Hello, I would like your guys' advice on which bookshelf speakers to buy (Polk vs Klipsch) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 06-14-2012, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am looking to not spend that much on speakers. I am going to be upgrading from the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III.

At the moment, I only want a 2.1 system, and have more or less decided on which subwoofer to get (I heard the "Emotiva" brand 10" sub is great for music).

My usage will mainly be Blu-ray movies and listening to CDs or FLAC files.

I have went to a Visions electronics store and did a hearing test for a few bookshelfs; The Polk Audio TSi100's, 200's, Soundstage brand, KEF C1 series, and the JBL Night Life.

I ended up buying the TSi100's, but had Visions hold it for me. It was pretty good in my ears and definitely a better sound than the HKSSIII's (the bass on these bookshelfs alone were slightly better than the Harmon's, but I know by getting the Emotiva sub, it should be even better--especially for music.

However, I saw these on Amazon by Klipsch, which aren't available anywhere in stores in my city, but judging by the customers, they are very satisfied just looking at the rating. Likewise, other Amazon users who got the TSi100's were very happy.

I do however, like the styling for both but from the pictures, the Klipsch WB 14 Icons look slightly nicer, the sleek black and cherry wood. Very slick and very upscale looking. It's also going to be more expensive than what I have paid for the TSi100's.

Here are the Klipschs:

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-WB-14-Furniture-Grade-Bookshelf-Cabernet/dp/B001CDX7D6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339729373&sr=8-2&keywords=klipsch+wb14+icon

Here are my TSi100's:

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TSi100-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B00192KF12/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339729746&sr=1-1&keywords=tsi+100s


Also, this is the sub I'm getting:

http://home-subwoofers-review.toptenreviews.com/emotiva-ultra-series-review.html

With shipping, I'm looking at spending $320 for the Klipsch, versus the $200 I spent for the Polks.

Eventually, I will be adding rear speakers (just two) of either models (depending on which I end up getting).


So which would yield better quality judging from physical dimensions, materials, weight and the frequency range.

Thanks a ton guys!
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-14-2012, 09:22 PM
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I would not choose the Klipsh or Polk, however it is your decision. The Klipsch
has a 6.5db dip in frequency between 3 and 4 khz, which effects the midrange.
If you choose Polk, look at the Monitor series at Newegg, to save money. You
may want to check the Energy 10" sub at Newegg, for $219 > and it is a good
one for the money.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269026

Energy measurements
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/energy-take-series-home-theater-speaker-system?page=0,2

I would also look at Boston A26
http://www.onecall.com/product/Boston-Acoustics/A26-White-Ea/Speaker/_/R-115578

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post #3 of 32 Old 06-14-2012, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello zieglj01,

Thanks for your reply!

I didn't mention in my initial post, but I don't want speakers that are too massive. I actually was dead set on getting the TSi200s. but it would be too large in my room.

Now, I just did a search on Newegg for some Polk Monitor series, and the Monitor30 and Monitor40 came up. I did a double take--both series looks like the TSi100 and 200, respectively.

Is the M30 better than the TSi100 in regards to mid-range and highs?


Another question, does the continuous/peak watts of a speaker/channel, ultimately affect sound quality or just affects the "loudness"?

And, do speaker wires affect sound/midrange, if they were either super cheap or very expensive?

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 32 Old 06-14-2012, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh my, I just stumbled upon these Martin Logans (never heard of him, but apparently is respected:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/speaker-and-subwoofer-reviews/martin-logan-motion-lx16-review/2/


This review says the LX16s sounds dynamic and great for music (sounds like a band playing live in his room).

Music would be my priority, as I assume if it's good for music, it has to be good for movies as well. So how are these? They look sleek as heck, possibly even better than the Klipschs.
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post #5 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post


I did a double take--both series looks like the TSi100 and 200, respectively.
Is the M30 better than the TSi100 in regards to mid-range and highs?
Another question, does the continuous/peak watts of a speaker/channel, ultimately affect sound quality or just affects the "loudness"?
And, do speaker wires affect sound/midrange, if they were either super cheap or very expensive?
Thanks again!

No real difference between the Monitor and TSi series speakers. Their mids and highs
may float your boat.
Continous/peak watts is for power handling, and sensitivity will also play a part in the
loudness level.
Speaker wires transfer the signal, it is the speaker that produces the sound. All you need
is the proper guage.

