Originally Posted by JN99
A few questions...For a 2 channel music only system, what are the thoughts on a) the bookshelf models available? The 2.1, 2.1se, Dana 630, even Acculines and b) the floorstanders across the lines?
A few things from someone who's gone through a similar journey.
First, read the owners threads here...and any reviews out there. If you go by what is on a company's website they're always going to toot their own horn. The threads here though will have a lot of different perspectives...including a thousand different comparisons that no single company would or could ever make...Craigsub threads for instance are invaluable.
Next...especially with the smaller ID companies...give them a call. Tell them about your system and ask them any questions you have. So far I've found them to be amazingly friendly and helpful. This is true of Jon Lane at TAI as well as others like MLS at AV123...great people who do what they do because they love audio...they could probably make as much or more money selling cars or houses but they LOVE audio.
Also look into the forums on the sites...a number of them have links to people around the country (frapper?) that you can contact to listen to or see the product locally. A lot of these ID speakers are good enough that their owners like showing them off. So they'll let you come over if you ask nicely...you can listen and see the speaker before you order it. There are probably swan owners in Seattle who could lend you a hand.
Finally...as to some direct opinions...for pure 2 channel music I highly recommend the 6.1s or 6.2s. I have the 6.1s and LOVE them. I use them exclusively for 2 channel music because they didn't require me to use a sub to get the sound I wanted. The 4.1/2 are supposed to also be quite musical but for my room I wanted the bit of extra punch. I got it. If I hadn't gone with the 6.1s I'd have gone with the 4.2s...the 5s I have been told several times excel for HT more than music. IF I were getting bookshelves without a sub...I would get the Swan D2.1SEs as those have now proven with repeated testing by some people I trust here, to be stellar performers. Bookshelves without a sub are generally hard to get full value out of in 2 channel apps but it appears these are best of breed.
Anyway hope that helps. I listened to a dozen different speaker types before I bought and in the end I found the Swans to work best for ME. There are other great speakers out there but by reading about the Customer Service and customer loyalty among the audio lovers here I was able to narrow it down to a few brands I could feel trust in...and I haven't been disappointed.
Again...see if you can find someone local who will let you see/listen first...then call Jon at TIA and have him give you a direct opinion about your setup needs...he's honest enough to talk you DOWN rather than up in price if that is your need. And read it all. The web sites of any single company will never meet all your needs...they exist to advertize and help you order but they are no substitute for good experienced opinions like those you can find around here.
Good luck in your search!