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cjc
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Bookshelf vs. Floor Standing speakers

Hi,

New to the forum and am looking for some assistance.  Just bought the 55inch plasma and I am now looking to upgrade speakers and receiver.  It has been some time (1993) since my last speaker purchase (Paradigm floor standing).  I am looking at Def Tech (8020st or 8040st) and also considering some higher end bookshelf speakers.  

My question - for a price range of $1000 - $1500, I am better off going the bookshelf with stand and subwoofer route?  I do not have a ton of room next to the tv stand (16 inches on each side) so I am a bit limited.  

I GREATLY appreciate any feedback.

Thanks,

cjc

jackfish
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Well, generally you will be able to get a better quality

midrange and high frequency section with $1500 bookshelves than with $1500 floorstanders. If the bookshelves reach down to at least 80 Hz  -3dB, you are using a subwoofer, and if you can get good loudspeaker/subwoofer integration, you should be able to get better sound quality with bookshelves. Lots of variables though.

BigRed
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Musical SQ or Home Theater SQ.

I agree with the above poster that bookshelves will certainly get you more bang for the buck than floor standers in that price range.  As far as sound quality, are you looking for great stereo image or extension or just impact with movies.  All can be achieved in the price range, just want to make sure you enjoy these speaker for 10 more years as well.

Stereo Image, focus mostor all of your budget on two good monitors.

Extension, Balance your budget between the two getting the bookshelf to cover as much range as possible.

impact, put a lot of money into a good sub and use what is left to get something with a pleasant sound.

cjc
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re

Thank you for the responses.  I anticipate that most of my listening will be music, mixed in with the weekly movie or two.  I have been looking into the psb image t5, or imagine b.  I am, quite frankly,  confused.  There are no places near by for me to hear any of these brands.  Have been talking to the folks at Audio Advisor and Crutchfield.  I anticipate just going with two channel stereo rather than a surround set up.  I am considering the NAD 326eee integrated amp as well.  Has anyone had a chance to listen to the image t5s or imagine bs?  Any other names that I should consider, i.e. monitor audio, def tech, paradigm?

I appreciate the feedback!

Chris

BigRed
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Some good brand and some bad ones.

PSB and Paradigm are good if you like very neutral "British" sound. Sometimes they can sound a little bit thin but very laid back. DEF tech is not a very musical brand overall to me there monitors are generally uninteresting when listening to music. Monitor audio gold and above are very balanced and when given appropriate power deliver clean tight bass, but not really great imagining. Something great sounding you may be able to audition locally is Vienna the Mozart's and Bach's? Have a great sound and sound stage but I have heard their new drivers aren't as good as their older ones. Unfortunately most of the best stuff you will want to hear will be hard to audition without traveling to an audiofest since it is small guys without distributors. I think AK fest is coming up next month, and you can audition basically everything in the world at RMAF in Colorado every year.

npsquire1
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I've enjoyed the Dynaudio

I've enjoyed the Dynaudio focus and contour, both of which provide great sound and fit within your budget.  The sound is uncolored with great range down to about 50hz or so in a smaller room, and they also come with plugs for the rear ports if you need to put them closer to a wall.  

PSB provides great value for the money, and I'm actually still running some of the original Alphas  http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/792psb/index.html

They've lasted years and still sound great.  Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what your research leads you to purchase.

cjc
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Thank you for your

Thank you for your suggestions.  Regarding PSB and Dynaudio, are you referring to bookshelf or floorstanding?  Given my budget of approx. $1200, would you suggest bookshelf?

I spoke recently with an audio dealer near Cambridge, MA who suggested that Paradigm is far better quality than PSB.  Now, of course, he does not sell PSB; and he seemed to really know the market, but I am just wondering if anyone has heard anything similiar?

Thank you,

 

cjc

BigRed
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What kind of sound are you going for?

Both PSB and Paradigm are certainly neutral and uncolored sound as the above mentioned.  Some listeners really enjoy this type of sound, but what type of sound do you enjoy?  I would give a slight edge to PSB personally, having heard both.  I find that PSB has slightly more character and musicality, which I enjoy, but it is sometimes difficult to find dealers as they have very stringent dealer requirements.

