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my own "little" speaker quest

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
I'm on a bit of a speaker quest and I'd like to hear from y'all about what speakers I should audition/purchase/take a look at.

I'm looking for at least 3 (maybe 5) bookshelf speakers that will meet these requirements:

- look great (preferably satin black or dark brown)
- be less than 11" tall or give uncompromised sound when placed on side
- comfortably go down to 80 hz (I'm crossing over to one MFW15)
- sound great (50/50 movies/music
- budget is $500-$2000

The setup:







So far, I've come up with a list of speakers that are less than 11" in height. They are:
Polk Monitor 30
Klipsch WB14 (didn't like)
def tech SM350 (didn't like)
polk r150
Infinity p142
Energy c50
RC Mini Energy
Paradigm Atom Monitor
NHT Absolute Zero

Also in the running is the Sierra Center, which from my understanding, would sound great placed on its side.

Which speakers would you recommend? (On list or off!)

Thanks for your help!

Todd
post #2 of 125
Have you thought about B&W 600 series or Genelec? Both in my opinion sound a lot better than the other brands listed and are top notch! Both brands are widely used in recording studios because of their neutral accurate dynamic sound. Check them out if you get a chance. I have sold all of these brands and the 2 I listed here sell themselves over any others without trying.
post #3 of 125
Never heard of Genelec. What model would suit my needs?
post #4 of 125
Todd,

I like you screen. Who makes it?
post #5 of 125
you could try three of these:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...iq6c-black-ash

by the way, nice a/v credenza. what kind is that?
post #6 of 125
What about the SVS SBS-01s and an SCS-01? I'm dying to try these speakers out myself... they should provide you a nice seamless soundstage.
post #7 of 125
Todd,

Can you tell me what you didn't like about the Klipsch WB14? I am trying to find a local dealer who has these to audition them.

Thanks,

Nick
post #8 of 125
Thread Starter 
alex, the screen is a carada brilliant white. (very nice experience with them)

the a/v unit (actually two units) is from ikea, their besta collection.

I've seen that kef center channel before. It looks pretty wide. Do you have personal experience with it?

I listened to them at a BB magnolia and they sounded harsh in the high stuff (to me) and pretty thin as we cranked them up.
post #9 of 125
Todd,

I have not owned Klipsch before but did listen to Klipsch RF52s and RF62s which I did like. Unfortunately, I am restricted to bookshelf speakers. The WB-14 is the bookshelf and the WC-24 is the center.

Those are the two I plan to audition this weekend.

Good luck on your quest. I feel your pain!

Nick
post #10 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpLouKY View Post

I listened to them at a BB magnolia and they sounded harsh in the high stuff (to me) and pretty thin as we cranked them up.

Smaller speaker will sound thin as you crank them up, which is why you have an excellent subwoofer.

Have a listen to the Ascend HTM-200SE's....they come in right at the 11" height mark. You originally had a post of about the Sierra-1 center, I think three of those across the front in your room would work well.
post #11 of 125
I have the SVS SCS-01's for my center and mains and the SBS-01's for my surrounds in my main HT, 7.1 set-up, love em!! Upstairs in my living room I have Orb Audio speakers. The are quite small and produce excellent sound for their size. I originally had Orb's in my main set-up but preferred the SVS sound, fuller, seamless. Both are on-line retailers and offer an excellent return policy. Have a look. Let me know if you have any questions.
post #12 of 125
It looks like you could use 3 of most any brands center channel speakers. Most centers are well below 11 inches tall, so buy 3 of the one you like the most.

Another option, which I think sounds great, would be to buy a second MFW15. Then you could use the MFW15 as a speaker stand with virtually any speaker you wanted. Probably wouldn't look as classy as the setup you have going though.

Really another option would be something similar the Magnepan MC1. Or another wall mountable speaker system. The Maggies would probably look good with your setup.
post #13 of 125
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I'll look into SVS.

The reason I've not considered bigger centers is because I've heard that they are compromised designs (something about lobing and dispersion?)

Curtis, do you think 5 HTM 200SE's would work better than 3 Sierra centers (on their sides) and 2 HTM 200SE's for the surrounds?
post #14 of 125
Thread Starter 
by the way, just finished Kung Fu Panda. REALLY GOOD a/v movie.
post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpLouKY View Post

Curtis, do you think 5 HTM 200SE's would work better than 3 Sierra centers (on their sides) and 2 HTM 200SE's for the surrounds?

I think the Sierras would be better.

The lobbing issue is generalized for MTM designed centers.....it really depends on the overall design of the MTM. That said, your room is relatively narrow, and it doesn't look like anyone would be sitting very far off axis where lobbing would be a problem. I really don't think any speaker would have a dispersion problem in your room.
post #16 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpLouKY View Post

Thanks for the input. I'll look into SVS.

The reason I've not considered bigger centers is because I've heard that they are compromised designs (something about lobing and dispersion?)

Curtis, do you think 5 HTM 200SE's would work better than 3 Sierra centers (on their sides) and 2 HTM 200SE's for the surrounds?

TP

Don't cross off all multi-driver centers from your list. Many designs address the lobing in different ways. KEF does it with a Coaxial design iQ6C, NHT Classic Two or Three C's have a stacked tweeter/mid, just to name a few. Center speakers are key in a multichannel set up.

Standard 2 way bookshelves would not have this lobing dispersion problem. I have used three identical bookshelves (normal orientation) and the sound was nearly perfect. and dispersion very god. Also have used currently a center with stacked tweeter mid. Excellent.