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post #6 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post

Oh my, I just stumbled upon these Martin Logans (never heard of him, but apparently is respected:

This review says the LX16s sounds dynamic and great for music (sounds like a band playing live in his room).
Music would be my priority, as I assume if it's good for music, it has to be good for movies as well. So how are these?

I do not get too carried away with reviews - the word on them is decent.
They cost $799 a pair - did you raise your budget?

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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post #7 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:47 AM
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i would check out the hsu hb-1 mk2. there are great reviews about this pair. if you pair it with a sub, you will get amazing sound and imaging. the infinity p162 is also very nice with the high and midrange.boston acoustics a26 is also good.pioneer bs41 bookshelf speakers also sounds good.arx a1 from audio insider also are reputed to sound great with its planar tweeter. take your pick.
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post #8 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 05:24 AM
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Lotta love on this forum for the Energy RC-10s. I have a pair, and they do sound great for their price.

Also, the Ultra 10 is a great sub choice. $279 for the Ultra 10 is an incredible value for a sealed sub that size. But if you have not already, best to order it ASAP before word gets out and they disappear. Emotiva is not making any more of them.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #9 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 07:23 AM
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The KEF C3 speakers are available for $229 on Amazon, and IMO they are far better speakers than any of the others mentioned. The Polk Monitor 40 speakers might have have a little more bass, but if you are going to have a subwoofer the C3 speakers are better-sounding overall and would be the best choice. The C1 has a 4 inch main driver, which is too small for front speakers.

I would suggest that you get those and get the Polk PSW505 subwoofer. It is one of the few decent ones for under $300.

Whatever subwoofer you decide on should have a 12 inch driver and at least 250 watts of RMS (not peak) power. A 10-inch cone has half the cone area of a 12-inch cone, and most 10-inch subs don't go low enough to properly be called subwoofers.
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post #10 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 08:49 AM
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Another speaker you may want to consider is the Cambridge Audio S30 for $219 through several retailers including Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-Speakers-Dark-Pair/dp/B004NDN9NK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1RERUACOA04BW&colid=2NNXDWEM5EMKD). I should say I have not heard them yet, but they get a lot of positive reviews on this forum and I'm planning on getting them in the near future for a setup similar to your's once our house remodel is completed in a couple of weeks.

Regardless, good luck with your research and purchase. I've learned that you can spend way too much time trying to figure out what is best when there are so many options that are all very good.
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post #11 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 08:54 AM
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X2
For the Cambridge S30

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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 #12 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I do not get too carried away with reviews - the word on them is decent.
They cost $799 a pair - did you raise your budget?

I noticed that shortly after posting. I was looking for Monitor series on Amazon, and one reviewer brought this up:

http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-Diamond-Blackwood-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B003B8U9TU/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339783353&sr=1-1&keywords=wharfedale+diamond+10.1

Stereophile gave it a very good review, and music is excellent on it.


My main concern with the Diamond 10.1, and the recommendations is...is there a center channel that is in the same series or timbre matched? I would buy a center just so the 3 fronts are all "the same".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_L View Post

Another speaker you may want to consider is the Cambridge Audio S30 for $219 through several retailers including Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-Speakers-Dark-Pair/dp/B004NDN9NK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1RERUACOA04BW&colid=2NNXDWEM5EMKD). I should say I have not heard them yet, but they get a lot of positive reviews on this forum and I'm planning on getting them in the near future for a setup similar to your's once our house remodel is completed in a couple of weeks.
Regardless, good luck with your research and purchase. I've learned that you can spend way too much time trying to figure out what is best when there are so many options that are all very good.


Speaking of Cambridge, Visions Electronics has the S30 which could save me on shipping costs. I also went to your Amazon link-- the one reviewer compared it to his Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s, and it seems the Cambridge S30 is more or less equal, and both are excellent for music.

I'll be honest, I didn't test the Cambridge at the store as they had it set up with a mini CD player, and wasn't lined up with the "main" demo area with the JBLs, Polks, etc, so I immediately wrote them off.

However, I still like the style of the Diamonds quite a bit.
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post #13 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post

I noticed that shortly after posting. I was looking for Monitor series on Amazon, and one reviewer brought this up:
http://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-Diamond-Blackwood-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B003B8U9TU/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339783353&sr=1-1&keywords=wharfedale+diamond+10.1
Stereophile gave it a very good review, and music is excellent on it.
My main concern with the Diamond 10.1, and the recommendations is...is there a center channel that is in the same series or timbre matched? I would buy a center just so the 3 fronts are all "the same".

