2.0 Bookshelf Compared! Wharfedale, Philharmonic, Chane, MusicHall, Elac, Energy, Kef - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 08:16 PM
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This a great read so far. I look forward to following your journey.

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post #32 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 08:19 PM
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Also, could I trouble you to add the SuperOne's into the mix since you are taking suggestions?
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post #33 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:13 PM
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Great reviews bclark8923!

However, are you sure the RC-10s sounded the most neutral to you? From what I re-called and owners stating they're pretty colored with a warm and laid-back sounding, similar to the Wharfedale Diamonds. From what you have reviewed so far I would think the Chanes are the most neutral sounding speakers. Also first time I have heard the Chanes sounding bright, that's interesting.

If you can please add these to your list as well! I would really like your impressions on the Ascends vs the Chanes and the Philharmonics.
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

These too if you can please! They're highly praised on this forum as well.
EMPTek R5bi
http://emptek.com/r5bi.php
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post #34 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:29 PM
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I would like to throw in some major brands as well if you have the time and would like to compare in store brands to ID brands!

Klipsch RB-61ii ($350 on Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere...=klipsch+rb-51

Polk RTI A1
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Boo...words=polk+rti

Infinity R162 (no one seems to talk about these at all...)
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-R162-...finity+speaker
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post #35 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:30 PM
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Curious what stands you're using. I really need to get some.
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post #36 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
Great reviews bclark8923!

However, are you sure the RC-10s sounded the most neutral to you? From what I re-called and owners stating they're pretty colored with a warm and laid-back sounding, similar to the Wharfedale Diamonds. From what you have reviewed so far I would think the Chanes are the most neutral sounding speakers. Also first time I have heard the Chanes sounding bright, that's interesting.

If you can please add these to your list as well! I would really like your impressions on the Ascends vs the Chanes and the Philharmonics.
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

These too if you can please! They're highly praised on this forum as well.
EMPTek R5bi
http://emptek.com/r5bi.php
The OP was looking to use speakers with free return shipping, and the 170's require shipping costs both ways, which may not be practical or financially sound.
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post #37 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:41 PM
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How about some SVS Primes Satelites?
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post #38 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:42 PM
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Another speaker to throw out there are the Wavecrest Audio HVL-1's at $199/pair. It was co-developed and designed by Dave Fabrikant(Ascend Acoustics) and Curtis Chang.
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post #39 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 09:44 PM
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IIRC NHT has free return shipping, would be nice to see some Classic Twos added to the mix.

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post #40 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by darkpoet25 View Post
The OP was looking to use speakers with free return shipping, and the 170's require shipping costs both ways, which may not be practical or financially sound.
True but aren't the Chanes and Philharmonics the same as well? I believe Chanes, Philharmonics, and Ascends have the same or very similar business model.
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post #41 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 10:30 PM
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Would be great if you could put the Wave Crest HVL-1's into the mix.
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post #42 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, could I trouble you to add the SuperOne's into the mix since you are taking suggestions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
Great reviews bclark8923!

However, are you sure the RC-10s sounded the most neutral to you? From what I re-called and owners stating they're pretty colored with a warm and laid-back sounding, similar to the Wharfedale Diamonds. From what you have reviewed so far I would think the Chanes are the most neutral sounding speakers. Also first time I have heard the Chanes sounding bright, that's interesting.

If you can please add these to your list as well! I would really like your impressions on the Ascends vs the Chanes and the Philharmonics.
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

These too if you can please! They're highly praised on this forum as well.
EMPTek R5bi
http://emptek.com/r5bi.php
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I would like to throw in some major brands as well if you have the time and would like to compare in store brands to ID brands!

Klipsch RB-61ii ($350 on Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere...=klipsch+rb-51

Polk RTI A1
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Boo...words=polk+rti

Infinity R162 (no one seems to talk about these at all...)
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-R162-...finity+speaker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbo View Post
How about some SVS Primes Satelites?
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkpoet25 View Post
Another speaker to throw out there are the Wavecrest Audio HVL-1's at $199/pair. It was co-developed and designed by Dave Fabrikant(Ascend Acoustics) and Curtis Chang.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post
Would be great if you could put the Wave Crest HVL-1's into the mix.
So I only have enough time before leaving on Christmas vacation to add one more.

Whoever sends me a link to a set of speakers and a return policy that says paid for return shipping first they're the winners of my last addition

I'll probably try to get some more speakers in the new year to try as well but not sure yet.
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Last edited by bclark8923; 12-04-2015 at 11:08 PM.
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post #43 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
Great reviews bclark8923!

