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Need Help Choosing Bookshelf Speakers

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm getting my first "serious" two-channel system and would like some help choosing speakers. I'd like to keep it under $500 for the pair.  The system will be used in a small living room and will be used almost exclusively for music. I listen to mainly alt. rock, with a healthy dose of jazz, and I listen to classical while studying.  In this price range, I was originally looking at B&W 686 ($480), which I've listened to and like, but I also found Polk's LSi7 for sale for on ebay $400, new from Polk with warranty, etc.

 

From what I've read, the LSi7s sound great and are a steal at this price, but I'm a little worried about buying speakers I've never listened to (and can't anywhere near where I live). They also have a reputation of being hard to drive. They're rated at 20-150W at 4Ohm, and the Amp I'm planning on buying is a NuForce DDA-100 and puts out 75W/channel at 4 Ohm, and I won't be playing them that loud in my small room, so I think I'm OK.

 

That's what I'm looking at so far, but I'm also open to other suggestions for speakers. What does everyone think?

post #2 of 24

You might get some great speaker advice on Head-Fi.

Also try posting your home audio questions on the AVforum & AVSforum websites.

post #3 of 24

How large is your living room? you might want to bump up to the 685 if your budget allows this. Otherwise you can get a good filling sound with the addition of a subwoofer to the 686. They are a decent entry level bookshelves.
 

post #4 of 24

A lot of people these days are moving away from old school passive systems and using active monitors originally designed for studio or other professional audio applications. You might want to take a look at what is available before making a final decision.

 

The most well known manufacturer is Genelec who pretty much invented the concept twenty years ago. More recently ADAM audio have enjoyed massive success due to the incredible price/performance ratio of their AnX series. Other companies you might want to look at at the higher end of the market are Focal, Neumann KH and Event. If money is tight KRK and Fostex have good reputations for the price.

 

For $500 these would be my recommendation. http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/products/a3x/technical-data

 

Get the matching sub later if you felt you needed it.

 

If you really feel you must have something with a lower frequency response now then consider. http://www.krksys.com/krk-studio-monitor-speakers/rokit/rokit-8.html

 

Top Tip: Try and avoid the temptation to go much below 40KHz in a domestic setting. The low bass energy can cause more problems than it is worth without expensive room treatment and is always a potential nuisance for neighbours/family members. Better to have a sub for if and when you need it - then turn it off late at night.

post #5 of 24

Not a problem as nothing decent under $500 goes much below 40hz. Epos just discontinued their Epic models which were $600 and $800 respectively. Both have tight bass and are revealing and neutral with quite boxes. Maybe you can find a deal on a VG product.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Not a problem as nothing decent under $500 goes much below 40hz. Epos just discontinued their Epic models which were $600 and $800 respectively. Both have tight bass and are revealing and neutral with quite boxes. Maybe you can find a deal on a VG product.

 

Demo - are they any good?  I read a couple of not so favorable comments on the Epic 1 , fwiw.

post #7 of 24

75 W is plenty in a small space. You might also want to consider a used NAD / Cambridge Audio / Rotel integrated amp. Also Paradigm (Mini Monitor), PSB (Image B6), Music Hall (Marimba) have been well-reviewed for small speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

Top Tip: Try and avoid the temptation to go much below 40KHz in a domestic setting. The low bass energy can cause more problems than it is worth without expensive room treatment and is always a potential nuisance for neighbours/family members. Better to have a sub for if and when you need it - then turn it off late at night.

 

I think the poster meant 40 Hz here. The rest of the tip doesn't make sense to me as a sub would play sounds below 40 Hz. 

 

Use the following as starting points to help place your speakers / listening position:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/reference/1008speaks/

 

http://www.psbspeakers.com/articles/Speaker-Placement-Tips-for-Real-Sound

post #8 of 24

Hmm if Fry's an option those LSi7s are $199!

http://www.frys.com/product/3586944?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

also i am assuming these are for PC Audio/nearfield : u dun need a beefy amp even for the above speakers

post #9 of 24
post #10 of 24
Quote:
the tip doesn't make sense to me as a sub would play sounds below 40 Hz.

 

Well the point is with a separate sub you can turn it off or turn it down and placement is not such a big issue as there is only a single driver which is indepenent of the mids/highs as far as location is concerned. The ADAM sub 7 'only' goes down to 32Hz. which as the open E string on a bass guitar is far enough.,

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

 

Well the point is with a separate sub you can turn it off or turn it down and placement is not such a big issue as there is only a single driver which is indepenent of the mids/highs as far as location is concerned. The ADAM sub 7 'only' goes down to 32Hz. which as the open E string on a bass guitar is far enough.,

 



Typically bass problems result from standing waves and reflections which are a function of frequency and room dimensions as well as distance from room boundaries. Therefore, you can have problems at frequencies higher than what using a subwoofer would 'solve'.

