Help selecting small bookshelf setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Help selecting small bookshelf setup

Hello,

I'm looking for suggestions for a bookshelf system for my living room. The system will live in the bookshelf which is 12 inches deep, so I need a relatively shallow solution. The room is quite large (18x24) with less than ideal acoustics (wood floor, lots of windows), so I know it won't be a true hi-fi experience and I'm ok with that. I'm open to almost anything - new, vintage, system in a box, all the way to just powered speakers with a separate tuner and other components. My main desires are for good FM reception and the ability to hook up a chromecast audio with an external DAC. Don't necessarily need CD player or anything else. Mainly looking for what I'll call "meidum-fi" solution in the ballpark of $350. I listen to all types of music as well as talk radio/podcasts if that helps.

I've been looking around and stumbled across a few things like the Onkyo CS-265(B)mini system (forum won't let me post the link, sorry ), and I also was looking at the Audioengine A5+ powered speakers, but I don't know what kind of tuner I would pair with it. Any suggestions/ideas in the price ballpark would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ajssbp View Post
Hello,

I'm looking for suggestions for a bookshelf system for my living room. The system will live in the bookshelf which is 12 inches deep, so I need a relatively shallow solution. The room is quite large (18x24) with less than ideal acoustics (wood floor, lots of windows), so I know it won't be a true hi-fi experience and I'm ok with that. I'm open to almost anything - new, vintage, system in a box, all the way to just powered speakers with a separate tuner and other components. My main desires are for good FM reception and the ability to hook up a chromecast audio with an external DAC. Don't necessarily need CD player or anything else. Mainly looking for what I'll call "meidum-fi" solution in the ballpark of $350. I listen to all types of music as well as talk radio/podcasts if that helps.

I've been looking around and stumbled across a few things like the Onkyo CS-265(B)mini system (forum won't let me post the link, sorry ), and I also was looking at the Audioengine A5+ powered speakers, but I don't know what kind of tuner I would pair with it. Any suggestions/ideas in the price ballpark would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Receiver with WiFi.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

Speakers.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r/1.html#!more

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 02:14 PM
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With all due respect to @gajCA , I would go a different direction there, especially on the speakers. 12" deep bookshelf with almost 10" deep speakers with a rear port likely won't work out well.

Either a shallower speaker or a front-ported/sealed speaker would be better there. I'd recommend the Wavecrest HVL-1 or the Ascend HTM-200.

Unless you really need the wifi, I'd go with a cheaper receiver to make up the difference, maybe http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SunByrne View Post
With all due respect to @gajCA , I would go a different direction there, especially on the speakers. 12" deep bookshelf with almost 10" deep speakers with a rear port likely won't work out well.

Either a shallower speaker or a front-ported/sealed speaker would be better there. I'd recommend the Wavecrest HVL-1 or the Ascend HTM-200.

Unless you really need the wifi, I'd go with a cheaper receiver to make up the difference, maybe http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html
Yeah, the WiFi receiver makes speaker choices nigh impossible to stay within budget.

WhatHiFi did love the SX50s but suggested 11" behind the speaker which can be achieved if the OP gets some $6 MDF from Home Depot, paints it black, they will cut to size for free, and extends his shelf out to give the speakers some rear breathing room.

Can use double sided foam tape to hold it down.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-2-...8107/205881911

Geoff A. J., California
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Yeah, the WiFi receiver makes speaker choices nigh impossible to stay within budget.

WhatHiFi did love the SX50s but suggested 11" behind the speaker which can be achieved if the OP gets some $6 MDF from Home Depot, paints it black, they will cut to size for free, and extends his shelf out to give the speakers some rear breathing room.

Can use double sided foam tape to hold it down.
Thanks for the input so far. As far as Wifi I don't need it. I'm perfectly content with a "dumb" receiver.

I get what you are saying about extending the shelf, but I know my kids would yank on it and that would end poorly. Or I put it up higher and I smack my head on it.... hence why I'm looking for something shallower.

There is a part of me that wonders if I should just get some ok less expensive speakers like some Polk R150s (or similar) and just go for it. This setup isn't going to be for really serious listening, mainly just background music when we're doing other stuff in the living room. Thanks for the input so far, more suggestions are welcome!
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Yeah, the WiFi receiver makes speaker choices nigh impossible to stay within budget.

WhatHiFi did love the SX50s but suggested 11" behind the speaker which can be achieved if the OP gets some $6 MDF from Home Depot, paints it black, they will cut to size for free, and extends his shelf out to give the speakers some rear breathing room.

Can use double sided foam tape to hold it down.
Thanks for the input so far. As far as a wifi receiver I don't need one. I'm fine with a "dumb" receiver. All I really want out of this unit is a decent FM tuner and an aux in to hook up a Chromecast audio to.

I see what you are saying about extending the shelf, but if I did that I know my kids would yank on it and that would end poorly. I could raise it up, but then I'd smack my head on it. Hence why I'm looking for shallow units.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming!
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 09:19 PM
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Yep, if you don't need wifi, I stand by the Wavecrest HVL-1 idea.

