Best bang for the buck used speakers under $50k ?

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#21
Would you go S5 mk2 over a Q3 ?
I prefered the S5 M1 to the Q3 as it sounded more laid back, warmer and had deeper, more textured bass. The S5 Mk2 is better again across the board. The Q3 sounded more transparent and mayyybe had a better tweeter (than the Mk1), but sounded a bit thin and too neutral for my tastes. The S5 Mk2 has a better tweeter than the Q3.
 

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#22
Get the Cygnus and the REL 6 pack!
I'm not so sure Ron. In a 12 x 16 x 8 ft room, that setup would likely overload the room without substantial room treatments. At the very least, the speakers and subs would dominate the room. In a small room, I'd suggest either used Magico M3's (or even better, used M2's if a pair came up FS) or brand new Magico S3 Mk2's + SPods. I think even the Wilson Sasha Daws would be a bit much for that size room. GSOphile, do you want to chime in here with your thoughts?
 
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Sep 4, 2017
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#23
I'm not so sure Ron. In a 12 x 16 x 8 ft room, that setup would likely overload the room without substantial room treatments. At the very least, the speakers and subs would dominate the room. In a small room, I'd suggest either used Magico M3's (or even better, used M2's if a pair came up FS) or brand new Magico S3 Mk2's + SPods. I think even the Wilson Sasha Daws would be a bit much for that size room. GSOphile, do you want to chime in here with your thoughts?
I have S3 Mk2s in a 15' x 18' x 8' room (if you count 2' shelving on one long side). Speakers are 52" out from the longer back wall. I play mostly classical and jazz. Bass and dynamics are excellent. I agree with Bodhi: larger models might well overdrive my room without lots of careful room treatment, etc. Prior to buying the S3 Mk2s, I was most interested in Rockport Atrias and Wilson Yvettes, which I felt would be a better fit than the larger speakers discussed above. To my ears, the S3 Mk2s are superb. I'm trying to avoid hearing M2s.
 
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Sep 15, 2018
10
1
3
#24
Thanks for the thoughts, although my room is smaller I do want speakers that could be compatible with a bigger space as I plan on a future listening room in my basement. That room might be 14 x 25 x 7 or maybe bigger.

Seems like S5 MK2 is a speaker to definitely check out.

Altair 2 looks interesting also.

Any opinions on stella utopia ?
 

Aussienut

New Member
Jun 22, 2017
6
6
3
Australia
#26
I had to make the same decision a while ago with the same 50K budget. I opted for Wilson Alexandria S2's, which can now be had for a bit under 50K. Satisfied many of my criteria nicely. The key is to hear them in a proper set-up. Not as easy as you might think. Good luck in your search.
I certainly agree with your approach. Back in 2012, I was fortunate to be in the same position. I was considering the new Sasha or maybe (maybe maybe) stretch to the new MAXX 3. But decided on traded Alexandria S1’s that were priced in between. The Alexandria’s were already 7 years old so most of their depreciation in value had already occurred. The Dealer finally convinced me to go the Alexandria path after several hours listening. Yes the setup is key and this is where the Alexandria’s ability was evident over the other models.

Anyway, last year I came across a secondhand pair of XLFs. Ended up getting my money back on the S1’s through this trade. I enjoyed every minute with the S1’s. One thing to be mindful with secondhand, is pick manufacturers who have a good history of backup service and spare parts in case something goes wrong. The diffraction pads on the Alexandria S1’s had perished by 2018, so as part of the trade I agreed to cover their replacement. Not a problem as Wilson Audio provides all the spare parts for their retired products.

In terms of room size and big speakers, my room is 9m x 4m x 2.4m. However, I did install DIY acoustic treatments to a Rives Audio design back in 2010. The room is therefore able to accommodate larger speakers more easily.
 
Sep 4, 2017
138
22
18
#27
Thanks for the thoughts, although my room is smaller I do want speakers that could be compatible with a bigger space as I plan on a future listening room in my basement. That room might be 14 x 25 x 7 or maybe bigger.

Seems like S5 MK2 is a speaker to definitely check out.

Altair 2 looks interesting also.

Any opinions on stella utopia ?
There is a strong review of the S5 Mk2 in Stereophile:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/magico-s5-mkii-loudspeaker
 

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#28
Thanks for the thoughts, although my room is smaller I do want speakers that could be compatible with a bigger space as I plan on a future listening room in my basement. That room might be 14 x 25 x 7 or maybe bigger.

Seems like S5 MK2 is a speaker to definitely check out.

Altair 2 looks interesting also.

Any opinions on stella utopia ?
A general idea of room size would be...

Small Room< 1,500 ft3
Medium Room1,500 ft3 - 3,000 ft3
Large Room3,000 ft3 - 5,000 ft3

I used a Volume Calculator to calculate your future listening room's estimated size in square feet which = 2450 cu. ft, or medium by volume. On that basis, yes i'd agree the S5 Mk 2's would be ideal. Same for similar sized speakers such as the Rockort Cygnus and Wilson Sasha Daw. Larger speakers could also be accommodated with some minimal room treatments.
 
