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Old 10-24-2013, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

 

Eight years or so back I purchased a pair of Athena F2.2's with a Panasonic SA-XR55 and absolutely fell in love with the setup. I am not a true audiophile by any sense of the word, but I've genuinely grown to appreciate better sounding material. Since then, I've accumulated a matching sub (AS-P400), bookshelves (B2), and a Center. I've had this all laid out differently depending on my home at the time. 

 

In the past year I've gotten married and moved to a tiny apartment, and the speaker system is far too much. At the far end of our 12x15 livingroom I'm looking at a 55" TV and the F2.2's, which takes up the entire wall. The other speakers are now in storage, and not necessary. The F2.2's have more than enough bass for this room, and I've rarely been able to turn them up past 30% given the space (and the fact I have neighbors now). 

 

Considering I'm not going to own a place large enough to unleash my setup again, I'm considering selling the set. I am even considering selling the towers, as they are quite the massive pair and look kinda silly in the room.With that being said, I'd like to replace the towers with something a bit tidier looking, but equally good sounding. I don't listen to really high grade music or DVD's--frankly I've fallen back on audio jack music from my computer and Netflix for the most part. Nonetheless, I've never run across another set of speakers I like better than these. 

 

Does anyone have any recommendations? I saw that Newegg has Polk Monitor60 II's for sale for $200/pair shipped. Would that be a good alternative? If not, does anyone have any thoughts? 

 

Thank you for your help!

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Old 10-25-2013, 12:33 PM
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I don't understand why you're downgrading to a floorstanding speaker when space is your issue & you never crank up the volume. Look for a nice set of monitors, you'll get a better bang for your buck.

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Old 10-25-2013, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Honestly, it's probably because I have no experience with monitor speakers. Tower's have been my bread and butter for a long time, and I just don't really know of much else. 

 

I considered using my bookshelves as my mains, but that comes with a couple of problems. Firstly, I have no space on my TV Cabinet, and they are too large to mount on the wall. This leaves me with the only option of putting them on a stand, which eats up the same amount of floorspace as a tower. My towers sound much better than my bookshelves, so I just figured I needed towers. 

 

Can you recommend anything in the monitor range that you see as a great value? How do they differ from standard bookshelves?

 

Thank you!

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:38 PM
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What's your budget?

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Old 10-25-2013, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Haven't really established that. I figure if I sell all of my speakers including my sub, I could probably get $4-500. Let's keep that at 4. Maybe another $50-100 if I sell the reciever, too. 

 

So that's a starting point. What can I make of that? Like I said, I don't need to be sitting on audiophile grade stuff here. I'm just looking for something better than most of the low-end consumer stuff that's out there. 

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Old 10-25-2013, 03:40 PM
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If you are selling your sub, then you definitely want towers, as they usually go lower in frequency. With that said, if you like yours, why not sell the bookshelves and the sub and keep your towers.

If not, the Pioneers FS52 are a popular choice and you can get under $200. At $400 budget, the infinity P363 are also popular here. Either one should give you decent output at 50hz.
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:51 PM
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Look at Cambridge Audio
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/cambridge%20audio/results/1.html

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Old 10-25-2013, 03:51 PM
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I'll second the Pioneers and Infinities. I own the latter and am very happy with their performance-for-cost.

To address another poster's question: there are several reasons you might wish to go tower even if you do continue to use a sub. The most obvious would be if bookshelves were going to be placed on stands anyway. A decent pair of stands will undo any cost benefit bookshelves in this range are likely to have, and generally still be inferior to towers as a stable base.

There are exceptions: but mostly they are expensive (or DIY).

Obviously: If you are giving up a sub, you'd want as much LF extension as you can manage; which is likely to put you in a ported tower.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses!

 

I don't need to sell my sub at this point. If I were to purchase bookshelves (monitors maybe--still learning), I think it would make sense to keep the sub. I also agree that placing bookshelves on a stand negates many of their benefits compared to towers. 

 

I still don't really understand the functional difference between monitors and bookshelves, but I think something of that size would only make sense if it were wall mountable. Other than that, I am leaning toward svelte towers. Right now my towers measure 41-1/2" H x 9-1/2" W x 15-1/2"D, and I'd like something notably smaller--something with less presence. Some of the options suggested are pretty sizable, and I don't know if that would be downsizing. I imagine it could be a quality boost, though. 

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Old 10-25-2013, 08:42 PM
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I would just keep the F2.2's. A bookshelf on a stand will take up about the same amount of room. What are these 10" wide? What are you going to get that takes up less space?Only way to save room would be to go to some wall mount or in-wall speakers.

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Old 10-28-2013, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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The F2.2's and anything that assumes a similar footprint is going to be too big for this room. 

 

Ideally I would get something like Mythos STS towers, but I don't have the budget for that currently. I am looking at the possibility of Mythos Gem, because I MIGHT be able to get those on my TV cabinet. 

 

Anyone have any experience with the Gems? I would have to keep my sub (or get a new one), which is not a big deal. Or, would driving the Gems with the Panny be a bad idea?

