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New: Speaker Choices...pls give analytical advise...thanks

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by chun howe, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    entry level main speakers:
    axiom M22Ti ($352 shipped)
    PSB Image 2B ($399 from web)
    PSB Alpha B ($249 from web)
    Energy C-1 ($248 from web)
    Energy C-3 ($369 from web)
    B&W 602 S2 (used) $375
    Paradigm monitor 7 (used) $375

    i have seached and found these speakers (brands that usually recommended in this web). out of the 7 which one is good speaker with relatively good price?

    good practice would be to get the same brand central speaker right? and i am planning(future) to get SVS 20-39 PCi sub... the question is will this a good match with the above speakers?

    i am planning to get speakers in these order:
    1) main (now)
    2) central & surround (next month/ 2)
    3) sub (last)

    music/movie ratio for me would be like 50/50
    but i like speakers leaning towards accuraccy rather impact.

    one final question would be regarding the axiom QS4 surround speaker which is a quadpole. what's the advantage of having so many poles? i see/realize good brand speakers like PSB, Paradigm, Definitve, etc mostly have bipole surround.

    Sim
     
  2. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I have the Energy C-1 as my L/R speakers in my 2 channel stereo system. Excellent speakers....smooth sounding right out of the box, and amazing bass for such a small speaker. I got mine for $275.00/pair new from an authorized dealer (The Good Guys). Is that price you quoted above for the C-1 and C-3 from an authorized dealer?? If it is, then I would definitely go for the C-3. Soundstage.com did a review of the C-3 and it ended up as one of its Reviewer's Choice award winners for 2002.

    I have not heard the PSB 2B, but if you don't mind B-stock merchandise, the 2B can be purchased for less than what you quoted above. Check Yawaonline.com and they're authorized for PSB speakers.
     
  3. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Danny.
    what's B stock merchandise? is it refurbished?

    i have found PSB and Energy dealer around my place. i'll go audition them ASAP. but i have problem with the rest of the brand as i know axiom dealer is no where near dallas.

    i haven't audition any yet, so i don't know their performance like wise. that's why i am here seeking for some experience. but from the look i like axiom m22Ti then c-3 then b&W then PSB & Paradigm.

    is there any significant difference between homopolymer woofer, ICP, MCP, polypropylene cone? or even rubber surround, dome, silk, aluminum?
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    B-stock merchandise can be returns or just new merchandise that has slight cosmetic blemishes and didn't meet the manufacter's standards. This is true for items like receivers as well.

    Definitely audition speakers before buying. This is the most important link in the whole chain, in my opinion.

    As for materials used for speaker drivers, there are all sorts of strengths and weaknesses to each material. Some consider metal tweeters like aluminum bright, while others consider otherwise. It all depends on YOUR listening preference. Rubber surround is pretty much standard nowadays (the only speaker with foam surround that I know of is JBL's top of the line K2). It's the sound quality that matter, not the material of each driver.
     
  5. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    after work i took the chance to audition energy c-3 & c-1
    to my surprise these small bookshelf speakers are good sounding as long as you don't turn the volume way way up.
    with the theater (demo) room & NAD T762 amp, c-3 is very nice. looks good too, the grille is magnetically attach to the speakers. c-3 has wider sound dispersion compare to c-1.

    i also bought that speaker. but my subconcious reminded me i have to give the rest a fare chance. i'll continue audition nht sb3, axiom m22ti, psb image 3lr, wharfedale diamond 8.3 & infinity alpha 20 before i finalize.

    do you guys think it's a little too many? maybe some folks in here already did some comparison and elimination on speakers mentioned might help me out.

    i saw on internet that diamond 8.3 is $350 shipped with free wh-2 rear surround. do you guys think it's a good deal? folks with wharfedale?

    anyone with axiom qs4 surround? how's the performance? noisy? confusing sound directions?
     
  6. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Just keep auditioning different speakers and you will eventually weed out all the ones you don't like. Keep in mind that the sound quality of speakers are totally subjective and are often determined by what's powering them and the source player. You are on the right track.

    Those magnetic speaker grills on the Energy C-series are pretty cool, huh??

    The NHT SB-series is excellent; the SB2 was on my short list of finalist. The SB3 was good too but out of my price range. Keep in mind that the NHTs are of acoustic suspension design and require more power to drive than, say, the Energy C-series.
     
  7. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Danny.

    i think soon i'll be addicted to audition and types of speakers. some speakers have awesome looks and styles, i wish i could have them all. as i have read reviews on internet about KEF Q1, the author describes "free from COLORATION & SHUT IN effect", any idea how it's like? and on B&W DM602 S3, author decribes "firm and propulsive foundation avoiding thump & boom". is this means neutral? laid back?

    yeah i know that NHT SB3 is a little pricey ($456)

    PS: all terms/comments by author are from ecoustic.com
     
  8. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I auditioned the KEF Q1 when I was looking at the Tannoy x-MX series. Great looking speakers and the sound quality is to die for, especially at their asking price. I think the reason why it sounds sooooo good was the Uni-Q coaxial driver. Anyway, definitely check it out. If you looking at between $450.00/pair to $600.00/pair, I would highly recommend the Energy C-3, the KEF Q1, and the NHT SB3.

    I auditioned the B&W 300 and 600 series. They sounded OK, but you can get much better performance with speakers from any one of the Canadian speaker manufacturers (Paradigm, PSB, Energy, Mirage, Athena Tech, or Axiom) or British brands like KEF.
     
  9. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    i audition NHT SB3 yesteday. even though it's a short while (due to the store is closing) NHT with marantz SR-7200 amp is very impressive. the sound is a lot clearer than energy c-3. the speaker was not tested on theater room. the singing voice and guitars are very crisp and the drums fill the deep mid bass.
    i also bought KEF Q1 and brought home for audition. (ultimate electronics has KEF Q1) when audition at ultimate inside the theater room, the sound is louder (they are using denon 3803 amp) when i brought home, the sound is boomy. i crank the volume on a 0-90 scale up to 50. i tried 40 for a split second and the sound is significant loud especially when it's 12 midnight.

    so my question is am i on the right direction on cranking up the volume wise (40-50)? or can i go higher and avoid clipping? (i have no experience on clipping so the worst case for me would be it happen and i don't no):b

    what's the general volume level did you all crank up to? on listensing to CD or radio and wacthing DVD?

    thanks.

    edit: ultimate demo room is twice the size of the living room. speakers were set at ear level when standing. speakers were on the floor at home. the raised temperary with dining chair.
     
  10. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    If I remember correctly, the KEF is a lot more efficient than the NHT. Same situation with the Energy. You may also have to let the speaker break-in a little. Play the speakers at low volume for a couple of days, then listen again.

    Room acoustics is very important; some consider it to be the biggest component in a "system". I'm sure each of the speaker's owner manual will have placement guidelines. As for listening volume, everyone is different. I listen at relative low volume (especially when compared to HT levels) and during late nights (and yes, the power is cleaner during those hours, in my opinion).
     

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