Anyways to the point, what type of sound do you enjoy, can you describe some speakers you have heard and enjoyed?  Or what type of music you enjoy?

cjc
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Hi, Honestly, I am not sure

Hi,

Honestly, I am not sure what type of sound that I enjoy.  I listen to a variety of music from Vivaldi to Adele. Other artists that I typically enjoy include U2, Springsteen, John Mayer, Train, ColdPlay.  I like listening to the instruments and usually avoid "electronic" music.  I feel as though I am really starting to over analyze this decision!  My biggest problem is that my home state of RI does not have any audio equipment dealers beside Best Buy and a very small shop that sells mostly used stuff. This particular shop also sells new Def Tech at discounted prices.  I have considered DefTech's new studio monitor line as well.  My last speaker purchase, in 1993, was Paradigm Towers.  I do not remember the exact price, but believe they cost about $700 or so.  Other than that, I am a newbie!  Aside from making a couple of road trips to Cambridge, MA, I could just order the PSB's from Crutchfield, pair them with a NAD integrated, OPPO bluray and call it a day.  The PSB's vinyl covering, and chinese manufacturing turn me off a bit though.

As always, I appreciate the guidance.

Thank you,

cjc

npsquire1
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You are correct in assuming

You are correct in assuming that I was referring to the bookshelf models.  PSB provides some great bang for the buck, and then you can go with HSU Research or SVS for a separate sub if you're really looking to budget.  I've also had good experiences with HSU as my 6 year old sub is still performing quite well.  

What I enjoyed about the PSBs is that they're cheap, but play well loudly.  You can get a decent setup with the PSB Image ($600/pair) and a sub for however much you want, or go with the more expensive imagine bs and a cheaper sub.  Either way I think you'll end up happy, especially for the amount of money you spend.  The best thing is to head over to a dealer and have a listen, even if it's an hour drive, or more, away.  The extra time is worthwhile for a decision you'll be living with for the next 10-20 years.  Good luck again, and make sure that you're happy with your purchase!

Of course all of this referrs to new pricing.  If you go used, then that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.  Audiogon can be your best friend, or your wallet's worst enemy.  

cjc
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the audition

Had a chance yesterday to listen to some speakers.  I sampled GoldenEar Aon3, Paradigm SE 3 and B & W 684.  I know I am somewhat inexperienced, but they all sounded pretty good.  The SE3's definitely were a bit more forward and a tad brighter.  The B & W seemed very well built and played somewhat subdued.  Able to deliver, but was not going to steal the show by being too aggressive.  The Aon3's were very impressive for their size.  Great highs and pretty decent base.  I listened with a Rotel RA-1520 integrated amp.  I believe the Paradigms were the most expensive ($1600) out of the bunch.  Given that I have about 16 inches of space on each side of my tv cabinet, i am not sure which speaker would be best for the room.  Anyone have any opinions regarding these speakers?  Also, if I were to increase my budget up to the $2000 mark, would i get a lot more bang for the buck?

As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated.  

Thank you!

bierfeldt
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Couple of thoughts

I have not demo'd the Paradigm's but have demo'd the B&W 684s and a couple of different models of PSB.  I have also demo'd KEF, Polk, Def Tech, Klipsch and like 19 other brands.  I like the "neutral" sound and very much agree with the second poster so my suggestions will reflect that.  Of all the things I listened too, I fell in love with two the B&W CM line and the Sunfire HRS line.  The  B&W CM5's - ~$1500 for a pair for bookshelves.  I heard a dramatic difference between the 600 series and the CM series.  I was underwhelmed by the 600's and found they got a little bright and a touch tinny when listening to high pitches; Journey, any horn, etc...  The B&W CM9's are fantastic floorstanders but may be over your budget.  If you can find a dealer listen to the Sunfire HRS SAT 4s.  They are small at 4.5" x 7"  but sound almost as good as the CM5s and despite the SAT label they are not really satelites.  I also think they sound much better than the 684s or any of the PSBs I hear.  I own these and have them paired with a Sunfire HRS 12 sub.  I believe the list on the Sunfire SAT 4 is $900 and the sub lists for about the same.  There is also an HRS 10 and and 8, same power output, 1000w but with a smaller driver.  For audio, the HRS 10 goes to 20hz and should be great for most audio applications.  There is also a nice mtching stand for the SAT 4s.  With a little haggling, you should be able to get the speakers, the stand and the sube for at or below $2000. 

One other note, although a bit below your budget at $925, I did buy a set of B&W MM1's today with a Mirage Omni S8 sub for my living room. 100% audio set up.  I listened to the CM5's as my reference and compared NRG, Mirage, Def Tech and the B&W 600 series bookshelves and the MM1's sounded the best in my opinion. 

Check out Sunfire.com and they will have an authorized dealer list.  That is how I found the dealer I bought mine from.

Good luck. 

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