Small Bookshelves for both music and movies? ($200 - 400)

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by AaronMK, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Aaron Karp
    My brother is looking to replace a front pair of Bose speakers in his home theater (A big step foward, of course).

    His budget is $200 - $400. Right now, he is considering the following:

    JBL Northridge E30
    Cambridge SoundWorks Newton Series™ M60
    Cambridge SoundWorks Newton Series™ M80
    Boston Acoustics CR75B
    Boston Acoustics CR85B
    HTD Level 3
    HTD Level 4
    Polk Audio PLK RTI4BK
    Polk Audio PLK RTI6BK
    Infinity INI ALPHA20BK
    Axiom M3ti


    He doesn't want them to be bigger than 15" inches. He wants them to be able to sound great with both music and movies.

    He will be matching them with a JBL center channel and with Boston Accoutics surrounds. While I would think that a pair of JBLs would be a great match for that center channel of his, I am not sure about consistency between brands and the correctness of that assumption. He also listens to music in straight stereo (no DSP modes that use more than the two mains and the sub). His music/movie ratio is 50/50, so if some of these are really a lot better for music, he would probabably be willing to compromise the matching to his center channel just as long as pans don't sound completely out of whack.

    His sub sucks, but living in an apartment, he isn't going to be looking for a setup to play deep bass at high volumes anyway. On that note though, decent response at lower frequencies (at least in the context of bookshelf speakers), is a consideration as well.

    All advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  3. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I second CurtisSC recomendation, the best speakers you can get inside the $400 range are CMB-170.

    But if you want to save a little, JBL studio series bookshelfs do a very good job for HT, check

    JBL S26 $150
    JBL S38 $250
     
  4. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    There is a poll on AVS right now titled Best Value in a Small Bookshelf. I think the size criteria there are a little more stringent than your friend's, but you should find some useful information in the accompanying thread.

    Hope that helps,

    Jeff
     
  5. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    I would also add the KEF Q1s to that list. For pure music listening -- especially if he values imaging and soundstaging -- they are very very hard to beat.

    And they excel with voices, too, so are good for HT. Eventually he could upgrade the center to match and have a pretty killer system for not a lot of do-re-mi.

    P.S. Full disclosure: I'm a KEF fan and have two pairs right now -- Q15 and Q3.
     
  6. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the suggestions.

    I passed on JBL, KEF Q1, and Ascend recommendations to my brother.

    He doesn't want to order blind and risk return shipping if he does't like the speakers, so I think the Ascends are out.

    The Boston Accoutics CR85B are on the top of his list now because he likes how they sound (can't argue with that reasoning), but hopefully he'll give the KEF's a listen.

    If he likes the KEF's are there places he can order them from that might save him some dough?

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You might want to check out some of the online companies. Curtis has already suggested the excellent Ascend 170s. For a somewhat different sound (and a different look), you should check out the Rocket 150.

    I'm not personally familiar with Axiom's products, but they get very good reviews.
     
  8. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well, you can't go wrong with JBL s38's, they are failry amazing for the money. But, I don't think they quite make the size grade and are best placed horizontle.
     

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