Your suggestions for 6.5" two-way L/C/R speakers in $500/pair range? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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[I searched and looked at the 'similar threads' listed but didn't find an answer to my question. If there is already a similar thread, my apologies.]

[For those who don't want to read through the entire thread, see my "executive summary" at the end of this post. Please also check out the most recent couple posts to see where I'm at in this speaker quest.]

I am in the process of replacing my L/C/R speakers.

I am concentrating on two-way designs with a 6.5" woofer for a couple reasons:

1) Tom Nousaine has said that this particular design works best for L/C/R speakers (with a sub of course).
http://www.nousaine.com/cen%20chan%201.htm

Quote:

"I’ve had the opportunity to test hundreds of different loudspeaker systems over the past decade. From 80 to 100 Hz upward, the best systems—and I mean best in an absolute sense—have been 6.5" two-way designs. The speaker graphed in Fig. 8 is among the finest I’ve encountered. As you can see, it has tightly controlled directivity in the horizontal plane out to 60 degrees. This means that all listeners get the same basic sound quality, and reflected sound will be returned with the same timbre. There is a relatively small amount of lobing in the vertical plane, which means that this speaker sounds best vertically placed, and that’s how I use it. This cabinet is only 14" tall, looking almost graceful perched on a 50" rear projector, but hidden behind a 115" perforated screen even that doesn’t matter. What’s the downside? It doesn’t have adequate dynamic capability below 80 Hz. So what? If this were a full-range speaker, in the truest sense, I’d cross it over at 80 Hz anyway because center-channel placement always compromises bass performance."

[I would love to know which speaker Nousaine is referring to but haven't been able to find out. Anyone know?]

2) Space constraints.

I'd really like to keep the cost below $750 for three (3) speakers.

Some of the speakers I am considering (but in no way set on) are the following:

#####

All are 2-way, 1" dome tweeter, 6.5" woofer, except #10:
Dimensions are WxHxD rounded up to next 1/2"
Weight is listed because in some cases it may be an indication of build quality. I was surprised by the variation between the different speakers.

1) AV123 Rocket RS250MkII: $500/pair (sale -- online only)
http://**********/index.php?page=shop...mart&Itemid=37

24 lb each
9.5x14x13.5
No power spec listed on site. FWIW rep claims RS250MkII is factory tested with 800 and 1,000 watt amps "cranking heavy metal".
Rep also said the magnets and voice coils in the 250 were much larger than those in the Axiom M3 v2 and M22 speakers (I had mentioned Axiom to him). He said the larger voice coils and the use of 1" MDF for the cabinet accounts for the weight difference.


2) PSB Image B25 Monitor: $480/pair (MSRP)
http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...ge-B25-Monitor

15 lb each
9x16x12
70 watts program

3) Paradigm Mini Monitor $438/pair Only available at select local stores
http://www.paradigm.com/en/paradigm/...1-2-4.paradigm

17 lb each
7.5x13.5x11.5
80 watts max.

4) Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE $348/pair + $20 shipping
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

14 lb each
9x12x10
200 watts max. (400 watt peak -- unclipped)
* MDF only 5/8" thick
Sound Stage (SS) measurements:
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...ascend_cbm170/

5) Athena Technologies AS-B2.2 $250/pair
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/modelASB2Reviews.php

12 lbs each (packed in pairs -- sold individually?)
8x16x9.5
150 watts

6) Axiom M3 v2 $330/pair
http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3ti_info.html

12.7 lb each
8.5x13.5x8.5
175 watts
SS measurements (older m3ti):
http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...ts/axiom_m3ti/

7) Kef iQ3 $500/pair (www.vanns.com)
http://www.kef.com/kefamerica/qseries/products.htm

(Coaxial. Cannot be turned upside-down on shelf due to cabinet design.)

15 lbs each
9x14.5x13
No power rating
110 db max output (!)

