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post #31 of 63 Old 07-05-2004, 10:04 PM
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I have talked to my favorite Speaker designer who has traveled to the far east for conventions. He knows more aout design then I ever will. Recenttly he stated to me when asked about China "the further east you go the more quality suffers, the trick is to find who is making substantial headway in quality coming from the mainland" .He also added that you'd be surprised at how well some of the stuff actually is.

So as a word of warning it is good to compare before buying.

There are others who are designing here in the west and having them produced over there which really saves on production costs. KEF has a great speaker down at that price level which is made in China.

I would like to compile a list of 10 sub priced $350 speakers to see which might perform best under similar conditions reviewed by 5 different people and assess what they have to say. If I were in the market perhaps I would do it,but alas I have found the reference speakers I shall hold onto till the day I go to the big gig in the sky!:-)

Anyone have a listing of 10 speakers in this price range($200-$350) that are competitive with the Pisces.

KEF Coda $70's $230
Epos ELS- 3 $300
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s $329
Axiom M2\\3ti $250\\$275
Swans
Wharfdale
Paradigm
PSB
NHT

Just thinking!
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post #32 of 63 Old 07-05-2004, 10:07 PM
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PSB image 1B is another good 200 dollar spkr.
"pokes" are nice too.
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post #33 of 63 Old 07-06-2004, 08:09 AM
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Nice list ABEX.

I would add Norh:
http://www.norh.com/
Different and exotic for little money. They have the Norh 3.0 made from a solid wood “drumâ€(not veneer) for $195 and a real (not synthetic) marble version for more money.
His speakers use solid wood drums crafted in one piece from exotic (but renewable) trees. He also uses no nonsense drivers from the best companies such as Scanspeak usually found on much more expensive designs.

Now this is an amazing company with an equally amazing website. The owner, Michael Barnes, is a real audiophile who loves music but hated the audio business. He started the company for humanitarian purposes years ago in Bangkok and has some of the most innovative out of the box products I have ever seen for any business. Note most of his prices include shipping. I just got a quote of $140 for a headphone amplifier to be shipped from China.

Don’t forget to look for the ISO 9001 certification for manufacturing quality with the Chinese/Far East companies. I worked with a company trying to get ISO 9000 certification (similar to 9001 but for software) and can tell you first hand it is quite stringent. If a company has achieved this standard, most will proudly display the seal on their website. If you do not see it, ask for it or question why they do not have this internationally recognized measure of quality assurance.
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post #34 of 63 Old 07-06-2004, 08:23 AM
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tbonner
Yes,norh I have heard are pretty good. I have written and confered with MB a few times about the LeAmp's. The II's I considerd ,but do to problems with productions they need the bugs strightened out before I commit.

MB is a very busy guy with alot of commitments.

I have worked for Cos. with ISO cert. JIT and using a bunch if other stuff!
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post #35 of 63 Old 07-06-2004, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by tbonner1

Don’t forget to look for the ISO 9001 certification for manufacturing quality with the Chinese/Far East companies. I worked with a company trying to get ISO 9000 certification (similar to 9001 but for software) and can tell you first hand it is quite stringent. If a company has achieved this standard, most will proudly display the seal on their website. If you do not see it, ask for it or question why they do not have this internationally recognized measure of quality assurance.
the ISO 9001 certification will not tell you anything about the quality of the sound that the speaker puts out.....

it just guarantees that the company is consistent in their procedures....

it does not guarantee anything about how a product sounds..... just that all the same model numbers will sound the same....

cheers!

:)
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post #36 of 63 Old 07-06-2004, 11:29 AM
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agree totally.
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post #37 of 63 Old 07-07-2004, 02:18 AM
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post #38 of 63 Old 07-11-2004, 07:06 AM
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Attracted by Pisces looks similar to the B & W and the sub. $200 price,
I had wanted to purchase the Pisces when I first saw it last year, but decided against the purchase until now because the lack of information regards to the brand.

After reading Tbonner1's pretty exhaustive review on the Pisces, I had decided give the speaker a try and ordered a pair from the AER's website.

I'm schedule to receive the speaker next week, I shall find out soon enough is the users claim a Hyping or is the Pisces an exceptional speaker at the sub. $200 price range. Will follow up and share my experience after trying the Pisces next week.
:)
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post #39 of 63 Old 07-11-2004, 08:25 AM
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ISO 9001 has nothing to do with quality period. Only that procedures are documented and traceable. If you have no standard for a particular item,(speaker construction) then there is no reason to document it.

I do ISO training for my company.
Clay

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post #40 of 63 Old 07-11-2004, 05:41 PM
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Does it (pisces) come with the famous Midrange Suckout or hump so notable with B&W speakers. Life would just not seem right without it if I were compariing it to a B&W's. If it does not have it that would be a hughe step up right there.

Poolboy on ISO,it's also to keep on the same page as what others are going by I thought. Another words to be compatible with what others are going by for specs.

