Bookshelves around $200 - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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Speakers > Bookshelves around $200
drumsky's Avatar drumsky 04:06 PM 12-20-2011
has anyone compared Mordaunt-Short's Carnival line to the S30's?

from what i can gather, they are owned by the same parent company, and use similar, if not the same drivers.

i have been thinking about getting an S30-based 5.0 system, but have been worried about the rear port as the mains will go in a bookcase (the cavity is 17 in deep w/adjustable height, now set to 21 inches). The front ported Carnival 2 would solve this problem, IF it's a problem.

thoughts?
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jham1496's Avatar jham1496 05:18 PM 12-20-2011
just ordered the used pair of Cambridge s30 for 190 after shipping! I'll post my thoughts when i get them (estimated delivery around 30th)
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 06:12 PM 12-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jham1496 View Post

just ordered the used pair of Cambridge s30 for 190 after shipping! I'll post my thoughts when i get them (estimated delivery around 30th)

Good Luck!
pokekevin's Avatar pokekevin 08:26 PM 12-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jham1496 View Post

just ordered the used pair of Cambridge s30 for 190 after shipping! I'll post my thoughts when i get them (estimated delivery around 30th)

Because of this thread I ordered energy rc 10s...if you don't like the s30s and I don't like the rc 10s let's trade lol jk
jham1496's Avatar jham1496 07:37 AM 12-30-2011
Got my Cambridge s30 yesterday. After a while of listening ive come to these conclusions
1. The bass is actually very good, much better that I expected
2. The mids are very very smooth just like the reviewers said
3. The highs are not great. I played a frequency test and at high frequencies it sounded bad. This doesn't affect music listening much.

Overall, the speakers are great. Music has never sounded so good. I dont know much so the only other thing I can say is that they sound amazing. The size is not what i expected. They have a short width and height but they are deep. Its no problem for me but just a heads up.
Thanks for all great suggestions on this thread.
jham1496's Avatar jham1496 07:50 AM 12-30-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by drumsky View Post

has anyone compared Mordaunt-Short's Carnival line to the S30's?

from what i can gather, they are owned by the same parent company, and use similar, if not the same drivers.

i have been thinking about getting an S30-based 5.0 system, but have been worried about the rear port as the mains will go in a bookcase (the cavity is 17 in deep w/adjustable height, now set to 21 inches). The front ported Carnival 2 would solve this problem, IF it's a problem.

thoughts?

Don't worry at all about the height the s30s are only 9in tall. The depth should also be ok. The s30s are 9in deep giving you 8 in of room which Should be enough. I have mine at around 6in from the wall and it works out fine
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 09:20 AM 12-30-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jham1496 View Post

Got my Cambridge s30 yesterday. I played a frequency test and at high frequencies it sounded bad. This doesn't affect music listening much.
Overall, the speakers are great. Music has never sounded so good. I dont know much so the only other thing I can say is that they sound amazing. The size is not what i expected. They have a short width and height but they are deep. Its no problem for me but just a heads up.
Thanks for all great suggestions on this thread.

I am glad that you like them - Cambridge does not boost the tweeter
level in their design - The Tweeter is voiced to blend in with the rest
of the sound. High frequency tests will not sound good to the ears.
Also, do not stress the tweeter with high frequency sweeps/tests.
Timothy91's Avatar Timothy91 11:11 AM 12-30-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

If I had to choose, it would be the RTi4
Not on your list - it would be this NHT
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NHT-Model-1-...item27c1771aea

Sorry I was late to the thead. These were a nice choice. Buying used can indeed bring some nice quality for the money. If you really want to stretch your money, research for at least a few months and you can find bargains like this. Nice find!

BTW, the $200 price point is going to have a ton of debate. The Cambridge speakers probably weren't the best overall choice depending on the 'sound' you are going for. You seem to like them for the most part and that's good. Those Cambridge models although rated at 90db sensitivity have a 4.5" woofer and a small cabinet, so they likely won't have much midbass. So, you will want a nice steep highpass at around 120Hz if you want to drive it to fairly loud levels. You haven't complained about any limitations on output or loudness, so that means you likely got what you were looking for in dynamics.

The best all around bookshelf I can think of is the BIC DV62si series for $100 (brand new). There are aftermarket crossovers available and it's a really nice sounding speaker for it's price range. Has tons of positive reviews. There are some nice alternatives listed in this thread. Something for just about every kind of enthusiast. The BIC DV series give a nice smooth sound, decent midbass, good dynamics, nice imaging too with airy highs that aren't harsh. Although zieglj01's earlier recommendation on those used NHT's is very hard to beat. That is a nice speaker for what was being asked by the seller.
Ster3ohead's Avatar Ster3ohead 01:04 PM 12-30-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jham1496 View Post

...Overall, the speakers are great. Music has never sounded so good. I dont know much so the only other thing I can say is that they sound amazing...

