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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looking for advice on bookshelf speakers for a 16x11x9 room. Trying to decide between the WaveCrest HVL -1's, nht superone 2.1 and emp tek e5bi. I will be using three bookshelf speakers for my lcr. 50/50 music and movies. Not looking for a reference type speaker that will point out every flaw in recordings, just something easy to listen to without harshness. I have been using paradigm titans v1, which I like but Are slightly harsh to me and it's time for a change. Tried the polk monitor 70 's and cs2 and didn't like them at all, hollow in the mids and very harsh. Tried the pioneer Andrew jones towers and bookshelf and they were much better than the polks but still a little sibilant to my ears. I know it's best to try them out myself, but I'm hoping some opinions might help narrow it down some. Also will any of these be a step up from the titans or just a sideways move and I need to up my budget to get something that suits me? Forgot I'm considering the Chane A1rx-c's also and I will be using a sub. Any opinions would be helpful from anyone with experience with any of these speakers. Or any new suggestions are welcomed also.
 

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I agree with zieglj01. All your choices are solid ones, and it's great to see someone go out and audition speakers to find out what they may like and know what they don't like. The NHT with free return shipping is a really attractive choice. This will give you 30 days to put the NHT through their paces before making a final decision. And if you can, I'd also order one of the others off your list so you can compare head-to-head (probably won't cost more that 25 bucks on return shipping).

Since you asked, out of your list, I'm familiar with (own) the E5Bi (now R5Bi) and this is what I think: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/dbtreview.php?do=view_review&id=4850&ri=review Don't know if these are back in stock.

Good luck! I don't see a loser in any of your choices. And let us know what you decided and how they worked out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replys. I'm really intrigued by all these speakers, can't seem to find anything negative posted with any of them. Might just pull up pictures of them and let my 3 year old son pick a couple. One other question. any reason for a 6 1/2 driver over a 5 1/4 in a small room with a sub?
 

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In general, the larger the cone, the deeper the bass response capability (there are other factors involved besides cone diameter). If you read my review, I stated I wouldn't buy the E5Bi's without a subwoofer. But that would be the case for all bookshelf speakers, even those capable of mid 40 Hz bass response, although I'd be less inclined to rush out and get a subwoofer immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In general, the larger the cone, the deeper the bass response capability (there are other factors involved besides cone diameter). If you read my review, I stated I wouldn't buy the E5Bi's without a subwoofer. But that would be the case for all bookshelf speakers, even those capable of mid 40 Hz bass response, although I'd be less inclined to rush out and get a subwoofer immediately.
I read your review, great by the way. I understand any bookshelf is going to need a sub And I have the premier acoustic pa 150. Right now I have paradigm phantoms for the front and titans for the center and surrounds and in a large open room. I got a new house and my wife is kicking the stereo to a smaller room. The phantoms have 8's and the titans 6 1/2. I think I should have worded my question differently. I plan on 80 hz xover to the sub, so is going to a smaller driver a moot point as far as impact and output Since its a small room and I will probably be about 9 feet away?
 

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Yes, an 80 Hz crossover makes any speaker capable of under 70 Hz performance a moot point, since the subwoofer takes over those lower frequencies. The upper bass, however, is still critical (80 Hz and above). When one owns a subwoofer, one should be looking for how great the midrange and highs are. One should also be concerned about soundstage size, soundstage depth, articulation and output. Always let your ears be the judge. There are so many really good speakers, that I'd love to audition just a small percentage of them.
 

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I read your review, great by the way. I understand any bookshelf is going to need a sub And I have the premier acoustic pa 150. Right now I have paradigm phantoms for the front and titans for the center and surrounds and in a large open room. I got a new house and my wife is kicking the stereo to a smaller room.
Compared to the dry and laid back sound of the Phantom and Titans, you are
in for a pleasant surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great to hear. Thanks for the help. There is no where to hear anything around here, no boutique shops, no best buy Magnolia, nothing but regular best buy stuff. So paradigm is about as far up the food chain I have ever really heard, and I've had those for years, time for a change
 

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Luckily, the NHT gives you free return shipping and a 30-day audition period. Hard to go wrong there :).
 

