Best Current Bookshelf Speakers and Sub Combo - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 10-04-2012, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Which of these bookshelf speakers are best value and best quality for a mid-size condominium living room set up with concrete walls and underflooring? For front or rear right/left or both? Which ones to avoid like the plague?


Brand: Atlantic Technology
AT-2-S-GLF H-PAS Full-Range
$540

6072bosta23?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Boston Acoustics
A26 2-way 6.5"
$110

5446infip163bk?$shelf%5Fthumb$
P163aBK Primus 2-way 6.5"
Brand: Infinity System/Harmon Intl.
$85

400jamo86500?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Jamo US
86500 Concert C 60 2-Way Bssreflex Front
$85

6569jbl_l830chh?$shelf%5Fthumb$
L830CH-H Studio L 3-Way 6"
Brand: JBL US
$170 each

6569jbl_es30bk?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: JBL US
ES30BK 3-Way 6"
$140 each

6569jbl_studio530bk?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: JBL US
Studio 530BK W-Way, 5.25" Wall-Mountable Loudspeakers
$180 each

6569jbl_l810h?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: JBL US
L810-H Studio L 3-way 5.25" Bookshelf/Wall Mount Satellite
$150 each

5399kliprb61ii?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Klipsch
RB-61 II Cerametallic Woofer Bookshelf 6.5"
$150 each

5399kliprb61ii?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Klipsch
RB-81 II Cerametallic Woofer Bookshelf 8"
$240 each

7074pionspbs22lr?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Pioneer
SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Loudspeakers
$95 each

6527polkrtia3cherry?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Polk
RTI A3
$140 each

6527polklsim703midnightmahogany?$shelf%5Fthumb$
Brand: Polk
LSI M703 Midnight Bookshelf
$450 each


Which subs would go well with such bookshelf speakers?
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432911/best-value-12-subwoofer-from-this-list
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post #2 of 48 Old 10-04-2012, 10:35 PM
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Although I haven't heard them, those 3 way budget bookshelf speakers from JBL scare me (not in a good way). I have only heard the Klipsch, Polk Rti, and Infinity speakers from that list, and I think they are all good speakers, but I would stay away from the lesser polk speakers, namely the Tsi and Monitor lines, but that is just my preference. Any decent sub will pair well with those speakers, and the best bang for the buck is internet direct brands, specifically Outlaw, Rythmik, Hsu Research, and SVS for the more affordable subwoofers.
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post #3 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 08:36 AM
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Are those Jamo C601 or C603?

The C601 has a 4" woofer whereas the C603 had a 6" woofer. Based on the spacing between the tweeter and the Jamo logo it looks like the C601 which is way too small for front speakers.

You've got way too many choices and a price range between $85 and $540. Not really a fair fight for some of the smaller speakers.

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post #4 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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I haven't heard all of them but I'll take an educated guess and bet the Atlantic Technology AT-2 would be the best. It would definitely have deeper bass than the others. I agree it is an apples and oranges comparison with the range of prices.
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post #5 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 06:50 PM
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I would seriously consider the Atlantic Tech speakers - they do nice work.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #6 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 07:06 PM
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Klipsch RB-81's, no question.

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post #7 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 07:41 PM
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Another vote for the RB-81's.
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post #8 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 08:12 PM
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My vote out of those would be the Atlantic Techs.
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post #9 of 48 Old 10-05-2012, 09:10 PM
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Was it possible to include any more disparate choices then those? eek.gif

You mention "For front or rear right/left or both?", which implies home theater usage. Have you given any thought to a center?

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post #10 of 48 Old 10-07-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I apologize that these choices are so disparate. To explain my situation, I'm looking to set up speakers in a Chicago condo with the following layout:



I'd like to be as economical as possible, but I do require high-end quality of sound. I'm not interested so much into "home theatre." My primary goal is to throw parties about once a month and blow guests away with deep, smooth bass and awesome sound. In time, I would imagine occasional special guests deejaying music through these speakers. My secondary/optional requirement is to have speakers suitable for producing/composing music, if and only if they can simultaneously meet primary goal's objectives.

I'm not very knowledgeable about this, so I appreciate any help I can get.

I.e.,, Atlantic Technology is most expensive, and some of you are recommending them; would you say their 'quality of sound' is much better than the Klipsch RB-81s? RB81-s are twice as cheap, but is the quality difference that large?

BobL, you mentioned the Atlantic would have better bass than the others, but would this be necessary if I'm already getting a sub?

