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If you HAD to pick the best "Bose" style cube speakers...


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   David Paden

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Posted April 11 2003 - 03:38 AM

...which would you choose?

I'm still speaker shopping (seriously considering Dahlquist), but I figured I should at least LOOK at the option of having the little cube speakers w/sub. My apartment living room isn't that big and it's going to be a tight squeeze across the front wall with the TV (65"), equipment, and speakers.

I know everyone says that Bose is evil and eats babies or something, so...what else is there? I would like to keep the cost under $2.5k. Is there such thing as a kickin' set of cube speakers? Is there another solution to the floorspace problem? Good bookshelves without a rear port so they can be wall mounted maybe?

I'm willing to sacrifice a *little*, but not too much. If I have to, I'll turn my whole HT around and use the back wall as the front. It's about three feet wider, but I would have to run cable over there, it puts the screen right next to a window(glare), and I wouldn't be able to see it from the computer room anymore. Not too bad a compromise though if that's what it takes for superior sound.

Thank you for any insights!

EDIT: Okay, I used that handy search feature...shoulda done that first. Let me expand the question though, since I didn't see it elsewhere...would a wall-mountable (no rear port) be better than a cube speaker? If so, what are some good ones? Thanks again!

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   JeremyFr

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Posted April 11 2003 - 03:45 AM

Take 5+1's from Energy, you can pick them up for around $700 for the full set with sub and they're almost the same size as Bose Cubes with about 20 times more sound and much much better sound at that. you can click my link in my signature to see them setup, they are very small and sound great.
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#3 of 13 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:49 AM

You can always do better than Bose.

If small cubes are a must, M&K makes a couple lines... look at Xenon and 'K' Series here: http://www.mksound.com/5-1_sys.html

And... here are a couple reviews of sat/sub speaker systems in the $1500-2000 range:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?V5CF25B24
http://makeashorterlink.com/?P41022C24
http://makeashorterlink.com/?R12052C24

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   chung_sotheby

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Posted April 11 2003 - 05:06 AM

Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Micros are the best that I have heard in the mini-form factor. The Energy and M&K systems are more like satellite/sub systems, instead of mini/sub systems. Also, the Gallos come in a variety of colors. Very smooth sounding and they integrate very well.
Anthony Gallo Micros

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted April 11 2003 - 05:52 AM

Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Micros are the best that I have heard in the mini-form factor.


Forgot all about the Gallo's... they are definitely worth checking out... the Micro's sound superior for their size... each sphere is $150 (there is no dedicated center speaker).

I would look elsewhere for a sub, however... the couple of Gallo subs I've auditioned sound flabby and inarticulate.

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Bri~A

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Posted April 11 2003 - 07:08 AM

From all the reviews I have read, I have only seen good things about KEF's mini home theater setup:

KEF Home Theater

no personal experience with them though. They are a bit more modern loking though, but about the same size as the Bose cubes. Good luck.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   BradJudy

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Posted April 11 2003 - 07:36 AM

Don't forget the Acoustic Energy Aego 5 setup. I haven't heard it myself, but I've seen it and the local dealer calls it their 'Bose killer' setup since it's cheaper and they claim it sounds much better. I've heard others say good things, but again I haven't heard them myself.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:27 AM

Put in my vote for Energy and Acoustic Energy. I've had examples of both these speaker-makers in my system over the past 6 months and liked them both. The Energies a hair more than the AE's... Posted Image
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#9 of 13 OFFLINE   HowardGjr

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Posted April 11 2003 - 09:43 AM

If your still looking, Gallo has a new small speaker that is slightly larger (5" sphere vs. 4" Sphere) than the micro's.

It uses the same driver as the micro but it's larger size provides a lower frequency response. The lower frequency response will allow the system to be crossed over a the THX recommended 80 Hz. According to the specification, it has frequency response to 76 Hz. This means that you can take line level connections directly from the receiver (or pre/pro) to the speakers even if the receiver has a fixed crossover for small/large settings.

