Small bookshelf speaker opinions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yann, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Yann

    Yann Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking at acquiring a small but high quality bookshelf speaker for a primarily music system. I would like to stay under $300 a pair, which does limit my choices somewhat (if only money grew on trees...). I'll be driving them with a Sony STR-D915, an old but rather good receiver (about 110W RMS). I've given a lot of consideration to the Klipsch SB-1, as well as looking into some of the Polk products (RT25i or RT15i). Does anyone have some suggestions or recommendations before I set out on my all day listening tour? Of course I will be bringing a set of my favorite CDs to give them a spin. As a side thought, does anyone have recommendations on speaker wire for such a small system? I'm currently leaning toward the ubiquitous monster cable.
     
  2. Dan_Jones

    Dan_Jones Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say check out a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitors. They are great little speakers, I know I love mine. I enjoy using them for music also.

    james
     
  4. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree with James, I also have mini monitors and love em.
     
  5. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Polk 25i speakers in my bedroom set-up and I'm not overly enamored of them. I used to have Paradigm Mini Monitors as my fronts and they were great. A friend of mine bought my Paradigm Titans and I was listening to them the other day. I was blown away with how good they sounded. Mordaunt Short Declaration 902s are intriging little speakers. I'm thinking of replacing my Polks with them.
     
  6. Steve WC

    Steve WC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    0
    Axiom--More bang for the buck.
     
  7. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    JBL S38 $299 SHIPPED from JANDR.com (check out review from stereophile.com)..Amazing speakers...
     
  8. John_Bilbrey

    John_Bilbrey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isn't anyone a fan of BA around here? Check out the CR85s. Retail is $399/pr, found them locally for less than $300.
     
  9. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have both the Paradigm Mini Monitors and the Titans. I use the Minis for fronts and the Titans for the rear. I have done some extensive A-B comparison between the 2. They are both very similar, but the Minis have a better mid range. The Titans sounded slightly harsher on the high end. The Minis also image better. That is not to say that the Titans are bad speakers. The Titans are great speakers that almost match the Mini Monitors, it is just that their 3/4 CMC tweeter doesn't quite have the range of the 1" PTD. The only problem you will have is that I paid $314 + tax for the Minis. That is slightly out of your range. But the Titans only cost $194 + tax. For $200 the Titans are excellent speakers.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I demoed a pair of Polk RT3i5s this weekend, and I was quite unimpressed. Their previous price was roughly that of the Mini Monitors (MSRP $350), and they don't even compare to the Minis. Even at their current close-out prices, they are not worth what is being asked. In fact, I would compare them more closely to Paradigm Titans. I have Mini Monitors and have zero complaints about them. They do a great job for either music or HT. I also have 2 pairs of Titans, and they are great speakers for the price.

    Under $300, I would recommend a pair of Titans. Very good sound for right around $200 (I just picked up a pair for $189) Monster XP should be perfect for your system. Good quality wire without being expensive.

    I don't want to pick on you, but the 915 hardly puts out 110wpc. It is rated @ 1khz, PEAK, NOT 20-20Khz, and the DE line from Sony is known for their weak amps. I would expect this receiver actually puts out more like 50wpc cleanly, during demanding material, if you are lucky. I got rid of my 815 for $50 a few months ago, rated at 100wpc and it just had too much distortion.

    I replaced it with a demo unit Marantz SR4000 that is 70wpc 20-20Khz, and it is like night and day. Music is SO much more clean and there is basically no distortion at levels the 815 would have been choking at. Even at elevated listening levels for about an hour, the 4000 does not even get warm, and it only cost me $150.
     
  11. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,181
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Yann

    Yann Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the advice so far! I've basicly thrown out the Polk line of speakers. I would like to audition an Axiom, but they really aren't easy to find (local retailers that is). I have put the Paradigm Titan on the list of speakers I would like to hear. I haven't seem any word on the Klipsch yet, anyone have a report on those? On my current receiver, I've personaly never noticed that, but I'll sure pay attention to it once I get a decent pair of speakers hooked up. Once again, thanks for your help!
     
  13. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you can, try to audition the Mission M71 and M72. The M71 just received a glowing review in Stereophile. I am going to audition these at my local dealer. BTW, J&R have the M71 at US$199.95/pair and the M72 at US$299.95/pair. They are an authorized dealer even though their name didn't show up on the authorized dealer list. How did I know? I received a call from Denon, Mission's distributor in the US, and they recommend (rather highly) J&R.
     
  14. Andrew JC

    Andrew JC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. Kenny Booth

    Kenny Booth Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    You never said is this sterio? 5.1? Sub?

    5.1 with sub go with Paradigm Titan--like it louder go with Paradigm Minis.

    Sterio no sub--go with JBL S38--@ $299 shipped that's a deal.

    Home Depo for speaker wire
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I forgot to mention, while I was at Circuit sChity demoing the Polks (hate that place, but Polks are on closeout so I figured I'd check them out), I also noticed the Infinity IL10s. Both were with an Onkyo 595 stereo, no sub. The IL10s were quite impressive, and are currently selling for $299/pr at Crutchfield (one could likely find them for less elsewhere though). Infinity has always had excellent tweeters, and the midrange is very clear. Nice looking too. I would definitely give these a listen, as I thought they sounded great, and are a good buy at that price.

    Another excellent speaker is the NHT SB2 - small, sealed, nice tweeters and very tight, accurate midrange. MSRP is a little above what you are looking to spend though, at around $400/pr.
     
  17. Doug Drake

    Doug Drake Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yann - I second your idea of looking at the Klipsch. You might even be able to find the SB-2 for close to $350, especially if you don't mind buying off the 'net. There are some places (not authorized dealers, but that doesn't always matter -- up to you) that have some pretty good deals.

    My suggestion for your listening session is to close your eyes and let your mind really focus on the sound. Also, it is unlikely you'll find Klipsch, Polk, and JBL in the same place. See what the dealer's return policy is - it would be great if you could take home the "finalists" and a/b compare them in YOUR surroundings.

    Doug
     
  18. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard almost all the speakers mentioned - saved the ARs and the Missions - and I think all of them are great speakers. It just depends on how you like them to sound. Personally, I think the Polk Audio RT25i and the RT35i are great-sounding speakers, even at their regular price. I will also add B&W 303, KEF Cresta 2, JBL S26, Athena Technologies S2, Wharfedale Diamond 8.1 and 8.2, Home Theater Direct Level Three bookshelfs, and if you can still find them, the great Boston Acoustics CR8. They are all $300.00/pair or under.

    I will wait for Phil I. to chime in for his opinions on the JBL S26. I owned these before and they were great!
     
  19. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yann since you're in California I believe, also take a look at the Cambridge SOundworks Newton line of bookshelf speakers which are in your price range. I think everyone else has already mentioned all of my other ideas.

    cheers,

    --tom
     
  20. Dan_Jones

    Dan_Jones Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2001
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page