Afrogt, they appear to be the 4" Woofer kind, so I assume I should stay away from this Jamo product.

JimWilson, I have given thought to center speakers. However, as mentioned above, I'm not particularly concerned with home theatre. Would you still recommend center speakers? Also, should I not bother getting rear speakers, or would they help aid in the 'quality of sound' experience?

Finally, I can only pick from these set of subwoofers:
Subwoofer thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1432911/best-value-12-subwoofer-from-this-list

Any of these you can recommend to achieve my goals that would work well with the bookshelf speakers?
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post #11 of 48 Old 10-07-2012, 07:56 PM
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Better base is always better (as long as nothing else is compromised) . I'd add NHT, KEF, and Cambridge Audio as other options. I had some great JBLs years ago, when they were still made in Denmark.
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post #12 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

Finally, I can only pick from these set of subwoofers:

Why can you only pick from those?

And if you want "deep, smooth bass" for parties, you might also consider dual subs which can create a more even bass response throughout the room.

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post #13 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Why can you only pick from those?
And if you want "deep, smooth bass" for parties, you might also consider dual subs which can create a more even bass response throughout the room.

Well, I don't necessarily HAVE to pick these speakers. But, I pay good membership fees at this club so I could get discounts on these products. Unfortunately, these are the only brands they carry. If the general consensus is that this list of subs and/or this list of bookshelves suck, and I need to get something else, then I'm open to that as well.

Dual Subs? Interesting idea. I've never heard of dual subs? You mean to buy 2 separate subs and spread them out in the room? Or to buy one product that comes with the 2 subs together in the enclosure? Can you give me an example? Sorry for the dumb questions, I'm really new to this. Also would you recommend getting 2 12" subs? Or since I'd be getting 2 subs now instead of 1, can I get 2 10"s or maybe 2 8"s?
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post #14 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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double post, sry
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post #15 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

I'd like to be as economical as possible, but I do require high-end quality of sound.

These are mutually exclusive needs I'm afraid. Unless you find a killer sale on something "economical" and "high quality" are an oxymoron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

My primary goal is to throw parties about once a month and blow guests away with deep, smooth bass and awesome sound. In time, I would imagine occasional special guests deejaying music through these speakers. My secondary/optional requirement is to have speakers suitable for producing/composing music, if and only if they can simultaneously meet primary goal's objectives.

These are also mutually exclusive I'm afraid. Speakers you would use for house parties and DJing are generally selected on their ability to play very loud, but fidelity is not the ultimate goal. Speakers designed for composing and producing are the exact opposite; they need to produce the utmost in clarity and neutrality, and generally aren't able to play at a drowned-out-the-crowd volume level.

It might be a good idea to decide what your most pressing needs are, and then list them in order of priority. Not matter what you'll have to compromise on one or more of them, but at least this way the critical one(s) will get the most attention.

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post #16 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Speakers you would use for house parties and DJing are generally selected on their ability to play very loud, but fidelity is not the ultimate goal. Speakers designed for composing and producing are the exact opposite; they need to produce the utmost in clarity and neutrality, and generally aren't able to play at a drowned-out-the-crowd volume level.

I would throw parties once a month in a high-rise condo of about 1200 square foot. The Floors/Ceilings are made of concrete, so I have a little bit more room for loudness than some condos, but I'm not looking for them to be super loud at all. Just loud enough for a mid-sized party. (I'm only gonna do this about once a month over the weekend, so it shouldn't upset the neighbors too much). The quality, and crispness of sound is very important to me, but not necessarily for the purpose of composing/producing. My guess that it's possible to achieve this for a party-type setting, while not needing to blast the speakers much, right? My number 1 priority is for the parties. Let's ignore the other secondary priority for composing/producing for now since it seems to only distract from the primary goal.

It seems like the Klipsch-RB81 BookShelves may work well for the set up, no? So, I'm thinking so far to could get 2 of those and, cel4145 recommended getting 2 subs, which I'm still looking into.

So, 2 bookshelves, 2 subs. Do I still need center or rear speakers? Or my understanding those are primarily used for home theatre set up, or no?
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post #17 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:08 PM
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The Klipsch RB81s have a very high sensitivity. They will get louder for the same amount of power from a receiver in comparison to other speakers on your list.

However, some people find the Klipsch horns fatiguing to listen to. You should probably try to demo some Klipsch in your area (even if a different model) to make certain they are a good fit for you.

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post #18 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:16 PM
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The Klipsch were measured to have 91db sensitivity - however, they will
still play loud.

