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Help choosing Bookshelf speakers


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 mikeyGA

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Posted February 15 2005 - 10:03 AM

Hope you guys can help.....I bought an SVS Sub PB12-ISD, with a Yamaha Receiver, and I tried to piece the room together with 4 Polk RTi4s and Polk Csi3 center channel. I have a pretty large room that is tiled, has a low ceiling with two openings on the near long wall to the kitchen and Dining Room respectively. I really should have larger monitors for the front, however I really need to use bookshelf speakers due to the pre-wiring of the room and TV cabinet. The Polks just aren't doing it for me. I am going to listen to the Paradigm minis tonight, hope they are what I am looking for. Anyone have any suggestions on the best set of 4 identical bookshelf speakers that will give me decent sound in a larger tiled room? I realize that by going with bookshelfs I am limiting the possible results. My price range for the 4 bookshelfs and center channel is around $1200 but I can go higher if I have to. Thanks

#2 of 23 Axu R

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Posted February 15 2005 - 10:37 AM

"I realize that by going with bookshelfs I am limiting the possible results."

What's that suppose to mean? I say you're exceeding the limits with quality speakers.
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#3 of 23 Dennis Heller

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Posted February 16 2005 - 12:45 AM

I'll make my usual recommendation: if you have a Totem Acoustic dealer near you, I think you can get 4 Dreamcatchers and a Dreamcatcher center for $1200. You should give them a listen if you can. They are physically small, but have a big sound with nice bass for their size. I have no idea how they'll match up with your receiver, though.
"I was wandering the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what he charged for bookshelves."

#4 of 23 Eric C D

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Posted February 16 2005 - 02:56 AM

I like the Totem suggestion. To add more, especially if you're looking for online purchases, either Ascend Acoustics or the the smallest Onix Rocket bookshelf setup. Sounds like you're going to need to take a tape measure to see if any or all options fit.

But I'm also guessing you're going to shove the speakers into a cabinet, which is going to ruin their sound. Posted Image Maybe you need to get some in-wall speakers and install them in the cabinet.

good luck,

#5 of 23 Raj_asaurus

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Posted February 16 2005 - 05:20 AM

You might try the Polk Audio LSi series, I have the 9s and have heard the 7s as well and they are amazing. I'd give them a serious consideration.

#6 of 23 mikeyGA

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Posted February 16 2005 - 06:42 AM

Thanks for all the tips. Right now I have 4 Polk Rti4s and running two Polk 8" subs......it is taking two subs to drive the room and the RTi4s just sound very small. I would much rather go to one sub. Right now I leaning towards the paradigm monitor 5 with an SVS PB1 or PB2. Has anyone had any luck with those cylinder shaped subs from SVS? If so, how do they compare with the SVS box subs. To answer someone from above, 3 out of the 4 bookshelf speakers will be outside of a cabinet. The center channel and one bookshelf will be in a cabinet, however I am custom building the cabinet and it will have grill cloth. I am thinking of using the SVS cylinder sub b/c I could put it behind the cabinet which will be triangular in shape as it will be in a corner.

#7 of 23 RyanJE

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Posted February 16 2005 - 09:21 AM

Try the onix rockets at plasmadocs.com 130 a piece.

#8 of 23 Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 16 2005 - 09:59 AM

I'd look at the Swans 2.1s ($300 a pair) and C3 center ($350). They're a very smooth, very neutral speaker and sound great. For $950 it would be a great 5ch system. You could even almost do 7ch in your price range. Unfortunately the only retailer of the Swans, The Audio Insider, is having website problems, but they should be back up soon.

Hope this helps Posted Image


#9 of 23 SteveAZ

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Posted February 16 2005 - 10:01 AM

Make sure your Paradigm dealer gives you an risk-free in home trial period. Paradigms can come accross very bright, and may not mix well with a tiled room. Good luck!

#10 of 23 RobCar

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Posted February 16 2005 - 03:00 PM

Boston Acoustics match up VERY well with Yamaha, and Boston offers a wide range of bookshelves. I'm into the CR line myself. Excellent bang for the buck. Check out their web site ...

#11 of 23 mikeyGA

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Posted February 17 2005 - 07:20 AM

OK,
I am down to an SVS PC Ultra and a set of 4 from either Swan 2.1 ($600), Rocket ELT LRS ($520), or Paradigm Monitor 5 ($900) with the appropriate matching center. Considering a tiled room that is 24 X 17 X 8, which bookshelfs do you suggest?

#12 of 23 SteveAZ

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Posted February 17 2005 - 08:18 AM

I think the Swans would sound best in a tiled room.

#13 of 23 Sean Mc

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Posted February 17 2005 - 10:55 AM

I don't know if I'm overlooking something, but it seems like you're under the impression that the rockets are $130 each, when it's $129 for a pair.

The cherry ones are on sale from their original price of $249~$300.

You could get a 7.0 set of them for $129 x 3 + $249 center for $636 + shipping at plasmadocs.

I've never heard these, just read about them... so I can't give you any impressions of them. I just thought you should know they're half what you thought they cost.
YOyoYOhowsDAjello from Anandtech

#14 of 23 mikeyGA

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Posted February 17 2005 - 12:24 PM

Wow, those rockets are dirt cheap. Almost makes me suspicious. Are they comparable to the Swans? I consider the Swans cheap as well so if they are a step up it is no problem...... but I'd hate to throw money away on the Swans if the Rockets sound just as nice

#15 of 23 Sean Mc

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Posted February 17 2005 - 01:26 PM

I think the reason they might be really cheap now is they might be ending the cherry colored line. I'm not sure on that, but based on AV123 not selling the center in cherry anymore makes me think that might be the case.

