Bookself Speakers for 800-1K

Jeff_King

Grip
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
18
I am looking for suggestions on which bookshelf speakers I should consider. I am looking at the Paradigm studio 20, although i have only auditioned the studio 40 and I have looked at B&W CM2 (I looked at the 600 series but although clearly a nice speaker I was not impressed with its clarity, please no offense at anyone who owns the 600 series, I presently use Bose my main channels)and the Dynaudio in that range. I would consider looking at the B&W CDM 1NT (how much of a step up is the Nautilus 805 from there?). Any other suggestions? Do any of you own any of those speakers and can give me your opinion, and primary use, HT/music. Better yet did anyone consider all of those in making a purchase?
 

Jason.Soko

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
219
Personally I think B&W's lack any type of musical reproduction until you get into like $8000 range and then of course there is speakers 10 times better than them. I would take a serious look at the Totem Accoustic line. Their Mite bookshelves might be exactly what you are looking for and are within your range I believe.
 

Nick V

Second Unit
Joined
May 7, 2002
Messages
421
I bought a pair of PSB Stratus Mini's that I really like. I auditioned many speakers (JM Labs Chorus, Dynaudio Audience, Paradigm Studio, B&W CM, Triangle Electroacoustique, Energy Veritas..) and for the money, I thought the Mini's were the best speakers. I did get them heavily discounted though. ~$800 CDN.

The best advice I can give you is to listen to as many speakers as you can in your price range (as I did), and let your ears decide which ones are the best. It could very well be that your favorite speakers were the ones that I enjoyed the least.

Good luck with your search.
 

Jaime B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 28, 2002
Messages
140
I couldn't agree more with Jason.Soko. I've never heard a musical sounding B&W. Lets not start a rant here, just my absolute agreement of opinion with Jason.

Totems are a great recommendation along with the PSB and Paradigm - all Canadian.

The newer KEF's with the coincident tweeter designs are very good. Shop around, i'll stop here since my experience is mostly with floorstanders.

Enjoy your search!
JaimeB
 

Larry Talbot

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
388
I eventually ended up with Klipsch RB-5 bookshelves for my mains, primarily because I had a limited budget and, unlike say, Paradigm, Klipsch can be found online at hundreds of dollars cheaper than MSRP. The Klipsch sound is not for everyone, but they were the best speakers I was able to find that I could afford.
One bit of obvious advice: If you're like many of us infected with the HT virus, you will feel compelled to upgrade annually. I would have saved myself a lot of money if I had set my sights on the best possible gear I could afford right at the beginning (even if it meant seriously stretching my budget) because I just ended up upgrading everything (receiver, speakers, etc) later anyway. What seemed ridiculous to me at the time ("Why should I spend $1000 on a reciever?") quickly became second nature as the disease progressed. Spend more now: Save more later.
 

Samuel J

Auditioning
Joined
Jul 19, 2003
Messages
6
Jason.Soko,

I guess I should throw my B&W speakers away since you think they "lack any type of musical reproduction".

I chose B&W speakers for very musical reasons. I have 3 music degrees and conduct chamber music at a University, but what do I know? Your ears are probably just better than mine.
 

Arron H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
332
I chose B&W speakers for very musical reasons. I have 3 music degrees and conduct chamber music at a University, but what do I know? Your ears are probably just better than mine.
Samuel, nice to receive confirmation that my speakers are musical from a reputable source.

Jeff, the 805s have very clear mids and highs. So do the CDMs. Is there an $800 difference? To me there was but you really need to audition both to see if you feel the same way.
 

Steve_D

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 28, 1999
Messages
299
To say B&W's are not musical is a 1 in 10 opinion. Often times, I find in further discussion with those people they are too bright or have an edge that some people find offensive. They may have a presentation that some people do not prefer, (I have a theory about that but that's another thread) but many of their speakers are highly reviewed, and hold their resale value well. The CDM1NT is a fine speaker, and the 805 even nicer.

Either one, however, if you decide are for you, look at the mint used market. You can save a bunch of $$. If you decide to upgrade a year or 2 down the road, you can often get out of them for almost what you paid! Free Speakers!

