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Speaker shoppig tomorrow. Pls help add to list. And "bookshelf vs. floorstanding" (1 Viewer)

Aaron H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 28, 2001
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592
Hi everyone,

I am going speaker shopping tomorrow for 80% HT and 20% music use. I'd like to spend from about $500-$750 on main left and right speakers (I'll add the center and surrounds later). I plan on going to listen to the Paradigm Studio 40's (which I can get in that price range) and the B&W 602's.

I've been following some other threads and have seen some other brands mentioned. I'm also going to hit these shops, but would like some guideance on what speakers I can get from their lines.

I have seen PSB, Monitor Audio and Dynaudio mentioned that I think I would be interested in. Are the PSB Image 2B's comparable to the above? How about the Monitor Silver 4i's or Gold Reference 10's? Any recomendations from the Dynaudio line?

I'm also still unsure about the whole bookshelf vs. floorstanders debate. I will eventually be pairing these up with an SVS sub. And I think I like the look of bookshelfs on stands for the main fronts, but then again, this is all new to me, so what do I know.......I'll probably have a kid on the way in the next year and there's always the cats and dogs. Are bookshelf speakers on stands an issue with kids/pets?

Thanks as always,

Aaron
 

ZekAllen

Auditioning
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Nov 8, 2001
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I think you missing the point, if you have room for floorstanding then get them. Bookshelf is when you don't have room for floorstanding ones. Now if space is not an issue then get the best sounding floorstanding speakers you can afford and find. Now don't think because you have floorstanding speakers you can't add a sub, floorstanding speakers can't handle the bass for HT like a sub can. I believe you should by speakers on how good they sound on there own not how good they would sound if I add a Sub. BTW my two favorite brands are B&W and PSB I have 601 s2 and love the PSB 5T's so when I move to a bigger room soon I might jump over to some PSB 5T or B&W 603 S3 which should be out early next year.
 

Thomas_Berg

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Feb 28, 2001
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um, the Paradigm 40's are an AMAZING deal for ~$500. i'd like a pair for that price!!

mainly, floorstanding speakers have a little lower extension on the lower end, but dont sound quite as good IMO. since you'll have a sub (i assume), go with the Studio 40's and stands. wow, i want a pair for ~$500!!
 

Adil M

Supporting Actor
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Nov 21, 2001
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922
Aaron, right now I'm auditioning speakers. Those companies you mentioned are exactly the ones I've been looking at. The Paradigms have a sound I like. The Monitor Audio Silver 5's sounded great too, but different. I think bookshelves and a separate sub makes more sense most of the time.

Ex. Listen to Paradigm 40's and 60's. First of all the 60's are too short. You are going to have to prop them up to get the tweeter ear level. Second the 40's are clearer. Same drivers, tweeter, everything except the box. The 40's are clearer. Not much, but they are. 40's + stands = 60's. Listen yourself and you decide. The difference is so minimal you may prefer to just go on aesthetics. If you think that you're not really a music listener, you will be after auditioning those speakers. Good luck. If your pet or kid knocks over the bookshelf you didn't set it up right. My bookshelves now would have to be tackled by someone to knock over the bookshelf. Get posts that can be filled.
 
J

John Morris

mainly, floorstanding speakers have a little lower extension on the lower end, but dont sound quite as good IMO.
I hafta disagree with this sentiment. Generally, given equivalent costing drivers and electronics, IMO, there is no substitute for size when it comes to speaker building. If you peruse the most highly reviewed and praised loudspeakers, they are almost all large single cabinets or use a top mid/treble cabinet attached to a large lower mid/bass unit. I will never give up my large floor standers in the front... and now that I have gotten into SACD multichannel, I wish that I still used large floor standers in the rear too. Still, good bookshelves will outperform bad floorstanders... so you still haveta to the leg/ear work for yourself.
 

Tim_S

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Oct 2, 2000
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If you have drivers of roughly equal cost then I would agree that the floorstanders are likely to be better. However, all that extra cabinet seems to cost quite a bit. So what if you have the same total cost? Are the floorstanders still likely to be better? I don't think that is as certain an outcome.

Tim
 
J

John Morris

So what if you have the same total cost?
I guess that would depend on whether both speakers are highly restricted, price fixed by the manufacturer models. If one bookshelf model is a priced fixed unit, sold by only a few boutique B&M shops, and the other is a widely available highly price competitive floorstanding model of equal build and engineering skill... then I'd bet that the floorstander would be a better value. For example, right now, I can buy a brand new pair of Aerial 10T speakers for either $5900 or for $3900. Compared to another pair of 6 grand speakers, the 10T might be considered average. But compared to another pair of 4 grand speakers, it is exemplary.
 

JoeDelan

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Nov 1, 2001
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Well for that I would either go for the Polk RT 55I or the Polk RT800I.

The 55I are Bookshelf and the 800I are floor standing. BOTH Some of the BEST Speakers you can get for the PRice...You can get the 55I for about $400 and the 800I for about $600...

GREAT Speakers...
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
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If I can pitch in my two cents worth (Canadian Currency) I would go with Paradigm. I mounted a pair of Titans for my rear channels and I am in LOVE. I think my wife suspects something!:b
 

ScottH

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For home theater, I've always thought book shelves with a good sub sounded better. I'm also a Norhphile, so that could have something to do with it.
 

