Looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers between $200 - $250

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Wagner, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. Richard Wagner

    Richard Wagner Auditioning

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    I've just got rid of a pair of great big speakers that have been taking up a heap of space in my room. So now I need something to replace them with.
    I'll mainly be using them for DVD's but there will be some music being played on them.
    Surround isn't something I'm interested in at this point. I'd just like a pair of bookshelf size speakers that I can use as the base of something greater later on.
    I've read the guide thingy in the Basics forum so I'll post my needs/wants in that form - (note: I'm still fumbling around with all the AV terminology, so forgive me if I get something wrong [​IMG] )
    Must Have Feature Set: Not entirely sure if It's a feature but I like detail in my music. I like to feel the 'texture' of the instruments.
    Other than that I don't have much of an idea what's good for movies.
    Nice-To-Have Feature Set: I have this thing about solid wood but I doubt it'll make any difference to the sound [​IMG]
    Budget: Between $200 - $250US. I had originally aimed for less ($100) but after looking around realized that I'd need to raise the budget to get something good.
    I've been reading around for the last two days and have come across quite a few speaker recommendations that may be along the lines of what I'm after: Paradigm Atoms, Micros or Titans and a heap more that I can't remember the names of right now [​IMG] But I haven't a clue what would be better suited to my purpose.
    My old speakers were connected to a second hand Technics SU-500 amp and this is what the new ones will connect to. For a while at least.
    So, what do the audiophiles recommend? [​IMG]
    Thanks in advance.
    Richard.
     
  2. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    PSB Alphas would be good. I'm not sure but I think JBL also sells one of their 'S' series models for around the price that you're looking for and they seem to be very impressive.
    PSB Alpha's
    Alpha Spec Sheet
    The retail price is $249.00. However, you can get these easily at $199.00 easily and sometimes as low as $170-$180.
    Good Luck
     
  3. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard,
    Check out Axiom Audio . They have some excellent bookshelf speakers that are very well-reviewed. You can get their outstanding M3Ti model for $247.50 (tax, shipping, 30-day full money-back guarantee on your purchase, 5yr warranty on the speaker). Nearly everyone who has made a factory outlet purchase is amazed by what Axiom considers a blemish (most have trouble finding anything wrong with the cabinet finishes), and outlet speakers are sonically the same as their regular-priced counterparts. Check them out. The factory outlet offerings are under the "store" tab.
    Good Luck![​IMG]
     
  4. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Perhaps a few owners might chime in; but Sterophile just gave the PSB Alpha B's a glowing review in the May issue.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'll second the Axioms. The M3Ti is an excellent speaker for the price.
    Give this thread a browse.
     
  6. farnamT

    farnamT Agent

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    Infinity Entra or the IL10 - I own four pairs of the Entra speakers and they are decent. Quality is nothing to brag about, but they do sound pretty nice and have good bass and nice highs for a bookshelf.
     
  7. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Due to the changing lineup of NHT speakers, the $600/pair 1.5's can be had in the $250 range. They were evaluated in STEREOPHILE and were rated very well with some of the more high end brands out there. Bass response down in the low 50s....

    The matching set up would include the AC-1 center channel and a second pair of 1.5s in the rears. Or, if you are lucky enough to find a pair of 2.5i towers, they would make an excellet front pair as well..

    Elbert
     
  8. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

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    I use a pair of Klipsch SB1 for my rear channel but they sound great and should do about what ever you want them to do, with a LOT of detail from them and at or below the price you are looking to spend.
    Then, later on you can move them to the rear channel if need be or get another set to round off the rear channels as well.
    some specs from the Klipsch site;
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 60Hz-20kHz±3dB
    SENSITIVITY: 92dB @ 1watt/1meter
    POWER HANDLING: 75 watts maximum continuous (300 watts peak)
    NOMINAL IMPEDANCE: 8 ohms
    ENCLOSURE TYPE: Bass reflex via rear-mounted port
    DRIVE COMPONENTS: Two-way system using one 1" (2.54cm) magnetically shielded, polymer dome compression driver tweeter with a 4" (10.16cm) square 90°x60° Tractrix® Horn and one 5.25" (13.34cm) magnetically shielded, IMG cone woofer
    TWEETER: K-109-A 1" (2.54cm) Polymer dome compression driver
    HIGH FREQUENCY HORN: 4" square 90°x60° Tractrix® Horn
    HIGH FREQUENCY CROSSOVER: 2700 Hz
    WOOFER: K-1096-AB 5.25" (13.34cm) IMG cone / cast polymer frame
    DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): 12.5" (31.75cm) x 6.5" (16.5cm) x 8" (20.32cm)
    WEIGHT: 9 lbs. (4.1kg)
    ENCLOSURE MATERIAL: Medium density fiberboard construction (MDF)
    FINISHES: Black ash vinyl veneer
    YEARS BUILT: 1999 -
    http://www.klipsch.com/
    A large image of the speakers as well
    http://www.klipsch.com/images/produc...e/39_large.jpg
    Solid little speakers...
    G2
     