Wharfedale and Cambridge have center channels - this is one
of the Wharfedales.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15500-wharfedale-diamond-10-cs-center-channel-speaker-ea.aspx

You can even buy another pair of Diamonds, and use one as a center.
Not much price difference.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15476-wharfedale-diamond-101-bookshelf-speaker-pr.aspx

__________________________________________
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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 #14 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Wharfedale and Cambridge have center channels - this is one
of the Wharfedales.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15500-wharfedale-diamond-10-cs-center-channel-speaker-ea.aspx
You can even buy another pair of Diamonds, and use one as a center.
Not much price difference.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15476-wharfedale-diamond-101-bookshelf-speaker-pr.aspx
Sw

Thanks for the links!

I think I will try out the S30's next week, but I'm more set on the Diamonds now.

What brand/model of receiver should I purchase if I plan on getting 4 S30's or 4 Diamonds, with one of the suggested subs, like the Lavasub, along with a center speaker?
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post #15 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Lotta love on this forum for the Energy RC-10s. I have a pair, and they do sound great for their price.
Also, the Ultra 10 is a great sub choice. $279 for the Ultra 10 is an incredible value for a sealed sub that size. But if you have not already, best to order it ASAP before word gets out and they disappear. Emotiva is not making any more of them.

Okay, how would you rate build quality? Should they last 5+ years? I'm definitely getting this or a Lavasub
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post #16 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post

Sw

I think I will try out the S30's next week, but I'm more set on the Diamonds now.
What brand/model of receiver should I purchase if I plan on getting 4 S30's or 4 Diamonds, with one of the suggested subs, like the Lavasub, along with a center speaker?

I would go with the Emotiva or Energy sub.

Look at Denon 16XX up, Yamaha 6XX up, Pioneer 921 or 1021 up

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=denon+receiver
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/denon/results/1.html

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post #17 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks zieglj01, much appreciated smile.gif

Back to the Cambridge speakers, are there 2 versions of the S30 with different crossovers?

Also guys, I just found out Polk, Cambridge and Wharfedale's speakers are assembled in China (the ones I am deciding between), and that has me slightly weary and worried. Are the Energy RC-10s made in US or the UK?
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post #18 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post

Thanks zieglj01, much appreciated smile.gif
Back to the Cambridge speakers, are there 2 versions of the S30 with different crossovers?
Also guys, I just found out Polk, Cambridge and Wharfedale's speakers are assembled in China (the ones I am deciding between), and that has me slightly weary and worried. Are the Energy RC-10s made in US or the UK?

There is only one stock crossover for the Cambridge - the other crossover is a modified version
I had done. It really does not matter where the speakers are manufactured, the good companies
will have quality control in place, and they have a proven track record.

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post #19 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 02:48 PM
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There are as many opinions on speakers as there are members here.
Speaker reviews for the most part are simply entertainment, how can every speaker ever reviewed sound better than speakers costing twice the price ??
If there were only two or three examples of this in reviews then maybe those two or three speakers are the real deal, but that is not the case.

All of us have our preferences and as much as I want to like Polk speakers (they can be had dirt cheap most of the time) I just don't like them, lots of other people do so don't let my opinion deter you trying them out.

For the most part I do like Klipsch speakers and Newegg has been selling the Klipsch WB14 for $199 a pair with free shipping for quire a while.
The center channel that goes with them is $279.
At that price I think they are a very good value.

The AVR recommendations you got look good.

For an inexpensive sub I might lean towards the Polk PSW505 too.
By most accounts it is one of the better < $300 subs.
If you were considering a powerful sealed sub I could jump onboard pretty easily, but in the entry level subs I really think ported is the way to go.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #20 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 03:24 PM
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In that price and size range you should also consider DefTech ProMonitor 1000.

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post #21 of 32 Old 06-15-2012, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chashint View Post

There are as many opinions on speakers as there are members here.
Speaker reviews for the most part are simply entertainment, how can every speaker ever reviewed sound better than speakers costing twice the price ??
If there were only two or three examples of this in reviews then maybe those two or three speakers are the real deal, but that is not the case.
All of us have our preferences and as much as I want to like Polk speakers (they can be had dirt cheap most of the time) I just don't like them, lots of other people do so don't let my opinion deter you trying them out.
For the most part I do like Klipsch speakers and Newegg has been selling the Klipsch WB14 for $199 a pair with free shipping for quire a while.
The center channel that goes with them is $279.
At that price I think they are a very good value.
The AVR recommendations you got look good.
For an inexpensive sub I might lean towards the Polk PSW505 too.
By most accounts it is one of the better < $300 subs.
If you were considering a powerful sealed sub I could jump onboard pretty easily, but in the entry level subs I really think ported is the way to go.

