Best pair of bookshelf speakers for front channels in 250$ price range? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I am currently testing a pair of Klipsch KB-15 bookshelf speakers that I purchased for 249$. I am wondering if there is a better recommendation for front speakers in a 5.1 surround sound system.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I am not really interested in 6 ohm speakers or floorstanders.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:31 PM
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Axiom M2 at $304/pair (factory outlet price, black oak vinyl finish), including shipping. See review and measurements here: http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/axiom_m2i.htm.

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Old 04-04-2013, 04:33 PM
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Arx gets my vote... for 250 that is.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Arx gets my vote... for 250 that is.

Well $299 but close enough biggrin.gif

But yeah my vote goes to Arx for sure.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:51 PM
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HSU makes a bookshelf. HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker. A bit over budget, but I think I heard this is a pretty good little theater speaker.


http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:10 PM
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+1 for the HSU bookshelf speaker.

Joe, I don't know where you're located, but have you seen the "I'll demo my speaker... " thread?
Recommendations are one thing, but listening for yourself is far better.

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:06 PM
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I think the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 450 is a steal from NewEgg at $279/pr. No, they don't reach as deep as the spec says, but you have a sub so it doesn't matter. Authoritative, accurate, clear, loud speaker for the money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882325060

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Old 04-05-2013, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

I think the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 450 is a steal from NewEgg at $279/pr. No, they don't reach as deep as the spec says, but you have a sub so it doesn't matter. Authoritative, accurate, clear, loud speaker for the money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882325060

Do you have these speakers? I was looking at some tower speakers for my game room but would consider a nice bookshelf set.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

HSU makes a bookshelf. HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker. A bit over budget, but I think I heard this is a pretty good little theater speaker.


http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html

I actually demo'd the HSU and the original Arx A1 (smaller than A1b) and they both sounded great. The HSU had nice punchy woofer and seemed much more lively than the Arx. The Arx had a much nicer soundstage and tweeter, the woofer had a more dry clinical sound to it, typical of XBL2 woofers though and it seemed like it had deeper extension.

Really wish we had someone that could gather up a bunch of bookshelfs, ARX, HSU, Aperion, Ascend, HTD, Axiom and do a long term session with them and report back.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

Do you have these speakers? I was looking at some tower speakers for my game room but would consider a nice bookshelf set.

I have the slightly smaller SM350s in my own listening room, and a pair of 450s that we use on a music cart for cocktail parties where I work. They sound very similar, and if used with a subwoofer I would take either one based on room size. Right now the 450 is actually cheaper at Newegg, but the 350 frequently seems to drop to $179/pr which, to me, is astonishing.

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Old 04-05-2013, 10:18 AM
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I too own the sm450s and man, that is one nice speaker for the buck!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

I have the slightly smaller SM350s in my own listening room, and a pair of 450s that we use on a music cart for cocktail parties where I work. They sound very similar, and if used with a subwoofer I would take either one based on room size. Right now the 450 is actually cheaper at Newegg, but the 350 frequently seems to drop to $179/pr which, to me, is astonishing.

I'm looking for a set for a "game room" where we will watch sports. Some music but mainly for TV viewing. Would you pair either Def Tech speaker with a sub? Trying to keep this setup budget friendly. I have another room that I watch movies in and it'll be focused just on "Home Theater".
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:02 PM
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JimZ has said numerous times that the Cambridge S30 is a fantastic little speaker. Around the $200 price point. I have the sister speakers the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2's. Currently I use them for surrounds, however they are a great sounding speaker.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

I'm looking for a set for a "game room" where we will watch sports. Some music but mainly for TV viewing. Would you pair either Def Tech speaker with a sub? Trying to keep this setup budget friendly. I have another room that I watch movies in and it'll be focused just on "Home Theater".
What is budget friendly?? Lots of options there. Also what kind of sub?
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

JimZ has said numerous times that the Cambridge S30 is a fantastic little speaker. Around the $200 price point. I have the sister speakers the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2's. Currently I use them for surrounds, however they are a great sounding speaker.

+1

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:04 PM
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Love this thread. I am looking at the DT 350s/450s myself. I can get the 350s from a friend for pretty cheap but I want to make sure I won't be hurting myself as the 450s aren't really expensive at all. So assume the OP has a Klipsch RW-12d sub... :-) Would the 450s even be necessary? The 350s should do well in comparison since I read the main difference is how the 450s handle lows.

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

I'm looking for a set for a "game room" where we will watch sports. Some music but mainly for TV viewing. Would you pair either Def Tech speaker with a sub? Trying to keep this setup budget friendly. I have another room that I watch movies in and it'll be focused just on "Home Theater".

There are very few bookshelf speakers that wouldn't benefit from adding a sub. Don't be fooled; you need a sub to get userul response below 50 or 60Hz with any 2-way bookshelf speaker that has smaller than a 6-inch driver.

Any of these speakers mentioned in this thread will sound good. They are all different in timbre, in imaging, in dispersion, and you may like one more than another. But most people would be happy with any of them as long as they are used appropriately, not playsed too loud, not pushed too hard in too big a room.

But none of them can reproduce anything worthwhile between 20 and 40Hz, and few can even get below 50Hz with any authority. That's jwhat subs are for.

In a stereo music system, the DT SM450 sounds wonderful and can generate plenty of sound. If you want to get visceral bass effects from movies and TV, you need a sub, with them or any bookshelf-sized speaker.

