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Dark_Matt3r
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Looking for Budget Bookshelf Speakers

Helo everyone,

I'm in the process of building a small-budget bedroom stereo system and was wondering what bookshelf speakers to use. Space is somewhat limited, with the empty room being 10' by 10' and practical floor area being 94 square feet (All of this drops significantly with the addition of a bed, desk, and chairs). My budget for a pair of speakers is around $200-350. I was thinking of perhaps the...

B&W DM302

Wharfedale Diamond 9.1

Klipsch RB-41 II

Klipsch B-20

Polk RT5

Does anyone have any strong feelings for any of these models? If anyone has other suggestions within this price range, new or used, please feel free to share as well (as well as your reasoning please!)

I listen mainly to classic rock, vocal, symphonic/classical, and electronic music. Soundstage/imaging, and texture/detail are particularly important to me.

I'll be running this through a Little Dot MkIII tube preamplifier to an Eico HF-81 tube amplifier that produces about 14W per channel. 

Thanks for all your help!

jackfish
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The midrange from the Wharfedales

is sublime.  Enough to make up for their other minor shortcomings.

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/1105wharfedale

Dark_Matt3r
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The review on the Wharfedales

The review on the Wharfedales sounds pretty impressive. The only thing that concerns me about those speakers is their sensitivity at 86dB. Since I would be driving these with a relatively low-powered amplifier, would it be better that I used a speaker that has a sensitivity rating of 89-91dB or better?

Also, does anyone else have suggestions?

Thanks!

jackfish
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If in your quest for soundstage, imaging, texture and detail

the Wharfedales provide that, then it is a matter if you can achieve sufficient sound pressure levels to satisfy your expectations.  With that amplifier and that pair of speakers in your small 10'x10' room, with room gain, you could expect at least 100dB at your listening position before that amplifier clips.  And that amplifier is known for sounding good well into clipping.

I usually listen to most music at about 85dB which is getting loud.  At least for my wife it is.

 

My opinion is the Wharfedales are the best of your listed bunch.  Who cares if you get a little more volume if it doesn't sound as good?

Vintage Jeff
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Knight 1

I’d add the Castle Knight 1 to your list. They’re $50 more than what you were looking to spend but the midrange was pretty unbelievable. I think they’re made in the same factory as the wharfs.

Retro Pauper
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You might give the Paradigm

You might give the Paradigm Atoms a listen. They have rather high sensitivity, which will match well with your amps, and imo they beat the pants off a lot of more expensive competitors in terms of accuracy, transparency, and detail. I had a pair of Atoms in my bedroom, and I found they worked quite well both for serious listening and for low-level nearfield background music. (They flanked my desk.) I would not have traded them for anything that went for twice the price.

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