Best speaker matchups - need advise


Unregistered guest
Howdy! Best speaker matchups for the following components:

Usage: 60% music/40% movies

Option A:
Arcam Diva CD93
Arcam AVR 300
Denon DVD 2900

Option B:
Cyrus CD6 or CD 8
Rotel 1067
Denon DVD 2900

Considering the following speakers: Totem Dreamcatcher, Paradigm Studio V3 series, KEF Q series, New Wharfedale Diamond 9 series, Monitor Audio Silver Series, Dynudio Audience and JMlab Chorus.

Would appreciate advise and inputs. Thanks!

Mark Vernon
Unregistered guest
I've got a speaker matchup, too...Epos ELS-3 vs. B&W DM600 S3. I'm doing 70% music and 30% video. What do you think? The B&Ws are $350 per pair, while the Epos are $300.

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 1327
Registered: Dec-03
Looks like you have some listening to do. Have you heard any of these?
I haven't listened to the Dynaudio and JMlabs, so I can't comment on them. For the Arcam I have heard the Totems and Monitor Audios and they are exquisite. Didn't like the Wharfedales.

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 595
Registered: Feb-04
Why are you getting so cheap speakers with so good amps and players? You should definitely move the balance of your budget so that your speakers will be at least 2/3 of the total and amps and players 1/3 of total budget. This way the balance (and sound) will be best. Give this a thought.

Bronze Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 84
Registered: Dec-03
Well on craftmanship, your in a different league with the Totems. The only thing that would come close is the silver series MA's.
If it was me option A with the totems in a heartbeat.

Bronze Member
Username: Falp

Post Number: 81
Registered: Mar-04
Monitor Audio Silver , Canton Karat

Unregistered guest
Dear Berny and the rest,

Thanks for all the advice. Would fill u guys in when I am done listening. I have auditioned the Rotel/Paradigm Studio combination and they do sound great. Not overly bright, transparent, great clarity and solid bass. A tad thin sounding.

I have also audition the Rotel/JMlab Chorus 714 combination. Slightly warmer, great detail but a little too mild mannered in the bass department

KEF Q5 with tubes. Great Imaging and clarity but bass not the tightest. Clarity could be due to the tube.

Would fill you in once I am done with the rest.

Bronze Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 31
Registered: Sep-04

I disagree with your post, especially since Audiofreak is looking at 60% music/40% movies. I There's no point in having beautiful speakers if the source doesn't have the ability to take advantage of what they can do. If it doesn't come out of the source, it'll never get into the speakers. In fact, if you use gorgeous speakers on the end of a bad combination, then you really are up the creek without a paddle, since decent speakers will show up the rest of the system ruthlessly and the end result would be worse than if you'd spent your money the other way around.

Next thing you'll be telling me that all CD players and DVD players sound the same! FYI, they don't - even when they're used purely as digital transports...

Audiofreak, the Arcam CD93 is being replaced by the CD192. Both of these machines are excellent value here in the UK - musical machines indeed, especially if you cable up correctly. The 10% rule is a minimum with Arcam really. I use Tom Evans EIKOS or Chord Chorus interconnects with this kit. As for the digital interconnect I use Chord Prodac Silver Plus which is the best balanced coax cable I've heard below silly money. I find Chord speaker cable works with the Arcam receiver, although it also works well with DNM, Townshend and any neutral cable worth talking about. Even the slightly bright QED Silver Anniversary works quite well with Arcam since the Arcam is a warmish sound.

The Cyrus CD8 is a lot lot better than the Cyrus CD6. Definitely worth going for the 8 if at all possible. The Cyrus dealer should also be able to offer you a Cyrus surround sound solution. I don't know if this is much more money than the Rotel 1067. If it is, then discount this idea. If it isn't then that would blow the Rotel into the weeds musically, although it may not be as good as the Rotel surround-sound-wise. Cyrus make their own interconnects and its worth using these as a minimum, otherwise the Chord cables are a good combination once again. The Cyrus interconnect is actually DNM cable with bullet RCA plugs. Delicate plugs, but it works well.

Of the two receivers, I think the more musical is the Arcam so I would choose this although the Rotel is a very accomplished machine. It's just that the Arcam has a less mechanical preamp stage. It's not got as much power as the Rotel, but it is powerful enough for most applications.

I haven't heard the Paradigm speakers so bear this in mind in the rest of what I say here. From a musical point of view, I rate the Dynaudios and Totems above the rest. The Focal JMlab is the best of the rest I think, and their best speakers (726) are up with the Dynaudios.

The Dreamcatcher system is well put together but the Dreamcatchers can be a little lightweight for some tastes. It's a well judged system, however, so try to get a listen if possible. Also if you can stretch to Arros for the fronts, you will really appreciate the extra depth they give you, but I appreciate this is probably a lot more cash than you wanted to spend. FWIW I love the Totems, but I can appreciate why people would choose the Dynaudios.

In the Dynaudio case, I assume you're looking at either Dynaudio 42s all the way around with either the 42 centre or the 122 centre. If there's any way you can accommodate it, go for the larger centre speaker - it really is way better than the 42C. That said, if the choice came down to a pair of 62s or the centre I'd choose the 62s since your main priority is music.

The Dynaudio sub is huge so I guess you're not looking at that. I recommend either a REL Stampede or Strata5 with these systems. If you go with the Totems, the Totem Dreamcatcher sub is tiny but effective in small to average sized rooms, the Totem Thunder is damn good but may be a stretch financially. If so, you can always rely on the REL subs again.


Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 1453
Registered: Dec-03
I like option a: quite a bit.

simular to landroval i don't think the Wharfedale's belong in
this setup.

and personally i like the jmlab's
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