Quality Speakers at Goldm Sound
926 Tower, now $3299, "The 926s are some of the most direct & communicative speakers; huge fun to listen to. There's punchy bass, both fast & well-extended; a seamless transition into the midband & a treble that's both sweetly controlled & capable of beautifully clean imaging & ambiance. I can't remember when I listened to so much music. Gloriously enjoyable; a serious success." Words & Music Andreweverard.com
NEW FOCAL 700 SPEAKERS
"Focal replaced the popular 700 Chorus speakers with entirely new versions with 5 models from the $549 bookshelf 705 to the $1899 floorstanding 726. Focal developed a new tweeter with a suspension system previously found exclusively in the Utopia series. The drivers are all made in France. We were big fans of the original Chorus series & expect great sound at affordable prices from the new models." ABSOLUTE SOUND
The new Focal speakers have higher efficiency, plus deeper bass than many competitors. Almost every Focal speaker are 90+db efficient. Some new B&W speakers are only 84db efficient. Most Focals are 4 to 5 times more efficient. The $1899 Focal 726 floorstanding speaker has 91.5db efficiency & bass response to 49hz within 3db. A similar-sized $2200 B&W has less than half the efficiency & only 69hz bass response. The Chorus have four finishes: black lacquer, walnut, rosewood & gloss white. The Arias have sleek, attractive styling with three finishes: black lacquer, walnut & gloss white.
NEW ELAC S10EQ SUB
Andrew Jones, world-famous speaker designer for ELAC, KEF, Pioneer, Infinity & more, has set a new standard in subwoofers.
Here's the first sub controlled by your Bluetooth Smartphone. The sub's built-in digital signal processor measures room acoustic & automatically equalizes the response, phase, crossover & more for best sound. The sub's frequency response is 28-150hz. The crossover is 50-150hz. The sub's BASH amplifier is 200 watts RMS & 400 watts peak. The sub's 10" driver is augmented by a 10" passive radiator. There's an RCA input; size is 13.5 x 13.5 x 13.5" & weight is 31 pounds. The cost is $499 each.
NEW FOCAL 1000F SUB
The 1000F is Focal's first subwoofer with a 12" Flax driver, & 24-200hz frequency response. The 1000 watt built-in amplifier is Focal's largest. The flax woofer cone provides superior speed & definition. The cost is $1499 each.
How to evaluate speakers
Speakers are by far the most important part of any system. Since there are far more speakers brands than all sound electronics combined [amps, receivers, servers, etc.] choosing the right speakers can seem like a daunting task. First, have an LP, CD, etc. recording that is well recorded & that you know well. I would have a few recordings that you bring to test all speakers. Ideally the recording should have voice & piano or other acoustic instruments. I do not recommend using an action DVD with many explosions & other noise. We know what a voice or acoustic instruments should sound like. Often the movie soundtrack was created in the recording studio & never actually existed in real life.
Listen for each instrument, both individually & together. An accurate speaker will let you hear everyone performing in a band or orchestra. Each instrument & voice should sound natural & not be over emphasized. The tonal balance should be natural without sounding boomy or shrill. With a good recording on good speakers, the performers will seem to be left, center & right, plus three dimensionally place in front or back of each other. A speaker should not sound like the music is trapped in the box, but instead have three-dimensional imaging.
Some speakers that sound bright on first listening can be annoying or fatiguing after a longer time. Most less expensive amps, receivers & CD players tend to sound bright, so it would be better not to use them with a bright speaker. A tube amp can help tame some bright speakers.
Unfortunately, some stores deliberately make the selection process more difficult. The rest of the system should be in the same price range as the speakers. Ideally, the speakers will cost about half of the entire system price. We use $300-$500 receivers to demonstrate speakers of about the same cost. Some stores use amps or receivers that cost ten times more than the speakers. The super fancy amps with plain speakers are the equivalent of putting real maple syrup & blueberries on sawdust. The sweetness can disguise the performance of speakers that most people find not acceptable with the electronics that most would use.
A store had an A-B test, the first time playing at moderate volume without any EQ. The equipment that they were pushing hard had the bass & treble boosted with 10db more volume, or with ten times more watts from the amplifier. Sure, this can make the second demo seem to sound better, but is very deceptive.
These stores will have an expensive subwoofer playing with budget bookshelf or tower speakers, making the speakers sound far more impressive than they really are. Unfortunately, these same stores won't tell you about the super-expensive amps or subwoofer that is on. Sometimes, despite repeated requests, they won't let you hear their speakers without the subwoofer or mega amps.
