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Best sound for the size. (1 Viewer)

salim_N

Grip
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
24
I'm stuck with a setup that forces me to look at speakers no taller than 11.5 at or below $450/pr"! 5 months of looking and I still haven't been able to decided on a setup, and a reascent audition of the Mini-Monitors vs. B&W 303s didn't help! :frowning:

I'm have narrowed it down to speakers I consider best in that size range/price range.

1.Monitor Audio Bronze B1
2.Mordaunt-Short Avant 902
3.Paradigm Atoms
4.PSB Alpha B
5.Axiom M2i
6.Aperion Intimus 532
7.Polk Rti-4
8.KEF iQ1

Yes, I know I don't have the Ascend 170's on there so don't freak-out! It's just that they are ugly to me and though their specs are awesome (I have never ever seen a flatter freq. response!) they might be too neutral for my ears. So from my comments below, could you guys vote/comment on which might be the best fit for me? (Please vote from my list guys. I can't handle more options. I'm terribly indecisive and could drag this on 'till I'm old and gray, If the ulcer this is giving me doesn't kill me first! :D

I have auditioned the Paradigm studio 20's Vs. Klipsch RB-25 on a Yammy 1500 and Paradigm Mini-Monitor vs. B&W 303's on a Marantz 7400. In the first audition I really liked the Klipsch's and how they reproduced highs while still being very detailed at lower ranges with great mid's. BUT, I was taken aback by the studio 20's refined sound which while not "jump-out and grab you" like the 25's, was very seducing with crisp sound, phenomenal definition through out the spectrum and great soundstage. I wanted a mix of both.
A week ago I listened to the Minis and 303s. I found that the Mini's really filled the room with great detail and clarity with good performance at the bottom end. Like the 20's , they didn't jump out and grab me. They 303 did grab my attention, initially, but they lacked some of the definition and bass of the Mini-monitors. They where also much more directonal. But I still liked their sound. So I guess I'm looking for speakers that have great detail and clarity with great mid range performance with a dash of brightness?!
 

salim_N

Grip
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
24
Come on people! Just type in the one you consider best. :D Or even easier, just type in the number corresponding to the speaker.
 

mylan

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
1,735
I don't think anyone here can make that choice for you. Speakers are very subjective and what sounds good to me might sound like fingers on a chalk board to someone else, however, that being said, it sounds like you like the studio 20's and the mini's so I would narrow it down to those two. Do not expect bass outta either of these, for that you need a sub.
 

John Garcia

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Jun 24, 1999
Messages
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I haven't heard the Aperion, PSB or Monitor audio, but of the rest, I really like the 902s. That's what I use in my bedroom setup. It's a very neutral, clean sounding speaker. I've owned the Atoms, Titans, Minis, Monitor 5s and now the 902s. The 902s easily best all of them in clarity, but the Minis have better bass and the 5s were better able to fill a room due to their higher sensitivity. I've also used 20s (v2) and heard the Axiom M3Ti (not the M2). I've also owned Polk LSi7s. Polk just doesn't quite have the midrange right to my ears.

KEF Q1s did not impress me. Studio 20s are very good speakers, but I am not a fan of their highs and the midrange is slightly reserved IMO. The

You might also want to throw in the EPOS ELS-3.
 

salim_N

Grip
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
24
John,

How would you qualify the sound of the 902's; laid back or forward/colored?

I considered the Epos but at 4ohms my receiver would struggle to power them,
 

John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
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Messages
11,571
Location
NorCal
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John
Yeah, I know; not only are the ELS-3s 4 Ohm, but they are low sensitivity as well. I consider the Studio20s to be forward, so compared to them I would call the 902s more neutral than anything. What HiFi called the 302 one of the least colored speakers they've reviewed. They are not exactly laid back; the highs are crisp, but they are the least bright I've ever heard for a metal dome tweeter; something more like the B&W 600 or 700 series. The midrange does have a slight metalic sound to it (it's aluminum), but it is very minor and makes it quick and "plucky" for stuff like jazz. Vocals are very clear with good depth and resolution. In a small room, they have adequate bass, but in a larger room they will definitley need a sub. No speaker is perfect, but I've tried quite a few speakers in my bedroom setup and these are the ones that are still here...

The GR Research A/V-1's are a bit out of your price range, unless you can build the cabinets yourself, but they are an excellent speaker. Used pairs show up once in a while on audiogon well within your budget. I recently sold a pair of them for $400 when I replaced them with another pair of A/V-2s, and though they are not listed anymore, there was another pair up there recently.

You might check out the Athena Audition series too - the AS-B1. Surprisingly good midrange for such cheap speakers, but the highs are a bit on the harsh side for my liking. Last year's models are on sale at www.audioadvisor.com for good prices.
 

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