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type456 04-30-2014 10:37 AM

Been a while since I've been on here. I'm contemplating a new speaker purchase for the first time in years (I've been into DIY for quite a few years). I'm still into DIY, but want something with a commercial finish for the living room. I live in NYC, so living rooms are small; mine is 12x16. The plus side is that its not a lot of space for a speaker to have to fill. This is going to be paired with my Topping TP-22 t-amp with a roku 3 as "media streamer".

I'm looking for a stereo pair, something that sounds good even at lower volumes (I rarely listen at concert levels). As it is, these things are virtually impossible to audition, with the exception of BB/Magnolia. My budget is around $500. The speakers I'm considering are:

NHT SuperZero 2.1's with the Super 8 (Have not heard them & I'd prefer not going with a sub as I've always found it to be a pia when switching from movies to music).
Definitive Tech SM45 (Heard them, and thought they sounded pretty good, nothing special & looked just ok to me).
Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 or 2 (Have not heard them - going by the rave reviews. They look good too).
KEF Q100/300: (Have not heard, like the look - but most likely I'll be daydreaming about the R100's or LS50's with these).
Music Hall Marimba - looks like it should be wearing a klh or insignia badge, but something about it's understated look grabs me.........and not every kid on the block has one.
Ascend CBM- 170se - looks generic and not crazy about the proportions, but nice to see they're flush mounting the drivers now.
And of course the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR: (Heard them at BB, horrible place to listen to a speaker and I didn't feel like asking the sales guy to bring them into Magnolia area). I like bang for the buck and am not a snob - I could care less what name is on the grill as long as the thing sounds good and looks good (Which they do without the grills - with the grills they're ugly - not sure what they were thinking; should have done a standard rectangular grill - it would have looked much better).

zieglj01 04-30-2014 11:07 AM

There is only so much for $500 and down out there - and with the looks playing a big part.

I would put the Mordaunt Short Aviano 2 on a short list.
http://www.amazon.com/Mordaunt-Short-Aviano-Speakers-Black/dp/B003J1ORNS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1398877700&sr=8-3&keywords=mordaunt+short+speaker

The Definitive will have one of the better in-room bass responses - and are decent
for a so-called commercial speaker.

gtgray 04-30-2014 11:34 AM

I have a pair of SM45s, Marimbas and Pioneers (bookshelves and towers. None are remarkably better than the other. The highs are a bit smoother on the Definitives and Marimbas or so I recall. In January I developed a hearing problem (Menieres Disease) which causes my hearing to be okay one day and crummy the next. Before that I would have to say the Asend's were the pick of this group. My brother has a pair of the 170SE. They are not the prettiest things for sure. I have the Marimbas and SM45s in original boxes and would sell either at a very attractive pricing. I am using JBL Studio 530s for 2 channel stuff and PSB for surrounds.

zieglj01 04-30-2014 12:02 PM

I for sure prefer and will take, the Definitive over the Pioneer speakers.

Bill Fitzmaurice 04-30-2014 01:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by type456 View Post

I'm still into DIY, but want something with a commercial finish for the living room.
Grab these quick, there's only one set left in stock:
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs621cck-speaker-kit-pair-curved-cherry--302-963

type456 04-30-2014 02:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Grab these quick, there's only one set left in stock:
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-rs621cck-speaker-kit-pair-curved-cherry--302-963

I was considering the dayton finished cabinets with my own drivers smile.gif This may be the way I go, since quite frankly - while it wasn't a direct side by side comparison, the def tech's didn't sound any better to my ears than my Mark Audio CHP's in home built boxes.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

type456 05-02-2014 09:31 PM

Surprised no one's pushing for the Wharfedales.

zieglj01 05-03-2014 12:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by type456 View Post

Surprised no one's pushing for the Wharfedales.

Are you going to try the Daytons out?

For $500, my commercial retail preferences are >

JBL Studio 530
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-530-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B00622STI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399099100&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+530

Monitor Audio Silver RX-1 > only rosenut or walnut in stock
http://www.saturdayaudio.com/

Definitive SM45

I would also look at the MB Quart Alexxa B1 - on closeout. If they are
60% as good as their Vera speakers I own, then they will be good for
their current price. I do not know if your amp will handle them.
http://shop.mbquart.com/p/as-b1pb-pair?pp=24

http://www.audioasylum.com/reviews/Speakers/MB-Quart/Alexxa-AS-B1/speakers/28/286262.html

I like the look of the (completed) Rhyme Acoustics NuScale for $410 a pair.
The sensitivity is low - so I do not know how it will work with your amp.
http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/preassembled-speakers/rhyme-acoustics-nuscale-216-2-way-pair/

I am not a big fan of the smaller NHT speakers - the NHT Classic Two was
nice/good when it was available in the $500 price range - now they are over
priced for me

jaeelarr 05-03-2014 12:30 AM

I had wharfedale diamond 9 series for years. Loved them. Great bass response. I'm a sucker for a Kevlar speaker.

type456 05-06-2014 08:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

I have a pair of SM45s, Marimbas and Pioneers (bookshelves and towers. None are remarkably better than the other. The highs are a bit smoother on the Definitives and Marimbas or so I recall. In January I developed a hearing problem (Menieres Disease) which causes my hearing to be okay one day and crummy the next. Before that I would have to say the Asend's were the pick of this group. My brother has a pair of the 170SE. They are not the prettiest things for sure. I have the Marimbas and SM45s in original boxes and would sell either at a very attractive pricing. I am using JBL Studio 530s for 2 channel stuff and PSB for surrounds.

PM sent.

cel4145 05-06-2014 10:00 AM

I've always liked the aesthetics of the Focal Chorus 705V with their grills off: http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

zieglj01 05-06-2014 10:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I've always liked the aesthetics of the Focal Chorus 705V with their grills off: http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

At that price - they are nice, and sound good

jpmc86 05-06-2014 10:54 AM

I have the absolute zeros from nht and I love them. They are not bass makers, but I wouldn't call them no bass speakers. The size, finish, and sound is pretty impressive for what comes as a small speaker.

I auditioned the dali zensor 1's and they too are great sounding speakers with an incredible finish.

Also on my list of contenders which I don't believe any of these can beat for the price are the Hvl-1 from wave crest.

type456 05-07-2014 03:17 PM

Not crazy about the look of the Focal or MB Quart. I'm also looking at the PSB Alpha B1 which seems to still hold it's own in reviews. I also like the Monitor Audio Bronze Bx-1. I probably don't need a 6.5 inch woofer in the amount of space I'm working with.

GIEGAR 05-07-2014 06:10 PM

Hi @type456

If you're considering PSB, you should take a look and listen at the Image line. I love my Image B5's with subs for music and can't speak highly enough of them. The big brother B6's with their 6.5" woofer will be even better, particularly for straight stereo use. Crutchfield currently have "Open Box" B6's (Black Ash) for right on your budget and offer a 60 day return policy.

Here are Stereophile's measurements.

zieglj01 05-07-2014 08:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post


If you're considering PSB, you should take a look and listen at the Image line.

+1

Codeman0535 05-07-2014 08:18 PM

I currently am running the Onkyo SKF-4800s..... sound great for the money.. basically just started the build process of my home theater.. looking to upgrade to Polk TSX-440t... anyone have any input or opinion on my thoughts?



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