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #19 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The Klipsch were measured to have 91db sensitivity - however, they will
still play loud.

So their 97db claim is bonkers, huh?

Yet another audio company playing with their specs (lol)

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post #20 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

So their 97db claim is bonkers, huh?
Yet another audio company playing with their specs (lol)

On a side note, look at these measurements of the Atlantic Tech.
With some power behind them - you get some serious sound. >>
Take note also, of how the woofer bass responese was measured.smile.gif
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-atlantic-technology-2-bookshelf-speaker?page=0,2

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #21 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

On a side note, look at these measurements of the Atlantic Tech.
With some power behind them - you get some serious sound. >>
Take note also, of how the woofer bass responese was measured.smile.gif
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-atlantic-technology-2-bookshelf-speaker?page=0,2

They don't even need a sub if you all you want is mid-bass. eek.gifbiggrin.gif

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post #22 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:34 PM
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If you want quality and good sound at good value get LS50 from KEF they are very very good
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post #23 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

On a side note, look at these measurements of the Atlantic Tech.
With some power behind them - you get some serious sound. >>
Take note also, of how the woofer bass responese was measured.smile.gif
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-atlantic-technology-2-bookshelf-speaker?page=0,2

Wow. They must be using very high quality woofers to achieve this with a 5.25 woofer. Color me impressed. I guess their "Revolutionary patent-pending H-PAS technology delivers extended, dynamic bass exclusive Low Resonance Tweeter (LRT™) for wide dispersion" really works smile.gif

I have always been an Atlantic Technology fan.
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post #24 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

On a side note, look at these measurements of the Atlantic Tech.
With some power behind them - you get some serious sound. >>
Take note also, of how the woofer bass responese was measured.smile.gif
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-atlantic-technology-2-bookshelf-speaker?page=0,2

I'm definitely getting a subwoofer (or 2). Since I'm already getting these subs, is there a need from such bass response from these bookshelf speakers? (Atlantic Tech 2)
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post #25 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I have always been an Atlantic Technology fan.

I want to hear that speaker - I also like their speakers for music.

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #26 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

So, 2 bookshelves, 2 subs. Do I still need center or rear speakers? Or my understanding those are primarily used for home theatre set up, or no?

Since your primary goal is essentially two channel music then you can probably skip the center.

As the others have mentioned, getting speakers with a high sensitivity -- at least 90dB -- is probably a wise idea. That will present an easier load on your receiver when they're played at a higher volume for an extended period of time. However, you might want to consider towers instead; if you want to really drive a set of speakers in a party environment towers would be my preferred options. Something like the Premier Acoustic PA-6F or the popular Infinity 363 might do. A dark horse option worth a look is the Crystal Acoustics T1-BLA. I have the bookshelf version of this speaker to do a review on -- the B1-BLA -- and have found them to be a surprisingly nice set of speakers.

If you want to stick with bookshelf speakers then another one to consider is the HSU HB-1. High sensitivity and horn tweeter, like the Klipsch, but I don't recall anyone ever saying they get harsh like I've heard about the Klipsch.
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post #27 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

I'm definitely getting a subwoofer (or 2). Since I'm already getting these subs, is there a need from such bass response from these bookshelf speakers? (Atlantic Tech 2)

No - you do not really need them, and since you are looking to party >
then buy something else. I would not buy cheap/boomy subs for those
Atlantic Tech speakers. If one spends most of their time with music >>
then I would seriously consider them - if budget permitted.

__________________________________________
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 PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #28 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

No - you do not really need them, and since you are looking to party >
then buy something else. I would not buy cheap/boomy subs for those
Atlantic Tech speakers. If one spends most of their time with music >>
then I would seriously consider them - if budget permitted.

Well, I was thinking about getting this sub: http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/review-sunfire-dynamic-series-sds-12-subwoofer?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

I don't think it's cheap, but I get your point.
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post #29 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

However, you might want to consider towers instead; if you want to really drive a set of speakers in a party environment towers would be my preferred options. Something like the Premier Acoustic PA-6F or the popular Infinity 363 might do. A dark horse option worth a look is the Crystal Acoustics T1-BLA.

I was actually considering towers at first. But, I also want to get a sub. Would it be too much bass if I got 2 towers AND a sub?
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post #30 of 48 Old 10-08-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuriygeorge View Post

I was actually considering towers at first. But, I also want to get a sub. Would it be too much bass if I got 2 towers AND a sub?

Not a problem. You'll use the AVR's bass management to set the crossover for the speakers and sub wherever you want. It will integrate them together.

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