Best Bookshelf Pair for $800 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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OK - it's been several months since the last 'best bookshelf for $xxx" thread and I did read some of the more recent posts. Hope some of you will help me out. I am putting together a new 2.1 system in my basement as follows: Outlaw Audio RR2150 Receiver, sub, and pair of bookshelf speakers. I need some suggestions on the bookshelf speakers. Prefer to put my money towards sound versus asthetics so don't care about the cabinets - flat black is fine. My first priority is accurate music reproduction but I will also want them to play loud occassionaly. Lastly this will be a family system so I want something durable in case my kids really crank it(which they will do).
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post #2 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 02:28 PM
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PSB GB1 is a good option - you get both sound and looks.
http://www.saturdayaudio.com/picture...b_specials.htm

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post #3 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 02:43 PM
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I've got the NHT Classic Threes about a year ago and I'm still in love with them. $375 each on their website: http://www.nhthifi.com/Three?sc=12&category=3772
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post #4 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 03:03 PM
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For $874.00 delivered to your front door I highly recommend the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1. These will out perform many others costing much more. Here is a link for you:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom

Bamboo cabinets, 30-day in home trial period, superior cross-over design, unheard of performance at this price point, excellent customer service-what's not to love?



Cheers,

Phil

P.S. There is also an update that can be done that will take the performance up several levels. Now that is amazing if you ask me.

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post #5 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRAW View Post

I've got the NHT Classic Threes about a year ago and I'm still in love with them. $375 each on their website: http://www.nhthifi.com/Three?sc=12&category=3772

Another good one.

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post #6 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 03:22 PM
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Martin Logan Motion 4 has been getting rave reviews and at $200 each.

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post #7 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

PSB GB1 is a good option - you get both sound and looks.
http://www.saturdayaudio.com/picture...b_specials.htm

Jim, how do these compare to the PSB Platinum M2's? I have spent a fair amount of time with them in the past.

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post #8 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Jim, how do these compare to the PSB Platinum M2's? I have spent a fair amount of time with them in the past.

I have not listened to the Platinum M2 - however, that Violin player
knows how to design speakers.

On a side note, I got the latest version of the Level Three speaker in,
and they still do good work.

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #9 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I have not listened to the Platinum M2 - however, that Violin player
knows how to design speakers.

On a side note, I got the latest version of the Level Three speaker in,
and they still do good work.

Level Three? The HTD? What other ID speakers have you heard?

Off topic for the thread...so feel free to PM me.

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post #10 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 06:45 PM
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Seconded on the Sierra-1. And the bamboo cabinet is gorgeous.
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post #11 of 56 Old 03-15-2011, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofreak38 View Post

For $874.00 delivered to your front door I highly recommend the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1. These will out perform many others costing much more. Here is a link for you:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom

Bamboo cabinets, 30-day in home trial period, superior cross-over design, unheard of performance at this price point, excellent customer service-what's not to love?



Cheers,

Phil

P.S. There is also an update that can be done that will take the performance up several levels. Now that is amazing if you ask me.

+1, these are well worth the few extra dollars.
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post #12 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 05:11 AM
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another vote for the sierra-1's...

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post #13 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 05:16 AM
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What is the size/description of the room?
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post #14 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 05:36 AM
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Yet another vote for the Sierra-1.

Bill

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post #15 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Room specs are not ideal - but... Roughly 15 feet square with tray ceiling and a recess with floor cabinets on one wall which might help a little with the squareness. Drywall on the walls and ceiling and carpet on the floor.

Great suggestions so far - am enjoying researching each of these:

PSB GB1 55–23,000Hz 88 dB 200W
NHT Classic Threes 45Hz-20kHz 87dB 150W
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 44Hz - 22kHz 86.5dB 200W
Martin Logan Motion 4 70-25kHz 90 dB 150W
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post #16 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 07:12 AM
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If you are looking for speakers that will play really loud, AND you will be using a sub, you might look at CHT's Pro-10 and/or Sho-10. http://www.chasehometheater.com/inde...art&Itemid=110 They are specifically designed for efficiency and for use with a sub.

Alan
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post #17 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Yet another vote for the Sierra-1.

As good as the Sierra-1s are, I would also suggest the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE. A great speaker in its own right, but also costs less.

Also, with all these speakers, since you occasionally like to "crank it", I would suggest a good subwoofer.

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post #18 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfart View Post

If you are looking for speakers that will play really loud, AND you will be using a sub, you might look at CHT's Pro-10 and/or Sho-10. http://www.chasehometheater.com/inde...art&Itemid=110 They are specifically designed for efficiency and for use with a sub.