With the massive size of your screen it would be beneficial for you to have as much speaker as you can afford so the sound matches the size of those talking heads.

Consider these Bookshelves:
NHT Absolute Zero
PSB Alpha
Paradigm Atom


An interesting low profile (under 7" tall) set up option:
KEF iQ2C for Left/Right + KEF iQ6C at Center
that will give lots of sound for $740 at vanns dot com

What is your AV receiver and/or amp?

Go listen to some great speakers near you first! Good luck
post #17 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I think the Sierras would be better.

The lobbing issue is generalized for MTM designed centers.....it really depends on the overall design of the MTM. That said, your room is relatively narrow, and it doesn't look like anyone would be sitting very far off axis where lobbing would be a problem. I really don't think any speaker would have a dispersion problem in your room.

Great point Curtis!
post #18 of 125
Thread Starter 
wow ed, thanks for the suggestions. those kef speakers look really nice. my current receiver is a pioneer elite vsx50. not really sure about it's specs. came with the rocket tykes. thinking about getting an onkyo 606 or 805.
post #19 of 125
Thread Starter 
btw, if i went with that kef set from vanns, what would you recommend for surrounds?
post #20 of 125
Mirage OMD-5 are also a good choice. On clearance at vanns.
post #21 of 125
Quote:


Have a listen to the Ascend HTM-200SE's....they come in right at the 11" height mark. You originally had a post of about the Sierra-1 center, I think three of those across the front in your room would work well.


Those are small speakers. I had them in my house for about two hours

That big beatiful screen, needs big sound. No way anything small is going to make the OP happy.

Quote:


a/v unit (actually two units) is from ikea, their besta collection.

I know you like it but you might want to consider removing it and adding bigger speakers across the bottom. This is the maybe one of the only way I see you having the performance that room deserves. Then remove the plant from the corner and have a nice AV rack their....say sorry to your spouse too for me
post #22 of 125
Is the 11" limit the height to the bottom of the screen border, or the bottom of the actual white part of the screen? If it's to the bottom of the border you could expand your options by letting the height go all the way up to the bottom of the white part of the screen. I would look at JBL L820s and LC2 center if you can squeeze that extra 1.5" in there. Also, while it might compromise aesthetics a bit, you could also remove the feed from your AV shelves to get another 2" or so of speaker height. Another option, do you have somewhere in the rear of the room you could place your subwoofer? This would allow you to use tower speakers or bookshelfs on stands to the left/right of your AV shelves.
post #23 of 125
Thread Starter 
Alex, those mirage's look nice!

Thanks for the input penngray. You don't think ANYTHING small will make me happy? Honestly, I'm not that unhappy with what I've got now. I'm not sure how, but those little speakers really put out a ton of sound. It's probably because the room is relatively small. I'd just like more midbass/depth/musicality. I think there's a gap in the blending somewhere in the midbass range where the mfw15 really drops off and the speakers just can't dig.

Stephen, the 11" is all the way up to the white part of the screen. Absolutely no more room, provided I keep the a/v cabinet as is.

So far, I think I'm going to audition:
3 Sierra centers (I wish they came in a satin black!)
3 Paradigm Atoms
The KEF set Ed mentioned
Maybe the Mirage's too?
post #24 of 125
Quote:


You don't think ANYTHING small will make me happy? Honestly, I'm not that unhappy with what I've got now. I'm not sure how, but those little speakers really put out a ton of sound. It's probably because the room is relatively small. I'd just like more midbass/depth/musicality. I think there's a gap in the blending somewhere in the midbass range where the mfw15 really drops off and the speakers just can't dig.


Small speakers can never do anything well under maybe 140Hz from what I have measured.

Its not that you can not be happy, we all can compromise and be happy but once you get a taste for a better LCR setup you will simply wonder how you thought the smaller choices where any good.

You have a great choice in sub, you have a beautiful HUGE picture and then you have small speakers.....You are fine now but the upgrade will come, I only know because many of us have been there You will keep wanting the mains to give you slam like the sub and you will come back asking about mid-bass module only to realize that you should just upgrade your mains to something that can give you the dynamics needed for movie playback.

You decision isnt wrong. Just want to make sure you understand that small speakers will not give you the ultimate impact you maybe be looking for at some point.
post #25 of 125
That's a huge price range.

I would throw the NHT Classic Two's into the mix, PSB's, and the HTM-200SE's (now that I think about it, the CMT-340SEc would work too).

If the MFW-15 does have an issue with upper bass, you should definitely try speakers than can be crossed lower.

The Onkyo 805 is a good deal right now.
post #26 of 125
If you could have done 14" then Salk HTS - MT monitors would have been my recommendation.

http://www.salksound.com/htshome.shtml
post #27 of 125
Vandersteen VCC-1 would fit also. Coaxial design.
post #28 of 125
If it were me I'd take the feet off of the furniture you have up front... 2" more height would really open up your options.
post #29 of 125
Thread Starter 
should these be on the list? (put on side)

psb b25
post #30 of 125
I'll throw in another vote for the SVS's, just wall mount the mains. They are affordable and I personally thought they sounded very good with music and movies. You could look at either 3 x SCS-01 for the front with 2 x SBS01 or 4 x SBS01 if you are looking for 7.1. Both options would be under a grand and fill that room very well.

http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-scs01.cfm

I've never been a fan of a large horizontal array of drivers. For some t may work out great but my attempts in the past failed. They just never sounded the best that way.

Best of luck.
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