Plasmadocs still has the center to match them though. It would probably be a good idea to get 7.0 right away if you're planning on going that route eventually since you don't want to get stuck not being able to find matching speakers in the future. I could be totally wrong on the cherry thing though.

As for quality, rockets were often recommended even at their original price of $249-ish.

I'm sorry I can't give you any real impressions of them not having heard them myself, but hometheaterhifi did a review of the ELT-1 5.1 package that includes the rockets.

I'm sure if you did a search for rockets you'd get tons of stuff on the. If not here, then AVSforum is bound to have a lot too.

I hope there's someone who can give you a better comparison on swans vs. rockets. Good luck!

edit: I think you can get a 30 day in home trial from both of these companies. The absolute best thing you can do to help you decide is get a pair of each and see what sounds better to you. Send back the set you don't want. There's nothing anybody can say that's worth more than you actually trying them out. You'll only lose out on shipping and for that cost, you can be sure you made the right choice for your own situation.
YOyoYOhowsDAjello from Anandtech

#16 of 23 mikeyGA

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Posted February 17 2005 - 01:57 PM

Thanks Sean. Looks like Plasmadocs is out of the center channel in cherry.

#17 of 23 Sean Mc

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Posted February 17 2005 - 02:08 PM

Whoops, sorry on the Plasmadocs thing. I only looked at the price and put it in the cart to see what the total was. I didn't see the little message about OOS.

I hope "will ship as soon as available" means they're getting more.
YOyoYOhowsDAjello from Anandtech

#18 of 23 Dr. Anthony Rosalia

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Posted February 17 2005 - 04:51 PM

I am sorry to inform everyone the Cherry Line is indeed being phased out. I would advise people if they want to have a cherry system to either buy 3-4 pairs in cherry and use 1 or 2 of the LRS units as a center. You can run the center as two LRS in series or parallel. This will approximate a d'appolito format but my have some problems with calibration with resistance differences across the front sound stage. At $129 they are an amazing value and a 5.0 setup with 3 pairs is only $387 Add a sub either a cherry SW-10 for $299 or a PB10-ISD for $429 and you have a killer system for peanuts. Plus they all have a money-back guarantee and a 30 day evaluation period. We are getting low on the pairs so let us know soon before they are all gone. Unfortunately we will not be getting any more centers in cherry. It is now official.
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#19 of 23 Dave Hahn

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Posted February 17 2005 - 05:09 PM

I purchased a full 5.0 set of the Rocket ELT speakers and auditioned them in my home theater for close to a month. I did not like them at all! They were horrible.

Here's the thread: http://www.hometheat....25#post2499425

I really enjoy my Ascend Speakers and would highly recommend them to you. I have CBM-170's for mains, CMT-340c for a center, and three HTM-200's for rear surrounds. I use them along with a SVS PB10 sub. The speakers are everything they are cracked up to be, rich full sound with great midrange and when using just the front mains, they have an excellent sound stage.

Like I said in the above mentioned thread, I've been listening to the Beatles for @# years and use Let it Be as my main demo disk. With the Rockets, It sounded like John was singing lead on the title song. Now with the Ascends, all is well with the world and it is once again clear that it is Paul singing lead. Posted Image

Ascend is an excellent company and I was very impressed with their sales staff. The owner himself answered my emails. I would, (and have), recommended them to both friends and family, and I don't like giving references for anything to family.
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#20 of 23 Dr. Anthony Rosalia

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Posted February 18 2005 - 12:44 AM

We sell the entire Ascend Line as well. Ascend speakers are a line specifically made to be a more accurate speaker with a smooth soft dome wide dispersion tweeter where the Onix system contains an aluminum hard dome suspended in silk. The midrange of the Onix system is a fast acting aluminum diaphragm where the Ascend is a Kevlar/carbon impregnated Aerogel diaphragm with a phase plug for accuracy. Both have large binding posts to accept large wire. The 340m and 340c are bi-amp compatible if you so want to go that route. The Ascends can take more wattage than the Onix.

We find many more people who are accustomed to more "European" style speakers or who listen more to acoustical music have a tendency to like the Ascend line. People who are more accustomed to a more "traditional American" sound prefer the Onix systems. We find more people who use their speakers for HT primarily go with the Onix line. Price wise both systems in similar configurations are within the same price range. Another benefit to the Onix line is that they come in handsome veneers and stains where the Ascend line is primarily black but can be painted for an added fee. Each speaker line has their own target audience. Neither we feel is inferior to the other. In order to understand you must know what your preferences are.

The best and only way to truly evaluate a system, is to audition it for yourself. If you go to a site called audioenvy.com there may be someone in your area that has an Onix system for you to audition in their home. Both speaker lines have money back guarantees and audition periods. Both are solid companies that make quality products. It is really up to personal preference in the style of speaker you choose. Our advice is to base your evaluation on reviews, customer opinions and your own ears.

Anthony Rosalia
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Subwoofers, Kirksaeter, 2 Parts Fusion Media Servers, CaradaPicture Screens, Showcase-Signs, any many more.Home Theater Forum Sponsor and retailer of Custom HomeTheater Packages for less.