Yet another "Which powered speakers should I buy - $400-500 range" Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-16-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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The title says it all.

After reading review upon review I've narrowed my choices down to a pair of Vanatoo Transparent One's or Airmotiv 5's. Leaning towards the Vanatoos as they are capable of 40Hz, where all other speakers in the size/ prize category rarely go below 55Hz. They also have automatic crossover should I add a sub down the road.

I listen mainly to lossless music and prefer a mostly flat sound. I have auditioned a pair of M-Audio BX5a Deluxe as well as Yamaha HS50M and while they are stunning (especially the HS50M's) when listening to well mixed music, they reveal every flaw in a recording making some music in my collection unenjoyable. Also, I miss bass in the majority of the music I played through them. The same two points go even more so for movies, things tend to sound very thin and with now low end. Not that I need room shaking bass, but I do want to be able to clearly hear a Cello in classical music or the bass being plucked in a Jazz recording.

If I could find something with a smiliar midrange and treble clarity as the BX5a's or HS50M's but with more support in the low end, those would be the perfect speakers for me.

My setup is that I run HDMI from my PC to my TV, and from there I will run RCA to my future speakers. I had a pair of Audioengine A2's in this config for a while, but they don't quite fill the room (~16ft x 20ft).
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-17-2013, 03:46 AM
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Check out the Paradigm Shift A2 powered speakers. They come in at the top of your price range. They will fill the room w/sound.smile.gif
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-17-2013, 08:10 AM
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If it's bass you want you should list the larger emotiva 6. I like ribbon tweeters as well (or soft dome like audioengine a5+).
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-17-2013, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Whoa - typo! I meant 400-500.

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Check out the Paradigm Shift A2 powered speakers. They come in at the top of your price range. They will fill the room w/sound.

I have looked at and read a few reviews about the Paradigms when I was doing my research. From the reviews I've read they are very capable speakers but don't seem like the best bang for the buck (Review 1, Review 2, Review 3). They do have my attention however and are not off the table if I can find a good argument for them. If I was to go by looks alone, I would go ahead and get them although I'd have to stretch my budget a bit.

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If it's bass you want you should list the larger emotiva 6. I like ribbon tweeters as well (or soft dome like audioengine a5+).

Here's where I'm coming from with the bass: I'm not looking for speakers to listen to dance or club music that can shake the room. I'm just looking for something that can give me decent low end support until I possibly add a sub down the road.

My main thing with the Vanatoo's is, they are a newcomer and I'm not sure I like that they achieve their flatness via DSP. I like their size - I wouldn't have to purchase speaker stands and then rearrange furniture. I also like that they automatic crossover switching, should I add a sub down the road.

What I like about emotiva, is the upgrade potential down the road. The have all the building blocks for future upgrades.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-17-2013, 09:17 AM
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The emotiva Airmotiva 6 won't shake the room, but it has a little more room in the lower end according to its specs.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-18-2013, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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What about the 'hiss' I keep reading about on the Paradigm A2's? Is that something Paradigm has acknowledged and fixed or is that something one needs to learn to live when owning these speakers?

What I like about them is their size (same goes for the Vanatoo). I can add them onto the TV stand without the need to purchase additional speaker stands. I have about 6.5in on either side of my TV. For the Airmotiv 5's or 6's I'd have to start moving furniture and block the balcony door to accomdate speaker stands.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE: I got a good deal on a pair of Paradigm Shift A2 speakers, too good to refuse.

The hiss I mentioned is something that occured in the first gen Shift A2's, Paradigm has since come out with a revised edition which addresses the issue.

For anyone having a similar question or looking for desktop/ multimedia speakers, here is a good read to start with. Keep in mind there are more options though but this is a good place to start. Before I posted here I read many reviews so I was already more or less familiar with the suggestions made. Keep in mind that ultimately no review can substitute being able to audition and listen to the speakers for yourself.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 01:11 PM
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Nice speakers. I heard tham at my dealers. They were hooked up to an I-pad pretty impressive. If you want to tighten up the bottom end get a pair of stands.smile.gif
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-19-2013, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually they come with the A2 stands. Would stands or foam be better?
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-20-2013, 06:14 AM
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Go w/the free stands first. If you like the sound then you just saved some cash. I heard them on stands & flat on a Salamander rack. smile.gif
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-20-2013, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A View Post

Go w/the free stands first. If you like the sound then you just saved some cash. I heard them on stands & flat on a Salamander rack. smile.gif

Was there any difference between the two?
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-20-2013, 03:46 PM
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Sitting flat on a table the bass was a bit bloated. On the stands the bass tighter and was more tuneful.smile.gif
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-21-2013, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, good to know!
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-25-2013, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I got the speakers yesterday. Set-up was (mostly) a breeze, it did take me a moment to figure out how to set them up using RCA only. the instruction manual refers to using a RCA-to-minijack adapter. They are certainly room filling and the bass is quite impressive and certainly plenty for my apartment. I like how precise the bass is, not in the least bit boomy as my Audioengine A2's tend to be.

On the downside, the Paradigms produce an audible hiss. This is less of an issue when playing music at louder levels as the hiss is then masked (but still present). When playing music at lower levels and/ or during quieter passages especially when listening to Jazz, Classical, Vocal or Piano Music (Chopin's Nocturnes for example), the hiss is clearly audible. This is even more an issue when watching movies.

Midrange doesn't provide a very full-bodied sound and doesn't have a lot of depth, instead it sounds rather thin, while the treble can sound it bit too bright for my taste. If it wasn't for the hissing, I could probably live with that but all things considered listening can quickly become fatiguing, to the point I had to switch back to my TV speakers while watching a movie.

Anyway, I'll likely be returning them and getting a pair of Airmotive 5's instead, even if that means I'll have to get new furniture or stands to accomodate them.
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post #15 of 15 Old 06-26-2013, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bitg33k View Post

Well, I got the speakers yesterday. Set-up was (mostly) a breeze, it did take me a moment to figure out how to set them up using RCA only. the instruction manual refers to using a RCA-to-minijack adapter. They are certainly room filling and the bass is quite impressive and certainly plenty for my apartment. I like how precise the bass is, not in the least bit boomy as my Audioengine A2's tend to be.

On the downside, the Paradigms produce an audible hiss. This is less of an issue when playing music at louder levels as the hiss is then masked (but still present). When playing music at lower levels and/ or during quieter passages especially when listening to Jazz, Classical, Vocal or Piano Music (Chopin's Nocturnes for example), the hiss is clearly audible. This is even more an issue when watching movies.

Midrange doesn't provide a very full-bodied sound and doesn't have a lot of depth, instead it sounds rather thin, while the treble can sound it bit too bright for my taste. If it wasn't for the hissing, I could probably live with that but all things considered listening can quickly become fatiguing, to the point I had to switch back to my TV speakers while watching a movie.

Anyway, I'll likely be returning them and getting a pair of Airmotive 5's instead, even if that means I'll have to get new furniture or stands to accomodate them.

Yea, I'd return for sure.
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