However, are you sure the RC-10s sounded the most neutral to you? From what I re-called and owners stating they're pretty colored with a warm and laid-back sounding, similar to the Wharfedale Diamonds. From what you have reviewed so far I would think the Chanes are the most neutral sounding speakers. Also first time I have heard the Chanes sounding bright, that's interesting.

If you can please add these to your list as well! I would really like your impressions on the Ascends vs the Chanes and the Philharmonics.
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

These too if you can please! They're highly praised on this forum as well.
EMPTek R5bi
http://emptek.com/r5bi.php
If the Chane's are the bright side of neutral, than the RC-10's would be the warm side. The Wharfedale's were warmer and less clean than the RC-10s.

I should probably put in the front that I think slightly warm is what sounds real to me so that may bias my opinion a bit

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post #44 of 1009 Old 12-04-2015, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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True but aren't the Chanes and Philharmonics the same as well? I believe Chanes, Philharmonics, and Ascends have the same or very similar business model.
I got the Chane and Philharmonic's because I wanted to try them so happy to pay return shipping for those, but for requests I'm asking for free return shipping (Unless you wanted to pay for return shipping costs! haha)
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post #45 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 12:19 AM
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If the Chane's are the bright side of neutral, than the RC-10's would be the warm side. The Wharfedale's were warmer and less clean than the RC-10s.

I should probably put in the front that I think slightly warm is what sounds real to me so that may bias my opinion a bit
Ah ok. You just prefer a warmer sound so you're biased towards that.

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I got the Chane and Philharmonic's because I wanted to try them so happy to pay return shipping for those, but for requests I'm asking for free return shipping (Unless you wanted to pay for return shipping costs! haha)
SVS Prime bookshelves!
http://www.svsound.com/products/prime-bookshelf

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B
https://www.aperionaudio.com/speaker...kshelf-speaker

Haha no I'm good. I know what the Ascends sound like. Just wanted your impression on them vs the others. But the top 2 choices would suffice =p

Maybe throw in the Axioms too.
http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3-bookshelf-speakers
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post #46 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah ok. You just prefer a warmer sound so you're biased towards that.



SVS Prime bookshelves!
http://www.svsound.com/products/prime-bookshelf

Aperion Audio Intimus 5B
https://www.aperionaudio.com/speaker...kshelf-speaker

Haha no I'm good. I know what the Ascends sound like. Just wanted your impression on them vs the others. But the top 2 choices would suffice =p

Maybe throw in the Axioms too.
http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3-bookshelf-speakers
Ah, So I'm keeping it to more budget ($350 or less purchase price) speakers, If I reviewed $1000 (purchase price) speakers against $200 the comparison isn't as fair any more!
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post #47 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 06:15 AM
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Where can I find this user guide?
I'd be happy to email you one...

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Originally Posted by bclark8923 View Post
Yes I plan on burning them in over the next couple weeks and updating the review of each one after hearing multiple and letting them get some hours on them.
Burn-in really holds true for the driver without the usual compliant half-roll edge suspension, which is the planar tweeter. One day won't be enough to settle them in, which is why users talk in terms of tens of hours and a couple weeks. Working-in settles some parts quite dramatically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
...are you sure the RC-10s sounded the most neutral to you? From what I re-called and owners stating they're pretty colored with a warm and laid-back sounding, similar to the Wharfedale Diamonds. From what you have reviewed so far I would think the Chanes are the most neutral sounding speakers. Also first time I have heard the Chanes sounding bright, that's interesting.
The RC-10 is a very good design - reminds me of quite a few excellent 2-ways over the years. Good stuff. I've designed some like it too, so the profile is completely familiar. It's not at all uncommon for some designs to just sound better tipped down a little, like this.



Good dynamic headroom and temper in the upper mid and treble. Also, a slightly rising treble impedance and what looks like a resonance trap around 20kHz could account for the synergy with your particular amp. It makes sense. On the other hand, a planar treble will be almost purely resistive to very high frequencies and if the amp isn't shy up there, you'll hear that extension.

Different technologies and as Dennis noted, different driver behavior relationships call out the final mix.

Isn't design fun?

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post #48 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 07:27 AM
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Ah, So I'm keeping it to more budget ($350 or less purchase price) speakers, If I reviewed $1000 (purchase price) speakers against $200 the comparison isn't as fair any more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWuLF_ View Post
I would like to throw in some major brands as well if you have the time and would like to compare in store brands to ID brands!