8) B&W 685 $600/pair MSRP
http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/displa...rid=2304&sc=ht

15.4 lb
8x13.5x12.5
100 watts

9) Klipsch RB-61 $448/pair MSRP
http://www.klipsch.com/products/details/rb-61.aspx

22 lbs
8.5x15.5x12.5
100 watts RMS; 400 watts peak

****** And, for something completely different!:

10) Crystal Audio THX-Center $199 (seems like a bargain)
http://www.crystalaudiovideo.com/product.aspx

No weight given
21x6.5x7
100 watts RMS; 200 watts peak

I probably can't use the THX-Center because of lack of space, but I thought I'd throw it in for anyone who is interested. It seems to me there would be no reason not to use 3 of them across the front. $199 for a THX-certified speaker isn't bad. The only way I might be able to use them would be if I could turn the L/R speakers on end (rotate 90 degree from normal) and I imagine that would be a huge no-no.

11) Definitive Technology SM450 $329/each (MSRP -- Too expensive unless on sale.)
http://www.definitivetech.com/loudsp...tor.html#sn450

No weight given
8.5x13x11.5
225 watts max.
24 Hz low end!

SM350 (5.25" woofer) $249 each

No weight given
7x11x10
200 watts max.
26 Hz low end!


#####

OK, if you've read this I really appreciate it.

I'm making no claims or assertions about the above speakers. Some I have researched a bit, others just happen to have the right design at the right price but I haven't had time to check them out.

IOW, I'm not married to any of them. I'd like some honest opinions about both the speakers I've listed and any that I haven't.

Any you would disqualify immediately?

Others that definitely deserve a listen?

Just because a speaker is _not_ listed certainly doesn't mean I have excluded it.

I ordered the av123 Rocket RS250MkIIs this past Wednesday, so they should arrive next week. (Tip for those who have read this far -- although av123's site says the RS250s are back-ordered until April 26, they actually have a few left. Free shipping _both_ ways right now. Not bad).

The B&W 685s are available locally. I plan to pick them up tonight or tomorrow. In a way I hope I don't like them since they are by far the most expensive of those listed. I've always heard good things about B&W so I thought it would be interesting to include them.

Your thoughts?

#####

Executive Summary:

I've compared the Rocket RS250MkII with:

1) B&W 685
2) Axiom M3 v2
3) Polk RTi A3
4) Monitor Audio BR2
5) Pinnacle PN8+ (This test was done in mono. I only have one working PN8+ and wanted to get an idea how it compares with the Rockets, since the Pinnacles were my main speakers for the last 10 years or so).
Next up:
6) Sonance Cinema Select Cabinet (on Sunday, 4-20-08)

Update (4-21-08): The Rockets sound almost identical to the Sonance Cinema Select Cabinets. They are incredibly close. After listening to both together, I have decided to keep the Rocket RS250MkIIs. The fact that they can hold their own against $1,000/pair THX certified speakers from a reputable mfr is very impressive. When you consider that they cost literally half as much and have _much_ nicer cabinets, they seem to be an incredible deal.

I like the Rockets the best, but the others are all decent speakers. Another person, in a different room, might very well decide differently than I have. My coworker (who did the Sonance comparison with me) thought the Rocket speakers sounded bass-heavy (boomy) in his house. In a few cases I thought the Sonance speakers had an edge over the Rockets -- but not enough to justify the difference in cost.

See my last couple posts in this thread for more...
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post #2 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 02:44 PM
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FWIW, Nousaine is known for liking Paradigms.

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post #3 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffva View Post

FWIW, Nousaine is known for liking Paradigms.

Thanks biffva -- that's very helpful!
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post #4 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I just contacted 'Scott' at Soundworks (10526 Conn. Ave., Kensington, MD (301)929-8600) regarding the Paradigm Mini Monitors.

This may not be the customary policy but here's what I was told:

It would be a special order requiring a $50 _non_ refundable deposit.

Delivery would take two weeks.

Absolutely no trial period.

No returns (not even for store credit).

No refunds.

No exceptions.

The only case where it is slightly different is if a customer buys a demo and doesn't like it. Even then there are NO refunds -- only store credit.

Gotcha!

In fact, the only reason I was made aware of the policy was because I pressed for more information. When Scott first mentioned the $50 deposit, I figured it was the more typical refundable deposit. Glad I asked.

I'm surprised a store can stay in business with policies like that regarding speaker sales.

