Need New Bookshelves for $350/pair - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to setup a small bookshelf and sub setup in my bedroom just for TV watching and light music listening. I listen to all types of music

I picked up a set of the Polk M30s on Newegg on sale for 80 bucks just to try out and they just sound terrible IMO. I cannot find a single thing that I like about their sound. So, whichever speakers I go with this time I would like them to be a pretty nice step over these Polks.

The only issue here is going to be the height I am limited to. The speakers will need to be under 12" tall in order to fit into the space allotted for them.

The receiver is a Denon AVR 1312 and they will be mated with a couple Adire Audio Koda 8s in sealed boxes. But I would like, if at all possible for the speakers to sound great playing deeper too. With the Polks, whenever I let them play full range or even down to 40hz, everything just sounds terrible. mad.gif

From the searching I've been doing, the Cambridge S30s seem to be legit.....Any other suggestions guys?
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 09:58 AM
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Ascend CBM-170SE, Polk LSi 7, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, Monitor BX2, to name a few.

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post #3 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

Ascend CBM-170SE, Polk LSi 7, Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, Monitor BX2, to name a few.

I really liked those Wharfedales before I had forgotten about those. Thanks man.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 10:17 AM
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I have both the Cambridge S30 and the Ascend 170SE, think they're both nice speakers but think the 170SE is more what you're looking for as long as the size is okay for you (the S30 is far more compact).

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post #5 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I have both the Cambridge S30 and the Ascend 170SE, think they're both nice speakers but think the 170SE is more what you're looking for as long as the size is okay for you (the S30 is far more compact).

May I ask what it is about the Ascend set that seems to fit my preferences more? or that you like more?

They definitely seem interesting on paper. I'm not a huge fan of the look of them physically but I'm sure I'd get over that if they sound fine.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Moore View Post

From the searching I've been doing, the Cambridge S30s seem to be legit.....Any other suggestions guys?
For a compact good sounding speaker - the S30 is my choice. It is really nice.
Also, it is not a wimp - and it is really good for music and movies/TV. > They
do not have a boomy/mushy nature - they have tight articulate bass and/plus
good mids and highs. Now with that said, 40 hz is to much to ask for a lot of
bookshelf speakers to do - let the subs handle the deep lows.

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post #7 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

For a compact good sounding speaker - the S30 is my choice. It is really nice.
Also, it is not a wimp - and it is really good for music and movies/TV. > They
do not have a boomy/mushy nature - they have tight articulate bass and/plus
good mids and highs. Now with that said, 40 hz is to much to ask for a lot of
bookshelf speakers to do - let the subs handle the deep lows.

Yea I plan to have the subs handling the lows. I was just surprised at how badly the M30s handled the lower frequencies even at low volume. Everything just ran together.

I'm just hoping the new ones that I buy won't do that. I'm not an audiophile or anything but, I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at. smile.gif
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Moore View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

I have both the Cambridge S30 and the Ascend 170SE, think they're both nice speakers but think the 170SE is more what you're looking for as long as the size is okay for you (the S30 is far more compact).

May I ask what it is about the Ascend set that seems to fit my preferences more? or that you like more?

They definitely seem interesting on paper. I'm not a huge fan of the look of them physically but I'm sure I'd get over that if they sound fine.

The blocky shape does look a bit odd, but the black matte finish that isn't harmful to the eye. I think the Ascends have a bit more neutral sound to them and have a better low end, which is not a big difference to the S30, although both speakers still should be supported by a sub. If it makes a difference to you, the Ascends also come with 2 1/4" mounting inserts whereas the S30 does not if mounting is an issue. I never did a/b them, though and they've lived in different rooms in my house so take my impressions for what they're worth in that regard. The specs I think are fairly similar, though I think the Ascend is a bit more efficient. The S30s are nicer on the wallet, even with the current sale on the 170SE.

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post #9 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Moore View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

For a compact good sounding speaker - the S30 is my choice. It is really nice.
Also, it is not a wimp - and it is really good for music and movies/TV. > They
do not have a boomy/mushy nature - they have tight articulate bass and/plus
good mids and highs. Now with that said, 40 hz is to much to ask for a lot of
bookshelf speakers to do - let the subs handle the deep lows.

Yea I plan to have the subs handling the lows. I was just surprised at how badly the M30s handled the lower frequencies even at low volume. Everything just ran together.

I'm just hoping the new ones that I buy won't do that. I'm not an audiophile or anything but, I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at. smile.gif

What do you mean by "ran together"? By badly you mean you expected a lot more extension or something?

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post #10 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Moore View Post

Yea I plan to have the subs handling the lows. I was just surprised at how badly the M30s handled the lower frequencies even at low volume. Everything just ran together.
I'm just hoping the new ones that I buy won't do that. I'm not an audiophile or anything but, I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at. smile.gif

The M30 has a weak cabinet build and cheaper quality drivers. The S30 has a good
cabinet build with better quality drivers >> and is crossed braced with good acoustic
dampen inside - and, they do have a high quality ported bass alignment.

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post #11 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 12:23 PM
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I HIGHLY recommend Klipsch's rb-51 ii, they can be had used for around $320. They are also under 12" and extend quite low (50hz) for bookshelves. You would be hard pressed to find anything that plays much lower than these for this price and size.

