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Speaker recommendations $600-850 per pair

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
What I am looking for:
I am looking for speakers that are good for Movies and Music 50/50. I don't like speakers that sound recessed or emphasize bass to the extreme or roll off the highs too soon. Above all I want it to sound full. I am not familiar with audiophile terms so when I say full I want the sound to be hard to locate and completely surround me with lots of dynamics.


Speaker I have heard:

BB Magnolia on a McIntosh AMP
All speakers were running on a McIntosh amp. Would be nice if I could afford that amp by the way. I only heard recordings which had deep male vocals or jazz or classical. I couldn't test them with the type of music I listen to.

B&W CM9's - Sounded amazing and really full with tons of depth. There was no sweet spot since the whole entire room was the sweet spot and were hard to locate in the room. Dynamic at all volumes but I am unsure if that was the amp doing that. Would they sound this good on a receiver?

MartinLogan Motions - Sounded clear but had a very narrow sweet spot. Had a nice extension of highs but in no way seemed full sounding in the mids or bass. I knew instantly where the sound was coming from. Not only in direction but in height. I didn't like these. Almost as if the sound was coming out of a very small speaker.

Def Tech Supertower - Kind of a jack-of-all-trades speaker. Did nothing bad but didn't really do anything good either. Like the Motions it couldn't touch the CM9's in fullness, I couldn't locate the Def techs but knew which direction they were coming from.

Local BestBuy various receivers

Polk Monitor - Definetely not high end but seemed good to me. Didn't wow me at all but did nothing bad.

Pioneer FS-52 - Really dull sounding but the louder it got the more indistinguishable it got compared to other speakers. On the plus side it was detailed.

What I listen to:
I listen to lots of U2, some Coldplay (Viva la Vida), Elvis, Bon Jovi, Imagine Dragons, Black Eyed Peas, etc. I basically listen to everything but jazz and classical.

The problem:

The B&W are way too expensive for me. I couldn't hear my own music so I don't know how they would hold up with that or with movies. I hear that the B&W can have a recessed treble and laid back so how they would hold up with my music is a big uncertainty. Not that I could afford them anyway.

What I am looking into at the moment:
I haven't heard any of these

Aperion Verus Grand bookshelf
Aperion Verus Forte bookshelf
Focal Chorus bookshelf or tower
Paradigm Studio 20 V.3 used bookshelf
Ascend CBM-170
Klipsch Ref bookshelf
PSB Image bookshelf

Any other speaker based on what I have written
Edited by thewarthog - 8/1/13 at 10:26pm
post #2 of 35
Sorry, I'm confused in your other thread you said your budget was $800 for speakers and a sub, or just towers. Now it's up to $850 for just bookshelf speakers?
post #3 of 35
If your budget is $850 now, I would say take a look at the Ascend Sierra-1's
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1/srm1.html

From all the extremely positive feed back they always seem to get I'd be willing to bet that they probably sound better then 90% of the speakers you have listed.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well I was thinking B stock and I really shop around looking for good deals. Also Aperions I think have a transferable warranty if I get used but I have to check on that to be sure.

It's ($650 for a bookshelf + $200 sub) or ($850 for floorstanding pair max + no sub)

If it's an ID company I would like a good return policy in case I don't like them. And above all a really full sound. It can have all the detail in the world but if it sounds like it's coming out of a narrow pipe or recessed I will not like them.

As far as the Sierra's go I will add them to my list to research if I can get them B-stock at a reduced price. Thanks
Edited by thewarthog - 8/1/13 at 10:40pm
post #5 of 35
You'd be far better off speakers $250 of speakers and $600 on a sub. That will sound way better then $650 speakers and a $200 sub.

