Deftech Studio Monitor 55 vs. 65 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-20-2014, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Deftech Studio Monitor 55 vs. 65 vs Polk RTI A5

Hi All,

I am deciding between these three speakers for my living room under the following scenarios:
  • The room is approx. 15' x 21'. It opens to kitchen so an additional 10' x 3' maybe considered if relevant.
  • The room has wooden laminates. I will lay out a large rug/carpet in the living room.
  • The speakers will be used for TV/Movies (Netflix), internet radio & cd/vinyl/hi res music (in future) in the ratio of 55/25/15.
  • The speakers will be placed on the longer side of the room, so I can keep them reasonably far apart, although I would like to not exceed more than 6' if possible.

Considering the above scenarios, can you please help me decide. I have read good reviews of both the speakers. I read somewhere that SM 65 is good to be used even without a sub for most occasions/listeners but with 55's you would definitely need a sub. How true is this? Secondly, will the smaller 55 speaker be able to fill the room with good sound, I understand that musicality should not be an issue for SM55. The price difference after discount to me is around EUR 200, does the step up to SM65 justify the price difference in the long run? Since, I am relocating to a new place, for me, this is a significant price difference considering my other costs.

As regards AVR, I am considering between Denon AVR X500 & X1000. Which of these amps will be able to cleanly power the above speakers? I can get around the lack of networking option in X500 by hooking it up permanently with my laptop.

As always, I appreciate the inputs!

V

EDIT: I can also consider the above mentioned Polk model. It is an acceptable price range for me. Although, I have heard that if the price is similar between bookshelf vs. floor standing, one should go for bookshelf as the drivers will be higher quality compared to floor standing. Help!

Last edited by raovjay; 07-20-2014 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Additional Polk Info
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-20-2014, 10:41 AM
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Any bookshelf speaker will need a subwoofer. There is only so much a small speaker can do. That being said, both the speakers you mentioned will give you very surprising bass, and may be enough for you to wait and save for a good subwoofer when funds become available. But don't just go by professional review recommendations (or people here recommending this or that speaker), and please don't go by Def Tech specs on anything, audition speakers for yourself. There is more to a good speaker than just bass. All that being said, I have auditioned both of these speakers. Yes, the SM-65 provides deeper bass, but I felt the SM-55 was the more balanced of the two and preferred it overall. You may not.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks russell!

One question: can you elaborate on what you mean by SM 55 has more balanced sound? I have read a similar remark in one of the reviews so I am curious. Auditioning the speakers will be difficult, not so popular in Europe but I'll try. I understand your comment of speakers being more than just the bass they can produce, but since these speakers have a passive woofer, I got curious. Anyways, these two are the only options I have, hopefully I can listen them before I make a choice.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 09:54 AM
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raovjay: If you can't listen to them prior to buying, make sure that wherever you buy them, they have a good return policy. Buying speakers in the blind usually leads to unhappiness. I'd also go to whatever stores you have in your area and listen to other bookshelf speakers. One needs to listen to a variety of speakers in order to judge speakers. Who knows, you may find something that you fall in love with.

Yes, I liked the SM-55's balance better than the SM-65's. The SM-65's were heavier on the bass and that masked or overrode some of the mids to a small degree. But that's a personal choice based upon what I like in a speaker. Others will prefer the SM-65. Others still may prefer the SM-45. Neither speaker's highs are what I call great. They are pretty decent, not shrill, but certainly not inspiring, but I didn't expect that in a $600 or $800/pair speaker. All in all, both are easy to listen to speakers and are worth the money.

So did I buy them? No. I was only curious to see how far bookshelf speakers have come. I'm not much of a Def Tech fan, so I was completely surprised that I liked these as much as I did.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your views & experiences dsrussell!

I will try to audition other speakers, but am afraid with the deep discounts I am getting on these speakers, I won't be able to find a decent pair for that money elsewhere. Returning is not an issue.

If you don't mind answering another question: I see a lot of companies selling expensive fixed height speaker stands. Why aren't height adjustable stands more popular as I would think they would allow you to place the speakers so that tweeters would be at your ear level thus giving optimal listening experience. With fixed speaker stands height and non adjustable couch height, is it possible to still get best experience? Or does the speaker/tweeter at ear level does not matter much?

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 12:07 PM
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^^ Well, it's not like a tweeter is a laser beam. There are different dispersion aspects to tweeters, but even those with narrow dispersion properties are probably greater than 15 degrees before someone hears a falloff. Yeah, it would be nice for a speaker stand to be adjustable, but as long as you are well within that 15 degree cone, you should be fine.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
^^ Well, it's not like a tweeter is a laser beam. There are different dispersion aspects to tweeters, but even those with narrow dispersion properties are probably greater than 15 degrees before someone hears a falloff. Yeah, it would be nice for a speaker stand to be adjustable, but as long as you are well within that 15 degree cone, you should be fine.
Great, thank you! I'll keep the info in my when I set up my speakers & seating positions.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-21-2014, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thought I would post this link that pretty much confirms and elaborates a bit more on what dsrussell said in post #6 :

http://www.axiomaudio.com/tips_stand_height

Am going to get Deftech 27 inch stands. Should do the job. Happy listening!
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