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post #1 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the midst of upgrading my front L/C/R from an old Sony 5.1 HTIB setup. My speakers are tiny now, any of the two I mention below, will have a significant impact on my soundfield.

I am looking at speakers like the PSB Image B4, NHT Absolute Zero. I really want to try and keep the speakers smaller than 10in in height.

What I really want to do is jump on the Boston VS 260 deal at Vann's or a KEF Q300. Those are about 13" high.

That being said, I have an Outlaw LFM-1 EX sub (the size went over very well, lol), so while I would like the speakers to go down to 50hz, but I am realistic in my expectations. The sub has me covered with a higher crossoveron the sub 100hz range.

Primary use is Xbox 360/DTV/Movies. Little to no music. Budget < $1,200 for L/C/R. Speakers will be about 10-12ft from sitting position.

My AVR is a Pioneer Elite SC-35, so I would imagine I would not have an issue driving the 86db sesitivity Absolute Zero.

Anything else you guys think I should be looking at?
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 01:46 PM
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I like the Image B4 Bookshelf Speakers
but maybe spend a little extra and get the Imagine mini's I hear that a center channel is on its way. The NHT's have also been getting great press recently

I was actually just reading this review.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 02:06 PM
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I like both the PSB Image B4 and NHT Absolute Zero. I used to have a pair of B4's, and still own the NHT.

I think it would come down to personal preference which you like better. My take is that the NHT has more bass extension, and sounds more detailed, but is less less sensitive (despite similar specs). I think the B4 sounds slightly "darker" in the mid-range and a little more relaxed on the high end - making for an overall smooth and enjoyable listening experience, even is not quite as resolving as the NHT.

Overall, I feel the Absolute Zero is better, but that's just my opinion.

If Vann's wasn't playing some shady game with the price on the VS 240, I'd say those might be a good option. But not only are they not marked down (like the VS 260 is), but Vann's is asking $200 OVER MSRP per speaker.

Apparantly, this has been brought to their attention by a couple members here, and all Vann's has done is offer the VS 240 for $380-400 ea... which is retail price.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 02:16 PM
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I own PSB speakers and think they are great speakers, but I question whether the Image B4 is enough speaker, with its 4-inch driver, for the front. The Image B5 would be a lot better, but it is outside of your size limit.

I suggest that you look at the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-1. It is 10.2 inches tall and has a 5.5 inch driver, and goes down below 60 Hz. A pair costs $379, and the Bronze BX Center costs $299. That should be a much better set of speakers for up front; you will get a lot more sound than the B4 can deliver.

The Absolute Zero is only rated to go down to 71 Hz, and that is not low enough for a front speaker IMO.

If you could loosen up on your size limit, the Image B6 is 14" tall, and that and the matching Image C5 center speaker would be superb, and will really take things to a higher level (and be well under $1000).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

I am in the midst of upgrading my front L/C/R from an old Sony 5.1 HTIB setup. My speakers are tiny now, any of the two I mention below, will have a significant impact on my soundfield.

I am looking at speakers like the PSB Image B4, NHT Absolute Zero. I really want to try and keep the speakers smaller than 10in in height.

What I really want to do is jump on the Boston VS 260 deal at Vann's or a KEF Q300. Those are about 13" high.

That being said, I have an Outlaw LFM-1 EX sub (the size went over very well, lol), so while I would like the speakers to go down to 50hz, but I am realistic in my expectations. The sub has me covered with a higher crossoveron the sub 100hz range.

Primary use is Xbox 360/DTV/Movies. Little to no music. Budget < $1,200 for L/C/R. Speakers will be about 10-12ft from sitting position.

My AVR is a Pioneer Elite SC-35, so I would imagine I would not have an issue driving the 86db sesitivity Absolute Zero.

Anything else you guys think I should be looking at?

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firebook23 View Post

I like the Image B4 Bookshelf Speakers
but maybe spend a little extra and get the Imagine mini's I hear that a center channel is on its way. The NHT's have also been getting great press recently

I was actually just reading this review.

Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

I like both the PSB Image B4 and NHT Absolute Zero. I used to have a pair of B4's, and still own the NHT.

I think it would come down to personal preference which you like better. My take is that the NHT has more bass extension, and sounds more detailed, but is less less sensitive (despite similar specs). I think the B4 sounds slightly "darker" in the mid-range and a little more relaxed on the high end - making for an overall smooth and enjoyable listening experience, even is not quite as resolving as the NHT.

Overall, I feel the Absolute Zero is better, but that's just my opinion.

If Vann's wasn't playing some shady game with the price on the VS 240, I'd say those might be a good option. But not only are they not marked down (like the VS 260 is), but Vann's is asking $200 OVER MSRP per speaker.

