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  Reply # 775350 5-Mar-2013 23:12
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$800 is a B&W 684 at close to RRP, or a 683 on special...
It's a set of Klipsch Reference on a good day, a large set of Polk's... and many many other speakers to listen to.
People certainly aren't paying that much for Diamond 10's... surely?

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  Reply # 775934 6-Mar-2013 21:51
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I just did a quick Google search for the Diamond 10.1 and can't find anyone who has it for under $800. I will try dropping into Harvey Norman at some stage but I'm not overly optimistic as their range looked pretty lacklustre last time I was in there. 

Is there anywhere else in particular where I should be looking to get a better price? Keep in mind that I prefer the KEF Q300 but the Diamond 10.1 is an acceptable second choice.

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  Reply # 775952 6-Mar-2013 22:26
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In case anyone cares: I got a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s from my local Harvey Norman on store special for $300 about a year ago. In fact that price was so good that I ended up getting three pairs - one for myself, parents and a friend.

Of course you would be lucky to get it at that price, but since I doubt they sold it to me at a loss, it gives you an indication of their cost price



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  Reply # 776135 7-Mar-2013 11:56
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Well I went ahead and got some Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s new, I probably overpaid some($350) but damn they sound good. I've just played a few songs on one of em, just to see how they sound, so haven't really heard everything I guess, but so far they're gooood.

The Samson Servo 240 amplifier is actually a studio amp, rated at 120W per channel with 0.03% THD, S/N of 103dB and cross talk of 83dB over it's whole 20Hz to 50KHz range. I think those are some nice numbers for $165 including shipping.

So I ended up spending a little more that I planned, but I think I got a pretty decent setup.

Thank you all for your suggestions.

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  Reply # 776148 7-Mar-2013 12:30
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I just went into Harvey Norman and they didn't have the Diamond 10.1 but said that the going price is $800 if they order them in.

As an alternative they pointed me towards the B&W 685 which was stickered at around $1,800, but they said they were willing to do them for $1,000. I'm conscious of the fact that they're probably playing the old trick of overpricing the standard retail price to make it look like a good deal, but are these a good product for $1,000?

The guy strongly suggested a stereo amp over a home theatre receiver, and pointed me towards the Marantz CR503 - this is also $1,000. I'm aware that there may be better options for this price but I like the aesthetics of this particular unit, with my only resevation being that the 60w per channel output might not be enough to comfortably drive the speakers. Having said that it'll be going into a small room that's noise restricted so maybe it won't matter.

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  Reply # 776172 7-Mar-2013 12:58
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As an alternative they pointed me towards the B&W 685 which was stickered at around $1,800, but they said they were willing to do them for $1,000. I'm conscious of the fact that they're probably playing the old trick of overpricing the standard retail price to make it look like a good deal, but are these a good product for $1,000?


http://bwspeakers.co.nz/default.asp?action=product&p_action=show_product&id=8

Thats the RRP right there.

I had the 685's on my shortlist but the KEF Q300's were better (IMO). I bought three pairs.
I think the 685's are probably the most overrated speaker in the category (6" front ported bookshelf speakers).

I also auditioned the Monitor Audio Bronze BX2's and they were quite nice, but a little flat for my liking. Really liked the magnetic grilles on those too.

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  Reply # 776230 7-Mar-2013 13:54
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fahrenheit:

As an alternative they pointed me towards the B&W 685 which was stickered at around $1,800, but they said they were willing to do them for $1,000. I'm conscious of the fact that they're probably playing the old trick of overpricing the standard retail price to make it look like a good deal, but are these a good product for $1,000?


http://bwspeakers.co.nz/default.asp?action=product&p_action=show_product&id=8

Thats the RRP right there.

I had the 685's on my shortlist but the KEF Q300's were better (IMO). I bought three pairs.
I think the 685's are probably the most overrated speaker in the category (6" front ported bookshelf speakers).


Thanks for the feedback. It definitely looks like a deal that I can walk away from.

I always had a personal bias towards the Q300 and it would take a bit of convincing for me to get anything else, so I'm going to give the 685 a miss and go back to the original plan.

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  Reply # 776545 7-Mar-2013 23:08
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alasta: I just went into Harvey Norman and they didn't have the Diamond 10.1 but said that the going price is $800 if they order them in.

As an alternative they pointed me towards the B&W 685 which was stickered at around $1,800, but they said they were willing to do them for $1,000. I'm conscious of the fact that they're probably playing the old trick of overpricing the standard retail price to make it look like a good deal, but are these a good product for $1,000?

The guy strongly suggested a stereo amp over a home theatre receiver, and pointed me towards the Marantz CR503 - this is also $1,000. I'm aware that there may be better options for this price but I like the aesthetics of this particular unit, with my only resevation being that the 60w per channel output might not be enough to comfortably drive the speakers. Having said that it'll be going into a small room that's noise restricted so maybe it won't matter.


The person you talked to is clueless. Sadly.
https://www.harveynorman.co.nz/bowers-and-wilkins-684-floor-standing-speakers.html
The FLOOR STANDING 684's are on Harvey Norman's website at $1872! So the bookshelf 685's will never be that price... never. The CR503 integrated / compact unit is cool, but it's certainly not a powerhouse, nor is it the best bet for your money, unless you were after an integrated micro system. You could buy the revered DM39 from Denon, sell the stock speakers and add your own, and you'd have a great system. Heck, you could hunt down a Perreaux Silhouette system, add your own components and go that way? There's soooooo many options if you want a micro system.
It's a shame, you can get people who love music at big chain stores, then you can strike people who simply don't know their stuff / prices / have a clue.