Klipsch RB-61ii ($350 on Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Refere...=klipsch+rb-51

Polk RTI A1
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Boo...words=polk+rti

Infinity R162 (no one seems to talk about these at all...)
http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-R162-...finity+speaker
The smaller, Infinity Reference 152s come in at the required price range.

While I do agree that the Infinity Reference line of speakers isn't talked about that often, if at all, I still would be interested to see how these compared. After all, I love my cheap Infinity Primus 363 towers. Infinity has been around for a long time and I don't see how these speakers wouldn't perform well in their price range based on the history of Infinity. I also haven't seen any advertising of the R152s either. Amazon also offers free returns.

A lovely review to continue to follow up on regardless if these get chosen to review. Thanks
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post #49 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 08:03 AM
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2.0 Bookshelf Compared! Wharfedale, Philharmonic, Chane, MusicHall, Elac, Ene...

Everyone please; bclark laid the ground rules of $ threshold and free shipping both ways. Let's appreciate the speakers he buys & compares; this is a huge effort & lots of time on his part


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post #50 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Added my initial review of the KEF Q100.

Here's the quick summary thus far:

  • Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 - Solid mids/highs and huge bass output
  • Elac B6 - Dark sound sig, slightly less bass output than Wharfedale, better bass quality
  • Chane A1rx-c - Very neutral, slightly bright, amazing treble and bass extension
  • Energy RC-10 - Warm side of neutral and less bass/treble extension (vs Chane's)
  • KEF Q100 - Same as RC-10 but with bass extension between RC-10 and Chane's

Going to go over these speakers repeatedly for the next 10 days before I leave on vacation to make sure each speaker gets a fair listen/burn-in!
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post #51 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Curious what stands you're using. I really need to get some.
Sanus Steel Foundations 34 Inch - $160

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o07_s00

I splurged on getting good stands as my room just isn't big enough for floor standing speakers, might as well get great quality bookshelf stands.
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post #52 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 10:37 AM
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Hi bclark,

You've got a great thread going with good comparisons. I have been trying to figure out whether I should be picking up the Elac B5/B6 ($230/$280), Kef Q100 ($300) or AA monitors ($225 w/ shipping)...

Realizing you havent heard the AA monitors could you perhaps give a good comparison of the Elac and Kef? Can you describe what you mean by Elacs having darker sound... and which do you find have a better soundstage with more emcompassing 3D sound?

I agree with you on preferring a sound on the warmer side of neutral since I will be listening to music for extended period of time and do not wish to be annoyed or fatigued by too high treble (even if it is slightly less accurate). I will also be using speakers as mains in my HT setup with a decent sub (center for elac is much cheaper then center for Kef which is a big plus). I've also only got about a foot of wiggle room from the rear wall to the back of speaker so am concerned about boomy bass.

Thanks a lot for your time and effort with these reviews!
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post #53 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi bclark,

You've got a great thread going with good comparisons. I have been trying to figure out whether I should be picking up the Elac B5/B6 ($230/$280), Kef Q100 ($300) or AA monitors ($225 w/ shipping)...

Realizing you havent heard the AA monitors could you perhaps give a good comparison of the Elac and Kef? Can you describe what you mean by Elacs having darker sound... and which do you find have a better soundstage with more emcompassing 3D sound?

I agree with you on preferring a sound on the warmer side of neutral since I will be listening to music for extended period of time and do not wish to be annoyed or fatigued by too high treble (even if it is slightly less accurate). I will also be using speakers as mains in my HT setup with a decent sub (center for elac is much cheaper then center for Kef which is a big plus). I've also only got about a foot of wiggle room from the rear wall to the back of speaker so am concerned about boomy bass.

Thanks a lot for your time and effort with these reviews!
Dark means the bass is much heavier than the treble (warm is more that the bass is slightly heavier than the treble)

Since you have a sub and little wiggle room I'd go for the KEF. They have a front ported speaker. The treble and a bit of the mids on the Elac's were veiled and recessed but they had the best bass for quantity and quality (with Chane's being close next, lower on the quantity and same quality).

I haven't gotten to sound stage in depth yet for the KEF's but can let you know later, off the bat though I think the KEF's sound stage edges out the Elac's
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post #54 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 12:32 PM
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Hi bclark,

You've got a great thread going with good comparisons. I have been trying to figure out whether I should be picking up the Elac B5/B6 ($230/$280), Kef Q100 ($300) or AA monitors ($225 w/ shipping)...

Realizing you havent heard the AA monitors could you perhaps give a good comparison of the Elac and Kef? Can you describe what you mean by Elacs having darker sound... and which do you find have a better soundstage with more emcompassing 3D sound?

