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Best small bookshelf

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

What's the best small speaker you'd consider purchasing if it will be placed on a media center instead of stands? We recently went from a very small audio stand to a huge media cabinet (http://fromthesourceny.com/2012/08/vandamm-media/) and I'm looking for a speaker to place on the stand with a 42" lcd between. Would you consider something as high-end as a ProAc Tablette Anniversary? Use is probably 65% tv/movies and 35% music. I have a Revel B112 sub so bass extension won't be an issue.

post #2 of 18
KEF LS50 seems to be getting praise from ears I trust.
post #3 of 18

If you can find a place to audition the Audience 'The One' speakers, they're absolutely fantastic and completely defy their size...

post #4 of 18

Proac Tablette Anniversary are my main speakers and my advice is to give them as much room to breathe as possible.

They need nothing less than top notch stands and a room to suit them.

Anything less and the magic is gone.


For your situation I'd give the Harbeth P3 ESR's a proper try. They're fantastic speakers and also a closed design, making them a bit more wall/room friendly.

post #5 of 18

The ProAc Tablette is a fantastic speaker. I listened to a setup at an audio show and was blown away by the precise imaging and neutral balance. As Kamots noted, you'll be constrained as to placement from the back wall so bass quality may not be ideal. I would also tend to put the speakers flush with the front edge of the console to minimize reflections.


For the smoothest frequency response, you typically need the tweeter at about ear level when seated. If the tweeters are a few inches below or above you can also try tilting the cabinet so that the front baffle is facing up or down. I would also use Blu-tack to couple the speakers to the console.

post #6 of 18

+1 for KEF LS 50.. as an owner of these babies, i can tell only praises!

post #7 of 18

Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors  of any generation is my pick. 

post #8 of 18

As others have noted, reflections from the top surface of the console could be an issue unless you place them flush with the front of the media center.


I like the Revel M105/106, Gallo Strada 2,  Boenicke W5, Evolution Acoustics Mmmicroone. 


The Strada 2 have a few different "desktop style" stand mounts that might be interesting so they don't actually sit directly on the media console.  As a result, I would probably lean toward getting the Strada 2 with a dekstop stand.  

Edited by BlakeT - 3/10/14 at 2:05pm
post #9 of 18

Blake, wow, if you have heard those speakers, could you give a one-sentence (twitter-like I guess) impression of each (or more if you have the time)?

Thanks in advance.

post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Blake, wow, if you have heard those speakers, could you give a one-sentence (twitter-like I guess) impression of each (or more if you have the time)?

Thanks in advance.


Big caveat:  I have not heard any of these speakers in my system at my home so a big grain of salt is needed because room acoustics, speaker placement, partnering electronics are so important, but:


Revel M105/106:  Listened at Revel dealer.  Clean, impeccable presentation.  Very linear.  Some might nitpick just a tiny bit and call it ever so slightly polite, but not me.  I think the Performa3 series lost some marketing/pr/hype steam because the product line was originally supposed to be release almost two years ago.  I am not sure why they had so much delay in rolling out the line.


Strada 2:  Really open, detailed, seemingly no veil whatsoever.  Sound much larger than actual size.  See the review on 6moons, Srajan goes into great detail on these speakers and I can't add anything more to what Srajan writes, but I do agree with what he wrote.   


Mmmicroone:  Heard at audio show a couple years ago.  I just basically remember being quite impressed and thinking it was a great bang for the buck speaker.  Audio shows are notoriously bad settings for hearing a speaker at its best, but, I recall a very large soundstage, terrific imaging and very believable tone.  


Boenicke W5:  No personal experience, I am just going from the 6Moons review: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/boenicke5/1.html


There is just something about the Boenicke W5's that really appeals to me.  Stereodesk.com sells it.  I am not in the market, but if I were, I would roll the dice and buy it from stereodesk.com, due to the 30 day return policy.    Also, see: http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/boenicke/1.html

Edited by BlakeT - 3/11/14 at 5:28pm
post #11 of 18

Thanks Blake for taking the time for all that!  I have not heard any but Revels, but what you say matches my impression of Revel, clean but not clinical/etched. 


post #12 of 18

Check out the KEF LS50s. Personally I liked the KEF R300s a touch more for their better bass, but it is a larger and more clunky bookshelf.

post #13 of 18

I've gotta hear some of these KEFs at some point, their Uni-q driver is fascinating (and reminds me of the rather unique proprietary drivers in my beloved Audiences). 

post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

KEF LS50 seems to be getting praise from ears I trust.

Given the choice between the KEF LS50 or the mini maggies is there a clearly superior speaker system? Or (likely?) is it either selection would be awesome and equally relevant? I have not had the pleasure of auditioning either of these (or any others) so back in the same boat as when I ended up buying the LCD3s I just went on what I read and it turned out the reviews were actually pretty accurate overall. Would a sub be recommended with both of these speakers? I am assuming a sub would be a welcome addition to either system but then need to think crossover or a dedicated amp for the sub?

post #15 of 18

Well, I went and checked out the LS50s and ended up being an expensive exercise... I bought four of them for my home theater as replacements for my B&W CM9 and CM1 speakers. Personally I prefer their sound to the Magnepan MG12 and their bass output is pretty impressive for such a small bookshelf though it rolls off seriously after 50Hz (these speakers really sound a lot larger than they look, although it is more fair to say they disappear). I have Velodyne SPL-1200 Ultra subwoofer and it blends in very nicely with the LS50. I've yet to hear a speaker that images better than the LS50s (they also make the HE-500 sound like a warbled mess), I can only imagine getting this from much more expensive speakers. These have an uncanny knack for extracting detail (especially leading edges) while sounding lightning quick and neutral. For the price KEF are giving them away...

Edited by daerron - 3/17/14 at 4:10am
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