Best bookshelves on the low end

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RobCar, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    A friend of mine is moving into small quarters and is downsizing everything, including his sound system. So he wants 2 bookshelf speakers, nothing else (e.g., no sub) but wants to find a pair with great bass. $1200 and under.

    I have a pair of Boston Acoustics CR85s (retail $400) and have recommended them (frequency response 48-20,000, according to the BA site), but he can pay more so there might be something better out there. Any recommendations? The Definitive Technology PowerMonitor series look interesting b/c of the built-in subs.
     
  2. Adarsh Daswani

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    Wouldn't call it great bass, but the Paradigm Reference Studio/40's should fit on bookshelves. They usually recommend putting them on stands, but they should work fine on shelves as well.

    -A.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The NHT SB3 is a very good music speaker and has a low end of ~39hz, -3dB I believe. (their website is down, but you can see them at crutchfield). They also have some of the most attractive enclosures I've ever seen. These are sealed speakers and they are less sensitve, so they need/like plenty of power. MSRP $600/pr

    He might want to consider Paradigm Studio 40s.

    I like the CR85s too, for the price. I saw an open box pair for $300 recently.
     
  4. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Stunt Coordinator

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    i wish my low end price range was $1200 and down!! rich old men!!
     
  5. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Add another vote for the Studio 40's. The biggest problem I can see with them, however, is that if they are on a bookshelf, they are rear ported.

    These speakers sound great for the $ though. $900 is retail, but can be had for less.
     
  6. Josh Wolfman

    Josh Wolfman Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out Sonus Faber, PSB, B&W, Kef, Dynaudio, I could go on and on. I listened to so many speakers before choosing what I have. Picking your stuff out is the fun part- it just takes some time. That is what weekends are for!
     
  7. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Oh yes...the B&W CDM-NT would be great. Relatively small, front firing port, and the Nautilus tweeter. They sound great. MSRP is $1200. I looked at these too, but my dealer could discount the paradigms quite a bit more and I ended up with them.
     
  8. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, by low end, I meant low end of the frequency response, aka bass. Frankly, I wish I had $1200 for a pair of 'shelves, but I'm actually really happy w/ the CR85s.
     
  9. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone familiar with the Def Techs I mentioned? The PowerMonitor series with the built-in subs?
     
  10. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Rob, I very seriously doubt that there is anything else on the market in that size speaker that will have the bass of those def techs you mentioned. If there is, then I for one certianly haven't seen or heard of it.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 1NT is one of my favorite speakers, but it doesn't have extremely low bass.

    Another small speaker with powered subs, with impressive bass, are the Infinity Interludes(?) I think that is what they were called. I am not sure if they make them any longer, but I haven't seen them in a while.
     
  12. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Aren't the DefTechs bipolar?? If so, IMHO the bipoles that I've heard don't sound that good when they are placed close to a wall. They need to be out further.

    But maybe the smaller ones you are talking about aren't bipoles....
     
  13. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm. What does bipolar mean? Does that have anything to do with the porting (front vs. rear) that everyone's talking about?
     
  14. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Rob,
    Bipolar speakers have both front and rear firing drivers. They are wired in phase, meaning that when the drivers on the front move outward, so do the ones in the back. Conversely, dipoles move in opposite directions at the same time, leaving a 'null' spot between the two drivers. These are popular as surrounds.
    Bipolar speakers can have a very enveloping sound, but in my experience, are a little more difficult to place. I have personally had some bipoles, and they did sound good, but I had to pull them out too far from the wall and aesthetically did not work for me. I think having the TV inbetween them also degraded the sound. They needed to be at least 3 feet from the rear wall.
    Rear porting can be considered a bipole setup, since the tuning of the port makes the output in phase with the front wave, but porting is usually for bass drivers and the loading effect from the rear wall can be beneficial in increased bass output.
    Now for the DefTechs mentioned above. I looked at their website, and these might be a real contender for what you are looking for. I have not personally auditioned the Power Monitors, but I did listend to some of their bipolar tower speakers. I liked them, but prefered the more accurate sound (IMHO) from the paradigms, which I ended up with.
    I hope I don't get in trouble here for posting a manufacturers link here, but here's the link to the DefTechs Power Monitors:
    http://www.definitivetech.com/loudsp...ermonitor.html
    Hope this helps. If you audition these, let us know what you think!!
     
  15. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason,
    Thanks for the in-depth post. Very informative. I learn something new every day on this board!

    Rob
     
  16. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Dahlquist has a very decent pair of bookshelves called the QX6 with bass flat to 37hz and with some usable output below that. Excellent imaging and timbral accuracy.
    More than once now clients have accused me of hiding a sub when demoing them [​IMG]
    http://www.dahlquistaudio.com/
     
  17. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    I myself have heard the PowerMonitors. I was very impressed with them.

    They are not bipolar though, but their sound quality was very good and pleasing to my ears. Nice smooth, detailed highs and smooth midrange. I heard them at an Ovation store and if I was picking up some bookshelves with great bass, I would pick the Definitives. They really do have the most bass of any bookshelf, as well. But it is nice and controlled. It blends well with the midbass and tweeter drivers. The woofer on the side is crossed over far enough down that it does not screw with the imaging.

    I am currently building a pair of bookshelf "minitowers" based on a 5.25" midbass that Definitive uses in their StudioMonitor 350. I like the drivers a lot, especially for what I paid for them on Parts Express (they were having a buyout sale). Definitive is really sort of on the steep side, but at least they don't overcharge for poor sound quality. Your friend will get a lot of enjoyment out of the Def Techs.
     
  18. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    He may want to look into something from VMPS or ACI.
     
  19. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    The best that I have experienced is with AAD loudspeakers. I own a pair of the 2001's, and they go down to 30 HZ not problem. For their size (13.5x13.5x9) I have found nothing that compares to them. Retail is around $2500, but I got mine 3 months old used for $1400. If you are willing to look around and stretch your budget, I think that these are some of the best bookshelf speakers that you can possibly own. Very ballsy yet delicate
    Also, Dynaudios also have great extension for bookshelves. The 1.3's go down to around 39Hz or so, and they are actually a bit smoother than the AAD's. Might want to take a look at them too.
     
  20. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the B&W 602 S3's?
    They're big, but they go low (7in kevlar woofer), and are front ported.
    They should be in the right price range, although I don't know the pricing in the US.
     

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