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I just came back to this thread to ask if I should order these for the price to add to the list. Seeing this I've just ordered a set. So 3 speakers to audition.
Great, I look forward to reading all about that!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Quick update for anyone who comes across this.


Today 2 out of 3 pairs have arrived:

  • Wharfedale EVO 4.1
  • SVS Prime Bookshelf
Still waiting on the JBL 530's. They should arrive on Friday. After doing some research online and because this is a setup for a small bedroom I have decided to order an SVS SB-1000. I think the sealed options will be best in my small bedroom setup.



I've also been the look out for a used or refurbished Denon AVR that has Audyssey XT32. I think that would be a nice upgrade from my Denon AVR-SB500BT.



Open to input from others regarding the sub and AVR choices. Thanks all.
 

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I've also been the look out for a used or refurbished Denon AVR that has Audyssey XT32. I think that would be a nice upgrade from my Denon AVR-SB500BT.

Open to input from others regarding the sub and AVR choices. Thanks all.
Look for "Renewed" Denons on Amazon. Or you could try the "certified refurbished" Denons on accessories4less.com but keep in mind they are not easy to deal with for non-defective returns.

Regarding the sub:

  1. What's your budget max?
  2. Room size?
  3. Is the room totally enclosed, or open plan?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Look for "Renewed" Denons on Amazon. Or you could try the "certified refurbished" Denons on accessories4less.com but keep in mind they are not easy to deal with for non-defective returns.

Regarding the sub:

  1. What's your budget max?
  2. Room size?
  3. Is the room totally enclosed, or open plan?
Max budget for sub would be $500. Probably about the same for a new receiver.


The room size is 12'x12'x8' cube shaped and sealed off when the door is closed. Basically a box.
 

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Max budget for sub would be $500. Probably about the same for a new receiver.

The room size is 12'x12'x8' cube shaped and sealed off when the door is closed. Basically a box.
A room that small, and with 50/50 music/HT usage, I'd get a pair of these:
https://www.jbl.com/studio-5-series/SUB+550P.html

Open up one box, and if it's enough for you, ship back the second box on JBL's dime. I have a pair of these in my music setup in a much bigger open plan living room, and they are great for music. For HT, a pair might be ideal for a smaller room like yours. That jaw-dropping price only comes up maybe 2 times a year, most of the time they are $600 apiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
A room that small, and with 50/50 music/HT usage, I'd get a pair of these:
https://www.jbl.com/studio-5-series/SUB+550P.html

Open up one box, and if it's enough for you, ship back the second box on JBL's dime. I have a pair of these in my music setup in a much bigger open plan living room, and they are great for music. For HT, a pair might be ideal for a smaller room like yours. That jaw-dropping price only comes up maybe 2 times a year, most of the time they are $600 apiece.

For my room I would prefer a single subwoofer setup. Would you pick the JBL over the RSL 10s or SVS SB1000. Seems like the value is too strong on the JBL.
 

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For my room I would prefer a single subwoofer setup. Would you pick the JBL over the RSL 10s or SVS SB1000. Seems like the value is too strong on the JBL.
Well, all 3 of those speakers come with free returns, but currently the JBL is the least expensive ($189) followed by the RSL ($400) and then the SVS ($500).

For musical finesse I'd pick the JBL over the RSL; for output the RSL since it's the only vented sub. You could always try the SVS too but I would be surprised if it could keep up with either one.

At $500 I'd get the sealed Monolith 10" over the SB1000, but the Mono doesn't have free return shipping.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35143

You might want to post this question about all 4 subs in the Subwoofers forum, you'll get more feedback there.
 
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You could audition the Diamond 225 and 11.2, plus either of the Evos---Crutchfield gives you a sweet $10 flat rate return shipping for bookshelf pairs.

The 11.2 is the current version of the 225; I prefer its more conservative aesthetic, but some people like or don't mind the 225's shiny woofer rings. I have read a few user reviews reporting that the 11x series is more "neutral" than the 22x and 10x preceding series, FWIW. The 225 is currently on sale for $100 less than the 11.2 if you're looking to save a little money.
The 11.2 has a rising treble, unlike their past speakers: https://www.stereophile.com/content/wharfedale-diamond-112-loudspeaker-measurements

To me, that response looks like it would not sound very good.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Here goes an average joe's review.



