music. My pinnacle moment came when listening to Rimsky-Korsakov, Sherezade on Primare driven ProAc Response D28s - when, with my eyes closed, I could tell you exactly where each member of the orchestra was sitting! That was when all of this began!!

Budget is self set at $600 +/-
Used / New all-ok
I'm partial to bookshelfs due to the size of my room (12'x10') in an NYC Apartment.

My current system:
Rotel RX-1052 Receiver (my upgrade dream right now is the Primare I30)
Rotel RCD-1072 CD
Technics SL-1200MK2 (w/ Shure M97xE)
B&W DM.601 S1 on Stands
Decent Wiring (Monster M850 Interconnects, Kimber Kwik 12 Speaker, I'm working on power cabling next)

What I've listened to in the last 48 Hours:
Art Farmer - Modern Art - CD
David Byrne - Grown Backwards - CD
Pink Floyd (bootlegs circa 1968-1974) - FLAC burned to CD
Thin Lizzy - In Sunshine or Shadow - LP
Radiohead - OK Computer - Audiophile LP
Miucha & Antonio Carlos Jobim - LP
Jorge Ben - BEN - LP Digitized to CD
Amadou & Mariam - Dimache & Bamako - CD
Pepe & Cheich - CD
Franz Liszt - A Faust Symphony - CD
Schuman - Frauenliebe und Leben - CD
Bach - Sonatas & Partitas - CD

Ok - I think this is probably more then enough info!

Thank you all so much & Happy Holidays
Ethan
128x128septemous
There is a pair of Epos M12.2 for my price range. I think this would be a great pair for the money?

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrmoni&1233543029&/Epos-M12.2-cherry-finish-see-p

And I can local pick-up :-)
I listened to those B&Ws at my dealer's store. Then he swapped in a pair of Triangles. I went with the Triangles, and one of the reasons was their amazing imaging. You could find a pair of Com├Ęte ES used for your price.

Another make to look for would be Aurum Cantus.

Now for two cents' worth of system advice. It seems to me that your weak links at present are your receiver and your speakers. If you do change your speakers now, you will hear the receiver's limitations more clearly, so remember that when you plan your budget--you'll want to get your dream amp quite soon. Alternatively, keep saving and get the amp first and look for speakers second. A better amp will make your 601s a lot more pleasing.

I agree that an outboard DAC (and a good digital cable--budget $100 at least) would improve things, but I don't think this is a first priority. Sincerely, I would go for an amp first, then speakers, then I'd consider source gear.

If you want to improve the sound from your 1072, you can do it simply and economically by putting it on antivibration footers like Bright Star Isonodes or for a bit more money, Herbie's Tenderfeet. You could also get it a new power cord. The Acoustic Zen El Nino would be a good choice, and IIRC there's one available here right now.
Since nobody has mentioned room treatments yet that would be my suggestion. Soix touched on placement and that is very important though not so easy in a small room. I have had some of the best listening moments recently after installing treatments at the first reflection points. The imaging is simply amazing with great instrument separation and placement in the stage. Study up as much as possible on treatments and, if wife allows, do your best - you will most likely be amazed and save yourself some cash (although speaker buying is a great time!)
Listened to Totem Rainmakers & Mite's today - and I wasn't blown out of the water - so now I believe my current system is probably better then I thought it was - I was just 'amped' up to buy!

Thank you all - I think I learned a lot from this thread. I am going to start with placement & cabling. I'll read up on treatments (I have a brick wall that would probably do well with some soft-goods on it).

I will then up my amplification and finally speakers. I think this will give me the right learning curve, sound and help the wallet out a bit.

The guy at the store used a great metaphor (and this was after I demoed the speakers :-) Not sure if this is the standard metaphor for the audiophile world, but as he said it:

Speakers are a window and your electronics are the view. You can have a big window that looks at a brick wall or a small window that looks at a beautiful park.

We are city folk :-)

Happy new year all!
Nice metaphor, but I think it leaves out a crucial part. The size of the window is obviously important, but for holographic imaging I think it's probably even more important to have a clear window. What good is a beautiful park if you can't see it clearly? In the end I think need both if you want that "reach out and touch it" imaging.