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Bookshelf stereo speakers $1K range: Haydn's or...

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25 replies to this topic

#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Dan Clark

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Posted September 12 2002 - 07:31 AM

I'm looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers for my living room for stereo music. I have a fireplace with bookshelves on either side and a mantle that goes all the way across. I've currently got some Polk speakers that were $250 or so for the pair but they seem a little lifeless to me now. I've twice auditioned Vienna Acoustic's Haydn model and was extremely impressed by their performance in the showroom...and the positioning was much like my intended application. In general, they really let the subtleties of the recording come through...I have a feeling that with these speakers I will hear details and nuances of familiar recordings that I didn't even notice before. The rear port really throws out some nice low end, even when they were just a couple inches from the wall.

Are there any other speakers in this range (I don't want to go over $1K) that I should have a listen to? Thanks!

Regards, Dan

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Craig Amrine

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Posted September 12 2002 - 08:19 AM

I auditioned Paradigm Reference Series, Polk LSi's, but went finally with ACI Sapphire III's (oops a little over 1K priced at 1200. They have a smoothness that the others lack.

I would give them (or their little brother, the Opals) a look

at www.audioc.com

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Steve-sas



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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:18 PM

Linn Katan, PSB Stratus Mini, Polk LSi7 or LSi9. All are very good with the Haydn being my #2 choice. 1st choice is the LSi9. I've found it from an authorized dealer for $750 a pair and it is a great speaker for that price! (or for Crutchfield's price of $899.99). I have just recently demoed 5 pairs of bookshelves/monitors beside the LSi9s. Here is a link to the Polk forum where I did a mini reveiw of them B&W CM2, Vienna Haydn, PSb Stratus Mini, Sonus Faber Concerto, Linn Katan

*****instead of clicking on the link just go down a couple of posts****

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   AaronMg


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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:28 PM

Check out the Dynaudio Audience 42. I have heard nothing but great reviews for these speakers.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   matthew_rm


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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:36 PM

Also the Klipsch RB5Posted Image

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Steve-sas



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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:36 PM

I would love to hear the Dynaudio Audience 42 but I can't find a dealer anywhere in a 300 mile radius of here.

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Dan Clark

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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:38 PM

I would love to read your review but Club Polk has a fairly lengthy registraion process. Any chance you can mail it to me? Regards, Dan

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Steve-sas



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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:44 PM

I'll just cut and paste it here.

B&Ws vs......

There are obviously differing point of views here about B&W speakers. Some say they are great all around...some say they are good for this and not so good for something else. etc... Recently I went out to do some auditioning for a small bookshelf speaker for a 2 channel system. With 2 teenaged daughters I can never get close to the current setup in our family room. I have a preference for bookshelves/monitors. I am seriously leaning to the LSi7/LSi9 and my limit is $1,000 or less. I wanted to see what else was out there in that price range since I have listened to the LSis quite a bit. I specifically went looking for the B&W DM602 S3 but could not find anyone that had them. I did listen to the CM2s (which is a step up from the 602s). Of the 5 sets of speakers I listened to these came in last. They sounded thin with a definite lack of bass punch compared to the others. The other speakers I auditioned in this price range were the Vienna Acoustics Haydns, PSB Stratus Minis, Linn Katan, and Sonus Faber Concerto (not quite fair at almost twice the cost). I was really disappointed, as I had expected so much from the recommendations for these speakers. In all fairness I had just listened to the Vienna Haydns on a Bryston integrated amp and Krell CD player and the B&Ws were mated with Yamaha equipment. I later listened to the Haydns on a Yamaha receiver and they still sounded better than the B&Ws.

I would rank the speakers I auditioned as follows:

1 - Vienna Acoustics Haydn - I have actually listened to these 3 times - once paired with Yamaha, once with Bryston and once with BK. Very warm with good detail in the mids and highs. Surprising bass but you have to be careful. Could sound a little loose and boomy with the wrong amp. Sounded best with the Bryston but had the best bass delivery with the BK. Before I make my final decision I will listen to them and the LSis again. They are a beautiful speaker but at $995 MSRP it will be tough for them to beat out the LSi.

2 & 3 (tie) - Linn Katan and PSB Stratus Mini. The Linn sounded very good paired with Linn amps and a Rega Planet CD player. The PSB were paired with ARCAM equip. They were very similar in sound with very nice midrange and highs. Imaged well and produced a good soundstage. Not as warm as the Haydns and while the bass they produced was very tight there was not the extension of the Haydns. Looks and technology would have to go with the Linns. They have a wedge shape with adjustable crossover configurations. Very nicely built. The PSB are a little cheaper and pretty much your standard monitor.

4 - B&W CM2 - The sound was just not there. They were not very warm and a little thin sounding and a lack of bass compared to the others. Very accurate but not a speaker I felt I could listen to for very long. In all fairness they may not have been broken in and the Kevlar driver may need a fair amount of time to sound good. As it turns out a dealer here in town has just started carrying the B&W line. I was in the store a week ago and their showroom was full of unpacked B&W speakers. The only ones they had set up were the Nautilus right next to their Revels. I going to wait a couple of weeks and go back and give them another listen so see if they sound better than my one demo.

Sonus Faber Concertos - I left these out because they are double the price I am willing to spend right now. A beautiful sounding speaker with the best midrange and highs of the group. Soundstage and imaging were superior....but....there was no bass extension at all. I had just switched from the Haydns (on BK amplification) and was amazed at how much lower the smaller Hadyns went.