The good news is that they're $438/pair.

I've had my share of bad experiences with snooty high-end audio "salons". This just served as a reminder of why I try to steer clear of them if at all possible.

On that note, I'm off to Myer-Emco, a much friendlier audio/videophile store to pick up a pair of B&W 685s. Their one month free trial period should give me plenty of time to compare them to the Rocket RS250MkIIs and a few others.
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post #5 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 06:31 PM
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If you want the Klipsch RB61, I believe that BestBuys in store price is $399 and you can always find online coupons like this for 10% off of that:

https://moversguide.usps.com/img/cou...clientarea.gif
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post #6 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 08:45 PM
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Had a pair of the Axiom M3 v2 for my bedroom listening for a couple of years. With reference recordings they really shined but they are bright in the treble frequencies. Poorly recorded cds(which sadly make up a large percentage of recent releases) can sound brutal on them because they expose every flaw of the recording. Excellent detail and voicing but I was never really happy with the bass performance even considering they were bookshelves. If you do get them match them with a warm amp and music player. They are wonderful for high resolution formats like Dvd-audio and Sacd.


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post #7 of 148 Old 03-14-2008, 09:03 PM
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Would you consider used speakers?

If you like the B&W sound...I highly recommend the B&W 602's for R & L and the LCR6S2 (or LCR600S3) for the Center channel. Great set-up for the money.

They are often available on Audigon.
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post #8 of 148 Old 03-15-2008, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRonin_ View Post

If you want the Klipsch RB61, I believe that BestBuys in store price is $399 and you can always find online coupons like this for 10% off of that:

https://moversguide.usps.com/img/cou...clientarea.gif

Thanks for the tip and the coupon EvilRonin!

I didn't realize that BB carried them.

I'm not sure if I want the Klipsch speakers (or any of the others for that matter) but I'd like to listen to them.

The Klipsch RB61 is one I don't know much about, but for $400/pair the price is certainly right! I'll check them out soon -- compare them with the B&W 685s.

So that I don't have thousands of dollars worth of speakers sitting around the house for weeks my plan is to only audition 2 or 3 pairs at a time. The Rocket RS250MkII speakers are on their way. Maybe I'll compare the B&W 685s to the Klipsch RB61s, and then the winner of that comparison can go up against the Rockets.

#####

Something I have to keep in mind is whether or not I can buy three (3) of a particular speaker. It wouldn't be an absolute deal killer if I had to buy four, but it would have to be a very sweet sounding speaker (clearly better than the 'second place' one) to make it worth while. Nothing wrong with having a spare but chances are it would just collect dust and never get used.
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post #9 of 148 Old 03-15-2008, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Had a pair of the Axiom M3 v2 for my bedroom listening for a couple of years. With reference recordings they really shined but they are bright in the treble frequencies. Poorly recorded cds(which sadly make up a large percentage of recent releases) can sound brutal on them because they expose every flaw of the recording. Excellent detail and voicing but I was never really happy with the bass performance even considering they were bookshelves. If you do get them match them with a warm amp and music player. They are wonderful for high resolution formats like Dvd-audio and Sacd.

I was originally looking at the M3 v2. Then I called Axiom and the guy there recommended the M22. Of course it has two 5.25" drivers, not one 6.5", and it is considerably taller. He said they would play louder in a large room than the M3 v2.

Based on what the Axiom rep said I'm not sure if the M3 v2 will work for me but I thought I would list it because it has gotten such good reviews and seems to be a very good value. I'm really trying to stick with the 6.5" two-way design.

I am using a sub so I'm not concerned about the lows (and wouldn't expect much below 50 or 60 Hz from any 6.5" two-way) but the room is pretty large. It's almost 23x17 overall but our house is an old log cabin so the "ceiling" is about 7.5' -- that's between the second floor joists. I put ceiling in quotes because there is no drywall -- just the joists and the underside of the upstairs floorboards. The walls are the old cabin style -- almost as much 'chinking' (plaster) as logs.

The actual listening area is smaller -- more like 17x20 because about 3 feet of the north wall is taken up with a stairway and a small half bath.

The listening position is probably 12 feet from the speakers.

