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$300ish bookshelf speakers - Page 2

post #31 of 45
http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audi...owViewpoints=1

RtiA1's artificial? In all my years I've never read a more ridiculous descriptive.

Gotta give the guy credit though as that's a fair amount of speakers to work through.

Veda,

Agree on the Synchrony Ones. They have long been a target on my eventual upgrade list. For me the Golden Ear Tritons start the lower to higher price segment value parade with the 3's and then the 2s. From there the Synchrony Ones, a Focal or two to fill the passage to $10K and then the Aerial 7Ts. I can't imagine anyone needing to spend much more than that but more power to them if they can.
post #32 of 45
I'll throw in my 2 cents, since I've listened to many of the speakers mentioned in this thread, and done level match A/B comparisons between several of them.

My favorite $300ish options (based on US pricing/availability and excluding used speakers)...

1. Energy RC-10 - my overall favorite in this price range, even if slightly overemphasized in the upper bass/lower mids and a touch laid back in the upper mids/lower treble, the overall sound just works really well for my ears

2. Wharfedale Evo2-8 - probably my favorite mids/highs of the speakers in my list; wide soundstage; the big strike against them for me was the lack of bass... but crossed over to a good sub (in the right placement) around 110-120Hz, these can really shine

3. Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 - very nice, balanced and nonfatiguing; but a little darker/less lively than the RC-10 to my ears; strong bass (maybe a bit too much)

4. NHT Absolute Zero - within their limitations, very neutral, if slightly "analytical"; clean/detailed midrange, without the edginess I found with the S30, as long as they're not pushed too hard; lacks the bass/dynamics/scale of the others... a nice little speaker provided you understand the limitations

5. Cambridge S-30 - a little edgy/emphasized in the upper mids/lower treble to my ears, but overall still nicely balanced with impressive/quality bass for it's size (I haven't heard them, but it appears the Mordaunt Carnival 2 would be similar)


I'd skip:
1. HTD Level 2 - Bearing in mind I heard these over 4 years ago... I felt the AV123 X-LS was a better speaker, and I felt the RC-10 was a noticeable step up over the X-LS

2. Ascend HTM-200SE - I ran level matched A/B comparisons with these against the Energy RC-Mini Centers and PSB Image B4, and felt they were comparable in overall performance... with none offering the level of performance of those listed above.


All just my opinions.... Your mileage may vary.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBiker View Post

The Ascend Audio HTM-200SEs are in your price range ($318 shipped). I bought a pair about a month ago and the music performance from them is much better than I expected for the price.

Instead of these in comparison with the other speakers, I would add B-stock CBM-170SE's to the list.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch...ry_Code=BSTOCK
post #34 of 45
Just to throw this out there, London Drugs does the Tannoy Mercury V1 in Walnut for $350/pair. I found out recently that there is some flexibility in price there.

REVIEW:
http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Tannoy-Mercury-V1/

LD:
http://www.londondrugs.com/Cultures/...=culture^en-US
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Instead of these in comparison with the other speakers, I would add B-stock CBM-170SE's to the list.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch...ry_Code=BSTOCK

Agreed, I think the CBM-170SE would be more in line with others options mentioned.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaiii View Post

3. Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 - very nice, balanced and nonfatiguing; but a little darker/less lively than the RC-10 to my ears; strong bass (maybe a bit too much)

I'd skip:
1. HTD Level 2 - Bearing in mind I heard these over 4 years ago...

Since the Paradigms have a somewhat dark midrange - I will not
rush to hear the 10.1 - If ever given the chance, I still want to
hear them.

I prefer the Level Three, to the Level Two - and since I prefer the
Cambridge over them - the HTD's will have to go in reserve, for
my budget reccomendations.

You missed out, on the modified Cambridge S30

Have Fun.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Since the Paradigms have a somewhat dark midrange - I will not
rush to hear the 10.1 - If ever given the chance, I still want to
hear them.

I prefer the Level Three, to the Level Two - and since I prefer the
Cambridge over them - the HTD's will have to go in reserve, for
my budget reccomendations.

You missed out, on the modified Cambridge S30

Have Fun.

According to the folks at Music Direct, the Diamond 10.1 is a brighter than the Evo2-8... Maybe my ears are off, but I certainly didn't hear that.

Maybe saying the 10.1 is darker than the RC-10 isn't the right description... it just doesn't have that top end "sparkle". I wouldn't say the midrange is recessed, and there wasn't anything major I felt the 10.1 did wrong, but the overall sound was just a little, unexciting for me...

I'd still like to hear the modded S30... I've been toying with the idea of DIY, so if I get into that and get decent at soldering, I'll snag a used pair at some point and do the mods myself if Dennis is still willing to share the new xover layout.

