Bookshelf Speaker Recommendation. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a semi-new home owner, but I love music and quality sound. I enjoy higher quality sound than my budget allows, thus, I'm forced to locate those bang for buck options and stair-step upgrades. My Current HT Setup is as follows:

  • Denon AVR-1913 Reciever in 7.1
  • Dayton Audio B652 L/R
  • Energy Take Classic Center and Surrounds
  • BIC F12 Subwoofer


I find the Energy Takes to be adequate for surround duty, as we rarely watch movies. Its often TV, occasional Xbox/Wii/PC games, and lots of music and kid stuff. With that said, I do find the center and mains to be lackluster, and I want to upgrade them slightly. The B652s are great for the price I paid, but they were really just to help me get started. I'd like to move them to the garage for listening while I'm working on random things and upgrade them to something better.

The F12 also is a bit lackluster, GREAT for the money, but its not quite as tight as I'd like it for the amount of music we listen to on this system, but this also could be the fact that it doesn't blend that well with the mains. Regardless, I can't upgrade it at this time but was looking at the HSU

Cliff-notes, I want to upgrade the mains and I only have $200. (getting the matching center at a later date) I was looking at either the BIC FH6B, Energy CB-10s, Monitor Audio M1s, or the KEF C3. I CANNOT spend more than $200ish on this upgrade (unfortunately) but I believe either of these three are significantly better than what I have. I'm leaning towards the sets with the 6.5" woofer, because I think the music would benefit

Thoughts, recommendations, and name-calling are welcome.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #2 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 02:07 PM
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I would absolutely recommend the Def Tech SM350/450s from New Egg. There are frequently on sale for 170/pr (SM350) and 210/pr (SM450). I own both and they are very good speakers!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #3 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 05:45 PM
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+1 the Def Tech SM350/450s. Another good option in that price range is the Cambridge Audio S30 ($219 a pair). The only reason I mention it is it might be easier to find the matching center later (I believe the Def Tech's are discontinued).

Any of those speakers would sound very nice - though you might consider a Phantom Center set up until you can get your new center-speaker later.

For a good sub for music I think you might have to go to the $500-$600 budget range. But, lots of great options there.
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post #4 of 42 Old 04-29-2013, 10:13 PM
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Newegg put the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers on sale through 5/1 (see the note in the Pioneer owners thread). Your budget would allow for getting either a pair of bookshelves and the center, or one pair of the towers.

Here's a review of that speaker line: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/pioneer-sp-pk52fs

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post #5 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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These will be wall mounted as sort of a compromise between the wife and I. It also helps with the baby having nothing on the floor. (everything is wall mounted, hidden wires, AV equipment in a hall closet)

I like the look of the Def Tech SM350s. I've heard several def tech speakers that I thought sounded great, aside from the smaller lines, but I think that's more due to form factor. I actually found a used pair for $199, and I actually prefer used speakers.

The Cambridge Audio S30s look great too, and fit my budget. I haven't heard any of their audio. I'll see if I can some S30s locally to listen to.

For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer. I like the price of the pioneers though! Its a fairly big living room, that has an open wall to the kitchen.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #6 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 07:08 AM
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You might try some Behringer 2030p Monitors, they are made for accurate playback, they need to be since they are made for studio work. Their measured performance is terrific. I think they may be your best bet, if you can get past their look. They are right on the nose for your budget too.
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post #7 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I have several behringer products. Some are absolutely excellent for the money, some just okay. If those had a grill, I'd be all over em, but they sure are an eye sore!!! lol

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #8 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster View Post

For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer.

Sub size has little to do with it.

NHT SuperZeros sound great and are in your budget. But may be too small if your room is large as you say.

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post #9 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster View Post

For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer. I like the price of the pioneers though! Its a fairly big living room, that has an open wall to the kitchen.

You are right in that larger drivers can offer some benefits, but don't base your decision on the RW-12d size. The Pioneers would be an upgrade over the Energy Takes, and the Pioneer bookshelves and matching center extend low enough to work well with an 80hz crossover setting.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #10 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I realize that there is a lot involved in the mids and bass you can get from a speaker, but I do find that woofer size plays a large part in that. I have a pair of studio monitors in the studio with 5 inch woofers, and they sound better than the 6.5" on the daytons. Generally speaking though, bigger woofer, to some extent, accounts for better mids/mid lows, no?