Any opinion as to whether the M3 v2 would be able to put out a reasonable spl (say at least 95 to 100 db) under those circumstances?
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post #10 of 148 Old 03-15-2008, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptlurking View Post

Would you consider used speakers?

If you like the B&W sound...I highly recommend the B&W 602's for R & L and the LCR6S2 (or LCR600S3) for the Center channel. Great set-up for the money.

They are often available on Audigon.

I suppose I would consider used speakers, but I'd rather buy new.

What led to this speaker search was that one of my Pinnacle PN8+ speakers finally went bye-bye. It had been knocked down a while back (we've got large dogs) and had a raspy vibration that was only excited by certain bass frequencies. The drivers seemed tight so I assumed it was something loose on the inside. Most of the time it sounded fine. Then the other day I was playing with a test tone CD and the voice coil for the woofer just went. The volume level was very low and the other Pinnacle is fine, so I'm assuming the voice coil had been damaged by the fall (or some other cause) and the low freq test tone was the last straw.

I'm not sure what happened but the point of my little story is that even a well-meaning person could inadvertently sell a speaker that is on it's way out. It might sound fine when the buyer first listens to it. In fact, if my experience is any indication, it might work well for a while before it blows.

All that said, I suppose if the price were right and the speaker was universally acclaimed as one of the best sounding speakers in the world (of its type) or something I'd be willing to take a chance.

Your suggestion of the older B&W models is another reason to buy used -- if a person were set on getting some speakers they heard at a friend's house or something and they were no longer made.

WRT the B&W's you mentioned, the 602s look very good, as do the center speakers. I think I would really like to stick with 6.5" two-way speakers all the way across (L/C/R) though.

The 602s use a 7" woofer but I might consider using 3 of them if the B&W 685s end up being my favorites, and if there is good general agreement that the 602 is better sounding than the 685.
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post #11 of 148 Old 03-15-2008, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

I just contacted 'Scott' at Soundworks (10526 Conn. Ave., Kensington, MD (301)929-8600) regarding the Paradigm Mini Monitors.

This may not be the customary policy but here's what I was told:

It would be a special order requiring a $50 _non_ refundable deposit.

Delivery would take two weeks.

Absolutely no trial period.

No returns (not even for store credit).

No refunds.

No exceptions.

The only case where it is slightly different is if a customer buys a demo and doesn't like it. Even then there are NO refunds -- only store credit.

Gotcha!

In fact, the only reason I was made aware of the policy was because I pressed for more information. When Scott first mentioned the $50 deposit, I figured it was the more typical refundable deposit. Glad I asked.

I'm surprised a store can stay in business with policies like that regarding speaker sales.

The good news is that they're $438/pair.

I've had my share of bad experiences with snooty high-end audio "salons". This just served as a reminder of why I try to steer clear of them if at all possible.

On that note, I'm off to Myer-Emco, a much friendlier audio/videophile store to pick up a pair of B&W 685s. Their one month free trial period should give me plenty of time to compare them to the Rocket RS250MkIIs and a few others.

I thought there was a place in Laurel that sold Paradigm speakers. Also, I think Gramaphone (sp?) in Columbia is also a dealer. Those places shouldn't ask for a deposit in order to place an order for you. I don't think Soundworks regularly deals with Paradigm, which is whey they probably asked for a deposit. Then again, it's pretty hard to find a $500 pair of speakers in Soundworks - considering they sell Totem, Aerial, etc.
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i would recommend the ascend 340se. it should be close to you buget
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post #13 of 148 Old 03-16-2008, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

I thought there was a place in Laurel that sold Paradigm speakers. Also, I think Gramaphone (sp?) in Columbia is also a dealer. Those places shouldn't ask for a deposit in order to place an order for you. I don't think Soundworks regularly deals with Paradigm, which is whey they probably asked for a deposit. Then again, it's pretty hard to find a $500 pair of speakers in Soundworks - considering they sell Totem, Aerial, etc.

Thanks wje, I'll have to check that out.

I found Soundworks by using the 'dealer locater' on Paradigm's site. There were no other dealers listed. In my experience, most companies list _all_ of their dealers within a xx mile radius -- and usually allow the customer to specify the number of miles. Perhaps Paradigm has some 'exclusive dealership area' agreement with their dealers, and therefore never lists more than one per search.

