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Bookshelf Speakers - Best all-around value?


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26 replies to this topic

#1 of 27 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 02 2003 - 11:03 AM

Hi, I am looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers for my grandparents. I have looked at the Definitive StudioMonitor 350 and I found its sound very pleasing to my ear, but it seems pretty steep for a bookshelf speaker @ $500 a pair.

The Def Tech StudioMonitor 350 has an aluminum dome tweeter, a 5.25" poly midbass driver with rubber surround, and a side-firing passive radiator (which Definitive calls a "Planar-Technology Pressure-Driven Subwoofer".) They seem good down to about 50 Hz but not far below that.

So what I'm looking for is a bookshelf speaker that can maintain a cabinet no more than about 1 foot high and 8 inches wide, but still provide good bass and detailed highs.

Thanks
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#2 of 27 BradJudy

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Posted January 02 2003 - 11:26 AM

Hmmm...you can almost get a pair of Ascend CBM-170s in there, but they are 12" high and 9" wide. Very close and a great deal @ $300.

Paradigm MiniMonitors are a bit too big, but Atoms would fit.

Rockets are definitely too big.

Axiom M2i's will fit at 11.25"x7.5" and are only $250.

JBL N24s will fit - not quite as nice, but cheap.

NHT SB-2s will fit.

Polk RTi-28s might squeak in (12" tall).

#3 of 27 Steve WC

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Posted January 02 2003 - 11:26 AM

Try Axiom?

http://www.axiomaudio.com/m2i.html

Down to 60hz


http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3ti.html

Down to 50hz
.
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#4 of 27 Gregg_M

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Posted January 02 2003 - 02:11 PM

Rory,

You are going to want a speaker that is not ported in the rear. THe sound will sound washed out and the bass (what there is of it on a bookshelf) will sound boomy and not right. I had a pair of paradigm mini's that did this. On that note, I own a pair of spendor s3/5's sealed box and they sound AWESOME. You can find them for your price used on audiogon. Their only down fall is that they are a bit power hungry.

Gregg

#5 of 27 Donald_Spry

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Posted January 02 2003 - 02:14 PM

KEF Q1'S Perhaps. They are front ported as well. Maybe one of the Dahlquist QX5's. The QX6 has a much better bass response but stands 14 inches high.

Dahlquist (in Canadian funds)
http://www.audioshop...lquistmains.htm

KEF
http://www.kef.com/index2.html

#6 of 27 Tim Schwartz

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Posted January 02 2003 - 02:23 PM

My NHT Superones are 11.75" X 7.25" sealed units that are very nice, with excellent build quality. I got them new for $265 a few years ago. I would take a look at a newer version of these.

#7 of 27 Bill W.

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Posted January 02 2003 - 02:37 PM

I agree about the SuperOnes, great sounding speaker that just get better with age. NHT provides excellent support.

There is a new version out, with a new tweeter and crossover, which makes them a little more expensive. I actually liked the old SuperOnes better and so bought them.

Onecall.com sells them online, I think. I bought mine at the actual onecall.com store. They sell now for about 120 each.

Lots of the other speakers listed here also sound great, and I have auditioned a lot of them, but the price/benefit of the SuperOnes is hard to beat. True 50 hertz performance is hard to come by in a bookshelf, and I don't think that the SuperOne has great performance that low either, but it does everything else so well that its bass performance is acceptable to me for music. I use a sub to increase the performance with most music and HT.

Good Luck!

Bill

#8 of 27 Steve WC

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Posted January 02 2003 - 02:57 PM

Both front ported:


Infinity

http://www.crutchfie....08A10B&o=m&a=0

Polk

http://www.crutchfie....107R20&o=m&a=0
.
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#9 of 27 Mark Hobbs

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Posted January 02 2003 - 03:39 PM

I don't think you will find a better sounding speaker for the money than the Paradigm Titans at $220/pair. Dimensions are 12.5" tall, 7.75" wide, and 9.5" deep.

Do a search on Titans. They work well in any role. Excellent bass to 50HZ.

I bought mine nearly a year ago on the recommendations of many in this forum and I am a very happy owner.

#10 of 27 James Gillespie

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Posted January 03 2003 - 03:55 AM

You could also try Home Theater Direct Level Two's at $139.00 a pair and only 12.6 x 7.1 inches. They seem to get pretty good reviews and the new ones are front firing. Better response if you go with the Level Three's, but they are a bit bigger at 15.75 x 8.7. I haven't heard these speakers yet, but they are what I'm considering for my new 6.1 setup once I have the funds.

