As Black Friday sales are coming to an end, I’m contemplating a speaker upgrade. I’ve watched a bunch of reviews from various reviewers to try and get an idea based on what I gather from what I think the reviewers’ taste is vs what my taste is.
I think this is my short list:
Buchardt S400 Mark II on sale until the end of the month.
Klipsch Heresy IV or Forte IV.
Some open baffle speaker.
As I mentioned, I am upgrading from Klipsch RP-600Ms. My main system is a First Watt F8 amp, PS Audio Directstream DAC and PS Audio BHK pre. PS Audio SACD player is on order to try put some DSD audio as well.
I guess I am wanting to hear something a little different from what I have, which I think does a great job. I listen to a variety of music from classical, jazz, pop… but I think realistic instrument sound is my priority… violins, cello, saxophone, etc… Can you help sway me toward a specific speaker?
For the money you will be hard pressed to beat the Spatial Audio X5. I don’t have any experience with the others that you mentioned.
As an owner of the Buchardt S300 MK2’s, the buchardts are unusual in the lower end that they’re able to achieve. I have mine paired with a 40w Primaluna Evo 100 integrated and it drives them really well. The S400’s are a little harder to drive but not much.
The soundstage of the S400 MK2’s is supposed to be quite a monumental improvement over the Mk1’s also, it’s not an iterative improvement, but significant.
I would be biased towards the Buchardts, for value proposition, they’re hard to beat. They play nice with any type of recording, so you’ll get a far more rounder presentation even from picky mixings. And it’s a really full sound, I think anyone would be surprised by the depth of sound out of a bookshelf speaker.
Time to watch some reviews on this. Thanks!
I’ve also heard that the Buchardts sound better at higher volumes… did you notice this with yours? I often play music at night time, don’t bother your neighbor volumes. I almost forgot about that. I’m only pushing like 25W, although I also have a Yamaha B-2 which is rated higher.
I’ve had the Buchardt S400 (Mk1), loved the large open soundstage and deep bass from a bookshelf. I retired them just because of the lack of dynamics at low levels. SpyderTracks is correct, once I went below a certain level they seemed to collapse. I was using a DSD to BHK Pre to M1200’s.
I did reach out to Mads about the new version, he said one goal of the new Mk2’s was to increase lower volume dynamics (maybe due to switching away from the metal woofer?) but they were not out yet and I moved on to give another speaker a try, Tektons for now.
I’d keep an eye out for reviews commenting on the low level listening of the Mk2’s like you said.
I think Rob has answered it better than I ever could having owned the Mk1’s.
But for info, the max volume I listen at is around 80db according to a phone meter reader. I almost never go over that. I often listen at lower levels also, it does become a little thinner and loses some life at lower volumes on the S300’s.
I know for the S400 Mk 1’s I contacted Mads before I ended up with the S300’s and he recommended the S300’s at the power rating of my 40W Primaluna.
I believe the S400 Mk2s are a little easier to drive than the original.
But I would definitely reach out to Mads to get his take on the power rating. It’s so hard to guage going from Solid State to Ultralinear to SET, I get extremely confused.
But likely, if you’re listening at lower volumes, it may well be they’re not as suitable.
Just as an FYI the X5’s are really good at low listening levels. I bought them to use while my wife was recovering from a stroke and was sleeping a lot. They allowed me to enjoy the music but not disturb her.
I have bought a few different sets of speakers since then but have not sold the X5’s and dont anticipate doing so.
I was watching some reviews and 1 in particular had the Heresy IV and the X5s, but the reviewer blatantly had the X5s playing louder, although he claims that he volume matched. It was a innovative review, but seemed almost like a con. Is the bottom woofer active (powered)?
I going to download an app and see what my normal listening volume is. Thank you for the input.
Yes the bottom woofer is powered. OB speakers in general have trouble producing low bass due to some inherent design issues. It has a volume knob on the back of the speaker.
Very nice. I’m starting to like them more and more and it looks like they have a 60 day in home trial.
I upgraded from Totem bookshelf with sub to the Heresy IV and love them. They work great in my room, 13X15X8. I did put a sub back in because I prefer to keep pocket doors open to the next room. It doesn’t matter how loud or soft it just has great tone. The Vince Guaraldi Christmas music just pops. I went to a Sarah Jarosz concert at a great sounding venue Friday night and she sounded as good live as in my room. The speakers seem to do justice to the music no matter the style. If you can justify the outlay and already like the Klipsch sound I would start there, imo.