_____
Study: Schiit Bifrost Multibit > Yamaha A-S500 > Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 NrT/Emotiva S8
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-12-2017, 09:48 PM
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Good FM reception? Ha ha, oh you are such a comedian. Seriously and sadly, I'm not sure any receiver pays much attention to that any more. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Unless you are close and have a good antenna, you may get better sound from station websites. AS for that Onkyo system, the power output spec is quite low and the real world power probably lower. I would want a real receiver, which used from Craiglist could be fine for starters...or maybe for a long time.

As for the speakers, here's something that sounds great
https://www1.crutchfield.com/p_970B6/ELAC-Debut-B6.html
http://averagejoeaudiophile.blogspot...w-hotness.html
Now, there IS a rear port, looks to be maybe 2" so with a 10-15/16" depth on a 12" shelf, not enough. BUT as an acoustics guy (loudspeaker engineer) I believe in sticking bookshelf speakers a couple of inches out from the bookshelf to unclutter the sound. Then the port should have enough room to breathe, presuming you don't have the back of the speakers jammed with books totally to the wall on all sides, top, and bottom. You could even stick a little cone on the walls directly behind the port but really it will be fine. If this eats up too much of your budget, there is an ELAC B5 https://www1.crutchfield.com/p_970B5/ELAC-Debut-B5.html, which is also shallower at 9-11/16" but really if you get the B6 the bass won't ever need a sub for casual listening. We've heard them several times and been impressed.

I also have liked Polk, but not seeing anything fitting your depth. PSB is another well respected company and here is a classic model, 9.5" deep
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PBALB1

How TALL can you fit in your shelves?
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 02:44 AM
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Emotiva has a satellite speaker that is only 4" thick that is front ported. Power handling 60 watts continuous, 120 peak. 269 bucks. Play down to a F3 of 65 hz. I was looking for the airmotiv powered speakers and they seem to be taken off their website.

https://emotiva.com/product/airmotiv-e-1/

Anyway, that and a stereo receiver from accessories 4 less, should do the trick.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 04:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Good FM reception? Ha ha, oh you are such a comedian. Seriously and sadly, I'm not sure any receiver pays much attention to that any more. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Unless you are close and have a good antenna, you may get better sound from station websites. AS for that Onkyo system, the power output spec is quite low and the real world power probably lower. I would want a real receiver, which used from Craiglist could be fine for starters...or maybe for a long time.

As for the speakers, here's something that sounds great
Now, there IS a rear port, looks to be maybe 2" so with a 10-15/16" depth on a 12" shelf, not enough. BUT as an acoustics guy (loudspeaker engineer) I believe in sticking bookshelf speakers a couple of inches out from the bookshelf to unclutter the sound. Then the port should have enough room to breathe, presuming you don't have the back of the speakers jammed with books totally to the wall on all sides, top, and bottom. You could even stick a little cone on the walls directly behind the port but really it will be fine. If this eats up too much of your budget, there is an ELAC B5 , which is also shallower at 9-11/16" but really if you get the B6 the bass won't ever need a sub for casual listening. We've heard them several times and been impressed.

I also have liked Polk, but not seeing anything fitting your depth. PSB is another well respected company and here is a classic model, 9.5" deep

How TALL can you fit in your shelves?
Thanks! This info helps a lot on the speaker placement in the bookcase.

Height is more flexible as the shelves are adjustable. I'd like to stick to around 12 inches tall, but I'm a little flexible. The elac's would probably be pushing it at 14 inches plus some headspace above the speaker. I've heard they are great, but not sure I can afford the space.

Anybody have any input on the Q Acoustics 2020i? WhatHiFi seemed to really like them for the price. Keep the suggestions rolling! Thanks!
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 08:18 AM
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Anybody have any input on the Q Acoustics 2020i? WhatHiFi seemed to really like them for the price. Keep the suggestions rolling! Thanks!
There is a current thread in the speaker area where a member has tested them and thinks they are great for the money.

Q Acoustics 2020i Bookshelf -- My Early Take

I tested the Concept 20s and they certainly lived up to their rave reviews.

Another well received speaker to consider is this one, Best Buy with their easy returns...should play lower than the 2020is.

As they are designed to be hung on a wall if you so choose with the included port spacer bracket in the rear and keyhole slot for hanging they should not be as fussy in placement as the Cambridge Audios I linked earlier. I did not find the Q Acoustics to be fussy with placement either.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/polk-aud...SABEgI5-_D_BwE

Receiver.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

Geoff A. J., California
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 10:02 AM
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...some headspace above the speaker...
That's not necessary in that application, as long as a rear port can "breathe" the bass around the stuff on the shelves. If like my uncle your shelves were stuffed solid with books to where you couldn't see the back wall at all it would be a problem, but otherwise it's OK. Now if you don't want the shelves 14" tall, that's another story.

The biggest thing is that speakers are all very different, even ones of "similar quality." So you MUST be able to return them if you don't like them = buy from a reputable known place with a clear return policy. Don't buy from discount sites unless they are well know for being easy with returns.
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