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-   -   Best Bookshelf under 3k? (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3084990-best-bookshelf-under-3k.html)

Del Boca Vista 08-17-2019 05:56 AM

Best Bookshelf under 3k?
 
I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r3. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!


UPDATE
I ordered Buchardt s400- BUT... while im waiting for my S400s , i signed up for tidal masters ( i had been streaming via apple music, so basically MP3/ALAC?). Well holy crap, its a pretty big jump in clarity. My Elacs no longer sound veiled at all. If i had done this before i probably wouldnt have been so eager to upgrade! These sound amazing now, especially for $500...pretty incredible value I can only imagine how the buchhardts will sound. So most of the songs im listening to are noted as "hifi" rather than masters, I think hifh is cd quality? Anyway Tidal premium like going from HD to 4k tv.

doctors11 08-17-2019 06:14 AM

I haven't heard any of these but all have great reviews...

Salk Sound PHILHARMONIC BMR MONITORS

http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=BMR+Monitors

Ascend Acoustics SIERRA-2EX

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html

Totem Acoustics Signature One

https://totemacoustic.com/en/signature-one


Happy Hunting!

RMW1982 08-17-2019 06:30 AM

Best Bookshelf under 3k?
 
I own the Ascend Sierra 2EX and the Buchardt S400. They are both excellent choices and I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either.

I also owned the KEF LS50 for a short time, but I found them too bright in my room for my taste, so I ended up selling them.

Most companies offer some type of trial period, so I’d probably audition a few and keep the one you like best.


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cocrh 08-17-2019 07:14 AM

Crutchfield has $10 bookshelf returns. Buy a few and try them in home.

Dynaudio, Revel, Focal are all great speakers. Best to try in your environment

AVTimme 08-17-2019 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cocrh (Post 58435304)
Crutchfield has $10 bookshelf returns. Buy a few and try them in home.

Dynaudio, Revel, Focal are all great speakers. Best to try in your environment

you should really give the ls50 a listen
they are amazing

aarons915 08-17-2019 07:28 AM

Based on your music and listening preferences, the LS50 sound good for your situation. I personally tame them a bit around 2k to smooth out the highs but it sounds like you might like them as is, just stay away from the new R series, it's more laid back.

Williams2 08-17-2019 08:02 AM

The Paradigm prestige 15B's sound bigger and clearer than the LS50's and Special 40's, and are slightly brighter in the high end, but not in the fatiguing 2-3khz range like the LS50's. The 15B's also have deeper, better bass than the LS50's.
I have 15B's for home theater and for that use they are excellent, and very good for music. Since you listed vocal and acoustic rock in your variety, you might love them.
An amazing soundstage is also one of their strong points.
Since I'm sensitive to highs, I'd prefer the Special 40's for music, even though they don't sound quite as clear or big. There's just something smooth and musical about them, but just not enough to spend that much money to me.
I don't think you'd find them enough of an upgrade over the UB5's, as you're looking for something a little more forward anyway.
For $4k, the Bryston Mini T's are the best speakers I've heard under around $8k, but they are also slightly laid back to neutral.
Sounds to me like the 15B's are exactly what you're looking for, or maybe the 705S2's, which I haven't heard yet.

nonstopdoc1 08-17-2019 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58435132)
I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!

As an all in one package, LS50W are one of the best. I just bought mine last month. Do check them out.

For a larger room and if you already have an Amp, KEF R3s would be a better option.

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callas01 08-17-2019 08:28 AM

I’d highly recommend listening to the Dynaudio Evoke 20 @2k, or the Special 40 @3k. If you’re already thinking Dynaudio then certainly give those two a listen. They’ll do great with that type of music, personally I use Contour 20s, and I listen to nearly everything except country.

Other very good ones would be the Dali Rubicon 2, or Totem Sky.

zieglj01 08-17-2019 09:03 AM

Look at Revel Performa3 M106 speakers
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_265M10...ano-Black.html

Zorba922 08-17-2019 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58435132)
I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two).

Another vote for a RAAL tweeter based speaker such as the Ascend Sierra 2 or 2EX, in that case.

