Passive Tower Speakers to pair with Stellar M700 amp

My top recommendation for a large monitor is the Harbeth HL5 Plus. Only downside is that they generally go for a lot more than 2K. They would have similar bass capabilities compared to the 805’s. The Harbeth’s have a very involving and musical sound that mates best with revealing and transparent amplifiers.


Loved my 2Ce Sigs for many many years - had to sell them after moving to a much smaller house. I replaced them with Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2. I highly recommended the Sierra 2 but they almost require a sub(s) in my opinion.

They, Vandersteen, are just a nice speaker to listen to, dare I say ‘most’ things sound good on them. They are quite forgiving and relaxed.

I would go as high up the Vandy ladder as you can, the 3 are superb and well within your budget. Each of Richard’s series can be upgraded to the latest drivers and crossovers, shipping would be the only trouble.

I read you don’t want a sub - you won’t know what you’re missing until you get a sub or two, despite the range of the full-range speaker. In my experience setting up a number of rooms, the location(s) where the bass frequencies work well and everything else are difference locations. External subs allow one to take advantage of this acoustic ‘fact’. I’ve found a matched pair of decent subs works better than one super sub.

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I have not, although a buddy of mine has new Magnepan .7 and I’ll be bringing my amps over for a listening session one day soon.

My eventual speaker upgrade will be the Treo CT-I’ve heard them at several shows and was smitten with the sound. RV’s carbon tweeter is really something special to my ears, what they do for cymbals, female vocals, sax, etc. is amazing.


@padreken Thanks for responding. Will look at those as well as the Ascend Acoustic Towers

i would vote for the golden ear. Never heard them, likely never will, but that is what Paul took to his last show (Axpona?) to pair with the Stellar, because of that it immediately gets my vote…:sunglasses:


@tomspeight you got a good point there.

Never heard the Ascends but they look very impressive. I’ll have to check them out.

I have a mint pair of Def Tech Mythos ST-L tower. A hell of a speaker for 3K pair. PM me if our interested in them. I’d sell

Thanks for the offer. I’m familiar with them. They’re powered and I prefer passive speakers. I actually have a pair of the Def Tech Studio Monitors 55 and enjoy them quite a bit on a smaller room.

Well then if budget allows, I highly recommend a pair of PSB Imagine T3’s. They smoke the Mythos

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That looks great, I would also guess the it is too. I’m keeping and eye for those too. Thanks.

I had a pair for sale, but I am holding onto them until I find another pair I like better. So far I haven’t. But if I did would you be interested?

Thanks, not at this time.

Hit me up if your ever interested. I am going to audition a ML ESL 15A pair soon

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I’ve been impressed the 2 years I’ve owned them. I found Ascend during my search for a stand-mount set to replace Vandersteen 2Ce Sigs I had for 20 years.

Ascend is only 30 mins. from my house so I went and met Dave Fabrikant and his front-end team of 2. Dave has done really great work collaborating with the owners-principals of RAAL and Seas to customize drivers for his crossovers and cabinets.

If the size and form fits the bill, they are well worth the trouble to audition in house.

P.S. The M700 drive the Sierra 2 really, really well! Hats off to you Darren.

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I have the B&W 804 D3s paired with the M700s and I think they are fantastic, honestly. I actually switched from a ss McIntosh MC205 amp and I think the pairing with my 804s is much better with the M700s than the Mac. I get detail, transparency, dynamics and speed galore. With the ss Mac I had a little more etch and less dynamics. Keep in mind that I have a hybrid 2 channel/HT setup and my preamp is an Anthem AVM 60, which is a fantastic unit and utilizes Anthem Room Correction (ARC). After what Darren said, I wonder if the ARC is smoothing out the frequency response and minimizing that issue Darren alluded to. Regardless, the 805 D3s are fantastic speakers and I think they would be a great pairing with the M700s.

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@amgradmd thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like the pairing would work well, do you run the 804’s without a sub? Or do you find them needing one?

I find it rare that a speaker doesn’t need a sub honestly. The ideal room location for speaker imaging usually doesn’t coincide with a good location for minimizing bass modes. So even with the 804s, which have excellent bass extension, they need a sub. In my room, anyway. I run two JL Audio F110 v2 subs and they are wonderful in pairing with the 804s.

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Thanks for answering. I’ll keep all the information in consideration as I continue my search.

I mentioned location above; namely bass behaves very differently in a space and it’s almost always not in a location that you’d also be able or want to sit in the classic triangle between speakers for all other frequencies and good imaging.

I’ve been exceedingly pleased with a pair of Rythmik L12 sealed servo subs. I have a modest space and the lowest-end subs easily pressurizes my listening space. I have found the time and learning and experimentation I’ve done to get bass to work well in my space has provided the most benefit to my enjoyment of sound than nearly anything else I’ve done (P10, DS, BHK Pre and M700s are all a close 2nd). My stand-mount speakers are only 40lbs. with base and thus very simple to make minor tweaks to alter the image. Finding the best location for subs and tuning their phase(s) to naturally eliminate nulls and work with room modes took some work with REW but I’m very happy I took the time to do it. For me, sub placement is also a compromise as we have to live in the space, it’s not dedicated to listening. L12 is only 14" cubed, rather easy to fit into the living space.

I started with one sub and shortly thereafter adding a matching mate. I think it was simpler to integrate two subs vs. one. Each only has to contribute half the energy so you gain headroom, and having more than one source drastically evens out the standing waves (modes).

The creation and application of convolution filters on top of this has been the icing on the cake. Check out HAF.

I also use room treatments on occasion but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can really affect frequencies below about 250Hz unless you’re willing to ‘trap’ significant area and volume of your space or move outside to eliminate walls, floors and ceilings. It’s easy to over damp a small space, diffusion in combination with absorption has been key for my space.

Hope this helps, and isn’t ‘too much’ information.