My experience with the Gallo micros in a small 14x14x8.5 room has been overwhelmingly positive. I use them in a 5.1 setup with electronics that are overkill for the speakers (Rotel 1066, RMB-1075, Sony TA-P9000ES with DVD-Audio (Integra) and SACD (Sony) Audio sources). I picked them after auditioning most of the small form factor competitors at the time including the Energy Take 5 system.

My original plan was to live with the micro's for awhile until I could free up some space for larger speakers by buying a plasma monitor.

I listen to predominantly female and male vocal jazz, "Kind of Blue" era jazz. Think Nat King Cole, Patricia Barber, Jane Monheit, Stacey Kent, Kurt Elling, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, etc.

For the size and cost, the speaker sounds great to my ears. Of course, like any speaker this size, it has limitations. First, it doesn't play super loud so if you have a big room you might need to look somewhere else. It's lack of a tweeter limits the high end and appears to take some of the dynamic impact out of classical recordings. For unknown reasons, they don't thrill me for most rock or rap recordings.

Unlike Dan, I like Gallo's subwoofers. I couldn't live with the "directional bass" coming from the corner so I augmented the l/r mains with Gallo's previous generation passive subwoofer. This integrates nicely with the speakers and "centers the bass". Even with the passive subwoofer, I crossover the L/R at 80 Hz for movies leaving the bulk of the low bass work for the powered subwoofer.
I don't usually use the powered sub for music. Again for reasons that escape me, I prefer the passive sub for music.

I use the wallflower stands for the front and wall mounts for the back. I tried the speakers on top of the entertainment center aimed down at the sweet spot but that didn't work very well for me at all.

For me, the micro doesn't quite cut it as a center channel speaker. I have the center speaker under the TV on a shelf pointed slightly up at the listening position. To calibrate it properly, I had to boost the signal 3dB in the preamp setup. Since the A'Diva (and Due') share the same driver, I think it might make sense if you have the room to use one of these speakers as a center.

Take care and good luck with your search.
Howard

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Tekara

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Posted April 11 2003 - 10:18 AM

if you must go with bose, I would reccomend the older bose speakers. Bose's older cubes actually aren't to bad which is why they became popular but sometime around the mid-90's bose decided to "shrink" the cubes and that reduction of driver size really killed the performance of the speakers. the older bose speakers are about 4-6" per cube and two cubes stacked. the newer ones are about 2-3" per cube two cubes stacked. (I think those are about right for the dimensions)

the older cubes have a more respectable response range, especially compared to the new cubes. so if you really do want bose speakers, do stick with the old school setups.
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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   MatthewJ S

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:53 PM

Omnisat's or Omnisat micros from Mirage...there is a whole thread on this line on this board and EVERYBODY that hears them are impressed....also they are very difficult to place improperly.....
that receiver sounds great demo'd through my computer speakers!

I bought the best ones, my buddy would never steer me wrong .He's not trying to make a commission off me and Cambridge Sound's factory direct pricing means that I got a great deal!

It must be a good deal all the people on the net...

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Greg Kolinski

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Posted April 11 2003 - 11:32 PM

If I was wanting a small speaker/sub set, I would look into Rutledge Audio's micro speakers and something like an Adire Rava.I may be wrong,but for looks and sound I think it would be hard to beat for the price.Brian's(Rutledge) micro's are just beautiful,and reasonably priced $75 each.He could also build you a nice center to match the Micro's.I think it would be worth cking into.
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#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Jamie Doucette

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Posted April 12 2003 - 02:50 AM

All of the above recommendations are excellent. I'm sure you will be happy with any of those choices over the Bose cubes.

I myself am a fan of the Energy line. Click here for a low down on the Energy Take 5.2 and Energy 5+1 .

http://www.energy-sp....rs_system.html
Jamie Doucette
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