I still like the stock S30, and any gripes I have about the upper mid/low treble forwardness/edginess are really nitpicking... I will say, after spending time with the Evo2-8 and NHT Absolute Towers, I became more aware of the somewhat confined soundstage the RC-10. Being so accustomed to the RC-10, the S30 sounded very "different" to me when I compared them. I think I would have a greater appreciation for S30's soundstage this time around. And with the xover mod to even out the overall response, they'd be a strong contender for a top pick in that price range.
post #38 of 45
Don't be bugging Dennis until I take ownership of my Phil 2's
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Don't be bugging Dennis until I take ownership of my Phil 2's

Phil 2's .... NICE!

Don't worry, I won't be doing any xover mods anytime soon. I have some learning to do before I risk wrecking a pair of speakers.
post #40 of 45
Thank you sir! Yes, I am rather excited, but they'll not be ready until late April.
post #41 of 45
I have the HTD Level 3 LCR. They are a great speaker. Solid cabinets, great sounding, not harsh at all. I was going to get the Level 3 Towers, but I am much more of a HT guy than a music guy so I thought that the bookshelfs would be perfect for me. Had no idea how these would sound when I bought them. Took a flyer if you will. I am very glad that I did and wouldnt hesitate to buy from them again OR recommend them at all. I had them paired with dual Lava LSP12 subs but since sold them and am waiting for my Epik Empire to arrive.

If I may, they REALLY came alive when I bought an XPA3. I have a Yamaha rx-V765 which was fine initially. However, if I am not mistaken, they are 87db sensitivity. Once I hooked up the XPA, it was a night and day difference. Yes I know there are threads disputing this, but my ears didnt deceive me.

In any event, I auditioned a few speakers and found these to be the best for my situation. If I can, I will find my post about it.
post #42 of 45
Here is what I said about the Level 3 center.

Well after waiting 3 days, my L3 center channel arrived. It was packed double boxed with a very nice cloth bag over it. My first impression was that this thing is HUGE. and VERY heavy. At least for me it was. It is at least twice as big as my 10 year old Jamo center 100 that I had. Fit and finish is excellent. Simple yet very well put together.

I immediately notice the sound of the ribbon tweeter. Very clear and concise dialogue. And that is from watching the penguins of madagascar on directv for the millionth time. I am very looking forward to watch something on Bluray when I get the kids to sleep. The midrange/midbass from the dialogue is also much deeper. I suppose that is due to the dual 6.5in drivers as opposed to dual 4 inchers. I also noticed that I had to turn my AVR up more than on my old CC to get the same volume. But I imagine that has more to do with the very basic Sony STR-DG710 AVR that I am using. Eventually I will be upgrading this to a Onkyo/Denon/Marantz AVR with a Emotiva Amp.

Still hemming and hawing about speaker break in, as I have read just as many dont worry about it threads as I have its a big deal threads. Right now, I am just enjoying my new purchase that sounds amazing. I most defintely will be buying from Home Theater Direct again soon!!!

Magnify that because of the XPA3
post #43 of 45
If you need a us shipping addy, pm me, I am not far from Sarnia or Windsor, and would definitely be willing to help a fellow avser in there quest for audio perfection..

nevermind, just read the final post lol..
post #44 of 45
I have the Paradigm Atom and Micro both v6 and the Diamond 10.1. I auditioned the S30.
The S30 mid is not as involving as the others. You will need to get a sub as the bass is not as deep as the Atom or 10.1. The Paradigm I find is bright, with the Micro being the brightest of the two. The mid on both is very nice, where the Micro's sound stage is wider than the Atom. The 10.1 beats them all. The mid is smooth and revealing, and the bass is quite deep for such a small enclosure. The sound stage is wide and the speakers does not draw attention to themselves. They just disappear in the room.
There is an article in stereophile, that compare the PSB B1 and the 10.1. The end result is a toss up, you cannot go wrong with either one.
Here is the article http://www.stereophile.com/content/entry-level-2
post #45 of 45
Thread Starter 
I finally got to audition some speakers today. I auditioned the Paradigm Atom v7, Mini Monitor v7, Studio 20, Mordaunt Short Carnival 2, and Cambridge S30. The Paradigms sounded the best to me, however to my ears there were just little improvements from the Atom to Mini Monitor to Studio 20. Maybe that's a good thing that I don't hear much of an improvement, as my wallet will be happy.

The Atom sounded the best out of all except the Mini Monitor and Studio 20. The main reason is the Atoms were much brighter and detailed sounding than the rest. However I wished the midrange sounded a bit warmer. I was not impressed by anything of the S30.

I still need to audition the PSB Alpha B1, but other than that, the Atoms sound like the best fit for my unsophisticated, mainstream taste (like treble) in sound quality. Unfortunately I missed the Paradigm's V6 sale, so the V7 will cost me $439 for the Atom and $598 for the Mini Monitor =( I gotta find another place as I'm not gonna pay more than $300 for the Atom.
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