Are you handy will tools at all? You can get some great DIY flat pack kits that you basically just assemble and glue, then sound pretty amazing for you pay and you could easily get a great pair of speakers and build a sub for $850.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
No not really. I really don't have a lot of $$ to spare in case I completely mess up. I looked into DIY kits for a sub. It got complicated really fast, no directions online, and hard to find all in one kits with everything I need.
post #7 of 35
That's too bad, two of these would sound amazing for what they cost you.
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/karma-series-kits/karma10-kit.html

They grab one of these subs kits http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-7097
And a plate amp
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-752

And you'd be good to go.
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Has anyone here listened to B&W CM9's (comparisons are welcome)? Has anyone here listened to a brand that seemed to be just as full sounding as them? Wide dispersion, very clear, not thin sounding, very full is what I am looking for.

BTW I will most likely be getting bookshelf models.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

Has anyone here listened to B&W CM9's (comparisons are welcome)? Has anyone here listened to a brand that seemed to be just as full sounding as them? Wide dispersion, very clear, not thin sounding, very full is what I am looking for.

BTW I will most likely be getting bookshelf models.

The CM9's are very much the opposite of what you describe in your first post. They are very rolled off in the highs and tend to have more emphasis on bass. Not saying it's a bad thing, but may just change how you describe the type of sound you want.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well I couldn't audition with my music. I was limited to some sort of jazz and a song with very deep male vocals. Still they were to opposite of thin sounding and I liked that quality. They filled the room unbelievably.

Since I like a lot of U2, Linkin Park, and Imagine Dragons the B&W may not be for me then if they do roll off the highs and exaggerate the bass. Well I am open to suggestions as long as they don't sound thin.
post #11 of 35
I would suggest bringing some music you actually listen to on a regular basis and use that experience to guide you. Many times people find speakers that are very flat in their response to sound thin to them because they are used to and prefer a push in the bass/mid bass. Others on here will have better suggestions for companies that bestbuy/magnolia do not carry. I worked for Magnolia Design Center for a number of years so I can really only speak for brand they carry. No matter what, you really should take your music (CD's, no MP3's!) to listen to a variety of speakers to learn what you like.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
I was trying to avoid another very long road trip but it seems like that may be what I will have to do. So I guess I will have to plan another.

While I will audition again before deciding I keep hearing Internet Direct companies provide a far superior value to any brick and mortar brands. Since many provide in home trials for 30-45 days can anyone recommend the best bang for the buck speakers out there?
post #13 of 35
I not an audiophile but I did audition a bunch of speakers recently. My thread may or may not help. Most of my list was over your price range, but may be worth a look. The cm9s were on my list too. Have fun and listen to as much as you can.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1466750/full-range-towers-wanted
post #14 of 35
For $550, it would be hard to top the Swan D2.1se+.

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php/p/swan-d2-1se/products_id/69

This speaker is, to say the least, very competitive with the Ascend Sierra at a much better price. It extends low enough that a sub for music is more of an option than a necessity, but nevertheless, it leaves you a little cash for a sub if you still want one.
post #15 of 35
I will said paradigm ,psb,kef.
post #16 of 35
Also the NHT Classic 3. Just over your budget at full retail. They do go on sale pretty often though. Or a pair of Absolute Zeros and a nice sub.
post #17 of 35
Thewarthog,

Did you check your local Craig's list?
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah nada. Some Klipsch close to MSRP and old speakers from the early 90's. Craigslist isn't an option for me since I don't live near a big city.
post #19 of 35
Also you can check at audiogon ,that page its dedicated to sell used hi end speakers http://app.audiogon.com/.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarthog View Post

Well I was thinking B stock and I really shop around looking for good deals. Also Aperions I think have a transferable warranty if I get used but I have to check on that to be sure.

It's ($650 for a bookshelf + $200 sub) or ($850 for floorstanding pair max + no sub)

If it's an ID company I would like a good return policy in case I don't like them. And above all a really full sound. It can have all the detail in the world but if it sounds like it's coming out of a narrow pipe or recessed I will not like them.

As far as the Sierra's go I will add them to my list to research if I can get them B-stock at a reduced price. Thanks

Ascend does have some B-stock Sierra-1s available, piano black for $790 and gloss expresso for $834. IMHO they are worth it but I realize that it´s a lot to spend and would take your complete budget. I would definitely check out the KEF, NHT options and add Monitor Audio to your list.
post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
Even the Sierra B-stock at that price is too much. If I were to spend that much it would be B-stock Aperions (still unlikely) with the option to return if I don't feel they are worth it.

