bookshelves for < $800

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by David Walker, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. David Walker

    David Walker Agent

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    My insurance adjuster tells me I can spend up to $800 on a pair of new speakers. I had never planned on spending this much money on speakers before my place got robbed. But, since there is an 800 credit from my receiver, I have to put it toward new speakers (already replaced the receiver).

    Setup:
    Marantz 2245 Receiver
    Cambridge Audio D500SE CD Player

    My place is small, so bookshelves are a must. I'm not familliar with the speakers in this higher price range, so please let me know of any suggestions you have.

    thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    If you don't mind DIY you can get some GR-Research A/V-1s for a couple hundred dollars, with the price varying depending on what you want (prebuilt enclosures, finished enclosured, upgrades). Alternately, you could purchase the A/V-1s prebuilt, finished, and with both the Sonicap and Blackhole 5 upgrades for something like $750.

    The speakers are only ~12" tall, ~11" deep, and 8" wide...if you're interested, go HERE . And don't be afraid to call them; Danny is a really helpful guy.
     
  3. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    I'd look at the Polk LSi9 or LSi7. Both are excellent speakers right in your price range:

    7s

    9s
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Look up Audio By Design in Austin. They should be able to hook you up with some very nice speakers in that price range. Last time I was there, I auditioned some small British bookshelf speakers, I can't recall the name, but they sounded very clean. They list at $800/pr but he was discounting them quite a bit at the time. Give a listen to the Aerial Model 5s too [​IMG]

    If you don't mind DIY, I will strongly second the A/V1s [​IMG]
     
  5. David Lorenzo

    David Lorenzo Stunt Coordinator

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  6. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    I second the Rocket RS 250's!!![​IMG]
     
  7. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    First off check out Mirus Audio, Jonathan Atkins and Scott Hinson who were at the last local meet are the owners. They started making speakers last June and initially I was not too impressed by their creations but through tinkering and reworking they have really refined the sound of their speakers. I heard the Debrio this past November and was impressed. It retails for $750 and you can contact them through their website http://www.mirusaudio.com/design/default.htm
    (Note I am not affiliated with them in anyway just cosider them friends and heard their designs quite often at local meets. Good guys.)

    Next Whetstone Audio on the drag carries NEAT speakers. Their Critique and Petite models are something to look into, although the Petite may be too expensive. Last I heard he had some Critique demos on sale.
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/archive/...rintreview.htm
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=1104

    Also see if he still has some Totem Arros on the floor. They are officially floorstanders, but extreemly petite and would probably take less room than most bookshelf models.

    Other stuff locally available would be Linn Katan's at Audio Systems or some Ruark Epilogues at Audio By Design.

    Some other really good speakers in this price range but not available locally are Spendor S-3/5's, JM Reynaud Twin MKII or III's, or Harbeth HL-P3ES-2's.
    http://www.spendoraudio.com/exp1024.htm
    http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/archives/
    http://www.jm-reynaud.com/jmr_us/twin.html
    http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue4/reynaudtwin.htm
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/
    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/PDF/HFWP3ES1102.pdf

    Lastly another great speaker that is out of this price range but available on the used market for $925 right now and you could probably negotiate that some is the
    Audio Note AN-J/L
    http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...ull&1052810543
    The $925 does include matching stands for them so I don't know if your $800 figures in stands or not
    Some reviews of their larger brothers (AN-E) can be found at http://www.audionote.co.uk
     
  8. Brent-T

    Brent-T Extra

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    I second the polk audio lsi7's or lsi9's. I really recommend the 9's, they just sound terrific, and look great too. For a bookshelf, they put out a good amount of bass for a small place like yours. For not much more money, you could get the 9's as fronts, and the 7's as rears. Just my 2 cents.
     
  9. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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  10. stephen_z

    stephen_z Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll put in my usual plug for Triangle Titus 202's ($495/pair). Great for jazz, vocals, classical... extremely efficient (92db). A little light in the deep bass, but not unsatifsfying.
     
  11. Paul Bryan

    Paul Bryan Agent

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    Definately audition the Paradigm Studio/20's... Excellent speakers...
     
  12. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    There's a place in Austin that sells Phase Technology speakers. I would give a listen to some of their Premeir Collection (PC) series. A little note about Phase Tech: Phase Technology is the brand name for the line of speakers made by the parent company, American Speaker Systems. This company invented the soft dome tweeter and the self damping woofer. They've produced drivers for many well known companies for nearly 30 years. Their Speakers are very musical.
     
  13. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    The place that sells the Phase Tech's is High Fidelity Inc.
     
  14. JauCheeze

    JauCheeze Stunt Coordinator

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    You should probably look at the B&W 600 line too, probably the 602's which is right under ur price range. I also recommend the LSi 9's, a really smooth and well balanced speaker. Though I think the LSi's a overpriced when compared to other speakers of the same quality.
     
  15. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    If you like the sound of ribbon tweeters, here's a good choice. I love mine:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i bought Ascends last Aug @ $300/pair on sale.
    after 8 months or so, if i had $800 to spend i would still buy them.
    i had Rocket 250s for a month, and certainly beautiful, rich looking speakers, but i much prefered the sound, size and price of the Ascends.
    i felt the Ascends gave me
    - a wider sense of soundstage
    - better vertical dispersion
    - more precise imaging
    - one of the best senses of transparency i'd found in an under $2k pair of speakers

    and they were significantly smaller and easier to place.

    i was looking at floorstanders originally, and had a budget of around $2k for a set ( and was prepared to go over that and buy in stages).
    i was really surprised by the sound quality of the ascends, and the fact that a smaller size was much more desirable to me than i had originally thought.
    they worked out great all around and i'm still tickled with them.

    they are fairly laid back though, i dunno what kind of sound you gravitate towards- you may be looking for something more forward and in your face.

    Gabriel- what speakers are those and how much do they run?
    i've never heard them but the ribbon tweeters have me intrigued.
    i was very close to going with Maneplanars, but when i demoed them, they were physically all wrong for my room.
    loved the sound though.
     
  17. shanlei

    shanlei Auditioning

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  18. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    The Quad 11L and 12L are great bookshelf speakers. Opera, Dali and JMLab also make good bookshelves in that price range.
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    thanks for the link.
    if i wasn't so strapped w/ bills right now, i'd be tempted to try these out.

    one thing though, no matter how great they sound, they have one thing in common with the rockets that i found wasn't right for me- they just look too damn nice!.
    honestly, appearence was the reason i got so hot and bothered by all the talk of the rockets, but when i had them in my ht
    1) i got super anal about their appearence, and constantly worrying about any small ding that would mar their surface
    and
    2) all the reflectivity of the surfaces i found undesirable for a fp set up.

    by contrast, the ascends are so non-descript and matte, that they 'disappear' better in the room. its a case of a 'lesser' looking unit better serving the whole (room).

    however if i had a dedicated 2 channel audio set-up in another room, something like the Rockets ,or especially those L2Ds, are what i would investigate.
     
  20. David Walker

    David Walker Agent

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    thanks for all the great responses!

    I'm off to the local stores to hear what $800 bookshelves sound like... what a day!


    Scott, Mirus does sound intriguing, but the insurance fella has special deals with certain manufacturers, and I doubt Mirus is one of them. You can be sure I'll be listening to all the other brands you reccomended though. I'm off!

    -David
     

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