Paradigm seems to be in that select group of manufacturers that almost everyone agrees make good speakers, so I'd really like to listen to the Mini Monitors.

If anyone else has any further info on Paradigm dealers in the mid-Maryland (Baltimore/Washington) area, don't be shy!

Regarding Soundworks, it seemed to me that Scott didn't really want to be bothered. At one point in our brief conversation he said, "...we have speakers here that cost $50,000 per pair!" I could just imagine the customers around him getting a great view up his nostrils as the tip of his nose turned toward 12 o'clock.

As good a rep as Paradigm has, I am very reluctant to buy a speaker without listening to it in my house first -- even if it does cost 'only' $220.

Hopefully one of the other dealers will have a free trial period. Myer-Emco gives customers 30 days, with no 'restocking' fees, etc. Full cash refund if you aren't happy with your purchase.
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Ascend would be a good choice. Either the 170SEs or 340SEs.
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post #15 of 148 Old 03-16-2008, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warlord260 View Post

i would recommend the ascend 340se. it should be close to you buget

Excellent suggestion warlord! You may have noticed that I already have the CBM-170 SE on my list (it's #4).

The 340 SE seems to be a very good speaker and certainly isn't out of the question -- I just didn't list it because a) it isn't a 6.5" two-way design, and b) it's (relatively) large.

I was hoping to use three identical speakers for L/C/R. It would be hard for me to use a 340 SE for the center. Not impossible, but a PITA and expensive.

I could use their 340 SE center, but the main reason I've been shying away from center speakers in general (particularly the M-T-M style) is that their frequency response generally isn't very smooth off-axis.

The Ascend center may be different, I can't remember offhand (I've been looking at a lot of specs and reviews lately). If they are one of the few that doesn't suffer from this problem then that might be a winning combo -- two 340 SEs and a 340 SE center.

What do you think of using three CBM-170 SEs?

The only drawback I can think of would be an overall lower spl. Otherwise they seem very similar.

Here are two threads by an administrator on the Ascend forum regarding the (then) new SE versions along with response graphs:

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/showthread.php?t=1584
http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/showthread.php?t=1585

How about it -- 3 CBM-170 SEs or the CBM-340 SE center combo?
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post #16 of 148 Old 03-16-2008, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

Any opinion as to whether the M3 v2 would be able to put out a reasonable spl (say at least 95 to 100 db) under those circumstances?

I think so. They are very easy to drive and can be cranked relatively loud. I would set your crossover very high if you do get them. The M22s would probably be a better fit for that size room. The M3s are an excellent value for their price.


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post #17 of 148 Old 03-16-2008, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I think so. They are very easy to drive and can be cranked relatively loud. I would set your crossover very high if you do get them. The M22s would probably be a better fit for that size room. The M3s are an excellent value for their price.

Thanks for the input!

The guy I spoke with at Axiom (Brent, IIRC) said the same thing about the M22s being more appropriate for a larger room. I'm hesitant for the same reasons I'm considering the 170 SE over the 340 SE -- [from post above]:

"a) it isn't a 6.5" two-way design, and b) it's (relatively) large.

I was hoping to use three identical speakers for L/C/R. It would be hard for me to use a [M22] for the center. Not impossible, but a PITA and expensive."

That said, I definitely haven't ruled out the M22. I might consider getting two of them and using the smaller of their center speakers.

The VP100 v2 is only $255, so I'd be under budget (even with M22s instead of M3 v2s) but has the more common W-T-W design that has been problematic (lobing in off-axis response). Still, it may be ok in that regard -- anyone know?

Two M22s and a VP100 v2 are $725 delivered which seems like a good deal.

The VP150 v2 is $408, which along with two M22s would be almost $900 which is over my limit of approx. $750 total. I realize that Axioms are a great value though -- I'm not complaining about the price.

Can either of the center speakers be used with either the M22 or the M3 v2?
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post #18 of 148 Old 03-16-2008, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I was checking out the Ascend 170 and 340 speakers and considering the same option with them that I am thinking about with with the Axioms -- using the larger speakers (340s) with a center speaker -- instead of three 170's.

