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Need smaller speakers with big sound for large room

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I want do a 5.1 set-up and would like something that can be wall mounted. TV most likely will be a 60" Samsung plasma that will be mounted, unfortunately, above the fireplace (wife's decision).

So far I have looked at/auditioned Kef T205 and T105 and Def Tech XTR-50's. I would like to stay under $1800.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 29
Also look at EMP
http://www.emptek.com/ew30.php
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jim. Any other suggestions?
post #4 of 29
I use my B&W CM5s in a large room with good results.

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/Home_Audio/CM_Series/CM5.html
post #5 of 29
the definitive technology sound pretty good even the smaller ones for bass. i heard some bookshelf b&w speakers that sounded pretty amazing also so eecle is right about them.
post #6 of 29
murph do you want a speaker with a lot of bass?
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. I have been working the last few days so I haven't had a chance to do much more research.
Quote:
murph do you want a speaker with a lot of bass?

I don't need a ton of bass, but would like to have some decent midrange. I do have a Paradigm PDR-10 that I might use for the sub or may use this in my bedroom setup. Was also looking at an Epik Legend to handle the low end if I use the Paradigm in the bedroom.

I have looked at the Monitor Audio Shadow series, but in order to audition them I will have to drive over an hour and 20 min to do so. But definitely will make the drive if needed.

EEcle, what do the CM5's run as far as pricing goes? Again I have to drive at least an hour to audition.

Thanks again guys
post #8 of 29
The CM5s run $1500/pair new. They are not really designed to be wall mounted (rear-ported) but they could be with the right mounts and distance from the wall. The B&W 685s can be wall-mounted and are cheaper at $650/pair. Those KEFs you are considering are definitely worth the auditioning time.
post #9 of 29
I highly recommend the Klipsch Reference series.

I'd go with two pairs of RB-51 ii bookshelves, about $350 for one pair, which is a FANTASTIC price for what they can do.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040LG96O/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000NGYLVA&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0QFWSZBT552JSHZ4E0NH

Then, I'd go with the Klipsch RC-52 ii center channel, about $370. Easily one of the best center channels on the market.

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Reference-Series-Channel-Loudspeaker/dp/B0040QW7KQ/ref=pd_sim_e_1

I'd be weary about Epik subs, as they have had very poor communication and availability lately. I would go with two Klipsch Reference rw12ds when on sale for $300, personally. Another great option is the Lava LSP12 subs for around $300 shipped with the avsforum 15% discount.

If you are wanting something slightly bigger and more powerful, I'd go with the Klipsch Reference RB-61 ii bookshelves, and the Reference RC-62 ii center channel. You'd be hard pressed to find anything better for price/performance ratio.
Edited by blake18 - 12/23/12 at 8:52pm
post #10 of 29
murph if you are near nyc i know of a dealer who has paradigm psb martin logan and monitor audio and other things. if you are near nyc let me know if you want his address and number. i went over 3 hours to hear his monitor audio speakers.
post #11 of 29
the guy in nyc is in manhattan
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the replies fellas.

Keyboard, I'm in Michigan so NYC would not be be a possiblity but thank you for the offer.

The wife is now talking about not placing the TV over the fireplace (thank god!). It looks like it will be going in a large entertainment center. TV console will have 30"W x 18" D book shelves flanking each side.

So, still need something small but doesn't need to be wall mounted. Book shelf speakers that don't need a lot of rear clearance are what I need now.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by murph101 View Post

The wife is now talking about not placing the TV over the fireplace (thank god!). It looks like it will be going in a large entertainment center. TV console will have 30"W x 18" D book shelves flanking each side.
So, still need something small but doesn't need to be wall mounted. Book shelf speakers that don't need a lot of rear clearance are what I need now.

Look at Focal 705V - special price.
http://www.dedicatedaudio.com/inc/sdetail/34398
post #14 of 29
sorry for the confusion murph. I don't know why I thought you were in New York. I think that Mordaunt Short sounds good, but the bass isn't as big. I think that mission speakers have good bass for bookshelf size. I have a pair that I got used at a thrift store and like them. If you want a lot of bass I guess Definitive technology. People say that NHT sounds good for the money. Anyone that is nearbye where you can hear NHT? were you impressed with the kef and definitive technology speakers or not really? I hear that Focal is good. Any focal dealers near you?
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
There really is nothing in my area...we had 2 local mom and pop shops in our area with larger selections but they closed about 4 and 6 years ago. There are a couple shops left but they mostly work by appointment and selection is limited. Other than that just the BB's and Paul's TV (and the BB's do not even have Magnolia stores).

I currently have a Def Tech set-up for my basement with BP7006's for L&R and the 8040 for center and 8040 for surrounds. I like the output from this set-up but I always like to try different brands. I have heard the Kef on-walls but none of the book shelfs. I would definitely be interested in Focal, but no one in my area has them. But like I said, I will travel to hear them if I'm throwing a big chunk of $ at them.

There are a couple stores a little over an hour away that have quite a few of the brands mentioned, so I will be taking a trip sometime next week to audition.