I would say the same thing about Paradigm if you like those, but with the v3 coming out the v2 will take a little depreciation hit. BTW, I love Paradigm Studio...just sold S40's due to decor considerations moving to a new house.

After considering about everything on the market (with a slightly higher price ceiling), I ended up ordering ACI Sapphires. Other strong contenders included the N805, the Onix Ref1, and a real bargain the Polk LSI9. When I get unpacked and broken in, I plan on comparing my ACI's to the LSI's and B&W's head to head, in my room.
 

Jeff_King

Grip
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
18
Arron,
Yes It looks like there is an $800 difference bwtn the 805 and the CDM's. Since I also will need a center within 3 months of buying the mains, I have a def tech now but I will want to match them as soon as economically possible, the 805s are really of out my reach, as the HTM1 is 2000 and, which is 1400 more than the CDM series center. The 805 is way over budget for me since this is the first step in a complete system overhaul I think that would be a dangerous precedent.
 

Arron H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
332
Jeff, I understand completely. Don't forget about the HTM2 center for $1000 list - I am using it with the N805s. The HTM2 is basically the N805 laid on its side.

Going N805s can be expensive because you really have to have the right (somewhat expensive) equipment to drive them to there ultimate capabilities. You can spend a lot of $$ really fast. As Steve suggests, used might not be a bad way to go.
 

DanaA

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
1,843
Here's a link to Green Mountain, which, until I was on a search for new speakers recently, I had never heard of. However, I read some posts about Green Mountain which made my mouth water, although, like Steve, I decided to go with ACI's. This was a very exhaustive search, but I won't know for sure until they are delivered Thursday and after having had time for break in. You really owe it to yourself to research companies like ACI, GR Research, Green River, and demo or used Taylor Accoustics Taylo's (which I've seen over at Audiogon auctions go for under a thousand dollars from the manufacturer. In your price range, I'd definitely check out GR Research's site and ACI (I'll link you for Green Mountain and GR Research; Steve has already linked ACI). All are direct to consumer companies that apparently offer great audio quality for very competitive prices.


Green Mountain
GR Research
 

Steve_D

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 28, 1999
Messages
299
Jeff,

I agree on the matching Nautilus series being high $$, however, had I decided to go with the 805's, I was going to match with CDM or even CM center (same mid-woofer and tweeter, cheaper enclosure) and DM or in-wall rears, so the total cost of the 5 speakers would not be too extravegant, yet I could enjoy the 805's for 2 channel critical listening.

Anyway, my personal theory on budget and speakers is budget most for the main L/R, get a timbre matching center, and if you need skimp on the surrounds. Caveats, I'm into 2 channel music (well 2.1 with my sub lol)...if you plan on mulit-channel SACD or DVDA right away, or strictly into HT, you would make different choices.

PS Green Mountain Audio has their temporary website up, until the full one is ready:
http://www.greenmountainaudio.com/
 

Scott Oliver

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
1,159
JMR Trentes used would be a wondeful choice or Twin MK III new. The Trentes be would good enough that would probably feel no need to buy a center speaker, unless your TV is throwing off center imaging quite a bit.

Go buy these and while your at it buy the rest of the stuff he is selling as that is some wonderful equipment he has up for sale at good prices. I want SME10 truntable, but I digress.

At Positive Feedback look through the archives. There are reviews of the the Concordes, Offrandes, Trentes, and Twins. All American reviewers of the Reyanud speakers have ended up owning Reynaud speakers by the way.

JM Reynaud website
 

Larry Talbot

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Messages
388
Those Green Mountain New Europas look absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I don't know how they sound, but that is one of the nicest looking designs I've seen. Perfect for the kind of Decco theater I'd like to build.
 

Jeff_King

Grip
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
18
Does anyone have an opinion about the Dynaudio Contour, like the 1.3SE and the Special 25. Are they worth the money, I have only heard the confidence line, and while I was blown away those are nowhere within my reach right now. Did anyone audition the countours when looking at B&W 800s?
 

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