Just thinking!
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post #41 of 63 Old 07-12-2004, 07:39 AM
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Take a look at infinity primus, here is the review....

www.stereophile.com
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post #42 of 63 Old 07-12-2004, 11:51 AM
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Abex and Tubeguy
Another advantage of the ISO standard is to document what you do, then do what you document. While this seems over simplistic, it is challenging to implement in a high tech manufacturing environment. I agree with Tubeguy that if you design poor quality you will get poor quality …. Uniformly. If you want to improve quality, you must document the changes first, then ISO 9001 compliance will ensure you implement those improvements. This is the critical part where many attempts to make a product better have failed: at the implementation level. ISO 9001 helps reduce that risk.

Mlshlove1
Thanks for the review link.
I have followed Robert Reina for years and he is a respected reviewer. I like how he uses relative comparisons with similar speakers such as the Atom so we have a benchmark. He also used a comparison with the more expensive NHT’s so we know how the Infinity sounds with a speaker in a different league.
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post #43 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 09:21 AM
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Which goes lower in the Bass I wonder also?

This is where specs might help a little. The Infinity would need to mave a Sub as most small spakers do,but it is amazing how well things are shaping up for affordable audio.

How far down do the Pisces go?
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post #44 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 09:52 AM
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NHT SuperOnes are my favorite cheap speaker. My friend put five of them in his home theater system and got such a good deal on them from OneCall (they're clearing an older SuperOne model out right now) that I ordered a pair for my music keyboard (I have different NHTs in my home theater). These thigns get down to the 50s and the bass quality is actually pretty good.

Someone hold technology still for a second so I can figure out what's best.
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post #45 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 11:56 AM
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The Pisces bass is very solid with good impact in a nearfield listening situation. As with all small monitor speakers they will not fill up a large room with bass. I am experimenting with subs now, and for most music, I find myself content with the sound of the Pisces by themselves.

SuperOnes are a much better stand alone speaker than the Superzeros. I bought the Superzero's and NHT sub based on Cory Greenberg's rave review in Stereophile(it is archieved online) and never could get the sub to integrate properly.

Better bring a big amp with the NHT's, they need love power and I find they are lacking dynamic contrast at low listening levels.
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post #46 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 12:01 PM
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Oh, also PSB Alphas are a nice budget speaker. :)

Someone hold technology still for a second so I can figure out what's best.
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post #47 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 12:27 PM
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tbonner
That is one thing which I am learning its it seems better to use efficient speakers as synergy between front end equipment is much easier to attain.

I went bonkers when I owned Maggies trying to find the best amp combo and then found Box speakres which are more transparent than even the Maggies which is not an easy feat to do.LOL

Rtype
I have owned PSB's and liked them a lot before stepping up. I like the Alpha's more then the Paradigm Atoms in fact.

We are getting into another league when going past $350. Like I had stated somewhaere else I want to get a few different speakers to compare.

In this range all will have tradeoffs in the design due to the small cabinet and drivers. I do not expect great Bass impact,but it is nice to hear it go to 40hz. as that is where a majority of info is at or goes to. The closer to that point the better.

With the Pisces I want to see weather they have the same deficiencies as the B&W's as far as a Midbass Hump which is something I heard when auditioning them.

Regards,Larry
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post #48 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 01:09 PM
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My under $200 recommendation is:

1. Paradigm Atoms
2. Infinity Primus 150's
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post #49 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 03:59 PM
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Sorry if I didn't answer your question about the B&W midrange suckout. I call this a recessed midrange that makes the image laid back. If you think this is bad on the current B&W line, it was worse on the older Matrix line.

In my AER Pisces review under the "Image" section I said the sound (in the midrange) was a bit reticent. I have listened extensively since I wrote that to these speakers, with and without subwoofers, and I stand by that.

My analogy with headphones is that the Pisces are like the Sennheiser 650's which are known (on head-fi.org)to be laid back. This is clear when compared to other highly regarded headphones such as the Grado's.

I agree with what you say about efficient speakers. I too struggled with Magnplaner's and could never get adequate detail out of them with a 200 watt Ampzilla, SAE 2400L and Dynaco 400. Be careful, under my review in the "Con" section I said you need to bring a big amp to drive the Pisces, same as the B&W 805's IMHO.

Hi Fi Choice said in the B&W N805 review:

"The good bits include a hi-fi system that has developed to suit the Nautilus style - that is, power-hungry ..."
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post #50 of 63 Old 07-14-2004, 05:08 PM
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I prefer a Mid Hall or Laid Back presentation rather than an In your Face Front row presentation as long as a few things are addressed in the design.An in your Face Front Row presentation becomes draining to me. I also like speakers to disappear in the soundstage and not draw attention to themselves.

In speakers I think we buy an illusion.Whatever illusion you prefer is going to be what you like. Magnepans are a euphoric illusion which sucks people or buyers in. While there are euphoric speakers in boxes I like also. Only after much listening did I realize that other speakers came closer to the real event to my hearing.

