Need bookshelf speakers for music (<$200)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JimBarrese, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. JimBarrese

    JimBarrese Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got a HK 125 I'm using soley for music, and I'd like to get the best pair of bookshelf speakers I can get in my price range (which granted isn't much). My main concern is that because the HK 125 isn't very powerful (55 x2) I don't want to get a pair of speakers that are too demanding power-wise. Currently I'm using a pair of Sony 3-way bass-ported speakers that came with my old shelf system. I don't know the specs, but they're about 8 years old and still sound OK (but begining to distort). I'm looking for something that will give me more clarity and a little more bass.

    I'm currently considering:

    Cambridge SW Model 6's from Hifi.com ($150)
    JBL S26II from Amazon.com ($200)
    Polk RT25i from Crutchfield.com ($180)

    Any advice/recommendations would be appreciated? Theless I can get away with spending the better since money is tight, but I still want to get something I won't be sorry with.
     
  2. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    You definitely need to look at the Axiom M3t's from www.axiomaudio.com. There are many people here, including myself, who love these speakers. They are a little more expensive that what you are looking for, but it would be well worth saving up just a little longer. There is a link on their homepage to their factory outlet, and the M3's can can be had from there for about $247.50, which includes 2 day shipping.
    IMO, these are much better than the ones you have listed. Just save up a little more!
     
  3. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    Oh, and by the way, I have the H/K 120, and it provides PLENTY of power for my M3's.
     
  4. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I would add the JBL s36 to your list. They sound better to me than the S26's and they are available on the web for around $170 a pair. They do need the addition of a subwoofer for best results though...
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    All of the speakers listed will want a sub, especially the M3Ti. While it can handle low or high power cleanly, it's forte is not low bass, so a sub would definitely help. Of all the speakers mentioned, I agree these will be best overall for music also. Note that $247 is for b-stock speakers, not brand new and they currently only list cherry color, regular price $275 (still a good deal for what you get).

    The next bet would probably be the JBLs. I'd probably stick with the S26 because I don't like the enclosure of the S36.
     
  6. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Ahh, but it's the enclosure that contributes to the better sound of the S36s!
    Other than the lack of bass and the too-hot treble, the S36 does not have the cabinet resonances that plague almost every other bookshelf speaker. I attribute this directly to the fact that there are no right angles at all in the S36, it's a very unusual cabinet. (the only questionable design character of the S36 is that it's wide horizontally instead of narrow, usually a design no-no).
    Close your eyes with most bookshelf speakers and if you have a sharp ear you can clearly hear the colorations that most cabinets add to the sound, a deal killer for me.
    No, I don't own the s36's and probably won't buy them (that treble is a little to bright for me) i've just been impressed by that little guy EVERY time I've listened to them...
    I'm sure Phil will chime in here with figures on the S36's flat frequency response any time now... [​IMG]
    Robert
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    If you are considering speakers under $200, don't forget to add the Paradigm Atoms to your audition list. They are great little speakers.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It's the horizontal layout that I don't like. Axiom's cabinets are designed in a similar fashion, with angled walls, and are very well built, but they are also on the bright side (titanium tweter w/aluminum mid-bass).

    In this price range, it will be all but impossible to find a speaker you didn't build yourself (or have built) that doesn't have cabinet coloration. That's the reality of inexpensive speakers.
     
  9. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I would go with Paradigm Titans over the Atoms. The Titans have a lower response and are still just under $200. (I paid $198).

    Paradigm has very good bass response on their bookshelf speakers. The only tradeoff is, dare I say it, a slight loss of midrange. But that is compared to much more expensive speakers. The Titans are one of the best $200 speakers.
     
  10. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I forgot about the Paradigms, they are very good speakers.
     
  11. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Might check these out:
    HTD
     
  12. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    There are several items available from audioadvisor.com in that price range - I don't know which will be available in your area if you want to listen first. (AA has a 30-day return policy like many online audio places.) They have these choices at the $200 mark:

    Sound Dynamics RTS-3
    KEF Cresta 1
    Wharfdale Diamond 8.1
    Heybrook HB1
    Athena AS-B1

    I haven't heard them myself, but have heard good things about the RTS-3, Cresta, and Diamonds from owners. One owner of the RTS-3s even called them "godly". They are all probably worth taking a listen to if you get the chance.
     
  13. Justin H

    Justin H Stunt Coordinator

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    Many good suggestions here. The S26II can be found on the 'net for around $120...so you could certainly shoot higher.
     
  14. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Jim, I would look at the CSW Newton M50 (or perhaps M60) instead of the Model 6. This can be had for $200/pair. Paradigm Atoms are also a good model to add to your list.

    Speakers probably affect the sound the most in any setup so best to go audition whatever you're interested in buying.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  15. JimBarrese

    JimBarrese Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, lot's of choices to consider. I think I'm going to have to find a place near me that carries these various brands and see which I like the best. I was thinking of getting the CSW speakers from HIFI.com because they pay return shipping if you want to return the item. That would definitely be a plus when buying speakers "sight unheard".

    Also it seems like some of the speakers I'm intersted in are available for less than at the places I mentioned. What's a good site to find the best prices on speakers?
     
  16. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Jim:
    If you are looking for the best prices on the Cambridge stuff, hifi.com has a "store" at Ebay. Any items that are returned by people who took advantage of the in-home trial are up for sale at the site. I don't know if it's a good sign or a bad one, but they have a TON of stuff in their Ebay store. Just go to Ebay's home page, click on "Ebay Stores" and then do a search for "hifi.com." I used to own one of their sub/sat systems and I can't say I was unhappy with it for the money I paid. Good luck.
     
  17. Shawn Baden

    Shawn Baden Auditioning

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    I own a pair of Sound Dynamics RTS-3 speakers. I stepped up from absolute crap (KLH cheapies), but when I first plugged the RTS-3s in and listened for a bit, I almost shed a tear. I recommend them. Additionally, check out this book of a review. Best of luck in your decision making.
     
  18. BobJ

    BobJ Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Chris Sherman

    Chris Sherman Second Unit

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    I also bought a pair of RT3's from Audio Advisor. I can easily recommend them. They are closing out the RTS5's, 7's and 9's as well.
     

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