There is a page that lists a CBM-170 SE center, along with the CBM-340 SE center and the HTM-200 SE:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch..._Code=LSPK-1CH

It isn't shown here though:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages.../spkrlist.html

I was able to add it to my 'cart' so I assume it is still available, but I would like to get some more info on it.

Any ideas?

I thought I might try the CBM-340 SEs with the CBM-170 SE center. The total for that combo is $770 delivered.
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post #19 of 148 Old 03-17-2008, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not familiar with this publication from New Zealand, but I thought this review was interesting:

http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2006/bookshelfspeakers.shtml

I'm becoming more interested in the Kef iQ3 ($500/pair) and their center speaker, the iQ2c ($275). I like the coaxial design. Among other advantages, it eliminates the lobing problems many center speakers have.

Any thoughts/comments on these Kef speakers?
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post #20 of 148 Old 03-17-2008, 01:52 AM
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I didn't read everything that was posted here, but I can give thoughts on speakers mentioned in the first post (or speakers related to those in the first post)

I've compared Klipsch RB-81 vs. BW 685 vs. Ascend 340SE.

Klipsch was thin, lacking in midbas and midrange. Besides that, it was pretty bright.

B&W was much thicker in the midbass region..enjoyed it quite a bit...midrange was also very good. However it also was too bright for my tastes.

I settled on the Ascend 340SE's. They get LOUD...louder than the other two by quite a bit. Very neutral and uncolored reproduction. Almost too neutral for my tastes, but nothing that a little EQ'ing couldn't touch up. Midbass is as it should be...no coloration, just exactly as it should be produced. Tweeter is soft, but detailed (not detailed in the sense that it's bright...just the nuances I guess you could say). It was perfect for what I was looking for in a bookshelf...loud and uncolored.

I still give very high marks to the B&W's though...they were just a tad too bright for my ears.
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post #21 of 148 Old 03-17-2008, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExigeAudio View Post

I didn't read everything that was posted here, but I can give thoughts on speakers mentioned in the first post (or speakers related to those in the first post)

I've compared Klipsch RB-81 vs. BW 685 vs. Ascend 340SE.

Klipsch was thin, lacking in midbas and midrange. Besides that, it was pretty bright.

B&W was much thicker in the midbass region..enjoyed it quite a bit...midrange was also very good. However it also was too bright for my tastes.

I settled on the Ascend 340SE's. They get LOUD...louder than the other two by quite a bit. Very neutral and uncolored reproduction. Almost too neutral for my tastes, but nothing that a little EQ'ing couldn't touch up. Midbass is as it should be...no coloration, just exactly as it should be produced. Tweeter is soft, but detailed (not detailed in the sense that it's bright...just the nuances I guess you could say). It was perfect for what I was looking for in a bookshelf...loud and uncolored.

I still give very high marks to the B&W's though...they were just a tad too bright for my ears.

Thank you ExigeAudio, that's the kind of input I'm looking for!
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post #22 of 148 Old 03-17-2008, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson33 View Post

The VP100 v2 is only $255, so I'd be under budget (even with M22s instead of M3 v2s) but has the more common W-T-W design that has been problematic (lobing in off-axis response). Still, it may be ok in that regard -- anyone know?

Two M22s and a VP100 v2 are $725 delivered which seems like a good deal.

The VP150 v2 is $408, which along with two M22s would be almost $900 which is over my limit of approx. $750 total. I realize that Axioms are a great value though -- I'm not complaining about the price.

Can either of the center speakers be used with either the M22 or the M3 v2?

I would stay away from the VP100. It probably is the worst speaker they make in their line-up. The VP150 gets much better reviews but obviously costs more. I think the idea of three M3s across the front is a very good idea.


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post #23 of 148 Old 03-17-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I would stay away from the VP100. It probably is the worst speaker they make in their line-up. The VP150 gets much better reviews but obviously costs more. I think the idea of three M3s across the front is a very good idea.

Thank you Phantom Stranger, that's very helpful!