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Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#29

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,510
943
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Beverly Hills, CA
#30
I'm not so sure Ron. In a 12 x 16 x 8 ft room, that setup would likely overload the room without substantial room treatments. At the very least, the speakers and subs would dominate the room. In a small room, I'd suggest either used Magico M3's (or even better, used M2's if a pair came up FS) or brand new Magico S3 Mk2's + SPods. I think even the Wilson Sasha Daws would be a bit much for that size room. GSOphile, do you want to chime in here with your thoughts?
Oh! I did not know the room dimensions! The RELs definitely would overload the room!
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,026
13
38
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#31
Is there a thread on these yet?

Video in link:
You need a PhD to understand these speakers, but just ears to be floored by them
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/hands-on-with-bang-and-olufsen-beolab-90-video-review/


Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 loudspeaker
https://www.stereophile.com/content/bang-olufsen-beolab-90-loudspeaker

Anyway, that is a small room but not too small of a room.

It will limit speaker choices and probably rescue your budget at the same time. So many good choices out there, just do not rush to a decision, it's like choosing a spouse.

smodtactical................I must have missed where you list your curent system and the type of music you like to listen to, and the kind of speakers you have owned in the past (love/hate relationships). This information will all come into play at some point in time.

EDIT:

I looked up your top three choices, some are $200,000..................quite an upgrade from your current paradigm signature s8v2s.

Do you plan on upgrading your amp/pre-amp at the same time? What is your current amp? You are completing your amp circuit with choice of speaker some will say.
 
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Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#32
Oh! I did not know the room dimensions! The RELs definitely would overload the room!
The OP has since clarified he plans to move his system into a larger, medium size space. So the Rockport Cygnus would still be in play if he could find a used pair in his price range. Or if buying new, the S5 Mk2's are hard to beat @ circa $50k in premium m-coat finish with SPods.
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,026
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38
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#33
The OP has since clarified he plans to move his system into a larger, medium size space. So the Rockport Cygnus would still be in play if he could find a used pair in his price range. Or if buying new, the S5 Mk2's are hard to beat @ circa $50k in premium m-coat finish with SPods.
Until I hear a plan for moving 300 pound speakers into a basement.........................:cool:
 

Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#34
Until I hear a plan for moving 300 pound speakers into a basement.........................:cool:
Yes not for the faint hearted! Although furniture removal guys have these nifty harnesses they use to sling big loads like pianos down stairs. A bit of old fashioned brawn doesn't hurt either!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
#36
If you like the sound of Rockports then I think the Cake Audio (Ken Boyce) Rockport Altair IIs, asking about $40,000 ($110,000 original list price), are a great value and a “destination speaker” from which one would never have to upgrade.

They might be a little big for your room but I personally wouldn’t care. I would buy them over Cygnus. Altair II is one-half of an Arrakis, my favorite box speaker.

The Altair II requires tube, hybrid or solid-state high-power amplifiers (about 300 watts and up). Aesthetix Atlas Monos are a high-value solution here.

(I would prefer Lyra over Altair II just for the record.)
 
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Bodhi

Active Member
Apr 20, 2014
755
224
43
Melbourne, Australia
#37
If you like the sound of Rockports then I think the Cake Audio (Ken Boyce) Rockport Altair IIs, asking about $40,000 ($110,000 original list price), are a great value and a “destination speaker” from which one would never have to upgrade.

They might be a little big for your room but I personally wouldn’t care. I would buy them over Cygnus. Altair II is one-half of an Arrakis, my favorite box speaker.

(I would prefer Lyra over Altair II just for the record.)
I agree Ron, that is a killer deal if they're a clean pair of speakers. It'd be worth investing in some room treatments to accommodate those speakers, and there are good value firms like GIK Acoustics which don't break the bank.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,510
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Beverly Hills, CA
#38
I have seen and heard them twice myself. And Ken is a really good guy.

I agree!
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,189
448
83
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#40
I heard that speaker at the Melbourne Hifi & AV Show a few years ago and thought it was an abomination.
I think they require special setup; they are no ordinary speakers.
It's very possible that they were not setup properly, perhaps not enough time?

Oh, they do cost $35,000 over $50,000 but you don't need to buy amplification...it comes with them, plus all the DACs and DSP crunching numbers...for room acoustics and different preferred programmations (listening modes).

I believe this is the future of integrated loudspeakers, equipped with internal amplification (active speakers), and internal room acoustics tuning through DSP smart power.
We have smart TVs, we are aiming in a similar direction with smart speakers.

That's why I posted that cool review (link) from Kal, as another option that comes fully loaded with internal amplification and room calibration.

I wouldn't base my final assessment of any loudspeaker from audio shows; they are for show.
The true listening is in the good setting. ...Normally home, where we take the time to fine-tune...it can take weeks, months, years, a lifetime ...
 

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