I agree with you on preferring a sound on the warmer side of neutral since I will be listening to music for extended period of time and do not wish to be annoyed or fatigued by too high treble (even if it is slightly less accurate). I will also be using speakers as mains in my HT setup with a decent sub (center for elac is much cheaper then center for Kef which is a big plus). I've also only got about a foot of wiggle room from the rear wall to the back of speaker so am concerned about boomy bass.

Thanks a lot for your time and effort with these reviews!

This is a great thread. I currently have the Elac B5s and the KEF Q100s. I ordered the Elac B5s based on all of the internet buzz. I really do like them. Sound great with lots of base and look better to me than the Q100s. I too cannot have them too far out from my wall so thought the B6 would be too boomy. I got the Q100s based on the recommendation of the "Best Speakers" article on another site and that they were on sale. I got the B5s first and was sold on them. Then tried the Q100s and have to say to me they sound better.

Compared to the B5s they sound clearer and the sound is more refined. Easier to listen too. Bass is not as strong but still very good. I asked my wife and one of my daughters to do a listen test and tell me which pair they preferred and they both chose the Q100s. They said they sounded better and clearer to them. It is all subjective and people will differ on what they like but for me when I switch back to the Q100s, my first thought is, "that sounds better". Voices on the Q100s stand out more for me and are clearer while on the B5s they are a little muted.

Like you, I wanted the B5s because the center channel is so much cheaper than the KEF center. But I have read that the best center is another bookshelf speaker and that centers exist because of their long low shape. So you can get another pair of Q100s for $300 compared to the $500 center. I may do this and place one above the TV and tilt it downward.

So for me, I was all in for the B5s until I heard the Q100s and will be keeping them now.
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post #55 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 01:08 PM
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Not to hijack this thread (thanks for doing all these comparisons btw!!) but could you take 2 Q100's and lay them down and either using a speaker splitter or bi-wiring them (if reciever allows) use them together as a center channel? I've just always wondered if that's an option since you can only buy them in pairs.
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post #56 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by abd1 View Post
Not to hijack this thread (thanks for doing all these comparisons btw!!) but could you take 2 Q100's and lay them down and either using a speaker splitter or bi-wiring them (if reciever allows) use them together as a center channel? I've just always wondered if that's an option since you can only buy them in pairs.
This would be a very bad idea because it would cause phase issues (among others as well) and net very bad sound quality. You're better off buying the center.

The best way would be to contact a dealer and they can probably sell you a single if you really want that Q100 as a center.

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Receiver : Denon x5200
Front Stage : L/R - Statements by Jim Holtz
Surround Speakers : Klipsch RF-82II x 4 / RP-280F x 2
Subwooferage : 6 UM18/4 HT18 Subwoofer Log

Last edited by bgtighe23; 12-05-2015 at 01:21 PM.
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post #57 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 01:31 PM
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Very cool thread. Glad you have the RC-10's in the mix. I've owned the RC-Mini's and RC-50's for 5 years or so and I suspected that bookshelf version of these speakers would be pretty hard to beat for the money. For me, the Energy RC sound signature sounds more expensive and refined than other budget bookshelves I've heard (AA Monitor and B6). Of course that's just my preference and opinion. Excited to see what you think about the AA monitor - which is also one of my favorite budget bookshelves.
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post #58 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the feedback rcb707 and bclark... definetly makes my decision making process much easier! I live in Canada so I dont have the luxury of "trying out" many of these speakers so I want to make an informed purchase. From the sounds of things all of these speakers listed are going to sound great and I'm sure whichever I choose I'm going to like since I have nothing to compare them to except the crap I'm using now. With that said.. I'm leaning towards the Kef.. especially since their currently on sale and I can always pick the Elacs up later at reg price or perhaps on sale if it ever happens.

Only gripe now is that I have to figure out what to do about the centre and forget about Dolby Atmos since their addon is over $1000 compared to Elacs $230. Unless you guys think I could get away with using the ELAC centre and Dolby Atmos add-on without totally screwing up the timber from the KEFs...
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post #59 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 03:33 PM
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I'm looking forward to reading through all of your reviews/comparisons. The ultimate budget bookshelf shootout!
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post #60 of 1009 Old 12-05-2015, 04:05 PM
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Just picked up the KEFQ100s for $349CDN and the KEFQ200C for $399 CDN from Canada Computers. Thanks for the feedback guys.. Looking forward to setting everything up. Now I just have to make sure I don't look at the final results of this "ultimate budget bookshelf shootout" and get buyers remorse.. Probably wont be able to tame my curiosity though!
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