Today I opened up the Wharfedale EVO 4.1's and I love them. I got the white speakers. They came with white gloves for handling. I thought that was funny and made for a classy opening experience :). The speakers look beautiful without the grills but had a lower WAF.

For anyone reading please note I am coming from a pair of Polk RTi A3's that I got for free. I never loved them but found them to obviously be a HUGE step above TV audio. I've been listening to these for roughly 4 years. After setting up the EVO's and figuring out how to properly wire a 4 post speaker (noob here) I sat in the sweet spot and started playing a playlist I have been putting together to audition all 3 sets of speakers. These are songs that I know really well from all genres.



Look & Feel:
The speakers are really beautiful. The cab is solid and I'm a huge fan of the overall design especially enjoying the black and white color contrast. I'm a huge fan of the AMT tweeter look. The black base is really nice as well. To me it brings a nice balance and finished look to the speaker overall.


Music:
Coming form the Polk's the EVO's have this amazing mid range clarity. I've really notices that male vocals sound rich, full, smooth and present. I'm finding strength in the mid range that I previously did not have. The guitars in Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again shine on these speakers. I'm not well versed enough to really critically listen to highs/tweeters. All I can say is that to me they are perfect. I have a preference for a laid back high end that can still provide detail. For instance I am not a fan of Klipsch or Focal sound signatures. The EVO's were easy on the ears during a 2 hours straight listening session. Smooth is what comes to mind when listening to these AMT's. The low end of these is fuller, tighter, and deeper than the Polk RTi A3's even though the polks have a larger woofer, bigger cabinet and a front port. Overall these are just fun, balanced, and bring life and energy to music. I have not listened to the SVS Primes or the JBL's but if I was stuck with these I would not be mad AT ALL. I like them a lot.



Here are some tracks I really enjoyed on these:


  • Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again
  • The Weeknd - In Your Eyes (that lead synth packs a punch and his vocals are silky)
  • Tame Impala - Let It Happen
  • Sun Rai - San Francisco Street (tasty bass line, drums, and vocals)
  • Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire
  • Cashmere Cat - Quit
  • Daft Punk - Fragments Of Time
  • Neil Young - Out On The Weekend
My plan is to listen to these for the 7 to 10 days before switching over the SVS Primes. Right now I'm extremely excited and know that being stuck with any one of these options will be a win for me. Very curious to hear how the $300 JBL's stack up against the rest.



Feel free to offer your tips or advice when auditioning new speakers. I only know that you should be using material you know well, so that is all I've done so far. Thanks for reading and any advice.
 

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I've also been the look out for a used or refurbished Denon AVR that has Audyssey XT32. I think that would be a nice upgrade from my Denon AVR-SB500BT.
I got lucky and snagged a refurbished X4500H a couple of weeks ago for $999. The Denon X3000 series is where Audyssey XT32 begins. That is where I would recommend you begin. X4000 series has a nicer remote and more features.

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/avreceiver/home-audio/receivers-amps/home-theater-receivers/1.html?brand_f[]=DENON
 

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Music:
Coming form the Polk's the EVO's have this amazing mid range clarity. I've really notices that male vocals sound rich, full, smooth and present. I'm finding strength in the mid range that I previously did not have. The guitars in Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again shine on these speakers. I'm not well versed enough to really critically listen to highs/tweeters. All I can say is that to me they are perfect. I have a preference for a laid back high end that can still provide detail. For instance I am not a fan of Klipsch or Focal sound signatures. The EVO's were easy on the ears during a 2 hours straight listening session. Smooth is what comes to mind when listening to these AMT's. The low end of these is fuller, tighter, and deeper than the Polk RTi A3's even though the polks have a larger woofer, bigger cabinet and a front port. Overall these are just fun, balanced, and bring life and energy to music. I have not listened to the SVS Primes or the JBL's but if I was stuck with these I would not be mad AT ALL. I like them a lot.
Reminds me of my early days, when I started with Infinity Primus towers.

I like the way you describe the sound of these. It's what I've found I like, too. My current speakers have a flat-on axis, and somewhat laid back off-axis (but of the same tonal character) sound that is however extended beyond 20 kHz. It's really interesting. The result is the wall bounce sounds the same as the direct sound, but all you notice is just very engaging detail that draws you in, rather than shoving it in your eardrums. Detail without harshness.