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looking for advice on bookshelf speakers for a 16x11x9 room. Trying to decide between the WaveCrest HVL -1's, nht superone 2.1 and emp tek e5bi. I will be using three bookshelf speakers for my lcr. 50/50 music and movies. Not looking for a reference type speaker that will point out every flaw in recordings, just something easy to listen to without harshness. I have been using paradigm titans v1, which I like but Are slightly harsh to me and it's time for a change. Tried the polk monitor 70 's and cs2 and didn't like them at all, hollow in the mids and very harsh. Tried the pioneer Andrew jones towers and bookshelf and they were much better than the polks but still a little sibilant to my ears. I know it's best to try them out myself, but I'm hoping some opinions might help narrow it down some. Also will any of these be a step up from the titans or just a sideways move and I need to up my budget to get something that suits me? Forgot I'm considering the Chane A1rx-c's also and I will be using a sub. Any opinions would be helpful from anyone with experience with any of these speakers. Or any new suggestions are welcomed also.
I wish I could say that I have heard the Chance Arx-1 speakers, but I haven't. However, I have heard, and used to own, the HTD Level 3 speakers; a speaker very similar in characteristics and price. I cannot say how the two would compare, but I will give my opinions on the Level 3 and post a link for you to read which is a video comparison of 3 bookshelves; the WaveCrests and Chanes are 2 of the 3.

In my small room (1150ish cu. ft. [12x12x8 room]), the HTDs sounded great at moderate levels, especially for their price tag (-40dB thru -35dB). They're music reproduction was very nice and smooth. I found new life to melodic songs, and music of similar genre to Red Hot Chili Peppers. I did feel a lack of dynamics in hard rock, classic rock, etc., but that is mostly listened to in my car, and not with my HT speakers. I did find the midrange a little on the light side, but I really like a warm and intense midrange (the review I will post gives similar characteristics to the Chanes). When I turned the volume below -30dB (give or take), the speaker's starting becoming very bright. The tweeter started over-whelming the driver, and I was left with a lack of midrange.

Here is the video review link: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1929729-three-speaker-shootout-video.html

I would say Ascends CMT-170 speaker have a pretty good tweeter, but the midrange of the WaveCrests and EMP would be preferred: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

I once had one of the biggest headache deciding on which speaker to get...I ended up blowing my budget, typical, but research lead me to my decision. Drink a glass of water, take two Advil, and all will be okay. If I was in your shoes, I would audition any companies on your list with free return shipping, and one or two without. It's better to spend a little in shipping and know you have your preferred speaker. It really adds to the satisfaction and eliminates 2nd guessing and "what-ifs".

If the speaker you prefer plays above it's price range, then the return shipping costs you have to pay will be justified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah. Definitely going to give those a shot. On the fence about the rest. But I'm thinking the emp tek and go from there. A few bucks for shipping is worth it to get speakers you like instead of tolerate.
 

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Yeah. Definitely going to give those a shot. On the fence about the rest. But I'm thinking the emp tek and go from there. A few bucks for shipping is worth it to get speakers you like instead of tolerate.
That's the spirit.

+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wish I could say that I have heard the Chance Arx-1 speakers, but I haven't. However, I have heard, and used to own, the HTD Level 3 speakers; a speaker very similar in characteristics and price. I cannot say how the two would compare, but I will give my opinions on the Level 3 and post a link for you to read which is a video comparison of 3 bookshelves; the WaveCrests and Chanes are 2 of the 3.

In my small room (1150ish cu. ft. [12x12x8 room]), the HTDs sounded great at moderate levels, especially for their price tag (-40dB thru -35dB). They're music reproduction was very nice and smooth. I found new life to melodic songs, and music of similar genre to Red Hot Chili Peppers. I did feel a lack of dynamics in hard rock, classic rock, etc., but that is mostly listened to in my car, and not with my HT speakers. I did find the midrange a little on the light side, but I really like a warm and intense midrange (the review I will post gives similar characteristics to the Chanes). When I turned the volume below -30dB (give or take), the speaker's starting becoming very bright. The tweeter started over-whelming the driver, and I was left with a lack of midrange.

Here is the video review link: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1929729-three-speaker-shootout-video.html

I would say Ascends CMT-170 speaker have a pretty good tweeter, but the midrange of the WaveCrests and EMP would be preferred: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

I once had one of the biggest headache deciding on which speaker to get...I ended up blowing my budget, typical, but research lead me to my decision. Drink a glass of water, take two Advil, and all will be okay. If I was in your shoes, I would audition any companies on your list with free return shipping, and one or two without. It's better to spend a little in shipping and know you have your preferred speaker. It really adds to the satisfaction and eliminates 2nd guessing and "what-ifs".

If the speaker you prefer plays above it's price range, then the return shipping costs you have to pay will be justified.
I Saw that video, that actually helped me narrow down some of my choices. Good info about the htd, I was considering those also. Sounds like we have similar likes in a speaker. That was a big problem I had with the polks. I had to bump up the midrange quite a bit, otherwise they sounded hollow to me. I was dead set on the Chanes till I seen that video. Thin midrange is a deal breaker for me. Thanks for the help
 

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I Saw that video, that actually helped me I was dead set on the Chanes till I seen that video. Thin midrange is a deal breaker for me.
You were looking at a subjective review based on one person and their set-up. It is no
guarantee that you would hear it the same way. Plus no measurements were taken to
show that there is a real drop in the midrange. Room placement does play a part. Plus
speakers need room to breathe and radiate - and not placed next to one another or a
wall.