The NHT SuperZeros look nice. I'll get some measurements and viewing distances tonight.
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You are right in that larger drivers can offer some benefits, but don't base your decision on the RW-12d size. The Pioneers would be an upgrade over the Energy Takes, and the Pioneer bookshelves and matching center extend low enough to work well with an 80hz crossover setting.

I'll see if I can find some to give them a listen.

Also, the energy takes, sound terrible at anything other than surrounds IMO. I think they sound tinny, and don't have enough bass mids to transition well as mains. Tried it for half a second, even let the audyssey XT on my 1712 I had at the time give it a shot. The Daytons sound much better than the take classics as mains, overall. I never bought them with the intention of being mains in the living room though. I got the take 5.0 set at an autction for an incredible price, and intended to use them in a bedroom. We have since removed all electronics from the bedroom and thats how they wound up as surrounds.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #11 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster View Post

I realize that there is a lot involved in the mids and bass you can get from a speaker, but I do find that woofer size plays a large part in that. I have a pair of studio monitors in the studio with 5 inch woofers, and they sound better than the 6.5" on the daytons. Generally speaking though, bigger woofer, to some extent, accounts for better mids/mid lows, no?

The NHT SuperZeros look nice. I'll get some measurements and viewing distances tonight.
I'll see if I can find some to give them a listen.

Yes. A bigger driver can be helpful for better midbass.

The disadvantage of the SuperZeros is that they have a roll off above 80hz. You likely need to set the crossover to 90hz or 100hz.

BestBuy carries the Pioneers. You might can listen to them there, although it's not the most conducive environment for judging speakers.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #12 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 12:24 PM
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+1 re the SuperZeros.

I know the Cambridge Audio S30 goes low enough to easily handle an 80hz crossover (I own a pair), and based on reviews/specs I would guess the same is true for the Pioneer.
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post #13 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 02:10 PM
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I have my SZs crossed at 100hz. I get no sub localization whatsoever FWIW.

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post #14 of 42 Old 04-30-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Newegg put the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers on sale through 5/1 (see the note in the Pioneer owners thread). Your budget would allow for getting either a pair of bookshelves and the center, or one pair of the towers.

Here's a review of that speaker line: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/pioneer-sp-pk52fs

+1 These actually sound much better than the price would suggest, and I HAVE heard them personally, and compared to many higher end sets.
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post #15 of 42 Old 05-01-2013, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I really appreciate the responses! I have an idea of where to look now! Looks like my daytons are getting the boot soon enough! Woohoo

I'm hoping the next speaker purchase will tie me over until I move in the next year or so. We're looking now, but we can't move for AT LEAST another year.

I really like the NHTs the best so far. I haven't ruled out the S30s or the Pioneers though. What are the general opinions on Energy's mid-range line (CB20s), if you don't mind me asking

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #16 of 42 Old 05-01-2013, 05:20 AM
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another vote for the def tec speakers had my sm350s for ten years.
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post #17 of 42 Old 05-02-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I sold the Energy Take 5 set on Amazon yesterday for about $20 more than I paid for it. Now I have money for a center too! Woot!

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #18 of 42 Old 05-02-2013, 01:25 PM
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I would definitely say that the KEF speakers are by far the best, but unless you know of some used ones, they are out of your price range.

The Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers are $350 per pair, and those are what I would recommend. They are excellent for their price (see the Stereophile review of them).
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post #19 of 42 Old 05-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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if you go with the sm 350s the matching center would be the clr 2002.
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post #20 of 42 Old 05-03-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I would definitely say that the KEF speakers are by far the best, but unless you know of some used ones, they are out of your price range.

The Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers are $350 per pair, and those are what I would recommend. They are excellent for their price (see the Stereophile review of them).

These are the KEFs I had looked at:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFC3BLK/KEF-C3-Two-Way-5-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-Black/1.html

They have some bad reviews though http://www.whathifi.com/Review/KEF-C3/

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #21 of 42 Old 05-07-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm also curious about the HTD level 2 and 3 speakers. I am having trouble finding feedback on any HTD stuff from respectable places.

If it would be worth the extra $$, should I extend my budget to include something like the HSU HB-1s or the HTD L2 Bookshelves?

