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  1. #1
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    It's that time again! Favorite bookshelf speakers for around $1000 or less!

    Just curious what everyone likes in bookshelf speakers for up to and around $1000 (for the pair). Seen the old threads but I want to know if there have been any changes in opinion.

    The more bizarre and unusual the brand, the more points you shall receive!
    Last edited by emorphien; 11-26-2006 at 09:31 AM.

  2. #2
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    If I had $1k and was buying a bookshelf speaker, I, wanted to listen to, it would be the Dynaudio Audience 52. Buying used I'd see what I could find a 52se for. I haven't had chance to price or listen to their Focus line yet.

  3. #3
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    At that price ceiling there are a lot of very good ones... That said to my ears, I still have not heard better than the Opera Audio Consonance Eric-1s I chose for my office system (at 1K/pr.).

    Others I can easily also recommend in the $750-$1000/pr. price range include the Spendor 3/5s, the Linn Katans, Tyler Acoustics Freedom F-2s and the Von Schweikert VR-1s.

    Edit: As for music I listen to... Everything except gospel. That said, my preferences are for Baroque Classical and Female Vocals (Allison Krauss, Erin Bode, Aimee Mann, etc.).

    ---Dave
    Last edited by drseid; 11-27-2006 at 01:51 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Energy RC-10's. Lovely and well under your budget.

    Good review of them.

  5. #5
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Get some NHT Super Zero's and a decent sub woofer. Nuff said!
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
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  6. #6
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    new rules! Include what kind of music you like to listen to!

  7. #7
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    For around that price, I'd probably buy a pair of B&W CM1s.... heard them at the dealer a number of times in the last month, when I accompanied a friend on his quest to get a good pair of speakers.... he eventually bought the CM1s....

    I listen to a really wide range of music... everything from my native reggae and dancehall to classical and Jazz.... so I threw a number of different CDs at CM1s and was really impressed with the sound....

  8. #8
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    Hmm...

    I'd likely go for a DIY speaker with a combination of a ribbon mid/tweeter and Vifa woofer.

  9. #9
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Spendor S3/5 -- best in the nearfield, and at low levels. Responds well to increasingly superior electronics. Also received a "golden ear" award from Absolute Sound.
    Last edited by Dusty Chalk; 11-27-2006 at 01:51 PM.
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  10. #10
    RGA
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    My first choice is the Audio Note AX Two at about $600.00US+$200.00 for Skylan stands. If you never plan to use good tube amplifiers then The Dynaudio Audience 42 and 52 I would also consider along with Proac. I would also personally like to hear Omega loudspeakers in budget territory and what Tannoy has on offer based on my brief audition with the musical sounding Kensington. Still if I had no speakers -- the ONLY speaker I would buy that I have heard under $1k would be the AX Two. Though yes there are a number of others I would recommend to other people.

  11. #11
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Just listened to a handful of things.

    Focal Chorus 806 V
    Triangle Comet
    Totem Rainmaker
    B&W CM1

    In order of favorites I'd list the B&W last, then the Triangle, Totem and Chorus 806 V. For my taste in music the Focal seemed the most dynamic and was warmish but controlled. The Totem was really great, but I couldn't find the justification in the extra $150 over the Focal. The Focal is probably the weirdest looking of the bunch but if you remove the grills it's not bad looking and the sound opens up a bit anyway. The Focals just had the best combination of bass depth and definition with the right presence and tone for my taste.

    I was surprised by the Focals. I didn't like the look of them when I had stumbled across them online a few days ago, and I also didn't think they'd fall remotely under $1000 (I thought they were in the $1500+ range). I still am not sold by the aesthetics, I like the totems best by appearance but it's the sound I'm interested in and the Focals did it for me. I'd have to listen more if I were really going to bite the bullet any time soon, and there are other speakers I'd like to listen to.

  12. #12
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    hey emorphine, Im curious about Triangle. What equipments were they playing with?


    Added: COOL Thanks for that emorphine. Just didnt want to post another one to get away from the topic.

    JRA
    Last edited by jrhymeammo; 11-30-2006 at 04:26 PM.

  13. #13
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    hey emorphine, Im curious about Triangle. What equipments were they playing with?
    Initially on Marantz which I wasn't thrilled with. I didn't care for the attitude of the employees there either The first store knew me from almost a year ago when I bought my NADs, and I said "Show me what bookshelves you've got for $500 to 1000" and they first pointed to a $490 pair of PSB (B25s or something?) then the Focals. The second store immediately took me to speakers costing $900 to $950 and didn't make mention of anything less expensive which soured my initial impression. They then tried to sell us on $6500 cables

    I'm not even sure of the model of the Marantz, the nice thing about where I listened to the Focals was that they were hooked up to similar NAD gear to mine (not the same, but stuff I was familiar with). The Triangles were also a little large for me to really consider putting in my room, although the sound was very detailed and the bass had reasonable depth and punch, they just didn't sound as expansive as the Rainmaker and there didn't seem to be much life to them. I would have rather listened on different components but I kinda wanted to get out of there as it was getting late.

