Please recommend warm, musical bookshelf speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I owned a pair of polk tsi100, they sound OK, but the highs are a bit bright and harsh; fatigue after listening for hours.

I need to look for a warm, musical speaker as the main to better suit my need, and set these Tsis as surround speakers.

I mainly listen to music, any kinds of music, like classic, pop, rock, etc except heavy metals.


I've been reading the posts here, looks like Energy RC10 was a pretty good option, but it's discontinued; I have nowhere to buy.

Is there any recommendation that is similar to RC10 or better?

My budget is about what RC10 was.

Thanks a lot!
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post #2 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 05:44 PM
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You may not necessarily need "warm" speakers, just ones with a better tweeter (your experience with that speaker is not uncommon).

The RC10 varied a lot in price the last six months or so smile.gif What budget did you have in mind?
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post #3 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. My budget is around 200-400.
Is there a way to still get those RC10s?
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post #4 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 05:52 PM
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They're not exactly bookshelf speakers (more like 2/3 towers), but: Paradigm 5se MkII / 7se. A gently-used pair should run you ~$150.

Big, warm, beautiful-sounding speakers. I've been loving 'em for ~25 years. cool.gif
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post #5 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 05:53 PM
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Sorry - forgot to ask if you're using a sub?
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post #6 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:42 PM
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Lots of options from 200-400, all of them better than Polk Tsi. Here is a comparison with a bunch recently done by Sound and Vision magazine. Some other ones I would look at are HTD Level Threes, Arx A1, Ascend CBM-170, and one of my all time bang for the buck favorites, the Behringer Truth 2031p monitors. $240 for a pair of those is just a terrific value.
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post #7 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:46 PM
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post #8 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Sorry - forgot to ask if you're using a sub?
Yes, I have a bic america 12'' sub
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post #9 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Lots of options from 200-400, all of them better than Polk Tsi. Here is a comparison with a bunch recently done by Sound and Vision magazine. Some other ones I would look at are HTD Level Threes, Arx A1, Ascend CBM-170, and one of my all time bang for the buck favorites, the Behringer Truth 2031p monitors. $240 for a pair of those is just a terrific value.

Hmm, those models look pretty good! Thank you. I'll dig into them.
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post #10 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HKHH View Post

I owned a pair of polk tsi100, they sound OK, but the highs are a bit bright and harsh; fatigue after listening for hours.

I need to look for a warm, musical speaker as the main to better suit my need, and set these Tsis as surround speakers.

I mainly listen to music, any kinds of music, like classic, pop, rock, etc except heavy metals.


I've been reading the posts here, looks like Energy RC10 was a pretty good option, but it's discontinued; I have nowhere to buy.

Is there any recommendation that is similar to RC10 or better?

My budget is about what RC10 was.

Thanks a lot!

Another question is that I'm using Denon 1613 AVR, is it mainly because this AVR which leads the music too bright?
I've read some of posts here about comparison between denon and onkyo. Some said onkyo would be warmer than denon; I chose denon mainly because denon holds better qualities.
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post #11 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 06:57 PM
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... is it mainly because this AVR which leads the music too bright?
IMO:
- Mainly? No.
- Minimally / negligibly? Maybe.

IOW - and, again, IMO - you're better off directing your efforts toward finding:
- a pair of speakers whose sound you do like; rather than
- an amp or receiver that will "tame" the things you don't like about the speakers you have.
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post #12 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 07:01 PM
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I like to think of good speakers as being something "true to the source," or as close as reasonably possible. The speaker should get out of the way. Does a stringed instrument sound, well, like what it's supposed to sound like? Does a female vocalist sound like she's in the room with me? The Polk's are a brand with usually poor tweeters, as noted, so they get very much in the way.

You could also check out Paradigm Monitor speakers. Focal Chorus 700 series bookshelves are interesting too.

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post #13 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

IMO:
- Mainly? No.
- Minimally / negligibly? Maybe.