If you want a similar tweeter with $10 flat rate return shipping just in case, the Martin Logan LX16 from crutchfield.com for $240 each would be a steal. Maybe I'd start with that first, and then move up to the Ascends only if you aren't completely happy with the LX16.

gajCA 08-17-2019 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58435132)
I am shortlisting dynaudio special 40, b&w 705s2, buchardt s400, kef ls50/r. Welcome thoughts on those or any others that I need to know about? I live in an apartment so big bass response is not a priority. Listen to bossa nova, blues, vocal, acoustic rock, some jazz..I have Elac ub5s right now which for $500 are incredible - I would guess they are definitely on the warm side as highs seem fairly recessed, definitely non fatiguing. I would prefer to avoid models that you need to really turn up to enjoy (i like moderate most of the time but turn it up for a song or two). Could go for more detail/forward presentation than the UB5s but don't want to jump all the way to the ultra forward/clinical end of the spectrum, just turn it up a nice notch from the elacs. Also dont NEED to spend 3k, if a 2k speaker is a big improvement over the elacs then that might be the way to go, but willing to go up to 3, hear only great things about the dynaudios haha...Appreciate any suggestions!

Look at the measurements for some of the speakers on your list here to give some idea of the differences.

They tested the "slim" version of the Ub5 which should have similar measurements to what you currently have.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140

Compare those measurements to the NHT C3 which is available for $1000/pair direct and slightly less on Amazon to see if the more expensive speakers measure any better.

aats 08-17-2019 09:41 AM

I'm going for JBL 708i in that pricerange (soon). Not sure if they are "the best" but looks like they are good. I've selected them entirely "on paper", never heard them, but I don't think I'd be dissapointed.

You would need an EQ and possibly a limiter/cross to subwoofer if your music is bass-heavy with them though. There is also a powered version 708p that has everything inside and all you need is aes3 source (or just a common digital source), but they are more expensive ($500 more each iirc).

l0nestar8 08-17-2019 10:05 AM

I have both the LS50 and the UB5. The LS50's are definitely brighter and more forward than the UB5's. If that's what you are looking for, you will probably like them.

However, for $3k I'd aim a little higher and start auditioning everything you can. You could look at the Adante if you want to stay in the Elac family. The Kef R series, as mentioned above, are going to be a little mid-recessed and the opposite of what you want.

I'd recommend:

Elac Adante
Dynaudio Evoke 20/S40
Revel M106
Salk BMR
Ascend Sierra 2EX
Canton Reference
Wharfedale Linton (for something totally different)

All those can be easily ordered online. Beyond that, I'd get out there and make some dealer appointments.

l0nestar8 08-17-2019 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gajCA (Post 58435826)
They tested the "slim" version of the Ub5 which should have similar measurements to what you currently have.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...=16&Itemid=140

Just to clarify, Soundstage only has the tower version, the FS U5, not the UB5, but should be somewhat similar anyway.

gajCA 08-17-2019 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by l0nestar8 (Post 58435992)
I have both the LS50 and the UB5. The LS50's are definitely brighter and more forward than the UB5's. If that's what you are looking for, you will probably like them.

However, for $3k I'd aim a little higher and start auditioning everything you can. You could look at the Adante if you want to stay in the Elac family. The Kef R series, as mentioned above, are going to be a little mid-recessed and the opposite of what you want.

I'd recommend:

Elac Adante
Dynaudio Evoke 20/S40
Revel M106
Salk BMR
Ascend Sierra 2EX
Canton Reference
Wharfedale Linton (for something totally different)

All those can be easily ordered online. Beyond that, I'd get out there and make some dealer appointments.

Thanks for pointing out Salk has now added the BMR to his line.

Best of all is that the custom cabinets are available in a myriad of furniture grade finishes albeit at a price higher then the original BMR that essentially doomed Philharmonic Audio finanically as Dennis simply didn't charge enough for his speakers to keep the company going.

gajCA 08-17-2019 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by l0nestar8 (Post 58436010)
Just to clarify, Soundstage only has the tower version, the FS U5, not the UB5, but should be somewhat similar anyway.

My mistake; mid range on up should be similar to the bookshelf version I would suspect.

Barbecue Tech Tips 08-17-2019 10:15 AM

Throw the ls 50 out of this discussion.

l0nestar8 08-17-2019 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gajCA (Post 58436044)
My mistake; mid range on up should be similar to the bookshelf version I would suspect.

