Originally Posted by wardman1
Looking forward to seeing the review! For me it is Level 3 bookshelves in front, level 2 center due to size, 12" sub, and Level 2 or in walls for rear (will the midi's work).
I wouldn't mix the level 3 bookshelf and the level 2 center. The level 3's have a ribbon tweeter and won't match the level 2 silk dome tweeter...
If you are doing a level 2 center and don't have room for towers then I would suggest using all level 2 center speakers for the L/C/R instead.
Level 2 Centers and Level 3 Bookshelfs
The level 2 centers are $139 each or $278/pair where the level 3 bookshelfs are $319 a pair. IMO the level 2 center is very similar in performance to the level 3 bookshelf... The level 2 center has just slightly less range with 52Hz/20kHz vs. 47Hz/40kHz, the level 2 center is more sensitive and has the same power handling of 120W. The dual 5.25" drivers actually offer more cone area @ ~44in^2 (~22in^2*2) vs ~33in^2 for the single 6.5" driver and I usually set the crossover at 80Hz for everything except the towers so the lowest frequencies aren't an issue anyway.
I run the level 2 centers for L/R in my living room, with them oriented vertically and the tweeters on the inside (which means that one is upside down relative to the other but you can only see that on the rear with the binding posts being low on one and high on the other). The 5.25 drivers will the push the high frequencies from the tweeter slightly inward and work very well for left/right speakers. They offer grilles with no logo to accommodate this.
The Level 2 centers and Level 3 bookshelfs are also pretty similar in size where the level 2 centers are taller but overall smaller.
Level 2 Center vs. Level 3 Bookshelf
I have a pair of older style level 3 bookshelf's (6.5" drivers and 1" silk dome tweeter) in the workout area and I like the level 2 centers better.
If you really like the ribbon tweeter then go with the level 3's but then you really need all 3 fronts to be level 3's to sound right (timbre match) unless you aren't picky... I got locked into the dome tweeters due to my older Level 3 setup that predated the change to ribbon tweeters.
I haven't played with the ribbon tweeters but I think I have one or more of everything except the dipole/bipole and the new versa speakers that use the 1" silk dome tweeter.
Middy speakers sound quite good but I have only had them for a week. I wouldn't say that the Middy speakers are "as good" as the level 2 bookshelf speakers but they are very good for their compact size. The flat panel speakers are actually better than the level 2 bookshelf speakers IMO though as they are basically a Middy plus 2 extra 4 inch drivers (this is my living room center channel speaker which pairs with the level 2 centers for L/R).
Physically the Middys appear to be basically a mini level 2 center speaker that uses 2.5" drivers instead of 5.25" drivers. Unlike the level 2 center vs. level 3 main, the driver area of the Middy is much less at ~8in^2 (~4in^2*2) vs ~22in^2. This is the tradeoff for being small.
Middy vs. Level 2 bookshelf vs Flat panel.
Knowing how good the Middys sound I wouldn't hesitate to use them as surround speakers (especially rear surrounds which are the least critical surround speaker). I have them as heights which require even less low frequency handing than surrounds. I might very well get middy speakers mounted vertically for surrounds instead of the level 2 bookshelfs if I were to do it again but either way they both work great. The Level 2 bookshelfs do allow me to set the crossover at 80Hz where the Middys would be 100 or 120Hz.