FOCAL ARIA SALE
All made in Europe, 5 year warranty; very limited quantities.
List price NOW
905 Bookshelf $1000 $699/pr
At RMAF Gold Sound had the U.S premier of the Focal 948 speaker. STEREOPHILE praised the naturalness of its sound. We stock Focal's 905 & 906 bookshelfs, plus 926 & 948 tower speakers. ABSOLUTE SOUND calls the 906, $1500/pair"Terrific". The 900 speakers have quickly become our most popular quality speakers. European magazines awarded the 926 & 948 "Product of the Year". The 948, the largest & best Aria speaker, is $5000/pair. The 926, the smallest & most affordable Aria tower, is $3299/pair.
Customers tell us that the new Focal 948 for $5000/pair has far better imaging, bass response & dynamics than other stores' $10,000 speakers. People have traded in late model B&W, Paradigm & Klipsch towers for new Focal bookshelf speakers.
Aria speakers feature better sounding drivers with flax-cone woofers & midranges, plus new aluminum-magnesium tweeters, reducing distortion by 50%. Arias are 8 ohms & about 92db efficiency, or four times as efficient as many competitors. You can use solid state amps or tube amps, like our 35W/ch Prima Luna amps. The Arias have sleek, attractive styling with black or white lacquer or walnut finishes. The new Focal speakers have higher efficiency, plus deeper bass than many competitors. Almost every Focal speaker is 90db or more efficient. Some new B&W speakers are only 84db efficient. Most Focals are 4 to 5 times more efficient. The $1899 Focal 726 floorstanding speaker has 91.5db efficiency & bass response to 49hz within 3db. A similar-sized $2200 B&W has less than half the efficiency & only 69hz bass response.
The $1500 Focal 906 bookshelf has higher efficiency, 10hz deeper bass & is under half the height of a B&W for $400 more. The Focal 906 has 35hz deeper bass response & is smaller than a Klipsch for $1,000 more.
All Focal 700 & 900 models have 5 year parts & labor warranty with in-store service, 1" aluminum magnesium tweeters, 8 ohm & are high efficiency, two to four times many speakers' efficiency. This is like doubling or quadrupling your amp's power, plus lowering the amp's & speaker's distortion.
People have traded in many B&W bookshelves & tower speakers, plus Klipsch, NHT & Paradigm, for Focal. Focal has higher efficiency & deeper bass in the same size or smaller cabinets.
We have every bookshelf & tower speaker model of the the new Focal 700 line in stock. We have had many speakers traded in, including five different B&W models, Klipsch & Paradigm towers.
QUAD SPEAKER SALE
12 Bookshelf Kevlar 7" woofer & linen 1" dome tweeter; black piano high gloss finish; 88db eff.; 125 watts; 45-24k; 13x8x10"; current model; 2017 list $1100; demo $799/pr
Elac speakers have earned the praise of STEREOPHILE & ABSOLUTE SOUND for their outstanding sound & tremendous value. "Some recent stars include the $499 Elac UB5, the $230 Elac B5 & the $280 Elac B6 - brilliant contenders that own their class." ABSOLUTE SOUND One of the world's foremost speaker engineers, Andrew Jones, designs Elac speakers. He has designed many speakers for KEF, Pioneer & TAD for up to $100,000.
We stock the Yamaha YAS106 soundbar, their most affordable model. This $199 model includes Bluetooth wireless streaming, HDMI inputs & a built-in amplifier. This is the least expensive soundbar recommended by SOUND & VISION, 12/16, which rated it an "outstanding value". This Yamaha soundbar has smoother response than competing models for twice as much.
We now have on display:
*Asterisk means that this product has been favorably reviewed by STEREOPHILE, ABSOLUTE SOUND, etc. Reviews can be found on our "RECOMMENDED" pages.
CAMBRIDGE 10 bookshelf speakers
DALI ZENSOR 1 Bookshelf Speakers*
ZENSOR 7 Tower Speakers
OPTICON 6 Tower Speakers
DARED SP0-2 Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC Bookshelf Speakers: UB5*
Tower Speakers: F5*, UF5
Center Speaker: C5
FOCAL Bookshelf Speakers:
CHORUS 705*, 706*,
ARIA 905 & 906*
CHORUS 716, 726
ARIA: 926 & 948*
SW300 & 1000P Subwoofer
700CC Center Speaker
MONITOR RADIUS 225 on-wall Speakers
REGA RX1 Bookshelfs
YAMAHA Bookshelf Speakers:
Nsaw6490 & NS333
YAMAHA Tower Speakers: NS777
YAMAHA Outdoor Speakers: Nsaw190,
194, 294 & 592
YAMAHA Subs: YSTSW215PN, 216PN &
YAMAHA Powered Speakers: Nx50
Most speaker companies buy their parts from a few generic manufacturers & put these in a cabinet. All our speaker companies design, engineer & manufacture every component in their own factory. You get better sounding, more durable speakers of higher value, since you're not paying for multiple companies' markups. We choose our speakers for superior sound quality & best value, not for the biggest ad budget. We've tried over a dozen U.S. & European speaker brands that didn't pass our high standards. Most are now available at local competing stores.