I'm hoping to give the B&W another shot and hopefully I will come away with a better opinion of what many people think is a very good speaker. However, it is going to be hard to beat the LSis for the money.

"Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Dan Clark

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Posted September 12 2002 - 12:56 PM

Thanks for the review. I guess I hadn't thought to audition any Polk speakers since the ones I want to replace are Polk, but as I said the ones I have now were a cheaper speaker so I should be fair in that regard. It sounds like this LSi line is one to give a listen to before I make a final decision, but really, the Haydn's sounded so good that I doubt I could go wrong there either and your review confirms that. Ultimately, did you find the LSI's sonically superior to the Haydns or were they about the same and the LSi's were just cheaper?

Regards, Dan

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Robb Roy

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Posted September 12 2002 - 01:07 PM

You might also look at the Boston Acoustics VR-M60s. The VR-M series is a totally different class than the rest of their line -- I didn't expect much from them and wound up owning a pair. They retail for $1,000, but you should be able to beat up any reputable dealer for less than that.

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Steve-sas



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Posted September 12 2002 - 01:25 PM

I loved the Haydns but the Polks are better... especially the LSi9. Check it out HERE

Good Sounds did a review of the LSi7 LSi7

Soundstage did the LSi9

onhifi did a review of the LSi15

The Absolute Sound did a review of the 15 and 9

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   AaronMg


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Posted September 12 2002 - 01:32 PM

Thats too bad about the Dynaudio's.
Have you ever listened to Totems. They are a very well crafted and designed speaker. They are well worth the audition. The only problem is finding a place that sells them! Totem -Check out the Mite.

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Bill Blank

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Posted September 13 2002 - 04:43 AM

I'm a big Vienna fan and will be using Haydn's for surrounds in my music/ht system. The Vienna line has a smoothness that just gets better the longer you listen. They're a very nice speaker that doesn't cause the slightest bit of ear fatigue, even at relatively high levels over long listening sessions. I don't think you would regret it if you went with them. Not to mention there's a return policy. Try'em out in YOUR room and see if you're not still in love with them.


#14 of 26 OFFLINE   chung_sotheby


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Posted September 13 2002 - 07:10 AM

Only if you like the design, check out the Norh 6.9 Synthetic marbles. They have a great, deep and rich sound, and retail for $995. They can routinely be found for around $600-700 used. I myself have heard them and I think that they are better than the Polks LSI series or the Vienna Hayden. The only thing is that depending on where you live, it would be hard to find a set for a demonstration, but if you can find someone who lives near you, from what I have seen Norh owners are more than happy to let someone audition their speakers.
If you can go over $1k, I would highly suggest the sapphires. They are just incredible speakers

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Randy G

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Posted September 13 2002 - 07:19 AM

ACI Emeralds-$700
Onix Rocket 250-$600-700
GR-Research A/V-1 $700
Meadowlark Swallow-$700


#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Dan Clark

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Posted September 13 2002 - 07:35 AM

I think I'm going to audition the Haydn's in my home. I appreciate the info on the LSi series, and I went and read some of the reviews. They sound like great speakers as well, but one of the factors at play here is form factor and I think the Haydn's will work better for me from that respect. If my dealer has LSi's though, I will definitely listen to them there before making my final decision.

Vienna Acoustics Haydn
13.6"H x 6.7"W x 10.2"D
Sensitivity: 89dB
Impedance: 6 Ohms

Polk LSi7
14.25"H x 8.125"W x 10.25"D
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance is 4 ohms

Polk LSi9
15.5"H x 8.5"W x 15.25"D
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance is 4 ohms

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   JohnBrianW.


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Posted September 13 2002 - 07:47 AM

I would check out PMC's DB1 or TB2 www.pmcloudspeaker.com, Totem's Rokk or even the Model 1 (a couple hundred over $1000)www.totemacoustics.com, Linn's Kan or Katan http://www.linn.co.u....e=loudspeaker, paradigm's Reference studio 20 or 40 http://www.paradigm.....dioseries.html

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Martice



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Posted September 13 2002 - 10:04 AM

I second GR Research speakers. Here's a few reviews of the companies offerings.

Audio Asylum review of GR Research.

Here's another review on Audio Asylum.

Here's a good review from this forum.

Here's one last review of GR Research's AV1+ (mine)

If you're worried about hearing the AV1+ speakers, look Danny (Owner) of GR Research and see him about the loaner pair he was working on. If not, what state are you from? Maybe you live close to someone who has a pair.

Regardless, there are many fine speakers recommended in this thread so chances are that you'll find something you like.

Good Luck
Turn Key Guy!

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Brian Bunge

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Posted September 13 2002 - 01:56 PM


As soon as we finish building the 3 pairs of GR Alpha LS's for a local customer we will be getting Danny's A/V-1+ demo cabinets out to him. At the moment he has a pair of oak A/V-1's with a tung oil finish and should have received a pair of A/V-1's in maple today. We still have to do a pair of A/V-1's in cherry. There will be a matching pair of A/V-1+'s in each of these finishes as well.

Brian Bunge
RAD Home Theater

#20 of 26 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted September 13 2002 - 04:16 PM

The Vienna Acoustics Haydn, the Dynaudio Audience 52, and the PSB Stratus Mini would be my three choices in this price range. Which one to choose should be based on the rest of your system and listening preferences.
"Home is where the theater is!"