 

My suggestion is to read through the following when looking for a starting point with respect to speaker placement:

 

http://www.psbspeakers.com/articles/Speaker-Placement-Tips-for-Real-Sound

 

http://www.stereophile.com/reference/1008speaks/

post #12 of 24

If your really liked the B&W already and feel they are good price you might want to buy them not to say you can't like something better if you really like the sound then you already got something some people don't.

But here some suggestions of other speakers in that price range.

 

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 or 10.2
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15476-wharfedale-diamond-101-bookshelf-speaker-pr.aspx?source=igodigital&

Focal 706 or 705
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-focal-chorus-706v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

Mordaunt Short Aviano 1 or 2
hideflifestyle.com
audioadvisor.com
dedicatedaudio.com

Dali Zensor 1
dedicatedaudio
hideflifestyle

NHT Classic Aboslute Zero

nhthifi.com
nht themselves give free shipping and free return shipping.

PSB Image B5 or the Alpha B1
crutchfield or audioadvisor

Monitor Audio Bronze BX 1 or BX 2
audioadvisor.com

 

Epos Epic 1 or 2

musicdirect.com


there are also internet direct speaker companies with bookshelf speakers
http://emptek.com/index.php
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/
http://www.htd.com/#&panel1-1
 


Edited by mibutenma - 6/24/13 at 3:14pm
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

EPOS EPIC 2 ($399.00) !

 

Stereophile reviews 

 

I jumped on this deal and got the Epos Epic 2's in yesterday afternoon. Wow - they are everything they are cracked up to be, and for $400 an incredible steal. Epos recommends 24-36 hours of burn in, but after just a few hours they really started to sing. The bass is still a little cloudy, but after only 4 hours of listening, I expect it to still tighten up. The highs were nowhere near as strident as I thought they'd be right out of the box (and as I'd read in some reviews). I listened to the following albums using my Rega RP1 and Little Dot MK IV SE as a pre-amp: Mingus Ah Um; Dexter Gordon - Go; Dave Douglas - Be Still; Fiona Apple - Idler Wheel.....; Hendrix - Axis: Bold as Love; Harper/Musselwhite - Get Up Everytime I tried to do something else, like check the internet, the music would pull me back in, slap me, and say "pay attention." As soon as I finished the Harper/Musselwhite album, I wanted to flip it back to side 1 and re-drop the needle. The slide guitar, harmonica, and voices sounded rich and accurate. I was also fairly surprised at how accurate Mingus' bass sounded considering it was the first music played through the speakers. The timbre was spot on. I read a comment that these are floor standers disguised as bookshelf speakers and that seems appropriate! The soundstage, imaging, and instrument seperation were amazing. So far, I feel like these would be worth every penny of the original $800 pricetag.......but for $400, a steal.
Edited by mrpink44 - 6/27/13 at 4:16am
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpink44 View Post

 

I read a comment that these are floor standers disguised as bookshelf speakers and that seems appropriate!

 

lol, I need to have a listen to these floor standers in disguise ph34r.gif

post #15 of 24

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

EPOS EPIC 2 ($399.00) !

 

Stereophile reviews 

 

Among these I'd say the Epic2s are the best value. I wouldn't even consider the Diamonds at this price range, but do take note here in SEAsia I can get those for around $175 and for $300 I was able to get the Pacific Evo10's, so that might be skewing my judgment (they're extremely good value for $175 though, beat only by local low volume speaker makers/DIY-ers; others are cheaper online but shipping going here plus customs can double the price).

 

If my own personal preferences are concerned, I'd go for the Focals - I tried my NAD304 with them and the sound was fantastic. Very dynamic, with the right source (at the time the best I tried was the Arcam CD72 followed by the Cayin CD50T) no notes were overdone but it was by no means "boring" as the bass slammed hard yet very fast. The combo was more sensitive to cables than others I've tried though - this was on the horrendously priced, $10/ft Chord Silvers; a thick, dual 12ga copper/terminal braided cable (forgot the brand but the model was "Livewire," and no it's not the brand) was too bassy (friend gave it as a freebie with some other stuff, supposedly horrendously priced when new), and my Belden 12ga coppers at $2/meter were actually making the second most even sound (ha! beat that, expensive cables!).

 

I didn't go home with the Focals though, and sat on it despite the sale price. A year and a half later I got the HD600 and new pads, and I'm still happy. Not going back to a speaker set-up until I rebuild one of the rooms to be dedicated for audio, but I still hang around the hi-fi stores once in a while to chat with the owners and listen to what they have.

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