IOW - and, again, IMO - you're better off directing your efforts toward finding:
- a pair of speakers whose sound you do like; rather than
- an amp or receiver that will "tame" the things you don't like about the speakers you have.

Good to know, thanks.
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post #14 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

They're not exactly bookshelf speakers (more like 2/3 towers), but: Paradigm 5se MkII / 7se. A gently-used pair should run you ~$150.

Big, warm, beautiful-sounding speakers. I've been loving 'em for ~25 years. cool.gif

These speakers are vintage ones, still got nowhere to purchase.
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post #15 of 34 Old 05-28-2013, 08:31 PM
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For speakers in your price range,

KEF Q300, $400 at accessories4less.com
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE, on sale for $298.
Cambridge S30, $219
Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2, $349

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post #16 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 01:29 AM
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+1 that list.
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post #17 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKHH View Post

Another question is that I'm using Denon 1613 AVR, is it mainly because this AVR which leads the music too bright?
I've read some of posts here about comparison between denon and onkyo. Some said onkyo would be warmer than denon; I chose denon mainly because denon holds better qualities.

I thought the generalization was that Denon is warmer than Onkyo... based on what I've read in the past...

I compared my 707 to a Denon 2312 and couldn't detect a difference in warmth/brightness.

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post #18 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 05:19 AM
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I will also agree the Ascend CBM-170 are worth a look and may have the sound you're looking for. Mirage may also be worth a look as the OMD5 can often be had for a good price at Vanns and Crutchfield.
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post #19 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 05:26 AM
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These speakers are vintage ones, still got nowhere to purchase.
That's what Audiogon.com, usaudiomart.com, craigslist, etc. are for. smile.gif Anyway, it's just another option.
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post #20 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rnatalli View Post

I will also agree the Ascend CBM-170 are worth a look and may have the sound you're looking for. Mirage may also be worth a look as the OMD5 can often be had for a good price at Vanns and Crutchfield.

That 170 seems to be good, but looks a bit small. My living room is about 15*20, kitchen is connected without walls, total might be 15*30.
The speaker should be at least capable to handle room size of 15*20, some review said it's a good for desktop use, is it small for my room?
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post #21 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by edgeh2o View Post

I thought the generalization was that Denon is warmer than Onkyo... based on what I've read in the past...

I compared my 707 to a Denon 2312 and couldn't detect a difference in warmth/brightness.

Thanks for the info, that will lead the main source to speakers.

The female vocal sounds nice on my Tsi100, that's about the only thing I'm satisfied, low's are fine, I have a big sub to handle it, and so far, I'm satisfied with the sub, it's tight but not boomy.

When it comes to concert, it does not perform very well.

Another example would be Kelly Clarkson's "stronger", the background instruments is so annoying that they even overwhelms Kelly's voice; I'm listening to FLAC version, and I believe mp3 will make it worse. It's just too harsh, I can't listen to it for long.
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post #22 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

I like to think of good speakers as being something "true to the source," or as close as reasonably possible. The speaker should get out of the way. Does a stringed instrument sound, well, like what it's supposed to sound like? Does a female vocalist sound like she's in the room with me? The Polk's are a brand with usually poor tweeters, as noted, so they get very much in the way.

You could also check out Paradigm Monitor speakers. Focal Chorus 700 series bookshelves are interesting too.

The female vocal sounds nice on my Tsi100, that's about the only thing I'm satisfied, low's are fine but not impressed, after all I have a 12'' sub to handle it, and so far, I'm satisfied with the sub, it's tight but not boomy.

When it comes to concert, it does not perform very well.

Another example would be Kelly Clarkson's "stronger", the background instruments is so annoying that they even overwhelms Kelly's voice; I'm listening to FLAC version, and I believe mp3 will make it worse. It's just too harsh, I can't listen to it for long.
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post #23 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 07:27 AM
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I have some on the way myself, but I've heard NHT speakers are great for music. I ordered the older SuperOnes to fit my budget, but I've heard the Absolute Zero and the Classic Two/Threes were awesome for music. Maybe someone with more knowledge can expound on these options.