I've tried to research as many of these speakers as I can, but there a quite a few out there that I'm considering and it's often difficult to find authoritative, objective reviews.

The only reason I considered using a center speaker was that there seems to be some consensus that the M22s will play louder and cleaner. I can't use an M22 in the center without going to a lot of trouble, thus the idea of using a center.

Question: With the Rocket RS250MkIIs, I ordered 3 of them -- partly because they only had a few left. I got to thinking though, to lessen the expense of shipping speakers back and the (temporary) charges on my credit cards, do you think it would be reasonable to compare _pairs_ of speakers instead of groups of three?

My thinking is that comparing them in two channel stereo would be sufficient.

Any thoughts?
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post #24 of 148 Old 03-18-2008, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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The av123 Rocket RS250MkII speakers arrived today.

I will be comparing them to the B&W 685s shortly.

Also, I ordered three (3) Axiom M3 v2 speakers. Hopefully they will be here soon and can take on the winner.

I'm still curious as to whether it's ok to audition speakers using two channel stereo. If so, that would save me some money and hassle.

Using the gear I have, it's pretty easy for me to set up an A/B comparison using 2 pairs of speakers, but 6 speakers is a different story.

I ordered three of the Rocket speakers because they were down to their last few, and the next shipment isn't due until April 26th at the earliest.

I ordered three of the Axiom speakers because they aren't that expensive (to buy or to ship back).
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post #25 of 148 Old 03-18-2008, 11:44 PM
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two channel stereo is probably the best way to audition speakers. No manufactured sound modes, audio processing or a subwoofer necessary. Pop in your favorite CD and give them a test.

Those rockets are gorgeous speakers! I love the finish.

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post #26 of 148 Old 03-19-2008, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

two channel stereo is probably the best way to audition speakers. No manufactured sound modes, audio processing or a subwoofer necessary. Pop in your favorite CD and give them a test.

Those rockets are gorgeous speakers! I love the finish.

Thanks afrogt!

That advice is right on time -- I'm in the middle of setting everything up for testing -- CD player, Sony switch box, two receivers, two Mackie FR2500 amps.

My sub is an old passive one, so I'm glad to hear you say not to use it -- it is currently powered by one of the receivers.

I'm almost ready to go -- just making up the extra speaker cable right now.

You're right about the Rockets -- they're beautiful! I have to wonder if their appearance doesn't have some subconscious affect on peoples' opinion of their sound?

FWIW: In initial testing (just one Rocket on the left, one B&W on the right, I preferred the Rocket, but the real test will be A/B comparison of both pairs.
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post #27 of 148 Old 03-19-2008, 03:30 PM
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Have you considered the Pinnacle BD500 or BD650? The 650 is a little more than your stated budget range, but they are on my short list of speakers under $1000/pr that sound as good as they look.
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post #28 of 148 Old 03-19-2008, 05:14 PM
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I visited Soundworks on two occasions. They're a good place to audition a wide variety of speakers, but they don't seem to cater to the under $1200 crowd for monitors. I listened to the Paradigm Studio 40s and 20s as well as quite a few others brands. I liked the Paradigms but I think that for me they became fatiguing after a while. I would describe them as loud, bright and maybe slightly forward. Probably really good for HT.

BTW, after talking with Scott, I didn't leave with any warm fuzzies either.
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post #29 of 148 Old 03-19-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Lawrence View Post

I listened to the Paradigm Studio 40s and 20s as well as quite a few others brands. I liked the Paradigms but I think that for me they became fatiguing after a while. I would describe them as loud, bright and maybe slightly forward. Probably really good for HT.

That's a new one for me to have someone describe Paradigm Studios as "loud, bright and maybe slightly forward."

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post #30 of 148 Old 03-19-2008, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Have you considered the Pinnacle BD500 or BD650? The 650 is a little more than your stated budget range, but they are on my short list of speakers under $1000/pr that sound as good as they look.

Thanks Pete!

I looked at both. The BD500 is a two-way design with a 5.25" woofer (probably too small) and the BD650 is a three-way design.

I loved my Pinnacle PN8+ speakers, but I don't think either of these will work for me.

Does Pinnacle make a 6.5" two-way speaker?
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