Chad Isaacs

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Feb 20, 2000
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I have two kids and I reccomend towers over bookshelfs on stands.I bought a set of klipsch sf-2's back in feb. and I love them.They have dual 6 1/2 drivers and a nice horn style tweeter.I think they run for $650,there is also their little sister,the sf-1 which only has a single 6 1/2,i got the sf-2 because they were out of the ones and sold them to me for the price of the 1's -$500
 

Brian Bunge

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Sep 11, 2000
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Aaron,
Since the thought of mail order subs doesn't seem to bother you, I'd strongly consider mail order speakers as well. For your price range you should really consider the ACI Emerald LE's. They are around $750/pair and up depending on finish. You'd have to look at something along the lines of the PSB Stratus Minis (around $1100 retail) to get comparable quality in finish and sound.
http://www.audioc.com/speakers/Emera...ald%20LE1.html
BTW, ACI has been around 25 years so you know they'll be here for quite awhile! Customer service is great as well.
Brian
 

Matt Bloxham

Agent
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Jul 11, 2001
Messages
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I have a pair of B&W 602 S2' s for the fronts and the 601 S2's for the rear surrronds, paired with a DefTech PF1500tl+ sub and I think it sounds great. I have a 2yr old and a 6 yr old and have no problem with the stands (frt & rear ) although they no not to touch ANY of Daddy's toys:D
Just my two cents!
Matt
 

MatthewJ S

Supporting Actor
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Feb 27, 2001
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I would first ask ,what receiver you aree going to use and what crossover setting(s) you would have at your disposal...If you would be crossing over at 80hz then I might tell you that bookshelves may be putting the money to better use ,but if you like to crossover at lower frequencies then floorstanding would make more sense...ask Tom V ,HE KNOWS A LOT ABOUT PARING UP WITH SVS !!!!
 

Henry W

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Jan 31, 2001
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128
You can pick up a pair of IL-40 Interlude Infinity three way speakers at Circuit City for $750 if you use your best negotiating tools. These are the best bang for the buck.

Best regards-Henry
 

John Garcia

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There are a number of speakers that will easily out class Infinity in that price range.
IMO, if you listen to mostly music, then floor standers set to large are the way to go. Large speakers will be more seemless than a bookshelf/sub combo.
If the listening is mostly HT, bookshelves and a sub with the mains set to small will most likely work the best. This allows you to drive the smaller speakers harder and send all the bass to the sub. A powered sub offloads much of the work from the receiver, allowing that power to be used on the smaller speakers.
I have 4 identical bookshelves with a matching center channel, set to small and I am very happy with this setup. I listen to about 50/50 music/HT, with the emphasis on the HT sounding better. :D
 

MarkPayton

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Apr 15, 1999
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As Chad mentioned, Klipsch is a good choice. You might even be able to squeeze in a pair of their reference series speakers. The RF3-IIs (floorstanders) are $800 per pair, as are their bookshelf counterparts, the RB5-IIs. I have the RB-5s, and mounted on stands they match beautifully with a good subwoofer. Also, no need to be too worried about kids if your stands are good - I have 3 very young ones and no issues so far. Then again, they know better than to play with Daddy's toys!:D
 

Taka

Agent
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Sep 16, 2001
Messages
31
Aaron,
At last something I can speak knowledgeably about! :)
I don't think bookshelf speakers with stands really should be an issue with kids/pets- if you use a good quality stand (I have Target stands in my living room), fill it with kitty litter/lead shot/sand/whatever and anchor the speaker to the stand, you should have no problem. I'm sure some audiophiles will chastise me for my choice, but I'm using Blu-tack to anchor my speakers to the tops of my stands and this has worked very well for me for the last 6 years or so.
As for your choice of speakers, excellent! I am a very big fan of B&Ws, so the 600 series should definitely be on your list to consider. One thing, though- if I'm not mistaken, your price range may fit the CDM series of speakers- IIRC, you can get the Nautilus tweeter in the CDMs, which I don't think you get with the 600 series- you should try and audition the CDMs as well.
Dynaudios- last I checked, they are way more than $750/pr. for even the cheapest model, although I have not checked in quite a while.
Have you considered Totems? They make a speaker around $800 w/o stand. I don't know how it sounds as I have not listened to it, but have heard good things about the line in general.
I would also consider getting a set of used speakers, if you can at least find a center channel to match. I wonder if you can get a B&W Matrix 805 pair along with a Matrix center channel for your front end at that price range- that would be a nice setup.
One other thing to consider, which I can't because you have not said what your using to power the whole thing, is amplification. Depending on your amps, the voicing of the speaker may not necessarily be compatible. My B&Ws do not like bright or lean sounding amps- admittedly I'm powering them through a bright, underpowered Rotel, which I need to alleviate by eventually getting an Audio Research tube preamp (or possibly one of the Conrad-Johnsons) and Bryston power amp.
 

David Head

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 5, 1999
Messages
302
Aaron,
If you don't mind a drive across the bay, you can arrange a demo of PSB speakers from:
Bay Area Audio Video
33160 US Highway 19 N
Palm Harbor
(727) 781-1704
They are located just north of Tampa Road on U.S. 19. I auditioned PSB Image 3LR and 4T speakers, B&W 601s and Paradigm Studio 40s when I was looking for speakers. The PSBs (using a Marantz SR7000) sounded similar to the B&Ws (using a Denon 3801 receiver), but seemed to have a little more emphasis on midrange. The Paradigm Studio series sounded a little warmer to me (using an Integra 7.1 Receiver). I liked all three, but the PSB was my favorite for music. The PSBs also excelled at home theater duties and sounded at least as good as the others IMO. The clincher for me was the fact that I could pick up the PSBs for less money than the other two. You realy owe it to yourself to at least give them a listen...
David
 

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