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Speakers decision -- shortlist

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all..as mentioned in previous posts, I'm new to HT and busy setting up my first kit. Recently purchased the Denon AVR-1613 and am undecided about speakers.

Originally, I had my mind set on the Polk 60s/70s or the Infinity p363 since I don't have the budget for a sub right now and figured the floorstanders could compensate for the lack of a sub until I came into money.

However, the more I read, the more it appears I can get more quality for the same price (budget is $300) if I went the bookshelf route. Obviously, they lack in the bass significantly compared to floorstanding speakers...but if the quality of sound is significantly better, then that is a compromise I can live with. Usage will be 40% music, 60% TV/movies. Room they're to be used in is 10' from TV to couch X 14' wide. High volumes is not necessary. Clear, sharp sound is way more important than volume.

Speakers that seem to be exceptionally well reviewed that fall into this category include:

KEF iQ 10 ($250/pair)
HSU HB-1 Mk II ($300/pair)
PSB alpha B1 ($300/pair)
Energy RC-10 ($300/pair)
Paradigm Atom ($288/pair)
Axiom M2 ($338/pair)
NHT Absolute Zero ($400/pair --- way over budget, but seems to have rave reviews. May be pushed IF significantly better than all other speakers listed above)

Curious to know which is a better route to go. Get the Polk or Infinity floorstanders, or "better" bookshelfs? If bookshelfs are the way to, does anyone have personal experience/preference for the speakers above? Unfortunately I live in the sticks and have no real audio outlet near me to test them out before hand.

Thanks all,
post #2 of 4
I just got 6 Energy CB-5s for my basement at $99/pair. Sounds good enough for my needs Don't know how long the BB sale was for Energy though. Got an open box Polk PSW10 as well. I've always found BB to be open to some haggling on open box items.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks Wes.

Guess I should add the Ascend CBM-170se. They're having a special on them now for $298/pair. Know these get a lot of love on AVS.
post #4 of 4
I suggest that you get the KEF C3 speakers, which are $329 per pair from KEF Direct.

My experience is that the KEF speakers have far better sound quality than the others you are considering. KEF has been one of the top speaker companies in England for 50 years, and the brits are known for being picky about good sound quality.

The NHT speakers would be a very poor choice, for two reasons. First, they have a very poor Sensitivity of 86 db per watt, which is a bad match for your receiver power. Second, they only go down to 71 Hz, which means you absolutely must run them with a subwoofer. Bad choice.

I see that the Polk PSW505 sub is only $189 at Amazon right now; that is a heck of a deal.

When you get one, make sure it has a 12-inch driver and at least 200 watts of RMS power, or you will be very disappointed in its performance.
Edited by commsysman - 11/27/12 at 7:17am
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