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Please help < $1000 bookshelf/stand speakers

1102 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  RonaldoCombs
So, it's time for some new speakers. This is for my study, which is a pretty small room (10 x 11), and my budget is limited to $1000. That's a hard limit so no $1100 speakers need apply. This is mostly for listening while I'm working at the computer, though sometimes I'm more listening than working. This is all 2-channel stereo, not HT.

Anyway, because the room is small, I'd really like speakers on stands to conserve space, and I'd like to be able to put them as close to the walls as possible, which (I believe) favors front-ported speakers. No sub, I don't have the space for it, so bass performance is important. (I know, not the forte of bookshelves/stands, I'm just looking for "not awful" here.)

I listen to mostly rock/alt/punk, classical, and electronica. Power comes from an old but solid NAD C740 receiver. My preference is for neutral; for instance, I don't care for the KEFs I've heard because they all seem too forward; most Klipschs seem bright to me. My HT setup (that I'm very happy with) is PSB Image stuff driven by a Denon 3808 receiver. I'd like something in that vein, though a little more musical would be nice.

So, here's my current list:

* Paradigm Studio 20

* Paradigm Titan Monitor

* B&W 685

* Elemental Designs W6-6TC (should this even be considered?)

I know Paradigms have a sound signature I can live with (similar to PSBs), but I don't know the others well. I've read that the B&Ws are bright, but I haven't listened to a pair in a long time. I guess Klipsch RB-81s should be on there, too, but I've never been a huge fan. Something from Wharfedale?

If I expand to consider rear-ported speakers, then I can add things like:

* Dynaudio DM 2/8

* Ascend Sierra-1

* NHT Classic 3

* Monitor Audio RX1

* Energy RC-10

but I'm not sure how well rear-ported will play with my desire to keep them closer to the wall.

I'd like to narrow it down to just 2-3 reasonable options before I go driving all over creation to hear everything, so any thoughts would be most appreciated!
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I find that front ported speakers are much better in a smaller room. You can reach a bit higher on the volume dial without cringing from bloated bass, especially with them sitting closer to a wall.

Originally Posted by Tarpon /forum/post/18099960

The Sierra 1's have port plugs available for your situation. http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/showthread.php?t=3781

That's a great tip, thanks very much! How do you think the plugged Sierra-1s compare to the Paradigms and B&Ws?
If possible I would listen to all of these:

* Paradigm Studio 20

* B&W 685 (listen to the CM1 too, and keep your eyes peeled for a demo CM5)

* Dali (not sure which model is at this price point, but I liked it a lot)

* ERA D4 (it's rear ported but meant to go against the wall)

* Dynaudio DM 2/8

* Ascend Sierra-1 (never heard them but they seem interesting)

* Monitor Audio RX1

My top three:

ERA D5 - I bought these, but they would be too boomy against the wall run full range

Monitor RX1


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