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post #1 of 36 Old Yesterday, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Want to downgrade in size, upgrade in quality. Help!

Hello!

First time poster here on AVS. Was hoping to get some feedback and suggestions.

Current Setup:
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR809
FL/FR: Polk RTi8's
Center: Polk CSi5
Sub: Polk PSW505

I like the sound of my current setup overall, but the components are HUGE. Especially for apartment living. The towers are over 15" deep and the Center over 14" deep. I am looking to downsize but not downgrade on audio quality. I am hoping to get a couple bookshelf speakers for fronts with a matching center that I would like to be much more compact.

I've done a little research and have looked at the Klipsch Reference II series, Wharfedale Diamond 10 series as well as the Monitor Audio Bronze Series. I wouldn't want to spend much more than ~$400 on the bookshelf speakers if possible unless it was for something truly special.

I listen to both music and tv/movies with this setup.

Hoping to get some feedback on what you would suggest for killer sound out of a more compact setup!


Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 36 Old Yesterday, 11:07 AM
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I would look into sealed speakers, by virtue of their design they are more compact and offer more placement options. NHT makes some excellent speakers, and I think the Absolute Zero and Absolute Center would be perfect for your needs. These speakers offer great sound quality, and are smaller than a typical ported bookshelf. They are currently having a nice sale and you can get them within your budget.

I would prioritize a new sub afterwords, take a look at the SVS SB-1000/2000, both good compact options.

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...speaker-system

AZ: http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Zero...&category=3772
AC: http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Cent...&category=3774

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post #3 of 36 Old Yesterday, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewdlz View Post
I am hoping to get a couple bookshelf speakers for fronts with a matching center that I would like to be much more compact.

I've done a little research and have looked at the Klipsch Reference II series, Wharfedale Diamond 10 series as well as the Monitor Audio Bronze Series. I wouldn't want to spend much more than ~$400 on the bookshelf speakers if possible unless it was for something truly special.

I listen to both music and tv/movies with this setup.

Hoping to get some feedback on what you would suggest for killer sound out of a more compact setup!
Along with NHT, Wharfedale and Monitor Audio

Look at the Boston RS260 speakers - a nice speaker for a real good price - sold each
and are new in the box
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...h-black/1.html

The center channel
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r-black/1.html

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #4 of 36 Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM
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You may be hard pressed to find "quality" speakers at $400 but your definition of quality speakers might not include cast iron drivers, high end cross over components and heavily insulated speaker interiors.

If you don't mind inferior components for a lesser price but will sound great I will highly recommend Polk RTi A3 or A1 bookshelf speakers since you already have a polk package. * The RTiA1 and 3 will be timbre matched to your current setup as well *

A3s might be at the top of your budget $400 and the A1s are usually $100 less but they are really great bookshelf speakers in terms of sq. In fact, the RTi A3 was highly recommended by stereophile.com

Ontop of that, the RTiA series from Polk come in real wood veneers! They really look good...

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Boo...ds=Polk+RTI+a3

http://www.stereophile.com/content/p...a3-loudspeaker


------------------------------

If you're looking for higher quality speakers with high end sound check out the SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers $999/pair. But they're extremely well built and they sound like speakers twice/three/four times their price
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post #5 of 36 Old Yesterday, 12:08 PM
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Let me second the smaller Polk Bookshelfs recommendation. I use Cherry Rti A1s in a small tube based 2 channel system in the bedroom and they are just dandy. Amazing what Power Ports and other good design features can help achieve. I also agree with the step up to the A3. The 6.5" is a better size for a Mid/Woofer in a FL/FR and makes a better match for your existing CC.

I also run a 3.1, or should I say ran one for many years, and finally moved to a quasi 5.1 with the addition of the Polk FX wireless rear speaker ... since I cannot run the wiring I would need for a discrete system and lack the stand/wall placement options for true surround.



Have all that you want ... just want what you have.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I would look into sealed speakers, by virtue of their design they are more compact and offer more placement options. NHT makes some excellent speakers, and I think the Absolute Zero and Absolute Center would be perfect for your needs. These speakers offer great sound quality, and are smaller than a typical ported bookshelf. They are currently having a nice sale and you can get them within your budget.

I would prioritize a new sub afterwords, take a look at the SVS SB-1000/2000, both good compact options.

http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...speaker-system

AZ: http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Zero...&category=3772
AC: http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Cent...&category=3774
Would there be much benefit if I were to go a step up to the Classic two's you think? Maybe being able to set a lower crossover? Also, would my Onkyo be just fine for the absolute Zero's? Looks like it says to give them up to 100w when my Receiver is rated slightly higher than that.
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post #7 of 36 Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by music_to_my_ear View Post
You may be hard pressed to find "quality" speakers at $400 but your definition of quality speakers might not include cast iron drivers, high end cross over components and heavily insulated speaker interiors.