Thanks for all the ideas fellas and keep 'em coming!
post #16 of 29
I never heard Focal, but many people in the past that I read reviews about them on were impressed with them. I would suggest Dali, but they don't sound good with everything. I like them with certain amps. They can get pricey also. sometimes newegg.com has good deals on definitive technology speakers. some b&w stuff I like and other models I don't. I called b&w once and emailed them once before. Both times they were a little snobby. I hear that some higher end Boston Accoustics speakers sound pretty good. Do you like that brand? Have you got to hear PSB speakers? I thought that they sounded nice. the problem that I have with very expensive speaker brands is that a lot of times I find the tweeters to be to bright and high pitched. the epos speakers that I heard before for 1500 a pair sounded good, but lacked the better bass of my energy veritas 6.2. I would recommend the energy veritas but they are discontinued. some places online still have them.
post #17 of 29
are you looking for a certain size woofer driver size in the bookshelf speaker?
post #18 of 29
I don't like the by appointment only places either. if they are there anyway at the store doing stuff why can't they wait on you if you walk in. it would make the stores more money by waiting on more walk in customers. not everyone has flexible hours to do appointment only times. they may work a lot
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by murph101 View Post

Thanks again for the replies fellas.
Keyboard, I'm in Michigan so NYC would not be be a possiblity but thank you for the offer.
The wife is now talking about not placing the TV over the fireplace (thank god!). It looks like it will be going in a large entertainment center. TV console will have 30"W x 18" D book shelves flanking each side.
So, still need something small but doesn't need to be wall mounted. Book shelf speakers that don't need a lot of rear clearance are what I need now.

You could still use a rear-ported book shelf speaker if you utilized port plugs and an 80 Hz or higher crossover. The Monitor Audio RX-1 or RX-2 come to mind as well as the PSB Imagine B.
post #20 of 29
Some front ported bookshelves I can think of are the Kef Q100/Q300. NHT classic 2 are sealed acoustic suspension with no ports so those would work too. That focal set someone posted in this thread also look good
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post

Some front ported bookshelves I can think of are the Kef Q100/Q300. NHT classic 2 are sealed acoustic suspension with no ports so those would work too. That focal set someone posted in this thread also look good

+1 Those Q300s would be very nice and more appropriate since they're front-ported.
post #22 of 29
In your situation (bookshelf speaker in a cabinet shelf) I would +1 the KEF Q300 and the NHT classic 2. I've heard both. I've not heard the Focal, but they get universally good reviews and that is a good price. For that space and price point I would also recommend looking at the (sealed) Ascend CMT-340 SE speakers.

Both the NHT and Ascend speakers let you audition in home for 30 days - only cost is return shipping if you don't keep them (NHT has free "to" shipping at the moment and holiday discount pricing). The KEF Q300 (through accessories4less) has a 30 day trial also but with a 15% restock fee. The Focal dealer has a 20% restock fee (though 30 day trial may not be available on special pricing purchases, you'd have to check.)

Trying out speakers in your home, particularly in your situation, is often a very good idea.

BTW, good news I think that you're able to get away from only flat/wall-mounted speakers ; )
post #23 of 29
would the kef or nht be better for him sdg
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

would the kef or nht be better for him sdg

Between his having a somewhat unique situation - i.e. the speaker being inside a cabinet shelf - and not knowing more about the room or his music-vs-HT listening habits I couldn't recommend just one speaker. Here are my thoughts on the three I've heard - the KEF, the NHT and Ascend ...

All three could easily fill the room with good sound.

If the room is wider than it is deep I would probably lean toward the KEF Q300. The UniQ drivers have exceptionally wide/even imaging.

If the cabinet is susceptible to resonance vibrations I would lean toward the Ascends first, the NHT's second and the KEF's third. The Ascends are not only sealed but remarkably vibration free.

If he prefers a brighter sound I'd lean towards the NHTs.

If he prefers a warmer sound I'd lean toward the Ascends.

If his listening is primarily music I'd probably lean towards the KEF's.

Once again, for the record ; )
- I haven't heard the Focals.
- At his price point I'd recommend picking two and auditioning them in home.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses guys.

The room is pretty big...retangular shape 17' D x 23' W. The back end of the listening area (17' deep) opens up into the kitchen.

As far as listening habits, mostly HT with a little music thrown in.

The console we are looking at is very solid...side bookshelves weigh 165 lbs each and measure 30.5 W X 18.5 D X 84 H.

I have found a place with a few different brands that I will try to visit this weekend. They also have GoldenEar and I was looking at the AON line...anyone have any experience with these?

I have a feeling that budget will end up being stretched quite a bit.
post #26 of 29
i heard golden ear with arcam once, but did not like the sound. the salesguy blamed a worker for not hooking it up right. he said i don't know who hooked this up, but it sounds like crap. maybe goldenear sounds good. i don't know if it really was poorly set up or really sounded that bad.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
I got to hear the GoldenEar Aon2's today. They were much better than I expected!

They were being powered by a Plinius amplifier (not sure which model). These speakers sounded much bigger than than their footprint and did not seem to strain at higher volume levels. I didn't detect any harshness in the high-end at all (big + for me).

I will most likely power whatever speakers I decide on with my Onkyo 809 or (what I have just recently started considering) an Emotiva XPA-5 or UPA-7 amplifier. Would the Plinius' power make the speakers sound much better than the Onkyo 809 could/would?

And on a side note...I sat down and listened to a pair of Magnepan 1.7's. Holy s*#&! The detail and enveloping sound were unbelievable. These may end up in my house somewhere in the not too distant future.
post #28 of 29
The magnepan speakers are amazing. Glad that you liked the golden ear technology speakers. I heads that the guy who started Polk audio and definitive technology started golden ear technology. People say that golden ear technology resembles definitive speakers a lot.
post #29 of 29
Speaking of emotive they were having a big holiday sale. I think that they still might be.
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