    I think they just weren't particularly well suited to most of my musical tastes, but they rendered high frequencies with good detail and had a nice depth and punch to the bass, which was fairly clean. Easily the largest of all 4 speakers by quite a bit. I'm not trying to pass this as an in depth comparison of the four since obviously components and the listening room changed, but it was still fun to do some window shopping!

  14. #14
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Von Schweikert VR1's, Green Mountain Europa's, Paradigm Studio 20's. All are under $1K, all are worth auditioning.

  15. #15
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Von Schweikert VR1's, Green Mountain Europa's, Paradigm Studio 20's. All are under $1K, all are worth auditioning.
    Ahh yes I did hear the Studio 20s recently (hooked up to McIntosh components). Nice but not my cup of tea.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    That is the area that I am looking in for my new speakers. I am getting a stand alone amp for Christmas and that opens up my choices to a lot of nice 4 ohm speakers. I want to listen to

    1. Totem Rainmaker
    2. Usher V601
    3. Usher X719
    4. Vienna Acoustics Mahler
    5. Spendor 3/5

    And some others

  17. #17
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    So has anyone here heard the VR-1 and the Focal speakers I've mentioned?

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Emorphan

    I have heard these from your list:
    Focal Chorus 806 V
    Totem Rainmaker
    B&W CM1

    I will go with my initial recommendation -- it's cheaper than all of these and IMO it's not much of a competition but that is how it should be IMO. Find something you like that separates itself from the pack -- if you find that you'll be much happier. The above three have their merits but they also have enough working against them to be crossed off my list. I prefer the Focal from the above group for what it's worth.

  19. #19
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    Myself and Topspeed both own VR-1's. I love them, they provide me with all the bass I need, and just flat out sound great. I only have them hooked up to a Marantz SR-7000 receiver too. I'm probably not even doing them justice. The African Hazelwood finish is stunning too.

    Quote Originally Posted by emorphien
    So has anyone here heard the VR-1 and the Focal speakers I've mentioned?

  20. #20
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    What he said.

    My VR-1's are also connected to a Marantz, albeit a vintage 2230. The VSA's are simply the most fun speakers I've heard! Here is my review if you're curious. When I auditioned the VR-1's, it was against the Chorus 706s (or was it 705s'?) and not the new 'V' series, which my dealer says is quite good. I have a feeling I'd still prefer the tweeter on the VR-1's though.

  21. #21
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    I'd love to hear a pair. The VR-1 is a different kind of speaker in some ways from what I've been looking in to (seems very similar in design to the Audio Note AX Two). I'd like to hear one, but from similarly speakers I have heard I found them to have an amazing sound but didn't necessarily fit my usual listening fare.

  22. #22
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by emorphien
    I'd love to hear a pair. The VR-1 is a different kind of speaker in some ways from what I've been looking in to (seems very similar in design to the Audio Note AX Two). I'd like to hear one, but from similarly speakers I have heard I found them to have an amazing sound but didn't necessarily fit my usual listening fare.
    Basically it comes to comrpomises and also your taste. The more you listen the more you will figure out in a general way what you gravitate towards and away from. I don;t gravitate to individual characteristics such as imaging. Because I have found few speakers that frankly image to unnacceptable levels - even the cheapie B&W 302 images well enough to not be off putting. Looking back over the years I simply cannot live with nasal sounding midranges, a very shut in sound, or speakers that lack micro and macrodynamics or bass. The typical standmount speaker - ie almost all of them lack in every single regard that I just mentioned. Most of them are poor low volume loudspeakers requiring me to turn them up to make things out. They typically have very poor dynamics because they can't play acceptably loud without running into issues. They typically sound congested in the midrange many of which become shouty or boom and sizzly. And of course almost all of them lack any semblence of credible bass at average volume levels. They will image better often then big iant speakers though and as a result that gives the impression they sound clearer.

    I have not heard the VR-1 but it's gentle load on amplifiers does open up your future amplifier options -- and if the designer indeed uses SET amplifiers to test their speakers on then there is a very very high probability that I would like the speakers -- generally higher efficient easy load speakers have the qualities that I prefer in sound reproduction -- and the faults they exhibit I can live with.

  23. #23
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    I'm going to go back and re-listen to the Totem Rainmaker on some different source gear if possible. Possibly the Triangles too.

    After that my only remaining question mark is the VR-1, but first I want to re-hear the Totems in particular.

  24. #24
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    It is possible to audition Coincident? I'm satisfied with my Trizzy, but I do wonder how those Triumphs could've sounded.

    JRA

  25. #25
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    No, nothing else is available to audition locally, at least not in any shops. I've exhausted all my options, and I want to keep the internet order options to a minimum or I could be at this forever!

    Since I probably won't have purchased anything before next Friday, I may see what shops in the Cincinnati area have, and perhaps northern NJ if I go there for New Years.

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