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Small Speaker Recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Tim_Sim, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Tim_Sim

    Tim_Sim Member

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    Looking for a set of small speakers for my 20' x 20' living room. Based on past threads, I have a short list of Mordaunt Short Avant 902, Ascend CBM 170E, AV123 X-LS and Paradigm Atom or Titan. The only speakers I have access to audition are the Paradigms. Suggestions?
     
  2. Jacob C

    Jacob C Well-Known Member

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    I own the Ascend 170SE's and they are much much much better than the paradigm atoms or titans. The paradigms were even running off more expensive equiptment. Audition the paradigm studios and that should give you a rough idea of the ballpark performance of the Ascends. I prefer the ascends overall but I do think the paradigms image a little better. The mids on the ascends are simply wonderful. (especially in comparison to the studios) Make sure you listen to a set before you decide. As for the other speakers you mentioned, I have not heard them.
     
  3. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Well-Known Member

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    I have the MS902s and my brother has the Titans... the Mordaunt-Shorts are more refined and accurate. The Titans are good for the price, but a little boomy.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Of that list, the Atoms and Titans are the ones that don't belong in it; neither compares to the others. I've owned the Atoms and Titans and I replaced them with 902s in my bedroom system. The 902s are excellent speakers for their size, and I haven't had any need to replace them so far. I have been thinking of upgrading from them, but not for any deficiencies they have. The 170SEs are very good as well, a little brighter than the 902s but overall quite balanced and solid. I haven't heard the X-LS, but the speakers I own were designed by the same guy and use extremely similar design implementations, so they would definitely be on my list to audition (the X-CSs are actually what I am thinking about trying out against the 902s).

    I tried the 902s in my 19x20 vaulted ceiling living room and they sort of struggled to adequately fill it well (just 1 pair though), but I recently tried them in my new room which is ~25x14 with high vaulted ceiling and they did OK by themselves.
     
  5. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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    John Garcia,

    With what are you driving the 902's? Is a Denon 3805 sufficient to do them justice?

    They are rear-ported, so how much room between the back and wall do you have to give them (minimum)?

    I have admired the look of these speakers for several years, but never have known what kind of quality they consisted of and have never known if they would work in on my 12" shelves. They are currently available @ accessories4less.com for $189 pair. I am interested in upgrading my home theatre and have looked at most of the under 13" speakers. None have been exactly what I am looking for, though several would do.

    Doug
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    I am driving them with a Marantz PM7200 normally which has more than enough power for them in my bedroom. I have a customer who I installed some 904s for, which are basically identical just towers, powered by an Onkyo 601 and it did very well with them as well. The 3805 should be plenty for them.
     
  7. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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    Thanks John Garcia.
    The most important part of the question is:
    How much clearance?
    I have a subwoofer and it can take care of frequencies from 100Hz down. I am concerned re: the closest distance from the wall to the port on the 902.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    According to the owners manual they should be 10-20 cm from the wall. Thats maybe 4-8 inches (?). But it's just a guildline.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    I have mine pretty close to the wall actually, I'd say about 4 inches (don't have the luxury of placing them freely in the bedroom), and it seems to actually help them a bit with bass since I run them with no crossover. They have a surprising amount of bass for their size. I figure an 80Hz x-over would do well with them. My main system speakers are -3dB at 55Hz also and 80 works very well with them.
     
  10. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. That puts them out for me...@ 10 1/2 inches deep, I have less than 2 inches clearance.

    There is a set of SuperOnes on ebay that is advertised by a local dealer. I have 1, and 2 more would give me my front end. I guess that's what I'll do. I just hate buying something that I don't know the "real" history of, but I just need to stick with something that isn't rear-ported. The Absolute Zero would work great, but would end up costing 3 times as much.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    You can also plug the ports if clearance is an issue. You will lose some bass extension, but the midrange should be unaffected.
     
  12. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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    John,

    Thanks. I believe (thru the years) we have tended to share similar taste in equipment. Many of your posts address issues/solutions that are helpful to me and your thinking regarding quality & sonic leanings, are similar to mine (though seldom exactly the same).

    SO:
    My sub runs up to 100Hz, but I'd have to audition the 902's to find out how it all sounds...then ship them back if it didn't work out (provided they could be returned).

    I am already aware of what the SuperOne is like and know it will fit into my plan...acceptable, but not ideal -tends to be a bit muted @ lower volumes which is bad for dialogue. I wanted to consider other options...among those were all of the speakers cited in the original post in this thread. Additionally considered SBS-01/SCS-01, HSU Ventriloquist, Energy c-100/200, Epos-ELS3, Rega 1, PSB Alpha series, and a few others.

    Most of these are rear-ported. The Epos or Atoms would work (heard them set an inch or so out from the wall) but the cost and size of the Epos center channel & size of the Atom center channel ruled them out. The Rega1 is available (used) locally ( http://www.hawthornestereo.com/used/ ) @ a decent price, but the center channel is too big and would add too much cost. The rest I'm not sure about.

    I know...Wah! Wah! Wah! Poor Baby!

    It just seems that the NHT's are the right answer @ the right price...if I am willing to take the chance. The new AbsoluteZero would be great, but too much money...again I'm whining.

    Doug
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

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    I've always liked the NHTs also. The Mordaunts sound similar, but a little more laid back than the NHTs. I agree, the NHTs do have the small problem of wanting to be played loud to bring out the best in them.

    The SBS-01s are quite good also, but even more laid back. Their center is the star of the set IMO.

    You should probably also look at the Onyx X-LS/X-CS here. The X-LS is rear ported, but the X-CS is sealed. I haven't heard these yet, but they were designed by the guy who designed the speakers I currently own, so I'd expect a quality product and they are in your price range too.
     
  14. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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    Again thanks, John. After discussion with my wife (who has been so for 36 years and I'm not gonna screw it up over used SuperOne's), I've decided to wait and buy what I really want (Classic 2 or Classic 3)...but that's alot of $ from now.
     
  15. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Well-Known Member

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