Apparantly, this has been brought to their attention by a couple members here, and all Vann's has done is offer the VS 240 for $380-400 ea... which is retail price.

Thanks, great comparison. I appreciate the response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I own PSB speakers and think they are great speakers, but I question whether the Image B4 is enough speaker, with its 4-inch driver, for the front. The Image B5 would be a lot better, but it is outside of your size limit.

I suggest that you look at the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-1. It is 10.2 inches tall and has a 5.5 inch driver, and goes down below 60 Hz. A pair costs $379, and the Bronze BX Center costs $299. That should be a much better set of speakers for up front; you will get a lot more sound than the B4 can deliver.

The Absolute Zero is only rated to go down to 71 Hz, and that is not low enough for a front speaker IMO.

My existing Sony HTIB fronts are tiny. I mean if they have a 3" woofer I would be amazed. I know exactly where you are coming from about the size, believe me, when my sub is off my speakers sound horrendous.

The MA you mentioned would work as well, thanks for the suggestion.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 02:49 PM
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Of course any PSB or Monitor Audio speakers you decide that you can go with will be a huge improvement over the old Sony speakers.

With that cabinet size limit I was just trying to see what would work out best for you.

I think it is a really big mistake to have front speakers that are too small. To get decent sound quality you really need front speakers that can give you stereo sound down to 50 or 60 Hz. It seems crazy to me to have 5 speakers but only have MONAURAL sound below 80 or 100 Hz.

Enjoy!

************************************************************ *************
My existing Sony HTIB fronts are tiny. I mean if they have a 3" woofer I would be amazed. I know exactly where you are coming from about the size, believe me, when my sub is off my speakers sound horrendous.

The MA you mentioned would work as well, thanks for the suggestion.[/quote]
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

What I really want to do is jump on the Boston VS 260 deal at Vann's or a KEF Q300. Those are about 13" high.

Get one of 'em. When you take them out of the box to show them to the wife, set them next to the EX. They'll look very small then (lol).

Seriously, though, if the size constraint is more to keep her happy, you might narrow it down to a few different pairs and ask her to pick first based on aesthetics before you tell her the size. Those BAs have an unusual look that she might like. While you are at it, you might show her some Focal Chorus 705Vs (12 3/8" H) which have some beautiful finish options

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post #8 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 03:22 PM
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Cambridge Audio S30s will work and they are rated to 55hz.

"I think it is a really big mistake to have front speakers that are too small. To get decent sound quality you really need front speakers that can give you stereo sound down to 50 or 60 Hz. It seems crazy to me to have 5 speakers but only have MONAURAL sound below 80 or 100 Hz."

Huh?????

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post #9 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Cambridge Audio S30s will work and they are rated to 55hz.

Good call, didn't even think of those.

Having demo'd the S30, and having done a level matched A/B comparison with the Absolute Zero, I can say with confidence that the S30 has much more capable bass performance and is alot easier to drive.

Personally, when I compared both while using my sub on and an appropriate xover in my AVR, I slightly prefer the sound/tonal balance of the Absolute Zero, but I recognize the limitations of that speaker in comparison to the S30.

That said, the S30 is a nice speaker, and a very good deal for the price. So if height is going to be a limiting factor, it's worth consideration. One thing to consider if going that route would be to buy 2 pairs, and use 3 vertically placed S30's for the front stage. I admit I haven't heard the matching center (S50), but I feel it's design is less than ideal (standard MTM with 2nd order xover and widely spaced drivers sounds like a recipe for less than stellar off-axis performance).

However, with a $1200 budget, if you can loosen the height restrictions... I'd look at something higher end - like the VS 260 and VS 325C.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

That said, the S30 is a nice speaker, and a very good deal for the price. So if height is going to be a limiting factor, it's worth consideration. One thing to consider if going that route would be to buy 2 pairs, and use 3 vertically placed S30's for the front stage.
However, with a $1200 budget, if you can loosen the height restrictions... I'd look at something higher end - like the VS 260 and VS 325C.

X2
And also, higher end would be The Boston E60 speaker - and you can
turn one horizontal for center use. I am not brand loyal - however, the
VS and E series speakers are solid.
The E60 price
http://www.amazon.com/Boston-Acousti.../dp/B001H9O1CG
A better picture of the E60
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-wi5LqHJ...60-Cherry.html

Good luck with whatever you decide, from this thread.

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 07:20 PM
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Which is supposed to be better, the VS260 or E60?

The MSRP on the VS260 is a little higher but it also has a 6.5" vs a 5.25" on the E60.