I think you'll like the other speakers, too, but in different ways. Looking forward to reading about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Reminds me of my early days, when I started with Infinity Primus towers.

I like the way you describe the sound of these. It's what I've found I like, too. My current speakers have a flat-on axis, and somewhat laid back off-axis (but of the same tonal character) sound that is however extended beyond 20 kHz. It's really interesting. The result is the wall bounce sounds the same as the direct sound, but all you notice is just very engaging detail that draws you in, rather than shoving it in your eardrums. Detail without harshness.

I think you'll like the other speakers, too, but in different ways. Looking forward to reading about it.



Well said. I would definitely like to avoid speakers that do shoving into my eardrum as you say. Thanks for the advice on the Denon 3 series. Since I may be ordering the JBL sub instead of the SVS it makes sense to up my budget for the AVR and grab that X3500h.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Well, all 3 of those speakers come with free returns, but currently the JBL is the least expensive ($189) followed by the RSL ($400) and then the SVS ($500).

For musical finesse I'd pick the JBL over the RSL; for output the RSL since it's the only vented sub. You could always try the SVS too but I would be surprised if it could keep up with either one.

At $500 I'd get the sealed Monolith 10" over the SB1000, but the Mono doesn't have free return shipping.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=35143

You might want to post this question about all 4 subs in the Subwoofers forum, you'll get more feedback there.

Honestly for my situation it seems like the JBL is a no brainer. Thanks for sharing. The monoprice stuff really interests me. Might be something I explore in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF


Here are my listening notes and overall impression after 24 hours with the SVS Prime Bookshelf Speakers. Some of these are copy and pasted from my phone that I wrote down while listening.



Out of the box:

  • I got the gloss piano black finish. It looks really good. I don't like they charge $100 more for this finish.
  • These did not come with any rubber feet options like the Wharfedale's
  • Any ding, scratch, fingerprint, or mark on these would be extremely noticeable. Same with dust depending on where you live. I live near the ocean and the beach sands create a lot of dust in my area.
  • My speakers came with what looks like scrapes and smudges on the foam surround around the cone. (see pictures)


Low end:

  • Weak point for me
  • It feels unrefined
  • it digs deep on modern 808 tracks but I did not like the low end sound with live drums and instruments like Neil young, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, etc
  • Not sure what it was but I just know for my ears between the SVS Prime's and the EVO 4.1's the EVO's are the clear winner in this department

Highs:

  • Billie Eilish - everything I wanted - the vocals on this track or smooth open and airy. They sound beautiful on these speakers. Sound stage is wide. Never heard so much detail in the vocals before.
  • They are detailed in the highs and it’s great but it does introduce some fatigue after a while. I started to notice this after a few Stevie Wonder songs. The cymbals and brass sections sound great and detailed but my ears were getting tired of so much of it being in your face.

Random Thoughts:

  • I find these to be less 'musical' than the EVO's
  • Rock sounds really nice on these for some reason. Metallica's - Blitzkrieg was a great listen on these
  • These are absolutely OUTSTANDING for home theater use. These stomp the Wharfedale EVO 4.1s in the home theater department. I have no idea how that works and am unable to articulate the difference well but I hear it. They seem to have great separation and clarity between all the different sounds. It feels like everything has its own space. The EVO's aren't bad at all but these SVS Primes shine in this department.
  • I don’t love them for music but for some reason they come to life when watching movies
  • Soundstage is good but the center stage I guess is less defined and clear compared to the wharfedales. Centered vocals don’t sound as centered. (I hope that makes sense to some of you more experienced audiophiles)
  • It’s only been a day of listening and they are just too bright for me. Adjusting EQ to offset the in your face treble is an uphill battle to change a speaker that ultimately is not right for me
  • If I was using this speaker for movies only it would be a great choice - If I had the space for a Home Theater only room and a listening room, these would be keepers in the HT

I want to go back to the Wharfedale EVO 4.1's already. These speakers are great I had a lot of fun with them but the listening fatigue from the tweeters was not for me.

Back to those sweet sweet AMT's that the EVO has to offer. If you are looking for primarily HT use, these SVS Primes are a MUST on your list of speakers to audition.
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

It sounds like it's time to trial another speaker against the EVO. I think you'll like the JBL 230's more than the SVS Prime.

