Nicest Speakers Under 500-600$ - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 09-13-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi I'm a noobie on this site but I thought it would be a good place to ask for some advice. I have a Rotel 1062 integrated amp and a pair of Boston Acoustics A40s that are hooked up to it. Obviously I'm not getting the full potential of the Rotel with these speakers but they have served me well for a time. Anyways I'm interested in whats the hottest speaker (bookshelf or otherwise) for around 500-600$ that would really bring the Rotel to life. Any advice appreciated, Thanks:)
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post #2 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 08:44 AM
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The "hottest" speaker will be the one that sounds best to you. Do you have any hi-fi shops in your area to go listen to speakers?

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post #3 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 09:20 AM
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post #4 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 09:49 AM
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post #5 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 02:42 PM
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I'd recommend Monitor Audio RX-1 or RS-6 (if you are patient you can find them in this price range easily).

I know a certain someone that is pretty happy with his Ascend bookshelf speakers smile.gif

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post #6 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 04:52 PM
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The Martin Logan Motion 12 can be had on NewEgg for 600 or less if you're patient.
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post #7 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

I know a certain someone that is pretty happy with his Ascend bookshelf speakers smile.gif

Yep. The Ascends are nice, although the CMT-340 SEs would fit your budget, too smile.gif
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post #8 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm kind of getting ahead of myself since my budget is limited and I just spent 500$ for an SVS pb1000 sub. It has hugely improved things and now of course I'm curious how much more potential there is with upgraded speakers. The Ascend bookshelves seem like a more realistic price (300$ for the pair it says). Honestly I may not buy anything for a time, I was just curious if there are any particular brands that pair well with Rotel amps? Maybe its just a matter of personal taste?
The boston acoustics a26 seem to get good reviews, would those be a noticeable step up from my a40s or are they very comparable?
Also what about the Wharfedale diamond 121?
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post #9 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post

Honestly I may not buy anything for a time, I was just curious if there are any particular brands that pair well with Rotel amps? Maybe its just a matter of personal taste?

Right. A good solid state amp shoots for transparency in reproduction of the audio. The Rotel is very good and ought to fit that. I think you buy the amp you want and the speakers you want without worrying about matching.

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post #10 of 58 Old 09-14-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Right. A good solid state amp shoots for transparency in reproduction of the audio. The Rotel is very good and ought to fit that. I think you buy the amp you want and the speakers you want without worrying about matching.
It's actually that transparency or 'clinical' sound of the Rotel that bothers me sometimes. So I was hoping to remedy that with speakers that give it more life. But I understand transparency is typically desirable. Anyways I'll check back when I have a real budget in mind. For now I'm kind of fantasy shopping
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post #11 of 58 Old 09-15-2013, 06:58 PM
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Try the Magnepan MMGs. You can get them direct from the factory, with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
www.magnepan.com
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post #12 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Just curious, how would the Ascend CBM-170 SEs compare to a pair of KEF Q300. I tested the KEF's a while back, liked their atmosphere alot but they didnt give me the bass I wanted, hence buying my subwoofer. Are the Magnepans on a whole different level than these two?
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post #13 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 08:21 PM
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I estimate the Ascend would have a lot more depth and bass over the Q300's. I read some really bad reviews about the Q100's when I was considering them and I went with Monitor Audio RX-1's instead. I'd imagine Magnepan's are different, not an entirely different level, but just much different. I feel like bass would be an issue with them too.

Paradigm Signatures, Monitor Audio, Swan, and Dana would probably be on my list before Magnepan.

This is a review on the Magnepan's and I think it is probably what they'd deliver to you.
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You will have a love/hate relationship with these speakers if you choose to buy them. You will be absolutely astounded by the way some music sounds on them and other music will sound completely lifeless. Here's what sounds good: drums, acoustic guitar, chamber music, female vocals (particularly stunning). Here's what doesn't sound good: anything with significant bass, including acoustic bass in jazz, bottom two octaves of piano recordings, tuba and percussion in orchestral recordings. Occasionally, you just hear the bassist play a descending line and it completely disappears. Likewise, frequently the left hand of the piano lacks depth. Orchestral recordings The two most egregious genres that I've tried on these speakers are reggae and psybient. You might as well listen to this kind of music through two cans and a string. People say that these are the best speakers under $1000 and I suspect that this is probably true in some respects, but you have to consider the cost of the amplification that is required to drive these speakers adequately, which is quite a bit greater than many comparably-priced speakers. If you like to listen to anything with bass, including orchestral music, jazz, or particularly organ music, you will need to buy a subwoofer, so plan on another grand disappearing right there. By the time you're done buying a high-powered stero amp and a powered subwoofer, it might have been a much better value to buy a pair of full-range floorstanders.

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post #14 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 08:59 PM
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Actually, the KEF Q300s are very nice speakers. Neither the CBM-170SE or Q300 dig very deep but they offer superb mid-bass. The CBM-170SEs will save you some money but I think both are worth a listen.