Do not go by one subjective review - as the overall reviews from users do not speak of
a poor midrange.

Plus, no one can speak for your ears or guarantee anything. And I never judge how a
speaker will sound from a compromised YouTube video.

Your call
 

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For what it's worth, I've owned the Arx A1b, demo'd the HTD Level 3 bookshelf and Wave Crest HVL-1, and currently own the RBH/EMP R5Bi...

Note that I had them all at different times, so I could not do any proper side by side comparisons. That being said, there are characteristics of each that I recall liking/disliking...

My opinion is that the Arx is the best sounding speaker. It's not perfect, but I didn't find it lacking anything in particular in terms of sound. The main gripes I had with it were the aesthetics and the relatively low sensitivity (by it's not really far off from others in this category). I did not find the midrange lacking at all, and overall thought the sound was very well balanced, with good clarity and openness. The bass extension and quality is impressive. While not a looker, it is solidly built. I had them in my main room for awhile and really enjoyed them.

I liked the Wave Crest, and do think the midrange is it's best attribute.... but, I found the bass lean and the tweeter just a touch forward for my liking. It reminded me of a slightly less bright and slightly fuller sounding Ascend HTM-200SE. The Ascend house sound is there... I did a comparison of it vs. the Cambridge Audio S30, HTD Level Two tower, Mordaunt Short Aviano 1, and Boston Acoustics A25 - so more detailed thoughts can be found here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...-1-mordaunt-short-aviano-1-htd-level-two.html

I remember less about the HTD Level 3, which is odd because I just demo'd it a couple months ago. It really just didn't stand out for me. I do remember not really liking the tweeter - I thought it was a little hissy, for lack of a better word. I can't say much else about it. It wasn't an off putting speaker, just didn't really do it for me either. Of course, it was well built and the ebony veneer is nice looking - I'd say the nicest looking of the bunch. Another plus is that it's the most sensitive of this bunch, so less amp power need to get the volume up.

The R5Bi is a nice little speaker, and one I will likely keep around, due to the combination of looks, sound, and price... although I wouldn't use them in my main room (13x21x9). I like the red burl, even though it's laminate. I also like the look of curved cabinets over something plain and boxy like the Arx and Wave Crest. The cabinets are a bit lightweight though... but at least being curved helps with resonance control. Sound wise, the midrange is nice for sure, and I agree with the general consensus that the highs are a bit laid back... which to me is a plus. They don't have much in the way of low end though, and have relatively low sensitivity as well (but again, so do the Arx and Wave Crest, and not atypical for this class of speaker).

I'd really be interested in comparing them to the Wave Crest, since both seem to go for midrange purity instead of asking the woofer to make bass it can't. Without comparing them head-to-head I can't say which I think has better mids, but if I had to guess, I'd probably prefer the RBH/EMP due to the slightly relaxed high end. I also think they look alot nice, so I'm sure that would add some bias.

Just one guy's opinions (and with regard to the Arx, it differs from the opinion of the guy in the video who compared the Arx vs Wave Crest)...
 

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and currently own the RBH/EMP R5Bi...

Just one guy's opinions (and with regard to the Arx, it differs from the opinion of the guy in the video who compared the Arx vs Wave Crest)...
Well, we will see how long you keep it.

Just like lays potato chips - you just can't eat one!

And I was confident, that Jon would not cheap out on the midrange of the ARX

It also seems like that Craig is selling speakers from his house now, and is
moving to other adventures (like being a speaker reviewer).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You were looking at a subjective review based on one person and their set-up. It is no
guarantee that you would hear it the same way. Plus no measurements were taken to
show that there is a real drop in the midrange. Room placement does play a part. Plus
speakers need room to breathe and radiate - and not placed next to one another or a
wall.

Do not go by one subjective review - as the overall reviews from users do not speak of
a poor midrange.

Plus, no one can speak for your ears or guarantee anything. And I never judge how a
speaker will sound from a compromised YouTube video.

Your call
yeah my thoughts also, but the video did make think I should get other options rather than being set on the Chanes, and glad I did. Some really great information from all the replys
 

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yeah my thoughts also, but the video did make think I should get other options rather than being set on the Chanes, and glad I did. Some really great information from all the replys
Always look at several options - what you pursue is up to you, I would
not count a speaker out based on a subjective review like that.

Here is another take - and I bet they would be an ear opener compared
to the Titans and Phantom and outclass the HTD Level Three.
http://www.cnet.com/news/the-149-chane-a1rx-c-speaker-is-almost-too-good-to-be-true/

You have some nice options - enjoy the search adventure.
 
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