If you don't mind inferior components for a lesser price but will sound great I will highly recommend Polk RTi A3 or A1 bookshelf speakers since you already have a polk package. * The RTiA1 and 3 will be timbre matched to your current setup as well *

A3s might be at the top of your budget $400 and the A1s are usually $100 less but they are really great bookshelf speakers in terms of sq. In fact, the RTi A3 was highly recommended by stereophile.com

Ontop of that, the RTiA series from Polk come in real wood veneers! They really look good...

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Boo...ds=Polk+RTI+a3

http://www.stereophile.com/content/p...a3-loudspeaker


------------------------------

If you're looking for higher quality speakers with high end sound check out the SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers $999/pair. But they're extremely well built and they sound like speakers twice/three/four times their price

I would be willing to consider something like those SVS if I knew they were something super top notch. I know it's always cheaper to buy what you really want right away instead of needing to upgrade later. You think those would be light years ahead of the NHT's and worth the extra size and money?

Also, do you think my Onkyo would be sufficient for the SVS's and not leave me needing more power to really hear the difference?


Thanks!
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post #8 of 36 Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewdlz View Post
Would there be much benefit if I were to go a step up to the Classic two's you think? Maybe being able to set a lower crossover? Also, would my Onkyo be just fine for the absolute Zero's? Looks like it says to give them up to 100w when my Receiver is rated slightly
higher than that.
I have owned the Classic Two - if going with NHT, that would be my preference - the Onkyo
will handle the different NHT speakers.

I would still keep the Boston RS260 on a short list - and they will be easy to drive

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; Yesterday at 04:16 PM.
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post #9 of 36 Old Yesterday, 04:12 PM
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If you like small projects, you could build your own.

http://www.parts-express.com/overnig...-pair--300-706

Last edited by Shadowed; Yesterday at 04:14 PM. Reason: sorry, looks like that one is out of stock.
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I have owned the Classic Two - if going with NHT, that would be my preference - the Onkyo
will handle the different NHT speakers.

I would still keep the Boston RS260 on a short list - and they will be easy to drive
Are the Boston Acoustics just as good as the NHT Classic Two's or even the SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers even though they are so much cheaper right now?

I'm thinking more and more that I would be willing to spend a little more to get a really good bookshelf that I will be happy with for a long time.
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post #11 of 36 Old Yesterday, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewdlz View Post
Are the Boston Acoustics just as good as the NHT Classic Two's or even the SVS Ultra Bookshelf Speakers even though they are so much cheaper right now?

I'm thinking more and more that I would be willing to spend a little more to get a really good bookshelf that I will be happy with for a long time.
The Boston has a real good high-grade tweeter - and I prefer that tweeter over
the NHT tweeters - it is smooth and refined, with good detail and definition.
The Boston RS260 use to list/sale for $800 a pair ($399 each), they are now on
close-out pricing for $320 a pair ($159 each)

A mini subjective review, from post #7
http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...tml#post890785

A review from Sound & Vision
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...speaker-system

I have not listened to the SVS - however while the Boston would be easier to drive,
I expect and feel that the the SVS will be a little better.

If comes down to your budget and what you care to spend - your option/choice and call.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; Yesterday at 05:30 PM.
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I wouldn't say the SVS are a significant upgrade over NHT, but they should be a bit better. However moving up into this range opens up more options, so I think you just need to set a budget you are comfortable with and go from there.

You could definitely upgrade to the Classic Twos, they would be a great choice.

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post #13 of 36 Old Today, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I wouldn't say the SVS are a significant upgrade over NHT, but they should be a bit better. However moving up into this range opens up more options, so I think you just need to set a budget you are comfortable with and go from there.

You could definitely upgrade to the Classic Twos, they would be a great choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
The Boston has a real good high-grade tweeter - and I prefer that tweeter over
the NHT tweeters - it is smooth and refined, with good detail and definition.
The Boston RS260 use to list/sale for $800 a pair ($399 each), they are now on
close-out pricing for $320 a pair ($159 each)

A mini subjective review, from post #7
http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...tml#post890785

A review from Sound & Vision
http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...speaker-system

I have not listened to the SVS - however while the Boston would be easier to drive,
I expect and feel that the the SVS will be a little better.

If comes down to your budget and what you care to spend - your option/choice and call.
So it sounds like the Boston's and the NHT Two's are a little more on the same playing field. But the Boston's are about half the price.

If I really want to spend a lot the SVS might be slightly better but I doubt I will notice them as being more than twice as good.

The one thing I really like about the NHT's is that they will let you try them at home for free. it looks with the Boston's there is return shipping involved and possibly restocking fees. BUTTT they are so much cheaper.

If they are really both very good and comparable I feel like I would probably be smart to go with the Boston's which then also allows me to upgrade my sub much sooner.