  9. Yann

    Yann Auditioning

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    I had the exact same problem about a month ago. These are the speakers I had considered and auditioned:

    Klipsch SB-1

    B&W 303

    JM Lab Chorus 705

    Polk RT15i

    Most are at the $300 range though. Personaly, I ended up with the Klipsch SB-2 (open box deal, $260). Otherwise, if that oppurtunity didn't present its self, I would have ended up with the B&W 303. Both were very capable speakers. I felt that the B&W was about equal with the SB-2, but something appealed to me in the Klipsch sound... The JM Lab Chorus didn't appeal to me at all.
     
  10. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll throw a vote in for the Paradigm Atoms. They have good detail, and have very good imaging for their price range. I've been quite happy with mine, using them as fronts with a sub for the bass. It's hard to find a bad review of the Atoms, and at around $169 or so a pair, they're well within your budget.

    Wes
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    JBL Studio series are worth a look. S26 is easily in your range and the S38 is just a little bit past your specified range.

    Build quality wise, all the JBL Studio series are made of 3/4" MDF. One S26 weighs more than a pair of Titans or Alpha B. Very good quality components for drivers and crossover. Solid binding posts.

    Sound wise there are quite a few people on this board who have been amazed with them for their price.

    Plus they are the only speaker series in this price range I know of that uses a proper 3way design for the center channel.
     
  12. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    If you register to bid on ebay you can get a nice pair of used bookshelfs. I got my JBL S38s for $245 on ebay.

    You should also consider a DIY speaker kit as you'll get excellent sound for your $.
     
  13. keir

    keir Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a pair of atoms (and titans). they're quite detailed imo. i can get tremendous volume in my 15x12x10 room with a 100w receiver also. even a bit more detailed than my grado headphones(sr-60s).i havnt heard many other speakers though. i am going to compare them to the axiom m3ti or maybe m22ti after my friend gets some. he already got the axiom vp-150 and imo the paradigm cc-170 is in the same league as it (and $80 cheaper than even the factory second vp-150).
     
  14. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    I second the JBL S26 recommendation ... here's why ...
    The Jul 1, 2001 article “OBJECTIVE SUBJECTIVITY by Scott Wilkinson for Electronic Musician, revealed that the JBL S26 was ranked as the best speaker on most clips vs. a Boston Acoustics CR8 & a B&W DM601 by several audio journalists, performed in Harman International built blind-testing room, called the Multichannel Listening Lab (MLL).
    Read my JBL S26 review here.
    Phil
     
  15. Heath_R

    Heath_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Another vote for the Axiom M3's. Check out www.audioshop.on.ca for better prices on A stock.
    I had the axioms and Paradigm Mini-Monitors in my home and decided on the axioms. You can't go wrong with them. For stands the parts express medium mass metal speaker stands are well constructed for their price.
    IMO the paradigm's had a slightly colored midrange and were not quite as clear up high.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  17. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    Wow no one's mentioned the Polk RT25i! You should be able to find these for about $200 a pair. I own 4 of them and they just recently were moved into my bedroom theater. And I still continue to be impressed as to how good they sound and look.
    Check out the review of them over at sterophile
    Polk RT25i review
    Brian
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Nobody mentioned the RT25i because it is not as good as the other speakers mentioned (IMO). I listend to the 15, 25 and 35 and was unimpressed by all of them. (analog CD, Onkyo TX-DS595, full range, no sub). I also listened to the IL10 at the same time, and even the 35 did not come close.
     
  19. Ritesh_M

    Ritesh_M Extra

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    john,

    just curious what did you compare the RT line against. what i mean is, in your opinion what did you find around $200 that did impress you.

    Also, check out the PSB Image line. I also have a pair of 2b's in cherry that i got for $230 shipped brand new (list is $400). Sound a little more mellow than polks though. Sound more like paradigms.
     
  20. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    Well speaker "quailty" is always in the eye (ear) of the beholder. My principle is listen to everything you can in your price range and buy the one you like best.

    And Polk's sound better then Paradigms to some people and the other way around to others. I for one like the polks better then the paradigms.

    So lets give Richard a list and let him pick.

    Brian
     

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