I noticed you previously mentioned the ELAC Debut Reference DBR62. From what I'm seeing out there, those will be a standout performer.
 

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Low end:
  • Weak point for me
  • It feels unrefined
  • it digs deep on modern 808 tracks but I did not like the low end sound with live drums and instruments like Neil young, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, etc
  • Not sure what it was but I just know for my ears between the SVS Prime's and the EVO 4.1's the EVO's are the clear winner in this department

Highs:
[*]They are detailed in the highs and it’s great but it does introduce some fatigue after a while. I started to notice this after a few Stevie Wonder songs. The cymbals and brass sections sound great and detailed but my ears were getting tired of so much of it being in your face.

[/LIST]


Random Thoughts:

  • I find these to be less 'musical' than the EVO's
  • Rock sounds really nice on these for some reason. Metallica's - Blitzkrieg was a great listen on these
  • These are absolutely OUTSTANDING for home theater use. These stomp the Wharfedale EVO 4.1s in the home theater department. I have no idea how that works and am unable to articulate the difference well but I hear it. They seem to have great separation and clarity between all the different sounds. It feels like everything has its own space. The EVO's aren't bad at all but these SVS Primes shine in this department.
  • I don’t love them for music but for some reason they come to life when watching movies
  • Soundstage is good but the center stage I guess is less defined and clear compared to the wharfedales. Centered vocals don’t sound as centered. (I hope that makes sense to some of you more experienced audiophiles)
  • It’s only been a day of listening and they are just too bright for me. Adjusting EQ to offset the in your face treble is an uphill battle to change a speaker that ultimately is not right for me
  • If I was using this speaker for movies only it would be a great choice - If I had the space for a Home Theater only room and a listening room, these would be keepers in the HT
Your impressions mirror mine almost entirely when I home demoed the Primes a few years ago; the only exception being I thought the Primes' mid-bass punch was quite impressive. But yeah, I couldn't tolerate the screeching treble...the track that broke the camel's back for that was "Moanin'" by Charles Mingus, where the horn crescendo sent me running for the remote to turn it the F down, lol.

If you like the Primes' clarity and dynamics but want to avoid its treble brightness, the Ascend 170SE would be a much better choice---although I don't find the same Wharfedale magic in the Ascends though, but I'm willing to live with less treble detail/dynamics for a lusher midrange. The kicker is that the 170SE is $200 cheaper than the Primes, while you can get its dual woofer big brother (340SE) for the same price as the Primes which gives you 90% of the room-filling headroom/dynamics of a tower. This is why I find SVS such a dismal bang-for-the-buck proposition.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Your impressions mirror mine almost entirely when I home demoed the Primes a few years ago; the only exception being I thought the Primes' mid-bass punch was quite impressive. But yeah, I couldn't tolerate the screeching treble...the track that broke the camel's back for that was "Moanin'" by Charles Mingus, where the horn crescendo sent me running for the remote to turn it the F down, lol.

If you like the Primes' clarity and dynamics but want to avoid its treble brightness, the Ascend 170SE would be a much better choice---although I don't find the same Wharfedale magic in the Ascends though, but I'm willing to live with less treble detail/dynamics for a lusher midrange. The kicker is that the 170SE is $200 cheaper than the Primes, while you can get its dual woofer big brother (340SE) for the same price as the Primes which gives you 90% of the room-filling headroom/dynamics of a tower. This is why I find SVS such a dismal bang-for-the-buck proposition.



You made me realize I didn't give any input on the mid bass. My go to track for a strong mid range is The Weeknd - In Your Eyes. Also Grimes - Violence. Mid bass was absolutely a joy. Accompanied by the clarity from the tweeter, before my ears started to get bothered, was quite an enjoyable listening experience.



Ok so I live about 40 minutes from Ascend Audio but I'm afraid if I give them a listen I'll end up snapping and going way over budget for the Sierra 2's :devil: You mentioned the 170Se. I did look into them but the speaker is not so visually appealing and that is a big factor for me.

I never considered the mini towers. Something very exciting about the idea of having dual 6.5" woofers. Mmm Mmm tasty. But I would love to listen to the Sierra 1s and 2s.


I'll wait and see how the JBL's sound. I'm starting to get worried that I may have 2 to 4 more speakers to audition...
 
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