"Some recent stars include the $499 Elac UB5, the $230 Elac B5 & the $280 Elac B6 - brilliant contenders that own their class." ABSOLUTE SOUND
ELAC DEBUT B5 $230/pair, "Sounds terrific, exquisitely balanced & musical; exceptional," ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/16
ELAC UNI-FI UB5 $499/pair, "Compared to the B5, greater focus, much more controlled bass, competitive with speakers much beyond its price. It might be the best $500 you'll ever spend." ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/16
ELAC DEBUT F5 $230/pair, "Builds on the strengths of the B5. More volume, rock level dynamics; a veritable gift to budget conscious audiophiles & the younger audience." ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/16
FOCAL 705 $549/pair, Similar to 706, below "with a little less bass extension & output," ABSOLUTE SOUND
706 Bookshelf, $749/pair, "Bass power & extension of many small floorstanding units. Very dynamic & visceral, it has a forward perspective that puts vocals right upfront. Shines on rock, blues & orchestral music. Highish sensitivity makes it an easy load for an amp - 50W is plenty in a moderately sized room. More bottom end than similar priced B&W." ABSOLUTE SOUND
905 Bookshelf, list $1000; now $799/pair "The midrange was rich & accurate. Music's tones characterized by richness & precision. Unbeatable ratio between musical sound quality & price." STEREO TIMES
906 Bookshelf, $1500/pair "The sonic character is vivid, fast, vibrant & dynamically engaging. Imaging is well focused & the soundstage is broad & unbroken. Commanding prescence; bass was rich & extended ; ideal combination of warmth, articulation & harmonic bloom. The explosive textures & tonal colors were exhilirating. The Aria 906 just gets music right & does so for a song. ABSOLUTE SOUND 3/2014
"The 906 is capable of resolving detail that other speakers simply cannot find & manages to do this without losing sight of the performance as a whole." AV FORUMS
936 Tower, now $3999/pair
CONCLUSIONS "A big spacious sound, tonally neutral with impressive dynamics & powerful bass. The 936 is more detailed & transparent; highs are particularly clean & extended without sounding forward or clinical [compared to the discontinued 826W.] Soundstages are bigger & images within those soundstages are more precisely defined. The Aria 936 sings with a beautiful voice."
SOUND "Smooth. Very smooth. Bells, cymbal, etc., rang out freely with delicacy & without any harshness. The sound came surprisingly close to $33,000 speakers. Extended highs transparent [but] did not add significant brightness. The treble was clean & extended. The use of flax in the sandwich construction of the midrange & bass drivers & judicious internal cabinet bracing must have played major roles in allowing the Aria 936 to be so free of any charecteristic "speaker sound." The soundstage & image precision were first-rate."
MEASUREMENTS "Bass was extended; midrange & treble are extraordinarily smooth & even. Optimal crossover design; its measured performance [is like a far more] expensive speaker. That it costs just $3999 / pair makes it an extraordinary value." STEREOPHILE 11/14
948 Tower, $5000/pair "Their strong bass foundation, along with the high fun factor; the dynamics & the rich timbre make the Aria 988 an audiophile treat. The 948 do it all." STEREOPLAY
"If you want something better, be prepared for a long search & a higher expenditure." STEREO
HI-FI CHOICE chose the top hi-fi of all time. Quad is the highest ranked speaker. "The British Gold Standard; first practical full-range electrostatic; wide dynamics & delicate transparency weaves an unmatched spell."
ESL988, A rated, $6499/pr, black; $7149/pr, classic; in same class as $39,000 models.
"World class resolution, superb soundstaging, spectacular transient response" STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED
"It will play at natural levels with a purity & accuracy will spoil you." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE
YAMAHA SPEAKER REVIEWS
WX-030 "TOP PICK; better sound than Polk, Monster, etc. more power than most wireless speakers." SOUND & VISION 6/16
YAS206, $199, "MOST AFFORDABLE TOP PICK"
SOUND & VISION 12/16
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