how do these compare? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-06-2004, 03:23 PM
Well, I am still looking for bookshelves. Its taking so long cause I am having a bit of money problems, but hopefully they will be worked out by the end of the month and I can finally get a pair. At least this delay has convinced me to look around and pushed me away from the JBL E20s I was set on before I went out and listened to stuff. After going around and listening to speakers here is what I found that I liked.
Polk Rti4
Paradigm Atom
Infinity Primus 150
Athena ASB1

I really liked the sound of all those speakers. The problem is that those are all the best things I found at 4 respective places and have never heard them in the same place(I did hear the Rti4s next to Primus 160s though). Has any of these stood out form one another to any of you guys? I think the Polks are my favorite right now, but I think I might be being swayed a bit by the nice wood venear and the better looks. Every review I have seen has said pretty good things of all of these, but none really compared them. Anyone have any experience comparing them or really recommend one over the other?

06-06-2004, 05:06 PM
Trouble is you will always find good reviews about whatever it is you're looking at. Reviews are mostly advertising - not always some review sources like Hi-fi CHoice can be more helpful than the rest IMO - but even then it's still just another person(s) impression. For instance most people here who have heard the B&W CM line would not likely say they're any better than the 600 series and overpriced - that magazine gave them the top rating in the class. Though Granted they're much cheaper in Britain than they are here which affects the rating but still.

You really want to get the speakers in the same room running off of the same equipment. Doesn't really matter which room - whether at a dealer or at home - a good speaker will make good music in any room - put Izhak Perlman in my Kitchen and his violin music will sound like him playing a violin.

The room may not be ideal but the key is to get all speakers to have the same playing field.

I would try and find the Wharfedale Diamon 8.1 or 8.2 or Mission M71 or M72. Possibly the B&W DM 302(used) or new 303 in your budget.

Otherwise I would look at the used market.

06-06-2004, 06:08 PM
I dont really know where I would find the wharfedales, or missions, but there is a B&W dealer near me that I will check out, although looking at their advertised price the 303s seem a bit above what I want to spend. The Polks at $260 a pair were about at the high limit of what I wanted to spend.

06-06-2004, 09:17 PM
My friend owns an inexpensive pair of Polks which provided relatively good results - and the one your looking at are likely a higher model - so if you like them you're probably gonna do pretty good.

Thereality is it's hard to hear everything in the same room. It's a judgement call - maybe the place that sets it up best have also taken care to sell a good product. Polk is a solid buy.

06-07-2004, 04:25 AM
Given the choices you have listed, I would cast my vote for the Athena AS-B1. I have heard them and they sound nice for the pricepoint. Thought they sounded better than the Atom. I own a pair of older Polk bookshelf speakers, (Monitor 4A) which sound nice, but heard a pair of Polk bookshelf speakers recently (can't remember model#) and was not even remotely impressed. Haven't heard the JBL's, so I really can't comment. I see the Athena speakers on ebay pretty frequently at good prices, so that might be an option. Another option could be the Paradigm Titans which I believe are in your price range. Good luck with whatever model you choose.