Cheers,
James

#11 of 27 BrianAe

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Posted January 03 2003 - 04:50 AM

Checkout Aperion Audion. www.aperionaudion.com. Favorable reviews at cheaphometheater.com. I got em and love em. They look nice too!

#12 of 27 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 03 2003 - 05:43 AM

I'm looking at the HTD Middies, paired with a small powered subwoofer. I like the idea of a tiny MTM. Now, what's a small or mid-size powered subwoofer that has speaker-level inputs and, when paired with the $140 pair of Middies, will come out to less than $500?
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#13 of 27 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 03 2003 - 05:46 AM

I'm looking at the HTD Middies, paired with a small powered subwoofer. I like the idea of a tiny MTM. Now, what's a small or mid-size powered subwoofer that has speaker-level inputs and, when paired with the $140 pair of Middies, will come out to less than $500?

The middies are also good for the application because they are small and are available in white. The shelves these will be placed on are white so these will look out of character if they are black or wood-grain colored.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#14 of 27 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 03 2003 - 06:48 AM

I've found the PolkAudio PSW250 to be a good small powered subwoofer from a reputable name in speakers. It is only 50 watts, but we are only looking for good music performance at moderate volume levels, not shaking the walls here.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach

#15 of 27 Danny Tse

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Posted January 03 2003 - 09:14 AM

I highly recommend the Energy Connoisseur C-1

Posted Image

53-23K Hz +/-3db
Front ported
Magnetically shielded
92db sensitivity (good for tube amps)
$300.00/pair

Excellent sound....amazing bass response for a small speaker, excellent imaging.

BTW, as a former owner of the NHT SuperOne, have to agree it is a great speaker. However, these Energy have to be heard to be believe.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#16 of 27 Ben_L

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Posted January 03 2003 - 12:59 PM

I recommend the PSB Image 2b speakers. Huge bass for its size, and very neutral in sound. Awesome for rock music.

Posted Image

FREQUENCY RANGE 49-21,000Hz ±3dB
SENSITIVITY 91dB
IMPEDANCE 6 Ohms
Magnetically shielded
2" Front Port
US MSRP $399/pair , can be found for $300 new, or a little less w/ factory blemishes.

Not as nice looking as the Energy Connoisseur C-1, but you get 6 1/2" woofers and heavier bookshelves.

They may be too big for you, so u might want to get the 1B's. Or if thats still to big theres the PSB Alpha B's. The Alphas dont have front ports though, but i dont think too many bookshelves under a foot high have front ports.

#17 of 27 Danny Tse

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Posted January 03 2003 - 01:07 PM

The PSB Image 2B can be purchased at yawaonline.com for $260.00/pair + shipping. OK, it's "B" stock but tremendous savings. And they're authorized.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#18 of 27 Ben_L

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Posted January 03 2003 - 01:14 PM

Oh bytheway if you want to go the ultra compact spkrs route, definitly check out the PSB Alpha Intro's. They sport 3 1/2" woofers instead of the 2 1/2" on the HTD's.

Posted Image
available in white

4.25x6.75x6.25" for the LR (1 woofer, 1 tweeter)
MSRP $199/pair

4.25x9.75x6.25" for the CLR (2 woofers,1 tweeter, can be used for center)
MSRP $169/each

http://www.psbspeake...AlphaIntro.html

some reviews
http://www.hometheat....rs-4-2002.html
http://electronics.c....tml?tag=subnav

#19 of 27 Marcus Lewis

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Posted January 03 2003 - 02:14 PM

I 2nd the CBM's ... Sweet sound and bass deep enough to please.

#20 of 27 Rory Buszka

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Posted January 04 2003 - 12:41 AM

I got to hear the Energy Connoiseurs at a Hi-Fi store in Canada while I was on vacation in Ontario. I liked the sound of the speakers, but I didn't exactly jump off my seat. I was very impressed, however, with how good a Take5.2 system sounded when paired with the S8.2 subwoofer.

And the middies have two 2.5" drivers, not just one. I like the idea of the neodymium midranges.

(Question: if a driver only extends to 100Hz, can it be called a "midbass?")

I also heard good things about the Polk PSW250 8" subwoofer being not-boomy. That is important to me.

Those other speakers you recommended, however, are very good-looking as far as price/performance. I especially like the look of the Connoiseur series and if my grandparents ask for them, I will find them so they can get them.
"It sounds like it's barfing out the bass." - Zach