NEAR's which I use now use to have a euphoric presentation also,then the designer gave me newer drivers which where closer to the actual event and I prefered them. After that I retuned them in order to get rid of some artifacts that were present like Heavy Thick Mid Bass,but there was no suckout or midbass hump present as with the original drivers. suckout is hard to live with for myself now. The newer drivers are much tighter and are able to articulate the Midrange and Bass regions so much better it is amazing. Very special speaker which I am happy to own and would have a very hard time finding a similar sonic signature. They might not be for everyone,but for what I paid I would be very hard pressed to find better for under $4K. I own 3 different model including floorstanding 3-Ways.

For $200 I would not expect any speaker to over come it's inherent limitations,but I would like them to be pleasent without being a strain to listen to.

As for B&W I cannot understand how they have gotten away all this time without corecting the problems with their designs as they are losing ground compared to other manufactures who have overcome the same problems.

The Pisces shall be real interesting to audition and I am sure the designer was quite aware of the B&W's misgivings. How he addressed those problems shall be intresting to hear.

Larry
www.nearsota.com
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post #51 of 63 Old 07-16-2004, 07:21 PM
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Looking at the AER site all their Subs are rated the same.

I wonder weather that is the XO control of weather they measure only to go down to 40hz.?
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post #52 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 05:48 AM
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well their website shows $287 for Pisces, and there is no 30 day return policy like other internet brands, so if you buy it your are stuck with it :)
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post #53 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 07:06 AM
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Yeah....for $287 with no return policy I would go with the Swan 2.1's in the faux Black Cherry finish for $299. They offer a 30 trial period as well as good customer support. Not to mention the speakers are amazing for the price.

I know this is a $200 and under thread...but since the "pisces" has been mentioned I thought chime in again.
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post #54 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 08:51 AM
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There are a slew of speakers out there in this price bracket. I would like to have maybe 10 of them to audition in my home.

The 30day home audition policy is nice to have.
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post #55 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 04:04 PM
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There are a number of speakers that are said to be steals at this price level .I just wish I could get all of them in the same room with as many audio testers as possible.

Swans
AER
B&W
The above all have the same Kevlar driver in common I believe which makes things intresting and I would like to have that group first.

Then there are the other conventional's
KEF Coda 70
Paradigm Atoms
PSB Alpha
Ascend Acoustics
Aperion
Acoustic Energy
A\\D\\S
Axiom
Phase Tech
Celestion F-10
Wharfedale 7.2
Athena
JBL
Whafedale
Klipsch
Canton
JAMO

Quite a field of small boxed dynamic speakers which makes things complicated!

Any others out there I failed to mention?



JAMO's--I owned a set of the smaller ones once and they performed better than Cambridge Soundworks which I went to give a listen to. Mated with a sub they were pretty hard to beat. Very Musical for such a small package!
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post #56 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 07:27 PM
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I would include the NHT Super One's at the close out price of $137.50 each at One Call(who I have had good luck with). Solid cabinet, low tech but well made 6.5 inch woofer with a sweet sounding tweeter. Caution:The NHT Super One needs power to sound best IMHO.

Ubid used to have a nice selection of audiophile speakers, but currently only have a few. The Wharfdale Quad 22L has a 6.5 inch Kevlar driver which makes a big difference in bass impact on most designs I have heard (rather than the 5.25 in the Quad 11L).

I have a pair of Infinity's Primus 150's on order to see if they can beat the Sound Dynamics RTS-3's(an Absolute Sound and Sensible Sound reference, but discontinued).

I like the way the mini monitors image and do not suffer from internal cabinet reflections that color the midrange on so many mid priced floor standing speakers. To get the best full range sound, you should add a (passive) crossover to filter out information below 200-100hz when used with a subwoofer. Forget about using the cheap crossovers that come with the speaker high level inputs on most under $500 subwoofers. They color the sound too much.

Look at Corey Greenberg's Stereophile superb review online of the NHT Super Zero's for his DIY solution of bypassing the ($650 plus)NHT subwoofer's crossover.

http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeakerreviews/804/


He used a simple inline resistor which he found to be much better sounding.
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post #57 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 07:47 PM
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Ok, I have sat and lurked long enough and waited to see if anyone would mention the Omage AV21. In direct listening tests against the Atom, it was a clear winner IMHO and the opinion of the Atom's owner.

Omage AV21s are available at $139 per pair, and that is in Canadian dollars.

I waited to see if anyone else would mention these as I think people accuse me of being an Omage troll... :)
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post #58 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bw03
Under $200 speakers? The Athena AS-B1.
Amen!! Athena (all) rocks!!!

Preponderance
1: a superiority in weight, power, importance, or strength
2a : a superiority or excess in number or quantity
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post #59 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 09:40 PM
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I found the Omage site after doing a search. I am not sure about the cabinets and the XO's but they driver tech looks relatively the same as you might find in more expensive speakers. Not bad,but I would have to hear them. Just another Kevlar based speaker to add to the list,but less expensive

I will look to see what you added to the XO.

http://www.midsouthcable.com/OmageAV-Select.htm
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post #60 of 63 Old 07-17-2004, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tbonner1
I would include the NHT Super One's at the close out price of $137.50 each at One Call(who I have had good luck with).
They're clearing out a model for $83 each at OneCall. I bought a pair.

Someone hold technology still for a second so I can figure out what's best.
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