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  Reply # 776633 8-Mar-2013 08:30
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Dunnersfella:
alasta: As an alternative they pointed me towards the B&W 685 which was stickered at around $1,800, but they said they were willing to do them for $1,000. I'm conscious of the fact that they're probably playing the old trick of overpricing the standard retail price to make it look like a good deal, but are these a good product for $1,000?


The person you talked to is clueless. Sadly.
https://www.harveynorman.co.nz/bowers-and-wilkins-684-floor-standing-speakers.html
The FLOOR STANDING 684's are on Harvey Norman's website at $1872! So the bookshelf 685's will never be that price... never. The CR503 integrated / compact unit is cool, but it's certainly not a powerhouse, nor is it the best bet for your money, unless you were after an integrated micro system. You could buy the revered DM39 from Denon, sell the stock speakers and add your own, and you'd have a great system. Heck, you could hunt down a Perreaux Silhouette system, add your own components and go that way? There's soooooo many options if you want a micro system.
It's a shame, you can get people who love music at big chain stores, then you can strike people who simply don't know their stuff / prices / have a clue.


Actually I may have misinterpreted the pricing. The 685s were sitting on top of a pair of similar looking floor standing speakers, so the price tag I saw may have been for those. The shop was very cluttered - one of the amps he showed me was sitting on the carpet with a couple of others stacked on top of it - so it was very hard to see what was what.

I'm glad he got me thinking about stereo amp vs home theatre receiver though. I've decided that I'm going to try and get my hands on an Onkyo TX-8050 and KEF Q300. These can be bought online for $800 and $1000 respectively, but I don't really want to buy online because my place is awkward to deliver to so I'll see if JB Hifi can get them in (I don't think they usually carry these products but I'm sure they'd be able to order them).

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  Reply # 776649 8-Mar-2013 09:18
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I'm glad he got me thinking about stereo amp vs home theatre receiver though. I've decided that I'm going to try and get my hands on an Onkyo TX-8050 and KEF Q300. These can be bought online for $800 and $1000 respectively, but I don't really want to buy online because my place is awkward to deliver to so I'll see if JB Hifi can get them in (I don't think they usually carry these products but I'm sure they'd be able to order them).


Not sure if I missed something in this thread (just skimmed over it) but if you are in Auckland I recommend going to Avalon Audio on St Marks road in Newmarket, as they are the agents for Onkyo and KEF and have an amazing showroom.

The guys there are super helpful and I'm pretty sure they display every speaker in their range.

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  Reply # 776653 8-Mar-2013 09:21
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^ Seconded.

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  Reply # 776691 8-Mar-2013 10:06
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I'm in Wellington which is a shame because their web site looks really good.

I don't know if there are any audio specialists down here who deal in those brands.

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  Reply # 777085 8-Mar-2013 20:54
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Specialists won't touch the Kef's or Onkyo's typically... purely because the supplier will sell directly to punters / on Trademe / in JB's etc.
Specialists simply can't compete in the importer to consumer direct market...
Again, if you're into music and want a 2 channel system, listen to it first. Buying on reviews is hard, hard work. Heck, I've heard setups in demo rooms that sucked, but worked well in my home. It's annoying, but it's not uncommon.
If you're looking for a compact integrated 2-channel amp, look at the Denon DM39 as I mentioned previously, it has optical inputs so you can take the feed out of most modern TV's / MySky / PS3 / BluRay's etc etc. It's VERY well reviewed, BUT listen to it first and see if you like it.
There are no Denon specialists in Wellington, but again, your local Harvey Norman will have it. But I do suggest going to a Harvey's who don't stack their amps on the carpet...



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  Reply # 777131 8-Mar-2013 21:46
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I don't get it, what's so bad about stacking amplifiers on carpet? From an electronics view point it doesn't matter where the amplifier is. I guess there is more dust on the floor, higher likelihood of some one kicking it and all that, but it's not too bad is it?

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  Reply # 777171 8-Mar-2013 23:14
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Dunnersfella: Specialists won't touch the Kef's or Onkyo's typically... purely because the supplier will sell directly to punters / on Trademe / in JB's etc.
Specialists simply can't compete in the importer to consumer direct market...


That's understandable but after looking at a lot of options I personally find KEF and Onkyo quite appealing. I went into JB Hifi in Wellington this afternoon and the usual guy in the audio section had the TX-8050 in stock and was more than happy to order the Q300 - I vaguely recall dealing with him before and he's a nice guy who clearly knows his stuff, unlike Harvey Norman who don't seem particularly interested in anything other than tacking on extended warranties and overpriced cables.

I know that Onkyo's reputation hasn't been the best lately but I've personally had good experiences with them and it's hard to find any negative feedback about the KEF Q series, so I'm very comfortable with my purchase today. Thanks to everyone who helped. I'll share some feedback when the gear arrives and I've had a chance to use it.

As for what's wrong with stacking amps on the floor I'll leave someone else to answer that from a technical point of view but from a customer point of view it doesn't inspire confidence. At best it's sloppy showroom presentation and at worst it's a workplace hazard.

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