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Denon AVR-2113 Receiver
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Surrounds TBD
Subwoofer TBD (SVS SB1000, NHT B-10d, Rythmik LV12R, Klipsch RW12-D)
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post #24 of 34 Old 05-29-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKHH View Post

That 170 seems to be good, but looks a bit small. My living room is about 15*20, kitchen is connected without walls, total might be 15*30.
The speaker should be at least capable to handle room size of 15*20, some review said it's a good for desktop use, is it small for my room?

I think they would be ok in that space. Obviously, the CMT-340SEs would probably be a better fit but they're not in budget. The 170s are pretty efficient and have decent output.

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post #25 of 34 Old 06-12-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally decide to go for boston A26 speakers.
Just got them couple of days ago for around $280.

I Have listened to them for a while, very pleased with the sound;
the sound stage, low/mid/high are all pleasant, vocal/classical, rocks etc. are very good.
Movie is well represented too.

It kicks away my uncomfortable feel about Polk tsi100, 100 could be served as surrounds.

All I can say is it's well worth the high reviews on-line.

If anyone is having the same concern about speakers, at this price range, this is a cant-let-go option.

Thanks for all the help.
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post #26 of 34 Old 06-12-2013, 11:50 PM
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If you want some Boston surrounds to replace your Polks check out accessories4less.com. You can get the A25 for $89 each.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA25GBA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A25-2-Way-5.25in-Bookshelf-Speaker-Each-Gloss-Black/1.html

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post #27 of 34 Old 06-13-2013, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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If you want some Boston surrounds to replace your Polks check out accessories4less.com. You can get the A25 for $89 each.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA25GBA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A25-2-Way-5.25in-Bookshelf-Speaker-Each-Gloss-Black/1.html

Are you serious? A25? They are not even comparable models, 5.5vs6.5 woofers? big difference!

IMO, I would never suggest buying two mains from refurbished site unless you'are aware of what problems they had, and were not a big deal.
Refurbished for Centers and surrounds might be fine.
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post #28 of 34 Old 06-13-2013, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HKHH View Post

Are you serious? A25? They are not even comparable models, 5.5vs6.5 woofers? big difference!

IMO, I would never suggest buying two mains from refurbished site unless you'are aware of what problems they had, and were not a big deal.
Refurbished for Centers and surrounds might be fine.

Dude, really? Reading is fundamental.

First thing, if you read my post closely. I said "If you want some Boston surrounds to replace your Polks" That means you would use the A25's as surrounds since you already have A26's up front! Nowhere did I say you'd would be buying the A25's as mains.

Second thing, those A25's come with the 5 year manufacturers warranty. They're factory refurbished from Boston Acoustics. The same 5 year warranty you got with your A26 bookshelf speakers.

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post #29 of 34 Old 06-13-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKHH View Post

I finally decide to go for boston A26 speakers.
Just got them couple of days ago for around $280.

I Have listened to them for a while, very pleased with the sound;
the sound stage, low/mid/high are all pleasant, vocal/classical, rocks etc. are very good.
Movie is well represented too.

It kicks away my uncomfortable feel about Polk tsi100, 100 could be served as surrounds.

All I can say is it's well worth the high reviews on-line.

If anyone is having the same concern about speakers, at this price range, this is a cant-let-go option.

Thanks for all the help.

Instead of ditching polk why not upgrade to the RTI-A series? I cant understand why folks ditch polks low end in search of better,
when the RTI series is on a whole different level from the TSI. This is why Polk gets bashed around this forum. The A3's would smash those Bostons for the same price if you look around.

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post #30 of 34 Old 06-14-2013, 05:25 AM
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Instead of ditching polk why not upgrade to the RTI-A series? I cant understand why folks ditch polks low end in search of better,
when the RTI series is on a whole different level from the TSI. This is why Polk gets bashed around this forum. The A3's would smash those Bostons for the same price if you look around.

They have the LSi7 on their ebay store for $399/pair, I would take those over the A26 any day.

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