Yep, should be basically identical in that range.

Barbecue Tech Tips 08-17-2019 10:23 AM

Here are my picks for the best below 3k currenty:

Elac Adante AS-61
Dynaudio special 40
Revel M106
Scansonic MB1
Kef R3

Removed the Ascend acoustic sierra 2 ex due to there being a Salk Silk pair on ebay which outperforms it.

Kain 08-17-2019 10:31 AM

JBL 708i/708P?

Del Boca Vista 08-17-2019 10:46 AM

So many awesome suggestions! So an update, today I was able to demo the Special 40s , R3s, and 705s2 (latter two best buy). The demo room at BB sucked and the R3s had to be 12 feet apart and next to walls and other bookshelfs, 705s closer but also bookshelves on each side, BUT i really liked the the R3s. True to many comments on here, they were laid back and a bit recessed, but they were super holographic (they completely disappeared - is this the UNIQ driver and same vibe i would experience w ls50?), bass was great (punchy and accurate but not boomy), and sounded like a tower speaker. They were def not forward or detailed when it came to vocals and instruments, but they felt really well rounded and enjoyable. Like a much better version and bigger sounding of my current speaker. The 705s were much zingier, more detailed and forward, but i could see them irritating me with a song thats too brassy. Also the room was terrible and that may have made things worse for the 705s. I took the Kefs easily over the BWs.

Then I went to another store and tried the special 40s. Should also mention this room had some treatment and was much better set up than best buys room. Oh my they sounded so good, everything sounded "right" with them. More detailed and forward than the kefs and my elacs, but not in your face like the Bws. The separation of instruments was so good, and guitar plucks sounded amazing (stevie ray vaughn tin pan alley was just so good). Now I did not see the amazing bass experience that others are talking about (it was solid), but the amp was a 50wpc A/B if that makes a difference. But the speakers just sounded perfect in every way and the presentation was so delicate and precise without being clinical or sharp. Total cliche - but i FELT like I was at the concert and havent experienced that with other speakers i tried. I realize I am terrible at describing these terms but doing my best.


Conclusion - I really liked the Kefs and specials, wish I could listen to them in the same space! Kefs more like a favorite pair of jeans (thats analogy not giving them enough credit..) and the Dynaudios like an indulgent dessert that you wont get sick of. Do people really order multiple pairs from crutchfield and just keep the one they like best? Is that a common practice?

Del Boca Vista 08-17-2019 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barbecue Tech Tips (Post 58436082)
Here are my picks for the best below 3k currenty:

Elac Adante AS-61
Dynaudio special 40
Revel M106
Scansonic MB1
Kef R3

Removed the Ascend acoustic sierra 2 ex due to there being a Salk Silk pair on ebay which outperforms it.

Are Salk Silks the best out of the bunch? I gotta check out these revels, ive seen that model pop up in a bunch of forums

Lp85253 08-17-2019 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58436194)
So many awesome suggestions! So an update, today I was able to demo the Special 40s , R3s, and 705s2 (latter two best buy). The demo room at BB sucked and the R3s had to be 12 feet apart and next to walls and other bookshelfs, 705s closer but also bookshelves on each side, BUT i really liked them the R3s. True to many comments on here, they were laid back and a bit recessed, but they were super holographic (they completely disappeared), bass was great (punchy and accurate but not boomy), and sounded like a tower speaker. They were def not forward or detailed when it came to vocals and instruments, but they felt really well rounded and enjoyable. Like a much better version and bigger of my current speaker. The 705s were much zingier, more detailed and fowrard, but i could see them irritating me with a song thats too brassy. Also the room was terrible and that may have made things worse for the 705s. I took the Kefs easily over the BWs.


Then I went to another store and tried the special 40s. Should also mention this room had some treatment and was much better set up than best buys room. Oh my they sounded so good, everything sounded "right" with them. More detailed and forward than the kefs and my elacs, but not in your face like the Bws. The separation of instruments was so good, and guitar plucks sounded amazing (stevie ray vaughn tin pan alley was just so good). Now I did not see the amazing bass experience that others are talking about (it was solid), but the amp was a 50wpc A/B if that makes a difference. But the speakers just sounded perfect in every way and the presentation was so delicate and precise without being clinical or sharp. Total cliche - but i FELT like I was at the concert and havent experienced that with other speakers i tried. I realize I am terrible at describing these terms but doing my best.