Enjoy! The s30 never ceases to amaze me of the amount of music they put out for such a diminutive size. Those 4.5" woofers are not kidding around.
Ralls's Avatar Ralls 02:38 AM 01-01-2012
I've had the S30s for a few days and my initial impressions of them are very good. I think that they may be the best speakers that I've owned yet. In the past, I've owned Polk RT35s, and Ascend CBM-170s. I currently own Infinity P153s and I have some Energy RC-30s that I will soon be selling (anybody interested?)

What's been said of the S30s is indeed true. They have really nice bass for their small size and it is very well controlled. The mid-range is nice and rich. They also play very well at low and high volumes, which is a welcome change, because most speakers that I've had in the past don't play as well at low volumes. Build quality is also very good and they seem to have well-braced cabinets.

I'm currently using them in a computer/living room set-up and they are on stands.

I'm very happy with this purchase and hope that they give many years of reliable use.
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 07:52 AM 01-01-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy91 View Post

Those Cambridge models although rated at 90db sensitivity have a 4.5" woofer and a small cabinet, so they likely won't have much midbass. So, you will want a nice steep highpass at around 120Hz if you want to drive it to fairly loud levels. You haven't complained about any limitations on output or loudness, so that means you likely got what you were looking for in dynamics.

I own the speaker and they have good midbass, and can crossover at 80 hz.
They can play loud - and do have nice dynamics. However, as with a lot of
speakers - use caution at very high volumes.
johsti's Avatar johsti 10:18 PM 01-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I own the speaker and they have good midbass, and can crossover at 80 hz.
They can play loud - and do have nice dynamics. However, as with a lot of
speakers - use caution at very high volumes.

Agreed. There seems to be quite a bit of assumption and specification interpretation rather than actual listening in this thread. I'm very impressed with this little speaker that I recently purchased used. Is it perfect, no. It sounds like a much bigger speaker than it has any right to. The mid range is full and the bass is impressive for such a tiny footprint. I packed up my Harbeth SHL5 for a remodel and hooked the s30 up for the time being until I move into my new listening room. I thought I was going to be miserable without the harbeths for a few weeks, but these little s30's are fun and will pass the time, no problem. I plan on eventually using them in the dining room for background music with a t-amp.

I did find the treble a little rolled off at first, but now I'm hearing the details. I don't find this speaker to be fatiguing at all. They're like mini harbeths in that regard. Some may like this sound and others may like hyper detailed, analytical type of a sound which the s30 is not. They make music enjoyable which is much more important to me than specs and flat frequency response graphs.
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 10:22 PM 01-16-2012
^^^^
Have fun - it is nice to have a good back up.
Ster3ohead's Avatar Ster3ohead 10:25 PM 01-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johsti View Post

They make music enjoyable...

yup
alphaiii's Avatar alphaiii 11:42 PM 01-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johsti View Post

Agreed. There seems to be quite a bit of assumption and specification interpretation rather than actual listening in this thread. I'm very impressed with this little speaker that I recently purchased used. Is it perfect, no. It sounds like a much bigger speaker than it has any right to.

I've noticed time and time again that when the S30 is talked about, people quickly reference the specs and discuss the shortcomings of the 4.5" driver.

What they don't realize, haven't not heard the S30 for themselves, is that it produces more bass than the driver size would suggest... Or that the actual cone size of that 4.5" driver is what most manufacturers would call a 5.25" driver.

I didn't keep the S30, since I felt other speakers I owned were more to my liking... but many here sell them short without ever listening to them.
cel4145's Avatar cel4145 08:26 AM 01-17-2012
Agreed. And it's extremely ironic when people do that because the bass is one of the strengths of the S30. It doesn't need a sub to sound good, unlike other speakers close to its size.
Clarkw267's Avatar Clarkw267 09:17 AM 01-17-2012
I got the RC-10s yesterday .. they came with a broken binding post, but that was a shipping issue, with no reflection on the build quality.

Before I sent them back, I hooked them up and played some music off of my ipod and wow! I didn't have the volume cranked, because the manual warns against doing so before they are broken in, but they had a great sound to them.

Very clear and crisp highs, and an excellent mid range for the size of the speaker. The bass was more than expected from a small bookshelf (I have a sub hooked up anyways). I can't wait for my new one's to come in so I can break them in.

Anybody who is looking for a good sounding pair of bookshelves for about $300 should strongly consider them.
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