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

There are very few bookshelf speakers that wouldn't benefit from adding a sub. Don't be fooled; you need a sub to get userul response below 50 or 60Hz with any 2-way bookshelf speaker that has smaller than a 6-inch driver.

I would also add there is very few towers that wouldn't benefit from adding a subwoofer. Even 3 way towers with multiple bass woofers don't have much output below 50hrz without distortion and breakup occuring. Just about any 2 way bookshelf really should be crossed at 80hrz to keep distortion lower and to keep headroom high, crossing a speaker low and with loud output can really drive distortion up.

So even if some of these bookshelfs listed have response down to 47hrz like the Arx A1b, it would still be advised to keep them crossed at 80 and if output is need even more than 100hrz is wiser.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:27 PM
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Yes the sm450 is terrific speaker at that price and yes, it will benefit from being paired with a sub!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

What is budget friendly?? Lots of options there. Also what kind of sub?

I have a Outlaw LFM-1EX and am buying another for where I watch my movies. I'm not needing alot of bass, just wanting a upgrade over the TV speakers. Budget friendly I guess is same as bang for the buck. This isn't the room where I'll want to show off or impress my friends with the sound system. Just quality sound. I'll be using a Onkyo reciever for the speakers, that way I can hook up DirecTV HD box, PS3 and blu ray player etc... We are going to be redoing the game room along with another room. That is why I'm looking for "budget friendly". I don't have one in mind, obviously cheaper the better with the lady of the house.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Yes the sm450 is terrific speaker at that price and yes, it will benefit from being paired with a sub!

I was looking at the speakers and couldn't tell if the 10" radiator was on the same side on all speakers. Or if they had specific L/R channel. With these speakers, would they benefit from speaker stands or wall mounts?
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

I was looking at the speakers and couldn't tell if the 10" radiator was on the same side on all speakers. Or if they had specific L/R channel. With these speakers, would they benefit from speaker stands or wall mounts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

I was looking at the speakers and couldn't tell if the 10" radiator was on the same side on all speakers. Or if they had specific L/R channel. With these speakers, would they benefit from speaker stands or wall mounts?

They are a L/R pair, but you can install them with the radiator facing in or facing out, based on how they sound best in the space.

Any speaker sounds best at ear level, so stands are indicated if they aren't standing on a surface. My experience is that these speakers (as is common) sound best when at least a few inches away from any room boundary, but that's when used with a sub. Any speaker will get a low end boost from boundary reinforcement, but usually the best placement for bass reinforcement is not the best for imaging.

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Old 04-06-2013, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

JimZ has said numerous times that the Cambridge S30 is a fantastic little speaker. Around the $200 price point. I have the sister speakers the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2's. Currently I use them for surrounds, however they are a great sounding speaker.

If you really need to stick to the $250 or less budget then +1 on Cambridge Audio S30 ($220). IMO it can't be beat at that price point.

If you can push the budget to $300 there are a couple more (slightly better) options like the Arx A1b ($300) and the Ascend CBM-170 ($306 B-stock).

Don't have any personal experience with the Def Tech.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:44 PM
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i have owned the sm 350s for the front left and right speakers for around 10 years really nice speakers for the price.recently bought a ascend system i will now move the 350s for surround duties.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I am still looking around for a pair of bookshelf speakers, and I hope this thread helps.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe246 View Post

I am still looking around for a pair of bookshelf speakers, and I hope this thread helps, even though a few of the responders didn't read my original post. I don't own a klipsch subwoofer, so it is kinda pointless to assume that I do, anyway I own a Dayton audio sub 1200 and its good enough for me.

I am currently researching:
Cambridge S30
Definitive tech 450
JBL studio 180. I Wonder if the midrange driver rattle is true.
JBL studio 130.
Klipsch KB-15
Klipsch RB61
Polk Audio 45B

I have been surfing this forum for more information on the speakers above.
I know it is way off your budget, but I heard the JTR single 8's last weekend and I cannot believe how good they sounded. I think everyone in the room was shocked. Anyone searching for a bookshelf should by any means consider them. The single 8's would put some towers to shame.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe246 View Post

I am still looking around for a pair of bookshelf speakers, and I hope this thread helps, even though a few of the responders didn't read my original post. I don't own a klipsch subwoofer, so it is kinda pointless to assume that I do, anyway I own a Dayton audio sub 1200 and its good enough for me.

I am currently researching:
Cambridge S30
Definitive tech 450
JBL studio 180. I Wonder if the midrange driver rattle is true.
JBL studio 130.
Klipsch KB-15
Klipsch RB61
Polk Audio 45B

I have been surfing this forum for more information on the speakers above.

I would go with the Cambridge S30s from your list as well. However, the Deftech SM450 would not be a bad choice either. Both are great speakers. Any chance you can audition any of the options in your list?

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Old 04-21-2013, 03:21 PM
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+1 on both the Cambridge S30s (I own them) and DefTech 450s (from their rep in the forums).

The only caveat for me is it's difficult to whole heartedly recommend LR mains that are mis-matched with the center ...

I'd encourage you to, in the future, consider the matching center for the Cambridge S30s, the S50. It's reasonably priced ($199) and would give you a very nice, even front stage.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Do the jbl studio 180s have issues with mid range driver resonance?
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