So far I am looking at (try not to laugh):
Aperion Verus bookshelf
Klipsch Reference RB-61
KEF Q100
Paradigm Studio 10 V.5
Cambridge S30
PSB Image b5/b6
Polk RTIa3
HTD Level 3 bookshelf
Mordaunt Short Aviano 2
Monitor Audio Bronze
Focal Chorus
and probably more to come until I audition

It just got a lot more complicated. I am definetely TAKING ANOTHER ROAD TRIP with my own music to audition. Not looking forward to driving all over the city though to about 5-10 shops spread all over the city and getting lost though.

Also I have heard people call just about every speaker neutral even if they are very warm, very laid back, very forward, very bright. Seems like whatever sounds good to that person is neutral (even though it isn't). So I guess I will have to find out myself. I will try to take notes and post my results but that may be a while.
Edited by thewarthog - 8/2/13 at 8:03pm
post #22 of 35
That´s a good list of speakers within your budget. In particular, the Cambridge S30, PSB B6, Mordaunt Short Aviano, KEF Q100, and Focal Chorus are standouts IMHO in their respective price ranges. The KEF, Mordaunt, and Focal speakers can be found at very reasonable prices if you decide on one of those. The S30s are of course already reasonably priced and are considered a ¨best in class¨ budget speaker.
post #23 of 35
thewarthog you need to take into count that all this people have different equipment ,what may sound forward for then ,may sound bright for others, all because they have different receivers and equipment.
post #24 of 35
Don't forget the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE.

It is the best bang for the buck Ascend's got.
post #25 of 35
fwiw, another thing to remember is that every thing you hear in stores are going to sound different in your room and surroundings.so for best listening would be in your room with your surroundings. and also try to listen to different speakers with same cd ( the better the recording the better this will be the constant). as different cd's have better or poor recordings and will throw you off on what the real sound is coming through your speakers. sh*t in= sh*t out
post #26 of 35
Arx A5s: $749+ Shipping. http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a5-floorstanding-loudspeaker&products_id=227&

Great slim, low-profile floorstanding speakers... problem with getting bookshelves when you are on a tight budget is you'll end up spending money anyways on stands..

Anyways I am of course biased since I own them, but I love them for both music and movies and believe that they perform well beyond their price point. For movies with really low bass you won't get that with just these speakers, but you won't get that with most other speakers without a sub either..

Best of luck in your search!
post #27 of 35
check the focal 814v from a4l. I have a friend who just received a pair and is very happy.
you will be hard pressed to find a better value.
post #28 of 35
$850 for some bookshelf speakers? I would look very closely at the Philharmonitors. I think a couple of these speaker kits from Parts Express would be very good too. It is very easy to assemble and uses high quality components.
post #29 of 35
You can get some great DIY flat pack kits that you basically just assemble and glue
post #30 of 35
I have a pair of Yamaha NS 777 ($798 total) and a Yamaha SW 315 subwoofer ($230). The NS 777 is extremely heavy (about 55 pounds each) and has a nice piano finish.

NS 555 should sound about the same. It is cut from the same cloth as NS 777. I read a review that says NS 555 sounds slightly better than NS 777. A pair will cost $698.

They are awesome for high definition sounds, but not good for SD stuff which I watch a lot (Youtube, downloaded Asian drama, etc).

I don't know much about technical stuff, all I can say is that the bass is tight and pleasant, and the highs are clear without being sibilant and airy (which was a problem with Polk Monitor 50). Explosions, gunshots, etc from movies blow the doors off at 1/3 volume even though I only have a cheap Yamaha 371 receiver. Dialogs from SD Asian dramas and animes are faintly sharp and airy. Compared with my Sony soundbar, I would say the NS 777 sounds slightly cold.

I know these aren't the best speakers in the world, but until I can afford $5000+/pr speakers they should serve me well.
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