I'm currently running a pair of Paradigm Atom bookshelves off of a Marantz NR1402 AVR. The setup works, but it is obviously anemic on the low end. When I bought them I thought I'd eventually end up with a sub to fix that. I was wrong. I don't have a great place to stick one, and given the fact that I have people living below me I've come to accept that I'll just never be able to play music exceptionally loud or low.
That said, I'd like to move to a setup that goes a lot lower. Most orchestral music bottoms out by 40hz, so I'd like to aim near that if possible. Home theater is secondary to music. I'm not looking to shake the room (quite the opposite), but I'd like to hear as much of the music as possible. As for genres: orchestral, jazz, blues, bluegrass, modern indie, and pretty much anything that isn't heavy metal, rap, or electronic/dance.
To start, I want to restrict the search to bookshelf speakers -- we have a rather 'spirited' cat and I'm not sure if he could resist floorstanders that looks so much like a 36"+ tall, cloth-covered scratching posts. (side note: amazingly, my fiancee would prefer floorstanders to bookshelves on stands). They are going to sit closer to the wall than is ideal, probably no more than a foot from the wall to the back of the speaker, at best.
They should be reasonably attractive and need a front grill. Nice, matching stands would be good.
The normal listening volume will be far under reference. Even with the little Atoms (~90dB sensitivity) I have now, the AVR is rarely set above -30dB. That means the speakers need to sound good at low volumes.
Lets set a budget of $2000, not including new amplification if that's needed. Obviously I don't need to spend all of it.
Do consider strongly using a sub + bookshelf set rather than trying to accomplish everything with the bookshelves. Even an inexpensive sub is likely better than none, and if push came to shove, you could get a down-firing sub and cover all sides with carpet (to protect from cat).
Put Monitor Audio RX2 on your list - under $1000 > 3 color choices
Who AM I
Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7, EOS 150SP
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
A 5 channel system would be wicked.
Thanks for the input so far. The RX2s were on the list and I had briefly looked at the Aon 3s. The Salk and Philharmonic are new entries. The initial list was:
Paradigm Studio 20
Focal Chorus 807w or 807v
Monitor Audio RX2
Ascend Accoustics Sierra 1
Dynaudio Excite x12 or x16
And I know most anything is going to top the Atoms. They were a good investment to get through the last few years of a PhD, but now that I'm employed it is time to upgrade.
My bigger dilemma is that upgradeitus has hit and I know I'm moving sometime next year. We're planning to buy a place, so I can do whatever with the space (still small). I actually just came across a pair of Paradigm Studio 20 v.2s for < $400. I'm sure they aren't as the more recent v5s, but I think it would still be an upgrade from the Atoms. And, I don't need to worry about where they will fit in the new place (I figure I can sell them for not a great loss on that).
|Marantz Nr1402 Av Receiver , Paradigm Reference Studio 20|
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