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post #12 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 12:54 PM
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I have the Polk m40s and bought them after doing a a/b with the budget pioneer towers! The polks were head and shoulders better, IMHO...until I got the def tech sm450s! Made me realize how "muddy" the polks sounded!
So, you can pick up the soon to be discontinued dt sm450 fir under 200/pr from new egg when on sale and those hit pretty low, but more important, are clear and accurate at the low end!

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Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 04:39 PM
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+1 on the S30 and CBM-170SE recommendations. While not very attractive, the CBM-170SEs exhibit fantastic SQ for movies and music. The S30s are fantastic as well and are maybe just a bit more attractive with a few finish options.

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post #14 of 24 Old 12-02-2012, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

What do you mean by "ran together"? By badly you mean you expected a lot more extension or something?
The bass is muddy and the midrange is even more muddy. The tweeters are far from detailed....they just sound so bad. As far as low end extension, they don't do that and the bass they do play is sloppy and I just wish it would go away lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The M30 has a weak cabinet build and cheaper quality drivers. The S30 has a good
cabinet build with better quality drivers >> and is crossed braced with good acoustic
dampen inside - and, they do have a high quality ported bass alignment.

That sounds promising smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by blake18 View Post

I HIGHLY recommend Klipsch's rb-51 ii, they can be had used for around $320. They are also under 12" and extend quite low (50hz) for bookshelves. You would be hard pressed to find anything that plays much lower than these for this price and size.

Yep I like those as well as the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s as far as 5" drivers...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I have the Polk m40s and bought them after doing a a/b with the budget pioneer towers! The polks were head and shoulders better, IMHO...until I got the def tech sm450s! Made me realize how "muddy" the polks sounded!
So, you can pick up the soon to be discontinued dt sm450 fir under 200/pr from new egg when on sale and those hit pretty low, but more important, are clear and accurate at the low end!

I am actually comparing them to the Polk M60 towers and Boston Acoustics CS towers...both of which I picked up just for the heck of on Black Friday sales. It's amazing how much better the m60s sound than the m30s. Granted the towers are powered by a Crown XLS1000, they still get the signal through the Denon receiver.
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on Boston Acoustics A series bookshelves in relation to the others in this thread?
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-04-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
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Any thoughts on Boston Acoustics A series bookshelves in relation to the others in this thread?

I would put them on a short list of options.

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post #17 of 24 Old 12-06-2012, 10:43 PM
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Newegg still has the Def Tech StudioMonitor 450 for $279 a pair.

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post #18 of 24 Old 12-07-2012, 11:22 AM
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I looked at the new Egg sale, what center channel speaker would you get to go with the Def tech sm450? Also, how do these compare with Klipsch Icon KB15 from Bestbuy?
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-07-2012, 01:02 PM
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I think the matching center to the SM450s is hard to find, and I read on here last week people were using a different DefTech center. I would try and go with the Klipsch Reference line over the Icon series, they are a much better speaker. I believe the RB-41/51 may be in your budget, I haven't checked the prices in a while.

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post #20 of 24 Old 12-07-2012, 01:10 PM
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I am in similar situation: Need small bookshelf to go with 12" sub for 2.1 music system. Want to XO at 80hz and still have full mid-bass. The smaller the box the better with Width more important to keep narrow - I can go any depth and ideally not over ~12" tall like the OP.

Is there anything else that should be on my short list: (dimensions noted are DxWxH in inches):
Cambridge S30 - 9.2 x 6.3 x 8.9
Def Tech PM1000 - 6.5 x 6.2 x 10.9
Def Tech SM350 - 9.7 x 6.9 x 10.7 (SM450 is too large)
ARX A1b - 10.25 x 7.1 x 13.8 (Not certain which is W vs. D, but getting to be too big anyway)
Energy CB-20 - 9.1 x 7.6 x 12.2 (Energy RC-10 would be on list but are no longer avail.)

I can't seem find anything that competes with S30 at the same physical size.
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post #21 of 24 Old 12-07-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post

ARX A1b - 10.25 x 7.1 x 13.8 (Not certain which is W vs. D, but getting to be too big anyway)

10.25 deep x 7.1 wide x 13.8 tall, noisebeam.

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post #22 of 24 Old 12-08-2012, 07:43 AM
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+1 for the Arx A1b. Very nice bookshelf. I replace some expensive Axiom M22s with the Arx A1 and was surprised at how much fuller the bass and midbass was with the Arx. Noisebeam if I was you and you had the funds I would pick up a couple of the bookshelfs and give they a try for the trial period. Arx offers a in home trial for 30days. Not sure if the online dealers that sell CA does a free trial but I assume so. I would also check out Aperion's 5b bookshelf too, little more than the others but fits your size requirements.

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/intimus-family/intimus-5b-bookshelf-speaker
12" H x 6.75" W x 8" D
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-17-2012, 11:08 AM
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I've been listening to the S30's for about a week now, not much listening, but some.

I find there is an odd high mid range buzz - noticeable in saxophone, cymbals across a variety of recordings. Never heard that before in other speakers.
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post #24 of 24 Old 12-17-2012, 02:14 PM
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I can't speak to the other brands, but love my Arx 1b's. They are in my private office at work and are a pleasure to listen to for 8hrs a day. Not affiliated, only a satisfied customer. Figured I would put on cd Neil Young Best Hits and play Down By The River to verify my impressions. Outstanding!biggrin.gif Regards, Bradley
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