This^^^

Like Oldfart said as long as you have a good sub crossed at 80hz your ears will give up before the speaker distorts, no chance of fried tweeter here.(I actually put the theory to the test by mistake)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1321032

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post #19 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 09:33 AM
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NHT Classic 3 for me

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post #20 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

As good as the Sierra-1s are, I would also suggest the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE. A great speaker in its own right, but also costs less.

Also, with all these speakers, since you occasionally like to "crank it", I would suggest a good subwoofer.

+1 on this suggestion as well. I own both Sierra-1 and CMT-340SEs and both are outstanding at their price points. +1 on the sub as well.
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post #21 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 12:07 PM
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I had Sierra-1s without a sub for two years and was really impressed. I just added an HSU subwoofer and the whole thing blows me away...
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post #22 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

As good as the Sierra-1s are, I would also suggest the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE. A great speaker in its own right, but also costs less.

Also, with all these speakers, since you occasionally like to "crank it", I would suggest a good subwoofer.

agreed on the sub... my sierra's were "nice" without a sub... they got "really good" with one...

curtis, since you've spent a lot of time with both sets... from a purely "academic" standpoint (since i'm not in the market), what would you say the "differences" between the two speakers are? it's my understanding that the cmt is somewhat more efficient?

- chris

 

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post #23 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 12:33 PM
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I'll throw in another vote for the Sierra-1. Simply an outstanding performer.

That said, PSB makes a very good speaker if you need to listen to something at a B&M store, if there is one locally that carries PSB.

+1 for the CMT-340 w/sub as well!
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post #24 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

agreed on the sub... my sierra's were "nice" without a sub... they got "really good" with one...

curtis, since you've spent a lot of time with both sets... from a purely "academic" standpoint (since i'm not in the market), what would you say the "differences" between the two speakers are? it's my understanding that the cmt is somewhat more efficient?

I auditioned a pair of 340's many years ago when I still owned my original 170's. They played louder but still sounded very similar to the 170's. It was not enough of a difference for me, personally, to make the move to them. I still enjoyed the 170's as they were, and still are, an excellent budget speaker. I took a leap of faith switching to the Sierra-1's and have never looked back. I'd say, to me, the difference between the 340's vs. Sierra-1's are:
1. 340's will play louder due to twin woofers.
2. Sierra's play deeper into the bass with excellent low end resolution.
3. Sierra's flesh out more detail in the recording.
4. While the 340 has very good build quality, the Sierra's are a class above.

These are just my opinions based on one listening session with the 340's, and comments from someone who owns 340's and auditioned my Sierra's.
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post #25 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 01:19 PM
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I think I would also add that the CMT-340SE's have a bit more treble than the standard Sierra-1, and that the Sierra-1 images a bit better (even though all Ascends are outstanding in that regard).

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post #26 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 02:03 PM
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I like Paradigm Studio 10s in that price range, although the Sierra is tough to beat from everything I've read.

Edit: Forgot, I also really like the Swan D2.1SE, although it seems they've increased in price a bit since the last time I looked.
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post #27 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 02:33 PM
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@hd and curtis...

thanks guys... i have a pair of 170's (well, a trifecta, actually) that i picked up used for a secondary tv setup a few years back... if the 340's are sonically similar to them, i definitely vote for the sierra's...

while i still was in "sierra mode", dave intro'd the fancy finishes, and i was "sierra-less" for awhile when my naturals sold before my dark cherry's got here.... i used the 170's in my main room for awhile... and every minute that i was listening to music, i DEARLY missed the sierra's.... DEARLY...

for movies/tv, meh, don't really care much... make a reasonable amount of noise, and i'm happy there... for all i know, the cbm's may very well be better for that...

note: i was using a paradigm servo15 v2 sub with all of the above...

granted, there's a significant price difference... but that price difference, as long as it's within budget, is certainly worth it...

- chris

 

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post #28 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 03:32 PM
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I like my Wharfedale Diamond 10.7's and a friend of mine has the 10.2's and likes them as well. Granted the 10.7's are towers. If you can find a North American dealer I would strongly suggest you take a listen to the Diamond's and if they have them the Evo's as well.

I've got some stuff...but I need more stuff.
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post #29 of 56 Old 03-16-2011, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

thanks guys... i have a pair of 170's (well, a trifecta, actually) that i picked up used for a secondary tv setup a few years back... if the 340's are sonically similar to them, i definitely vote for the sierra's...

The topend of the 340s and 170s are similar...although I think the 340's may still have a bit more treble..I have not compared the two in a while. The 340's definitely have more bass and mid-bass information giving them more body....due to the size of the cabinet and two-woofers.

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post #30 of 56 Old 03-17-2011, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The Sierra's got a lot of votes and I must say the reviews look impressive. Let's say I go with them. Would the Outlaw M8 sub be a good match?
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