This sound like a fair assessment?
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post #14 of 36 Old Today, 08:31 AM
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They are both good options, A4L usually gets closeout speakers and refurbished models, so you can get some very low prices. I would recommend buying all the speakers at once though because they could be gone next month. I haven't heard Boston, but they seem to be well reviewed and offer a lot of value.

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Quote:
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If they are really both very good and comparable I feel like I would probably be smart to go with the Boston's which then also allows me to upgrade my sub much sooner.

This sound like a fair assessment?
For the current price, my preference is the Boston - they do have that real nice tweeter.

The Classic Two is a nice speaker - however in this day and time, I feel they are over-
priced for their over-all performance.

Your option and call

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For the current price, my preference is the Boston - they do have that real nice tweeter.

The Classic Two is a nice speaker - however in this day and time, I feel they are over-
priced for their over-all performance.

Your option and call
The Center that you posted as being the match for the Boston is it odd that they have different sized drivers(4" vs 6.5")? Could that pose any problem or is there a different center that is meant to go with those?
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I would be willing to consider something like those SVS if I knew they were something super top notch.
The nice thing is SVS offers a 45 day in-home audition and free shipping. If you don't like them, just send them back. And yes, your existing receiver can push them just fine.

Every once in a while, completely inexplicably, things actually go according to plan.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewdlz View Post
The Center that you posted as being the match for the Boston is it odd that they have different sized drivers(4" vs 6.5")? Could that pose any problem or is there a different center that is meant to go with those?
The woofer size does not need to match - also you are getting 4 long excursion woofers,
they can handle and take the power - the key is the matching tweeter.

If you want the the one bigger woofer size, then buy another RS260 and use it as your
center channel.

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The woofer size does not need to match - also you are getting 4 long excursion woofers,
they can handle and take the power - the key is the matching tweeter.

If you want the the one bigger woofer size, then buy another RS260 and use it as your
center channel.
That would be a cheaper option actually. Do you think there would be much of a sound quality difference? Could the bookshelf be laid on its side?
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You have to purchase the RS260 in pairs at www.accessories4less.com.

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You have to purchase the RS260 in pairs at www.accessories4less.com.
Once you purchase a pair - it will allow you to buy one for a center channel

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Quote:
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That would be a cheaper option actually. Do you think there would be much of a sound quality difference? Could the bookshelf be laid on its side?
Yes it is a good/nice option - and yes you can turn that one on its side

AC4L, will allow you to buy a single - after you put in the pair first.

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Once you purchase a pair - it will allow you to buy one for a center channel
Oh good thing then

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Oh good thing then
I made it simple - I went and put 3 in the cart at once, and it easily took it

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I made it simple - I went and put 3 in the cart at once, and it easily took it
They should change their note then to reflect that, definitely the way to go if you can accommodate a bookshelf in the middle!

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Quote:
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For the current price, my preference is the Boston - they do have that real nice tweeter.
I wonder how similar in performance that tweeter is to the one in the VS series

Boston made a point to market them with different names - Super Wide Bandwith (SWB) in the VS series vs. Extended Wide Bandwith (EWB) in the RS and M series...

Maybe the SWB has some slight improvements that lower distortion or improve power handling...

Either way, I would expect the overall sound to be very close... and since these appear to be SB Acoustics tweeters, I'd also expect it to be very good - and my demo of the M25 confirmed that expectation for me.
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They should change their note then to reflect that, definitely the way to go if you can accommodate a bookshelf in the middle!
Agreed... a vertical RS260 as a center would be my pick too...

If the RS244C were a 3-way design (or maybe even a 2.5 way), it'd be more interesting... but I don't like that all 4 woofers handle the same range... I'd expect some pretty big lobing off-axis.
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Quote:
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I wonder how similar in performance that tweeter is to the one in the VS series

Either way, I would expect the overall sound to be very close... and since these appear to be SB Acoustics tweeters, I'd also expect it to be very good - and my demo of the M25 confirmed that expectation for me.
I think you confirmed that - and the remarks about the RS speakers have been good/positive.

That price is crazy good - and the speakers will be easier to drive compared to the M series.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #29 of 36 Old Today, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post
Agreed... a vertical RS260 as a center would be my pick too...

If the RS244C were a 3-way design (or maybe even a 2.5 way), it'd be more interesting... but I don't like that all 4 woofers handle the same range... I'd expect some pretty big lobing off-axis.
And it would be my pick too.

I am sure there would be some lobing issues - however I would still buy it, if I can not make
room for the bookshelf speaker. Also, I do like that it is crossed-over low.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #30 of 36 Old Today, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I think you confirmed that - and the remarks about the RS speakers have been good/positive.

That price is crazy good - and the speakers will be easier to drive compared to the M series.
True...

The one thing I like about the M series over the RS is that it looks (based on measurements at least) like Boston was able to flatten the rising top end. The downside, as you mention, is that the M series is less efficient and lower impedance, compared to the RS.
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