So I am dead set on the Emotiva Sub, so let's get that out of the way.

Cambridge goes to 20 Hz (same as my Soundsticks from Harmon Kardon). Not sure if it's a bad thing or not....

Is the Arx A1b speakers, made in the USA? I have officially put a pass on Wharfedale Diamonds. Equal to Cambridge, yet almost 2x as expensive!

Is it important to get speakers with "bi-amp"? Does this make the sound louder without losing quality or distorting?

Thanks again guys, very helpful!
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post #22 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I have now narrowed it down to the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2's, which is "the same" as Cambridge's S30, only better looking IMO:

http://www.amazon.com/Mordaunt-Short-Carnival-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B003ZW2A6C/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

or

ARX A1B

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a1b-monitor-loudspeaker&products_id=65&osCsid=9079f7c4a98ec1a5ceb8c340a66fcfce



Now, both are very good for music from what I've read, like imaging and large sound staging... but overall, which would be better for music, to get that feeling of "being there"? These would serve as my two front left and right channels, along with the Emotiva 10 Sub.
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post #23 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 05:32 AM
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Since your reference is the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III I am reasonably confident any of the choices you have bounced around will be a night and day improvement.
Enjoy whatever gear you end up with.
Without the ability to listen before purchase you are doing the best you can.

Between those two I would pick the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2.
Without hearing them I would just prefer the woven composite woofer and the slightly lower price.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #24 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 09:07 AM
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The choice is yours to make, and it will be an ear opener compard to
the Soundsticks. Good Luck!

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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 #25 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 09:27 AM
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You really need to go out and listen to some of these speaker types. You've gone from horn loaded to planar speakers and everything in between. All of these sound totally different from one another. Go to a place and do some listening, once you decide what style you like, then start searching for your speaker.
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post #26 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BestInTheWorld View Post

Cambridge goes to 20 Hz (same as my Soundsticks from Harmon Kardon). Not sure if it's a bad thing or not....

Sorry, but there is not a chance that either the S30 or the Soundsticks go anywhere near 20Hz.

Frankly, there are a whole lot of subs that down go down to 20Hz.

I would believe a -3db point of 120Hz.

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post #27 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 04:21 PM
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^^^^
The Cambridge is strong to 60hz, and it can handle an 80hz sub crossover.

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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 #28 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

Sorry, but there is not a chance that either the S30 or the Soundsticks go anywhere near 20Hz.
Frankly, there are a whole lot of subs that down go down to 20Hz.
I would believe a -3db point of 120Hz.

Darn, I meant 20 Khz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vital View Post

You really need to go out and listen to some of these speaker types. You've gone from horn loaded to planar speakers and everything in between. All of these sound totally different from one another. Go to a place and do some listening, once you decide what style you like, then start searching for your speaker.

True, I've wanted to open up my options, cause I haven't a clue but I am definitely not keeping the TSi100. It sounded better than the Soundsticks III, but felt I could do better, and think i have. I also cannot go to a store to test out the Arx or Mordaunts, as there are none here in the city.

I am leaning towards the Mordaunts, but if the planar tweeter of the Arx is better than a normal 1" tweeter, I would go with the Arx A1b.

I am VERY close to deciding, but glad I came down to these 2 tongue.gif
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post #29 of 32 Old 06-16-2012, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh darn, but I forgot to ask, is the front ported Carnival 2s better than a rear ported speaker like the Arx A1?

The speakers will be placed on 3 foot stands (give or take half a foot), being placed 5-6 feet apart. They will NOT be close to a wall, but kind of in the center of the room. Probably about 2 feet away from the back wall, left and right walls.
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-17-2012, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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You know what guys?, I'm going to go with the Energy RC10s, only because it's soundstage is bigger than the Cambridge/Mordaunts and reviews for music playback is very positive/"wow" factor. Is Amazon a good place to order from? I'm in Canada, so I want to order from a reliable and good online store, and I have never ordered anything online that's close to this size and cost

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00550VM66/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
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