At this point, my pecking order is like this:

1. DefTech SM350s (although, the center is a problem)
2. Bic FH6 LCR (seems like great bang for buck, I can get the center and mains altogether for around $350, which would be nice, but I'm weary of being angry with myself for cheaping out)
3. Cambridge S30 and Monitor Audios are a tie here
4. Lastly, the Pioneer and NHTs, but I think I'm too worried about the lack of bottom end punch. (this is probably just in my head)

I don't know where the HSU or HTD stuff fits in to the list.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #22 of 42 Old 05-07-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh my, I'm coming up with more questions as I research, instead of answers.

I found several articles here and else about center channels speakers and generally, how terrible most of them are. Several individuals and respectable professionals recommend avoiding the horizontal MTM center that has become popular, and instead, opt for a vertical matching bookshelf

So, 3 NHT Super Ones?

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #23 of 42 Old 05-07-2013, 03:17 PM
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If I were going for HTD, I would try to make the stretch to Level Threes. The ribbon tweeter with the wave-guide could be interesting. The Hsu's have great dynamic range, if you like your speakers to get loud without breaking a sweat, its one I would consider. Another good looking speaker in this price range is the Arx A1b. I would go with any of those over the speakers you listed, although I am curious to hear the Cambridge s30s.
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post #24 of 42 Old 05-08-2013, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I found a used set of NHT Super Ones locally, and I like the sound for the price that I might get for now (price is really good). I think I would prefer the HTD L3s or the HSUs or even the ARX as they seem to be of higher quality, and loud music will be played often (Dream Theater, Rush, Metallica, NIN, Daft Punk (daughter loves em) etc etc)

I'm going to keep saving and see if I can't swing for the better ones. I AM going to get 3 bookselfs as opposed to 2 bookshelfs and a center. Depending on what I go with, I might get the same bookshelfs for all 5 speakers, after that, Its just a matter of saving up for a subwoofer!

I'll let you guys know what I get and take pictures. I'm juggling price/sound/size right now. My budget is tight, my wife likes smaller speakers (but shes flexible), but I'm pretty picky on how the music sounds. I think the theater part is easy, its the music that I always find lacking it most HT setups.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #25 of 42 Old 05-08-2013, 10:04 AM
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I own the sm450s and that is one very dynamic speaker, considering it's smallish size and the current ~200.00/ pair price!
Since the center is hard to find, you could consider getting another pair, use one as the center and sell the other one to someone like me...smile.gif

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #26 of 42 Old 05-08-2013, 11:07 AM
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I'm still waiting to see these for $200/pr. I know you got a great deal on them but have never seen them that low since you first mentioned it.

Currently they are $399 at Newegg.

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post #27 of 42 Old 05-09-2013, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm definitely doing three identical bookshelfs for the front stage, and something smaller for the back. I'm leaning heavily towards the NHT Super One/Super Zero combo due to its praise here and elsewhere, and exceptional bang for buck. I have no doubt that the SM350/450s will sound better, honestly though, they're kinda an eye sore from the pictures I've seen. I've been trying to locate a pair locally. I'm going to best buy and hhgreg tomorrow to browse, maybe I'll get lucky.

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #28 of 42 Old 05-10-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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So, If I go with the 3 NHTs for $230 shipped, that gives me enough money left to get the 2113 as opposed to the 1913 I have in my cart to replace the 1712 I just sold. So I think thats what I'm going to do.

The NHTs have a good resell value, it seems, so I can upgrade again in the future with ease.

So, here is the setup I'm ordering,

3 NHT Super Ones up front (old, but a classic speaker)
2 NHT Super Zeros in the rear
1 Bic F12 Sub until I can afford a nice sealed sub
1 Denon 1913
1 Samsung LN52B630 (I love this TV, so not changing it til it dies)

Hopefully the sealed speakers will make music listening more pleasant, while still giving us a good movie watching experience. Man I can't wait! I'll take pictures!

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #29 of 42 Old 05-10-2013, 12:16 PM
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congratulation with your new system hope you have many hours of happy enjoyment.
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post #30 of 42 Old 05-10-2013, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the recommendations. I took them all to heart and ended up with something entirely different (sorta) than originally planned. This was a tough decision for me. Although, I'm excited about the 2113, I've wanted a 21 series for a while. I really think anything above that is overkill for me, so I can't wait to get it. (Found one for $379.99 shipped)

NHT looks like a great brand with a successful history of making bang for buck HT components!

My HT:
Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
Mains TBD
Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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Bookshelf Speakers , Definitive Technology Studiomonitor 350 Speakers , Behringer Truth B2030p Passive Monitor
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