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post #15 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valtyr View Post

I estimate the Ascend would have a lot more depth and bass over the Q300's.
Even though the Q300's are significantly more expensive than the 300$ Ascends? Although I did find this offering online.. lowest price I've seen for the KEF's: http://www.designeraudiovideo.com/kef-q300.html?gclid=CJus2oTF0bkCFUJlMgodCCIAmQ. I'm also interested in the Q acoustics concept 20s but I dont think you can buy them in the US..
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post #16 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SubieDriver View Post

Try the Magnepan MMGs. You can get them direct from the factory, with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
www.magnepan.com

+1, No brainer
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post #17 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 10:10 PM
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With that sub (assuming you plan to use it for music as well as HT) The KEF Q100s should do a nice job at a grate price.
I've been running older Q65s with Rotel for about 10 years. I hope to get 10 more years from them.

B&W is often sold with Rotel.
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post #18 of 58 Old 09-16-2013, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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So I auditioned Q300s but it seems that people think Q100s are better, or just pair better with my set up? They seem to be priced around 400$ vs 470$ for the 300s. I really like the looks and different finishes of KEF speakers especially since i can get them in black oak and my Rotel and sub are also black. As for the Magnepans they are pushing my budget and how much spacing do they need from the wall??
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post #19 of 58 Old 09-17-2013, 12:16 PM
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~ 3ft., but theMMG is only 1 1/2 in. depth.
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post #20 of 58 Old 09-17-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post

... As for the Magnepans they are pushing my budget and how much spacing do they need from the wall??

You could opt for the MMG-Ws at $325/pair, but you might want to add a woofer/subwoofer to round out the sound. The MMG-Ws go down to 100Hz, while the MMGs go to 50Hz.
Many have used the -W variant for their main speakers. They're tuned to be mounted on the wall to enhance their base performance.
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post #21 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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So right now I have my ipod wired into the inputs on my SVS and the 80Hz high pass filter outs going to my Rotel. The SVS is really impressive at low frequencies but higher bass feels lacking. Do people think the Ascend CBM-170 SE would fill that hole? Or the KEF q100s? Or do i need to spend more, get something like the q300s or RTi10s listed at the top? Magnepans are not really an option for me since I dont have extra floor space and I dont want to wall mount anything.
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post #22 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 03:25 PM
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SB-1000 has DSP to give it a linear response. So either you like more bass emphasis than neutral or your room acoustics and placement are negatively affecting those frequencies.

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post #23 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Mixture of both probably, I do like more bass and its placement isn't quite ideal. I got the PB1000 not the SB
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post #24 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 04:17 PM
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Mixture of both probably, I do like more bass and its placement isn't quite ideal. I got the PB1000 not the SB

My bad redface.gif

The PB-1000 also has DSP and measures very linear. Sound and Vision's measurements confirm what SVS has in their measurements page.

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post #25 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 04:31 PM
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Cambridge Audio S30' has great mid bass, so does the Monitor Audio RX-1. I'd imagine the Ascends would be on par or better than these two options. Charlie knows more than I do about 'em though.

I think the RX-1's or RX-2's would do better than the KEF q series.

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post #26 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyM22 View Post

So right now I have my ipod wired into the inputs on my SVS and the 80Hz high pass filter outs going to my Rotel. The SVS is really impressive at low frequencies but higher bass feels lacking. Do people think the Ascend CBM-170 SE would fill that hole? Or the KEF q100s? Or do i need to spend more, get something like the q300s or RTi10s listed at the top? Magnepans are not really an option for me since I dont have extra floor space and I dont want to wall mount anything.

Curious, why the ipod into the sub then into the receiver? Why not ipod into the receiver and let the receiver do bass management? (I'm not familiar with your receiver, assume it has the capability).

As to speakers, I have Ascends of a few flavors including the 170SEs as well as the Cambridge S30s. They're in different rooms, never a/b'd them, they're both good performers but the S30s I think aren't quite as capable in the bass department (they're smaller woofers altho that doesn't always tell the whole story nor do I think their specs indicate they go as low without looking them up). The S30s are on sale somewhere I saw a thread for in great found deals (I think) for $170 a pair (reg 220) so a bit less expensive, too.

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post #27 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 06:12 PM
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I just don't think a pair of speakers is going to solve his problem since that sub has a linear response.

Just to confirm, you do have the crossover dial on the subwoofer set to 80hz, correct? And what happens if you turn up the gain (volume) on the sub? Does that give you the midbass output you want?

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post #28 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I just don't think a pair of speakers is going to solve his problem since that sub has a linear response.

Just to confirm, you do have the crossover dial on the subwoofer set to 80hz, correct? And what happens if you turn up the gain (volume) on the sub? Does that give you the midbass output you want?

Agreed in that he needs to play around with crossover and maybe sub position (or speaker position as well), and who knows how linear in his room? Shouldn't be a matter of "pairing" in any case. That's for wine/beer with food.

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post #29 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Curious, why the ipod into the sub then into the receiver? Why not ipod into the receiver and let the receiver do bass management? (I'm not familiar with your receiver, assume it has the capability).
Yea my Rotel 1062 doesn't have bass management so the PB1000 works well for my setup. I think I found the S30 deal you're talking about its on amazon. Price looks tempting especially with 5 star reviews. Question is how much better will those be than my A40s? Also so Audioengine P4s listed seem to be a popular speaker.. would those work with my setup?
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post #30 of 58 Old 09-18-2013, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry didnt see posts. Yea the low pass is set at 80hz. What I've noticed with the sub is that low, smooth bass sounds very good but higher bass isnt as punchy as I want (I listen to alot of electronica). Sub is sitting directly ahead of me and speakers are on sides. Not ideal as it sounds pretty boomy this way but I may rearrange things.
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