Conclusion - I really liked the Kefs and specials, wish I could listen to them in the same space! Do people really order multiple pairs from crutchfield and just keep the one they like best? Is that a common practice?

yes , people do order 2 pair and do a comparison.. happens pretty often , it's a good idea...those are 2 well respected speakers , sounds like a fun weekend (or longer...)

RMW1982 08-17-2019 10:55 AM

Best Bookshelf under 3k?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58436194)


Conclusion - I really liked the Kefs and specials, wish I could listen to them in the same space! Do people really order multiple pairs from crutchfield and just keep the one they like best? Is that a common practice?



I think it’s fairly common practice, and while I haven’t done it, I probably would. I think most online audio retailers that offer flexible returns expect customers to try and return if they don’t like it. Just make sure you keep the boxes in good condition so you don’t cause yourself a headache later when you return.




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Del Boca Vista 08-17-2019 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doctors11 (Post 58435164)
I haven't heard any of these but all have great reviews...

Salk Sound PHILHARMONIC BMR MONITORS

http://www.salksound.com/model.php?model=BMR+Monitors

Ascend Acoustics SIERRA-2EX

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html

Totem Acoustics Signature One

https://totemacoustic.com/en/signature-one


Happy Hunting!

Really interesting in the Salk and Totem - salks have to be custom built and thus a lead time right?

mmiles 08-17-2019 10:59 AM

GoldenEar AON3 - $998/pr MSRP

Many review from Stereophile and The Absolute Sound.

zieglj01 08-17-2019 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58436216)
I gotta check out these revels, ive seen that model pop up in a bunch of forums

Yes, you need to ..... I have owned the M105, and they are one the best that I have owned, and are really good for all types of music ... and that tweeter is really good.

AVTimme 08-17-2019 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58436194)
So many awesome suggestions! So an update, today I was able to demo the Special 40s , R3s, and 705s2 (latter two best buy). The demo room at BB sucked and the R3s had to be 12 feet apart and next to walls and other bookshelfs, 705s closer but also bookshelves on each side, BUT i really liked them the R3s. True to many comments on here, they were laid back and a bit recessed, but they were super holographic (they completely disappeared - is this the UNIQ driver and same vibe i would experience w ls50?), bass was great (punchy and accurate but not boomy), and sounded like a tower speaker. They were def not forward or detailed when it came to vocals and instruments, but they felt really well rounded and enjoyable. Like a much better version and bigger sounding of my current speaker. The 705s were much zingier, more detailed and forward, but i could see them irritating me with a song thats too brassy. Also the room was terrible and that may have made things worse for the 705s. I took the Kefs easily over the BWs.


Then I went to another store and tried the special 40s. Should also mention this room had some treatment and was much better set up than best buys room. Oh my they sounded so good, everything sounded "right" with them. More detailed and forward than the kefs and my elacs, but not in your face like the Bws. The separation of instruments was so good, and guitar plucks sounded amazing (stevie ray vaughn tin pan alley was just so good). Now I did not see the amazing bass experience that others are talking about (it was solid), but the amp was a 50wpc A/B if that makes a difference. But the speakers just sounded perfect in every way and the presentation was so delicate and precise without being clinical or sharp. Total cliche - but i FELT like I was at the concert and havent experienced that with other speakers i tried. I realize I am terrible at describing these terms but doing my best.


Conclusion - I really liked the Kefs and specials, wish I could listen to them in the same space! Do people really order multiple pairs from crutchfield and just keep the one they like best? Is that a common practice?

Yes, the LS50s have incredible imaging and "3D" sound
There is only sound in the room and the speakers completely disappears

RMW1982 08-17-2019 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Del Boca Vista (Post 58436254)
Really interesting in the Salk and Totem - salks have to be custom built and thus a lead time right?



Yes Salks are custom built and have a several month lead time. With a custom speaker project you obviously lose your ability to try and return, but Jim can help you resell them if you change your mind or don’t like them.

There are a used pair on Philharmonic BMRs that I’ve been trying get someone to buy...so that I don’t.

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/...-speaker-pair/


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