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Old 10-28-2013, 10:25 AM
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What about these Fluance ES51's http://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/fluance-es1. I have not listened to them, but they have a small footprint.

I see you are trying to place speaker sin your TV cabinet. I wouldn't place the LR speakers too close together. I know compromises are in order, but just make sure you don't buy something, and then regret it won't work as expected because of poor placement.

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, my TV is on a wall that's only about 7-8' wide. Right now I havea big TV, and my towers on either side of it. Not an ideal setup by any means, but I don't have many options here. 

 

My thought with the Mythos Gem was to put them on either side of the TV on the TV table. The TV table itself is nealy 6' wide, so there is SOME distance between them. I figured that worst case scenario, I could wall mount them or get stands for them. Even with stands, they visually will take up much much less real estate in my room. 

 

So a couple questions:

 

1. If I can get a pair of Gems for $175-200, is that a good deal?

2. If used with a sub (my as-p400 or some other), will these sound worse, as good, or better than my athenas?

3. Will these be poorly handled by my Panny SA-XR55? It's a little bright but it I've been quite happy with it with the Athenas, which are a bit neutral (if not a little warm). 

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on that?

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:15 AM
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1. I don't know. They are way under MSRP which would indicate a bargain, but I don't know how good they are.
2. Don't know, but since your athenas are not an option, it doesn't really matter. If you go with bookshelves (aka monitors), chances are you need a sub.
3. It should be ok.

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! I can get a pair of Gem's used for $150, which I consider to be a great deal. Perhaps I can start with the Gems and upgrade to Mythos 1's or 6's on stands at some point. 

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so I went and purchased the Mythos Gems to try out. After all, I got a great deal on thaem ($155), so it was worth a shot. 

 

I A/B tested my Athena F2.2 towers vs the Gems (SW with the Gems, not the F2's). I don't really know what I was expecting in testing a small satellite vs a tower, but the difference in quality was pretty amazing. One obvious thing to note is that the crossover on my sub only goes to 120hz and the Gems are only rated to 160hz (if that's even to be believed). Definitely a gap there. 

 

The most obvious differences with the Athenas were vocals and soundstage. Vocals sounded much richer and more lifelike on the F2's. The difference on Johnny Cash's Hurt was pretty stark. 

 

Compared to the F2's, the Gems sounded like great quality computer speakers--sounded like music coming out of a small box (kinda masked). The F2's effortlessly fill the room with sound as if it's just "there.  The sound from the Gems is very clearly coming from the speaker, more forced and not at all open like the Athenas.

 

Could this be the Panny reciever? Maybe, though I did change its settings to be more favorable for the Gems with little improvement. Placement? Nah, I moved them around and couldn't produce much change. Ill matched SW? Probably a contributing factor, but what sound was coming out of the Gems was certainly inferior (mids, highs). The fact that I'm comparing speakers the size of a stumpy baguette to the monstrous F2s? Probably. Not sure what I was thinking. If I keep these Gem's, they'd have to be backs. 

 

So, how do I find the openness and presence of the F2's in a noticably smaller form factor? A lot of the towers recommended to me are still nearly as large as the F2's, and the only thing I found that truly fits is the Mythos STS--and that's a dream for another day. 

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:16 PM
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The Gems would be better suited for surround speakers - they only have 3.5 inch woofers.
You need some speakers that can hit at least 80 hz or lower.

The Panny digital receiver is fine

You may need to compromise somewhere

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Old 10-31-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah that makes sense. 

 

If the range and form factor of the Mythos STS is something I am looking for, is there anything out there that's not a definitive tower that will fit the bill?

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:57 AM
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I had a almost identical setup. (Athena F2.2 towers, Bookshelf and Center except with a Acoustech H100 sub)
Moved and switched to a pair of ARX A1B bookshelf speakers. Ridiculously more detailed than the Athena's despite being bookshelf monitors.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: I sacked up and doubled my budget. Picked up a pair of Mythos STS for $1075. Full range sound in a small, attractive platform. Plus they sound unbelievable with the right amp. They sounded terrible with the panny, so it looks like I'm spending even more on upgrades! Leaning toward a Cambridge Audio Azur AVR

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Old 12-05-2013, 05:08 PM
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Unless there is something wrong with your previous AVR, I would be suprised if a different Avr/amp will make a big difference! Now, if you buy a new Avr with good correction software, then that might make a difference...

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Old 12-05-2013, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Honestly, I don't have enough experience to explain it. What I can tell you is this: I've got the Panny, and I've since home demo'd a Marantz NR 1603, Yamaha RX-S600, and a chinese tube amp. I did all of this extensively with 2 channel music, although admittedly from a low quality source. 

 

The panasonic does not sound good, with very recessed mids. It was like vocals were actively muffled. All highs and lows, no matter how I messed with the tone. The Marantz sounded REALLY good by comparison, especially after the room correction software. The Yamaha was the worst of the bunch, even after its room correction. The chinese tube amp blew everything out of the water, somewhat raising a bar for sonic quality for me. But--that's impractical. I still want it though. 

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