Afro GT
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-09-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Which is supposed to be better, the VS260 or E60?

The MSRP on the VS260 is a little higher but it also has a 6.5" vs a 5.25" on the E60.

I own both - I give the edge to the VS260. And the E60, also has solid
resolution with good detail, definition and depth. I prefer the tweeter
in the 260 - The E60 does have a somewhat holographic sound, and HT
Mag measured the bass -3db at 65 hz. The 260 tends to sound a little
more realistic to me, with a somewhat better soundstage - and a little
bit better bass definition. I also own the VS240, and did own the small
E40 speaker - they have the same size woofer, and the 240 has more
bass authority and digs a little lower.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-10-2012, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Get one of 'em. When you take them out of the box to show them to the wife, set them next to the EX. They'll look very small then (lol).

Seriously, though, if the size constraint is more to keep her happy, you might narrow it down to a few different pairs and ask her to pick first based on aesthetics before you tell her the size. Those BAs have an unusual look that she might like. While you are at it, you might show her some Focal Chorus 705Vs (12 3/8" H) which have some beautiful finish options

I think I'll get another EX and use them both as speaker stands for the Boston's, LOL.

I was looking at the Focal's but a bit too big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

Good call, didn't even think of those.

Having demo'd the S30, and having done a level matched A/B comparison with the Absolute Zero, I can say with confidence that the S30 has much more capable bass performance and is alot easier to drive.

Personally, when I compared both while using my sub on and an appropriate xover in my AVR, I slightly prefer the sound/tonal balance of the Absolute Zero, but I recognize the limitations of that speaker in comparison to the S30.

That said, the S30 is a nice speaker, and a very good deal for the price. So if height is going to be a limiting factor, it's worth consideration. One thing to consider if going that route would be to buy 2 pairs, and use 3 vertically placed S30's for the front stage. I admit I haven't heard the matching center (S50), but I feel it's design is less than ideal (standard MTM with 2nd order xover and widely spaced drivers sounds like a recipe for less than stellar off-axis performance).

However, with a $1200 budget, if you can loosen the height restrictions... I'd look at something higher end - like the VS 260 and VS 325C.

Yeah, I was ready to pull the trigger on the VS260 and the wife reminded me about wanting to get a new fridge and how BIG the EX is. Thanks for the Cambridge suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I own both - I give the edge to the VS260. And the E60, also has solid
resolution with good detail, definition and depth. I prefer the tweeter
in the 260 - The E60 does have a somewhat holographic sound, and HT
Mag measured the bass -3db at 65 hz. The 260 tends to sound a little
more realistic to me, with a somewhat better soundstage - and a little
bit better bass definition. I also own the VS240, and did own the small
E40 speaker - they have the same size woofer, and the 240 has more
bass authority and digs a little lower.

Thanks I'll take a look at the E60's.

Since I have a capable sub, does it really matter that my L/C/R don't go down to 50 Hz? Even now, I can not localize the EX. Of course, the more range the better, but I don't think I would be missing anything sonically.
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-10-2012, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

Thanks I'll take a look at the E60's.

Since I have a capable sub, does it really matter that my L/C/R don't go down to 50 Hz? Even now, I can not localize the EX. Of course, the more range the better, but I don't think I would be missing anything sonically.

No, you will be fine - the main thing for nice results, is for them to
play below 80hz.

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post #15 of 18 Old 03-15-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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In the event anyone was following this, I convinced the wife if we went to Aruba for summer vacation, I can pick the biggest/ugliest (in her opinion) speakers I wanted. Lol. Needless to say, I will be on the hunt again in a few months when the bank account settles. LOL. Maybe some towers...
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-15-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

In the event anyone was following this, I convinced the wife if we went to Aruba for summer vacation, I can pick the biggest/ugliest (in her opinion) speakers I wanted. Lol. Needless to say, I will be on the hunt again in a few months when the bank account settles. LOL. Maybe some towers...

Push the Aruba vacation back to winter (when the warmth will really be appreciated) and get the speakers earlier.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-19-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBiker View Post

Push the Aruba vacation back to winter (when the warmth will really be appreciated) and get the speakers earlier.

I live in Miami, so Aruba will be slightly cooler in June, lol.

Anyway, I officially guilted her into getting me a paid of Kef IQ90's. Going to run a phantom center for now, Vann's didn't have the IQ60's.

I know they aren't bookshelves, but I figured it was better than stands.
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-19-2012, 08:00 PM
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Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 package is at $1334 and would be a strong contender to the PSB Images B4. But you can never go wrong with PSB when it comes to HT, heck even for music they're some of the best sounding at any price.
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