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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be building a wall unit entertainment center (~13' in 3 sections - AV stuff in the middle (except for speakers) and matching bookshelves on either side with bookshelf speakers). I'm trying to design it partially so that it fits a nice pair of entry level bookshelf speakers. I've been doing a lot of reading, some listening, and am at the point where I need some good advice.


I was at best Buy recently (stop laughing) and listened to the JBLs they had - E20 with the 10" and 12" low-end sub and matching surround stuff. Not really impressed at all. E30 and E50 not available in-store to hear. Listened to the Klipsch B-2 and sub and liked it more - sounded more alive.


Did some more reading.


Went to a Paradigm dealer today and listened to the Atom, Titan, and Mini Monitor. Titan obviously sounded better than the smaller Atom - more "full" I guess. Mini Monitor sounded even better. They would have to order a Focus and it wouldn't be returnable.


I'm looking to spend ~$300 USD. Room is ~14 x 22 with left-to-right sloping ceiling 8-10'. Use will be ~70/30 movies/music (mostly rock/pop, with some classical and jazz) through a Sony V333ES receiver and Oppo DVD player. Rears, sub, then center will be purchased down the road as funds allow. I have a real problem buying speakers before being able to audition them, especially if I have to pay to ship them back which is why I'm looking for some good feedback from you guys.


Questions:


Will placing bookshelf speakers on actual bookshelves affect the sound drastically? Does front- vs rear-porting make a difference in this case?


JBL has a great price point - the E50 can be had for under $250 shipped (slides in between the Titan and Focus). How does it compare to the Focus?


Is the Focus worth the extra $85 over the Titan (different woofer material and basket according to their literature)? Mini Monitor worth another $70 over the Focus (and really getting a bit past the $300 price point)? Anything else I should be looking at?


Any websites out there that offer advice on building quality wall units?


Thank you so much in advance for any insight you may have (and thanks for reading this far).
 

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Rear ported speakers require about a foot of space behind them in order to operate properly. As long as the bookshelf is solid I don't thing you'll have a problem. The Titans are a great choice for a tight budget although your ears have to be the final judge. Try to do an A/B with the speakers you like and then decide.

Good luck :)
 

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If you can swing it for the Mini-Monitors, that is what I would recommend. Retail is $399, but you can usually get 10-15% off with a little negotiating if the dealer thinks you are serious about buying them. I have the Atom in my 14 x 17 room and it fills the room nicely. Titans do have a little bit more range on the low end.


As for the JBLs, I had the E20 and E30 in my house for a test drive and the E30s were much nicer than the E20s, a lot more range. I really liked it but I was looking for a smaller speaker since I was going to put them on stands. I only heard the E50s at a store and from what I remember, they sounded pretty good..nice and crisp without being harsh. However, keep in mind that the E50 is meant to be laid on its side, so that might not work for your entertainment system.


Another thing to keep in mind is that all the JBLs are shielded, so if you have a crt-tube tv, that is a plus. The shielded versions of the Paradigms only come in black magnashield.


Good luck with your search.
 

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Go with the digms, and if you do, stretch to the mini-monitors you won't regret it. I love the titans, but if these are going to be your mains it's worth getting the best you can and the monitors you can live with nicely for a long time.
 

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Many Paradigm dealers will let you trade up 12 months later. Ask your dealer about this. Its a great way to buy the Titans now and next year step up to the mini-mons for only the price diff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yung
If you can swing it for the Mini-Monitors, that is what I would recommend. Retail is $399, but you can usually get 10-15% off with a little negotiating if the dealer thinks you are serious about buying them. I have the Atom in my 14 x 17 room and it fills the room nicely. Titans do have a little bit more range on the low end.


As for the JBLs, I had the E20 and E30 in my house for a test drive and the E30s were much nicer than the E20s, a lot more range. I really liked it but I was looking for a smaller speaker since I was going to put them on stands. I only heard the E50s at a store and from what I remember, they sounded pretty good..nice and crisp without being harsh. However, keep in mind that the E50 is meant to be laid on its side, so that might not work for your entertainment system.


Another thing to keep in mind is that all the JBLs are shielded, so if you have a crt-tube tv, that is a plus. The shielded versions of the Paradigms only come in black magnashield.


Good luck with your search.
Laying the speakers on the side may be beneficial, since the shelves wouldn't have to be so tall. That's just another design consideration. Plus, I'm looking at the Sony 34" XS955 CRT, so shielding may be a plus - not sure how close the speakers will be to the TV yet.


The Mini Mons would be great, but hard to justify when I could get two pairs of Titans for not much more than the pair of Minis. On the other hand, I'm the type that pays a little more for something of better quality and holds onto it forever. Maybe buying the TV and Minis together would get me a deal...
 

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Yes, I was looking seriously at the E50 speakers, since they seem to be very close to the E60 towers, in a more wife-friendly form factor. What makes me wonder is why there are not more speakers built like this? Use a large woofer to get decent bass, but use a mirror-image design so that they can go on their sides. So it should work to give a symmetric sound stage. PLan to get a subwoofer too, since the room is fairly large.


Note that the E50s can also be placed upright too. I have designed a cabinet also, and so far the E50 is the largest speaker that I found that would fit nicely on it. It is also nice to have the selection of other speakers in the same series for center and surrounds.


Have not gotten them yet, to hear what they sound like in the room, since our construction is behind schedule. Hope the good internet deals continue.
 
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